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Posted Jul 6, 20 23:25 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Farm Hill, Ark.

Ken L. & Farley K., Thank you for the information.

Posted Jul 6, 20 23:09 by Louis Fiset (louisfiset)

RPO Question

Oroville to Wenatchee RPO
This line was originally built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railroad to link the main line at Wenatchee to the Washington & Great Northern/Vancouver, Victoria & Eastern line at Oroville.

Posted Jul 6, 20 22:55 by Terence Hines (thines)

RPO question

I have a cover mailed special delivery from Pateros to Snohomish Washington in 1934. On the reverse is a partial marking reading OROV & WEN R P O Can anyone tell me what railroad the OROV & WEN was?


Terence Hines

Posted Jul 6, 20 16:04 by Chad Snee (atgpac)


While working on a story about an upcoming John Bull auction of Chinese Imperial Post Office cancellations, I came across the term “tieprints,” which is unfamiliar to me. I need a definition to include in my story.

If you can help, please contact me at [email protected] Thanks.

Posted Jul 6, 20 11:40 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Elkin's cover to Turkey

If the cover exists, there is a fair chance the more precious (personally and historically, if not philatelically) letter exists.  I would do a search for archival holdings of the the recipient's papers.

Posted Jul 6, 20 10:48 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Farm Hill

Here's a clipping from a long notice in the Arkansas Intelligencer, Mar. 14, 1846


Posted Jul 6, 20 10:41 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Farm Hill

Jim Forte's list of post offices shows Farm Hill, Poinsett County, Arkansas, 1842-1858. Current searches show Farm Hill Road, cemetery, and various churches in Harrisburg, Arkansas, which is the seat of Poinsett County.

Posted Jul 6, 20 10:12 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Farm Hill, Ark.

I am not able to find "farm Hill" in any of my sources. Even online, there isn't much about that place. It's just mentioned in "Fanning's Illustrated Gazetteer of the United States". Does anyone have any more information about that place/parish?


Posted Jul 6, 20 9:42 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

Mission House cover

Thanks Richard.  the recipient, Justin Perkins, has his own wikipedia page.  First missionary to Persia.

Posted Jul 6, 20 9:14 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Mission House Cover

Barry - Probably did make it to destination but no way of knowing for sure. The Mission House in Boston forwarded a lot of missionary mail to that area of the world. Generally the mode of transmission can not be ascertained with any degree of certaintly sans docketing.

Posted Jul 6, 20 9:07 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Post Road Bandanna

May I also remind people about the 1815 bandanna reproduced in the USPCS Chronicle 246 (May 2015) by Diane DeBlois. Listed postal routes and distances between places using those routes.

Original is in the collection of the Winterthur Museum

(yet another reason to join the USPCS, if you aren't already a member)


Posted Jul 6, 20 8:58 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

Philadelphia cover

Does anyone have any idea whether this cover ever got to Constantinople?  Possibly carried outside the mails?


Posted Jul 6, 20 8:31 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Post Road Maps

Russ - My links page here has the 1795 Bradley Map as well as his 1812 map of postal routes (there is also an 1815 Matthew Carey map that shows postal routes but I must have sold my copy).

At a later period (roughly between 1845 and 1870) there was a series of official Post Office route, linen-backed maps (in brown covers), by region with postal routes. When unfolded these mays were each about 3' by 4' and routes were marked in red. I have owned maybe 10 different and, as the set was apparently compiled over a long period of time, I do not know what a collated set entails.

Robert Dalton Harris might have a set, or nearly a complete set.

Posted Jul 6, 20 8:02 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: post road maps 1709 to 1828

Morning all,

Back in the mid 1970's a set of seven postal route maps were hand drawn as a part of the research J. David Baker was doing for his 1976 two volume Postal History of Indiana book. The full story as far as I know about these maps including how they wound up in my library along with digital copies of these maps are (somewhere) at:

Scroll down to the book listings first item first line 1792 to 1828 postal routes.

Baker did all of his research the old fashion way with 3 x 5 cards and eye strain working from moldy paper and micro film.

My copies appear to be hand drafted on fine paper possibly from another set of maps but I doubt it. This set is seven individual maps all on the same base outline map of the U.S. east of the Mississippi. Can anyone else share if they have seen these before and if so where, when, and more on their history?


Russ Ryle

Posted Jul 6, 20 7:54 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Post Roads

Thanks Ken.

Here is a post road you'll like, again from the 1825 Postal Law:

From Harrisburg, by Halifax, Sunbury, Northumberland, Lewisburg, Mifflinburg, and Aaronsbug, to Bellefonte.

Posted Jul 6, 20 7:34 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Post Roads

Actually the Constitution authorizes Congress "To establish Post Offices and Post Roads," which is what I should have written.

