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Posted Sep 24, 18 13:24 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Another PDR addition

And David New's, "Western Mail Routes" (mostly Colorado) just added.


Posted Sep 24, 18 12:26 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PDR 2018 Additions

I just added four very nice new exhibits (including one from first time exhibitor, Don Barany):

Ken Stach -  Cheyenne & Balck Hills Stage
Rick Mingee - Reducing time for Transcontiental Mail Delivery
Don Barany - 19th Centiry American Postal Folk Art
Cliff Alexander - Carriers & Loacls Delivered Magazines ..

(table of contents with links here)


Posted Sep 24, 18 10:28 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

A good tool...

Use the GBPS index of 1844 numeral cancelations, by country, which can be sorted alphabetically. That way, if you have a few letters or possibilities it makes the task a lot easier. I also use Google Maps if I have a PO that something passed through so I can find things like villages or hamlets that have been absorbed and now may only be a road name or something similar now - has helped me crack some small origin covers and small destination covers (especially Canadian 1850s stuff). Pallaskenry had a post office and was Irish numeral 370.

Posted Sep 24, 18 10:23 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Not Kilkee

Try Pallaskenry on for size. County Limerick. Currently near Shannon Airport.

Posted Sep 24, 18 9:00 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Kilkee, Ierland addressee

Catherine Shortile ?

How anything ever got delivered in the 19th century beats me.

Posted Sep 24, 18 1:59 by Victor Kuil (vickuil)

RE: Wells Fargo Entire

It is one of the few Wells Fargo cards in existence with a NYFM cancel. Do you have a date when in was written? The NY exchange office stamp  is unclear but seems to suggest an end of july 1873 shipping date.

Posted Sep 23, 18 21:38 by Richard Taschenberg (coverzz)

Centennial Entire

Very interesting Centennial entire.
The 6c entire shown has similar markings.
It went throught the NY exchange office (likely originated in CA), then on to Kilkee, Ireland, where the ms "Not for Kilkee" was added along with the arrival CDS (repeated on back). The information I was told, was that it was returned to NY to the DLO where the blue "S" was applied along with a similar ms notation as on your entire. There are no additional markings on the back.
I can't tell if the first letter of last name is an S - could be.

I would also appreciate any additional information.


Posted Sep 23, 18 18:27 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

DLO if undeliverable

Not destroyed, sold as waste.

Posted Sep 23, 18 12:50 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Centennial entire continued

Here is the back of that Centennial entire that was forwarded, unclaimed, advertised and then sent to the Dead Letter Office in Philadelphia.

I suppose the only reason this cover survived, after reaching the Dead Letter Office, was that upon opening it, information was found inside and it was successfully returned to the sender. I suspect if that hadn't been the case the cover and its contents would have been destroyed. Maybe someone would comment on the procedure followed by the Dead Letter Office during that time period, particularly if valuables or money were found inside. Because Philadelphia was a large enough city, evidently it had its own Dead Letter Office and special cds. I suspect for smaller post offices, such unclaimed mail would have been sent to the main Dead Letter Office in Washington, D.C., if that was where the central DPO was located for the country.

Thank you in advance for any comments, as I would like to learn more about how DLO mail was handled.


Posted Sep 23, 18 12:48 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Unusual Centennial entire

I thought I would share this Centennial entire, which had an interesting journey, finally ending up at the Dead Letter Office in Philadelphia.

It was first posted at Philadelphia on Aug. 29, most likely 1876 or 1877. Clarke type 132 postmark.

Sent to a Miss Kate Morris, at a street address in Buffalo, N.Y., in care of W.J. Mack, Esq.

She wasn't there, so the original address was crossed out and it was forwarded to 2115 Mt. Vernon St., Philadelphia, paid with a 3c green Continental Bank Note with a Sep. 2 Buffalo N.Y. postmark. The Buffalo clerk carelessly obscured the forwarded address with the cds, making it hard to read.

Back in Philadelphia, it was marked as Unclaimed, then marked as Advertised with a Sep 7 Phila. postmark.

