The world's very first floating ZIP code is in Michigan

Oct 14, 2014

Credit User: Steven Haverty / Mailboat J.W.Westcott II/Facebook


The ZIP code for the J.W. Westcott, the official U.S. Postal Service mail boat serving Great Lakes vessels, is 48222.

Bill Redding is a boat captain and dispatcher with the J.W. Westcott Company.

Redding says John Ward Westcott had lots of dreams back in the late 1800s. In 1874, he put together a business – the J.W. Westcott mail boat – to find a way to deliver mail for sailors who served on the Great Lakes.

Westcott would row out to passing boats and place messages in the bucket thrown over the side of the boat – thus the slogan "mail in the pail."

"There's nothing like getting a handwritten letter from your loved ones. It really boosts their spirits quite a bit," says Redding.

* Listen to our conversation with Bill Redding above.