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Posted Nov 29, 20 14:34 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Guard dog


Thanks for sharing your great Western Express covers with guard dog in printed frank. I like how his paw is firmly over the key to safe.

Posted Nov 29, 20 12:16 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)


ff at the beginning of a word or name is the same as a capital "F".

Posted Nov 29, 20 11:53 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

The 'ff' marking


Keep in mind that what appears to us as an 'ff' in the English of the times in fact "translates" to just a single 's' .

Mark is correct.....above I meant within a word.

Posted Nov 29, 20 8:51 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

American Express Guard Dog

American Express version.


Posted Nov 29, 20 8:50 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

Guard Dog

American Express (western version) and Nichols Express (below) both used guard dogs as part of the theme on their printed franks.


Posted Nov 28, 20 22:49 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Guard dog

Here is a Nov 21 1879 check from Canal National Bank of Portland, Maine, with 1875-78 2c Liberty revenue stamp (R152), with punch cancels. Another example of the popular theme of a guard dog on top of a safe, with key on wall behind, giving a sense of security.

Has anyone show an example of a guard dog and safe as a corner card on a cover, likely from a bank?


Posted Nov 28, 20 17:04 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Russell cover, Boston f

I think that marking -- ff or maybe ss? was put on by the sender. I think its meaning is less than clear.  How can one confirm that -- or any -- interpretation.  I do agree that it is a question of interest.
I am not sure if it was made entirely clear that the f on the Lancaster submission was put on by the PO and not the sender.

Posted Nov 28, 20 16:08 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Siegel Auction No longer on Stamp Auction Network

I just learned today that Siegel Auction no longer is on SAN! In case if some of the board participants did not know it.


Posted Nov 28, 20 13:12 by Rick Lancaster (maineman)

Manuscript rate marking

David Snow,

Thanks for the Welcome and responding to my rate question. Much appreciated.


Posted Nov 28, 20 11:33 by David Snow (dwsnow)

25c Blaze of Glory

Michael Mahler,

Thanks for sharing your excellent exhibit. I smiled when I saw the cerificate from the brutally honest "Fly By Night Gold and Silver Mining Company" on page 3. Note if you look at the bottom center of the certificate there is a picture of a safe and guard dog with key under his paw.

I thought I would share this group of 1868 Montana Territory mining company checks with 2c revenues affixed. The top check (Bannack City) is for blacksmithing, the middle one (also Bannack)  for quicksilver (mercury) used in mining, and the bottom check (Helena) is payment for gold dust, 160 ounces (10 pounds). Curious that the dollar amount is not given for that check. Guess that the value fluctuated depending of the purity of the gold and local market conditions.


Posted Nov 28, 20 9:40 by John Walsh (john walsh)

25c Blaze of Glory

What a great revenue exhibit. Much excitement when reading it. A well told and imaged exhibit. Well done Mike.

Posted Nov 28, 20 8:36 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

25c Blaze of Glory

The newest "masterpiece" exhibit from Michael Mahler:

The Stamp Tax on Nevada Territory Stock Certificates: "the 25c Blaze of Glory"

Posted Nov 28, 20 6:35 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)


Here from 1689 is a letter datelined "Boston in New England" from the Russell correspondence. The paired "ff" is a capital "F" for free or prepaid. (The earliest postal markings in North America are the "Post payd" or "Post paid" of Francis Governor Lovelace's Post of 1672-3.) The wonderful Alan Holyoake collection has a later Russell letter from Boston in 1690 also with the "ff" prepaid designation, but it bears a "2" inland rate to London (where did the ship make Port ?} and a London receiver, Bishop mark 1OC. You may ask just what rate were the Boston letters prepaying ? and the only suppositions I could give with a bit of confidence are the fee given to a Ship's Captain, or the fee allowed to the Boston Posthouse for handling the letter (a holdover from the Fayrebanke's posthouse Act of 1639. I believe the "ff" were placed on the letters in Boston.


Posted Nov 27, 20 23:19 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Manuscript rate marking

Rick Lancaster,

Welcome to the Board. Cary Johnson is correct; your "f" marking is for free delivery to a postmaster.

