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Posted Jul 23, 17 3:55 by Farley Katz (navalon)

US/Prussia closed mail through England

Is addressed in the US Postal Convention with Prussia 1852, available here

Added: Here is an exhibit including examples of covers sent by Prussian closed mail.

Postal conventions as well as the UPU commonly contain "closed mail" provisions that permit mail passing through one country to travel in sealed bags. The conventions provide for a charge for the mail. The 1848 US/Great Britain convention actually provided that an officer of the sending country can accompany the mail in transit through the other country. I'm not sure this give a full explanation of the "why" but perhaps it helps.

Posted Jul 23, 17 1:45 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Prussian Closed Mail

Dear Board Members,

Is "Prussian Closed Mail" simply an agreement between New York and Germany that mail will be sent in a closed parcel across England to Germany? Or is there more to it? I wish to gain knowledge of what exactly is Prussian closed mail and its significance. Web searches do not return any explanations why, or the reason for Prussian closed mail.

PS- Here is a cover with a pair of 10c cent green (#68) with the amusing notation "per Prussian Closet Mail".


Posted Jul 22, 17 22:46 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Postmasters' Provisionals

Here is a page from the 1949 Scott's United States Stamp Catalogue Specialized, showing the Baltimore Postmaster Provisional Envelopes. A note at the top of that page states "Prices for envelopes are for entires". So at least Scott, at that time, did not list prices for cut squares of those rare items.

But the listed "5c + 5c" varieties still puzzle me. Never have seen any.

My 2016 Scott U.S. Specialized simply has the 5c and 10c values listed in blue or red, "various papers". The paper colors are given as manila, buff, white, salmon or grayish. Quote: "All 10c envelopes are rare, with manila or buff the more frequent. Of the 10c on salmon, only one example is known."


Posted Jul 22, 17 22:40 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Old collecting habits

A long time ago I acquired a nice U.S. collection housed in a Scott 1951 U.S. National Postage Stamp Album. I have kept the album, which I find interesting as an indicator of the collecting habits from that time period.

For example, the page for the Baltimore Postmaster Provisional Issues, Envelopes, shows spaces for cut squares of that issue, 15 different varieties, as opposed to the current four varieties. The old system was based on various paper colors, in addition to the markings being struck in either blue or red, plus two 5c + 5c varieties, which I suppose were two side-by-side strikes of the 5c in oval marking (a variety not currently listed).

I find it interesting that collecting cut squares of those rare Postmaster Provisional envelopes was thus encouraged back then. In all my years of collecting I have never seen such Provisional cut squares ever offered. Nor would I ever want such an item. I am just shocked that anyone would ever cut-down such rare entires. A suppose if a collector had an ugly, ratty entire he had the choice of reducing it to a cut square to fit in the space of his U.S. National album.

So I next checked my 1949 Scott's United States Stamp Catalogue Specialized to see how this group of Baltimore Provisionals was listed. Will show in my next post. 


Posted Jul 22, 17 15:32 by Richard Frajola (frajola)


David H - Does not seem to matter near as I can tell and I never use accents in searching...

Posted Jul 22, 17 15:23 by David Handelman (davidh)


So it doesn't seem to matter, in doing a Google (image) search of French language terms, whether the accents are included?

Posted Jul 22, 17 15:18 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)


That did it. again, thanks for the help.

Posted Jul 22, 17 15:09 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Google Images

I type in search term, in quotes, in main google, then select the images tab.

Link to result page with covers included is here.

Posted Jul 22, 17 15:09 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)

Richard. I tried the and didn't get any images of covers. did you do something different than typing in "Mediterranee a Lyon" ? I even tried the search using the actual image of the dcds.

Posted Jul 22, 17 15:00 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)

Richard. I tried the and didn't get any images of covers. did you do something different than typing in "Mediterranee a Lyon" ? I even tried the search using the actual image of the dcds.

Posted Jul 22, 17 14:23 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Google Book Searches

My favorite (that many users underappreciate I think) is their "Book Search."

Main Search, click "More" tab and select "books"

Then, select "Tools" and "Any Book" tab

Then "preview available" to get rid of most of the books your can't read online

or - "Any Time" and set publication date (useful to get rid of all the new books with only partial text readable)

Posted Jul 22, 17 14:04 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)


google image search? did not know you could do that. Many thanks.

