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Posted Mar 6, 15 4:14 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Irrational Laws

Farley -

"It might just be the rare case of Congress enacting an irrational law."

Thanks for the good laugh - it's always a great way to start a day!

Posted Mar 6, 15 1:22 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Why Cancel Postage Dues?

The question of why postage due stamps are canceled at all caught my interest.  A little looking on line found that the simple answer is that Congress said so.  The Act of March 3, 1879 which authorized the use of postage due stamps provided they must be “affixed, and canceled, as ordinary stamps are canceled…”  It also provided that such stamps “shall in no case be sold by any postmaster nor received by him as prepayment of postage.”  Finally it provided that any postmaster who collected the postage due but failed to affix and cancel the stamps shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.  See John Luff, the Postage Stamps of the United States (New York: Scott Stamp & Coin Co. 1902), pp. 329-330, on line at

As several have already pointed out, since the stamps could not be used by customers, it’s hard to see why Congress thought it necessary to cancel them.  It might just be the rare case of Congress enacting an irrational law.

In any event, once it was required that PDs be cancelled, pre-cancels makes sense since it saves the post office time, especially if a customer has many letters with postage due. It’s earlier to affix a pre-canceled stamp than to affix, then cancel.  See

Posted Mar 6, 15 0:19 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

March 2015 Philatelic Auction Calendar ...

The March 2015 editions of the Philatelic Auction Calendar [48 worldwide sales] and Auctioneers Announcements are available on our WebSite:

Chuck Cwiakala

Posted Mar 5, 15 22:13 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Canceled with full gum

Canceled-to-order has the connotation of non-postal marking. In my personal experience with business reply mail, clerks would often cancel panes and blocks of postage due stamps equal to the amount of postage and fees owed and paid without bothering to paste them to a receipt, but they were postally used nonetheless.

Posted Mar 5, 15 21:44 by Ray Porter (rporter314)


Thanks for all the comments, all very helpful and further corroborated by a personal call from chief judge Mark Banchik, who offered more detailed analysis. I want to thank John Barwis for making that connection unsolicitated.

As I suspected the missing UEEF was a simple oversight but that set into motion a dialog learning far more than I think I would have learned with just the UEEF.

Thanks again

Posted Mar 5, 15 21:37 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Precancelled PD's

Nice story David.

Also worth mentioning is CTO's. Arfken displays a picture of a block of 4 with light cancel and full gum in his book. I have a strip of 5 with full gum and light pen cancels and have seen others at auction. All of these in addition to the many mint postage dues without cancels.

Posted Mar 5, 15 20:58 by David Kent (davekent)

Cancelled Postage Dues

I have also wondered about the reason for cancelling postage due stamps, since even after the era arrived when they were sold to collectors through the Philatelic Agency, the general public could not use them to pay postage, due or otherwise. Here's another angle: for decades postal clerks were held strictly accountable for the "credit" they were given in postage stamps to sell. Clerks were subject to no-notice audits where a supervisor would count the value of the stamps and cash in their inventories. If the clerk was short even a tiny amount, he was required to make up the difference on the spot. I recall a situation in the 1970s when a clerk at our post office was found to be short and, not having encough cash on him to make up the difference, had to run down to the bank and take out money to pay off the amount. I can envision some sort of contrivance between a crooked postal clerk and a customer where the clerk collects postage due and then gives the customer mint stamps, which the customer later secretly gives back to the clerk to put back in his inventory. However, I can't see how precancelled stamps would fit into this picture. Perhaps the precancels were held in some central inventory and not issued to individual clerks. I can't even imagine how to research this question.

Posted Mar 5, 15 20:18 by Scott Trepel (strepel)


I should add that although Postage Due stamps were not intended to be sold to the public, the existence of large quantities of unused stamps in collector hands indicates it was possible to procure them. That alone might have been reason enough to cancel them.

Posted Mar 5, 15 19:10 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Precancelled PD's

I have long agreed with Scott's understanding that PD's are nothing more than bills for payment presented to addressees i.e. an accounting scheme.

