Going postal: how Britain went potty over postcodes | Art and design

Written by on April 4, 2022

The Post Office’s instructions for “finger gymnastics” contain 12 thorough steps, starting from “shaking every joint of the limp hand”, through to elaborate explanations of how to bend, stretch and shake every finger. These exercises were designed to prepare the digits of a 1950s “postal coder” starting their shift. Workout complete, coders would punch in the postcodes of more than 2,000 letters an hour – until the system became fully automated around the mid-90s.

Many of us use our postcode every day, from entering it on a satnav to . . .

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