Message Board

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


Page:1 2 3 4 5

Posted Jul 6, 20 5:17 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Post Roads

Richard beat me to it, but I'll add my perspective.

Post roads were congruent with both private and public routes of travel. The Constitution authorized Congress to create post offices and post roads, which it did, and gave the post office a monopoly of their use to assure its integrity and solvency, including the law that required payment of equivalent postage for private carriers of mail. (Only letter mail, not goods.)

To that I would add that many of the most important private rails and roads that were designated post roads would not have been built without government subsidies that included land grants and mail contracts.

Posted Jul 6, 20 2:18 by George Struble (gstruble)

The back of the cover of my message of two minutes ago

I apparently didn't know how to post both front and back in the same message.



Posted Jul 6, 20 2:15 by George Struble (gstruble)

Looking for explanation of a label on a German 1920 cover

This cover was mailed in Essen, Germany on November 22, 1920, registered, to Zurich. A label on the back says it was opened on grounds of a November 15, 1918 order from the Reichsgesetzblatt page 1324.

Does anyone know about this order? Why? What were inspectors looking for?

The cover went from Essen to Frankfurt, from which it was flown on November 23 to Loerrach, Germany (because the plane was not permitted to fly out of Germany to Basel), carried to Basel, then sent on to Zurich, arriving in Zurich Nov. 24. If I could, I would like to know where it was opened -- I presume either Essen or Frankfurt. Opening and inspecting the cover apparently caused minimal delay.

Thank you,

George Struble


Posted Jul 5, 20 23:59 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Stamps on mail carried privately

RF, Thank you and thanks for the link.

Posted Jul 5, 20 22:38 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Gloucester, Mass UX7

Am I correct in assuming the purple '5' in the Lowell receiving cds is a private handstamp, or is there some sort of postal utility?


Posted Jul 5, 20 20:57 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Post Roads

In the period before 1900 at least, a “post road”was simply any route over which contract mail was carried. It included waterways, rail lines, private turnpikes, everything.

For some time there was a provision that if there was NO contract mail service to a location, a letter could be sent prepaid to closest post office and that the postmaster at that office could forward by private mail carrier to actual addressee and give the total amount of postage to the private carrier as payment for his carriage

Posted Jul 5, 20 20:51 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Stamps on mail carried privately

M - the date of that Act is before the - first Nesbitt postal stationery was manufactured. For Wells Fargo, there was a letter (dated January 1854) from the Post Office Dept. that did stipulate that postal stationery was required.

See page here

Posted Jul 5, 20 20:13 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Post Roads


Do you know of a source that lists which Post Roads were built with Federal funds, vs. simply having named an existing road as a Post Road?

Posted Jul 5, 20 19:57 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

1852 Act

RF, Thank you for sharing this. So, it was not against the mail regulations for a private carriage to handle mail with postage stamps after all. In this case, there maybe a good number of covers with postage stamps that were considered in the past to be handled by government mail were actually carried by private carriages. Is this correct?

Posted Jul 5, 20 19:53 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History Part 3

Below is the other side of the enclosed card.


Posted Jul 5, 20 19:53 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History part 2

Below is one side of the card that was enclosed in this cover. The message on the card indicates that the sender is hoping that the addressee in NYC will forward the letter for the sender's "friends in St. Lucia." No direct correspondence between Germany and St. Lucia was allowed at that time, due to the war. The other side of the enclosed card is shown in the next post.


Posted Jul 5, 20 19:50 by A. Lavar Taylor (lavart1)

WWI Postal History

Below is the front of a cover franked with two 10pf Germania stamps paying the first class letter rate to NYC. The cover was mailed from Rheda on August 21, 1914, not long after WWI started. The marking on the cover, "Unzullassig Zuruck," at first seems out of place. This marking was typically used when mail was addressed to a country to which postal service had been suspended due to the war. The US was neutral at the time. In theory the cover should have gone through.

Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a cover with its contents. Examination of the contents of this cover explains why this cover did not go through. The contents are shown in the next two posts.


Posted Jul 5, 20 16:29 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

The government provided post roads, and gave the Post Office Department a monopoly to provide mail service on them. Private carriers paid equivalent postage to use them.