Many times the "free" was spelled out fully as shown in Cover ID 26131

Other times, such as your example, just the letter "f".

Here is an example (not in my collection) of free mail, indicated by a ms. "f", to a postmaster. Courtesy of Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries. From New Amsterdam Collection, Siegel Sale 1005, lot 212. It is an example of the postmaster's franking privilege.


Posted Nov 27, 20 22:53 by Rick Lancaster (maineman)

Manuscript rate marking

Thanks Cary Johnson. I knew Postmasters had free franking but didn't realize mail to them could be free franked by the Public.

Posted Nov 27, 20 22:40 by Cary Johnson (fastmail)

Manuscript rate marking

The marking is F for Free rate to the postmaster.

Posted Nov 27, 20 22:00 by Jeff Brahin (brahin)

UPU First Day

My post without the typos - Bob Marcovitz had a UPU first day usage in his 5 cent Taylor collection. I can’t remember the destination. His collection was sold intact.

Posted Nov 27, 20 21:40 by Rick Lancaster (maineman)

Manuscript rate marking

Hello All,

This is my first posting on PhilaMercury. I am not sure what is the manuscript rate marking on this January 6, 1843 dated stampless folded letter from D. P. Stene & Co. in Boston, Mass. It is addressed to the Postmaster at Marion, Maine which I estimate to be about a 300 mile distance from Boston which necessitates an 18 1/2 cents rate marking but I do not see it. I would appreciate clarification.

Rick Lancaster


Posted Nov 27, 20 18:34 by Jeff Brahin (brahin)

UPU First Day

Bob Marcovitz had a UPU first day of se today n his 5 cent Taylor postal history collection. I forgot the destination. He sold this collection intact.

Posted Nov 27, 20 16:46 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Ship name


Lotus No. 2 I think

Posted Nov 27, 20 16:04 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

File Conversion

Many thanks to both of you. Much appreciated.


Posted Nov 27, 20 12:42 by Steven M. Roth (inland waterways)

File Conversion

This worked for me.

Posted Nov 27, 20 11:35 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Pre–UPU International Letter Rate Last Day

Switzerland to UK, 30 June 1875-9pm

This cover originated at the Moravian Institution in Prangins on 30 June 1875. It was date stamped at 9pm aboard the Geneve-Bâle train and destined for Hull, England.

Three hours later the UPU international letter rates took effect on 1 July 1875. If mailed the next morning it would have been franked with a green 25 centimes stamp.


Posted Nov 27, 20 11:17 by Kent Halland (postalnoteguy1)

Converting PDF Files to MS Publisher

Ravi, If you use MS Office 365, try opening the PDF file using MS Word (Word allows you to open PDF formats by browsing to them by file type), then save the Word file. Then try opening the Word document by browsing to it in Publisher with file type set to MS Word.

That should get you close. You may have to re-format the page a bit once you have it in Publisher. Best Regards, Kent

Posted Nov 27, 20 10:24 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

UPU first day transatlantic

Also my thanks to all those of you who posted answers, much appreciated!

Posted Nov 27, 20 10:04 by Steven M. Roth (inland waterways)

Converting PDF Files to MS Publisher


If someone responds to your question concerning conversion of PDF files to Publisher files, please send me a copy of the response ([email protected]).

I have been trying to figure this out for months.



Posted Nov 27, 20 9:46 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Seeking Help

Greetings on Post-Thanksgiving day!

Has anyone in the group experience in loss of data and its recovery on Microsoft OneDrive?

Also need help converting some of my exhibit pages from Pdf to Publisher file.

Please contact me if you can help or share your experience. Thanks.

Ravi Vora 303-408-4912

Posted Nov 27, 20 4:06 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

UPU first day transatlantic

Steve, many thanks for your useful info!

