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Posted Apr 24, 14 6:58 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Missed Flight

Might the letter have gone by train on May 16 after missing the flight? The May 17 time slug looks like 5 A.M. to me, which would have given Colman an early delivery. That could account for the absence of an air mail duplex.

Posted Apr 24, 14 1:23 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

May 16 Flight

Lawrence G:

I am pretty sure that is May 16 5PM, which was too late for the May 16 flight from NY, which actually crashed in NJ. The mail was sent by train to DC.

Based on May 17 backstamp, it went by plane on that day, although it does not have a flight duplex, which is odd.

The northbound flight from DC on May 17 was Lt. Boyle's second attempt (after crashing on the first day, May 15), and he messed up again, going off course and crashing at the Philadelphia Country Club after running out of fuel.

Those first few days of the first government airmail service were fraught with problems.

Posted Apr 24, 14 0:17 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Missing Stamp? Agency for French Spoliation Claims Circular -1852 Query

I rechecked the cover and at least I find no indications or traces of a stamp previously affixed and missing subsequently. What little I learned about the writer, he had been lobbying for potential claimants since `1820s and continued to 1870s. So he was pretty well known fixture in DC and in Congress as well as in Department of State.

Is it possible that the postal clerk simply overlooked absence of postage stamp on this printed circular?? Ravi

Posted Apr 23, 14 22:45 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

C3 Jenny -Date of cancel IV

Jenny - Close up of postmark, May 15 or May 16?

This date is not listed in my vintage American Air Mail Catalog, (copyright 1974).


Posted Apr 23, 14 22:44 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

C3 Jenny -Date of cancel III

Closeup of cancel on reverse.


Posted Apr 23, 14 22:42 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

C3 Jenny -Date of cancel II



Posted Apr 23, 14 22:41 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Question about date of cancel on C3 Jenny

If there is anyone who can help to figure this out. The dates are either 15 or 16 but I am not sure.  Here are scans of the front, reverse and two closeups... thanks for any help in advance.


Posted Apr 23, 14 20:05 by Bob Bramwell (rudy2donline)


I usually resist contradicting Matt, but IF a stamp were put on the upper right position on this piece I cannot see enough space for the pm strike NOT to be a partial (did you measure?).  So where else on the front is there any faint impression of old glue?  Could the letter have been withdrawn from the PO and hand carried??  I'm not aware of PO's marking letters as withdrawn.  Anyone else??

Posted Apr 23, 14 10:12 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Ravi, I think that one was not sent free and is simply missing a stamp at upper right.

Posted Apr 22, 14 21:11 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Agency for French Spoliation Claims Circular -1852 Query

I recently acquired this cover as part of a lot thinking it was from US Department of State. The folded printed circular bears WASHINGTON DC MAY 2 cancel but has neither "FREE" nor rate markings. It is addressed to a Hon. E. Hall, Castine, Maine. Circular itself is dated April 22 1852 from a James H Causten who was a lobbyist and agent for those seeking claims from Pre-1800 conflict between US and France. To the best of my knowledge Causten was not an US Government official. Question: Why and how did this circular got delivered free of charge--apparently?

Welcome feedback from fellow members.


Posted Apr 22, 14 18:31 by Rick Mingee (ramingee)

Westward Ho

DEN --> SFO --> Westpex!

See you there in the morning (or maybe tonight).

Posted Apr 22, 14 17:39 by Bill Weismann (billw2)

Ashbrook Reference Files


What a fantastic work to put online. I haven't been all that productive at work today.....


