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Posted May 29, 23 17:51 by Donald Barany (dbstamps)

Star of David

Re: Moody surname, that's what I thought too. A good friend of mine has a Moody surname & he's definitely not Jewish. I don't have the exact website I got this info from but I'm skeptical though. Thanks for questioning it.

Either way, the cancel is a masonic cancel according to the Masonic Encyclopedia which refers to the Seal of Solomon (which I understand preceded the Star of David) as its origin. Freemasons often refer to it as such.

Posted May 29, 23 16:14 by Michael Dixon (michael76)

Star of David

Donald Baraay

Can you please provide the source of your cokmment: Moody is a known Jewish surname.  As far as I am aware Moody is an old Anglo-Saxon surbame used mainly in England.  Your statement is news to me.

Michael Dixon

Posted May 29, 23 14:00 by Donald Barany (dbstamps)

Star of David

The 6-Pt star is widely considered to be a masonic symbol. However, the postmaster from Chicopee (listed in the USPS Postmaster Finder) from 11-08-49 to 06-07-53 was Loman A. Moody. Moody is a known Jewish surname.

See attached for a Chicopee masonic square & compass cancel tying Scott #26 on cover dated 05-25-61. Jonathan C. Havens was the postmaster during this time period. Havens is not a known Jewish surname.

The first & only Chicopee postmaster with masonic affiliation listed in the publication "The Masonic Philatelist" is Capt. Andrew S Hunter who was appointed on 07-17-68.

The Skinner-Eno book lists several masonic square & compass cancels from the 1850's & 1860's.


Posted May 29, 23 4:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Rocky Mountain Stamp Show

Congratulations, Andrew! The Brett Cup is the annual Champion of Champions contest for exhibits of 20th century material.

Posted May 29, 23 3:28 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Rocky Mountain


Thrilled indeed! As you should be. Congratulations! I’ve seen your WF exhibit before and it’s well deserving.

Best, Mark

Posted May 28, 23 20:47 by Andrew Kelley (akelley)

Re: Rocky Mountain Stamp Show

To my delight I won the George Brett Cup and the grand for my exhibit of the Offset Lithographed Washington-Franklin Heads. Mike Ley won the reserve grand for his excellent Burma exhibit. And Michael Mahler won the single frame grand for his interesting California Blues revenue exhibit.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled!

Posted May 28, 23 13:50 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Star of David

Ken, I've never seen any proof that this star handstamp was intended by the postmaster to be a religious symbol. However, it obviously looks like a Star of David and has been described as one in auction catalogs and other publications for as long as I've been collecting. But perhaps someone knows more about its origin than I do.

Posted May 28, 23 8:57 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Rocky Mountain Stamp Show

Who won?

Posted May 28, 23 7:38 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

Available for all to read, Postal History Sunday for the week has been released into the wild.  Enjoy it if you've the inclination.  Have a good day all!



Posted May 27, 23 17:20 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Not every hexagram is a Star of David. Is there evidence that this one is?

Posted May 27, 23 10:17 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Star of David

I agree with Matt. It looks definitely genuine.

Posted May 27, 23 9:49 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

well-known cancel from Chicopee, though more often seen on the 1857 issue I think.  It looks ok to me.

Posted May 26, 23 22:49 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Star of David? Reverse

here is the back with remnants of blue sealing wax


Posted May 26, 23 22:48 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Star of David?

I also have questions about this Star of David double-line on a very dark brown/red 1851 imperf.

But it comes from Chicopee Mass to Nashville.

The killer is not tied; however, it does not look like a faked up cover either.


Posted May 26, 23 22:43 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Poem in small (lady's Cover)

There is no return or postmark at all. Suspect? Or an early local cover not needing a town postmark?


Posted May 26, 23 22:39 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

A real stamp and a real pen cancel, but...

Can anyone help me ID the origin and use of this small cover? I assume it's a lady's cover, but 2 things: It's to a man named Walter, but maybe from a lady, but

more important. It is just folded without seals. I give the full size cover to you. Inside poem to follow.

I'd hate to think this sweet thing is a fake, but ........?


