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Posted May 21, 24 8:45 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

Ottawa Boxed Registred cancels

Do any of our Canadian specialists know of data regarding these pretty Ottawa registered box cancels? Along with the three SON examples here I have seen another 3-4 on cover examples. All appear to be only 1898 use. Nothing seen in Jarrett or Robson/Lowe on their length of use or ? Thanks in advance Joe Contact off-board is fine


Posted May 20, 24 16:57 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Siskin/Berkun EDU census

I also added a few updates to the Siskin/Berkun census of earliest documented dates of use submitted by Leon Hadley. The Scott numbers changed are 332/335/356 and 447. The census file link is here.

Thanks Leon!

Posted May 20, 24 16:50 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Dan Ryterband Civil War Exhibit

I just uploaded a revised version of Dan's collection here.

Thank you Dan.

Posted May 20, 24 15:03 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Steam Sauna

We have a sauna, woderful

I doubt it would work for lifting/hing/removal hinges, etc.

you need just an enclosed container, ie a plasatic or glass anyting, a sponge saturdated with water and something to keep it from touching the water/sponge

the Sauna works at a higher temperature and believe it a lowere relative humidity
thus i doubt it would  soften the gum but have never considered


Posted May 20, 24 10:28 by Stan Grove (alaskastan)

stamp lifting


If you don't have a tupperware box but you (or your neighbor) own a steam sauna, that will also work. Plan on staying in the sauna for the entirety of a work day, and don't forget to bring your tongs in with you. This method works summer or winter.

Posted May 19, 24 11:22 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

EDU 351

Gregory, Can I trouble you to post an image of the back side of this cover, please? Would like to add it to our data base over on StampSmarter of 1549a covers. Thanks!

Posted May 19, 24 8:48 by Leven Parker (levenparker)

Sweat Box

Thank you Mike and Ken. I appreciate the information.

Posted May 18, 24 15:11 by Mike Girard (reywest1)

I built my sweat box years ago at the urging of Dennis Gilson. It is a Rubbermaid container that is 8 1/2 X 13 inches by 3 inches deep, the sponges are from the dollar store, my dad had some perforated sheet aluminum that I cut to shape and it is held up by small rubber feet that I found at my work place. I've found that envelopes take about 6 hours for the stamp to loosen up while stamps on post cards or thicker stock can take 8 or more hours to loosen up.


Posted May 18, 24 11:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Sweat box

I use a Tupperware box with slotted trivet inside and tightly fitting lid. I saturate sponges with water, squeeze out all excess, put them at the bottom of the box, put the trivet over the sponges so the cover doesn't touch a damp surface, put the cover face up on top of the trivet, and seal the box closed overnight. The next morning it's easy to slide the tip of a tong under the corner of a stamp, slide it across, and lift the stamp, leaving the gum on the envelope and the back of the stamp. After the stamp has dried it can be checked for watermark, grill, and faults. Afterward the stamp should be hinged in place. Sticking it down with the original gum will mean that the stamp cannot be lifted safely at a later time.

Posted May 18, 24 10:47 by Leven Parker (levenparker)

Sweat Box

I am doing a video on the use of sweat boxes, and I have a quick question for expertisers on the board. Is it fair to say that sweat boxes are the tool generally used to lift stamps from covers? I have never been brave enough to introduce moisture to my collection and I want to be accurate. Thanks in advance for any insights

Posted May 18, 24 2:36 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

The Penguin

On a recent visit to New York called in to see Frank Mandel. Be assured he can still raise a smile. He does feel a bit battered and fed up as you`d imagine and will be hospitalised for some time. He does read his emails.

Posted May 17, 24 20:31 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

New EDU 351

Richard, I have one to add to the list. It is a 351 pair with PF certificate 550772. It moves the date earlier 105 days. This did come from the Richard Searing collection and was bought a few years ago. June 18, 1909 is the new EDU.


Posted May 17, 24 14:51 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

New EDUs listed in Siskin Berkun census

I have added two new earliest documented cover dates to the census list here courtesy of David Horton.

The Scott #378 date is now Jan 11, 1911 and the #484 date is April 2, 1918. Both have PDF certificates (N.B. - the PFC for #378 cover lists destination as VT and it is really Switzerland).

Thank you David

Posted May 16, 24 16:02 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Auction Agent

Welcome to the board Mark!