Posted Jul 6, 20 6:39 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Post roads

Thanks for the clarity, Ken. "Create" was the confusing word for me.

My bias is based on having been raised in eastern Pennsylvania, where what became post roads existed long before anyone even thought of a Congress, much less a "United States." For roads that were not built or maintained with federal funds, I would have said "designate" rather than create.

The clever and important bit, the "creation" if you will, was the designation of the route network, which was done without even naming the roads, but by simply listing the waypoints. An example from the 1825 Law:

"From Philadelphia, to Germantown, Springtown, Norristown, Trapp, Reading, Hamburg, Sunbury, Northumberland, Milton, Muncey, and Williamsport, to Wellsborough."

Posted Jul 6, 20 5:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Post Roads

Richard beat me to it, but I'll add my perspective.

Post roads were congruent with both private and public routes of travel. The Constitution authorized Congress to create post offices and post roads, which it did, and gave the post office a monopoly of their use to assure its integrity and solvency, including the law that required payment of equivalent postage for private carriers of mail. (Only letter mail, not goods.)

To that I would add that many of the most important private rails and roads that were designated post roads would not have been built without government subsidies that included land grants and mail contracts.

Posted Jul 6, 20 2:18 by George Struble (gstruble)

The back of the cover of my message of two minutes ago

I apparently didn't know how to post both front and back in the same message.



Posted Jul 6, 20 2:15 by George Struble (gstruble)

Looking for explanation of a label on a German 1920 cover

This cover was mailed in Essen, Germany on November 22, 1920, registered, to Zurich. A label on the back says it was opened on grounds of a November 15, 1918 order from the Reichsgesetzblatt page 1324.

Does anyone know about this order? Why? What were inspectors looking for?

The cover went from Essen to Frankfurt, from which it was flown on November 23 to Loerrach, Germany (because the plane was not permitted to fly out of Germany to Basel), carried to Basel, then sent on to Zurich, arriving in Zurich Nov. 24. If I could, I would like to know where it was opened -- I presume either Essen or Frankfurt. Opening and inspecting the cover apparently caused minimal delay.

Thank you,

George Struble


Posted Jul 5, 20 23:59 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Stamps on mail carried privately

RF, Thank you and thanks for the link.

Posted Jul 5, 20 22:38 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Gloucester, Mass UX7

Am I correct in assuming the purple '5' in the Lowell receiving cds is a private handstamp, or is there some sort of postal utility?


Posted Jul 5, 20 20:57 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Post Roads

In the period before 1900 at least, a “post road”was simply any route over which contract mail was carried. It included waterways, rail lines, private turnpikes, everything.

For some time there was a provision that if there was NO contract mail service to a location, a letter could be sent prepaid to closest post office and that the postmaster at that office could forward by private mail carrier to actual addressee and give the total amount of postage to the private carrier as payment for his carriage

Posted Jul 5, 20 20:51 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Stamps on mail carried privately

M - the date of that Act is before the - first Nesbitt postal stationery was manufactured. For Wells Fargo, there was a letter (dated January 1854) from the Post Office Dept. that did stipulate that postal stationery was required.

See page here

Posted Jul 5, 20 20:13 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Post Roads


Do you know of a source that lists which Post Roads were built with Federal funds, vs. simply having named an existing road as a Post Road?

Posted Jul 5, 20 19:57 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

1852 Act

RF, Thank you for sharing this. So, it was not against the mail regulations for a private carriage to handle mail with postage stamps after all. In this case, there maybe a good number of covers with postage stamps that were considered in the past to be handled by government mail were actually carried by private carriages. Is this correct?

Posted Jul 5, 20 19:53 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History Part 3

Below is the other side of the enclosed card.


Posted Jul 5, 20 19:53 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History part 2

Below is one side of the card that was enclosed in this cover. The message on the card indicates that the sender is hoping that the addressee in NYC will forward the letter for the sender's "friends in St. Lucia." No direct correspondence between Germany and St. Lucia was allowed at that time, due to the war. The other side of the enclosed card is shown in the next post.


Posted Jul 5, 20 19:50 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History

Below is the front of a cover franked with two 10pf Germania stamps paying the first class letter rate to NYC. The cover was mailed from Rheda on August 21, 1914, not long after WWI started. The marking on the cover, "Unzullassig Zuruck," at first seems out of place. This marking was typically used when mail was addressed to a country to which postal service had been suspended due to the war. The US was neutral at the time. In theory the cover should have gone through.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a cover with its contents. Examination of the contents of this cover explains why this cover did not go through. The contents are shown in the next two posts.


Posted Jul 5, 20 16:29 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

The government provided post roads, and gave the Post Office Department a monopoly to provide mail service on them. Private carriers paid equivalent postage to use them.