Simple handstamped cancellations are easily explained as an accounting ploy of moving the money from one side of the ledger to the other.

Precancellations are more difficult but may be anticipated movement from one side of ledger to other. That mostly large cities used precancels would seem to support it as they would move the stamps faster than small PO's.

Regardless these brownish colored pieces of paper occupy a strange place in the stamp world.

Posted Mar 5, 15 18:43 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Precanceled Postage Dues

Ray's exhibit reminded me of a question of logic I have always had regarding cancellations on Postage Due stamps, pre- or otherwise.

The question is, why?

These stamps were neither sold to nor furnished to the public. They were, in a sense, receipts or accounting labels. You did not go to the post office, buy Postage Due stamps, and then affix them to your mail when presented with a postage due letter.

Precanceling them did not make the stamps any more "used" than not precanceling them. If the USPOD feared that uncancelled due stamps could be used again, then surely precancelled due stamps could just as easily be re-used.

The logic of cancellations on Postage Due stamps still strikes me as illogical.

Posted Mar 5, 15 17:10 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

Ray's Exhibit

Ray, Looked thru your exhibit. I think you know enough to make this your own speciality so I would drop reference to other experts in the field. Otherwise the danger is it looks regurgitated.

Do not be so qualified. If you show something rare try to quantify ie two others known. I think the material you show is exceptional but it need far more punch to allow the judges to see what you are trying to say. This is not well known material, at least to me. So place the bottles on the wall. Be an authority. The fact I continued to the end is a rare credit! Nick.

Posted Mar 5, 15 17:06 by Ross Towle (rosstowle)

missing UEEFs

I would also suggest rechecking the paperwork returned with the exhibit.  I have seen examples where the UEEF is attached (via static cling) to the back of another piece of paper (certificate) and it is not obvious that the UEEF is there.

Posted Mar 5, 15 17:01 by John Becker (johnbecker)

precanceled postage dues, Bower

I looked up the Bower article in the Jan 1978 Specialist and was immediately struck by his first sentence mentioning his past articles on precancels on Banknote era dues. It did not take long to find additional articles in Aug 1975 on Baltimore's punched dues, Oct 1975 on New York, Feb 1976 on Chicago, May 1976 on Boston, Dec 1976 on Chicago again. I stopped looking, and there are more, The bibliography needs extensive work for format and completeness - especially for articles available on-line.

Posted Mar 5, 15 16:24 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Precanceled Postage Due

Warren Bower, not Bowers.

It was so long ago I don't recall the date, but I wrote a Spotlight column about the New York Pearls in Scott Stamp Monthly. Whether it is worthy of inclusion I can't say, but Lewis Kaufman once cited it back to me in a discussion about EDUs, so it must have some virtue. However, the larger point is that precancel literature is abundant, scarcely represented in this bibliography, which seems superficial.

The exhibit itself seems unbalanced, with detailed information about some uses and very little about others.

Posted Mar 5, 15 15:29 by John Becker (johnbecker)

Ray's exhibit

I had a few minutes, so I looked over the synopsis so far. Two things jumped out:
1 - typographic errors. "Precanels" without a second "c" in the title, and two times using "scare" instead of scarce.
2 - The bibliography should have all entries in a consistent format. The first two are listed by title, the second three by author.

Posted Mar 5, 15 14:16 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Ray's One Frame Exhibit

I suggested to Ray that he allow me to link his exhibit and his synopsis to the board for constructive comments and discussion.

Posted Mar 5, 15 10:34 by Richard Drews (bear427)


If your exhibit was entered competitively, albeit anonymously, the first responder was required to write up detailed feedback on the UEEF. The chief judge was required to read it for content and the show was required to send it to you. If you did not enter competitively, the judges were not required look at it. Check the paperwork you submitted to the show. If you did enter competitively, then contact the show and request the UEEF. If the show fails to supply the UEEF you should contact David McNamee, the head of CANEJ. He will contact the show, the chief judge and the first responder to find out what went wrong. You are entitled to detailed feedback and have every right to demand it.