Posted May 25, 23 17:11 by John Walsh (john walsh)

Mahler Revenues

What an exhibit!!!!! Material is more powerful than any postal exhibit. Research is phenomenal. Drooling I believe is allowed. Mike your exhibits are mind bending. May others catch on to the other side of government regulation and income gathering. Scarcity is very prevalent. Well done faithful servant. John Walsh.

Posted May 25, 23 13:20 by John Becker (johnbecker)

Wolcottville, IN closeup



Posted May 25, 23 13:19 by John Becker (johnbecker)

Wolcottville, IN

Seems to be a match. Close-up in next post


Posted May 24, 23 15:22 by Louis Cornelio (louis_c)


@Allan - Yes, thanks! The addressing is the “circumstantial evidence” I noted to support it was indeed the NY town. (I have the maps, lol, the Knapp farm is nearby) But I don’t have enough experience to say such *misspellings* are not uncommon, so it was unclear to me, and perhaps others. I had imagined an appeal to experts here might uncover a similar example that would “seal the deal” on identifying this cover. If not in someone’s collection, then a visual reference in some publication, in this case either Indiana or NY postal history society publications.

Posted May 24, 23 8:03 by Allan Schefer (schef21)


Surprised it took a day before anyone mentioned the target cancel! This is a forwarded cover originally sent to Wheatville(spelled  Wheateville by sender), NY. Wheatville and WolcottSville are only about 12 miles apart by todays roads. This area of NY was and still is a very rural area. I think the letter was delivered to the place of residence. The addressee not being there the letter was carried to WollcottSville as a matter of convenience, and forwarded to Rochester. The Wolcottville cancelling device was put into use despite the misspelling probably because no other device was available. Misspellings of this sort were not uncommon.

Posted May 24, 23 5:54 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Exhibit Added

I have just added an exhibit of Michael Mahler here. Thank You!

Philatelic Scripophily: Taking a Bite from the Bulls and The Bears
Revenue-Stamped Stock Certificates of the Civil War Tax Era, 1862–1872

Posted May 23, 23 16:11 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)


Am I seeing a lightly struck target killer on this item? Part of it can be seen below the '3-cents' of the stamp (on the envelope) and it appears to run up into the stamp at George's shoulder and then back down again below his chin (below the star). Or do my eyes deceive me?

Posted May 23, 23 11:50 by Bill Duffney (billduffney)


Sorry, I do not have a Wolcottville CT octagonal hs in my files, but that does not mean that it doesn't exist.

Posted May 22, 23 21:10 by Louis Cornelio (louis_c)


Yes, I hope Bill Duffey takes a look, if for not other reason than to confirm it is not CT. I don’t believe there are examples of octagonal cancels from there, but I could be wrong. Thanks RUSS R for checking Indiana. I take you are confirming that octagonal town stamps *were* in use during that period? If there are any extant visual examples, we might be able to confirm. But we’re they used in conjunction with a star killer? Initially I was thrown off because it even seems to say WolcottviLEE, but elsewhere the opinion has been given that is a simple smudge, complicated by and additional star cancel and / or concentric circle. Maybe some artifacts you can see here when image is inverted.


Posted May 22, 23 19:35 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)


Bill Duffney has/had a detailed census of Connecticut fancy cancels.
He should opine about this marking.

Posted May 22, 23 18:47 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

Octagonal Wolcottville cancel … but what state?


After consulting with my almost neighbor Vincent Ross co-author of the Hadly Ross compendium of info on Indiana post offices and cancelations; we concluded your cover could very well be from Indiana, but, lacking the state in the cancel device, we canot say for sure. Walcottville, Indiana is know to have used this style of cancel in the 1878 to 1879 period and possibly longer. No info on other star killers used at that post office in that era. Hope this helps. Close but maybe a cigar :) Russ

Posted May 22, 23 17:35 by Louis Cornelio (louis_c)

Octagonal Wolcottville cancel … but what state?