Posted Jul 22, 17 13:25 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Mediterranee a Lyon

Richard - Try a google image search for:

"Mediterranee a Lyon"

and then go to website page of the images that show covers.

Posted Jul 22, 17 12:45 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)

mediterranean a Lyon


How or where did you search to get the information on the Solonika origin of the Mediterranean a Lyon dcds?

Posted Jul 22, 17 11:06 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Last post

Thanks for your participation, Richard. It's been a pleasure.

Posted Jul 22, 17 9:56 by Ravi Vora (nusivar)


Here is an unusual Airmail Missionary Cover from a Missonary in Indore to his family in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago bearing total postage of 26 and 6 piers. What is interesting is that when the cover transited through New York Post office, the cover was damaged badly enough for NYPO to apply the USPO seal and a postal marking " Received in Bad Condition, GPO MAILING DIVISION.

I have posted the front and back of cover on the Board also,


Posted Jul 22, 17 9:29 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

DLO cover letter / envelope

Tony - I had, from Elliot Perry, a large archive of correspondence from 3rd Asst. PM, etc addressed to the PM of Zoar, Ohio. In it were several circa 1840/1858ish folded covers that had free franks of the 3rd Asst. PM that were clipped to various forms of the early DLO forms. If I recall correctly (I do not have any examples that I can find right now), none had pmks at all and most did not have any notation that they were from Dead Letter Office - at least the early ones pre 1858 or so.

Posted Jul 22, 17 8:12 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Thank you for all you have contributed over the years ...


With thanks for your contributions to our hobby I wish you peace and comfort in your future journey.

Russ Ryle

Posted Jul 21, 17 19:58 by Richard Babcock (babcock)

last post

Thank you Gentlemen for helping me learn over the years.. For health reasons this will be my last post. Thank you so much for having me. Happy researching ah.

(Edited - Happy Trails!)


Posted Jul 21, 17 15:31 by Tony Wawrukiewicz ([email protected])

How were this form and the returned to writer or addressee dead letter office (DLO) items, returned by the PMG?

Wegner, in his Washington D.C. DLO monograph illustrates multiple examples or very similar examples of the form I illustrate here. His earliest example is dated 1824.

I have two examples of PMG official envelopes, dated 1879 and 1901, that were definitely used to return this form or a similar one, along with the returned DLO item. These were sent to the PM of the returned DLO item writer or addressee, and the appropriate PM attempted to return the DLO item to the writer. Wegner shows no such examples, except possibly an 1873 one on page 27.

Since the forms exist as far back as 1824, I assume that the PMG used his envelopes to return the forms and the returned dead letter as early as 1824. Does anyone have any examples of these PMG envelopes, especially before 1860?

Thanks, Tony Wawrukiewicz


Posted Jul 21, 17 14:21 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)


Solonika? I'm going to follow up on that. Thanks.

Posted Jul 21, 17 14:11 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)

Thanks Richard

I know that this cover comes from Smyrna. Maby it was picked up by mistake in Marseille by a clerk instead of the usual "Marseille a Lyon" datestamp?

Posted Jul 21, 17 13:57 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Mediteranee / Lyon marking

Richard - I see a few examples online with that marking that all seem to have originated in Salonika (one example here). I have no information other than it is a railway marking and for that reason may have been out of Salles' scope.

Posted Jul 21, 17 13:14 by Richard Hilty (rhilty)

Need help on this dcds.

I have worked with several dozen covers from Smyrna over the last few weeks which all have the entry at Marseilles. They all have "Marseilles a Lyon" etc. on the backs indicating the train from Marseilles to Lyon. This is also obviously indicates the train to Lyon. However, when I tried to look up this dcds in the Salles index, I could not find it listed. Also, leafing through the Salles I couldn't fined any images of this date stamp

Any Help would be appreciated.


Posted Jul 21, 17 9:33 by Tad Mackie (philaclectic)

Jim Baird -

This works for Windows, and should work for Mac:

1. OCR each document to be searched.

2. Put all of the documents to be searched into one folder.

3. Pick any one of the documents to search with the (free) Adobe Reader.

4. Use the Adobe Reader Advanced Search option to select the folder that has all the documents, to search all the documents at once.

5. Voila! up pops a list of hyperlinked occurrences, in each document, including a bit of context to help you decide which to look at)

Hope this helps.

