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Posted Sep 22, 20 16:54 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

The 1809 Pamphlet Question

Bernard, Chip, and Ken were on the correct track but did not nail it.

Generally speaking in the manufacture of paper, the size of the sheet is determined by the size of the mesh frame that the cotton "soup" is put on to be thinned and dried. Today the "master sheet" is called a parent sheet - smaller sizes (the children) are cut down from the parent sheet.

In Colonial times the most common paper size was about 22" x 25." Coincidently the most common printing press had a bed about the same size. Think of it as the paper was made for the size of the dominant presses.

At the time the standard sheet of paper in the eyes of the POD was a sheet referred to as a "Royal Sheet." It was about 22" x 25". I do not recall it being specifically identified by the PO as early as 1809 but it is specifically spelled out in the postal laws of, I believe, 1825. But from the late 1790's on when specified as "one sheet," the measure was a single piece up to the size 22" x "25."

The pamphlet below is made from a Royal sheet. After printing on both sides, the sheet it is folded 3 times ....... the result, 6.25" x 5.5" which is one-eighth of the surface area of the original sheet. This is the source of the term used for paper or book sizes - "Octavio." The edges of the folded piece are then trimmed on three sides (creates 8 smaller sheets) that are then stitched with cotton and voila --- a 16 "page" phamplet made from one sheet of paper.

This does not apply for newspapers ...... a different subject.

A single sheet folded once is called a folio or folio fold; twice is a quarto and three times is an octavion.

Does anyone have a similar item that they will alow me to become the new owner???? :>)-


Posted Sep 22, 20 16:28 by Paul Dessau (paulorgantech)

Savannah cover

Thanks Russell!

Posted Sep 22, 20 15:42 by Mike Ludeman (mml1942)

Rockport, Ohio

According to Jim Forte's Post Office search, the Rockport, Cuyahoga County, Ohio post office operated from 1820 until 1902.

He does not show a Rockport post office in Allen County

Posted Sep 22, 20 15:20 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Kelleys Island, Ohio

I think I have solved the puzzle I wrote about in my last post about Datus Kelley. This article explains how Datus and his brother Irad (quaint names) purchased and developed Cunningham (Kelly's) Island, Ohio, in Lake Erie.

Here is  a 1c Star Die wrapper postmarked from Kelly's Island, Ohio. See Cover ID 21568.


Posted Sep 22, 20 15:03 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Free mail to Michigan Territory

Here is a 1831 letter to the Postmaster at Auburn, Michigan Territory from Rockport, Ohio, postmarked at Cleveland. The contents are about family matters so I suppose it was an abuse of the franking privilege. Otherwise it would have been liable to 18-3/4 cents postage (150 to 400 miles zone). See Cover ID 28812 for letter contents.

What I find interesting is that it originated in Rockport, (presumably Ohio), which is 168 miles to the SW of Cleveland, hence privately carried to Cleveland for entering the mails. Rockport, Allen County, Ohio was platted in 1836 and post office was established in 1849, and originally called Cranberry. So I find it interesting that this letter was written at Rockport long before the town was platted. What little information I could find online about the history of Rockport mentions nothing prior to its founding in 1836, and nothing about the Kelley family among the early pioneers in the area. Maybe someone who is knowledgable about Ohio history can comment. Or maybe the letter came from a Rockport in a different state. Thanks in advance.


Posted Sep 22, 20 13:44 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Killer Question -- possible unanswer

The Elk Falls EF idea is brilliant, but seems unlikely for an R.P.O. traversing various towns.  Sometimes these were directionals -- N,S, E, or W, but that does not appear to explain this one.  Clerk's intials is plausible, but hard to pin down.

Posted Sep 22, 20 13:39 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Ken -- I meant it as an inane joke.

Posted Sep 22, 20 12:25 by D.A. Lux (da2041)

Killer question -- possible answer

Perhaps it is EF for Elk Falls. Note the "falling" F.

Posted Sep 22, 20 12:14 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

"A Forgotten First Flight"

including flown covers, in the October-November issue of Air & Space here

Posted Sep 22, 20 11:08 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

Savannah CSA cover

Paul, It kind of looks like a m/s PAID and maybe the sender's acct at box #90 was charged the 10 cents postage.

Posted Sep 22, 20 10:24 by Paul Dessau (paulorgantech)

Savannah Paid

Can someone tell me what the manuscript marking, behind the "Paid 10" marking, on this Savannah cover is?