Posted Mar 5, 15 9:48 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

TEXPEX exhibitor

I was anonymous in the single frame division. When I received my exhibit back I was disappointed there was no critique from judges. I therefore do not know what was lacking or substandard i.e. presentation, knowledge, material, etc.

I am therefore asking if any experienced exhibitor would mind looking at my exhibit and offer a critique. I would like to show a few more times this year.

And, I realize pages of precancels is not very exciting.

Please contact offline, thanks

Posted Mar 4, 15 21:56 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

cheap cover restoration

You might want to talk to FCI Stamp Restoration.  I was happy with the work they did on a very badly damaged match & medicine stamp (catalog value $4,000) that simply was not worth sending to the high-end restoration people. 


Posted Mar 4, 15 21:39 by Bill Weiss (weiss111)

Cover Restoration

To the best of my knowledge, there is **NO** such thing as a "cheap cover restorer"! The two primary restoration "artists" start out at about $150. (or could be more.....) for the type of work you describe and do not work fast as they are generally so backed up with work, it can take a few years with the one in the greatest demand.

Posted Mar 4, 15 21:13 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

Cover Restoration

Does anyone know a cover restorer? I am looking for someone but they must be cheap.

I have a few corners with missing corners - they are in need of some paper added to create a invisible repair. Not a complicated job (eg. reinstating address, markings or repair to stamp), just adding a paper corner.

These are 20th century items so the cost per cover needs to be cheap.

Posted Mar 4, 15 20:38 by alan berkun (abfdc)

Final list of books 4 sale

List of books for sale

UPSS Catalog of the 19Th century envelopes and wrappers of US UPSS catalog of the 20th century envelopes and wrappers of US Pony express By Nathan Boggs (book mint , cover worn) US letter rates to foreign destinations by Charles Starnes Durland Plate number catalog -2000 1851 Issue of US stamps a sesquicentennial Retrospective Rarity revealed Benjamin miller collection by Scott Trepel Congress book 2003 1982 register- 1869 issues US Postage stamps of 1869 by Jon Rose A half collection by Clyde Jennings The Grinnell missionaries Genuine or Forgeries The 1857 issue - First perforated stamps by Jon rose The kingdom of Lombardy Venetia by vaccari US Commemoratives stamped envelopes 1876-1965 Christies Ryohei Ishikawa Sale -1993 NY on Philately Pamphlet Blue Mauritius By Helen Morgan The hunt for the worlds most valuable stamps The Queens Stamps The history of the royal Philatelic Collection by Nicholas Courtney The Postal History of Costa Rica to 1883- by frajola / mayer Color copy of Washington franklin 1908-1922 EDU exhibit- alan berkun Color copy of Warren G harding stamp of 1923 Exhibit –alan berkun Color copy of aristocrats of FDC’s exhibit –alan berkun Stanley gibbons US Envelope paper Guide for stamp Collectors

anyone with any interest contact me at [email protected] I am very reasonable.

Posted Mar 4, 15 6:30 by John Olenkiewicz (johnoz)

Colonial Postage Bill

Tim: Your right the postage bill with "westward" does support the use of directional way markings found on some letters. The directional way markings including those I found in Archives 40 years ago are all from the New England Colonies, dated from 1755 through 1774.

From my photos & notes, as of September 2013 the following are known.

"EW" 11 Total, 7 in Archives, 4 in Public domain.

"WW" 3 Total, 1 in Archives, 2 in Public domain.

I suspect that a much larger number of "EW" exist in the Pennsylvania Historical Society Archives, from where the 4 Public "EW" covers came available through the Siegel Sale.

There is more to be learned, but as of yet I have not found any Postmaster Instructions or Directions as to why either marking was used in place of just "Way".

A possibility is that it might denote a private post carrier, but that is my speculation.

Posted Mar 4, 15 4:30 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

USA/CSA Covers at a Swiss Auction ...

