Message Board

Time Period:   Username Search:
Order By: Keyword Search:
   Reset Filters


Page:1 2

Posted Jun 25, 16 15:30 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Michael S

Thanks very much.

You must have really good ESP!

Posted Jun 25, 16 15:21 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

1885 cover to Switzerland

The following should be pretty close:

Magdalena Lauman bei Johan Leschoff

in Hondrich bei Spiez (Hondrich near Spiez)

K.L. Schweiz (Switzerland)


Search for Hondrich Spiez Switzerland on Google Earth.

Posted Jun 25, 16 14:21 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Can you help me read ANY of this?

I would admit that I am perhaps not the best at deciphering the old scripts—but neither am I the worst I’d like to think.

Can you help with any of this.

I have never found a cover less readable!!

My kudos to the postmen who evidently could, and got it to the recipient!


Posted Jun 25, 16 9:23 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


I should add that it has not been possible to proceed as originally planned because Caj Brejtfus has not provided the pictures he promised last year in this post:

Posted Jul 22, 15 15:13 by caj brejtfus (stampnstuff)

VSC and Ghost Watermarks


This will be my last post unless the discussion "evolves".

I will show the pictures of the watermarks and a layout can be created if it is possible but I sincerely doubt this will have any effect on this conversation.

Posted Jun 25, 16 8:22 by William T. Crowe (wtcrowe)

Proof sheets

In the reference notes section of The Philatelic Foundation you will find photographs of those sheets. They are not available for sale, but should be available for viewing upon request and making an appointment. I remember them as being broken into 8x10 glossies.

It is my understanding that the sheets were bought by Weill and a major proof dealer from Ohio. Weill sold his half in two nicely bound albums to Bechtel and the proof dealer cut up and sold his part in various size pieces.

Sorry for the delay in responding to your request, but I had not looked at board for several days.

Posted Jun 25, 16 7:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

U.S. Scott 476A

I have resisted the suggestion that I apply for a grant to pursue the study, but I have encouraged two scientists who have worked on other issues to direct their attention to this one.

The study should not be conceived as a study of 476A as such. It should be a study of the reliability and repeatability of watermark detection techniques, and if possible the invention of a more suitable, more reliable, more repeatable technique.

I have volunteered to serve as an advisor, reviewer, and critic of such a study. At present both scientists are occupied with other important philatelic studies, but I am optimistic that we shall get to this one eventually.

Stay tuned.

Posted Jun 24, 16 21:17 by Mike Girard (reywest1)

Ghost watermarks and #476A

A little over a year ago there was a long and lively discussion about ghost watermarks and how they might relate to the #476A. There were a few proposals for study put forward that possibly could put to rest if the #476A really exists or not.

I was wondering if any of those proposed avenues of study ever got off the ground and if they did how far along they are and when could results be possibly published?

Posted Jun 24, 16 21:11 by Bob Bramwell (rudy2donline)

TransAtl to DLO

Andrew R.

how was the cover opened?  Images posted do not make it clear to me which of the 4 possibilities.


Posted Jun 24, 16 19:58 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Transatlantic - Not Quite as Late for "Atlantic"

David's "Floating Receiving House" cover illustrates very nicely the willingness of the marketplace to pay a premium to make sure that their correspondence made it on board a mail steamer in time. The FRH service was, however, only available on the pier in Liverpool. There was the ability to post mail after the closing of the mailbag in other towns, both large and provincial both.

Here is an example that was also sent to Philadelphia via the same sailing of Collins' "Atlantic" as the sender of David's cover paid a One Shilling premium to make it on board. In this case, the cover was mailed in Dover, England on June 14, 1852. The cover is an unpaid Treaty Rate letter of under 1/2 ounce. However, the sender paid a One Penny (1d) Late Fee as they mailed it in Dover just after closing. As the cover is endorsed with "Atlantic", the sender obviously intended their correspondence to make the June 16, 1852 sailing. As they were able to get the letter in the mail on June 14, 1852, it had adequate time to transit via London and make it to Liverpool on June 15, 1852 in time for "Atlantic". It was treated as wholly unpaid in the United States, with 24 cents due in Philadelphia. Britain retained the 1d paid for the Late Fee handling.


