Free-standing U.S. mail collection boxes are a common street side detail seen across the country. They were originally introduced to accompany pole mounted letter mailboxes for accepting packages and other oversized mail. The pole mounted letter boxes were gradually phased out and the free-standing boxes became the standard.
The colors for these metal boxes with a rounded top have changed several times throughout the years. From the early 1900's to the mid 1950's, it was a shade of green. In 1955, they were changed to red, white, and blue. Blue came on to the scene in the early 1970's when the U.S. Postal Service implemented them as part of the the 1970 Postal Reorganization Act.
For more information about the history of U.S. Postal Service collection boxes, please check out this link: https://about.usps.com/who-we-are/postal-history/mail-collection-boxes.pdf.
In an effort to provide model railroad details from the modern era, I wanted to create models of the variations that were commonly found. One of them is the drive-up version. It has a snorkel that extends out from where the lid normally resides so that people can drive up and deposit their mail into the box via the opening at the end of the snorkel.
The third variation available from Lyforms Small-Scale is what I call the walk-up mailbox - SP021. Instead of driving up to the mailbox, you would walk up and deposit your mail. In between the the two rounded ends on top of the box is an indentation which is where the lid would reside. In real life, you would lower the lid, drop your letters in, and then raise to close it. This mailbox has legs on the bottom.
If you haven't seen them yet, please go check them out in the Parts section. Hopefully it can find a way to your layout!