Wawrukiewicz, Breske, and Steward Articles

By Anthony Wawrukiewicz, Thomas C. Breske,
and Scott Steward

#281 - First Quarter 2020

Directory Assistance in
Readdressing Misdirected Items

Since 1879, directories have been used to rectify items that were misdirected because their addresses were in error. Recent research by Tony Wawrukiewicz has shown that the rules governing directory use changed markedly and frequently over time. This article will elucidate these changes.

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Michael Wing Articles

By Michael Wing

#280 - Fourth Quarter 2019

The Origins of Rural Free Delivery:
An Emancipated Slave and a Georgia Politician

Norwood is located in Warren County, about 100 miles east of Atlanta, Georgia. Its population of 237 is considerably less than it was in 1890. The wisteriadraped abandoned buildings give it a nostalgic beauty and are evidence of a once thriving center.

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Patricia A. Kaufmann Articles

By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#284 - Fourth Quarter 2020

‘Wild Pigeon’—The Caroline Carson Correspondence

The Figure 1 cover bears a rare example of a shipname endorsement on outbound blockade-run mail. The manuscript directive at top is, “per ‘Wild Pigeon.’” The “Feb. 1st 1863” pencil docketing provides the origin date. This cover had to have arrived after April 1, 1863, based on the use of the “5” in circle postage due marking for British packet mail.

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By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#279 - Third Quarter 2019

The New Earliest Recorded Use
of a Confederate Patriotic Cover

A new Confederate patriotic cover, only the third recorded of this rare Texas Lone Star flag design (CSA Catalog Type FTX-1) has been documented. What makes this example particularly important is that it is dated from Columbia, Texas, on November 30, 1860, making it the earliest documented use of a Confederate patriotic of any kind.

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By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#278 - Second Quarter 2019

Confederate Military Courier
Delivery from Lt. L.A. Bringier

Louis Bringier was a graduate of the University of Virginia (1845-49). Before the war he was a planter at L’Hermitage Plantation, Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and surveyor general for the state of Louisiana.

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By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#272 - Fourth Quarter 2017

Aaron Huggins—A Galvanized Yankee

The eye-catching prisoner of war cover shown at left is franked with a U.S. Scott 65, three-cent rose, tied by a Rock Island, Illinois, duplex cancel dated February 10, 1864. It is addressed to Sallie Huggins, New Middleton, Illinois, from Aaron Huggins.

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By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#271 - Third Quarter 2017

A ‘Wanna-Be’ Confederate Cover
to Postmaster John Glymph

The cover shown at left appears to be postmarked by a May 26, 1863, Charleston, South Carolina, circular date stamp with a straightline “FREE” handstamp at left. It is addressed to “Mr. John Glymph, P.M., Glymphville, S.C.” Or is it? Upon close examination, the “3” of “1863” appears to have been altered from a weakly struck “0” to a “3” in slightly darker and shinier black ink, especially evident on the middle bar of the alleged “3” (Figure 2). It is rather difficult to discern except with personal examination. An absolute test would be nondestructive forensic testing such as is available free of charge at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

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By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#270 - Second Quarter 2017

Breaking the Rules: A Civilian Flag of Truce Cover

The civilian flag of truce cover shown at left broke several rules, although there were not infrequent exceptions. Per Newberry District, South Carolina, student Giana Wayman, this is the only flag of truce cover recorded from the Newberry District. The small blue commercially-made cover addressed to Rev. N.M. Gordon in Keene, Kentucky, bears a Newberry C.H., S.C., November 14, 1864, double-circle date stamp with a PAID handstamp from Newberry showing that the Confederate postage was paid. A manuscript directive “By Flag of Truce” is at lower left.

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By Patricia A. Kaufmann

#269 - First Quarter 2017

‘It has to be true. I saw it on the Internet.’
The Warwick & Barksdale Mill ‘Confederate Prison’

One of the TV ads that has most delighted my friends and family is the State Farm commercial in which the ditzy blond proclaims, “They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true.” “Really?” her friend exclaims in disbelief, “Where did you hear that?” “The Internet,” she replies. Then her “French model” Neanderthal-like boyfriend appears. She found him on the Internet too. And we roll with laughter at the absurdity of it all.

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John M. Hotchner Articles

By John M. Hotchner

#284 - Fourth Quarter 2020

The Story of ‘Called Out’ and Related Markings

will begin with postage due on covers intended for overseas, but which were charged and collected in the United States before getting on a plane or ship. After this, I will review postage due collected abroad. In general, the rule was that if a mail piece destined abroad had a return address, then the mail piece would be returned for the deficient postage to be added.

