APS Chapter

Ctrl-D to bookmark


Join us!
A to Z
Chat Archives
10 Commandments

Stamp Chat

A to Z


The winner of the letter A was Bill C with the A's for Alemagne on Colombia SCADTA stamps.
Posted by claghorn1p   ( 408 ) on Dec-24-06 at 12:23:29 PST
ABC Show Infla-Alec

Here is some information about your beloved Germany whose name starts with the letter A at least in Spanish.

Here are some SCADTA stamps overprinted by handstamp to indicate that they were to be used in Germany. The handstamps are particularly uncommon.

Here are the machine overprints mint and here are some used and to make it complete is the three peso sheet for use in Germany.

SCADTA was a German air company providing contract air mail service within Colombia. There was a need to allow foreign incoming mail to use the internal SCADTA service so stamps were provided to overseas customers to pre-pay for this service. The stamps of the foreign country provided carriage overseas to Colombia and the SCADTA stamps provided air mail service within Colombia. Here is an example of a cover from Germany showing this usage.

Forgery Identification Site

The German Michel catalog lists all the overprints and varieties. Different overprints were needed for each country as exchange rates for foreign countries varied and the country overprints were used to keep the speculators away.

The winner of B was Jim L with the Indiana posts beginning with B.
Posted by jim_lawler   ( 1069 ) on Oct-23-06 at 03:10:58 PDT

and an Indiana "Good Morning"
to you all

As I’ve heard no suggestion one of the “B” cancels from the Kokomo Stamp Club’s Mailers Postmark Permit I’ll re-post the hand colored butterfly as representative of the batch of them that won the “B” week.
Card 21-5.

Jim L.

Posted by kchrist499   ( 1073on Oct-15-06 at 09:18:21 PDT
I finally found the Chili stamp with the seven (eight?) "C"s.
If I did the HTML right, it should be here.
The winner of D was Richard W with Burma stamp.
Posted by sayasan   ( 484 ) on Oct-08-06 at 05:05:21 PDT  
OK. Before I announce the winner of the "E's", here's my own belated contribution. Another E for elephant - these are modern Burma cinderellas created by the late Gerald Davis (doyen of Burma collectors, among much else), which are themselves parodies of a rather elusive 19th century "classic" bogus production for Burma. They were created as a shot across the bows to Norman (L N) Williams, the cinderella supremo (among much else), who in his later years had developed a sniffy hierarchical attitude about "classic" versus "modern" cinderellas, of which he disapproved. Gerald felt that one cinderella was as good as another, by definition.

From left to right - elephant facing left; elephant facing right; back view of elephant.

I don't think L N was amused.

Right, the "E's". You haven't made this easy at all. So many good things. But in a purely subjective, irrational kind of way, I particularly liked, and would want to mention, the following:

Knuden's unique error wrappers
Deh3's remarkable “Escaped” cover
Rclwa's spectacular US perf error & Haiti inverted centre
Claghorn's piratical Epirus cover
Lavart's fine wreck mail from the Eider
Sheryll's amazing Ethiopian errors (whoever owns them ...)
Jaywild's sheer quantity of Expo's.

For a long period, my front runner was horadam's extremely beautiful Tati Concessions revenue elephants, but at the very last moment, lluehhhb has come from nowhere and has burst through the finishing tape with the Chilean earthquake semi-postals on cover, which I declare the winner, simply because I warmly approve of serious modern postal history. Covers like these are the rareties of the future ...

Thanks, everyone. Over to alec.

Richard W.

Posted by lluehhhb   ( 209 ) on Oct-07-06 at 23:09:33 PDT  
Finally I got some time to post something; my "E" entry is for Earthquakes.

In May 22, 1960, the strongest earthquake (9.3 in Richter scale) was registered in southern Chile.
The Spanish government printed and gave as a gift to the Chilean people a set of 4 semipostal stamps. The surtax was to aid the earthquake victims. The set was issued in April 29, 1961. Unfortunately, the initial sales were pretty low, so in November 17, 1962 the government authorized the use of the stamps including the surtax amount as valid postage (a 0.10 + 0.10 stamp could be used as a 0.20 stamp).

Until last week, I had found only 3 covers used in the first period, but all were incorrectly franked, taking the surtax amount as part of the postage, here are two of these. Now, for the first time in years I was able to find in eBay a pair of postcards with a correct usage (God bless ebay and the seller!).

Here and here are usages of the four stamps in the second period, all paying the 0.42 UPU letter rate to Europe.

25 years later, in March 3, 1985, another big earthquake was suffered. This time, the government decided to issue a $5 charity stamp, first day of use was April 9, 1985 and was valid for only 3 months!
As could be expected, covers using this stamp are rare. Here are two covers, one domestic and other to Germany. I know only one more cover in a friend's collection.

These are subjects of a collection of Chilean surtaxes I've been building from some time ago.
Posted by lluehhhb   ( 210 ) on Oct-15-06 at 09:15:48 PDT
Hi all,

After reading all the F messages, I declare the winner the Feldpost emergency covers posted by taodave on Oct-11-06 at 05:17:26

Thank you all and let's go into G's
Posted by taodave   ( 134 ) on Oct-11-06 at 05:17:26 PDT
F is for Fieldpost

These two fieldposts to members of the forces defending German East Africa during World War I are examples of "adversity mail" akin to the Confederate wallpaper covers of the American Civil War. A severe shortage of paper caused by the British naval blockade resulted in the use of just about any scrap that happened to be at hand for envelopes and wrappers.

The first example is a wrapper made from a page of a prewar photogravure section of the "Usambara Post," a weekly newspaper published in Tanga. It was mailed in August 1915 from Tanga to an army doctor stationed in Neu Moschi. The page, incidentally, illustrates scenes from the Mexican Revolution:


The second example is a wrapper made from a page of a court or prison ledger, mailed in May 1916 from Morogoro to the army storage depot at Mkalamo/Mombo:


Posted by taodave   ( 134 ) on Oct-22-06 at 15:35:01 PDT

Oh boy, was this ever difficult! In reviewing my notes, I counted 46 entries. Some contributors, like Jim Lawler and Iomoon, favored us with a number of interesting G's, while others contributed only one.

Those who remember my own entries for previous letters will recall that I am a sucker for exotic postal history--- so those who posted covers rather than naked stamps were at some advantage in this week's competition. That said, I really enjoyed seeing Paolo's lithographed pastel 1926 Greek airmails ( they were favorites of my youth). Iomoon's Gambier Islands entry also attracted me, not least because Lord Gambier was one of the British aristocrats who contributed money for the founding of my alma mater, which is located in an Ohio village bearing his name.

Lavar slyly entered German colony covers, knowing my weakness for GEA material. I really liked sayasan's Japanese military mail from occupied Burma, knuden's German fieldpost from his Sudetenland web exhibit and deh 3's example of relatively modern postal history--- a registered AR cover from Cayenne, French Guiana to metropolitan France. And there were many other fascinating entries.

This week's winner posted exotic covers from Nepal (Gorkha to Katmandu, 1907) and Iraq (a Ghuchan Iraq Railway cover).

Congratulations, Rainer (22028), on winning this week's prize.

Posted by 22028   ( 1500 ) on Oct-22-06 at 20:57:05 PDT
Cover from Gorkha to Kathmandu, franked with 1 Anna, cancelled with Killer postmark Gorkha (Type C80), in addition, the negative handdated postmark Gorkha (Type N25) dated (BS) 64.5.23 (AD) 09.09.1907) and the (Arrival)-Date stamp from Kathmandu (Type D79) dated (BS) 64.05.26 (AD) 12.09.1907.

Ghuchan (Kojan) maybe also spelled Qochan, Iraq

Posted by 22028   ( 1503 ) on Oct-29-06 at 00:34:07 PDT
As announced earlier, I have now finalized the evaluation of the H related messages from the past week and my report is as follows:

If I have counted correctly, a total of 47 entries were made. With regret I had to disqualify the entry of sheryll*net, alias S2 posted on 27. October at 01:46:02 due to the reason that I have been able to download the image.

