House number – origin, systems & use

House number – The numbering for houses should be attached well visibly and best also illuminated furthermore it helps with the delivery of the post office. There are in the most diverse designs, from the simple house number to stick up to the illuminated house number with chic design. To buy there are the various house numbers at a hardware store in their area such as Hornbach, Obi or Bauhaus.

House number at a glance

Why are there house numbers?

House numbers have appeared in different cultures over time with different functions and meanings. From the 18th century onwards, the house numbers we know today became established with their systems for numbering houses, among other things. This made it easier to find houses and made it possible for mail to be delivered in a regulated manner. For the first time it was possible to record exactly who lived where, and house numbers were also introduced for censuses, tax collection and the recruitment of conscripted men. Fire insurance was another factor that played a major role in the introduction of house numbers.

  • Numbering for houses
  • Simplified mail delivery
  • Recruitment of conscripted men
  • Censuses (taxes)
  • Fire insurance

2 systems of house numbers

Over time, various different house numbering models have been developed. In Germany, the orientation numbering system has prevailed above all. Here, the even numbers run along the right side of the street and the odd numbers along the right side. The horseshoe numbering was mainly used in the old Prussia and is even today still common in East Germany. In this numbering system, the numbers start on one side of the street and on the other side from the end of the street they just continue on the other side.

  • Orientation numbering
  • Horseshoe numbering

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