Posted Jun 24, 16 18:18 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)


The 6 may have meant that this envelope should be used for the 6th payment on the insurance policy.

The sender did not pay the postage, the receiver did.  Under the stamp is a faint purple Held for Postage.  The PO sent a notice to the addressee, who mailed back 2 cents.

Here's the label rotated so its more easily readable.


Posted Jun 24, 16 16:52 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


Marty - It appears to me that the "6" is printed on the envelope along with the address ... looks to be the same font family and printed rather than stamped.

Posted Jun 24, 16 16:36 by Martin Richardson (martinr)

Held For Postage Label

Mailed on Nov 11, 1886 using 2 cent #210. The label states it was received with no postage and the sender supplied the postage. My question is, what  the "6" in the postmark mean?



Posted Jun 24, 16 13:17 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Jenny Lind

Jenny Lind's opera tour of America, from 1850 to 1852, organized by P.T. Barnum, was very successful and long remembered. Even though Jenny Lind never visited California, a town in that state was named in her honor.

Here is a Wells Fargo cover from their office in Jenny Lind, Calaveras County, California. The company's office opened there in 1859; this cover dates from the late 1860s. Link: Cover ID 24236


Posted Jun 24, 16 13:10 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Floating Receiving House

Here is a picture of the Floating Receiving House at the dock at Liverpool.

The scene is of the departure of the famed opera singer Jenny Lind, known as the "Swedish Nightingale" for her well-publicized tour of America. She departed Liverpool in August 1850 on board the Collins Line steamer "Atlantic", the same side paddlewheel steamer that carried my letter.

The words on the side of the Floating Receiving House, at right in the picture, are "Post Office Receiving House, American Mail".


Posted Jun 24, 16 13:04 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Transatlantic from Great Britain

I have enjoyed studying Andrew Reid's examples of British covers. So I have decided to post some myself.

Here is one postmarked June 16, 1852. The sender paid the extra 1 shilling fee, using an extra stamp, to post it at the Floating Receiving House (hence "F.R.H." in the Liverpool postmark) at the dock for last-minute postings to get onboard the steamer bound for America. In this case the Collins Line Steamer "Atlantic" sailing that day.

I just added this letter to PhilaMercury, cover ID 24235

In my next post I will show a picture published in 1850 of the Floating Receiving House at the dock at Liverpool.


Posted Jun 23, 16 20:56 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Brooklyn 45c rate

Andrew Reid: Thank you for answering my question on the "quartered circle" inspection marking on your cover, and for explaining how that unusual rate came to be.

Posted Jun 23, 16 20:14 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Rewind: Dead Letter Office (Reverse)

Reverse of the 1875 1d PSE London to New York - with DLO hand stamp.


Posted Jun 23, 16 20:12 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Rewind: Dead Letter Office

Just picked up the attached cover from London to New York with just about every instructional marking possible --- and a DLO hand stamp on the reverse. A very busy underpaid piece of transatlantic postal stationary, pre-UPU. Insufficiently Prepaid, Advertised, Not Found, Unclaimed, and DLO...


Posted Jun 23, 16 19:33 by Gerald Nylander (gn19091914)

Full pane of 425 and 424


The line along the bottom of the COIL STAMP panes will be on both the lower left and lower right panes.   The lower right pane will not have the COIL STAMP marking in the margin and will be harder to identify having the plate number only.   I have never seen any lower right panes showing the line and have only seen three lower left panes with the marking, all 2 cent panes.

Posted Jun 23, 16 18:56 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Perry photos of Crawford proof sheets

I thought someone mentioned these previously but can not find the reference now. I would like to obtain a set of the postage due photos Elliot Perry made of the Crawford (Lilly) proof sheets. Does anyone know if these are available anywhere?