Posted Apr 22, 14 17:39 by Stanley Piller (stmpdlr)

a stampless letter

As you can see there is a Gilpins Exchange Reading Room Forwarders H?S in red. Did Dewey forward to Gilpins or did Gilpins forward to Dewey who took it to Cuba. The letter was sent from Northbridge MA Jan 31, 1844. Red cds with matching PAID and ms 18 3/4, the rate to NY City (150-400 miles). The letter was dateline Southbridge Jan 29, 1844 and was from a father to a son. I believe Dewey received from Gilpins but wh was Dewey. Rowe makes no mention of him as a forwarder. Has anyone seen this marking?. Here is the first page of the 3 page letter


Posted Apr 22, 14 16:33 by Stanley Piller (stmpdlr)

a stampless folded letter

Here is the letter opened


Posted Apr 22, 14 16:29 by Stanley Piller (stmpdlr)

a stampless cover

Here is a blowup of the forwarder


Posted Apr 22, 14 16:28 by Stanley Piller (stmpdlr)

A stampless folded letter

Here is a folded stampless letter I can not find anything about the forwarder


Posted Apr 22, 14 16:11 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


The Feldman auction is nice in having cover matched up with routes.  Obviously a lot of work went into this and there are a lot of nice covers.  The focus is on routes and name of ship  markings and not on every aspect of the story.

Posted Apr 22, 14 16:01 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


The Baltimore example of the handstamped Steamboat is known as early as March 29, 1823 on a letter from Talbot County.  I suspect that these guys were shipped from the GPO.  Calvet thought the Alexandria he had was 1822, but it was UNDATED and I would like to see some serious evidence to accept it.

Posted Apr 22, 14 13:46 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

Rawdon, Wright vignette sampler

Just wanted to share a nice poster-sized sampler of RWHE vignettes and engravings I picked up yesterday at a gallery in lower Manhattan. It includes the 1847 portraits - two Washingtons and a Franklin. I'm not sure of its age - the paper's pretty bright, and it's done from an engraved plate (not litho). I'm told it belonged to one of the founders of the museum of finance. Cost me $250 with frame.


Posted Apr 22, 14 12:20 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Siegel Postal History

For those who want some reading material on their way to Westpex, our May 20-21 US & CSA Postal History sale has been posted to along with other sales.

- More Calvet M. Hahn stampless, including Inland and Coastal Waterways
- Texas Postal History, including a complete folded letter with Spanish Colonial "BEXAR"
- Carriers & Locals from Norman W. Flinn estate
- Hawaii in Sales 1068 and 1071 from Betty Nettles estate
- CSA from estate of Franklin Freeman
- More Diamond U.S. Possessions, including a "Dewey" fancy cancel on cover (the first I have ever personally offered)

Lots of under-$1,000 covers to make every collector happy.

Next round of sales will be June Rarities Week.

See some of you in Burlingame this week. I will be at Western seminar Wed and Thu. At show on Friday. If anyone needs to meet with me, call my office or cellphone if you have it.

Posted Apr 22, 14 11:22 by William T. Crowe (wtcrowe)

Color Web Site


Many thanks for the link to the Pigments Through the Ages web site. More color information is always useful.

Posted Apr 22, 14 9:41 by Andrew Titley (andrew.titley)

Stanley B. Ashbrook Photographic Reference Files Released


Stanley B. Ashbrook Photographic Reference Files Released

April 22, 2014…The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society is pleased to announce the digitization and public release of the Stanley B. Ashbrook Photographic Reference Files for the first time since they were created. These files, which were part of the 1958 H.R. Harmer auction that sold his estate of stamps and reference material, have been held privately since that time. The U.S. Philatelic Classics Society would like to sincerely thank the late Jerry Wagshal, and his wife, Mary Wagshal, for their generosity making these files available. Thanks also go to Michael Perlman for undertaking the task of scanning these files for website posting.

Uploaded to the website ( are approximately 10,000 photographs of classic U.S. philatelic stamps and covers taken by Stanley B. Ashbrook over the course of many years. Each photo contains as many as 3 covers or upwards of 12-15 stamps. The photos, which are of high quality, have been scanned to clearly show the material. A digital magnifying glass is provided.

