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Posted Oct 3, 19 14:28 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Card proofs

As I am only interested in dues I can not comment on other issues, however, may I suggest a possible avenue of research.

The dues actually came in three (3) colors, brown, red-brown, and claret. The brown came in two (2) printings 1879 and 1883. The red-brown in one printing in 1890. And finally the claret in at least two (2) printings in 1893 and possibly some later printings.

One could divide into three groups by color and analyze card thickness for statistical significance. Likewise there may be a color/card thickness component for the browns and clarets. The red-brown 1890 printing, if card thickness is significant, would be a way to identify the 3rd printing with some degree of confidence.

I have one set of clarets which are backstamped 1878. Perhaps a little mysterious as there is no 1878 due issue. The handstamp reflects the envelope which was, as far as I know, the only issue misidentified of all card proofs. The color looks about like all the other sets of claret proofs I have including Lilly sets.

I also have a couple of sets which appear to be a strange looking brown but under UV are definitely claret.

Posted Oct 3, 19 14:09 by Chad Snee (atgpac)

Archival sheet protectors


Leonard Hartmann offers a line of archival page protectors:


Chad Snee

Posted Oct 3, 19 13:56 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Card proofs

Coincidentally, I am working on a project that requires measurement and classification of a set of 1861 card proofs according to year (1879 etc).

The measurements overlap, and there is great inconsistency, despite Brazer's original classification by card thickness.

I do not know if there is a satisfactory method to identify the printings. If there is one, it's not reflected in the articles cited here, including the later attempts to fine-tune Brazer's system.

Posted Oct 3, 19 13:52 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Archival Sheet Protectors

Does anyone know of a supplier, other than Atlantic Protective Pouches, who produces archival sheet protectors for 11 x 17 pages?

Posted Oct 3, 19 11:55 by Stephen Tedesco (steddy)

Card Proofs

Barry Here is my recommended reading list. I'm very busy with my exhibit mounting but hopefully will post later tonight.

Cardboard Plate Proofs Bibliography

Extracts from the U.S. P.O.D. Bill Books, 1870-1897 Especially Relating to the Carboard “Proofs”, 1879-1894 By George W. Brett

Part II Follow up of the same

Thickness of the Cardboard Proofs by Printing By Greg Vaupotic

Proofs of 1875-85 Issues J. Frank Braceland

The Plate Proofs on Card of the 1873 Official Stamps: A Re-Examination, Including a History of the “Sixth” Printing By George G. Sayers

United States Plate Proofs on Cardboard, A review and Analysis Dr. Howard S. Freidman

Posted Oct 3, 19 11:29 by Barry Jablon (friday)

Plate Proofs on cardboard

Thanks, Alan, and also to John Barwis for pointing me to a Brazer pamphlet on 1847's.

Posted Oct 2, 19 16:24 by Alan Campbell (alan campbell)

Plate Proofs on Cardboard

The five printings were made from the same plates, but the thickness of the cardboard and the colors differ. Brazer made an attempt to differentiate the printings, based on the sets he examined within their original presentation envelopes labeled "Proof Specimens". There is a nice summary of the Brazer and later research by Howard Friedman on pages 76-77 of the Don Evans book on the 1¢ Franklin, 1861-67. There is obviously no difference in scarcity among the five different printings of 500. Fresh examples with saturated colors are considered more desirable and command a premium. I am not aware of any specialists today who are particularly interested in distinguishing one printing from another.

Posted Oct 2, 19 12:35 by Barry Jablon (friday)

ABC reprints

Rex Stever's exhibit of the 3 cent Pictorial (available in b&w on the USPCS site) shows a set of five cardboard plate proofs printed by ABC between 1879 and 1894. I was curious about how one distinguishes proofs from exactly the same die printed on cardboard of identical thickness. I've been unable to find any information about this, and would appreciate help.

Posted Oct 2, 19 8:48 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Canada / US


Thanks for your crystal clear statement of the issue.