The 14th March Philatélie Marchand (Genéve, Switzerland) sale includes four items of possible interest (

Lot 1030 - USA Sc 3x1 Baltimore 5¢ 'Buchanan' Provisional Cover, w/ PFC (Start Bid SFr9000)
Lot 1031 - CSA Sc 47x1 [Image appears to be the 'brick red'] Knoxville Provisional on manuscript-tied Cover, signed Calves and w/ Behr Cerificate (Start Bid SFr2400)
Lot 1032 - CSA Sc 11X2 Baton Rouge Provisional on Cover, signed Calves and w/  Behr Certificate (Start Bid SFr2800)
Lot 1033 - USA Sc 3XU3 Baltimore 10¢ blue 'Buchanan' Envelope, w/ PFC (Start Bid SFr7500)

Chuck Cwiakala

Posted Mar 3, 15 22:53 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

via Overland

Thanks Steve

Posted Mar 3, 15 22:49 by Steve Walske (steve w)



Your letter went via Los Angeles. The post office default route was via Panama until December 1859, but letters on the Central Route had to be specifically endorsed "via Placerville" or "via Salt Lake."

Posted Mar 3, 15 21:14 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Via Overland from Laporte, Plumas County, CA (1859)

About 25 years ago, very early in my career, I was the economic development professional for Plumas County, which includes Laporte. At the time of your cover (1859), Laporte was in Sierra County, but later was part of Plumas. The area has almost no population these days, much different from its Gold Rush heyday. The Quincy-Laporte Road is only paved for a few miles south of the county seat, Quincy, and is dirt the rest of the way. In winter, I used to collect a board member from Laporte who would snowmobile to the point where the road was not maintained and hop in my truck. I'd then take them back and reverse the process after the meeting. The alternative was several hours longer via Oroville and the Feather River Canyon.

Posted Mar 3, 15 20:24 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

via Overland

The announcement of the new Frajola / Walske book has me looking at my California covers.  This cover has an origin postmark of La Porte, California, April 3, 1859, and has an endorsement of "via overland."  The default routing at this date was still via Panama.  Is there a way to tell whether the cover was sent on the Butterfield route (via Los Angeles) or the Central route (via Placerville)?  Geographically, the central route seems more logical, but I believe the Butterfield route was more frequent. 
I assume the new book will answer my question, but thought I would ask now while I'm thinking about it.


Posted Mar 3, 15 17:05 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Royal vs Royal

Yes, John, that's the collection I meant - the Royal Philatelic Collection (the subject of the book "The Queen's Stamps," which documents the collection which was put together by Edward VII, passed down to George V and was passed down to her and expanded over the years).

Another philatelic-related "Royal" collection is at the Royal Philatelic Society of London, which also has a collection of stuff that is fun to look at.


PS - the story:

Posted Mar 3, 15 16:54 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

Colonial Postage Bill

Wow, John, again you've unearthed a treasure. There's much here to ponder incl the questions you raise. There are clues here to the theory of directional Way letters, and insights as to colonial currencies "@ 4d La" = conversion to "Lawful" ie local Conn currency. The handwriting is interesting, particularly how they did numbers. Remember Anne 1711 rates are only in Sterling, and it's the Franklin-Hunter Instructions of 1754 that expressed them in specie. There was a 1p Anne rate for the PO directing a letter onto a ship, but I don't see that that rate applies here. So, initially the "1 dwt rate" is a puzzle. I hope to gain further insights. Tim


Posted Mar 3, 15 16:40 by John Barwis (jbarwis)


You meant to say "The Royal Philatelic Collection". During one of my visits to the collection for research purposes, I was shown the letter written by KGV to his auction agent, in which he tells him to acquire "the property" (i.e., the Mauritius stamp) but not to let the Queen know, since she did not appreciate his philatelic interests.

Posted Mar 3, 15 16:21 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Blue Mauritius

Ron: The author of the Blue Mauritius book has an online census of the 27 examples of the 1d and 2d Post Office Mauritius stamps at:

John B: The stamps in the frames at the British Library are from the Taping collection that was donated to the British Museum in 1891. It was transferred to the British Library in 1973, but I'm sure you knew that.