Stanley B. Ashbrook was one of the most distinguished philatelists of his time and an iconic researcher of early United States stamps and postal history. To this day, he is remembered for his famous two-volume book entitled “The United States One Cent Stamp of 1851-57” as well as “The United States Ten Cent Stamp of 1855-57”. He also issued the “Ashbrook Special Service” to private subscribers. These publications are still used by students of U.S. Classic postal history to this day.

About the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Inc.

The U. S. Philatelic Classics Society (USPCS) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) association of people interested in the pre-1894 stamps and postal history of the United States. The goal of the USPCS is to promote interest and knowledge of philately through the encouragement of philatelic research, and through exchange of information among our members as well with other philatelic organizations. The USPCS does this in part by preparing and distributing philatelic literature and periodicals, particularly The Chronicle of the U. S. Classic Postal Issues and the Chairman’s Chatter. The USPCS is operated entirely by volunteers, and welcome anyone interested in the “classic era” of American philately. Visit the USPCS on the web at

For media inquiries, please contact:

John Barwis
President, USPCS
[email protected]


Andrew Titley
Director and Publicist, USPCS
[email protected]

Posted Apr 22, 14 8:53 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Postage Due Form

The reverse (bulk accounting of postage due to single postal patron)


Posted Apr 22, 14 8:52 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Interesting Use of Registry Form

The front


Posted Apr 22, 14 8:32 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Carmine Lake

From "How This Renoir Used To Look" in this morning's New York Times:

"Using a minuscule red speck scraped from the painting’s edge, the scientists identified the pigment: carmine lake, made from crushed and ground cochineal insects that live on cactuses in Mexico and South America. The striking red color had evidently caught Renoir’s eye.

"But it does not last."

This shade is similarly fugitive on intaglio stamp inks.

Posted Apr 22, 14 2:10 by David Snow (dwsnow)

U.S. Manhattan

Here is a picture of the USS Manhattan from the 1880s, the time period of the cover. 

Here is link about the ship. As you can see from the low freeboard she was designed for coastal defense; a floating gun platform.


Posted Apr 22, 14 2:03 by David Snow (dwsnow)

manuscript pointing hand

Here is an interesting cover with a hand-drawn pointing hand forwarding this cover to City Point P.O., Virginia, where the monitor USS Manhattan was stationed, on the James River. Postmarked from a small town called Perzagno, in Dalmatia, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1882.

In PhilaMercury census, cover ID 17703, showing backstamps and docketing.

Interesting how this cover was missent to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, of all places.

The inhabitants on the Dalmatian coast on the Adriatic Sea had a maritime tradition, hence this Italian-speaking sailor was a crewman on this naval monitor.

My next post will show a picture of the USS Manhattan.


Posted Apr 22, 14 1:46 by David Snow (dwsnow)

more doodles

I am enjoying viewing the examples of doodles and other annotations.

Here is a circa 1854 cover with a delicate fancy manuscript "Post Paid", likely written in a feminine hand, which compliments the red "New York Paid 3 cts." postmark.

This 32 mm red NYC postmark is known used from 1854-55.


Posted Apr 21, 14 17:06 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Stuck on covers

And one that is not quite as rambunctious from the election of 1860


Posted Apr 21, 14 16:43 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

An 'illustrated' cover with cutouts pasted on the envelop. Certainly a lot of passion in the election of 1852 :-)


Posted Apr 21, 14 15:07 by Cary Johnson (fastmail)

Oneida, Michigan

R Chandler: Oneida was in Eaton County. Post office opened 1839-1852 and 1854-1866.

Eaton County is west of Ingham County where Lansing is located.

Doubt a letter from Oneida would go via Canada.

Posted Apr 21, 14 14:28 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

and a postscript in this book of postings:

Today's mail brought an auction catalog from Bennett Auctions.  Welcome back, Harvey.

Posted Apr 21, 14 14:27 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Postmaster annotations

Hand-drawn pointing hand, highlighting the hand-drawn name of the new postmaster.