There are several posters who have submitted a large number of entries…, top posters were:
iomoon, 12 entries
jim_lawler, 10 entries
rclwa, 6 entries

Evaluating the entries was a tough task; however I enjoyed looking thru the entries. The quantity of postings made by the individual members did not have influenced my decision…

Several items would have deserved it, just to mention infla-alecs Hamburg Strassenbahn cover, the beautiful Denmark cover from knuden. My secretary likes especially the contribution of mini*lindy, showing us a beautiful GB Hand drawn illustrated envelope.

But I have to make my decision and award this weeks H award to malolo for his wonderful display of Swiss Razor cancel items, related to HERISAU.

Posted by malolo   ( 823 ) on Oct-29-06 at 20:47:47 PST
Here’s a clean example of a free soldiers card from Herisau, which was a large military school to the kaserne in Chur. Note the “militaire” written under the top corner cancel. Posted 10 am, received Chur 4pm!

Another in Italian “Servizio Militare” from Bellinzona to the Capitol Building in Bern, then forwarded to Herisau.

Letter H is for Helsingfors, Finland. Bottom cover on This page. 25 centimes rate using 11 stamps!

Havana!, Cuba next destination for a deCoppet cancel. I’ll quote myself:
”On 11 April 1903, the day this wrapper was posted, Frederick deCoppet was sent a contract by the Swiss PTT to provide cancelers for all First Class Post Offices. He signed and returned the contract the next day, April 12, 1903.” Thus ended the official experiment of razor canceler usage, ever use after was due to the strength of construction and, “why throw a good thing away?”

Hotel Schweizerhof I now have a number of examples of this cancel. At some point I’ll show the different cancels used by the Hotel to mark the letters and cards leaving the premises. As we put things together it is becoming more certain that deCoppet designed this cancel and we know Güller made it. I now have two examples of the lower right cancel, though the Bern proves to be elusive. I haven’t a clue how many are known of either cancel. My examples were used on 2 and 3 Oct, 1889.

Posted by malolo   ( 823 ) on Nov-05-06 at 06:29:11 PST
Letter “I”

Rainer - complex Iranian Lions Stamps

Io -
Ghana stamp of IO, but consideration of his name and influence on the Board.?

Bob in WA -
Imperfs of 12 Canada Bridge

Knuden -
Island sets of stamps - beauties
Island postal history many covers and cards

David B -
Fiji covers fiji.jpg

deh3 -
An interesting military insured cover. 70 1/2 cents!

Hungary Jim for Ice Skating. nice stamps.

lluehhhb  "Incineration". and the political uses of stamps.

But since I’m a real sucker for a postal history stories, the winner is taodave for contributing two very interesting East African stories.

I is for "Inderbrief" (Indian letter).

Much of the commerce in German East Africa was carried on by Indian merchants, predominantly Gujerati. Their surviving wartime mail can be rather interesting.

This cover was sent in June 1916 from Bagamojo to an Indian merchant in Dar-es-Salaam:


This cover was sent to the same merchant, using a preprinted address, in March 1916. The oval CDS indicates that it travelled via the Central Railroad:


Note that neither cover bears a stamp, but instead an official-looking seal. One of the measures taken when a shortage of stamps developed because of the British blockade was to "pre-pay" envelopes. The Director-General of Posts in Morogoro decreed in January 1916 that envelopes in units of ten could be sent to his office to be pre-franked at 7 1/2 heller (the domestic rate). Later, the postmasters at Dar-es-Salaam and Tanga were authorized to pre-frank envelopes. The first cover was pre-franked at the Dar-es-Salaam postoffice, the second at Morogoro.

My last Inderbrief was intended to be sent on the British cruiser HMS Pegasus from Zanzibar to Dar-es-Salaam. During its early days, the conflict in GEA was a "gentleman's war," to the extent that the British agreed to transport a limited amount of mail out of and into blockaded Dar-es-Salaam. This cover contains four letters written in Gujerati on 19 Sep 1914 to Indian merchants in Bagamoyo, advising them to leave GEA on the next available dhow. Although it had already been passed by the censor (faint triangular handstamp) and stamped with a circled T indicating postage due to be collected from the addressee, it never left Zanzibar. The very next day, the German cruiser SMS Koenigsberg sailed into Zanzibar harbor and sank HMS Pegasus, putting an end to this arrangement:


I is for "Internment Camp Mail."

Shortly after the outbreak of War in August 1914, Allied civilians living in GEA (most of them missionaries) were interned by the Germans in six camps: Tabora, Wilhelmsthal, Mahenge, Kilimatinde, Kiboriani and Buigiri. No covers have been reported from the first two camps, a total of but 20 from the other four. In July 1916, England and Germany agreed to repatriate the internees.

This is a letter sent on December 27, 1915 from the internment camp at Kilimatinde to the missionary Miss Scott in the camp at Kiboriani. The camp censor used the official seal of the Native Tribunal; it is overwritten "gesehen" to indicate that the contents had been examined:


Here is the rather ratty front of a pre-paid envelope (see yesterday's Inderbrief entry for an explanation) mailed in July 1916 by an internee in the camp at Mahenge to an internee in the Tabora camp. The German censor's seal is that of the commanding officer of the Schutztruppe in Mahenge and Songea. This is the discovery copy of mail from the Mahenge camp:


Congratulations to all who entered this week. It becoming more difficult to judge. So future judges will have to really pay attention! LOL

Posted by taodave   ( 134 ) on Nov-12-06 at 13:49:50 PST
OK, ladies and gentlemen--- here are my thoughts on the contributions for the letter "J."

There were 26 entries, all of them worthy of consideration. I downloaded and segregated the entries by day submitted, and have enjoyed reviewing them this afternoon.

November 5: Many excellent submissions. I especially liked iomoon's and jwild's Jersey under German occupation items, infla-alec's Judenpost trial sheet and DHandelman's (I think--- my notes are pretty illegible) earliest known AR cover from anywhere to the U.S. A pretty ratty cover (as are many of mine), but with a lot of character.

November 6. An incredibly well-preserved and handsome 1860 French cover, with an imperf Napoleon and a Bureau J CDS, submitted by mage caught my eye.

November 7. Speaking of gorge-ous ( bad pun), how about iomoon's 4-stamp Chinese strip depicting the Jingbo chasm?

November 8. Several enticing entries on this date. I learned about UK Jubilee Lines from sheryll*net. I also liked iomoon's Japanese MSDF cover from the Fuji icebreaker, dcderoo's Japanese Antarctic Expedition cover and his accompanying story of the dinner the Japanese cooked for him down below, and jimlawler's Kokomo cancellations with Jack or Jenny mules kicking up their heels. One of them is a pretty good replica of the famous Kicking Mule cancel from Port Townsend WA (but also used in Neah Bay and two California towns). I've long been interested in this cancel, and in fact have exhibited a one-framer about Kicking Mules on U.S. Departmental stamps.

November 9. Wow---sayasan's Japanese occupation of Burma covers! I especially liked the enticingly ratty 1945 cover with the Moulmein mark. Looks like they had a paper shortage there also.

November 10. Rclwa's discourse on the various printings of the Chinese Junk definitives impressed me.

November 11. one entry only on this date--- a teeny Chinese Junk cover from due2cents.

And the winner this week? By now, chatboard members should realize that I'm attracted by postal history, especially covers with a lot of "character." (This often means that they're pretty ratty). My two semi-finalists were DHandelman and sayasan. The destination of DHandelman's 1883 cover to a prisoner at Fort Leavenworth tipped the balance in his/her favor. Could he/she have known that I collect U.S. fort covers from this period?

Congratulations, DHandelman! You are this week's champion. But do not despair, sayasan. It looks like you are already a strong contender for "K."

Posted by deh3   ( 1253 ) on Nov-12-06 at 14:34:06 PST
Actually (this is sort of embarrassing), my intended entry for J was the 1859 cover to the Toronto Jail (gaol, at the time), and the Escaped cover (escaped from Jail, that is, in this case Leavenworth) had been my entry for E, that I recycled for J, as another jail cover. Do I still win? Regardless of whether I do, I appreciate the honour, if only temporary.