Posted Jul 21, 17 7:01 by Jim Baird (bairdo)



Thanks.  I'm on a Mac. As I read the URL offered, Lookeen is a Windows only offering.

The search goes on. (;-)


Posted Jul 21, 17 3:34 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

@Jim , Search Solution

I wonder how Acrobat Pro will help on that.

I indicated in my earlier post on that the Google Desktop Search was a useful tool for that but that tool has discontinued.

You may try (14 days free trial)

Posted Jul 20, 17 21:13 by Richard Babcock (babcock)




Posted Jul 20, 17 21:10 by Richard Babcock (babcock)


1857 10c green,type1,Interpanneau Guide Line tied by San Francisco cds,Ashbrook note on reverse.


Posted Jul 20, 17 16:33 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Connecticut Railroads

I found today some files from a 2000 version of my webpages. Found this collection of Connecticut railroad covers I mounted.

Posted Jul 20, 17 16:21 by Jim Baird (bairdo)

Search solution

Richard, the problem is that after combining, if the set was not OCR'd, and the text is very long, Adobe's OCR can't handle the size.  One can OCR the set and then combine them and then search the resulting document.  The problem with that is the search will take you through the entire document, finding the search word/phrase each time it occurs.

What is wanted is the capability to have the search results reported.

Gary Loew has answered the need using Acrobat Pro.  Now I have to learn how to use the program - which I should have done 20 years ago.  I have owned a computer since '81 but when I went over to Mac in '86, stopped learning software ops.  Simple operations are generally self evident on it.

Posted Jul 20, 17 14:02 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

One Solution


I often combine a range of similar PDF files into a single file. Then OCR the file and reduce the size. It may require Abobe Acrobat XI/Pro or similar to keep size down if that matters.

Posted Jul 20, 17 13:58 by Jim Baird (bairdo)

Searching multiple docs

Richard, Rainer -

The PMG reports supplied have been OCR'd - so they are individually searchable.  What I asked was for was help in searching in (essentially) a single step across many documents.

I have rec'd a suggested solution off-line which I will try; and then report.


Posted Jul 20, 17 12:17 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

PMG Reports


Thanks for the help compiling the PMG reports I have listed on my site - linked here.

It is nearly impossible to impossible to OCR camera and iPhone type images of documents ...

Posted Jul 20, 17 11:08 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


By the way, about five years or so ago Neil Sheehan wrote a terrific book about the early long range missile (USAF) development in the US .  A Fiery Peace in the Cold War.  Incorporated in it is the Corona story.  The first intact recovery occurred way off target, in Scandinavia.  On a Soviet (mining?) operation.  We never did get it back.  I wonder if it is in some warehouse.  It took twelve or thirteen tries before we actually recovered one -- Ike was getting impatient.
They didn't even have to shoot it down, like the U-2.
(Sheehan's book has its share of errors -- see some of the reviews on Amazon.)

Posted Jul 20, 17 6:31 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

@Jim, searching thru archived documents/bulletins

If the bulletins are in plain scanned image format you need to run an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) Program over it. By that, if all or most words are recognize and converted into a machine readable format you can use even your windows/apple search to search thru that documents.

Some years ago there was a desktop version of Google Search available, no idea if this program still exists.

Posted Jul 20, 17 6:19 by Jim Baird (bairdo)

Aw. . .Chuck

Please, not another delay for this book.  Been waiting 2, more?, years.

For computer wizards, I have a question.  I will use the CD that comes with the book to ask. It is said to have quite a number of PMG annual reports - 50+.  There is a lot of information in there, but even in digital format it is hard to find things.

Is there a way to search across an entire set of documents such as this for something which may have only been mentioned one or a few times; and for which one cannot narrow the search by date?

A sort of personal Google?



Posted Jul 19, 17 3:18 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

"U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad, 1832-1875"

The dust jacket   ...