Posted Apr 21, 14 14:26 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

"Annotated" cover - with paste-on additions

clever, I think (speaking as one who can't draw).


Posted Apr 21, 14 14:25 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

"Annotated" cover - to an extreme

ex. Biales


Posted Apr 21, 14 14:24 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

A Rebus address

Apparently sent to a Mr. Brooks in Rockport, ME
(Note the black flies - could only be heading to Maine)


Posted Apr 21, 14 14:23 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Lots to catch up with - Mail to Sailors

Here are a pair - one sent through the consulate in Lisbon, and the other sent directly to the recipient at Antwerp


Posted Apr 21, 14 13:36 by Leven Parker (levenparker)


Apparently stamps are the number three collectible for returns. 1980 anyone?

Posted Apr 21, 14 12:50 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Art, not doodles

The Edwards brothers, in turn of the century England, created miniature artwork using envelopes as their canvas.  

One such item by George H. Edwards is offered in the upcoming Rumsey sale here.

The scan below is by Edward H Edwards (left) and Henry E Edwards (right).
Miniature masterpieces, collected more for their art than as postal history.


Posted Apr 21, 14 12:09 by William Robinson (3wbrob)

A postmaster's doodle

This in my favorite Wisconsin fancy postmark


Posted Apr 21, 14 7:53 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Rebus Doodle

An early doodle with meaning - to be left at Mr Stanton's "Wind Mill" Point ...


Posted Apr 21, 14 7:31 by paul bourke (paulb3)

Patriots' Day

This is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, commemorating the ride of Paul Revere in 1775 and celebrated 200 years later by Scott #s 617-619. The scenario was that the British soldiers in Boston had learned that the patriots had an arms stash in Concord and marched from the city on April 19 in an effort to reach Concord and confiscate the contraband. Paul Revere, however, had beaten them to the punch, riding through the night on the 18th, and warning the colonists that the British were coming, leading to the armed confrontation at the Old North Bridge and the "shot heard round the world."

Today, of course, is different because of the events of a year ago when two absurd (alleged) punks set off bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, causing three deaths and hundreds of maiming injuries.

In the wake of the attacks, One Fund Boston was established to help the survivors, many of whom will forever be in need of five-figure prostheses in order to have a life. These are the toughest people you will ever see, and if you would like to help, the One Fund address is below. All of us back here will be in your debt. Thanks.

One Fund PO Box 990009 Boston, MA 02199

Posted Apr 21, 14 2:20 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

and here is more hand drawn doodles:


Posted Apr 21, 14 2:17 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Some 'doodles' from the 1850's:


Posted Apr 20, 14 18:38 by John Olenkiewicz (johnoz)

1787 Samuel Huntington fantasy doodle

Found this Stampless folded letter over 30 years ago while doing research on Connecticut's Colonial history. The letter is datelined Norwich, 14 July 1787. The cover is property of the Connecticut Historical Society, McClellan Papers.


Posted Apr 20, 14 16:39 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

"Sort of" Doodle

Another cover: March 3, 1899 from Liverpool to San Francisco at 2 1/2d (5 cent) rate with pen and ink (I think) ship illustration. I used this cover as the opening slide to my presentation on Economic Development and the Arts at the Americans For The Arts Annual Conference in Pittsburgh last summer...


Posted Apr 20, 14 16:34 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

"Sort of" Reverse

Reverse of cover.


Posted Apr 20, 14 16:33 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

"Sort of" Naval Mail

I'll submit this cover as it is "sort of" Naval mail. November 1889 "Book Post" rate from Great Britain to an Ensign aboard the US Navy Steamer "Hassler" addressed to the Navy Pay Office in San Francisco and redirected to Monterey. A lot of distance for a Halfpenny/One Cent rate.


Posted Apr 20, 14 11:36 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)


Not sure I understand but the beard is fine :-)

Posted Apr 20, 14 9:39 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)


Gordon, isn't the beard getting a bit out of control even for an ex navy man?

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