Here is the Escaped cover (the explanation is included in the image), and here is Jail. The latter was an 1859 drop letter from the Upper Canada Dept of Education to Governor of the Gaol in Toronto, in the year in which Canada switched from LSD to decimal currency; the rate mark is one-half penny, unusually clear for Toronto.

David Handelman
Posted by deh3   ( 1256 ) on Nov-19-06 at 07:43:39 PST
OK. Finally, the winning entry for K.
My (highly subjective) criteria were interest, significance, and exposition (not necessarily in that order). For multiple entries, I took the best of the items, unless they were very closely linked to each other.

Short list (in no particular order)

lavart: for 1898 German postal card from Kiautschou hand drawn picture of the German fortifications there.

taodave: for commercial 1917 letter from Kionga

knuden: for Kriegsgefangen (Prisoner of war), WWI Denmark to POW in Germany knuden

22028: for the Khukris stamps

sayasan: for Karen insurgent area cover,

Paperhistory: Kellogg's city despatch cover

honourable mention:

jim_lawler: for all the Kokomo precancels (they reminded me of the train announcer on the Jack Benny show ...)

And the winner is ... lavarT!

Congratulations to the everyone who participated.
David H
Posted by lavart   ( 1311 ) on Nov-17-06 at 23:14:17 PST
K is for Keijo, Korea, from the German Konsulat to Farm Atok, Akonolinga, Kamerun. This is a registered cover mailed from Keijo (Seoul), Korea to Farm Atok, Akonolinga, Kamerun on May 2, 1913. The reverse, which can be seen here , has a wafer seal from the German Consulate for Korea. While there is a Korean transit marking dated May 3, there are no further transit or receiving marks. I don't know whether this means that the cover was removed from the normal postal system (perhaps to be carried via pouch), or whether the absence of additional transit markings is just an aberration. This is one of the best incoming covers to Kamerun I have.

K is also for Kiautschou. Here is a German postal card sent by a member of the crew of the SMS Gefion while the ship was stationed at Kiautschou in July of 1898. What makes this card truly spectacular is the reverse , which has an extremely detailed hand drawn picture of the German fortifications at Kiautschou.

Here is a card sent from Kiautschou on Nov. 23, 1901 to Bucharest, Romania, a very unusual destination.

Here is an incoming card to Kiautschou, sent from Johannesburg, Transvaal, in April of 1902, shortly after Transvaal was occupied by the British. The card, which has a press censor handstamp, has a nice Singapore to Hong Kong Marine Sorter marking and Colombo transit. In Kiautschou, the card was forwarded to Wilhelmshaven, Germany, received there June 11.

Here is the message half of a Kiautschou message-reply card mailed back to Kiautschou from Hong Kong on May 8, 1904. There is a full message on the reverse.

Here is a cover sent from Kiautschou on Feb. 27, 1899 to Guatemala. As can be seen on the reverse , the cover was sent by the Kiautschou government and traveled via San Francisco and New Orleans to its destination.

Here is a card franked with a Kiautschou stamp which was used outside of the political boundaries of Kiautschou. In 1901 and 1902, due to a shortage of German stamps in the German PO's China, stamps of Kiautschou were used in a few German PO's in China. Most of these stamps were used in Peking. A few were used elsewhere, like this usage in Tientsin. Covers with these usages are very difficult to find.

Here is an incoming postal card sent from the Philippines to Kiautschau in 1904.

Here is an incoming postal card sent from the Canary Islands to Kiautschou in June, 1902.

Posted by lavart   ( 1313 ) on Nov-26-06 at 10:14:15 PST
Thanks to everyone who posted for the letter "L". There were lots of very nice items. Both antonius ra and rclwa featured my favorite US stamp, the 90 cent Lincoln. taodave featured some excellent GEA material. sayasan posted an intriguing Burma cover. stamps12345 had some beautiful diamond amd triangle stamps from the Baltic area. Plus there was lots more, including Luxembourg, Labuan, some really nice volcanoes, etc., etc. I really enjoyed judging this week's show and tell.

The letter "L" award goes to bwiphilately for the nice Leeward Islands error. Congratulations! Your prize, if you choose to accept it, is to judge the "M" show and tell.

Posted by bwiphilately   ( 331 ) on Nov-24-06 at 14:15:18 PST
L is for Leeward Islands. The 1 penny stamp of the first Queen Victoria set issued in 1890 has an interesting error. During printing, one of the panes shifted, and as a result, the country name and denomination were offset to the right. The shift was evidently at an angle because the amount of offset varies from large in which the 'S' in ISLANDS appears at the top left of the adjacent stamp (as can be seen in this example), to not very noticeable. I have been told that 26 copies have been recorded, including one on cover. This variety is not listed in Scott or Gibbons, but appears in the Bridger & Kay Five Reigns catalogue.
Posted by bwiphilately   ( 331 ) on Dec-03-06 at 05:31:30 PST
Thanks to all who participated in this week's "M" show and tell. Quite a variety of material was displayed. I found jaywild's machine cancels, infla_alec's and knuden's inflation covers, taodave's German East Africa and Mayotte covers, vonbag's misperfs, 22028's Medellin bisect cover, and knuden's Sudetnland material to be particularly interesting as well as iomoon's volcanos (btw, my niece loves your volcano site), bjorn's mushrooms of Norway, and jim_lawler's Kokomo fancy cancels.

This week's award goes to taodave for his Macequece and Musoma covers. In keeping with tradition, your prize (and I hope you will accept), is to judge the "N" show and tell.
Posted by taodave   ( 135 ) on Dec-03-06 at 10:50:40 PST
M is for Macequece

Another example of mail from Germans interned in East African camps during WW I, this time a 1917 Mozambique Company postal card from the camp at Macequece, Portuguese East Africa, addressed to a repatriated campmate in Hamburg.

The address side bears a hexagonal Macequece postmark, partly covered by a Geneva transit postmark. There are also handstamps applied by the Lourenço Marques provincial Red Cross, the Portuguese censor in Beira and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, as well as an Exempt (from postage) etiquette:


The message is written in English, undoubtedly for the benefit of the censor:


M is for Musoma.

Musoma was a German East African village on the southern shore of Lake Victoria.

Several years ago, I put together a "GEA Cancellations" exhibit centering on covers bearing the cancellations of the various postal stations in the Protectorate. I soon withdrew it from competition because I was acutely aware (although the judges may not have been) that I lacked a cover from Musoma.

Although the village of Kisaki, an army outpost in the middle of nowhere which had a postal station for less than a year in the 1890s, is generally considered the rarest GEA cancel, the late Wolfgang Wenten maintained that Musoma, despite being in operation for almost three years 1913-1916, was more difficult to obtain. I found that to be true. Kisaki covers occasionally surfaced in German auction catalogues over a several year period, but not a single Musoma until 2005, when I was able to obtain a cover with a rather poor strike ( like most Musoma cancels). Another 2005 German auction offered a cover with much more character, and which had the additional advantage of also being suitable for my War and Occupation exhibit. Unfortunately, I was underbidder in that auction. But in March 2006, the item was offered in an American auction, and I was able to obtain it for about the same as my underbid the previous year.

The cover is a July 29, 1914 registered letter from Musoma to London:


.Most GEA mail to Europe was routed through Dar-es-Salaam, but settlers in the northern reaches of the Protectorate found it faster to send their mail by Lake Victoria steamer to Kisumu, British East Africa, which was connected by railroad to the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. As the reverse shows, the boat carrying this letter docked at Kisumu on August 4, 1914--- the day Britain declared war on Germany. Nevertheless, the cover continued to Mombasa (August 7) and on to London, where it was censored, officially sealed with red wax, and put in the Returned Letter Section on September 18, probably for the duration of the war:


This is probably one of the last pieces of pre-war mail to have left German East Africa.


