Message Board

Time Period:   Username Search:
Order By: Keyword Search:
   Reset Filters


Posted Jul 17, 18 20:46 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

SC #26 on cover value inquiry

I have a friend who has asked me to inquire if SC#26 -- the so=called "triple-frame-line" variety has more worth on cover.

He sent this cover off to APS in 2015 and got the stamp certified as a Genuine #26.

I told him I would inquire on this board if anyone thought on-cover usage would add to value.

Thanks to all.


Posted Jul 16, 18 18:04 by Ross Towle (rosstowle)

Die sinkers

I am looking for information about the die sinker Hass (first name unknown) operating in 1904 around NYC.  Also information about the company Lamasine & Farington operating in 1907 around NYC.  Probably also a die engraving company. 

Both Hass and Lamsine & Farington engraved dies used for Chilean postal stationery.


Posted Jul 16, 18 11:32 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

A Novel Idea

We all have a quantity of low value mint postage; to use on a letter or package is difficult to impossible

A package arrived today with postage paid per the attached image

Besides this being a way to use the stamps it  provides used copies in decent condition for new collectors

Also note the Flat Rate Box is not always the most economical postage

Bids accepted on this rare package fragment.

Buy a book today and support your local literature dealer,



Posted Jul 16, 18 8:56 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

Registered Mail "Take Out"

Morning David and all,

Do you want a hot apple turnover with your take out order :)?

It appears a delivery was attempted on February 6 based on the date lower left. At that time a notice the letter was being held at the post office would have been left in box 1104 for Mr. Adams and the item filed as being held for future delivery at the San Jose post office. It was also marked "Take Out" and dated Feb 14. That is the date the clerk reviewing the held mail would know this item should be returned to its sender as undelivered.

We would need to see a scan of the markings on the back side of this item to verify its travels further. Can you post one, please.

Best regards, Russ Ryle

Posted Jul 15, 18 22:54 by David Kent (davekent)

Registered Mail "Take Out"

A friend sent this scan of this registered cover marked "Take Out." He ask what that means, and I'll admit I don't know. The marking appears to be dated somewhat after the other marking and I wonder if it means that the cover was to be returned unclaimed. Any help would be appreciated.


Posted Jul 15, 18 20:36 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Lavar -- a bit of a slog -- but usually doable from the Winter Hubbard book by checking departures and arrivals via American packet for 1853 into, I would gues the 60s. Mid to late 50s is certainly reasonable as a start. The data is available, in updated form, on the USPCS site.

Posted Jul 15, 18 20:23 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

POW Letter

Here is page 2 of the letter


Posted Jul 15, 18 20:21 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

POW Letter

Here is page 1 of the letter.  Of particular interest is the fact that it mentions the date on which US troops took over the camp, November 9, 1918. The US commandant of the camp was Lt. Col. Morrow, of the 27th Infantry. He vastly improved the conditions at the camp, to the point where many of the 2,000 prisoners volunteered to fight with US troops without pay when the 27th Infantry was  reassigned to a different location.


Posted Jul 15, 18 20:16 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

Another Interesting Item

Thanks, Richard F and Richard C.  While researching this cover, I discovered that the Argentine flag flew over Monterey for a short time in 1818.  A short-lived invasion by Hipolito Bouchard, who was quite the adventurer.  I wonder if any philatelic evidence of this "invastion" survives?

Below is another interesting item. (I have this bad habit of picking up items that are outside of my normal collecting areas if I find them interesting.)  It is a cover sent by a German POW held in the  POW camp at Krasnaya-Retchka, in Siberia, to Toledo, Ohio in May of 1919, while US troops were in charge of that particular camp.  The pointing hand markings indicate that this cover was returned to the sender as unclaimed.  The reverse (not scanned) has a Toledo CDS dated December 6, 1919, but nothing else.

What makes this item really interesting is the letter that was enclosed.  I will show that letter in the next two posts.


Posted Jul 15, 18 20:13 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

MS Gripsholm scrapbook

sold for $207.50.

Posted Jul 15, 18 11:37 by Farley Katz (navalon)

1942 POW in Hong Kong scrapbook -- stamp collection miraculously saved

Some here might be interested in the following on sale now on the mystery website and closing soon today (Sunday):

"Up for auction is a a truly rare scrap book circa 1942. The book belonged to missionary, and prisoner of war Mary Etta Whitney. She was an American missionary working in China for some time and had been in Hong Kong for three years before the Japanese invasion and take over of the island, She was captured and held prisoner at Stanley Internment Camp outside of Hong Kong, with many other expatriates (Mostly British ), and returned to the US on the ship Gripsholm as a diplomatic exchange between the United States and Japan. I could not find out much about her other than what I found in the scrapbook. "

There is a typed letter to Ms. Whitney from a man in Canada which reads in part

"I believe I was the most surprised man in Montreal yesterday when I got your letter and I cannot make up my mind as to which to be thrilled about most- the safe return of my stamps or the fact that someone even thought about them as you did and took the trouble to salvage them. It is all just like a fairy tale to me almost too amazing to be true. The fall of Hong Kong cleaned me out of all I possess in the world and even my savings were either there or in Manila and Singapore. Of all I have lost, it is rather curious that the thing I valued most was my stamp collection since I took a lot of trouble to get it together and much of it is irreplaceable."