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By John M. Hotchner

#280 - Fourth Quarter 2019

Postage Due on
Outgoing International Covers - Part One

will begin with postage due on covers intended for overseas, but which were charged and collected in the United States before getting on a plane or ship. After this, I will review postage due collected abroad. In general, the rule was that if a mail piece destined abroad had a return address, then the mail piece would be returned for the deficient postage to be added.

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By John M. Hotchner

#272 - Fourth Quarter 2017

Post Office Handling of Coin Covers Could Result
in Postage Due Markings, But Mostly Don’t!

At the suggestion of our editor, this column will take a break from our continuing series about auxiliary markings on international mail. The reason is that I want to follow up on the article in the second quarter 2017 La Posta, titled “A Rare Collection of Envelopes That Used Coins to Help Pay the Postage” (pages 51- 52), by the late Rob Haeseler, a long time friend and, for several years, my editor at Linn’s Stamp News.

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By John M. Hotchner

#271 - Third Quarter 2017

Customs Duty Markings on Incoming Covers
Part Two: The 1940s

We continue in this article with Customs duty markings on covers coming into the United States. In the last La Posta we took these from the late 1800s into the 1940s. In this installment, we will look at additional 1940s Customs-related covers. The key date for understanding this era is August 18, 1924, when a Universal Postal Union convention provision was signed that, in the words of Tony Wawrukiewicz, was the first to make provisions for the transmission of dutiable articles in the letter mails to those countries (which included the United States) that agreed to accept such shipments.

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By John M. Hotchner

#270 - Second Quarter 2017

Customs Duty Markings on Incoming Covers
Part One

In this column, we will look at a category of markings on incoming foreign mail that we have not yet addressed in this continuing series about auxiliary markings on international mail. This is a series that has grown well beyond what was originally planned. I would posit that this is proof that the more we look, the more we find!

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By John M. Hotchner

#269 - First Quarter 2017

Unusual Markings on, and Odd Handling of,
Incoming Covers from Abroad

For the last four years, we have been looking in this column at auxiliary markings on mail going into and out of the United States. While some of the markings are unique to such mail, others can also be found on domestic mail. Here, we will view a group of incoming covers that have some of the most unusual messages or handling that I have seen. As always, readers are invited to report additional covers in this category for future columns.

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Peter martin Articles

By Peter Martin

#283 - Third Quarter 2020

The Post Office at Duck Key, Florida

Duck Key, in Monroe County, Florida, is located oceanside of U.S. 1 (the Overseas Highway) at mile marker 61 in the center of the Florida Keys. It lies about 90 miles south of Miami and nine miles north of Marathon.
The .9 square mile island has a long history. Its name was given around 1722 and land ownership dates back to an 1814 Spanish land grant.

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By Peter Martin

#284 - Fourth Quarter 2020

The Backstamping of U.S. Mail

The U.S. Post Office Department used to backstamp mail with the date of receipt and the name of the receiving post office(s) along the transportation route. But ask most postal historians when this practice started and/or stopped, and you’re likely to get a blank stare. When did the practice start?

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By Peter Martin

#281 - First Quarter 2020

A Remarkable 1869 Receipt
from Washington, D.C.’s Seaton House

One of my collecting specialties is Washington, D.C., hotels, with an emphasis on the 19th century establishments. The hotels provide a microcosm of the growth of the nation’s capital, while their postal history traverses the pre-stamp and stamp periods while also introducing some of the earliest illustrated advertising covers.

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By Peter Martin

#280 - Fourth Quarter 2019

M-Bag Mail

The M-bag service provides a way to send books and other printed material internationally to a single addressee. Rates are weight dependent. It is an economical way often chosen by the international students who go to school in the United States and who need to send their books home.

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By Peter Martin and Richard S. Hemmings

#277 - First Quarter 2019

A 1966 11-cent Aerogramme
to Jerusalem, Jordan

The illustrated 11-cent John F. Kennedy aerogramme (Scott UC38) is a fantastic item from both a postal history and an historical standpoint. The aerogramme was sent from 2167 12th Avenue in San Francisco to: “Miss M. Levy/American Colony Hotel/Jerusalem/ Jordan.”

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By Peter Martin

#275 - Third Quarter 2018

Earle Eckel and His 1938 National
Air Mail Week Autogiro Mail Flight

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the May 15-21, 1938, National Air Mail Week. The brainchild of then-Postmaster General James A. Farley, the event was intended as a nationwide public relations campaign to celebrate 20 years of airmail service in the United States with a slogan of: “Receive To-morrows mail Today!”