Posted May 16, 24 15:47 by Mark Cwiakala (cwiakala)

Chuck Cwiakala and Frank Mandel

Hello Everyone, I'm Chuck's son, Mark Cwiakala. With the unfortunate loss of my father and Frank being sidelined with surgery, I will be assisting him in facilitating as many auction requests as possible while he is rehabilitating. Feel free to contact me at: or 464-204-2058

Thank you, Mark

Posted May 16, 24 15:20 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Frank Mandel

Alongside the loss of Chuck, Frank Mandel is in for major surgery and not agenting at this time. Both these men have been valuable resources for the community. I hope that Frank will soon be back in the game. He has been a lot of help, down through the years.

I am one of those dinosaurs who still uses an agent. Are there any recommendations for US and overseas (I bid in England -- Cavendish, and Germany, etc. on occasion.)

Posted May 16, 24 12:36 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: 14 cent cover

Morning Larry, Ken, and all,

My conclusion is this is NOT a registered cover. Not sure how the sender came up with 14 cents in postage, possibly, needed twelve on a heavy cover but did not have the needed denominations of stamps available?

Posted May 16, 24 11:11 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Supplementary Mail

Collection available: U.S. supplementary mail – 200+ covers, cards and a few peripheral items that were the basis for the 2009 book “United States Supplementary Mail.” Almost all of the items illustrated in the book are included in this collection, including several unique items, plus some rare items acquired after the book was published. This collection is arguably the largest and most wide-ranging collection of United States supplementary mail ever assembled, not likely to be duplicated anytime in the future, and can serve as material for a potential high-level exhibit by a interested collector. Contact me off-Board for detailed listing.

Posted May 15, 24 19:01 by Larry Maddux (pls2430)

14 cent cover

Ken , Russell

The cover has been trim up on the right side about 3/8 of an inch, can't see how this would hold an extra stamp or the registry endorsement.



Posted May 15, 24 18:55 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

Just herd on Jeopardy - it must be right?

Slave Henry Brown "mailed" himself to freedom taking the name of Henry "Box" Brown.

Posted May 14, 24 18:55 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Probably 16¢ rate

Russ is probably right (10¢ + 3¢ + 3¢). The cover is reduced at right — E[sq.] —, with the additional 2¢ stamp for the rest of the postage cut off, and possibly the registry endorsement also.

Posted May 14, 24 18:38 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: 14 cent rate


This cover looks to me to be missing its right edge? Any markings on its back side? Is it a complete envelope?

Posted May 13, 24 21:39 by Cary Johnson (fastmail)

14c rate

Perhaps 1c convenience overpay of 3c rate plus 10c registry. Specific notation of the service was not indicated on the cover.

Posted May 13, 24 18:32 by Larry Maddux (pls2430)

Need Help

Why does this cover have 14 cents which is tied to cover that went from Minn. to Vermont. The cover has no markings on the back and is a commercial cover from H. Rivers and Company to East Highgate. The cover is dated Nov. 3, 1875.

Again any help would be appreciated.


Posted May 13, 24 14:47 by Jay Smith (jaysmith)

Chuck Cwiakala

It is very sad news that Chuck Cwiakala has passed away. He was indeed "bigger than life" and in philately he contributed more than many people will ever know to the building of many major collections.

My personal experiences with Chuck started almost immediately upon my 1973 entry into the stamp business.  At the time I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, and attending many of the Chicagoland stamp shows, where I met Chuck.  For the next 50 years, whenever our paths crossed at stamp shows around the country, Chuck would tell anybody within hearing distance about meeting me when I was a fresh-faced teenager, etc. His guidance from time to time was very valuable to my professional and personal development.

One very quick story: Around 2010 I had purchased a substantial pile of WWII patriotic-cacheted covers APO-postmarked in Iceland (Scandinavia is a dealing specialty of mine). The covers were all addressed to Charles Cwiakala.  When I asked Chuck about the history of these covers -- I assumed that Chuck himself had not been the creator of the covers, but I guess I did not tell Chuck that -- his first response to me was "Just how old to you think I am???".  He then went on to explain that his father had made those covers and many thousands more.We will miss you Chuck,

Jay Smith

Posted May 13, 24 13:32 by Matthew Healey (matthewhealey)

Lichtenstein dinner

Saturday's event was a great success. We celebrated the induction of three new awardees—Trish Kaufmann, Charles Verge and Jim Mazepa—and toasted the memory of a fourth, Randy Neil, who sadly could not be with us, although his daughter Merritt graciously joined and made everyone laugh and cry. A few former recipients of the award lined up with the newbies for the traditional group photograph.