Posted Jun 23, 16 14:26 by John Barwis (jbarwis)


Thanks George. This is a good start.

Posted Jun 23, 16 14:15 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Full Pane of 425

This is the pane from the lower left corner showing the Sideographers initials and the special guide line showing the Bureau workers where to line up the half panes for the paste up.


Posted Jun 23, 16 14:12 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Sideographers Initials

Bottom left corner of the partial pane of 20. If anyone has a full pane from the bottom left corner they would be willing to part with please contact me.


Posted Jun 23, 16 14:09 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Siderographers/Plate Finishers Initials

Plate finisher's initials can be found on flat plate paste-ups, but the siderographer's initials are not. This is due to how the coils were constructed and the location of those initials. The siderographer's initials are found in the bottom lower left corner of the pane and this was usually cut off in coil production. There is one example of stamps intended for coil production where the initials can be found, that is on the special plates identified as "COIL STAMPS" The full panes are not very common and the lower left pane also has an unusual marking that was intended to show the Bureau workers where to line up and paste the half panes together in coil production. The line is found under the 5th and 6th stamps, counting left to right.


Posted Jun 23, 16 13:29 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Pacific Steam Navigation Company

This site may be of some use, although some 'digging' is required:

Posted Jun 23, 16 13:15 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Brooklyn 45


The marking on the reverse ("quartered circle" or "hot cross bun" variant) has the feel of an Inspector's Mark of some sort applied in Liverpool. As the handling of the cover seems to be atypical or unusual (maybe handed to officer in charge of the mails on "Baltic" and therefore treated as entering the mails as unpaid Treaty Rate letter via American Packet first off as opposed to entering the mails at the Liverpool PO in which case it would look like an unpaid Treaty Rate cover sent westbound via British Packet) it may have had a direct hand off...


Posted Jun 23, 16 10:58 by David Snow (dwsnow)


Douglas Chapman and Dave Savadge: Thank you for posting your most interesting Brooklyn covers and sharing the information about them.

Douglas: That is a most remarkable 1904 cover addressed to Dr. William Jarvie. I note that it first traveled to Paris, then to Cairo, next to Jaffa and Jerusalem, and finally caught up with the good doctor in Beirut. And to have affixed the 1902 issue Austrian Offices in the Ottoman Empire postage dues is incredible - they are all very scarce on cover, particularly the 5 piaster on 100 green, #J5. 
Also, the "Post Office Cook's Tourist Service Cairo 31 Mar." on the front is a marking I have never seen before. A simply amazing cover.

Posted Jun 23, 16 7:20 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

PSNC Dates

Does anyone have a source for sailing dates of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company during the 1890s?

Posted Jun 23, 16 5:50 by Mike Girard (reywest1)


My last word on paste-up coil varieties, here's an image of a Scott #443 with the plate finishers initial G.E.J. (George E. Jacobs) on the tab that is in my collection. As of now it is the only one with plate finishers initials on the tab I've ever seen.


Posted Jun 23, 16 2:02 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)


Wesson time-on-bottom cancel with year date missing in dial.  Via El Paso to Mexico.

Year is 1886.


Posted Jun 23, 16 0:06 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Jarvie Cover back

Here is the back.


Posted Jun 23, 16 0:05 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Brooklyn Covers

Sorry to come late to this, but thought someone might enjoy seeing this very unusual cover.

Dr Jarvie was one of the founders of the Columbia University School of Dentistry. In fact, the Dental Research Society of Columbia is named the Jarvie Society.

His journals (including this Thos. Cook trip to Italy, Egypt, the Levant and Palestine, through France) are published and in the NY Public Library. This letter eventually caught up with him--in Palestine--both Jerusalem and Jaffa markings. I will post the back next.

Austrian Offices in the Ottoman Empire Postage Dues make this one of my favorite covers I own.