Posted by taodave   ( 135 ) on Dec-10-06 at 07:50:42 PST

I encountered and downloaded over 40 entries for the letter N, in the process enlarging my knowledge of history, geography and philately. There were many strong entries, among them Rainer's classic Nepal, Sheryll's New Hebrides pages, Richard W's Mr. Naigamwalla saga, David's Norway AR entry, bjornmu's Norway entries,Lavar's German colonies material, and of course Bob in WA's nudes. And, philatelic or not, Paul's Niger Coast bisect cover was very pretty.

I realize that many Board participants share Soggy's view that stamps, not postal history, are what stamp-collecting is all about. For that reason I was sorely tempted to give this week's award to Bob for his nudes--- it's remarkable what one can find on those little pieces of paper when their image is enlarged. I am sure that a number of fellow lechs on the board anxiously await his "S" entry!

However, IMO, pride of place for the "N" week belongs to the lovely Sheryll, for her great New Hebrides webpage:


which has Something for Everyone! It looks to me like she's heading for Gold in a U. S. national show.

Congratulations, Sheryll, and enjoy judging the "O" entries.


P.S. As mentioned previously, this is my third and last stint as judge, at least for the remainder of this traversal of the alphabet. I plan to continue contributing interesting (to me) items, but on a non-competitive basis,.

P.P.S. See you Tuesday evening at the Philatelic Society Dinner, Soggy.
Posted by sheryll*net   ( 90 ) on Dec-11-06 at 01:52:46 PST
Repost for Billsey (whose Tuesday evening dinner invitation I intend to take up!)

Wow! There were so many M entries that I was kept busy trying to read them all, so didn't find a quiet time to post mine. (I'll have to try to find a way to make them work for "Q" or "X")

But now it is time for N, and I collect ..... New Hebrides! Oh, and Nouvelles-Hébrides, too (thanks to Io for the crossword clue).

For a comprehensive New Hebrides reference, please bookmark Roland's Virtual Stamp Album New Hebrides website.

I'll try to show some specific N examples later on in the week.

Posted by sheryll*net   ( 90 ) on Dec-17-06 at 16:20:24 PST
Hi all! Many thanks to all those who posted for the letter O.

The winner is Jaywild Jim for his posting of October 5 covers and stamps, a collection which he states has "no redeeming social purpose!!". However, I would think it invites the opportunity to gain a wide range of philatelic knowledge, whilst being quirky and individualistic.

Jim certainly spends enough time on the board to judge the P's, but should he decline, the runner-up is anyone who took the time and trouble to prepare an O posting regardless of length or rarity, and who is willing to take on the task.

Posted by jaywild   ( 890 ) on Dec-18-06 at 06:31:54 PST
O is for October 5, of course. Talk about a collection with no redeeming social purpose!! Below is a compilation of the years I have, however any duplicates of the same year have been omitted.

16351   1717    1738    17552   1780    1782    1801    1802    1807    18083   

1811    1814    1818    1820    18224   1823    1824    1825    1826    1827    

1828    18295   1830    1831    1832    1833    18346   1835    1836    18377   

1838    1839    1840    1841    1842    18438   1844    1845    1846    1847    

1848    1849    1850    1851    1852    1853    18549   1855    1856    1857    

185810  185911  1860    1861    1862    186312  1864    1865    1866    186713  

1868    1869    1870    1871    1872    1873    1874    187514  1876    1877    

1878    1879    1880    188115  1882    188316  1884    1885    188617  1887    

1888    1889    189018  1891    1892    1893    1894    1895    1896    1897    

1898    1899    1900    1901    190219  190320  190421  1905    1906    1907    

1908    1909    1910    191122  1912    1913    1914    1915    1916    1917    

1918    1919    1920    1921    1922    1923    192423  1925    1926    192724  

1928    1929    193025  1931    1932    1933    1934    1935    1936    1937    

1938    1939    1940    1941    1942    1943    1944    1945    1946    1947    

194826  1949    195027  1951    1952    1953    1954    1955    1956    1957    

1958    1959    1960    1961    1962    1963    1964    1965    1966    1967    

1968    1969    1970    1971    1972*   1973    1974    1975    1976    1977    

1978    1979    1980    1981    1982    1983    1984    1985*   1986*   1987    

1988    1989    1990    1991    1992    1993    1994    1995    1996*   1997*   

1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003    2004    2005    2006    


  1. This is the earliest I have. The date inside is written “vendredi le 5 Octobre 1635”, and in checking my perpetual calendar, October 5, 1635 was indeed a “vendredi” (Friday).
  2. This is a page from a Spanish Empire, colony of Ecuador, transaction book, much like a Deed Register or Will Register from any US county. The squiggle at top left indicates that a tax was paid on this transaction.
  3. On the reverse is the notation “repond le 27 8bre”, 8bre being shorthand for October, which is Latin for “the 8th month”. (The old Roman year used to begin March 1st.)
  4. The rate, of 18 ¾ cents corresponds to one bit of the Spanish dollar, which was widely used as currency in the US at that time.
  5. 50 cents paid from Michigan Territory. Backside states “map of battle ground enclosed”, unfortunately now lost.
  6. Neat STEAM BOAT marking, story inside about a wild storm on a sea journey to Brooklyn.
  7. Express mail, triple rate, 75 cents to New York. A princely sum in 1837.
  8. First Oct. 5 item with a stamp on it, GB penny red.
  9. Tiny cross-border cover from Cazenovia NY.
  10. This letter was written and posted from Paris while the Great Comet of 1858 was blazing in the nighttime Paris sky, yet the oblivious writer makes no mention of it. Some people never look up at all!
  11. This one is for Knud-Erik!
  12. Homemade Confederate cover from Toombsboro GA, butcher paper sealed with molasses. The Union blockade of the South was very effective in keeping supplies of paper from reaching the Confederacy.
  13. Owen Sound, Ontario features prominently in the fiction of Alice Munro, one of the 20th Century’s most celebrated writers.
  14. Address doesn’t look a lot like English, but it is—Lt. Col. Birch, Deputy Commissioner, Sialkot.
  15. An engraved invitation to a centennial celebration of Washington’s victory over Cornwallis at Yorktown. It is styled a “reception for the French and other guests”, presumably not including the British, who took a very dim view of what happened at Yorktown in 1781.
  16. Wesson Time-on-Bottom hand cancel. First week of the new 2¢ first-class rate.
  17. RPO cancel. Backstamp from Delavan, Illinois, Oct 7, 1886, the exact date my grandmother was born.
  18. Netherlands Indies revalued card.
  19. World’s tallest building in 1902. Pretty shrimpy!
  20. For D2.
  21. For Anne.
  22. For me—this is my hometown, when Arizona was still a Territory.
  23. Where (or what) is PONISHTENO?
  24. This registered cover certainly went a lot of places on its way to Montgomery Ward in Chicago.
  25. One for Iomoon.
  26. Someone in Malaya wanted to be a he-man. Charles Atlas advertised in comic books etc. for a mail order body-building program, by means of a cartoon featuring the famous “98-pound weakling” who was powerless to keep a bully from kicking sand in his face at the beach.
  27. The day I was born.

* Philatelic item.

Some of my kind friends from the chatboard will recognize their contributions to this collection—rolyjr, Bob in WA, Jim Lawler, krautinjapan, Roger H., Jim Gaul, nomad55, xzephyr, milenko and others; sincere apologies for all those I have neglected to include.

I have done my best to only keep real commercial or personal mail, however I have not found non-philatelic items for these dates—1972, 1985, 1986, 1996 and 1997. In the last part of the 20th Century mail was generated in such huge volumes that nobody kept run-of-the-mill covers, which are the ones I am after. So actually these recent years have proven extremely hard to find. Actually I did find an October 5, 1972 item on eBay, but it never made it to me from India, where the seller was. Somewhere along the line it was pilfered.



Posted by jaywild   ( 893 ) on Dec-24-06 at 10:33:45 PST
So now that I have your interest, who is the winner? I judge it to be wrd3 a.k.a. Bill Dempwolf for a masterful job with his post about perfins. It was an amazing compilation and explanation of a field many collectors pursue avidly. And congrats again on proving that a catalog number was indeed superfluous, and having it deleted!