Posted Sep 22, 20 9:43 by Rick Kunz (segesvar)

Killer question

Clerk's initials? Some occult symbol?


Posted Sep 22, 20 5:15 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Not a written signature, a printer's signature. Pages of books and booklets and magazines are printed on large sheets of paper called signatures. For example, a two-sided 11x17-inch signature yields eight 5½x8½-inch printed pages after being folded and trimmed apart.

Posted Sep 21, 20 20:21 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Ron's 1809 pamphlet

Ken -- if it had a signature, it couldn't go as printed matter. 

Posted Sep 21, 20 18:27 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Early Printed Matter -- one that got away

About 40 years ago Lance Limoge had a 1799 cover from Washington ( I think -- probably not D.C. maybe PA?)  that was rated 3.  It had contained 3 legal forms.  I think he wanted $100 and it was practically in two pieces   Seemed like too much.  I did't know how rare it really was and about paper restoration.  I have never seen an earlier such.

Posted Sep 21, 20 18:00 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

One sheet

The brochure could have been printed on one sheet of paper. For some reason, 40" x 50" comes to my brain as the size of a "standard" full sheet. No idea if that is right or not.

However, given the dimensions you posted, 2 high x 4 wide, printed on both sides and folded and trimmed could have been done on a single sheet of paper about 14" tall and 24" wide.


Posted Sep 21, 20 16:29 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

one sheet

Many pages but printed on one sheet of paper

Posted Sep 21, 20 16:20 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

one sheet

It probably was one signature, i.e., one folded sheet, stitched and ready to be slit into separate pages.

Posted Sep 21, 20 15:48 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Sharing Some Cool Printed Matter Items

Continuing with the printed matter theme.......

This is a very rare pamphlet dated in print January 1809 measuring 6.25 x 5.5" wide with 16 pages including the cover faces. It is stitched together on the left edge with a small cotton string.

From Wethersfield CT (adjacent to Hartford to the south) to Northhampton MA; the proper postage was 1 cent per sheet of paper. The sender inscribed (the dark ink) the piece "one printed sheet paid" along with the addressee's name and "Northhampton". The postmaster properly inscribed (with the lighter ink) "Weths 4 March Paid 1 ct."

However, it is obvious that the pamphlet is actually 8 small sheets of paper held together by cotton stitching - NOT 1 sheet.

QUESTION: Why was it inscribed "1 sheet" and only charged postage for 1 and not 8 sheets?

Bernard B, Scott S and Richard fair answering.


Posted Sep 21, 20 15:00 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Hold for Postage G?

Some kind soul started a catalog of "Hold for Postage" auxiliary markings. But this one is not included. There is one that reads "Held for Postage/ GPO N.Y.," so perhaps this reads "Hold for Postage GPO St. Louis."

Then, to make things confusing, there is a straight line marking "Held for Postage C..." Not a G. Dont know what that can be. "Central Post Office" doesn't appear to be a thing.


Posted Sep 21, 20 12:24 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

FAM 22 surface mail

other side


Posted Sep 21, 20 12:23 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

FAM 22 surface mail

This title might seem oxymoronic, particularly to collectors of WW2 air mail who know that a lot of international mail prepaid for air transport actually went by surface ship transport.

However, U.S. Foreign Air Mail route No. 22, from Miami via the Caribbean, South America, and across the South Atlantic Ocean to Africa, and Asia, eventually all the way to China, was an exception. Miami exchanged only air mail; trans-Atlantic surface mail exchanged at New York.

(This applied not only to FAM 22. The postmaster general ordered that surface mail to Caribbean and South American destinations also should go by air to avoid the threat posed to surface ships by German submarines. But his order was kept secret until after the war so that as many postal patrons as preferred air transport would would continue to prepay air mail postage instead of taking advantage of the order by paying only the UPU surface rate.)

A typical example of the FAM 22 exception was mail from U.S. Army Post Offices whose embarkation post office was Miami. A soldier at one of those posts in Africa or Ascension Island could send letters franked FREE, which qualified them only for surface transport, but they would nevertheless travel by air to Miami (and from Miami onward by surface to the destinations).

Here is an unusual instance of FAM 22 surface mail. The 15 June 1943 registered cover from Jos, Nigeria, was prepaid only for surface transport. After censorship at Lagos and 19 June dispatch, it probably should have gone by ship to Great Britain, and from there to New York. But instead it went by air to Miami, transited Miami 27 June, went to New York for philatelic examination and customs clearance 5 July, and onward by surface to stamp dealer Augustus E. Pade at Denver 9 July.


