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Posted Jun 20, 19 20:30 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

How did they do it?

Well, started in on the tequila and rate analysis.

Got farther with the former than the latter.

I took the image of the cover I posted a couple of days ago and:
- traced over the three clearest markings in black
- circled the only marking I recognized in blue
- circled other things that looked like rate markings in red

So, my question is:
How the heck could someone who understood this at the time make sense of that many markings and get the accounting right?

If anyone has any clues about the black or red markings to offer, you will be doing my liver a favor by passing them on.

TIA (thanks in advance)



Posted Jun 20, 19 17:21 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

John Wright

As a former Dayton boy, I felt a certain affiliation with John and Greg.  I was sorry to hear that he is gone.

Posted Jun 20, 19 16:35 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

Mail to Besieged Paris

Steve W.
very helpful, many thanks!

Posted Jun 20, 19 16:01 by Steve Walske (steve w)

Mail to Besieged Paris

French mail was held at Lille until after the February 14, 1871 re-opening of postal relations with Paris. Some mail shows Paris arrival marks of February 23.

Posted Jun 20, 19 15:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

John Wright

I will miss him. I once questioned the price on a cover in his stock. He looked at it and said, "Greg must have priced that." They both laughed. He marked it down 50 percent.

Posted Jun 20, 19 15:42 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

1870 cover Salonica to besieged Paris

Back side


Posted Jun 20, 19 15:41 by Alexios Papadopoulos (alexiosp)

1870 cover Salonica to besieged Paris

This is a 1870 outer of entire letter posted at the French Post Office at Salonica on 27 OC by French Packet to besieged Paris. Transit backstamps Marseilles 7 NO and Marseilles to Paris ambulant 8 NO - of course no arrival postmark in Paris.

Does anyone know what was was the fate of such letters? Probably held and delievered in February 1871?


Posted Jun 20, 19 15:31 by Mike Ellingson (mikeellingson)

John Wright

Yes, also very sorry to hear of his passing. Back when I was more active on the show circuit, a stop at John's (and Greg's) booth was almost always fruitful, and he would often set material aside or send copies when he found something he thought I might like. Even though our paths crossed but a few times a year, he always treated you like an old friend.

Posted Jun 20, 19 15:10 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Very sorry to hear of John's passing.  He was of course a fixture out here in Ohio.  John was never the same after Greg's death so hopefully he at least has some peace now.  We here in Ohio (and at Garfield-Perry in particular) will miss him terribly.

Posted Jun 20, 19 14:56 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Dick Winter

Speaking of Dick Winter, this map he put into an article about rates and routes to Russia and Finland helped a lot:

Rates next - well, maybe tequila next, then rates.



Posted Jun 20, 19 14:31 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

John Wright

This is very sad, not just because he was relatively young, but because he had so many friends in the philatelic world. I can so easily remember sitting in the lounges of various shows chatting with John and Greg Sutherland. The two, both now gone, were inseparable in my mind. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Posted Jun 20, 19 14:17 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Passing of John Wright

Another dealer, and good guy, that most everyone has known over the years and at most shows, John Wright passed on Tuesday.  Sad!!


Posted Jun 20, 19 13:21 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Incrediable Site for Understanding (with maps) Every Evolution of the German States

The German States used to drive me crazy - unitl..... There is a website that has a detailed and easy to follow history of German States, pre-Roman coming forward.  At every step there are beautiful detailed easy to understand maps. 

Pick the timeframe and there is a map. The 1815 - 1866 map, from that site is below  ..... but check the site.

Now if we can all learn to read/understand the individual rates like Dick Winter does....... that is only a dream for me! :>) 


Posted Jun 20, 19 12:00 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

GB to Finland


Between the poor strikes, the fact that names and countries changed around over time (Bromberg / Danzig / Koenigsberg aren't on any current map), and my general lack of geographic awareness, I was at a loss.

Next up - rates and other markings (glad it's raining today)


Posted Jun 20, 19 7:57 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Figuring out the route across Europe


Nice cover! Here is the route information that you asked for. Note that there was no railway line from Emmerich until 1856. Your cover was put aboard a ship there instead, to travel down the Rhine River to Duisburg, from where it was then forwarded by rail to Minden and beyond.

