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Map of Zip Codes in Duluth

I am having a really hard time finding a decent map of the Duluth zip codes on the internet. Does anyone have a clue of where I can find an image of a map that can be put into a survey report I am writing for my organization? All I can find are the crappy “City-Data” websites and I am not sure if that is the best place or not. I need 55802-55812.

13 Comments

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

55802 isn't labeled in the map that Tim linked to, but it's the green splotch that covers downtown and Park Point. If you need to know a specific zip code, you can ask and I'll tell you what it is.

TimK

about 7 years ago

If you click on the green splotch, the zip code pops up.

Tom

about 7 years ago

Searching for a zip code on Google Maps (using maps, not satellite) also works if you can't remember or can't find that website again.

Tom

about 7 years ago

Somebody with good investigative skills and more time on their hands than me needs to find out why the Duluth area covers every number from 55801-55816, with the exception of 55809 and 55813, which don't exist at all.

Codie

about 7 years ago

I don't know the history of the zip code system, but I know generally how it works. First, the postal service split the country into regions, 0 being New England and 9 being the west coast. That's the first number. The second and sometimes 3rd numbers are determined by state:



Then, from there, they used a hub-and-spoke system. The northeast tip of Minnesota is all 556--, and much of northeast MN is 557--. Interestingly, the Duluth area has a monopoly on all 558-- values all the way up to 55899. There's a good chance that the postal service thought Duluth could grow much larger, so they reserved all those numbers just in case. Minneapolis has a similar monopoly on 554--, and St. Paul has all the 551-- numbers. Here's generally how the hub and spoke system is laid out:

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

Tim: I see now. Sorry.

Tom: I'll try to find that out. I suspect it's just for wiggle room in case of future expansion. I wonder, if they eventually close the Civic Center branch downtown, will we lose 55801?

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

Okay, I can't really find an answer for why there is no 55809 or 55813. I've done a little research, however, and can now make a more educated guess. 

Before there were ZIP codes, cities had zones. ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, and it added three additional digits to the zone to indicate which facility the mail is sorted at. (This, Codie, is why Duluth has a "monopoly" on 558. It's also somewhat dated as for many years now Duluth's facility sorts 556, 557, and 558. If the USPS gets its way, all of this will eventually be sorted in St. Paul.)  So while there were a lot of Zone 7s in the country, after the Zone Improvement Plan took effect, there was only one 55807.

My guess is that while there is no 55809 or 55813, there might have been zones 9 and 13 back in the 40s or 50s, which were discontinued for some reason. I have no evidence for this. It's just a guess.

Maybe if someone older than me remembers using zones while addressing envelopes, they might remember whether or not there was a zone 9 and/or 13 at some point. 

I'll end with a fun fact: ZIP codes actually have 11 digits. Each number narrows the location down a little bit further. After the five-digit ZIP comes the ZIP+4, which narrows it down to your block. At the end there's a two digit code which narrows it down to your actual house. These last two digits are not used by regular customers, but they are part of some barcoding systems.

brian

about 7 years ago

That is a fun fact. So when I get my neighbor's mail, and my neighbor gets my mail, and I get the mail from county social services addressed to someone 3 blocks away, it's probably because the carrier is following a bar code instead of the actual house address typed on the front of the letter?

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

Humans don't read barcodes, Brian.

Skazi19

about 7 years ago

I love when people complain about the mail. Just wait when it's sorted in St. Paul. 

Thanks for all the fun facts, Barrett. Who knew?

brian

about 7 years ago

Sorry, I was unnecessarily bitchy. But I just re-delivered some pieces of mail to neighbors again this week, so I've been wondering about the process.
Is most mail barcoded now and sorted before the carrier gets out on the street, or do the carriers still sort? Our regular carrier does a great job, but when there's a substitute, it gets sloppier. Not saying I'd do any better at the job.

Barrett Chase

about 7 years ago

At the main plant in the West End, we machine-sort all the letters for all the carriers in northern Minnesota into walk sequence. It's usually about one million letters a day. The carriers then blend these letters with magazines and larger pieces of mail (which we've also sorted to each carrier) as they "case" their route before leaving the facility. Sortation is done overnight so that it's ready for carriers in the morning. Carriers have never sorted mail as they walk their route. That would be utterly impossible. If your mail is misdelivered, I'd guess it's because two pieces got stuck together or someone misread an address. I'm guessing it's easy to make the occasional mistake when you do your job in the rain.

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