Added: there are some censored envelopes also, but they look pretty beat up and may have had stamps removed.

Posted Jul 15, 18 9:43 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PCM to California

Lavar - I think an 1857 use would be consistent with that set of markings (arriving in New York Dec 1, 1857 on Havre Line steamer Fulton).

Posted Jul 15, 18 9:38 by Richard Coffey (rcoffey)

Monterey cover

Peter Feuser/Werner Munzberg's work, Deutsche Vorphilatelie, gives 1855 as the date for the Aachen transit mark on the cover.

Posted Jul 14, 18 19:51 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

Early cover to Monterey

Below is an early cover sent from Ludwigslust, Germany, to Herr Romey in Monterey, CA. John Romei, born in 1801, left Germany for Mexico in 1835. He went to Monterey in 1841 and bought land there in 1846.  He was friends with John Sutter, and he died in Placerville in 1849.  He had two sons, Charles, born in 1837, and Paul, born in 1843.

I'm wondering if anyone can identify the exact year of this cover. (There is nothing helpful on the reverse.) I suspect it was sent in the 1850's to one of the sons.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.


Posted Jul 14, 18 6:25 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

Old Time Taverns, 100 years earlier

Address panel showing letter to "Major Fundy" on the Mohawk River. Prepaid Colonial mail was uncommon, and here it probably reflects his eagerness to enlist Fonda's services. The letter was probably held at Clench's Tavern for a reliable person headed towards Fonda's Posts, or Fonda was known to send a rider to Schenectady for periodic supplies/mail/etc Tim


Posted Jul 14, 18 6:18 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

Old Time Taverns, 100 years earlier

Superscription on the back of a 1769 letter from Philadelphia into the wild frontier beyond Albany. Robert Clench's tavern still stands, I am told, and was Schenectady's first PO. The Philadelphia merchant, writing to Jellis Fonda, asks him to have his Indians harvest as much jinseng as possible, as he can sell it in London for great prices. Apparently, the valuable root with restorative powers grew wild along the Mohawk River where Fonda had trading posts.

Next scan coming. Tim


Posted Jul 13, 18 18:24 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Old-time taverns

It is interesting the wealth of historical information that you can find on the internet.

For example, consider this Sep 3 1861 cover, see Cover ID 27276.  On a hunch I thought the cut-off hotel corner card might read "Bardwell House" of Rutland, Vt. and sure enough I found online excerpts from a book written in 1911 about that historical hotel.

In addition, the author of the book gives a quaint description of taverns of that era. See link to the Bardwell House, starting with the first paragraph on page 19: "Of these old-time taverns, it has been said: . . . ". Gives a good insight into the entertainments of that time. The account also mentions about watching a game of quoits, which was new to me.


Posted Jul 12, 18 18:39 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Postal History of Western Overland Routes

My newest net price sale has now been uploaded. Table of Contents page is here.

Posted Jul 12, 18 9:05 by Mannan Zarif (tagore1971)

Jackass Route

Ken, thanks. I was under the impression they are all very high priced. Btw, I am a Donkey enthusiast too.

Posted Jul 12, 18 8:26 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Postal History of the Western Overland Routes

There are two "Desert Express" uses and one great "Jackass Route" cover in my sale going live tonight. From my "sales" page (I pay much more tham $1,000 for high quality examples):

Coming Tonight) Postal History of the Western Overland Routes
 - An important net price sale will soon be posted both here and on Stamp Auction Network. The sale includes many ex Kramer and Walske covers that were illustrated in the Mails of the Westward Expansion book by Walske and Frajola.

Additional postal history items that are available but are not included in this sale may be found here.

Posted Jul 12, 18 6:46 by Gary Loew (garyloew)

anti-Tamil insurgency cover

Ken --

Regarding your cover and clandestine activities, it appears that such matters continue to this day. The Guardian newspaper recently published this article here

Posted Jul 12, 18 6:42 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

The hobby internet


Posted Jul 12, 18 6:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Jackass Route

I can't know where or when the most recent was sold, but a search of Schuyler Rumsey's sales shows one cover that realized $1,000 and another that realized $950.

Posted Jul 12, 18 3:35 by Mannan Zarif (tagore1971)

Jackass Route

Can anyone tell me when was the last time mail carried by the Jackass Route was offered in public auction and what was the price realised?

Posted Jul 11, 18 23:00 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Grilled 3 cent

It has been claimed that there are three centers that, by shade and paper, are ungrilled stamps that should have gotten F grills. That makes them unrecognized major errors.

Posted Jul 11, 18 17:40 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Mystery 15

Here is another mystery cover. No content. Pensacola to SF via NO. Theoretically the date is (July 6) 1851-4. The best I can come up with is that it is July 6, 1851 -- shortly after new rates came into effect and the DPM thought it was 5 cents to NO and an additonal 10 cents to SF. I do not like this theory. Or, he did not notice that it was the 10 cent zone and rated it 15 cents as a triple 5. But small envelope to be that heavy.