Posted by wrd3   ( 99 ) on Dec-19-06 at 20:24:36 PST
P is for perfins. I've been busy at work and am going through a period of low interest in stamps, but I couldn't let the letter P go by without a posting about perfins.

Perfins (Perforated Insignia or Perforated Initials) are holes forming patterns that have been punched into stamps. They originated in England in 1868 and have been authorized in the United States since 1908. Perfin patterns punched into postage stamps will identify the user, and are meant as a security device to prevent stealing (or at least to enable identification of stolen postage stamps).

The most prolific perfin-producing country is Great Britain with about 22,000 patterns, followed by Germany with 12,000, the United States with 6,400, Austria with 3,000 and France with almost 3,000 patterns. There are a number of countries, including British Guiana, Haiti and Barbados with only one pattern recorded.

The Catalog of United States Perfins, editor John Randall, published by The Perfins Club in 1998 is a must-have for anyone wanting to identify United States Perfins. The catalog organizes perfin patterns by letter (by the first letter in the design), or number (for those starting with a number) or design (where there aren't numbers or letters). Patterns are not priced in the catalog, but are given scarcity ratings of A+, A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D, E and F. The scarcity and a rough guide as to price for US perfins is:


Perfin Scarcity and Rough (Perhaps outdated) Price Range
Rating Quantity/Description Minimum Average Maximum
A+ Used for Schermack patterns Don't have general guideline
A Rare: estimate 10 copies $5.00 $15.62 $25.00
B+ Scarce: estimate 11-20 copies $5.00 $9.45 $18.00
B 21-40 copies $4.00 $6.75 $15.00
C+ 41-80 copies $0.75 $3.14 $8.00
C Found often in collections of more than 2400 different patterns $0.75 $1.85 $6.00
D+ Above average $0.15 $1.04 $5.00
D Average: found in collections of 1200-2400 different patterns $0.10 $0.45 $2.00
E Common $0.05 $0.11 $0.25
F Found in practically all collections. Could wallpaper a room and they wouldn't be missed. $0.00 $0.06 $0.25

There are many ways to collect perfins - by type (ie, one example of each pattern in the catalog, regardless of what stamp the pattern is in), by issue (ie, one example of each pattern in each stamp in which the pattern is found), synoptic (ie, an example of each different type of stamp with a perfin pattern in the stamp (in this case the pattern doesn't matter)). People collect specific issues: Parcel Post stamps, Black Hardings, Air Mail, etc. Some people collect on cover examples, others stick with just the stamps.

In addition to the commercial patterns rated A+ through F, there are also a number of personal perfin patterns that have been identified in the catalog, with a rating of P. These are patterns that have been made for personal use, not for business use.

One interesting item to try to find is a mirror pair, which is an attached pair of perfins which are mirror images of each other. This is created when the sheet is folded before inserting into the dies.

Now for show-and-tell:
An example page (well, two facing pages) from the Perfins Catalog is here. The information on the left page includes the pattern number and description, the number of holes in each letter/number/symbol of the pattern and the height of them, the date of issue of the stamp series in which the patterns have been recorded, and the primary user (if known).

Here is an example of a personal perfin.

Here is an example of a mirror pair.

Here is an example of a page from a synoptic collection.

Here is an example of a page from a type collection.

Here is an example of a page from an issues collection.

I picked up an interesting block on eBay a while ago, shown here. This block contains a pair of each of two different perfin patterns: R116 (a B-rated perfin) and R116A (an A-rated perfin). I sent this block to the current editor of the Perfins Catalog, and he confirmed this block does indeed have both patterns (I believe the right two stamps have R116, while the left two stamps have R116A). This block shows these patterns are NOT different, but in fact are variations from within the same device. As such, R116A will be de-listed as a separate pattern in the next catalog.

Last, but not least, my two most interesting (to me) foreign perfins: a French cow and a German swan.

Hopefully there aren't any significant typos in this post ....

Bill D.

Posted by wrd3   ( 99 ) on Dec-31-06 at 07:14:00 PST
Q entries. For those who are interested, I saved the "Q" entries so I could review them to declare a winner. They are here. There were 38 entries. The prize for "most spirit" goes to jim_lawler, with 13 entries. My sentimental favorite was jimbo, with two entries from Today in Postal History, a long-running favorite of mine that ended quite some time ago. We learned about "Q" volcanos and "Q" perfins, with 3 contentestants posting their perfins (obviously something I'm partial to).

I look at the "A-Z" postings as "amateur hour", where participants share a piece of their collection in a somewhat impromptu manner. Despite that, my selection for winner of the "Q" showings is de66 for his display Queensland Revenues The Smaller Taxes 1885-1965, an interesting and informative showing. His prize .... to judge the "R" entries, which have started.

Bill D.
Posted by de66   ( 1026 ) on Dec-24-06 at 21:56:00 PST
Happy Holidays

Q for Queensland

Queensland Revenues The Smaller Taxes 1885-1965

Posted by de66   ( 1027 ) on Jan-07-07 at 12:13:43 PST


For the below post.

Well done JIM and to all who entered the R

The prize is: Jim to judge S so Jim don't be Silly or Stupid when judging.

It was a shame we never saw any Railway Parcel Stamps put up for show.

Posted by jaywild   ( 898 ) on Jan-02-07 at 10:58:53 PST
R is for Revenue. Here are a few items from my collection.

  • R53b, the “b” designation meaning “part perforated”, i.e. the straight edges at top and bottom. These are usually the rarest (although not in this case), the other two types being imperforate and perforated all the way around. This stamps bears what looks like an October 5, 1864 cancel, a serendipitous bonus.
  • R63c, with a tidy Customhouse CDS.
  • R69a. This stamp was pen canceled, as most early revenue stamps were, on June 30, 1863, when two immense armies were converging on the sleepy Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg.
  • R78a, unremarkable except for its lovely color, to me at least.
  • R85a, featuring George Washington badly in need of a shave.
  • R91a, a mortgage revenue.
  • R101c, one of my favorites. A beautiful design, in my opinion.
  • R144, 2nd issue revenues, the first of the two-tones, all blue and black.
  • R142. The 3rd Revenue issues, same designs as the 2nd issues, got away from the blue and black, this example being orange and black.
  • R144, in green and black.
  • R146, in claret and black, a very lovely stamp.
  • R149, 3rd issue again, green and black.
  • R131. The $20 through $50 denominations were only issued in blue and black.
US revenues were implemented to tax a myriad of transactions for the purpose of financing the American Civil War, the Union part anyway, a tremendously costly undertaking, although this means of gathering revenue continued long past the war, and some aspects continue to this day, taxes on cigarettes for instance.


How to do a “flip-comparison” test on perforations
► US Stamp Identifiers:
| 10c Issue of 1855-57 | First 3¢ Stamped Envelopes | Grilled Stamps | Large “Banknotes” | First Bureau Issues | Abe Lincoln’s “tiny eye”
                                    | Washington-Franklin stamps of 1908-22 | 2nd & 3rd Issue Revenue Designs | Colors, Scott 70/78, 24¢ Washington

Posted by jaywild   ( 907on Jan-14-07 at 18:49:36 PST
taodave… In that case, the S honors go to sayasan, Richard W, for his amazing Burma—Myanmar—Shan States material. Next runner up is bwiphilately, followed by saphilatelics, then Knud-Erik. Of course I could go on and on…



Posted by sayasan   ( 539on Jan-11-07 at 11:33:01 PST
S is for Shan State, or the Shan States plural as they used to be - a vast plateau about six times the size of Belgium in the East of Myanmar (Burma), bordering onto China and Thailand. The old princes of the Shan statelets were allowed their autonomy under British rule, as per the Indian native states, and under Japanese occupation the area was ruled directly, and not given the quasi-independence awarded to the rest of occupied Burma. Since the early 'sixties Shan State has been a hotbed of political and ethnic insurgency, coupled with widespread opium production, and is still a troubled land today.