Posted May 12, 24 16:01 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Posted May 12, 24 15:59 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Orangeburg Coil

Judging by the bidding activity, quite a few buyers recognized it for what it was but I'm sure the seller's eyes bugged out when he saw the hammer price LOL.

Congrats on a perfect-snipe and a happy acquisition !

Posted May 12, 24 15:59 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)


How much did it go for on eBay? Presumably buyers recognized it for what it was and bid it up?

Posted May 12, 24 15:03 by Gregory Shoults (w/f coils)

New Discovery: Orangeburg Coil

The following item was auctioned on Ebay of all places. The seller really didn't have an idea what he was selling. If and when this item gets a good certificate that will make 17 known examples of Scott 389 on cover.


Posted May 12, 24 13:40 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Valid and not

Special delivery stamps, never (and today are totally demonetized). Air mail stamps, after domestic air mail service ended as a rated class of mail.

Posted May 12, 24 12:57 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Chuck Cwiakala

Chuck's passing yesterday was a major loss to philately and also personal to many of us, words can not express the feelings


Posted May 12, 24 12:00 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

Were they vaild for use as first class postage or for other services?

A what point, if ever, were US air mail stamps or special delivery stamps valid for paying other postal services?

Posted May 12, 24 11:55 by Russell Ryle (hoosierboy)

Lost but never forgotten

Sad to here about Chuck Cwiakala passing. Another great philatelist lost this year. Rest in peace, friend.

Posted May 12, 24 10:30 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

Chuck Cwiakala

Disheartening to learn of Chuck's passing away.

He was a very thoughtful and sage advisor as well as my auction agent from time to time. He thoughtfully had sent email listing upcoming auctions that he thought his clients like me would have an interest. Heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.


Posted May 12, 24 8:33 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

Postal History Sunday

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



Posted May 12, 24 5:37 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Chuck Cwiakala

This is very sad news. Besides losing a valued friend, I've lost the man who has been my auction agent and advisor for many years, my eyes and ears on the worldwide philatelic marketplace for covers that belong in my collections.

Posted May 11, 24 17:36 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Chuck Cwiakala

I am sorry to report the passing today of Chuck Cwiakala.  Per Facebook:

On Saturday, May 11th, 2024, we lost a larger than life personality…
Charles E. “Chuck” Cwiakala, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and cherished friend of too many to count, left us. His life was a testament to adventure, curiosity, and boundless joy. He lived life to the fullest and continuously encouraged his children to do the same.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on December 14th, 1938, to Karol "Charles" Cwiakala and Kazimiera “Stella” Gostya Cwiakala (nee Kozimor). Raised in the Bucktown Neighborhood of Chicago, Chuck attended St. Hedwig’s Grade School and Weber High School; graduating from Weber in 1956. In 1959, he met his future wife, Teresa, while working as busser at Lenard’s “Little Poland” restaurant on north Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.
Chuck was a man of many passions and talents. He graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1960 with a degree in Chemistry. He was a Technical Director for Dial Corp. and his profession took him around the world for decades; discovering exotic flavors and fragrances. His career was marked by innovation and a commitment to excellence, leaving a lasting impact on all he came across.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Chuck was known for his enthusiasm in the philatelic community, a passion that connected him with collectors around the world. His involvement was not only a reflection of his love for history and culture but also a tangible representation of his lifelong connection to people.
A world traveler at heart, Chuck embarked on countless journeys, each one an opportunity to expand his horizons and embrace the richness of diverse cultures. Whether exploring the bustling streets of Cairo, back alleys of Manila, or marveling at the natural beauty of Dominica, he approached every adventure with an insatiable curiosity and an infectious zest for life.
Chuck and his wife Teresa had a wide social network and many close friendships through multiple Philanthropic organizations. Among them, he was a working member of Chicago Society PNA, for over 50 years, and served as President at Chicago Collector’s Club for many years.
His positive outlook and magnetic personality made him the life of every gathering. His laughter filled the room, and his warmth touched the hearts of all who had the privilege of knowing him. He had a remarkable ability to uplift those around him, turning ordinary moments into a ruckus of a good time, and made everyone feel welcome.
Chuck cherished his family above all else. He was a devoted husband to Teresa (nee Zak), a loving father to Tanya (Jim), Mark (Erin), and Erica, and an always doting grandfather to Max, Beni, Eva, and Izak. His family was the light of his life, and his love for them knew no bounds.
Although Chuck no longer physically walks among us, his spirit will forever live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known him. His legacy of kindness, laughter, and boundless curiosity will continue to inspire all who follow in his footsteps
Rest in peace, Chuck. You will be deeply missed, but your memory will forever be a beacon of light in our lives.
Services will be private.
Tanya, Mark & Erica

