Listy: Prewar Mail Slots

A few weeks ago, I awoke to find that the original mail slot on the front door to my apartment was missing:

“Last night someone stole the old metal mail slot from my front door and the front door of my neighbor’s apartment. Mine was old, but my neighbor’s was definitely original as it had the Polish inscription “Listy” (letters). It was nearly 100 years old. To see the empty spaces on our doors this morning was quite depressing, a reminder that these traces of the past are ephemeral. The history of my city, which has become a part of me, is disappearing from right in front of me.”

It was another reminder to not to put off exploring, taking photos, documenting all these remnants of the past. I realized that I never did take a photo of either of these mail slots. I was never in a rush because I never thought the ones on my property were at risk…

In my case, at some point a panel was added to the door, thus covering the actual mail slot opening. But the metal mail slot was kept nevertheless and reattached to the door.

Mail in Lviv is now (and has been for decades) delivered to Soviet-era mailboxes located on the ground level rather than through these prewar door mail slots. My slot in particular was a nice daily reminder of a different era when mail was once delivered directly to each home.

Here are a some mail slots that I’ve photographed over the past few years:
This I purchased a couple of years ago at the flea market. I feel bad now that I supported the business of stealing and then selling these types of antiques. I guess I naively thought the items found at the bazaar ended up there for other reasons. Though some probably were acquired legitimately.
This is the bathroom door at Pochta restaurant:

1 thought on “The Forgotten Boot Scrapers of Lviv

  1. I think all Ukrainians, from homeland and diaspora, should visit Greece. Many of us grow up thinking that our names, language, religious rites and architecture, and other folkloric traditions are our own, but visiting Greece will show that we imported and adopted them lock, stock, and barrel. Flattening the church domes to a pear shape, and polyphony, are the only uniquely Ukrainian contributions that I can think of.
    Nice website!

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