Posted Nov 27, 20 1:48 by Stephen T. Taylor (UK) (stevetayloruk)

UPU first day

Alexios, I've checked my 20+ years of sales records and have only had one use on 1 July 1875: UX3 postal card & Scott 156 from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Germany. And just one last day 30 June 1875 (sender would have saved 5 cents if mailed the next day) New York City Scott 156, 158 & 159 to Italy. Steve

Posted Nov 27, 20 1:34 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

UPU First Day


Appears my cover arrived into NY July 1, 1875 on the same ship as yours. The new 5c UPU steamship rate.


Posted Nov 27, 20 1:19 by Rick Kunz (segesvar)

Deciphering name of steamboat

This cover is annotated with the boat name at LL, but I can't discern exactly what it is. Clarification appreciated.


Posted Nov 26, 20 21:17 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Registered, UPU

1) Russ -- "labels":  my somewhat confusing way of distinguishing adhesive postage stamps from postal (hand) stamps (I have a 1790s cover that had a Salem PAID marking an was notated by the Boston DPO as "stampt"), and stamped envelopes.
2) Recorded -- Norona wrote a fine early article on the Philadelphia system.  He pointed to  discussions of the need in the Philly papers not too long before the Oct start.  The terminology used was "register" not "record."   I think the 1845 terminology is appropriate for the post Sept 1845 covers (and earlier material, such as there might be.)
2A)  NY local service had a registered service c 1842 or 1843.  I don't think any covers are actually known.
3)  I have  a couple of 1840s Cunard cover with registered rates to US.  No US special markings.  These are pretty rare.
4)  I have one of those July 1, 1875 steam ship covers.  Alas, no July 1, 1875 UPU.  I do have a June 30, 1875 with a six cent Lincoln to NY.  I may try to sneak it into my 1775-1849 Packet material as a coda. 
5)  That new RF material has a wonderful cover to Philly with a NY marking.  I haven't checked that sailing, but there were not through mails from Liverpool (that is, although there was some presorting in England, the special arrangement only came to being in 1849 with the treaty, not in 1843 and the notion that there was an early "special arrangement" is based on a rejection of the British documentation and a multidimensionally failed analysis of the covers).  As a first guess, that NY cover is a late mail way cover from NY sent initially as a late mail way cover (as all this stuff is, at least til Cunarders headed for NY) from Boston.  (One of the protagonists told me that they had secret evidence for the "special arrangement" but that they would never show it to me!  Strange sort of approach to history.)

Posted Nov 26, 20 20:38 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Alternative For Recorded or Registered Mails

Starting in 1839 private express companies provided a similar, secure way of sending money or important documents from one city to another. The first was Harndens Express followed quickly by Adams Express then American Express (1851) and Wells Fargo (1854). At the time recorded mails were very safe but express companies were believed better in they provided a complete provable record.

Specially printed envelopes, like the one below, was provided by the express company and filled out by the sender with the money or papers inside and usually completely sealed by heated wax embossed with the express company's name and/or logo. The amount of money ($100) and the "fee" ($1) were also noted along with the signature of the sender, in this case, an actor.

Extensive research shows this piece was sent from Washington DC to Boston in late January to early March 1865.


Posted Nov 26, 20 18:02 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

First Day UPU

I never said it was a Cuban first day UPU, just the first day of the UPU when it was received in NY.

Spain was a founding member of the UPU but its colonies did not officially enter until May 1, 1877.

Posted Nov 26, 20 17:57 by Rob Faux (robfaux)


Fair enough, I stand corrected.  I'll stick to my pre-GPU material...

Posted Nov 26, 20 17:34 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

First week of GPU/UPU rate

This 7 July 1875 card is my earliest GPU rate mail, Saint Louis to Germany.

Illustrated in my Linn's column this month.


Posted Nov 26, 20 17:18 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Not Cuba in 1875

The GPU recognized only "the Baleriac Isles, the Canary Islands, the Spanish possessions on the Northern Coast of Africa, and the Postal Establishments of Spain upon the Western Coast of Morocco" as forming part of Spain.

Added: The 1878 Treaty of Paris included "Spain and the Spanish Colonies."

Posted Nov 26, 20 16:48 by Rob Faux (robfaux)


I believe Spain was part of the General Postal Union, which would take Cuba along with it.

