HAMPTON — Neal Dwelley was trying to clear snow around his mailbox three years ago when a car flew by and nearly hit him.
Unnerved, he went online to look for devices that could slide his mailbox to the edge of the snowbank so he could avoid putting himself in danger while using his snowblower. He said he found none, but there were plenty of reports of people around the country being hit by cars while clearing snow around their mailbox.
“I have 10 newspaper articles of people being killed doing that,” said Dwelley. It was shortly after that he and his partner Ivan Stanek, of Hampton Falls, began work on the Slide Me Out mailbox bracket, which they patented last year and have since begun selling online.
Mailboxes can be attached to the bracket, made with PVC, and installed so that the mailbox can slide forward 11 inches, then pushed back. Dwelley and Stanek first one sold at the Deerfield Fair last year and they recently began selling through Amazon.
Stanek, the craftsman who brought Dwelley’s idea to life, produced 11 prototypes of the Slide Me Out after hearing Dwelley talk about almost being hit by the car. Dwelley said the prototypes underwent extensive troubleshooting to make sure the bracket slid comfortably in both directions and could withstand extreme cold and heat. The units sell for $79.99, which Dwelley said is reasonable given that people spend hundreds of dollars on nice mailboxes.