Posted Sep 21, 20 12:09 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Unfranked Letter

No clue.  1)  It is not certain the the purple marking on the stamp is part of the Held For Postage, although it looks that way, -- I can't figure out what it is. Mere decoration?  An incomplete strike of something, maybe indicating payment???, the amount due .02 (or .01) partly struck? 3)  Could there have initially been only one stamp?  Not my period, but if earlier I think they would have forwarded it postage due if part paid (actually there was an interesting debate about this around 1860 -- did part paid mean any payment or did it mean at least one rate paid), 2)  The two stamps are not from adjacent positions -- are they even from the same sheet?  I rather hope someone who really knows what is going on will put the kibosh on such feckless speculation.  If that purple addendum is 01 -- there is a trace of something after the 0, that would solve the problem

Posted Sep 21, 20 8:34 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Unfranked Letter?

If the St. Louis cover had no stamps why does the violet "Hold for Postage O[?]" seem to run over the left stamp?

Posted Sep 21, 20 8:26 by Lawrence Haber (ldhaber)

Collectors Club program on Wednesday

On Wednesday, the 23rd, at 5:30pm EDT, the Collectors Club will be hosting another in its Virtual Philatelic Program Series. Dr. Vernon R. Morris, Jr. will speak on "The Amazing Local Posts of Philadelphia, 1843-1861". This program will be about the Philadelphia local post companies' many achievements, which were instrumental to the development of the United States mail systems.

This will be a live, virtual, program presentation. Our program is available to the entire philatelic community. You do not have to be a member of the Collectors Club to attend. A free virtual ticket can be obtained at here or alternatively at our website .

We hope to see you on Wednesday.

Larry Haber The Collectors Club

Posted Sep 21, 20 6:45 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Gary Hendren is the last word on St. Louis streetcar mail, but I agree that there's a very good chance the "postal car" endorsement here refers to a streetcar.

Posted Sep 20, 20 22:47 by Rick Kunz (segesvar)

Unfranked letter, origin on streetcar RPO?

This cover was mailed without postage to a well-known storekeeper in Cooper Hill, Mo, some 60-70 miles from St. Louis. The stamps were applied in St. Louis, I believe in response to a letter to the recipient since there was no return address, evidenced by the "Held for Postage" at top and the St. Louis postmark on the stamps that were applied.

The service endorsement is unusual and atypical for mail that would have been posted unpaid on a Railroad RPO. "Postal Car" is unusual enough that I (and one other of three streetcar luminaries I contacted) believe it originated on a St Louis streetcar RPO.

The endorsement appears again on the back side, along with receiving and transit backstamps. I'd like to hear from anyone who has seen similar verbiage.


Posted Sep 20, 20 21:48 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Lancaster carrier

There was likely some sort of arrangement, but only a handful of towns had an official service that could be prepaid by labels.  Any townie of any sophistication would probably understand this.

Posted Sep 20, 20 20:41 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

US to Germany

US to Germany with a Columbian.


Posted Sep 20, 20 20:38 by Rob Faux (robfaux)

DiComo cover

Did Lancaster have carrier service? Shot in the dark only.  Don't think it likely.

Posted Sep 20, 20 20:32 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

One more circular

I like the way this merchant included a map of Lower Manhattan in the circular. Possibly to give people reason to keep the advertisement hanging on their wall.



Posted Sep 20, 20 20:29 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

DiComo Cover

I pointed Charles to this board to try to explain the rate. I see that no one else came up with a plausible explanation.

Best I could do was double rate registered - but with the registration doubled in error - 2x 3c postage and 2x 5c registration. Registration number 100.


Posted Sep 20, 20 19:41 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Lombardy-Venetia printed circular rate

The top cover is an example of the Lombardy-Venetia (Austrian Italy) 1850 First Issue 5 centesimi printed circular rate.

To see a view of the printed circular itself, see Cover ID 23882.

The circular text closes with "si riveriamo con distinta stima" (We respect each other with distinct esteem).


Posted Sep 20, 20 19:37 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Austria printed circular rate

Here are examples of the 1850 First Issue of Austria 1 kreuzer printed circular rate.