Posted May 11, 24 16:39 by David Handelman (davidh)

Iranian avis de réception form

Are there any experts on Iran postal history here? I've had difficulty with a number of aspects of this AR form.

(1) The standard UPU rates book (edited by Arthur Groten; based on notices) gives 30 Shahis as the AR fee in this period; the form is franked with 20 Shahis. Is there an error in the UPU notices or an error by the postal clerk?

(2) The form gives the date as 7 February 1932, but the clear Teheran postmark says something completely different, beginning with 26. The other two datestamps use Persian numerals, but these are poorly struck and it's quite possible that my interpretation of them is inaccurate.

(3) I read the poorer strike (on reverse, shown at bottom) as RESKT, but Google gives no such place; instead, it might be an early transliteration of the Farsi form of RASHT (the word after it is arrivée, as on the Teheran postmark; French was popular in Iran).


Posted May 9, 24 2:53 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Prince Edward Island Exhibits

I just uploaded a replacement PDF file for David Handleman's exhibit "Postal History of Pre Confederation of Prince Edward Island" and uploaded a new exhibit from David entitled, "Post-Confederation postmarks of Prince Edward Island."

The Exhibits tab page here has been edited to reflect the addition.
Thank you David!

Posted May 8, 24 11:52 by Terence Hines (thines)


Thanks Ken.

Posted May 8, 24 11:36 by Kimberlee Fuller (kimberlee)

Collectors Club - How the Temperance Movement Used the 19th Century Mails - Chip Gliedman - 5/8 - 5:30PM EDT

Good afternoon! I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to attend our virtual program, scheduled for this evening, Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 5:30 pm EDT / 3:30 pm MDT / 2:30 pm PDT. Our guest speaker, who is no stranger to this message board, Chip Gliedman, will discuss "How the Temperance Movement Used the 19th Century Mails".

Temperance organizations in English-speaking countries used the mails to spread their messages and build community. This presentation will show how they took full advantage of the mails to do so - in some very colorful ways. This Temperance propaganda cover, produced by James Valentine of Dundee, incorporates imagery from Hogarth's "Gin Lane" and "Beer Street" etchings. Similar designs were issued in the U.S. and Canada, Similar covers from G.B, U.S. Canada, and Australia will be shown - as well as a bunch of other cool covers and mailings.

If you haven't registered already, please click here or copy and paste the link below into your browser or visit our website:

You do not need to be a member of the Collectors Club to view the presentation. Anyone may join!


Posted May 8, 24 2:25 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Temporary Army Post Offices

Temporary APOs are listed in Volume 2 of the Military Postal History Society guide to locations.

APO 16276 New York, 12 June 1944, was assigned to APO 698, Algiers.

APO 12227 Miami, by 1 July 1943, was assigned to APO 625, Gold Coast.


Posted May 7, 24 22:06 by Terence Hines (thines)

APO 16276

Another WWII puzzle. The shown civr is addressed to PO 16276. But the Forte & Helbock book don't list suchhigh numbers. Was this just an error on the part of the sender? I have another cover with what appears to be a direction to forward it to APO 12227. What's up with  these five digit WWII APO numbers?


Posted May 7, 24 20:43 by Terence Hines (thines)

S. R. M. U.

Shown is a cover returned to sender. It was addressed to a soldier in the "110th S.R.M.U. at Camp Haan in California, which was near Riverside. My friend Google has failed me in finding out what "S. R. M. U." was. Can anyone here help?