Posted Jul 11, 18 17:36 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Mystery Cover

I obtained one of these when it was pointed out by Ron (thanks). Both are to a route agent and are in the same hand. The 3 PAID, no postmark, is Oct. 1, 1851 from his wife. The P.O., MAR 3, no content, ex Hahn is a mystery. Was it a marking for PO business used or misused?

The 3 PAID is a Northampton marking.

PS. I think the letter(actually both sendings) is from the route agent's wife. Not official mail.


Posted Jul 11, 18 17:31 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Back to the beginning -- June 30 and July 1, 1845

The PL&R suggests the PO mark up covers, including postmark, as soon as possible, but the Postmark should be for the date of departure, not the day of physical marking. Some sort of screw up happened at NYC on June 30, 1845, as there are a number (only a few, but originally probably high hundreds to a few thousand) marked up for the 30th, including postmark, then corrected for the 1st. This one is unique, showing the free ("f") for the 30th and "5" for the first.


Posted Jul 11, 18 17:26 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Transition to Official DPM mail only free, 1845

This Postmaster letter from Lyme N.H. inquires about a letter sent thence for which the DPM can't read the writing for the rate in his ledger (can't read his own writing, evidently). Although on this date, June 27 (1845) he still had the free privilege, he has qualified the frank as "official Business" as required under the new regime. The Albany DPM has replied "upaid 18 3/4 C.H.W." As the original address was to Post Master Albany N.Y., he only has to change the latter part of the address and reseal the thing (no refolding required). And the original free frank is still good because of the predicate (although not a normal travelling free frank -- it is hard to know what to call the thing -- I guess it is a cross between a signature free frank and an address free frank) and the "official Business" is now required as it is postmarked lightly on July 3.

On second thought, although the "official Business" was required on the return trip, the signature was not -- the Post Master in the addresses should have been enough.


Posted Jul 11, 18 17:18 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

1845 Free Transition -- Late Normal

This shows a June 24 (1845) cover, backstamped in Canada on July 1. It was free (though only to the border).

Note that the free frank is for Rocky Ford -- this is an example of a "travelling free frank" with the PM mailing a letter while not at his own office (but at Dixon, Ill in this case).


Posted Jul 11, 18 17:16 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

More More Sherman New York

It took some time for Newark, NY to catch on. This SEP 4 (1847) is still rated 5, but the poorly struck DEC 21 is properly marked as FREE.


Posted Jul 11, 18 16:57 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

More Sherman New York

The Sherman shown earlier was July 1, 1847, the day the DPM free privilege was restored. This shows a couple of related covers to Miller (I have checked that he was PM in 1835 and in in 1845 and later, but not between 35 and 45). The Lima, N.Y. cover is 1842 and strangely is rated 12 1/2. As PM Miller need not have cancelled the 12 1/2 to assert his free privilege. The other, from 1846 has a light Albany FEB 3 and was rated 5 and rerated 10. This is during the free blackout.


Posted Jul 11, 18 16:45 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Pointing hand paids July 1, 1845

Prepayment may or may not have become more common with the lower rates. This shows pointing hand PAIDs used at two offices. Both got mixed up with the old rates (unusual) of 6 in these cases and rerated to 5. The Hartford is an official tax document, dated June 21 and saved to save money, though only one cent (c30 plus cents today). A similar item recently appeared at auction, and I got destroyed on a generous bid due to a Mormon connection! Sigh. It also had no CDS suggesting the Hartford office was indeed swamped with mail on the first day (including saved govt despatches).


Posted Jul 11, 18 16:36 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Baltimore H/S 5 and 10 on first day

With the simplified rate structure, may, especially larger, offices started using handstamped rate markings, which was very uncommon previously. This shows the domestic set at Baltimore on the first day.


Posted Jul 11, 18 16:30 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

First Day envelope

Here is verso.


Posted Jul 11, 18 16:28 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

1845 transition -- envelope

Before 1845 envelopes were hardly ever used. They were an extra sheet and charged full postage. Mostly one sees the rare wrapper on a packet of legal docouments. I almost riffed this ordinary looking first day cover, ex-Fisher. But it is an envelope used on the first day. (Unique)

Oops, I meant to show that the letter is dated June 28, 1845.


Posted Jul 11, 18 16:20 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

1845 transition

With the advent of steam transportation and a more or less successful evasion of the postal monopoly, the private mails were able to dramatically undercut the PO. Soon Congress reasserted the monopoly and greatly reduced rates -- probably the most dramatic rate change since the horrible inflation of the late 1770s. This shows a letter that carried two notes. On June 30 it was counter rated 30 (3x10 cents) and account charged. On the 1st it was rerated under the new law and went from a 10 cent zone to a 5 cent zone, and from 3 sheets to under 1/2 ounce. In 2018 currency, roughly from $10 to $1.70.

Note that since they had the charge account name on the cover, the PO could refund the 25 cents to the sender.