Eight years ago I put together this nine-sheet exhibit for an area federation open class competition. It samples the more recent philatelic history of Shan State. The entry got the highest vote, maybe because it was designed for open class, and not just nine sheets taken out of an existing traditional exhibit. Here are reduced size jpeg's of each page. All the philatelic items - cards, covers, stamps - are the real thing, but everything else is scanned in. I wanted to produce something like a colour magazine page, rather than a stamp album page. Some bits are crowded and not that well designed, and I'd do it differently today, but I still quite like the general look of it.

I'm most proud of the very unprepossessing cover mounted vertically at the left of sheet 8. I sometimes try sending stamped self-addressed envelopes to post offices in interesting parts of Myanmar. Usually they never come back, but this went all the way to and from Pangsan, right on the border with China, which used to be the headquarters of the insurgents of the Communist Party of Burma, after their Chinese-backed invasion in the 'sixties. Most of the Communist troops were from the Wa peoples, reputed to be the wildest tribals in Burma, and until fairly recently recreational head-hunters. After the mutinies of 1989, the Wa communists transmogrified into opium-running militias, and they still control the area. Pangsan at the time my cover reached it was a lawless border town run by narco-bandits controlled by the notorious and paranoid warlord Pao Yuqiang, who was much given to spontaneous public executions. I don't think it's much better now. The post office did not even have its own cancels at the time, and the town name is written in by hand over a borrowed registration handstamp.

Anyway, here is "Civil War in the Land of Opium" ...

1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

Richard W.

Posted by jaywild   ( 907on Jan-14-07 at 14:56:05 PST
My choice for S winner is taodave for his W.T. Sherman letters and his Wm. Seward AYP FDC and associated proofs and interesting side story. Both figures—Sherman and Seward—were extremely important in American history.
William Tecumseh Sherman is one of the true brilliant stars of the American Civil War. He was also entirely indifferent to political office—it was Sherman who said, when people were clamoring to have him run for President, “If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve.” Can’t beat that for blunt. It shut everybody up completely.

William Seward engineered the purchase of Alaska in 1867, for approximately 4¢ an acre. It was widely derided as “Seward’s Folly” and “Seward’s Icebox”, but the acquisition has since proved its worth many times over.

Seward had contended with Abraham Lincoln for the Republican nomination in 1860, and of course lost it to him. After his election, Lincoln invited Seward to be his Secretary of State, a job he accepted. At first he was contemptuous of Lincoln, as were almost all the other members of the Cabinet, but he quickly recognized the President’s abilities and his devotion to honesty and the Union, and before the first year was out Seward was Lincoln’s greatest champion.

The assassination of Lincoln was part of a plot to kill not only Lincoln but Vice President Johnson and important members of the Cabinet as well, Seward among them. While John Wilkes Booth was shooting Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, his associate Lewis Powell fought his way into Seward’s home and slashed at him with a Bowie knife. He was in bed, recovering from a carriage accident, and the metal brace he wore on his neck saved him from death, stopping Powell’s knife just short of his jugular vein. While Seward recovered from his injuries, the news of Lincoln’s death was kept from him, but he figured out what had happened nevertheless. From his recovery room he could see all the flags of the capital at half staff, and he knew that Lincoln would have been the first to visit him had he been still alive to do so.

Honorable mention should also go to saphilatelics for his Saxony exhibit, bwiphilately for his St. Vincent forgeries, and sayasan for his Burma material, including the Shan States and Saya San.


How to do a “flip-comparison” test on perforations
► US Stamp Identifiers:
| 10c Issue of 1855-57 | First 3¢ Stamped Envelopes | Grilled Stamps | Large “Banknotes” | First Bureau Issues | Abe Lincoln’s “tiny eye”
                                    | Washington-Franklin stamps of 1908-22 | 2nd & 3rd Issue Revenue Designs | Colors, Scott 70/78, 24¢ Washington

Posted by taodave   ( 135 ) on Jan-12-07 at 11:00:48 PST
S is for "Seal" and "Seward."

Today I want to tell the story (using some of the essays and proofs from my Alaska-Yukon-Pacific exhibit) of how political pressure turned a beautiful seal into an ugly politician, resulting in a stamp which has been branded an aesthetic failure ever since it was issued.

The story begins in the waning months of Theodore Roosevelt’s administration, when the backers of Seattle’s AYP Exposition, which was due to open on June 1, 1909, approached Postmaster General Meyer to issue a set of stamps to publicize their endeavor. This, after all, had been done earlier in the century for the Buffalo, St. Louis and Jamestown extravaganzas. Why not for Seattle? Much to their surprise, Meyer refused, but he did authorize a single 2c stamped envelope.

The Bureau’s designer of stamps, postal stationery and banknotes at that time was Clair Aubrey Huston. Huston designed for the stamped envelope a very handsome seal on a block of ice. His design was approved by the Postmaster General and sent to the Mercantile Corporation, which was the Post Office Department’s envelope contractor at the time. Alas, in early 1909, the Mercantile Corporation informed the Department that they were so back-logged that they would be unable to manufacture the envelopes in time for the opening of the Exposition. (So much for private enterprise.) The Department then decided that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing would rush the design and production of a single adhesive stamp, which we now know as Scott #370.

Huston’s first seal essay was for a stamp the size of the then-current Washington-Franklin definitives. He made a black and white ink-and-wash drawing of a classically simple frame, and for the vignette, pasted in a photo of the seal he had designed for the envelope:


Huston’s second seal essay (confusingly numbered three in Scott and Brazer) was for a larger stamp, the size of the Jamestown Exposition commemorative of 1907. He modelled an ink-and wash frame containing a veritable forest of acanthus leaves, and again pasted in a photo of the envelope’s seal vignette:


This design was approved by Frank Hitchcock, the Postmaster General in the new Taft administration, on April 3, 1909. Since less than 2 months remained before the stamp had to be available at postoffices throughout the country, engraving of the die began almost immediately after Hitchcock’s approval.

Then all Hell broke loose. The Exposition’s backers learned, (evidently for the first time), that the stamp would show a seal on a block of ice. This was unacceptable to them, since one of the major goals of the Fair was to attract tourists and settlers to Alaska. They mounted a national press campaign against the seal design. They implored the Secretary of the Interior and their congressmen to have the seal replaced by a mining scene, or perhaps a panorama of the Alaskan Riviera---anything but that damned seal!

On April 11, they were told by Senator Piles of Washington State that the space was too small for what they wanted, but that he might prevail on the Postmaster General to substitute the head of William H. Seward, the Secretary of State who purchased Alaska from the Russians in 1867. They accepted Seward, despite his big ears and nose, as the lesser of two evils.

Since time was running out, the Bureau’s engravers continued to work on the frame portion of the approved seal stamp while Huston modelled two Seward designs. His first essay used the frame of the 1908 Washington-Franklin definitive series, on which he inscribed the dates 1870 and 1909 onto the ribbons. (I have been unable to determine the significance of the year 1870 either in the history of Alaska or in the life of Seward). He cut out the oval vignette and pasted on the back of the essay, so that it would show through the resulting hole, a die proof of the half- ounce snuff stamp of 1891, which happened to contain a portrait of Seward of just the right size:


For his second Seward essay, Huston photographed the earlier approved seal stamp essay, cut out the seal vignette, and mounted the frame over a photoreduction of another Seward portrait that had been used for an 1876 bond. This second design was approved by Postmaster General Hitchcock on April 24, with the proviso that Seward’s name be inscribed under his portrait. Hitchcock’s choice was logical in view of the time restraint, since the frame for this design had already been engraved on a die:


Incredibly, the essay submitted to Bureau Director Joseph Ralph for approval of the added Seward name tablet has a seal, not Seward, as the vignette! I suspect that this was done on purpose to elicit a chuckle from Director Ralph, who like everyone else at the Bureau, was very unhappy at having to substitute Seward for their lovely seal. In any event, he approved it:


On May 6, engravers completed the die and a large die proof was prepared for offical approval, to which Postmaster General Hitchcock affixed his signature:


The bureau’s siderographers then made transfer rolls from the approved die and prepared printing plates. The presses began to roll, and within the next few days the Department began fulfilling orders from thousands of postmasters throughout the country. On June 1, 1909, opening day of the Seattle Exposition, the AYP stamp was placed on sale in postoffices throughout the country.