Posted Jul 5, 20 15:59 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

1927 London-Calcutta-Karachi-Chicago Around the World Flight

Here is an interesting cover sent by well known American aero philatelic dealer A.C. Roeseler, East Orange NJ to equally well known Indian Aero philatelic promoter, Stephen C. Smith in Calcutta. Cover rubber stamped, Around the World was sent from London on 28 Nov 1927 flight to Calcutta bearing 7 1/2d postage arriving in Calcutta on 14 Dec. 1927. Presumably Stephen Smith signed the cover and affixed 3As Indian postage to return it back to USA. Indian stamps were cancelled on return flight via Karachi on 15 Dec. 1927. Cover was presumably flown to London and then presumably via surface mail went to Chicago where 10c US Airmail stamp was applied and cancelled on 10 Feb 1928 and presumably sent Airmail to East Orange. Seeking help with a number of questions: 1. Is this a recorded flight from London to Calcutta (Via Karachi) or was this a scheduled airmail flight? 2) Front of cover bears 2c US stamp and 10c Airmail stamp on back. Why is the 2c US stamp not cancelled but 10c Airmail was cancelled in Chicago? 3) Who placed the US 2c and 10c Airmail stamps?? 4) Who applied AROUND THE WORLD rubber stamp on front? 5) Is there a record of how many similar covers prepared by A C Roeseler ?

Many thanks in advance. Ravi


Posted Jul 5, 20 15:30 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

1852 act

I believe that language implies that the use of the stamped envelopes was not required between two points unconnected by the US postal service.  This does not relate to John's posting.

Posted Jul 5, 20 15:03 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

1852 Act


That Act was a brilliant move, inasmuch as it facilitated collection of revenue for the P.O.D. without having to provide a service.

Posted Jul 5, 20 14:06 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Obscure Section of August 31 1852 ACT

M - I found the attached August 31 (not August 30), 1852 Act in the Appendix of my 5c 1856 issue book (page 163).

See Section 8 ... about the use of stamped envelopes / postage stamps " ... may be sent, conveyed, and delivered otherwise than by post or mail ...."


Posted Jul 5, 20 12:46 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

3c - private carriage

George Tyson &  John Barwis, Thank you for your comments and information.

Posted Jul 5, 20 11:34 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Leonard's Cover

Thanks Bill and Bernard, most appreciated

I will have to do some more thinking and re-do the page,
when we have such uncertainties it is hard to have a firm idea


Posted Jul 5, 20 9:06 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Small Colonial Marking Mystery

     Yeh.  IV == June.  I and J were sort of the same letter and U and V were sort of the same letter.  Some kind of Roman thing.  U and V parsable as vowel vs consonent.  I suppose likewise I and J.
     Those markings are very strange.  The ones in England had a line across the middle, between Month and Day -- presumably two parts: 31 day dates and 12 months fro a total of 43.  (If the days were broken down, the number of day pieces would go down to 13 (+12).  If entirely individual numerals as loose type, the same total  of 25.  Or thereabouts.)
     If the American versions were really one piece, there would need to be 366, which would seem to be an excessive cost and nuisance.  Well, except that one didn't have to spend a minute or two resetting for each (outgoing) post day.  Plus time to get the ink off your fingers.  And that tenacious printing ink is hard to clean.  It adds up.
     Incidentally, Salem had a non standard set in the 1780s and some had sort of flourishes.  Fancy dater.
     I wonder if a sign that BF was coming up in the world was when he no longer went to bed with blackened fingers.

Posted Jul 5, 20 8:17 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

John Hancock Cover

I've had questions on the date of this cover. In those days, IV was the same as our current JU...for June. I've had several folks who collect colonial era material tell me this. The date is further confirmed by the docketing shown here, which indicates the contents were a Resolve of Congress dated June 22, 1776.


Posted Jul 4, 20 22:01 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Leonard's Cover

Richmond to Montpelier is around 650 miles, so a double is 50 cents.  This is the correct charge -- what went wrong.  (The time to Rutland of 2 weeks may not be too bad, especially in winter.).  At Rutland it was marked Missent and Forwarded.  Although this terminology was occasionally misused at POs, I believe it is correct in this case and the letter should have gone to Montpelier (another possibility was that it was forwarded to Tichenor's home in Bennington -- less likely, I suppose).  The notation would indicate no additional charge beyond the original 50 cents.  I entertained the notion that the Rutland PO did attempt to add the charges for Rutland to Montpelier, and, in a fit of dementia, subtracted them instead.  The distance is wrong for a double 8.  The only thing I can figure relates to the ambiguity of the R'D.  The letter was probably rebagged at some point.  Say Boston.  I don't have the route distance but it (Boston to Montpelier) may well have fallen in the 200+ zone.  Thus 17 times 2.  A very bizarre error -- perhaps someone can come up with an alternate, but the guy at Rutland almost surely thought he was rating for a 200-250 distance.
PS -- It is a strange coincidence that this went from RichmonD to RutlanD (why the extra t in Rutt?).
What I was saying  above is that the Rutland staff mistook the rebagging location as the origin.  Around 1800 one sometimes sees mail from elsewhere,e.g. Salem, actually postmarked at Boston on its way to destination.  A very unusual and evanescent practice.