The copy in the Royal collection is the subject of the famous story dating back to its purchase at auction by the Prince of Wales (later George V) in 1904 for £1450. He later bought a 1d on cover to complete his set of the Post Office stamps.

Posted Mar 3, 15 13:32 by Mike Ludeman (mml1942)

TEXPEX 2015 Palmares

A Gold Medal and the Grand Award for best exhibit at TEXPEX 2015 held this past weekend  in Grapevine, Texas, was awarded to Rex M. "Jim" Stever for his exhibit: Republic of Texas Rates. 

The exibit will represent TEXPEX in the Champions of Champions competition.

The exhibit also received the J.C.M.Cryer Cup for the best 19th century U.S., or Confederate Exhibit, and the Texas Postal History Society Emery Award Pre-1900.

The Reserve Grand and Gold Medal was awarded to Ray F. Cartier for his exhibit: How We Got Men to the Moon, which also received the Space Unit Award.

The complete Palmares in the attached file.



Posted Mar 3, 15 13:08 by David Benson (dbenson)


Mark Baker,

The stamp that you showed appears to be from the later printings inscribed POST PAID on the left side. The cancel dates from the 1857-1859 period.

Regarding the story your friend told you, all I can say is " had he been drinking at the time  ",

David B.

Posted Mar 3, 15 9:05 by John Olenkiewicz (johnoz)

New London Postage Bill (Whitney Library)

Below is a copy of a Postage Bill from New London CT, Postmaster Joseph Chew (Queen Anne Act rates). The bill dated between July 1756 and January 1764, for Major Charles & Ann Bulkley , has charges for 18 letters. The listing includes land, ship and 7 Way covers. What’s of interest (at least to me), are the two “Way 1” letters as well as the “westward” letter. What is the "Way 1dwt" rate and whats the reasoning for "westward"? The lowest rate I find in the Queen Anne Act for America, is “1dwt 8gr”


Posted Mar 3, 15 8:01 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Royal Collection

The "Royal Collection" is not philatelic - it is art, furniture, etc. owned by the Crown.

The Royal Philatelic Collection was personal property of King George V, and is not the property of the state. Although the Royal Philatelic Collection is not on London's tour route, philatelists can visit this collection at St. James' by contacting the Keeper to make an appointment.

Posted Mar 2, 15 22:33 by Nick Lombardi (nick lombardi)

Westfield (NJ) Stamp Club Show

The Westfield Stamp Club will hold its annual show on Saturday, March 7th, in the Community Room of the Westfield Municipal Center, 425 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 0709, from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission and parking are free.

The show will include a six dealer bourse plus the USPS and the annual exhibit competition among club members with more than 500 pages of stamps and postal history. The exhibits will be judges by APS judges Robert Odenweller and Steve Reinhard, APS President.

The show theme is the 1918 Inverted Jenny stamp and we will have a special single frame exhibit containing both a genuine inverted Jenny and a 2014 USPS souvenir sheet of the un-inverted Jenny. Dr. K. David Steidley, a U.S. airmail expert, will give a special presentation at 2 pm about the Jenny stamps. A free raffle will be held each hour of the show for one of the unopened 2014 USPS Jenny souvenir sheet packets. You never know what you may win!

The USPS will operate a substation at the show and will have a special show cancel available as well as a full stock of stamps currently available. We will also have a special Jenny themed cachet cover.

For additional information, please call 908-232-0539 or visit the club website,

Posted Mar 2, 15 22:29 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

Flying blind

I'm probably the least qualified person to address this since I'm just now, after 40 years in the hobby, thinking about my first couple of exhibits, but my strong sense is that when building and presenting a collection you do indeed want to tell a story via the material you collect. The word 'narrative' is oft abused, but that's really what it comes down to.

Stamps and postal history are merely artifacts, but with judicious selection, attentive research and a careful write-up, they can tell a genuine human-interest story about communication or some other social or historic endeavor. How each piece fits into and extends that narrative is what you want to consider as you shop. The pieces that accomplish your narrative goals best are the most valuable to you at that moment.