The public reaction to the new stamp was less than lukewarm. It was immediately reviled. To quote just two contemporary comments:

“The stamp is lacking entirely in distinction, balance, and beauty”


“Many persons incline to the view that the Seattle Fair monstrosity is the ugliest thing that has yet been forced on the public.”

Of course, these people had never seen the Poultry stamp of 1948, or for that matter, many of the recent USPS productions. Perhaps I’m just an old fogey, but I’ll take anything designed by Huston (even a politician with big ears and a big nose) over the current Time-Warner and Disney publicity labels masquerading as U. S. postage stamps.


Posted by taodave   ( 135 ) on Jan-10-07 at 09:10:08 PST

My "S" contributions today are two covers mailed in 1875 and 1876 by Genl. William Tecumseh Sherman from St. Louis, Missouri to a lady friend who was travelling in Europe:



(I'm sure that many of you will be relieved to know that they have absolutely no connection with German East Africa).

I've collected U. S. War Department stamps and postal stationery for almost 50 years For non-American collectors--- during 1873-1884, the eight departments of the U. S. government had to purchase especially-prepared stamps from the Post Office Department to use on their mail. The stamps are quite similar in appearance to the regular issues of that period, but with the name of the department included in the design.

The envelopes are 3c War Dept. postal stationery to which various combinations of 6c and 12c War Dept. adhesives have been added to make up the required postage. Early in 1875 the United States had joined the General Postal Union, which set the rate for international mail at 5c per half ounce. Since the two letters bear 21c and 27c in postage, we can assume that Genl. Sherman did not have exact postage, and overpaid correspondingly.

At the time these covers were sent, Genl. Sherman, after an illustrious Civil War career pillaging the South, was Commanding General of the United States Army. Note that their corner cards read "Headquarters, Army of the United States, Official Business." What was the Headquarters of the U. S. Army doing in St. Louis? Well, Sherman had constant run-ins with the civilian Secretaries of War who thought that they, not he, were running the Army. President Grant's Secretary of War, Mr. Belknap, was a particular thorn in his side, so Sherman decided in 1874 to move the Headquarters of the U. S. Army from Washington to his home town, St. Louis--- and, incredible though it may seem to us today, they let him! Army Headquarters did not return to Washington until a more malleable Secretary was appointed in 1876, after Belknap had been convicted for taking kick-backs from Army suppliers.

But why was Sherman sending fat letters to Mrs. Euphrasie Mackay, whoever she might be? I havent't found out yet. I've corresponded with two of his modern biographers, neither of whom recognizesd her name. Sherman was a notorious womanizer--- as one biographer told me, his main occupation after the War was sleeping around. I like to think that at one time these covers were locked in Euphrasie's desk drawer, tied with a pink ribbon.

Posted by taodave   ( 135 ) on Jan-11-07 at 08:39:27 PST
S is for "Seward," whose face appears on Scott 370-371, the U. S. Alaska-Yukon-Pacific commemorative, and also for "Seattle.".

(Yes, another respite from German East Africa, this time an item from my AYP exhibit. If I have time later this week, I'll post the AYP essays under "Seal" and "Seward.")

June 1, 1909 was the opening day of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle and the first day of issue for the stamp commemorating it.

Here is a piece which covers both bases--- a postcard mailed from the Exposition Station on opening day, (over)franked with the 2c AYP commem on its first day of issue. The sender, William Lindsley, mailed several of these to himself and members of his family as mementos of the occasion. The wording varies slightly on the cards I have seen, but most mention President Taft opening the Expo by pressing a gold key in Washington.


Posted by infla-alec   ( 505on Jan-25-07 at 12:30:11 PST
"T" I think the letter T failed for some reason to have a winner announced. Therefore I have decided to judge the entries myself. Before anyone jumps in to complain the ABC show was initially my idea and so I feel I can make the call.
Before announcing anything can I say a big thank you to Bill D for very kindly saving all the entries on his hard drive. Of course the showings are only as successful as the amount of effort we all put into showing relevant items. The T entries for anyone can be viewed under T Entries As can be seen there was a vast amount of material shown and my favourite item simply had to be the Teilbarfrankatur. Darn it, just remembered I can't announce myself as the winner :-) Seriously though after serious thought it was very dificult to decide on one winning entry. But I feel the award should go to Telegraph Revenues of New South Wales. Congratulations D1 and I hope you will kindly agree to judge the U entries. I based the award on the simple fact that it was the first time I had ever seen such material shown and found it to be very interesting.

I can also announce that the Disabled Vets Association received from me the following:
Unisafe Clearview Perf Gauges x 6
Unisafe Watermark Trays x 4
Unisafe Pre-fold hinges x 10
Standard 5" Tongs-Pointed Tip x 4
Standard 5" Tongs Spade Tip x 4
No.3 Glassines 100 pk. x 4
Unisafe 2 1/2" Round Reader Magnifier x 4
Unisafe Stockbooks x 6
Heavyweight Quadrille Pages 100 pk. x 4
Jakes's friend Mike managed to obtain everything in Canada with a massive 40% discount and thanks also go to Mike for paying the Canadian Tax's and shipping costs. Every little helps and it is worth remembering that the Vets are disabled stamp collectors who appreciate any help and donations other philatelists world wide care to make.
Posted by de66   ( 1032 ) on Jan-16-07 at 02:16:26 PST

T for Telegraph

Here is a page from my new exhibit 'New South Wales Revenues' which will be going into the Sydney National show in June this year.


Posted by infla-alec   ( 506 ) on Jan-30-07 at 12:25:20 PST
U Seeing as how the T winner has not responded to the request to judge the U's I would like to step in again and award the U to a very richly deserved Roly simply for the vast amount of effort put in to sharing with us all his wonderful study of the NZ Penny Universal stamps. Very rarely have I ever seen anyone go into such depth on a single stamp issue.
Now remember everyone any multiples found of this stamp you know who will give them a new home !!!
Rainer Sorry I don't have a moneybookers account.
Posted by rolyrj   ( 2 ) on Jan-21-07 at 13:09:12 PST
Here is one I have been waiting for:

U is for the New Zealand Penny Universal
I have been collecting this stamp for several years now and is one of my specialty areas. Many start out collecting this stamp and soon give up because of its difficulties in plates, perfs, shades, papers etc. I started about two weeks ago, in anticipation of U, scanning my collection and making a website dedicated to the New Zealand Penny Universal. I have about 200 more to scans to go but here is where I am up to so far. All images can be clicked to either enlarge the image or to take you to another page with further explanations/info. Hopefully when I have finished (if ever) this will become a useful reference work for others collecting this interesting stamp. A definate "work in progress".
So without further ado I present for your viewing pleasure The NZ Penny Universal as my contribution to the alphabet soup. :)


Posted by rolyrj   ( 2 ) on Feb-04-07 at 18:13:27 PST
Results for week "V"
First the disclaimer :) I am in no way setting my self up as an expert and wouldn't have the first clue as to how to judge an exhibit. So my choice for week "U" is simply based on what I liked and what I really liked and what I really really liked.
I counted 51 entries this week which is a real good showing. It fascinates me as to what we all collect and our various areas of "expertise", if I can use that word.

So.... right out of the blocks at full steam was a most impressive showing from Antonius-ra with Vietnam (South) followed closely by Venezuela and a great showing of Venezia aka Venice.

Then I was most impressed by Sayasan's Victory series. (where do you unearth all this type of material !!)

Then along comes David B. and hits the emotional strings with superb material from Vavau. But IO is hard in there as well with his lovely pages on Viti Levu. But Sheryll (S2) also hops onto the emotional band wagon and presents Vanuatu. Much too much for this boy who loves the Pacific and has spent many months in each of these glorious locations.

However, moving on I was most impressed with Postalhysteria's thinking outside the box with Jules Verne, Voice of America, Volleyball etc. Kind of appealed to my sense of quirkiness :)

Jim L. How many Kokomo Club Cards do you have? :)

billsey Runner up mate..... You have a great series of Upper Volta and very nicely displayed. I can appreciate the work that goes into presenting this sort of material in web page form having just done (still doing) my Penny Universal's pages.