Posted Sep 20, 20 17:47 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Twelve years ago a small group of philatelists agreed to start an organization to fund and coach collectors who desired to learn more about philatelic materials via technical analytical methods. The registered charitable organization that grew from this discussion, The Institute for Analytical Philately (IAP), is pleased to have more than 100 worldwide members, as well as supportive alliances with the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum, The Philatelic Foundation, Western Michigan University's Department of Paper Engineering, the Vincent G. Greene Foundation, and the Confederate Stamp Alliance. Our international Board of Directors, all lifelong philatelists, includes people with advanced degrees in chemistry, physics, and paper engineering.

Since its founding, IAP has hosted three international symposia in which researchers convened to present results of their work to colleagues and the public. Presentations were subsequently expanded to peer-reviewed published articles, all of which can be seen on the Institute's website,

A fourth international symposium, to be held at the National Postal Museum in Washington DC, had been planned for October 2020. Although the pandemic put a stop to an in-person meeting, our fallback plan will probably lead to greater and more diverse participation. It will also obviate participants' costs for travel and lodging.

We will meet virtually in ZOOM, beginning on 6 October and stretching over four sessions during the month. The symposium will be hosted by Dr. Susan Smith, Wilson M. Blount Research Chair at the Smithsonian Institution. Pre-registration is required, and can easily be done at .

We welcome all who may be interested.

Posted Sep 20, 20 17:44 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Dicomo cover

Missing label would certainly make it uncrazy.

Posted Sep 20, 20 17:06 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

International pre-UPU printed matter

8 April 1874

Originating in Basel cross border rate to Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden.


Posted Sep 20, 20 17:04 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

International pre-UPU printed matter

8 February 1873

Felsenau to Stollberg, Saxony, transit Bern, arrived 10 February.


Posted Sep 20, 20 17:00 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Special printed matter rate to Italy.

12 January 1870

Three centimes was established primarily for the mailing of newspapers from the Italian part of Switzerland [Ticino] to Italian destinations, though other printed matter items are found sent form other locations wihtin Switzerland at this rate. Usually ther was a wrapper with the address. Stamps were usually placed on the newspapers per this example.


Posted Sep 20, 20 16:54 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Swiss domestic printed matter

6 June 1879

Death notice - funeral announcement.

Mailed in Erlenbach, unaddressed.


Posted Sep 20, 20 16:48 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Swiss domestic printed matter

21 November 1862

Mailed for delivery within Neuchâtel.

Postcard, though the first official postal card for Switzerland was issued eight years later in 1870, announcing an extension of a meeting Opened the previous Saturday and to be continued on Saturday 22 November.

Printed matter could include advertsing price lists, society announcements, etc, etc, with no more than five hand-written words. No personal communication allowed.


Posted Sep 20, 20 14:17 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)

DiComo cover

Missing stamp(s) possibly. I don’t think “old stamps” played a factor here.....

Posted Sep 20, 20 13:44 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Dicomo cover

I have no idea.  Registered plus triple rate overpaid.  Not registered five times rate overpaid.   Five times rate plus demented attempt to pay carrier at origin (or, more demented, destination).  Given the recent context, it must be a printed matter sending -- presumably 16 times rate (also very unlikely).  I assume it was sealed so not printed matter... it looks to have been cut open on the right?   Or how about registered printed matter?  I believe printed matter rated material could not be registered. 

Posted Sep 20, 20 13:24 by Charles DiComo (charlesdicomo)

Question on 16 Cents postage on Lancaster to Columbia PA cover

Hello all. Why the 16 Cents postage?? 10c, 5c + 1c. I see the "100" at middle center? Mailed from Lancaster PA to noted attorney Hugh North in Columbia PA on the Susquehanna River, a few miles west of Lancaster City as the crow flies. Looking forward to feedback. Charles J. DiComo, PhD


Posted Sep 20, 20 13:07 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Printed Matter -- Scott's examples

Scott's covers are fascinating.  I assume his explanation of the double rate is correct, but that rating is not correct as he explains.  Note that it was OK to put the business card inside -- why outside was prohibited mystifies me.  In the case shown, I suppose the attachment could be considered either a business card or an expanded return address, both prohibited.  A very odd compromise between law and intuition.
Re the cover to a DPM, I thought I remembered the regulation Scott quotes concerning certain communications not falling under the free frank, but didn't find it.  I can add the underlying basis from the law.  Interestingly, the law does not provide for DPMs to recieve printed matter free, only "letters and packets [of letters]."  Note also (sec. 107, from the 1847 law restoring the free frank) "and receive all written communications addressed to himself on his private business."  Not all as there was a weight limit. 
I have a stamped printed matter cover from the period with a one cent (1857) that is uncancelled.  Presumably the sending office was unaware that it was not free, though to a PM.  (I suppose it is possible it was in a stack of similar items and got missed, but I think that unlikely).   That is the law goes even beyond the regulation in eliminating DPM free printed matter.