We need to see the U.S. PMG Letter Books. I recall a conversation with Dick Winter years ago about the many days he spent in the National Archives doing research for his publications. My recollection is he found that some books from the 50's are either missing or incomplete.

Posted Oct 1, 19 22:10 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Canada/U.S. ??

The treaty set a 10 cent / 6 pence rate (except for California and Oregon) for mail between the US and the BNA Provinces, paid or unpaid, with partial payment not counted.  So a letter mailed in Canada (or New Brunswick / Nova Scotia / Prince Edward Island) could be sent to the US unpaid.  If a letter mailed in Canada had US stamps, the Canadian post office would treat the letter as if it were an unpaid letter, but would leave the stamps uncancelled.  When the letter got to the US exchange office, the US post office would treat the letter as a paid letter, so long as the the uncancelled US stamps paid the proper rate.  The discussion concerns when the US and BNA post offices agreed on a procedure for acceptance (or at least tolerance) of the practice.   

Posted Oct 1, 19 22:06 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Canada to U.S. mail

Bill Longley,

Thank you for your post on Monday in which you discovered that 1855 letter. What piqued my interest was the mention of U.S. stamped envelopes. The key words are "the proper valuation" (required).

I thought I would share this early use of a 3c red Nesbitt entire in my collection from Montreal, L.C. (Lower Canada) August 29, 1853 to Charleston, S.C.  Because it is underpaid the 3c postage was wasted and treated as if entirely unpaid. Partial postage did not count. If it had 10c affixed in U.S. postage then it would have been fully paid and not sent collect.

See Cover ID 27364 for details. My thanks to David D'Alessandris for explaining the rating of this cover.


Posted Oct 1, 19 21:03 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Canada/U.S. ??

I know nothing about this, but I am having trouble following this.

Canada wrote the USPG acknowledging receipt of a letter informing that the US will forward without additional charge letters received from Canada that have the correct US postage. Without that rule, those US stamps would be ignored and unpaid postage charged.

But didn't all these letters also have to have Canadian stamps on them to get to the border? The letter refers to "letters posted in this Province."

So the letters that this applies to would have both Canadian and US stamps on them, no? = "mixed franking"

Am I missing something?

Posted Oct 1, 19 18:54 by Bill Longley (longley)


David - I agree that I read more into it as allowing MIXED franking. But it certainly confirms the request to allow US franked covers to be accepted in Canada and forwarded WITHOUT CHARGE if fully paid.
This action was allowed, even though it was to be discouraged. Of course Canada would want to discourage it, otherwise they got no postage.
As John B points out there was no accounting for postage or deficiency between Canada and the US in any of the letters I read. They took their revenue and losses like this one in stride in terms making a open system of exchange.

Posted Oct 1, 19 17:36 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

Mixed Franking

Sorry - how did we get to mixed frankings from "letters received from Canada enclosed in U.S. Stamped envelopes or bearing upon them U.S. postage stamps of the proper valuation"?
I read "proper valuation" as requiring that the letter have US stamps paying the treaty rate of 10 cent (15 to California and Oregon) and not a permitting a mixture of Canadian and US stamps.

Posted Oct 1, 19 16:35 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Mixed Franking


You said "So I guess from the Canadian side, ALLOWING (emphasis mine) mixed franking was requested by the US Post Office..."

I don't see the U.S. PMG's comment as requesting that it be allowed. I see it as "Please tolerate it for now, but do your best to eliminate the practice."

Remember that this occurred back in the days when American officials understood and practiced politeness and diplomacy.

Posted Oct 1, 19 16:23 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


The 1855 book repeats the 1852 BNA rate tables, but does not add acceptance of U.S. adhesive stamps on mail from Canada. At present the 1857 PL&R is the earliest publication, even if the effective date seems to have been 1 February 1855.

