More and more people use e-mails and pay bills online nowadays, forcing the U.S. Postal Services to remove tens of thousands of underused mailboxes from city streets.
"People just don't write letters as often anymore," said Yvonne Yoerger, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service. "It's not a part of our culture anymore."
The removal of mailboxes, though, represents more than just a transition to the Internet age. To many, it means the decline of an American icon.
Seen and used by hundreds of millions of Americans for more than a century, the corner mailbox is one of the most recognized pieces of Americana, said Nancy Pope, a historian at the National Postal Museum in Washington.
"You recognize them in Chicago, you recognize them in D.C., you recognize them in Florida, you recognize them in Montana," Pope said. "It's a piece of American iconography that has a wonderful history behind it."