Posted Mar 2, 15 21:47 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Blue Mauritius

Interestingly, probably about five years ago there was an interesting collateral item on eBay related to the Mauritius item, and probably the closest many will ever get to owning one. It was a RPSL Certificate --- I think it dated to the mid- to late-1920s. The name of the submitter was excised, which seems to be not uncommon practice as I have some RPSL certificates that are significantly more seasoned than I am. I think it sold for several hundred pounds by itself.

Posted Mar 2, 15 21:41 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Solo Uses One Cent (1862) - Contents

Contents of the previous cover...

The meeting location is a couple minutes walk from my office.


Posted Mar 2, 15 21:39 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Solo Uses One Cent (1862)

(*Disclaimer* - Yes, on occasion I do have covers that do not have Queen Victoria on them)

I thought the attached cover was attractive, and the content quite interesting in its own right. Living in the Philadelphia Area, I like material that is from or to places that I can actually locate. I'm presuming this is a circular as it is an invitation to a meeting. The content seems tied to iron and credit. Some of the senders even appear to have merited streets being named after them...


Posted Mar 2, 15 21:09 by Mark Baker (goldrushpaper)

Mauritus #1 Used

Hi Ron was searching Richards net price sale of Illustrated Miners covers, when I took a look at board about the Blue #2 Mauritus. Sparked my interest,joined the board today.. Ron I owned a very faulty #1 several years ago. The stamp was almost missed while sorting a old time collection of stamps on and off paper, in the mix was a partial auction page (stamp enclosed) read Sale #5 ,Lot #285 Mauritus used Cat $15,000 , Bidder #30 . If the cat priced would not have been posted I would have not even noticed for the stamp was thinned almost like onion paper.. So I looked threw all my old Scott cat's narrowing the dates of Cat. value listed on auction page to years 1933-1939. I( didn't go further.. Sold to stamp to cheap.. A year latter after selling the stamp I got another call from the same person I purchased the stamp from with more stamps. I asked questions to how the man collected all the stamps. Then the mention of a big stamp dealer out of San Francisco owned a mine in the area and his second home was next door, The elderly collector mentioned he received a bunch of stamps when the dealer died,which helped his interest in stamps. I would guess the stamp was from the San Francisco Stamp dealer. (sorry no name known) years latter when at a stamp show was talking to a fellow stamp dealer telling me the story of Maruritus stamps sent back as invalid stamps, many of the covers being sent back to the queen and her removing many of her stamps placed on covers,by peeling them off!! I realized my stamp was thinned probably by the Queen. Try asking Sergio Sismondo for possible info you are looking for, if I remember correctly he certified one of the covers back in the 90's .. He is the fellow dealer who filled me in more about the Mauritus stamps years after selling my #1. Mark


Posted Mar 2, 15 20:48 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Flying blind


If the purpose of the covers is to add dimension to the stamps, you should begin by showing the intended use(s) of each — the reason(s) why it was issued. In most instances that will be a common item, so you will want to cleanest, clearest, best condition possible, but preferably attractive in other respects, perhaps elegant or colorful in a printed design, calligraphy, or some other feature. At the opposite pole you'll want to illustrate the most surprising, exotic, unusual use. Most specialists like to include covers bearing outsize multiples if possible also. Another bit of standard advice is, to the extent possible, avoid the distraction of other stamps. Even there, exceptions prove (as in test) the rule. For instance, a low-denomination stamp can be stunning as make-up postage for an expensive rate paid mainly by a high-denomination stamp.

Posted Mar 2, 15 19:38 by Stephen Knapp (essayk)

Flying Blind redux

My thanks to one and all who took time to respond to my inquiry on pricing covers. You have satisfied me that there is indeed no such thing as a price guide for covers as there is for stamps. I fear that my reference to "flying blind" may have been misconstrued by some. Content to study the large and small Bank Note Issues, I am not casting about for a new philatelic mooring. Rather I meant to convey that in the pursuit of usages on cover I have no roadmap to guide me to the kind of material that will flesh out the story my stamps would tell. Nor do I have a sense of what matters. In Marcophily I have the catalogs of Skinner-Eno, Weiss, Blake & Davis, Cole, Herst, et al. But these, and the Scott Specialized all deal with objects having a particular range of forms. Covers have to do with function, and are much too diverse in form to synopsize in a simple schema. So I am struggling a bit to imagine what kind of "usage" is significant enough to merit inclusion in a display to the exclusion of alternative choices. Since I cannot afford the REALLY rare items, how do I choose?