The back has a Sep 5 Phila. Rec'd marking, and a "Dead Phila. Post Office. Oct 14" marking.

I suspect that the large blue "M" marking was part of the filing system based on the last name of the recipient, Miss Kate Morris. Possibly when it was advertised. Not sure what the manuscript "583-26" alongside signified, possibly part of that same filing system.

Will post back of envelope with markings in my next post. Any comments on the "M" marking  and "583-26" ms. marking alongside would be appreciated.


Posted Sep 23, 18 9:44 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Centennial entire

Russ Ryle,

Thank you for confirming that my Centennial entire is indeed a registered use, and your comments (originally posted Sep 17, 18 20:49).

Posted Sep 23, 18 3:46 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

UPU Circulars - (Re)Source

Another mysteries to call it like that are the UPU Circulars which the UPU sent to its members t inform them about changes in the Postal system as they occur.

Since long i try to find a (online) resource for them but with the exception of the UPU itself (who usually do not answer to inquiries) and some circulars found by chance it is very difficult if not impossible.

Does some member here know a good (online) source for older UPU circulars?

Posted Sep 22, 18 18:53 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Early Business Reply postal cards

Just posted up two examples relating to the Panama Pacific Expo. The Tynan card is a photo, as my scanner is on the fritz.

Posted Sep 22, 18 13:39 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Transatlantic Ship Letter to Republic of Texas - May 1845

This cover is a recent find, sent from Banbridge, County Down, Ireland to Galveston, Republic of Texas via Private Ship. The addressee was born in County Down in 1816 and became a merchant in Galveston in 1847 - having served aboard the Republic of Texas Navy ship 'Austin' (as far as I can determine). My puzzle is the rate - I have no idea why it was rated One Shilling and Two Pence in Banbridge - the rate for a Ship Letter was 8d - and occasionally I see the odd confused rate of 1s 2d where the PO rated it as mail to British North America rather than packet mail to the United States. However, the Republic of Texas had not yet been annexed so did the Post Office rate it as if it were Canada (how it ended up catching a private ship to Galveston is probably another story...


Posted Sep 22, 18 9:25 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Centennial Registered

Morning David and all,

Yep it is registered. The ink ms number front top left was applied when it was mailed. The crayon number came later. Where and why is somewhat problematic. It is a very high number to have been applied at the receiving post office? Nice cover.

Best regards, Russ Ryle

Posted Sep 22, 18 8:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Galileo Letter


Posted Sep 21, 18 20:02 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Fake cancels

This I found while looking up something else.

Rudy Thomas was a Chicago stamp dealer. Among the effects discovered in his estate were fake grill embossers for the major types.

Several months ago someone queried the origin of the concentric-circle cancellations often seen struck on high-denomination classic stamps such as 1893 Columbian Exposition commemoratives. Here is one probable source.

I note that two of the devices resemble 1850s cancels of Hawaii.


Posted Sep 21, 18 18:04 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

History of Postage Rates

I don't know if anyone here might find this useful, but it's interesting reading.

The Development of Rates of Postage - Project Gutenberg

International Rates— ..... This was the system, due to Sir Rowland Hill, of uniform rates, irrespective of distance ...... In 1907 the number had increased to 2,720,000,000, and in 1908 to 2,802,000,000. ..... The charge was ultimately abolished in 1862. ..... in Switzerland, in the United States—extremely low rates of postage for ...

It's a doctoral thesis from 1917.

Posted Sep 21, 18 12:10 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

Verse and Worse - Sorry Ogden Nash

Would that we could all be philatinanderists. I saw it uttered in a verse They say it has to do with collecting stamps But it rather sounds perverse Men staring intently in exquisite detail Proclaiming it a "Jumbo 95" But it's not a Kardashian's bottom Rather a Scott Number 35.