Posted Jun 22, 16 22:53 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Brooklyn continued

Andrew Reid: Thanks for posting your unusual 45c due 1852 British letter to Brooklyn. You certainly know your rates in detail. Please tell me the function of the circular mute marking on reverse with the X in it. I suppose applied in Liverpool.

Here is a scarce Brooklyn N.Y. carrier use "to-the-mails", circa 1860, from the collection of my good friend John Bowman.


Posted Jun 22, 16 21:40 by Glenn Estus (gestus)

US Handcancels 1930 Type E ("Depression" Cancels)

I have become interested in the USPOD 1930 Type E hand cancels, the so-called "Depression" cancels that were issued for a few months in 1930 but were used for many years in smaller post offices. They are the only "modern" hand cancels that had the state abbreviation at the top with the post office name and no text at the bottom. Also, the 4 bars were straight edged at the left.

Has there been a definitive listing of these cancels published other than the "Catalog of Non-Standard US Postmarks" from 1971?


Posted Jun 22, 16 21:33 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Collins Baltic via Liverpool via Cunard America to Brooklyn

Reverse of the cover


Posted Jun 22, 16 21:33 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

45 Due

Great cover, Andrew! I have not seen this before.

Posted Jun 22, 16 21:30 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)


Here is another interesting Brooklyn item. The letter is datelined aboard Collins Line "Baltic" on December 25, 1852 approaching Liverpool from New York. The cover entered the mails at Liverpool as an inbound, unpaid Treaty Rate letter per American Packet (has inbound Packet marking on reverse) and then sent westbound via Cunard's "America" departing the same day. Rated as "40 Cents" due (likely 21 Cents for eastbound unpaid and 19 Cents for westbound British share), rerated 45 Cents to include US Inland of 5 Cents. So, essentially: 16 Cents + 5 Cents for Eastbound and 16 Cents + 3 Cents + 5 Cents Westbound. Presumably on the eastbound Britain did not claim Inland.

I think this cover is unusual. Has anyone else encountered a similar treatment of mails?


Posted Jun 22, 16 16:10 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Trieste to Milano

In reference to my 1860 letter from Trieste in Austria to Milano in Kingdom of Sardina that I posted last week asking making inquiries about the large handstamped rate marking, I am happy to announce that Richard Winter contacted me off the board to answer my questions, and I have updated my description for Cover ID 24214

Dick Winter knew the right experts in Italy to consult with to explain the rate and routing to my satisfaction. Thank you, Dick!


Posted Jun 22, 16 15:04 by David Snow (dwsnow)


Mike Ellingson: Thanks for posting your examples of very scarce machine cancels from Brooklyn - very nice - I learned something new.

Andrew Reid: I appreciate your posting of your unusual GB 1853 twin covers addressed to the same individual, one to Fireplace, Suffolk County, Long Island and the other to "Brooklyn, Suffolk County". Trouble is there never was a town called Brooklyn in Suffolk County, where I grew up. The sender should have put down "Kings County" instead. 

Fireplace destination is scarce - the post office there in Suffolk County was in operation from 1802-1871.

Ray Porter: Thank you for posting your cover to Brooklyn with postage dues and unusual red ring mute cancel.

Finally, here is one more Brooklyn origin cover in my collection - an unusual one to China. I had acquired it in the 1970s from the original sender - David Held, an old-time stamp dealer from Rockville Center, Nassau County, Long Island, N.Y. He and his brother had many shoe boxes full of old covers that I used to pore over as a kid.


Posted Jun 22, 16 14:40 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Brooklyn Cancel

Here is a typical Brooklyn postage due cover. The cancel comes in two sizes and two colors.

Has anyone seen this cancel on regular issues?


Posted Jun 22, 16 14:08 by Mike Ludeman (mml1942)

Return Receipts

David, all:

The Receipt for a Registered Letter, and the Return Registered Letter Receipt, were documents which the Postmaster gave to the sender, so it was the sender who would be the person who needed to have the "foresight" to save these for us future postal history collectors.