Might it be possible to integrate a postal history study into a traditional treatment? I would like to see if there is an aspect of some postal history of that era that can be woven like a thread throughout a display of all the stamps in a defined range. A parallel story to an historical study of their development instead of a parade of denominations used every which way? I don't know.


Posted Mar 2, 15 17:20 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Fort Flagler, Marrowstone Island, Washington (1901)

Andrew - That is very interesting to see. I live in Port Townsend and every time I go into town I look south and there across the water is Fort Flagler. Yesterday my wife and I went for a walk at Fort Worden, which is north of town. If you google map either location you can see the concrete gun emplacements built for this coastal defense system at both locations. Multiple 10 inch and 12 inch guns were emplaced there until late WWI period when they were taken away to be modified into rail guns for Europe. The war ended before they reached the battle front. The shells were 1000 pounds and had a range of 10 miles. Our Port Townsend Post Office and Customs House was built in 1893 and still in service with only minor modifications. The Forts were started circa 1898.


Posted Mar 2, 15 16:58 by David Snow (dwsnow)

carrier cover

Leonard: Thank you for the clarification.

Here is a rather late use of the 1c carrier fee  - picked up from a carrier collection box and delivered "to-the-mails".  From New York, postmarked June 27, 1863, and received two days later in Bangor, Maine.

The sender could have waited four more days and had his letter picked up free from the collection box.


Posted Mar 2, 15 16:47 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

1c drop letter fee

The drop letter charge was a fee until July 1, 1863, when it became a rate (Act of March 3, 1863).

Posted Mar 2, 15 16:27 by David Snow (dwsnow)

1c drop letter fee

Here is an example of a large drop letter that demonstrates that the 1c drop fee was fixed, regardless of weight, but only during a certain time period. This 1862-63 cover from Boston is legal size and weighed over 1/2 ounce.

According to the regulations, such oversize drop letters, from April 3, 1860, until June 30, 1863, could have weighed several ounces and the fee would only be 1 cent maximum, and delivered by carrier free of charge in cities that had such service. What a deal.

Here is link in PhilaMercury, cover ID 22619


Posted Mar 2, 15 16:10 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Solo uses 1861 1c

George DeKornfeld: Glad to help and answer your questions - anytime. Good that you have identified your cover as a circular rate.

Just for fun, here are some 1861 1c blue solo uses from my collection demonstrating different uses.

The top cover from New York has an unsealed flap so it is a circular (printed matter) rate.

The middle cover from Milwaukie has a sealed flap so it is a drop letter. Note the word "present" in the address - a common term simply meaning that Mr. Olson presently lives in that city. And the 1c postage paid was a fee, regardless of weight, unlike the circular rate, which was dependent on weight and (until 1863) the distance carried.

The bottom cover with fancy cork cancel has a sealed flap, which confirms it is a drop letter from Worcester, Mass. But note the lack of a postmark.

Although regulations required that drop letters be postmarked and also canceled with a separate cancelling device, the fact that the letter never left the post office, and probably would never come under the scrutiny of postal inspectors or other postmasters, contributed to a general laxity in the observations of regulations. A great many drop letters were cancelled with the town/date marker, and some, although correctly canceled, do not have a town mark. In almost all cases, there are no special markings that denote drop use. 
Quoted from the Evans book.


Posted Mar 2, 15 14:58 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

David Snow

Another thank you for all your efforts and examples !!

My Black Jack cover is unsealed which places it firmly under the heading of circular mail, so problem solved.

As far as carrier service for Hudson, NY is concerned, off the top of my head and without digging through my records, even right up to 1877 there was still no such service available there.

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