Posted Nov 26, 20 16:33 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

First Day UPU

Yamil - a first day steamship rate since not prepaid, hard for me to call it a first day UPU. Cuba was not a member in 1876 was it?

Posted Nov 26, 20 16:13 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

First Day UPU

Incoming steamship mail rate corrected from 10 to 5 cents arriving in NY from Havana on July 1,1875


Posted Nov 26, 20 12:22 by Gerald Nylander (gn19091914)


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone.


Posted Nov 26, 20 10:59 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

Third day UPU rate cover

Attached is a cover posted at the British Post Office in Smyrna (Ottoman Empire) to the US on the third day (3rd July 1875) of the new UPU rates.
Are there any first or second day uses between US and GB reported?


Posted Nov 26, 20 9:23 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: registered or recorded

Morning all,

Happy turkey day! May all of you enjoy good food and health today and all future days.

I have never found the term recorded used to describe a mail service offered by the USPO. However, a previous record or recording of a letter was a requirement if one wished to pursue finding a lost or stolen letter containing a valuable enclosure. Thus record refers to the procedure needed to trace a valuable item not the formal postal service of registered mail eventually recognized by the USPO July 1, 1855. Back in 2017 my one frame exhibit #44 The Early Days of Valuable U.S. Mail shows an early document meeting this requirement.

Thanks to all for posting these great early examples. "Money Letters" were officially recognized by the Canadian Postal Service well before 7/1/1855. The cross boarder examples show what happened when a service offered by another country was not available in the US at that time.

Yep, the US was late to the game finally offering registered mail service when it did.

Posted Nov 25, 20 14:08 by Maurice Buxton (mozzerb)

1d postal stationery

Thanks Bernard. There was some Mulready discussion about whether it could have come from Canada, but a US origin seems more likely.

Posted Nov 25, 20 13:15 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

New Stock Sale

In the last few days I have been able to add several new covers into inventory. A more diverse group than usual but also including several items from an Allan Line collection recently purchased.

See listings here.

If anybody has interest in depreciated currency uses thru Portland exchange office, I have that group still available intact, subject unsold.

Posted Nov 25, 20 11:06 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Registered or recorded


One thing is true, the service after March 1955 was different than the service before. 'recorded' was a term used far after the time that it is applied to but does differential between the two different services. In the olden days, the mail was much safer!

Posted Nov 25, 20 11:00 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)


Richard - 20 years ago, the use of "recorded" was exactly as you state, and was also my understanding of it.

I adopted the use of "registered" for this early use, only because I found no reference to "recorded" in Milgram's Registered mail book, nor in other Chronicle articles. I may have missed it though.

I was used to the use of "recorded", and I agree, that it was useful.

Posted Nov 25, 20 10:57 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

'Registered' used on 1847 cover

Although most 1847 recorded covers involve Philadelphia, this is my favorite from Wilkes-Barre PA. It has the 'Registered' marking from Wilkes-Barre and the small 'R' (vs. large 'R') from Philadelphia.

From the great Harvey Mirsky 1847 collection.

Image from Siegel website


Posted Nov 25, 20 9:46 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Philadelphia R Covers

Mark - a very nice cover! I prefer using the term "Recorded" for these varous "R" uses as a convention to avoid confusion with the post 1855 Registered uses. For the rare pre - 1855 uses that actually use the term "registered" in the endorsement it becomes more of a pick-em as far as terminology.

Has my terminology been obsoleted?

Posted Nov 25, 20 9:37 by David Handelman (davidh)

Still more reg...

(3) Interim period. By the time of this cover (November 1855), both US and Canada had official registration systems in place, but it wasn't until some months later that there was a treaty allowing registered mail to continue being registered in the other country. This is an example of a cover in the interim period: registered in Canada, but not in the US. [I don't have an example in the reverse direction, that is, registered in US but not in Canada in the interim period, and expect that none are known.]

I recently found another Canada to US example in this interim period, which is available for trade (contact me by e-mail if interested).

Sorry about the black background for the last image; it is an experiment, but likely a failed one. It's more suitable for Halloween than (US) Thanksgiving.


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