Details For Cover ID# 21444

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Cover Type: USA outbound stampless
Entered by: dwsnow
Added on:Nov 19, 13
Edited on:Sep 9, 21
Postmark: May 2, 1867
Origin: Gardiner, Maine, UNITED STATES
Destination: Paris, FRANCE

"Gardiner Me. May 2 (1867) circular datestamp on unpaid cover to "World's Exposition, Paris, France" which passed through the Boston exchange office on May 3, where a 3 cents debit to France (for U.S. inland postage) was entered, per the black "3" in the Boston postmark. It then traveled in a closed bag to New York, where it was taken onboard the Ligne H steamer "Pereire" which postmarked the cover on May 4 (red Ligne H postmark) and departed that day. It arrived in Brest, France on May 14.
Finally it traveled on the Paris-Brest railway, via Le Mans and Rennes. This railway is 622 kilometers long, and its final stretch was opened in 1865.

Commencing in June 1865, the French Line H steamers called at Brest on each voyage to and from Harve. These port calls allowed late mails from Paris on the westward voyages, and an early landing of the eastbound mails, as in the case of this cover. The Brest port calls began soon after a railway service was established from Brest to Paris.

Received at the Paris Exposition Post Office on May 15, one day travel from Brest to Paris, as evidenced by two clear strikes of the appropriate backstamp "Exposition Universelle Postes 15 Mai 67", but with different delivery times. The Exposition postmarks are timed - the little number in the upper left refers to the collection of the day. Each day was divided into seven "levees".

"8" decimes handstamped marking (Winter, Vol. 2, Appendix II, p 1021) applied in France; here is breakdown of charges: French inland of 16 centimes, French packet of 48 centimes, and U.S. inland of 16 centimes = 8 decimes. The ms. "15" cents rate marking applied in U.S.: French inland of 3 cents, French packet of 9 cents, and U.S. inland of 3 cents = 15 cents. 1867 docketing.

The recipient, Nathaniel Chadwick, could not be found, as evidenced by the manuscript notation in French on the reverse. Difficult to decipher, it says something to the effect of "absent will represent at the 4th ____ of American Centre (?).  In other words they probably looked for the recipient at the American Central Exposition. The word "Centre" might also be "Londres". If it was sent to "Londres" (London), forwarding postage would have been required, unless sent outside the mails.

The little circular marks "EU7" and "EU4" are postman's devices, probably an abbreviation for "Exposition Universelle". One was probably used inbound, and the other when they couldn't find the addressee. These little "cachets de facteur" are not dated or timed; each number is probably assigned to a particular postman.

With original letter datelined "Gardiner May 2, 1867". A most interesting letter from Edmund Chadwick, the brother of the addressee, warning him of a most unwelcome, sinister visitor who is enroute from the U.S. to the Paris Exposition looking for him, and due to arrive about the same time that this letter will reach him. Warns him to beware.

The International Exposition of 1867 held in Paris, called "Exposition Universelle (d'art et d'industrie) de 1867" in French, was the greatest up to its time of all international expositions, both with respect to its extent and scope of its plan. Brief current article:

Routing, rate information, and French translation courtesy of Steve Walske. See also "North Atlantic Mail Sailings 1840-75" by Walter Hubbard and Richard F. Winter, and "Understanding Transatlantic Mail", Volumes 1 and 2, by Richard F. Winter.

Owner's ID: 305
Certificate? No
For Sale? No
Stampless? Yes