Posted Sep 20, 20 12:42 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Printed Matter Lockport Labels

The very pleasing array if printed matter covers gas driven me back to the 1859 PL&R.  The Lockport labels illustrated by Chip raise three problems.  I don't think the labels were technically allowable (return address only).  I also think one could argue that they do not violate the intent of the law.  The advertisement (akin to a business card?) goes far beyond a simple return address and is clearly a violation.  If the other cover, without it, is later that would indicate that the PO had objected at some point.  The content as printed receipts sound like a violation of the intent of the law.  I don't think "other" was meant to include material relating to a specific transaction (receipts for subscriptions to the enclosing paper were allowed).  I think it is obvious that a printed individual letter (cf. later typewritten letters) would be considered as letter mail..

Posted Sep 20, 20 12:06 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

more mail to Garibaldi

I'm late to the dance, as usual, but here's a hand carried letter to Giuseppe (Jose) Garibaldi sent in February 1869 by members of the Cuban Junta in the assembly of the central district asking for his support. The Cubans started an unsuccessful war of independence from Spain on October 10, 1868. It ended in a truce ten years later until it broke out again in 1895.

Garibaldi secretly visited Havana at around that time, under a false name. There is still a bronze plaque at the end of Obispo street in old Havana commemorating this visit.


Posted Sep 20, 20 11:16 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

other side


Posted Sep 20, 20 11:16 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Printed Matter

From my Linn's article:

A 12¢ Taylor Cover Story 

The Scott catalog values a 12¢ Zachary Taylor stamp (Scott 817) “Single franking on international printed-matter cover” at $100 in italics. It is an unusual rate to be specified at that level, because the cost of mailing printed matter to foreign destinations was 1½¢ per two ounces; eight times that amount paid for a 16-ounce mailing. 

An interesting story explains the fate of this cover. The sender, Denver Equipment Co., mailed an issue of its magazine, Deco Trefoil, on Jan. 15, 1943, to a manager at Slave Lake Gold Mines Ltd., Outpost Island, Northwest Territories, Canada. Revenue stamps on the back of the envelope paid Canada’s tax on printed matter. It was opened and examined by a U.S. censor at Seattle. 

But there was no population at Outpost Island, no post office, and no way to get there by the time this cover reached the Yellowknife, N.W.T., vicinity, so it was returned to the sender. Slave Lake Gold Mines had suddenly and without prior notice ceased to exist four months earlier, leaving miners and their families stranded. 

Eva Holland told the story in an article titled “The Great Escape From Outpost Island Mine” in the Sept. 25, 2013, issue of Uphere magazine. 

In 1940 the firm had developed a mine and mill site on Outpost Island in Great Slave Lake, about 60 miles southeast of Yellowknife, where trace deposits of gold had been found five years earlier. Tungsten, essential for war production, had been found mixed in with gold, encouraging investors to get under way.

Production began in February 1941, with a crew of 55 miners. But despite processing 50 tons of ore daily, returns were meager. Searches for higher grade ore found none. By June 1942, after ice had broken up and boats could reach the island, needed supplies did not arrive. 

On Sept. 8, the remaining 20 miners were told that the operation was being shut down. Worse still, employees’ paychecks bounced, and the company refused to provide transport off the island. 

If residents were to remain without winter provisions after the lake iced up, they might freeze and starve. So they dismantled buildings and scavenged miscellaneous supplies to build a barge, adapted a motor to propel it, and christened it Stinky D. 

With 20 men, three women, and two children aboard, Stinky D crossed 40 miles of frigid open water to deliver them safely to Fort Resolution on Sept 24, 1942. No one was left at Outpost Island to take delivery of the mining equipment magazine from Denver.


Posted Sep 20, 20 9:59 by Rick Kunz (segesvar)

Printed Matter

Great series of printed matter material! Here's a travesty example of the Pittsburgh Streetcar RPO flag without dial, used briefly on printed matter.


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