How the rubber band became a USPS staple

From USPS News Link:

Rubber bands
Each year, the Postal Service issues more than 1.8 million pounds of rubber bands to use in field offices.

These rubber bands are used by letter carriers and clerks across the nation, typically for bundling mail. Employees reuse many of them in efforts to recycle and reduce reordering.

Rubber bands were first used by clerks in the registry divisions of large Post Offices on a limited basis as early as 1907. They didn’t become standard until approximately 1967 when letter carriers began using them in lieu of twine to bundle mail. Postmaster General Lawrence O’Brien announced the adoption of rubber bands for bundling mail in July 1966 —but supplies were limited and it took more than a year to implement the change.

An article in the Boston Globe published in September of 1967 claimed that “the change will make it [USPS] the world’s biggest user of rubber bands. It will eventually use about as many bands as are now produced for all industrial purposes in this country.”

The most common size rubber band used today is a # 64 1/4 inch x 3-1/2 inch.


  • Oc

    Reuse till they break and snap u in the face!!!!! Good times!!!!

    • JY

      Snap on the sensitive parts of your hands… OOOH!

  • hollywood

    Go back to the straps us old timers used , they never break .

  • Mr. Postman

    I wish they would create a new position at L’Enfant Plaza… Vice President in charge of rubber band acquisitions and distribution to offices across the USA.

    This would quickly become the most important and most useful of all positions at the Plaza.

    We run out of decent rubber bands all the time. We haven’t seen any new ones in ages.

    • Bob

      That is a real position. He just got detailed out.

  • Fernando

    We used to have rubber bands everywhere in our office. Now they ration it to a hand full. By the next day we are asking again. What’s next?

  • howie t

    Our new Manager has taken them away from us. No banded mail unless you have walking loops!