Posted Sep 21, 18 11:12 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PDR 2018 Additions

Thanks for two new entries (link to PDF 2018 is here):

#21 - Knowles, Dan
Mail Handling During the Prelude to the American Civil War

#22 -Stach, Ken
Western Express Companies

Posted Sep 20, 18 19:10 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Docketed Falmouth Packet covers to the US -- search for a rare cover

I am having a little discussion with Colin Tabeart. Many Falmouth Packet covers to New York (sometimes also Halifax and Bermuda) were sent in a group from London a few days before the intended sailing. But communications between Falmouth and London were not instantaneous (Colin tells me a telegraph did go into service during the Nappy wars). The question is, were off cycle letters allowed to accumulate at London or were they sent immediately to Falmouth. Note that such immediate transit would insure the cover would catch any incidental sailing (e.g. a ship that had to return and redepart because of problems). Furthermore, the off cycle covers show postmarks compatible with the date of writing rather than the normal packet day. (At least in US, postmark was supposed to indicate posting date, not the receiving date at PO). The problem is to find an off cycle cover with US docketing (contra regs, these got no US postmarks (unless remailed)) that proves it went on an off schedule sailing.

Does any among the brethren have such a cover that will cover us all with glory???

I am pretty sure my theory is right based on the postmarks on off cycle covers, the commitment of the post to best service, and the fact that such service would not create any obvious overload (at least in period -- c1800). The problem is that one is looking for a double (or triple) hit: off date, off date sailing, and receiving docketing (or maybe remailing date postmark).

Posted Sep 20, 18 19:00 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

October 23, 1775

It looks like I have been saying a wrong thing. The October 23 (which, at least retroactively, went on the Congressional books -- plus Franklin was in town in case they had any questions about the transition) is passing strange. (It is not clear at all that it was under the same postal system as the Aug. 24 cover.) The Oct. 23 cover does show the expected 4 dwt. Congressional rate (or hang over provincial converted to silver) and the Philly local, including, in this case, the penny post charge (1/10 instead of 1/8 local). What is extremely strange, and appears to falsify what I have been saying, is the 1/ which is not anybody rebelious' local, but sterling and had no relevance to the revolutionary post. I have evidently forgotten (I think that cover comes from my exhibit of a quarter century ago when I, no doubt, got it right!) that a few revolutionary covers were rated in sterling. It is even possible that the 1/8 on the Aug. 24 cover is a Cambridge 1/ augmented at Philly to 1/8. I don't follow the suggestion of 1/1 being a possible rate. There is the wierdly rated Norfolk Royal Post cover of October, but I doubt that would apply here.

Posted Sep 20, 18 14:51 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)




Posted Sep 20, 18 14:33 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


Mark - thanks. Direct link is here.

I have fixed my HTML goof.

Posted Sep 20, 18 14:28 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)


I can get to the Everts exhibit, but I get an error message when trying to link to the Sinclair exhibit.

The page cannot be found

HTTP Error 404 - File or directory not found.

Posted Sep 20, 18 14:16 by Gary Loew (garyloew)

It appears I have achieved a new status in the hobby...

...check the title in my address!


Posted Sep 20, 18 13:52 by Lloyd de Vries (lloydstamps)

AFDCS Publishes Lawrence on Jenny FDCs



The Jenny airmails may be among America’s best-known stamps, but little is known about the first day covers of those stamps. In fact, well-known philatelic author and researcher Ken Lawrence says there may be only one genuine FDC.


First Day Covers of 1918 Air Post Stamps — Or Are They? brings together in one volume four previously published articles, along with a new “afterword” essay by Lawrence and an introduction by aerophilatelic exhibitor Andrew McFarlane. The book is the latest publication from the American First Day Cover Society. Publication coincides with the centenary of both U.S. airmail service and the issuance of the first U.S. airmail stamps, depicting the “Jenny” airplane.


“It’s difficult to believe that after all these years there could still be so many outstanding questions regarding these Jenny ‘first day’ covers,” writes McFarlane. “I think it’s safe to say that many of these questions can now be safely put to rest” by this book.