Posted Jul 5, 20 15:59 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)

1927 London-Calcutta-Karachi-Chicago Around the World Flight

Here is an interesting cover sent by well known American aero philatelic dealer A.C. Roeseler, East Orange NJ to equally well known Indian Aero philatelic promoter, Stephen C. Smith in Calcutta. Cover rubber stamped, Around the World was sent from London on 28 Nov 1927 flight to Calcutta bearing 7 1/2d postage arriving in Calcutta on 14 Dec. 1927. Presumably Stephen Smith signed the cover and affixed 3As Indian postage to return it back to USA. Indian stamps were cancelled on return flight via Karachi on 15 Dec. 1927. Cover was presumably flown to London and then presumably via surface mail went to Chicago where 10c US Airmail stamp was applied and cancelled on 10 Feb 1928 and presumably sent Airmail to East Orange. Seeking help with a number of questions: 1. Is this a recorded flight from London to Calcutta (Via Karachi) or was this a scheduled airmail flight? 2) Front of cover bears 2c US stamp and 10c Airmail stamp on back. Why is the 2c US stamp not cancelled but 10c Airmail was cancelled in Chicago? 3) Who placed the US 2c and 10c Airmail stamps?? 4) Who applied AROUND THE WORLD rubber stamp on front? 5) Is there a record of how many similar covers prepared by A C Roeseler ?

Many thanks in advance. Ravi


Posted Jul 5, 20 15:30 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

1852 act

I believe that language implies that the use of the stamped envelopes was not required between two points unconnected by the US postal service.  This does not relate to John's posting.

Posted Jul 5, 20 15:03 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

1852 Act


That Act was a brilliant move, inasmuch as it facilitated collection of revenue for the P.O.D. without having to provide a service.

Posted Jul 5, 20 14:06 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Obscure Section of August 31 1852 ACT

M - I found the attached August 31 (not August 30), 1852 Act in the Appendix of my 5c 1856 issue book (page 163).

See Section 8 ... about the use of stamped envelopes / postage stamps " ... may be sent, conveyed, and delivered otherwise than by post or mail ...."


Posted Jul 5, 20 12:46 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

3c - private carriage

George Tyson &  John Barwis, Thank you for your comments and information.

Posted Jul 5, 20 11:34 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Leonard's Cover

Thanks Bill and Bernard, most appreciated

I will have to do some more thinking and re-do the page,
when we have such uncertainties it is hard to have a firm idea


Posted Jul 5, 20 9:06 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Small Colonial Marking Mystery

     Yeh.  IV == June.  I and J were sort of the same letter and U and V were sort of the same letter.  Some kind of Roman thing.  U and V parsable as vowel vs consonent.  I suppose likewise I and J.
     Those markings are very strange.  The ones in England had a line across the middle, between Month and Day -- presumably two parts: 31 day dates and 12 months fro a total of 43.  (If the days were broken down, the number of day pieces would go down to 13 (+12).  If entirely individual numerals as loose type, the same total  of 25.  Or thereabouts.)
     If the American versions were really one piece, there would need to be 366, which would seem to be an excessive cost and nuisance.  Well, except that one didn't have to spend a minute or two resetting for each (outgoing) post day.  Plus time to get the ink off your fingers.  And that tenacious printing ink is hard to clean.  It adds up.
     Incidentally, Salem had a non standard set in the 1780s and some had sort of flourishes.  Fancy dater.
     I wonder if a sign that BF was coming up in the world was when he no longer went to bed with blackened fingers.

Posted Jul 5, 20 8:17 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

John Hancock Cover

I've had questions on the date of this cover. In those days, IV was the same as our current JU...for June. I've had several folks who collect colonial era material tell me this. The date is further confirmed by the docketing shown here, which indicates the contents were a Resolve of Congress dated June 22, 1776.


Posted Jul 4, 20 22:01 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Leonard's Cover

Richmond to Montpelier is around 650 miles, so a double is 50 cents.  This is the correct charge -- what went wrong.  (The time to Rutland of 2 weeks may not be too bad, especially in winter.).  At Rutland it was marked Missent and Forwarded.  Although this terminology was occasionally misused at POs, I believe it is correct in this case and the letter should have gone to Montpelier (another possibility was that it was forwarded to Tichenor's home in Bennington -- less likely, I suppose).  The notation would indicate no additional charge beyond the original 50 cents.  I entertained the notion that the Rutland PO did attempt to add the charges for Rutland to Montpelier, and, in a fit of dementia, subtracted them instead.  The distance is wrong for a double 8.  The only thing I can figure relates to the ambiguity of the R'D.  The letter was probably rebagged at some point.  Say Boston.  I don't have the route distance but it (Boston to Montpelier) may well have fallen in the 200+ zone.  Thus 17 times 2.  A very bizarre error -- perhaps someone can come up with an alternate, but the guy at Rutland almost surely thought he was rating for a 200-250 distance.
PS -- It is a strange coincidence that this went from RichmonD to RutlanD (why the extra t in Rutt?).
What I was saying  above is that the Rutland staff mistook the rebagging location as the origin.  Around 1800 one sometimes sees mail from elsewhere,e.g. Salem, actually postmarked at Boston on its way to destination.  A very unusual and evanescent practice.

Posted Jul 4, 20 20:44 by Bill Longley (longley)

Leonard's Cover

Happy 4th of July to my US friends.

