In the late 19th century, building technology and urban development led to taller multistory buildings. Office and apartment buildings grew vertically. Naturally this led to new opportunities for creativity and invention and the Post Office Department was looking for improved methods to collect and move the mail from these buildings.
The idea of creating mail chutes to optimize the collection of outgoing mail from the taller buildings sounds like a simple innovative solution that should have occurred as soon as tall buildings were built. But it took until 1883 for the mail chute to be invented and the first installation was right here in Rochester, New York.