Given my limited skills and resources, I'm having a very hard time identifying the origin of this cover. It shouldn’t be hard, but I am stumped. There is Wolcottville, CT, the former name of Torrington Connecticut, but I don’t believe there are any known octagonal cancels from there. There is Wolcottville, Indiana, but I find no resources to confirm. There is a WolcottSville in Niagara County NY, with some circumstantial evidence making it possible, but for the wrong name. If anyone can help clarify this, I would most appreciate it! Thanks in advance.


Posted May 21, 23 15:01 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Not a Pony

The city date stamp on the cover is for Mobile, Alabama.  So, this envelope was originally a common internal rate use from Mobile to New Orleans and someone had some fun and decorated it with some Pony markings.  It was probably targetted for the fakery because it is part of the Hardie correspondence in the first place.

Posted May 21, 23 14:35 by Daniel M. Knowles (eastendfan)

Pony Express Cover

I agree with Ken. The two Pony markings are fake. The ink is definitely not of that period.

Posted May 21, 23 14:24 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

Pony Cover

The two pony express handstamps are fake. The ink is completely wrong on them, as are the shape of the letters.

Posted May 21, 23 13:44 by Rodney Stover (rodneyastover)

Rare Pony Express Cover??

I recently acquired this cover from auction and would like opinions as to its authenticity. I have discovered from research that is would be quite rare if it is the real deal. The cover is addressed to John T. Hardie & Co New Orleans. There are several references online to auctions that have sold covers and letters to such. Then you have the two Pony Express cancels. The oval "CALIFORNIA PAID PONY EXPRESS" handstamp is only known in red according to page 71 of The Pony Express A Postal History by Richard C. Frajola. The undated oval "PONY EXPRESS SACRAMENTO" handstamp is only known to exist on one cover in black per page 68 of The Pony Express A Postal History by Richard C. Frajola. It also states that the earliest known usage of this handstamp is Jan 7. This cover appears to have a red manuscript day marking of Jan 12, which would be a couple days prior to the black circular town postmark dated Jan 15, not sure what town it is? Any help or opinions regarding this cover would be greatly appreciated.


Posted May 21, 23 7:18 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

Postal History Sunday is available to all who might enjoy reading it.

Be well,

Posted May 20, 23 17:09 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

May 14 continues !!

Bernard--Possibly best to contact me off board so I can respond to your inquiries easier. My collection and records , after these 50++ years, cover well over 600+ May 15 uses. as well as earlier. Joe

Posted May 20, 23 13:58 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

May 14

Joe, I suppose one question would be whether any of the covers intended for the 15th have ordinary postmarks of the 15th. (At least at Philly, as you would know much better than I, the flights were for 1PM onward. That would seem to give plenty of time to make up the mails on the 15th......)

Is that 10 PM marking readable -- the section to the right?

Leaving aside the specific case, it is possible that the PL&R and actual general practice at towns with multiple offices had become discordant.

Posted May 20, 23 13:07 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

May 14 Phila.

Bernard---Still not sure of the (points) being made. Here are two more covers with the May 14 cancel from Phila. held over till the flight out the next day, May 15, 1918. Joe


Posted May 20, 23 12:01 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Markings in towns with branch POs

The discussion of the May 15 flight covers raises a question -- I don't have the answer, but maybe someone has looked into this. As early as the 1830s, New York had a branch PO. Over time they multiplied. We find, on local letters, from the PO(s) letter coded markings. My impression is that these markings were not used on outgoing mail, only penny post. (There might be extremely rare exceptions, due to some mix up or odd situation.) I have seen no indication that postmarks on letters in mails had branch markings. That is they would bear the date of departure from the main ("A") office, not from the branch office. (Those could be the same date, but not necessarily).

What puzzles me, and I have not tried to answer the question, is what was going on at Philadelphia (say early post bellum). There seems to be a separate style of marking for the branch offices (at least that is my impression). But these markings, or at least one of them, appear on outgoing mail. I think there are two possibilites --that the outgoing used the carrier marking, but only at the main office. Or that the out offices used branch markings on mail. Or maybe Philly had no branch offices?

The latter would provide an early analog of one possible interpretation of the May 14.

Has anyone examined the Philadelphia markings with this in mind? (Boston might also offer a case to study).

