The Handyside Postbox

Contributed by The Silk Mill Derby

Cast iron post box manufactured by Andrew Handyside & Co, Derby © Derby Museums and Art Gallery

Handyside post boxes were on nearly every street corner.Post boxes are a common feature of streets the world over. Letters were for many years the only way to communicate over long distances. This pillar letter box was made by Andrew Handyside & Co, Derby and originally located in Leicester.

Andrew Handyside was a Glaswegian who took over the Britannia Foundry in Derby in 1848. The castings manufactured by the firm were renowned all over the world for their strength and quality. Post boxes were only a small part of their output. Civil engineering was a specialty, including bridges, piers and railway station roofs. They also made ornamental ironwork such as fountains and lamp standards. In 1853 they made their first post box securing a contract in 1879 to supply large quantities. They continued to manufacture all varieties of post box into the early 20th Century. You will find many products including the post boxes still in regular use on a street near you!

Comments are closed for this object


Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline




View more objects from people in Derby.

Find out more

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.