Regarding Leonard's cover. It appears to be "Missent and Forwarded" at top left, then a name or location 14 Jany 99 deducting 16c for a total of 34c.

Is it possible that the cover was properly rated 25c x 2 to Vermont but missent to Washington, DC (approximately 100 miles). Perhaps they thought the Governor of Vermont was in Washington at the time. If so, then perhaps the postmaster deducted the 8c x2 = 16c for the double rate from Richmond to Washington, leaving the balance due, an amount less than the full rate. Also, the date of Jan 14 could indicate some delay in handling the mail, and having it properly sent. Perhaps they reduced the postage so as not to anger an important individual.


Posted Jul 4, 20 19:53 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Private carriage of mail

The regulation about private carriage of mail can be found in the Proceedings of the Second Congress, Session I, 1792, An Act to Establish the Post Office and Post Roads within the United States, Chapter VII, Sec. 14:

"And be it further enacted, That if any person, other than the Postmaster General, or his deputies, or persons by them employed, shall take up, receive, order, dispatch, convey, carry or deliver any letter or letters, packet or packets, other than newspapers, for hire or reward, or shall be concerned in setting up, any foot or horse post, wagon or other carriage, by or which any letter or packet shall be carried for hire, on any established post-road, or any packet, or other vessel or boat, or any conveyance whatever, whereby the revenue of the general post-office may be injured, every person, so offending, shall forfeit, for every such offense, the sum of two hundred dollars. Provided, That it shall and may be lawful for every person to send letters or packets by special messenger."

It's also in the First Congess proceedings; I don't have a copy of that. The law was in effect at least through the 19th Century.

The key was that a letter carried by favor had to be carried without compensation, and on a non-scheduled basis.

The fine of $200 inflated to 2020 is more than $6,650. Not to be trifled with!

Posted Jul 4, 20 19:11 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Rally Round the Flag

From Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, May 1864.

Letter is on the other side of the sheet.


Posted Jul 4, 20 19:05 by George Tyson (gtyson)

3 cent prepaid

Just to emphasize a point that I think Bernard already made in passing: The POD didn't require payment of US postage on letters that were carried on a one-off (or perhaps occasional) basis by individuals who weren't part of a commercial enterprise that carried mail. There was a specific stipulation that these "private" carriers couldn't charge a fee or otherwise profit.

Posted Jul 4, 20 14:18 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

Happy Birthday USA

One of my favorite covers, free franked by John Hancock June 22, 1776 at Philadelphia, just days before he signed the Declaration of Independence.


Posted Jul 4, 20 13:35 by Richard Matta (rkmatta)

Pandemic cover

This one supposedly had the corners cut off so it could be fumigated during the 1900 plague epidemic in Hawaii.


Posted Jul 4, 20 12:14 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

Our History

Being the 4th of July and in a Pandemic this cover came to mind.

I have never come up with a good interpretation of the rate !!!

A one page complete folded letter that evidently had a one page enclosure.
The enclosure being the Virginia Resolution relating to The Alien and Sedition Acts.,
a one page printed document. Unfortunately i do not have the original enclosure but
copies are available and i can post if wanted.



Posted Jul 4, 20 11:19 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

3c uncancelled

I suppose there is a #5 -- the sender misunderstood the monopoly and thought it extended to private carriage. 

Posted Jul 4, 20 10:49 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Happy Independence Day!

Stay safe (i.e., from fireworks)!


Posted Jul 4, 20 4:38 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Melvin Getlan

About three months ago Curt McCoy reported on this board that Mel has died. My search yielded this.

Daniel F. Kelleher auctions has been selling his collections in a series of MLG sales. My America Philatelist article last August about first day covers of the 1913 Parcel Post stamps was in part based on Kelleher's sale of Mel's PP covers. He had sent me provenance information on them before the sale, but he was ailing.

Mel showed me a cover with a Parkhurst coil at Pacific 97, first one I ever saw.

Posted Jul 4, 20 1:07 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Melvin Getlan

I believe someone posted that on this Board a while back. I looked into it on the internet and found that the late Mr. Getlan is Marvin Getlan of Boca Raton, some years older than Melvin, a brother perhaps. As far as I know, Melvin is still with us.

Posted Jul 3, 20 22:24 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

R: 3c prepaid

RF, Number 4 also makes sense. I assume a drug retailer with such nice advertising envelopes and probably a good number of clients to communicate with via mail was familiar with mail regulations and knew what they were doing.
It's just amazing how this cover and the stamp managed to retain this pristine condition after all these years!
Who could imagine that some people would meet in a message board on the internet -wait! inter what?!!- to discuss why the stamp they affixed over 160 years ago on one of their envelopes was not cancelled?! This is The Beauty of Postal History:-)

Posted Jul 3, 20 22:03 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

3c Prepaid

#4 could well be. Incidentally, the distance is about 80 miles.