Posted Jul 4, 20 20:44 by Bill Longley (longley)

Leonard's Cover

Happy 4th of July to my US friends.

Regarding Leonard's cover. It appears to be "Missent and Forwarded" at top left, then a name or location 14 Jany 99 deducting 16c for a total of 34c.

Is it possible that the cover was properly rated 25c x 2 to Vermont but missent to Washington, DC (approximately 100 miles). Perhaps they thought the Governor of Vermont was in Washington at the time. If so, then perhaps the postmaster deducted the 8c x2 = 16c for the double rate from Richmond to Washington, leaving the balance due, an amount less than the full rate. Also, the date of Jan 14 could indicate some delay in handling the mail, and having it properly sent. Perhaps they reduced the postage so as not to anger an important individual.


Posted Jul 4, 20 19:53 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Private carriage of mail

The regulation about private carriage of mail can be found in the Proceedings of the Second Congress, Session I, 1792, An Act to Establish the Post Office and Post Roads within the United States, Chapter VII, Sec. 14:

"And be it further enacted, That if any person, other than the Postmaster General, or his deputies, or persons by them employed, shall take up, receive, order, dispatch, convey, carry or deliver any letter or letters, packet or packets, other than newspapers, for hire or reward, or shall be concerned in setting up, any foot or horse post, wagon or other carriage, by or which any letter or packet shall be carried for hire, on any established post-road, or any packet, or other vessel or boat, or any conveyance whatever, whereby the revenue of the general post-office may be injured, every person, so offending, shall forfeit, for every such offense, the sum of two hundred dollars. Provided, That it shall and may be lawful for every person to send letters or packets by special messenger."

It's also in the First Congess proceedings; I don't have a copy of that. The law was in effect at least through the 19th Century.

The key was that a letter carried by favor had to be carried without compensation, and on a non-scheduled basis.

The fine of $200 inflated to 2020 is more than $6,650. Not to be trifled with!

Posted Jul 4, 20 19:11 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Rally Round the Flag

From Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, May 1864.

Letter is on the other side of the sheet.


Posted Jul 4, 20 19:05 by George Tyson (gtyson)

3 cent prepaid

Just to emphasize a point that I think Bernard already made in passing: The POD didn't require payment of US postage on letters that were carried on a one-off (or perhaps occasional) basis by individuals who weren't part of a commercial enterprise that carried mail. There was a specific stipulation that these "private" carriers couldn't charge a fee or otherwise profit.

Posted Jul 4, 20 14:18 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

Happy Birthday USA

One of my favorite covers, free franked by John Hancock June 22, 1776 at Philadelphia, just days before he signed the Declaration of Independence.


Posted Jul 4, 20 13:35 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

Pandemic cover

This one supposedly had the corners cut off so it could be fumigated during the 1900 plague epidemic in Hawaii.


Posted Jul 4, 20 12:14 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Our History

Being the 4th of July and in a Pandemic this cover came to mind.

I have never come up with a good interpretation of the rate !!!

A one page complete folded letter that evidently had a one page enclosure.
The enclosure being the Virginia Resolution relating to The Alien and Sedition Acts.,
a one page printed document. Unfortunately i do not have the original enclosure but
copies are available and i can post if wanted.



Posted Jul 4, 20 11:19 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

3c uncancelled

I suppose there is a #5 -- the sender misunderstood the monopoly and thought it extended to private carriage. 

Posted Jul 4, 20 10:49 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Happy Independence Day!

Stay safe (i.e., from fireworks)!


Posted Jul 4, 20 4:38 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Melvin Getlan

About three months ago Curt McCoy reported on this board that Mel has died. My search yielded this.

Daniel F. Kelleher auctions has been selling his collections in a series of MLG sales. My America Philatelist article last August about first day covers of the 1913 Parcel Post stamps was in part based on Kelleher's sale of Mel's PP covers. He had sent me provenance information on them before the sale, but he was ailing.

Mel showed me a cover with a Parkhurst coil at Pacific 97, first one I ever saw.

Posted Jul 4, 20 1:07 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Melvin Getlan

I believe someone posted that on this Board a while back. I looked into it on the internet and found that the late Mr. Getlan is Marvin Getlan of Boca Raton, some years older than Melvin, a brother perhaps. As far as I know, Melvin is still with us.

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