First Day Covers of 1918 Air Post Stamps — Or Are They? Is available as a .pdf download from the AFDCS for $12 ($10 for members) or a printout may be purchased for $20 ($17) postpaid. Either version may be ordered from the AFDCS website at The printed version may also be ordered by mail from AFDCS Sales, PO Box 44, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0044.


The American First Day Cover Society is a not-for-profit educational organization, with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status granted by the IRS. Established in 1955, the AFDCS also publishes handbooks, catalogues and its award-winning bimonthly journal, First Days. It also promotes first day cover exhibiting, both at its own Americover show and at other stamp shows.


For more information about the AFDCS, visit, e-mail [email protected] or write the AFDCS at PO Box 16277, Tucson, AZ 85732.





Posted Sep 20, 18 11:24 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PDR 2018 Additions

Just added two new exhibits. "Sinclair" from Fran Adams and "Express Companies of Frank Everts" from Ken Stach. Thank you!

Link to index is here.

Posted Sep 20, 18 9:48 by Farley Katz (navalon)

UPU terminology

The discussion of the UPU agreements has been a little loose from a technical legal point of view. The UPU is an international body of member countries that have adopted the UPU Constitution, a document governing the operation of the UPU.

Since its original formation in 1874 as the General Postal Union, the UPU has held periodical meetings, typically 3-6 years apart, except during the world wars. At the meetings, the UPU Congress, consisting of the representatives of the members, has adopted a Convention , which is the basic international agreement governing postal matters between countries. For example, the July 4, 1891 agreement is commonly called the Convention of Vienna. Each new Convention has replaced the prior one. Simultaneously with the Convention, the UPU Congress has adopted a Final Protocol , which is an agreement providing "reservations" from the Convention, or special rules for certain members. For example, "Article 10(3) does not apply to the following countries ..." or "Country X may charge a higher rate for ..." or "Countries X, Y & Z may sign this agreement later ...", etc. The UPU itself issues Regulations that elaborate on the application of the Convention and Final Protocol to the member countries.

Each country must ratify the Convention and Final Protocol according to its own rules. In the US, this has required approval by the Postmaster General and the President. Although these agreements are treated as "treaties" under international law, they do not require ratification by US Congress because they are limited term agreements not subject to the treaty clause of the Constitution.

The Library of Congress texts of various conventions, for which some links have been provided, are digitized from Charles I. Bevans (ed.), "Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949 " (Department of State Publication, Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1969).

Another source for postal treaties is the Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

Posted Sep 20, 18 3:13 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

Interesting Paquebot & UPU Discussion

Interesting Paquebot and UPU discussion. I recall the Dubai via Basrah/Iraq to Belgium Paquebot cover where the owner and me still have not come up with a final conclusion if the cover was sent by the Overland Mail Baghdad-Haifa or by the slower ship mail from Basrah where it entered Iraqi territory to Belgium.

The cover and messages can be found  (if interested) on the board here with time stamp

Jul 10, 18 3:31 by Rainer Fuchs

Jul 10, 18 3:30 by Rainer Fuchs

Jun 21, 18 6:36 by Rainer Fuchs

Jun 21, 18 6:24 by Ken Lawrence

Jun 21, 18 3:39 by Rainer Fuch

Posted Sep 19, 18 18:43 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

UPU research


The official UPU summaries are deficient, as you wrote.

I have had similar experiences to yours with some of Jamie Gough's reports. He thanked me privately for pointing out a glaring mistake in one of them, but never published a correction.

The UPU protocols I linked are from the Law Library of Congress register of United States treaties.

Posted Sep 19, 18 18:39 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


Thanks Ken - I did not find that 1891 article first time through. However I do stand by my additional comments.

I decided not to pursue my UPU project after studying the existing (poor) literature.

Posted Sep 19, 18 18:20 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Let's get unconfused

See Article 11 of the 1891 UPU protocol.

It is repeated in Article 11 of the 1897 UPU protocol.

Posted Sep 19, 18 17:56 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

UPU Confusions

The 2005 London Philatelist article by Gough states (114:363), "the Vienna Congress was responsible for Paquebots" yet the actual Congress report does not include any mention that I can find. Then the info makes it into the Wiki article.