The Postmasters Receipt for the Registered Letter, which was typically part of his Window Registration Book, was the type of paper which would remain within the post office, and thus be saved, then eventually sold for scrap paper -- if a local market existed. Many smaller post offices were in ares where these was no source for the sale of such paper, so the postmaster may have saved it, burned it, or moved it to the nearby "out-house" for recycling. Similarly, the Registered Letter Bill and Return Registered Letter Bill were papers which stayed within the postal system.


Posted Jun 22, 16 13:55 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: return receipts

Hi David,

Your information is correct and I do not have a reason for the absence of early examples other than they were not considered worth keeping. Sad.

Prior to 1863 the receiving post office would confirm back to the originating post office conformation it had properly delivered a registered letter; but, nothing went directly back to the sender of the letter if my memory serves me right?

Its been a while since I looked at this.

Best regards,

Russ Ryle

Posted Jun 22, 16 13:43 by Stan Grove (alaskastan)


I'm away from home and library and need help with a rate question. Is there an online table of uspod rates going back as far as the 1850s?

Failing that, can anyone please tell me what the rate would have been in 1854 to mail a letter within the Oregon territory?

More particularly, I'm wondering if the 5c rate on the cover comprising lot 1462 in Rumsey's Westpex sale is correct?


Posted Jun 22, 16 12:15 by David Handelman (davidh)

return receipt, again

Russ: The return receipt* service only began in 1863, and it was compulsory on all domestic registered mail (and not available on international mail from the US until---for NGU & Swiss  Confederation---1868; for GPU members, 1875; and for the rest, 1879, or when they joined the UPU). But I know of only one example used in 1863 (as I mentioned before), and just a couple in 1864. Do you have an explanation for the almost total absence of return receipts (not return registered letter bills and not ordinary receipts for registration) in the early years? (To be clear, I mean 1863--1865; perhaps the Civil War had something to do with their scarcity.)

*Return receipts should not be confused with return registered letter bills, which were a different kettle of fish, intended only for internal post office records. Return receipts were (eventually) sent back to the senders of registered letters. Nor should return receipts be confused with registered letter receipts, which were handed back to the sender immediately.

Posted Jun 22, 16 11:38 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Early Postal Forms

 Has anyone seen a postage due bill or the return bill? (Especially from 1879-1894)

Posted Jun 22, 16 11:33 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: 1856 Example of a Registered Letter Return Bill

Sent back to post office of mailing from the receiving post office.


Posted Jun 22, 16 11:32 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: 1856 Registered Receipt

Example of window receipt given sender of a registered letter.


Posted Jun 22, 16 11:25 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Early Registered Documents

Morning Ken and David, and all,

Registered (window) Receipts, Registered Return Receipts. Registered Bills, Registered Return Bills, and other related documents were quite plentiful back in there day. Every registered letter had to have one. About 250,000 registered letters were processed by the post office each quarter beginning July 1, 1855; and this number kept growing thereafter.

The rub is postmasters were required to sell off their "scrap paper" after two years of keeping and forward the money from the sales to D.C. Same for registered package envelopes and most other postal forms, registered, and documents. Thankfully some examples of most avoided the scrap man.

This is my earliest matched set.

Best regards, Russ Ryle


Posted Jun 22, 16 9:38 by David Handelman (davidh)

return receipt

My exhibit (it obtained large vermeil—thank you very much—at NY) has an 1864 return receipt [a version of the exhibit is on Richard's Mercury site]; but Mr Fumiaka Wada's exhibit (which was also at NY) has an 1863 example, the only one I've seen.

Since every domestic registered letter was sent with return receipt from the latter's onset (as Ken points out, 1863), there should be myriads of the things around. Yet hardly any examples exist in the first two years (and even the next few years). Perhaps the very high registration fee reduced the number of registered items?

Posted Jun 22, 16 7:14 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Return Receipt

RR showing date and to whom delivered was first authorized in 1863, but this one is the earliest I have found.


Page:1 2