4 = DEUTZ – Minden RPO 2 May 1853

7 = MARIENBURG – Koenigsberg RPO, 3 May 1853

Posted Jun 20, 19 2:50 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Figuring out the route across Europe

I have an 1853 cover from GB to Finland(!) that I'm trying to analyze.

First, I'm trying to figure out the routing on this. Maybe someone can fill in the gaps from London to Emmerich and From Koenigsberg (Kaliningrad) to Finland
Have so far:
1 = Kidderminster, 29 Apr 1853 datestamp
2 = London, 30 Apr 1853 datestamp
3 = Emmerich (Germnay) 1 May 1853
4 = ??? – Minden RPO 2 May 1853
5 = Minden – Berlin RPO, 2 May 1853
6 = Bromberg - Danzig RPO
7 = ???– Koenigsberg RPO, 3 May 1853

2x 11½d per ¼ oz rate via Holland
(I haven't gotten to the apportionment of the postage yet, but I do see a blue "fr 3" and what looks to be a couple of red pen markings if anyone has a clue about this, would love to hear it).

Thanks in advance.


Posted Jun 20, 19 2:21 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Colin Tabeart's new book about UK packets 1793-1815 is on offer

Colin's book runs 500 pages.  The board's system keeps junking the blurb, but here is some basic info.   The price is 45 L plus 22 shipping to US and ane extra 2L if you pay by Paypal rather than cheque in pounds sterling.  (if you are doing a UK show he may be able to hand deliver, no shipping fee).  I gather availability is at the end of June.  Rumour has it that some of the pix are from a distinguished American collection.  The address is  You can contact him directlly.

Posted Jun 19, 19 21:45 by Drew Nicholson (pawlinghistory)

Translation assistance

I ran across the card shown below on eBay. I'm having difficulty with the message which is written in what some call the "Old German" script. Can someone assist by translating the message? Thanks.


Posted Jun 19, 19 18:30 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)


I am constantly reading up on old New York City trying to find postal references to link with environmental issues - but I find myself just getting lost in a mixture of the glorious and awful. From Emma Lazarus`s wonderful bitter sweet poem `Give me your tired, your poor Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free`and those magnificent Irish gladiator shot putters and athletes who ate so much before an event they were termed the Irish Whales (yes, with an H). Searching is rewarded when you find a cover you own addressed to Samuel Ruggles a seminal NYC developer in the late 1840`s early 50`s.

Graded stamps did not lead down such avenues.

Posted Jun 19, 19 13:56 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Thank you, Richard. I paged through the serialized reports in The Perforator, but I copied only pages that pictured covers I did not recall seeing in the Morgenthau auction catalog supplement.

Posted Jun 19, 19 13:23 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

John Seybold

Thanks to Ken Lawrence, I have just uploaded an article about the Seybold coilection from the 25 January 1903 issue of "The Perforator" (here) that includes a couple more cover.

Thank you Ken!

Posted Jun 19, 19 9:15 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Final Thoughts (?)

Brian - the letter you linked to was written in 1887 while mine is 1851.

My letter is clearly embossed and was almost certainly accomplished with a device at least very similar to the one I have imaged previously. The embossing is not Braille.

Posted Jun 19, 19 5:49 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Laura Bridgman: Second Thoughts

Laura Dewey Bridgman (1829-1889), the first blind deaf-mute person in whom systematic education proved successful, a pupil of Samuel Gridley Howe, was born on Dec. 21, 1829, at Hanover, N.H. At the age of two she had an attack of scarlet fever that permanently destroyed her sight and hearing. Her case was brought to the attention of Howe, head of the Perkins institution for the blind at Boston, Mass., and in Oct. 1837 Laura entered the school. Howe at once set himself to teach her the alphabet by touch. He first pasted on several common articles, such as keys, spoons and knives, little paper labels with the names of the articles printed in raised letters. As soon as she had learned all the names in this fashion she was taught the individual letters, and gradually learned the alphabet and the ten digits…..Except for short visits to her home, Miss Bridgman lived at the school for the rest of her life, eventually helping with the teaching and household work.