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Ralph H. Nafziger Articles

By Ralph H. Nafziger

#276 - Fourth Quarter 2018

William S. Linto:
A Prolific Cachetmaker

In 1934, Linto began producing cacheted covers at home in his den, which occupied most of his spare time thereafter. His first cachets either were for covers with ship cancels or commemorated holidays. The cachets were handdrawn and handcolored. Often there were variations in lettering and colors.

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D. DeBlois And R.D. Harris Articles

By D. DeBlois and R.D. Harris

#275 - Third Quarter 2018

Newspapers and the Mail
in Missouri 1832-1855

Many post offices are presently located in old buildings. However, the post office that has operated for the longest period of time in the same building is in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Hinsdale, in the very southwest corner of the state, used a pictorial cancellation in 2016, celebrating its 200th anniversary in the same building. It has operated in that building longer than any other post office in the country.

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Scott D. Tiffney Articles

By Scott D. Tiffney

#275 - Third Quarter 2018

The Daniel Hines Air Mail Archive

In our modern world where transcontinental flight is commonplace and the allure of mail delivered by plane across the country may seem trite, there’s a certain historical romance to those early pioneers of airmail flight.

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Joseph Williams Cagnina Articles

By Joseph Williams Cagnina

#285 - First Quarter 2021

The Amateur Radio and Postal History Connection

Radio amateurs, better known as ham radio operators, share a hobby enjoyed by thousands of radio enthusiasts worldwide. An equal cousin of ham radio is the art of short wave listening, better known as SWL.
A major part of this hobby has a postal history tie. When a communication is made with another station, it is a courtesy to confirm, in written form, that the communication was truly made.

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Kelvin Kindahl Articles

By Kelvin Kindahl

#274 - Second Quarter 2018

The Oldest Operating
United States Post Office

Many post offices are presently located in old buildings. However, the post office that has operated for the longest period of time in the same building is in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. Hinsdale, in the very southwest corner of the state, used a pictorial cancellation in 2016, celebrating its 200th anniversary in the same building. It has operated in that building longer than any other post office in the country.

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Stephen Kochersperger Articles

By Stephen Kochersperger

#285 - First Quarter 2021

A Postal History of Hooterville

The village of Hooterville, along with its post office, attained national celebrity, primarily through a trio of television shows that aired during the 1960s and 1970s — Green Acres, Petticoat Junction, and The Beverly Hillbillies. For many viewers, Hooterville was the embodiment of small-town, rural America. The Hooterville Post Office and general store represent a way of receiving mail that, for most Americans, has all but vanished. As such, the Hooterville Post Office warrants a closer look

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By Stephen Kochersperger

#273 - First Quarter 2018

32 Days
Hath October

Kwajalein is in the Pacific Ocean, about 2,100 miles southwest of Hawaii. The “M.I.” stood for Marshall Islands, not Michigan. One the world’s largest coral atolls, it consists of 90 or so islets. Kwajalein Island, the largest of these, is just 2.5 miles long and 800 yards wide.

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Jesse I. Spector Articles

By Jesse I. Spector, M.D

#285 - First Quarter 2021

Untruth in Advertising:
19th Century Medical Charlatans

When referring to the heyday of the 19th century patent medicine trade, the expression “Truth in Advertising” is a contradiction in terms, a true oxymoron. Not until government intervention in the first decade of the 20th century would even a modicum of honesty begin to nudge out the hucksterism of worthless, and often toxic, tonics scamming the public.

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By Jesse I. Spector, M.D

#271 - Third Quarter 2017

The Sidney Ducks
and Vigilante Justice

On June 21, 1851, in San Francisco, California, 35-year-old John Jenkins, an Australian ex-convict who was convicted of burglary after being caught carrying out a safe from an office, was lynched in Portsmouth Square under the approving gaze of thousands of locals.

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James W. Milgram, M.D. Articles

By James W. Milgram, M.D.

#284 - Fourth Quarter 2020

Augusta, Georgia, Express Mail Covers

The Express Mail of 1836 to 1839 was a Post Office Department mail service intended to handle light, important letters over various fixed routes by express mail horse riders. For this increase in speed of transmission of a letter over the usual letter, which was carried on coaches or wagons, the letter was charged triple postage, a huge sum in those days.

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By James W. Milgram, M.D.

#281 - First Quarter 2020

Comic Valentines Depicting Civil War Subjects

One-page valentines depicting cartoon-like images with four-to-eight-line captions were produced in the United States as early as the 1840s.
By the time of the American Civil War in the 1860s, the public was used to seeing these often very vitriolic images over which there was no type of censor; there were “no holds barred.”

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