[OT beyond any repair] House numbers

John Cowan jcowan@reutershealth.com
Mon, 04 Mar 2002 17:57:40 -0500

Barry Caplan wrote:

 > Doesn't every address that USPS delivers to have a unique 9 digit
 > zip code, making house numbers a legacy?

In fact no.  As a trivial counterexample, P.O. Box Numbers
become ZIP+4 codes by adding the 5-digit ZIP code to the 4 low order
digits of the box number (as in my case), but I have seen P.O. Box
addresses with more than 4 digits.

For another example, the building in New York City that I live in
contains 10 apartments, equally divided among two ZIP+4 codes.

 > From the US, couldn't I
 > get a letter to you just by putting 12017-0042 on the envelope?

It happens to work for me because the 12017 post office has
comfortably fewer than 10,000 boxes -- in fact, it has a few
hundred at most.  In general, though, USPS will not deliver
without some kind of addressee's name, so that is required
in addition to the ZIP+4.

John Cowan <jcowan@reutershealth.com>     http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_