And so the winner for week "U".
So many people went "wow" when this very short posting was made. I am sure many people appreciated this showing from chipg on Feb 01 -07, 06:19:47 for his magnificent display of his intitials "CG" on Victoria's.
I can appreciate the sheer hard work in collecting these specimens and then presenting them so well. So congratulations from me....... hope all approve :-O


Posted by chipg   ( 206 ) on Feb-01-07 at 06:19:47 PST
Hi all.
Been waiting 20 letters to get to the right point to post this link. Here's my contribution to "V"

It is a slightly different take on the "initial" collection that RF showed a few letters ago.
Posted by chipg   ( 208 ) on Feb-11-07 at 14:03:10 PST
Judgement Day for the W's

First of all, thanks for posting so many interesting items. Here are some of the things that struck me as especially interesting during the week (but please don't read that as the other stuff was uniteresting):

Jaywild posted a page of W..., Arizona precancels. I noted that each was on a different stamp. That little extra touch was nice.

Mini*lindy shared the story of Wilcox the Welldigger. Nice.

Mikedak posted some Whitehead machine cancellations (lost the link). I've never even heard of Whitehead machine cancellations. Thanks for expanding my knowledge a bit.

Jim_Lawler showed a West Lafayettes provisional precancel. Although he didn't say so, I'll bet that he found it unidentified in some lot or box. If you know what you're looking for, you can make finds everyday.

So, the choice of "winner came down to two posts which I will describe in no particular order:

The first finalist, Knuden put up a set of links to Wrappers with Contents. Circulars and wrappers are so often considered as tranistory information by the recipients. To find such items with their original contents is really something special.

The second finalist, Knuden posted a link to a truly world-class exhibit of Danish Wrappers. As mentioned earlier, such items are so ephemeral that it is quite a feat to assemble anything that could be considered as a "complete" showing. I still remember seeing one other such exhibit of GB wrappers. Anyone who collect such an area, and who does it so well, must lead a blessed life.

So, with out any further deliberation, the winner of the "W" round is .....Knuden (it was a tie).

Congratulations to all.

So, hopefully we can have a troll-free week and on to X.

Posted by knuden   ( 2204 ) on Feb-19-07 at 07:03:30 PST
I have with interest seen all the X - entries from last week and as usual it's difficult to choose a winner BUT...........

I just couldn't resist the happy expression, that King George II have on his face on these stamps - in other words - dadaaaaa - the honorable winner of the X week is D2 for showing the nice and rare cover from Tonga. Congratulation David. :O)

K.E   I'm a silly little man - whoopee!!
Posted by dbenson   ( 7895on Feb-25-07 at 10:57:39 PST
I have considered the various entries for Y and have the honour to nominate the winner as

Taodave for his entry of Y is for Yedo.

Not only was the items of extreme interest & rarity but the study shown by his comments prove to me that he is a person who has taken a great interest in his material and studied them from various aspects,

Yedo was the destination for two letters sent by the U. S. War Department’s Chief Signal Officer to “Benjamin Smith Lyman, Chief Geologist and Mining Engineer to the Kaitakushi”. Lyman was a Harvard graduate who later studied at the Ecole de Mines in Paris and set himself up as a consulting geologist. Between 1873 and 1879 he was chief geologist to the Japanese government, working principally for the Kaitakushi, an agency with the responsibility for the colonization and development of the natural resources of the northern island of Hokkaido (Hokkaido was Japan’s version of the American frontier in the 1870's, so that while we Americans were sending homesteaders into our West and killing off the Indians, they were populating Hokkaido with ethnic Japanese and doing a number on the native Ainu.) The first cover is franked by a pair of 24c War Dept. adhesives, representing 4 times the treaty rate of 12c per half ounce for mail from the U.S. to Japan. (Although the General Postal Union rate of 5c per half ounce for international mail was already in force for many countries, Japan did not sign the GPU treaty until the following year). Incidentally, only two other covers or parcel fronts to ANYWHERE franked with 24c War Department stamps are known. They are all equally or more ratty.The letter was mailed in Washington on May 9 and reached Yokohama on June 29,1876, where a red “Yokohama Paid All” was applied by the U.S. postal station . It then took 9 more days to travel less than 25 miles to Mr Lyman at his lodgings in Yedo. How did it get from the U.S. to Japan? There were three possible routes: (1) via New York by ship to London, where it would have travelled on a British ship around the Cape of Good Hope to the Orient, (2) via the recently-completed transcontinental railroad to San Francisco, where it would have been put on an American ship to Yokohama, or (3) via New Orleans by ship to the Isthmus of Panama, across the Isthmus by land, and then by another ship to Yokohama. Since the envelope lacks New York and London transit marks, I favor a Trans-Pacific route.


I had hoped that the Japanese characters on the back would say something like “Death to All Foreign Devils,” but it’s only the translation of Mr Lyman’s address for the benefit of the local postman, brushed on by an Imperial Post official who then applied his seal. The Japanese friend who translated this for me marvelled at the calligraphy.The second cover is franked by a War Department 30c and a 6c stamp, triple the 12c per half ounce rate.(Only four other covers with War Dept. 30c stamps have survived, all equally ratty). It was mailed in Washington on Valentine’s Day and reached Yokohama, where a Paid All mark was applied, on March 29, 1876. Although this is an earlier cover than the first one, somehow it reached Lyman without the need for a translation of his address--- consequently, I find it rather dull compared to its mate.


David B.
Posted by taodave   ( 137 ) on Mar-04-07 at 08:37:55 PST

Not true--- the Z's were very exciting to judge! And there were so many of them!!

I savoured every one of the entries. Being of a postal history bent, I was very impressed early on by lavart's Zurück entry, but then knuden posted a fascinating group of his own Zurücks. I thought knuden really had the contest sewn up when he later posted a group of wonderful Sudetenland Zepps. But then, late in the contest, lavart upped a second group of great Zurücks, this time from the German Colonies, which he knows are a special weakness of mine (although I was just a tiny bit disappointed that he didn't include one from DOA).

Lavar, you may not have won your race against Arnold S for Governor of California, but you HAVE won the eBay chatboard Z contest. I hope you enjoy judging this week's non-Latin alphabet entries, which I note have already started to pour in.

Posted by lavart   ( 1327on Mar-02-07 at 20:14:32 PST
Here are some more "Zuruck" items.

This is an uprated postal card from Bavaria, mailed from Munich on July 29, 1914 to Luderiztbucht, German SW Africa. Due to the outbreak of WWI, mail service to German SW Africa was suspended. Thus, the card was marked "Zuruck" and returned to the sender.

This is a cover mailed from Munich, Bavaria on Aug. 1, 1914 to Tsingtau. Mail service to Tsingtau from Germany was also suspended upon the outbreak of the war. Thus, this item was marked "Zuruck" and returned to the sender.

This is a German postal card sent from Oehringen on Aug. 4, 1914 to Edea, Kamerun. Mail service from Germany to Kamerun was also suspended upon the outbreak of the war. This card was marked "Zuruck" and returned to sender.

This registered cover was mailed from Bremerhaven, Germany on July 7, 1914, about 3 weeks before WWI started. It is addressed to Jaluit, Marshall Islands. The cover did not make it to its destination before the Japanese occupied Jaluit in late September, 1914. The cover did make its way to the Japanese PO. It was held somewhere for almost 6 years, was opened by the Japanese PO and then was sealed with an "officially sealed" label. By the time delivery to the addressee was attempted (apparently in 1920), the addressee had left. The cover was marked "inconnu" and "returned to writer", and the cover was returned to Bremerhaven via New York (transit marking March 27, 1920), arriving back in Bremerhaven on May 6, 1920.

Forgot to show the back of the last cover, which can be seen here.

Contact Webmaster

Please feel free to contact the webmaster if there are problems or if you have ideas that would make this site better.

updated 4/23/02 rjf