The raised letter alphabet that Howe developed, and taught to Miss Bridgman, was known as the Boston Line Type. It consisted of simplified roman lower case letters only, and continued as the primary reading code for the blind in the United States until about 1900. Laura also learned how to write using a writing frame, and became an enthusiastic correspondent with family and friends. The Perkins School for the Blind Archive houses two such correspondences written by her. See imagtes here. I am unable to distinguish any evidence of embossing on either of those two letters. It is possible, therefore, that the paper used to write letter #28290 is nothing more than faint printer’s waste from one of the many Boston Line Type publications that Howe produced for the institution. Unless I’m mistaken, it is in Laura’s hand, and apparently sent to a sighted person. As such, there was no need for raised type.

Posted Jun 19, 19 0:25 by William T. Crowe (wtcrowe)

Brookville Md


Your cover should have been from Brookville Md. There are several covers known. There was one in my collection that was sold in Richard Frajola Sale #7. It was lot 105 and had a two line straight line postmark.

Posted Jun 18, 19 18:14 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)


Several years ago I had a stampless letter from either Sandy Spring or Brookeville MD (I can't find the photo) that was impressed with actual alphabet letters rather than braille, but similar concept.

Posted Jun 18, 19 17:41 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

The Blind

In stock

Blindman's Mail or How the Blind have been served by the Post by Garvin Fryer, Details of the correspondence between institutions for the blind and the Post Office 1894-1939, 42 tables of postage rates, details on the postal rates and regulations from 1898 to date. 2010, etc, 184 pages, full color, cloth,  2010, 165+12 pages, dedication page in Braille, cloth with dj, in color, limited stock, price, $70.00

post paid to a US address $73.00

Posted Jun 18, 19 14:42 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Brailler Again

M - the impresssions were made by a device similar to that shown below. Looks like it provided impressed blocks with "dots" which could be used to draw block letters between points through the template window placed above.


Posted Jun 18, 19 14:32 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

still confused about Brailler

Brian's third picture, posted a few messages below, shows two plates of Braille dots being impressed into paper or card stock. The dot impressions are nothing like what is pressed into the letter, which is endorsed 1851.

Letter postmark date of Feb 17 fits the Feb 16 date transcribed on letter and the cover.

Can anyone determine the language of the impressions in the letter paper?

And are the impressions read left to right, right to left? And where is the beginning?

Posted Jun 18, 19 14:13 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


Michael - (my best guess and reconstruction): those are "gripper marks" or similar, the device was hinged and clamped over the paper and the pencil marks are traced through a template. There are lower case and upper case letters - each capital "I" is exactly like another.

Posted Jun 18, 19 14:08 by Michael Schreiber (michaelschreiber)

Laura Bridgeman letter and Brailler

I am confused by the letter.

I see some kind of impressed letters and what looks like a transcription. I see no Braille dot characters.

Image attached is Richard's image with inverted black and white and adjusted brightness and contrast.


Posted Jun 18, 19 12:18 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Perkins-Howe Brailler Model 2

Image below. My limited understanding of things is that the Bridgeman letter may have been accomplished using a first model. It is a punchboard / tracer hinged device that allows a writer to go from braille to pencil writing actually. Nothing at all like Brian's images from much, much later.


Posted Jun 18, 19 12:15 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


It's a splendid historical object, but I believe the letter was written with a braille pen. Typewriter technology was an 1870s invention; I believe the Perkins-Howe brailler paralleled that.

Added: This is from the Encyclopedia Britannica (but Howe press braille books predated this device, so there's more to the story):

Braille is also produced by special machines with six keys, one for each dot in the Braille cell. The first Braille writing machine, the Hall Braille writer, was invented in 1892 by Frank H. Hall, superintendent of the Illinois School for the Blind. A modified form of this device is still in use today, as are later, similar devices. One innovation for producing Braille is an electric embossing machine similar to an electric typewriter, and electronic computer processing is now routine.

Posted Jun 18, 19 3:51 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Brailler 3

And another.....