Posted Jul 3, 20 21:22 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Melvin Getlan

I understand that Mel passed away a number of months ago. I was wondering if his material was going to auction and with which company. I know he had a very large collection of private perfs and a few items with Parkhurst vending machine marks. I am searching for an example of a coil vended by the Parkhurst vending machine for my exhibit.

Posted Jul 3, 20 20:59 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

3c prepaid

M - Actually, I think most likely is possibility #4:

The sender put a stamp on it in case the private individual carrying the letter decided to put it in the mail somewhere enroute, or at destination post office. The stamp allowed for all possible eventualities.

Very unusual for a private individual to have worried about Uncle Sam enforcing the regulation about prepayment or equivalent postage.

Posted Jul 3, 20 20:40 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Re: Uncancelled three cent

B. Biales. It all makes sense. Thanks a lot.

Posted Jul 3, 20 19:48 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Uncancelled three cent.

What Richard said is true.  I would like to back off and examine all the possibilities.
1) Incorrect payment of monopoly charge, as per RCF
2) Stamp added
3) Stamp pointless
I discard 2 arbitrarily.  3) goes as follows.  The stamp was put on and then an opportunity arose to send it by courtesy of Mr. Matheson at no charge.  In such case, the monopoly did not apply.  In favor of this interpretation is the phrasing of the notation, which sounds more like a private rather than express notation.  Also, and by no means definitive, is the absence of any express marking, including no rate.  It was not worth the trouble to soak the stamp off (perhaps time was short when the offer of private carriage came up).  Note however, three cents about a dollar in todays money.  (Why didn't the recipient soak it off and use it?  Such Proglifacy!
I kinda lean toward 3) but, vs 1) this is almost a matter of taste.

Posted Jul 3, 20 19:23 by Paul Dessau (paulorgantech)

Private Carriage

Was US postage required if the private carrier carried it for free, as was common in the Confederate States?

Posted Jul 3, 20 15:09 by Alexander Haimann (bastamps)

Research help needed - GB Patent Revenue Usage

Hello All,

I am looking for information on the patent revenue fee rates for the 1870s in Great Britain. I am trying to determine if an 1874 published patent application/"specifications" pamphlet which has GB patent stamps applied to its cover are supposed to be there and if the fee they pay makes sense.

If you have a Barefoot GB Revenue Catalogue or any other reference - please reach out. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Email: [email protected]

Thanks, Alex

P.S. I do appreciate how funny it may appear on the eve of our country's birthday, I am knee-deep in British revenue rates ;-)


Posted Jul 3, 20 14:19 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Re: Private Carriage

RF, Muchas Gracias!

Posted Jul 3, 20 13:58 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Private Carriage

M -  Privately carried mail was supposed to be prepaid an amount equal to the postage if sent by government mail. That is the reason for postal stationery use by expresses, and other private mail carriers like steamboats, that did not enter the mail or that was carried privately before entering the mail. Stamps served the same purpose but the law specified that postal stationery was to be used.

Posted Jul 3, 20 12:41 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

No 26 on ad cover

Had this been carried privately, why wasting the postage? Chateaugay is about 80 miles far from Ogdensburg. Any thoughts why the stamp went uncancelled or why dues were not applied if the stamp was not recognized back then?


Posted Jul 3, 20 5:04 by Julian Jones (jonesjh99)


When I was a student I worked one vacation in a Brewery in Bristol (England). At that time they still delivered barrels of beer by horsedrawn carts within the city. The men (no women then) unloading the barrels at the pubs were also known as draymen.

Posted Jul 2, 20 20:15 by David Snow (dwsnow)

19th Century transportation

In my adding Cover ID 28722 to the PhilaMercury database, I noticed that the 1859 contents referred to various RR freight charges, including "Drayage".

Not knowing what that term meant, I checked it out - see attached image of a 19th Century dray at a railroad car. Source: Steam Museum in Swindon, UK. The term drayage originally meant "to transport by a sideless cart" or dray.


Posted Jul 2, 20 14:12 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Joke of the Day

Mark Rogers, I highly doubt this was done by a professional. The script and the monogram were copied from the cover in lot 11, Siegel sale 1126. Even the 5c stamp looks fake.

Posted Jul 2, 20 13:47 by Mark Rogers (markrogers)

Joke of the Day

Is this one typical of Peter Winter, or would the source be someone else, I wonder?
There is a monogram on the front of the cover.

Posted Jul 2, 20 13:00 by Mohamed Nasr (mohamed_nasr)

Franklin, 1c

Ron C., Definitely! It is sound :-)

Posted Jul 2, 20 11:42 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

One Cent Pair


Mark nailed the plating.......suggest you get a PF for it. Is it sound?

Page:1 2 3 4 5