(I have found errors of interpretation as well as fact in several of Gough's UPU articles that suggest missing facts were found by Gough only in Swiss archives inaccessable to mere mortals - insert half smiley face).

Posted Sep 19, 18 17:49 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

UPU Congresses

There were no UPU Congresses in 1892 or 1894. According to Wikipedia, the rules about paquebot mail were adopted at the 1891 Congress. The footnote reference is to Jamie Gough's article in the December 2005 London Philatelist.

Posted Sep 19, 18 17:04 by Gary Loew (garyloew)

UPU Files

Thank you, Rainer. Very helpful.

Any idea about the 1892 or 1894 meetings? That's where the Paquebot discussions and agreements were held.

Posted Sep 19, 18 17:03 by Fran Adams (fadams)

PDR Feedback

When was the last time at a show that someone took the time to send a note concerning your exhibit with either complimentary or constructive comments (other than in a judge’s UEEF)? Mine just received a few and I thank those writers.

Richard’s PDR effort is demonstrating a platform that others (individuals and societies) might consider emulating in the future if technology is to be used to promote philately.

It’s not always about medals - the sharing of thoughts and information is the real reward. Thank you Richard...

Posted Sep 19, 18 16:57 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Next UPU Congress

2020 in Côte d’Ivoire Who's going?

Posted Sep 19, 18 12:23 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

UPU Files

Look here..., i hope the links still work all...

Bern General Postal Union Treaty:

1878 Paris UPU convention:…000001-0051.pdf

1885 Lisboa - Additions to the Paris convention:…000001-0097.pdf

1891 Vienna UPU convention:…000001-0188.pdf

1897 Washington UPU convention:…000001-0206.pdf

1906 Rome UPU convention:…m00uniogoog.pdf

1920 Madrid UPU convention:…i00deptgoog.pdf

1924 Stockholm UPU convention:…000002-0443.pdf

1929 London UPU convention:…000002-0873.pdf

1934 Cairo UPU convention:…000003-0163.pdf

1939 Buenos Aires UPU convention:

Due to World War II, the next UPU congress was only in 1947.

1947 Paris UPU convention:…000004-0482.pdf

1952 Brussels UPU convention:…0CONVENTION.pdf

1957 Ottawa UPU Convention:…211-English.pdf

1964 Vienna UPU Convention:

1969 Tokyo UPU convention:

1974 Lausanne UPU convention:

1979 Rio de Janeiro UPU convention:…01239/v1239.pdf English version starts at p. 63 of the pdf file.

1984 Hamburg UPU convention:…679-English.pdf

1989 Washington DC UPU convention:…01687/v1687.pdf English version starts at p. 249 of the pdf file.

1994 Seoul UPU convention:…n_(Seoul,_1994)

1999 Beijing UPU convention:…_Beijing.en.pdf

2004 Bucharest UPU convention:…-convention.pdf

2008 Geneva UPU convention:….PF.2008.EN.pdf

2012 Doha UPU convention:…s%202012-en.pdf Starts from p. 43 of the pdf file

2016 Istanbul UPU convention:…gressActsEn.pdf Starts from p. 135 of the pdf file

Posted Sep 19, 18 12:04 by Gary Loew (garyloew)

UPU creation of Paquebot regulations

I am doing research on the regulations and procedures for handling Paquebot mail as promulgated by the UPU in 1892 and thereafter. Does anyone know where I might find the UPU archival records online,? Thus far, I've been unable to find the actual published UPU meeting notes or issued regulations from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The UPU's website seems silent on the subject.

TIA Gary

Posted Sep 19, 18 11:44 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PDR 2018 Addition

Fran Adams exhibit "Eskimo" just uploaded. Direct link to exhibit is here. Thank you.

Posted Sep 18, 18 12:34 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Cool Cover

Just liked this one too much to not have it around to look at over and over. Hope you do too.