Posted May 20, 23 11:42 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

May 14

Scott, Two points. Were the May 14 markings legitimate PO markings. The answer is still unclear. The second was to point out that dater dates are not necessarily dates of delivery to the PO. For a spin off of this, see next.

Posted May 20, 23 3:19 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

USPCS and Royal Event

This week at the Royal in London, the USPCS presented a display of classic US stamps and postal history. The material was spectacular, and the warm welcome given to the Americans present was most impressive. There was a very large attendance and great discussions about the martial.

The new Royal is amazing, and I hope everyone gets a chance to see it. First class all the way.

I have to say that Carol Bommarito did an excellent job organizing the event and getting the exhibits to London with many many US philatelists attending. Well done Carol.

At the Cleveland Show in August, the Royal will reciprocate with a display of material from their members. Can't wait to see that.


Posted May 19, 23 19:12 by Scott Trepel (strepel)



Allow me to be confrontational rather than evasive...

Do you have a point?

Whatever it is, I'll agree to it if it ends this dialogue.

Posted May 19, 23 17:34 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Scott should sell the May 14 cover to me. Then it won't matter who is right.

Posted May 19, 23 17:10 by George Tyson (gtyson)

What am I missing?

It's probably foolish for me to stick my nose into the May 14/15 airmail discussion because it's not my field at all, but I must say I found Scott's explanation to be entirely logical. I think everyone agrees that, since the earliest days of the USPOD, the date stamp was supposed to indicate the date that a letter left the first post office that handled it. The point here is that the date applies to leaving that post office, not the town or city. Although in most cases, that was the same date, this airmail use was an exception. That's because in order to make a flight that left the NYC airport on the 15th, it's logical that some letters would leave a NYC post office on the 14th and then be taken to the airport. Therefore, those letters should be postmarked on the 14th. So with regard to that postmark, it's irrelevant that the letter didn't actually leave town until the 15th. And Scott's point that the May 15th postmark is more of a commemorative marking makes sense. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see anything that should raise any eyebrows about Scott's cover, other than the fact that it's a splendid item.

Posted May 19, 23 14:43 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

May 14

Richard M -- I am not sure how your comment relates to my comment. I was suggesting the moment of departure from the office was the determining factor and did raise the question of what would happen if the letters were taken to the airfield the day (or night) before. In the comment to Scott (see below) I raise a similar issue about transmittal from a substation to the main office.

Posted May 19, 23 14:40 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

May 14

Scott -- I think you are evading the point. This may have been natural human behavior, but it does not make it a proper postmarking if these covers left the office on the 15th.

Furthermore your counterexample leaves out the implicit nature of Sec. 540 which is made explicit in the earlier editions and which I mentioned. The markings were, of course, put on before leaving the office and often well before leaving (the idea was an efficient work flow, I take it). Thus it was proper to use the May 15 in honest and systemic expectation of a May 15 departure. That this was interrupted mail does not reflect on the validity of the marking.

Looking at Joe's cover may or may not provide the way out of the problem that I suggested. If the letters, say, left Station F to the Main NYPO on the 14th (which seems quite possible -- I don't know the nitty gritty of this particular operation -- in rough sense, it would be marked as though a local delivery), then the May 14th markings would, near as I can tell, be legit. But otherwise not.

Posted May 18, 23 20:41 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

My final May 14 entry

Scott---a page from my 2014 monograph on the 1918 airmail material. Your great C3 from Philadelphia FDC is here with the mate, as well as the May 14, 1918 which did not receive a May 15 cancel nor airmail service (and cancel) on May 15.

Several other May 14.1918 C3 items have been unearthed since that 2014 study, and an update is in process. To me, seeing a May 13 postal use which has to be thoroughly examined and accepted, is about as unlikely as finding another sheet of the C3 inverted centers, skeptics notwithstanding !!/Users/joekirker/Desktop/8675.jpeg


Posted May 18, 23 19:23 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

May 14/15

Now that we agree on the year (1918), the 14 vs 15 is easily explained by the fact that this was not ordinary mail. It was mail intended for the first government flight. The special airmail duplex datestamp had the May 15 flight date. There are NO examples of the flight datestamp dated May 14 or earlier. There are variations, but none with a day earlier than May 15.