Posted Jun 18, 19 3:29 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Brailler 2

And another.....


Posted Jun 18, 19 3:26 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Brailler 1


The letter that you show would have been produced on a braille typewriter. Modified Colts Armory presses were also used to print books in braille. I am attaching three images of them in action.


Posted Jun 17, 19 15:00 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Laura Bridgeman

I entered an unsual cover & letter to the census last week here. A letter of Laura Bridgeman accomplished using a Perkins-Howe brallier. Seemed very early and I guess it is as at least a Wiki editor considers Bridgeman to be "first deaf-blind American child to gain a significant education in the English language." I had not heard of her before (or a "brailler" for that matter)

I just found an NPR broadcast about here here


Posted Jun 17, 19 5:04 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Late Fee PostScript


Note the time on the cancel.....6-PM

Posted Jun 17, 19 4:37 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Late Fee


The standard ½oz. Australia-Singapore-Greece-Germany airmail rate was 2s/1d at the time of your cover. The additional 1d represents a late fee, which was levied upon mail lodged after normal business hours. This fee also applied to airmail and as such, the cancel is not erroneous. The Greek currency control hand-stamp at the extreme lower left verifies that the cover was routed via Greece.

Posted Jun 17, 19 3:14 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

Late Fee

Below is a cover that was sent airmail from Sydney, Australia on May 25, 1937 to the North German Lloyd Co. in Bremen (via Greece).   The cancel  includes the phrase "late fee."  I'm familiar with supplementary mail charges for late delivery to departing ships, but I'm not familiar with charging similar fees for mail sent via airmail.  Can anyone shed any light on this?  Is it just an erroneous use of the cancel? Or was there is fact a late fee for mail brought on board an airplane immediately before departure of the flight?


Posted Jun 17, 19 3:06 by Rafael E Perez (reperez)

Japan item, the back...

Here is the back.


Posted Jun 17, 19 3:04 by Rafael E Perez (reperez)

Japan item, what exactly are they?

Can someone tell me what are these?


Posted Jun 16, 19 20:39 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)

1849 Mobile Packet: New Orleans via Mobile and St. Thomas to St. Bartholomew

Just purchased this Mobile packet use from New Orleans via Mobile and St. Thomas to St. Bartholomew. Any others recorded via St. Thomas? I plan to ask Van.

It seems outbound uses are definitely scarcer than inbound ones.


Posted Jun 16, 19 6:29 by Brian Buru (brianb)

Seybold Illustrations


Please check your inbox. I sent the PDF to you.

Posted Jun 16, 19 2:53 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

Seybold Auction Catalog Illustrations

Unfortunately this is not loading for me (connection timed out).

Could someone email a pdf to me please?

It was said a long time ago, by Bierman I think, that some Seybold covers were soaked to obtain ultra fine examples of the stamps which which readily sal(e)able whilst covers were not.

It would be a mistake to assume that all of the covers that once existed in 1910 still exist today.

Posted Jun 15, 19 20:53 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

SS Appam

Brian B-

Thanks very much for posting the newspaper with the articles about the Appam. Very interesting.

Posted Jun 15, 19 18:00 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


I think Bierman followed at least one to Caspary. You can see some by using Siegel's power search set for ALL with Seybold as your key word.

Posted Jun 15, 19 17:58 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Harnden oval


See cover ID# 22567 in Philamercury.

Posted Jun 15, 19 17:57 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)


A number of minor covers, especially CSA have his handstamp

It was considered a detriment because of the size


Posted Jun 15, 19 15:43 by Steve Walske (steve w)



I wish...

Posted Jun 15, 19 2:02 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Help for Census - Harnden Liverpool Oval Markings

I would like to ask for help from board members to build a good census of the large Harnden oval applied in Liverpool between 1843 and 1850.  The picture below shows examples of what I need... they come in black and also blue.

If you have one, or many, could you email me with an image of each of your cover(s) and also the dates of the cover.  Sometimes the mark will be on the back of the cover - in that case I would need scan of both sides.

When I complete the work I will make the results available through the site here.

Thank you in advance for any and all help.


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