Posted Oct 1, 19 14:30 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

1854 -1855 US PO Docs

I have illustrated in the Appendix of my 1856 issue 5c Jefferson book a September 1854 PMG notice "The annexed Instructions and Laws are published .... Many of the Instructions will be found in the last edition of Laws and Regulation (1852) which is exhausted; and the Laws here given, which have passed since the edition of 1852 was printed, are all that are particularly required for use of Postmasters"

The Instructions and Laws, also illustrated, do not seem to mention BNA mails.

Posted Oct 1, 19 14:21 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Gross Postal History Catalog

A truly amazing document. I learn something every time I go through it. One thing that I feel is not being recognized is the amount of original research/new information about the covers. A few writeups correct longterm errors in analyzing the covers. Others correct small details from previous descriptions. Hopefully, the USPCS will get the census updated with the latest information and the high res photos.

Posted Oct 1, 19 14:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


I believe there was no 1855 codification; only The Principal Regulations of the Post Office Department [in effect 1 July 1855].

Posted Oct 1, 19 12:45 by William T. Crowe (wtcrowe)

BNAPS Publications

Bill Longely:

I see that you will be handling the sale of BNAPS publications in the future (after November 1, maybe later). Once things have settled down why not make a list of BNAPS publications that would appeal to US Postal History collectors? Two that come to mind are Sanderson's work on Cross-Border Mails and Montgomery's work on Trans-Atlantic Mails. There may be others, but I have not looked at the list in awhile.

Posted Oct 1, 19 9:43 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Wrong Way Stamps, missing PL&Rs

Bill, don't that beat all! A cherce discovery. I wonder if this agreement was too late to go in the 1855 PL&R or something else was involved. I gather we have nothing official, outside the handling of the covers themselves, for the USPO position from 1851-55. The timing seems a bit odd.

In looking up the 1855 (Tom Alexander put the regs in the 1851 markings book), I note that this is not in the highly useful website. They do not have the 1792, which is thought lost, or the 1794 (which needs to be reconstructed from two partial copies -- Harris/Dublois have a copy of one, and another, as I recall, is in the New York state archive. The 1798 on the website is a very strange document. (Again, as Franklin would say, "errors excepted." I hope to start moving back in this week.)

Posted Oct 1, 19 9:09 by Bill Longley (longley)


John, glad I could find it. Canada's post office documents have suffered several fires. Virtually nothing remains pre-1840, and 1851 onward circulars are few and far between. There is no complete record of post office orders, making this letter book transcript very important.

So I guess from the Canadian side, allowing mixed franking was requested by the US Post Office and responded to Feb 5 1855. There is no other letter on the subject from April 1851 until this in 1855.

AND I think I have found an explanation for the existence of the glorious US# 1 / Canada #1 mixed franking covers. More to follow this evening.

Posted Oct 1, 19 8:24 by John Barwis (jbarwis)



Many thanks for finding this!

I am intrigued by this statement:

"...and I am to inform you that in compliance with your request measures will be taken by this department to check as far as possible this irregular use of U.S. postage stamps on letters posted in this Province."

One definition of "check" is restraint on action or conduct. Does anyone have access to the U.S. PMG letter book for 1855 to see exactly what James Campbell requested?

USPCS was only able to scan and post the letter books through 1836.

Posted Sep 30, 19 22:51 by Bill Longley (longley)

Canada-US wrong way postage. Documented evidence of allowance

It took me several days of searching but I think I have found your answer.
Here is a letter from the Canadian Deputy Postmaster General to the PMG Washington

P.O.D. 8 Feby 1855

Hon. Jas Campbell


I am directed by the Postmaster General to acknowledge your letter of the 1st inst apprising him that instructions have been issued by you tothe Frontier Offices on the United States side to send forward to their destination in the U.S. without charge all letters received from Canada enclosed in U.S. Stamped envelopes or bearing upon them U.S. postage stamps of the proper valuation, and I am to inform you that in compliance with your request measures will be taken by this department to check as far as possible this irregular use of U.S. postage stamps on letters posted in this Province.

I am

YOS W.H. Griffin


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