The May 14 postmarked covers were received on May 14 with the new C3 stamps affixed. I think they were postmarked on the first day of sale (definitely the case in NYC and Philadelphia, but the subject of debate for Washington DC). All of the May 14 covers have a second May 15 special flight datestamp.

Considering the circumstances, I don't think anyone broke the law by applying either the May 14 postmark or the May 15 postmark. It was all part of the preparation for the flight relay on the first day.

As it turned out, the Washington DC northbound mail never made it until the next day. Lieut. Boyle, the pilot, crashed his plane and the mail had to be send back to DC. It left on the May 16 flight. Now, did they break the law by not applying the May 16 datestamp on top of the May 15 datestamp?

It's been a long day getting lots prepared for the Rarities sale. I am going home to eat dinner and escape philately for the night.

Posted May 18, 23 18:21 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

May 14 7pm

Not sure I understand, I have more than a few covers from that era in including a few airmail canceled after hours, as late as 11pm. Presumably it was picked up and processed at the local station then sent on overnight either to the main PO or to the terminal to get on the plane the next day? Covers got on trains and in trucks overnight, why would they single out an airmail cover to be postmarked when put on the plane rather than follow the usual procedure?

Posted May 18, 23 15:38 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

May 14.

Yes. The point about dating of covers by the PO, which was recently discussed by Ken Lawrence in his first known 1847 issue cover article, has long been of interest to me as a first and last day collector. The postmark was supposed to show the date of posting -- that is, when the cover went into motion from the office indicated.

When I saw that May14/15, 1918 marked cover, I wondered if the rules were the same. The old rules made it clear that markings should be applied as soon as possible, which may be before the date of dispatch, but the marking should indicate the date of dispatch. Thus, if the plane was going out on the 15th, it was OK to mark it on the 14th, but Only with the 15th as the date. Unlike the older PL&Rs, this "modern" one points out that violations can result in serious punishment. Scott apparently misread 14 as 15 and then misunderstood that I was correcting myself on the year, not the PO.

I suppose there is a potential counterpoint if some of the letters went out to the airfield on the 14th. One might get into points on mail messenger vs mail contractor. I suppose one could argue that, if that indeed was the case, the May 15 marking would also have a function. (Cf. the railroad from New Orleans to and from the SB -- the Mobile Way letters are arguable RR rather than SB way letters, although that is a stretch, and the comparison rather faulty.)

I express gratitude for both the correction and the posting of the page from the 1913 PL&R by Joe and Mike. I suspect a lot of collectors are unaware of the PO rules for dating of letters.

clarifying editing post posting. Please not that I have not used or misused any US government postmarks in this process. To my knowledge.

Posted May 18, 23 14:06 by Stan Grove (alaskastan)

May 14-15 1914-18

I don’t know Bernard and won't presume to read his mind, but it seems to me that his original post can be read as stating that a May 14 postmark was improper because that mail was not intended to go out under any circumstances prior to the following day. I am betting, further, that his subject line “May 14, 1914 not a proper post mark” was simply a typo, to which he was alluding when he subsequently added to his original text the clarifying line “I meant 1918, not 1914” – a clarification which he also appended to his second post on the topic. No big deal.

Posted May 17, 23 22:30 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

May 14, 1918 cancel and UPSO Regs

At the risk of putting myself where I am not wanted...

It is my understanding that Bernard is calling into question the cancellation of the May 14, 1918 air mail cover.  He is stating that it does not meet the regulations at the time.  Regulations for 1913 were helpfully provided by Mike Ellingson (thanks Mike!), but 1913 regs may have perpetuated the typo in Bernard's initial post. 

Bernard, while you make a provocative statement, I do not think you are making it clear why you feel this postmark failed to meet those regulations.  Perhaps you can give a clearer explanation as to why you feel it does not meet them and it will clear the discussion up and your point can be made.

I think the whole thing got a bit convoluted with discussion of the May 15 cover with the inverted date slug (a completely different topic).  It is my understanding that Bernard was not referencing that item at all.

My apologies if you all were already on the same page and my attempt to clarify was unnecessary.

Be well,

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