Posted Sep 18, 18 12:27 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PDR 2018 Additions

Three new exhibits of material that was previously owned by the late Bob Markovits. PDR link here.

Not for competition in PDR but a good place to put them for now at least.

They are:

United States 90¢ Stationery

United States 30¢ Stationery

& The One Cent Issue of August 15, 1919 (#536)

Posted Sep 18, 18 11:25 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

W D Skillman

Henry and William Skillman worked with George H. Giddings in running the mail route. William D. is listed in Mesilla Times ads in 1861. Henry was the expressman who knew the territory and roads.

The CSA contracted with Giddings and Skillman for a mail route from Texas to the California border, but Indians and Union forces made that route very difficult to operate. Nonetheless, part of the route was operated, and there might have been one or two mails that made the whole trip between the California border and Texas.

Most of the information comes from sources not regularly cited in postal history literature.

Posted Sep 18, 18 11:19 by George Tyson (gtyson)

I see that Scott already knew about "W.D." Sorry - I didn't read his email carefully enough.

Posted Sep 18, 18 11:16 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Henry Skillman

I haven't ever seen even an illustration of a Confederate period cover that was carried by Skillman, although others are more expert in that area than I am. However, I am skeptical that any covers would have been endorsed with Skillman's name since he wouldn't have wanted his name on any mail that was captured by the Union Army. (The Army was very interested in that mail since it was sent to and from clandestine Confederate agents.)

Skillman's mail-carrying activities probably lasted for most of the war. It wasn't until April 15, 1864 that he was tracked down and killed by a detachment of the 1st California Cavalry near Presidio del Norte. I might add that prior to the war, W.D. Skillman - Henry's brother - assisted him in his mail carrying venture. However, I don't know if "W.D." also carried the mail during the war.

Posted Sep 17, 18 22:56 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

hidden markings

Bernard/Mark, yes you are very close to the correct interpretation. See the attached image from October 1775, when the Mass local currency was still in use. By the next week, or November1, Franklin's instructions to Greenleaf had resulted in the start of the Continental Post in Mass, and the closure of the Provincial Post. I'd still love to have Larry Lyons look under the Philadelphia mutilation of the Mass rating (on the off chance it's 1/1). Tim


Posted Sep 17, 18 21:19 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Henry Skillman

I am reading Sharps Rifles and Spanish Mules: The San Antonio-El Paso Mail 1851-1881 by Wayne Austerman, and noted on pp 191-193 the spy and courier activities of Henry Skillman.

Skillman was involved with his brother, William (CSA postmaster of Mesilla), and George Giddings in running the San Antonio and San Diego Mail. After Union forces pushed the Confederate army out of Arizona and New Mexico, Skillman carried on a spy operation and carried mail (without contract). It is reported that he carried dispatches as far west as the California border.

Question for the board: has anyone seen a cover showing evidence of Skillman's involvement? It might be indicated by a "favor of" endorsement or notation, or letter content.

A long shot, but this is the best place to ask.

Posted Sep 17, 18 20:54 by David Snow (dwsnow)

registered continued

Here is the back of that Centennial issue envelope. No markings, but it comes with an old-fashioned paper band by a long-ago collector giving the Thorp information for the entire, saying that it is registered mail. Happily the band is not made from acidic paper, like some that I have seen.


Posted Sep 17, 18 20:49 by David Snow (dwsnow)


I wish to determine if this 1876 3c red indicium Centennial entire is indeed registered. 10c was the domestic registry rate in 1876.

At upper left is written what looks like "Reg by C. Banks, Freeport ll, 134" with $4.00 written below.

I am not certain if 134 is the registry number. I suspect the $4.00 is docketing by the recipient, indicating what was enclosed. There also is written "Filed Jan 14 77" probably by the same person who wrote the $4.00, also in pencil.

I am not sure what is the significance of the blue crayon marking "18230" at lower left. Maybe written by the clerk at the receiving office, perhaps a filing number. Or maybe a separate registry number at the receiving post office. I just don't know.

Any comments would be appreciated. Next post will show the reverse.


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