Posted Jul 19, 17 2:56 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

The Charm of semi classic Postal History

Press Notice from UK Post No. P.N. 256 The Postmaster General announces that a weekly mail service by motor transport has been established between Haifa (Palestine) and Baghdad. This service will connect with the Indian Mail which leaves London every Thursday via Marseilles and Port Said, and is now available for the conveyance of all classes of postal packets, except parcels, for Iraq and the Persian Gulf. Mails leaving London on Thursday night will reach Port Said on Wednesday, Haifa on Thursday and Baghdad on Saturday night. The transit from London to Baghdad will thus be about 9 days as compared with 23 days by the ordinary route via Bombay. This weekly service is in addition to the fortnightly Air Mail Service. Packets intended for conveyance by the new route must be subscribed by the senders “By Overland Mail Haifa-Baghdad” and prepaid with a special fee of 3d. per ounce in addition to the ordinary postage. There is no insurance system; but registration is admitted under the ordinary conditions. The fist mail by the new route will be despatched on Thursday next, November 22. GENERAL POST OFFICE, 19th November 1923

22 November 1923, Kilburn / London to Baghdad / Iraq. Ordinary Cover from the 1st acceptance of mail which was announced to the public on 19 November 1923. Route Instruction “Overland Via Haifa” and finked with 6d comprising of 3d postage and 3d Overland Mail surcharge. On reverse arrival postmark BAGHDAD H.O. 2 DEC 23. Transit time 10 days. The first and only cover from the 1st acceptance of mail from UK known so far, discovered just recently and now in my collection.


Posted Jul 19, 17 2:49 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

Dave   ...

Hugh's book will have an OTC price of $97.50, with the postpaid prices being $107.50 (USA), $143.45 (Canada) and $164.45 (México). For delivery within Illinois, the 10% sales tax will be added.

In the U.K, the book will be available from Hugh for £89 + the postage within the U.K. Because of their varied postage rates much too numerous to detail in the promotional material, international areas other than Canada, México and the U.K. will be referred to Len Hartmann for an emailed postpaid price quote.

Purchases can be made through our Club, or our website (, and payments can be made via $US checks, money orders or PayPal.

Detailed ordering instructions and other information referencing the book will be included in our press release (which will be posted here --- Thanks, Richard).


Posted Jul 19, 17 0:12 by Terence Hines (thines)

Sort-of block of 4 1 ct.

Looks like a normal block witht he lower section cut off with pinking shears.

Terence Hines

Posted Jul 18, 17 22:17 by Paul Dessau ([email protected])


After a quick google, I learned that galoot was a 19th century (mostly maritime) slang word for a "dork" or stooge.

Posted Jul 18, 17 21:59 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Double Galoots, Corona

Not a precancel.  Post postal.
I think a had a very tenuous connection with Corona.  As a summer intern at the Propulsion Lab in 1963 in satellite hydrogen power cells.  I was there when when my boss mounted the thing on the vomit comet C-135.  They had the cargo door open and a big spray head of the fire engine sticking in there.  Apparently if they turned it on it would have killed him.  The crew chief told me that on tests of liquid hydrogen dynamics for the RL-10 system they had leaks and were flying with an explosive H2 mixture in the entire cabin.  The zero G test was to simulate orbit and I helped reduce the data, but the test was so short  I was doubtful it meant much.

Posted Jul 18, 17 19:43 by Al Starkweather (stark39)

Stamp Insider for July–August 2017

The July–August 2017 issue of the Stamp Insider, journal of the Federation of New York Philatelic Societies, is online and available for free download in PDF format or viewing online with page turning. It is available in both PDF and HTML5-friendly format at:

The cover story by David S. Ball, newly appointee executive director of the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, is “Ike Received First Letter from Space.” It focusses on the 1960s Corona/Discoverer spy satellite program that replaced U-2 surveillance during the Cold War.

The featured video shows the recovery of a capsule containing surveillance film parachuted from a satellite and recovered in mid air by a C119 Flying Boxcar.

“Stamps Honored Grenfell Twice” by George McGowan examines the establishment of the Grenfell mission by Sit Wilfred Grenfell, who brought health care to Newfoundland in the late 19th century, Steve Swain shows how oil companies promoted their businesses by issuing cinderella stamps and albums during the Great Depression.

In his Great Britain Up Close column, Michael Dodd provides an in-depth look at “General Anniversaries in 1970.

Lost Mail List

The opt-in mail list was lost during system maintenance following posting of the May-June issue. Those wishing future notifications are invited to resubmit their email information. A new backup procedure should prevent similar events in the future.



Posted Jul 18, 17 19:06 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Cuba Galoot Cover

I can't believe that in discussing Paul's "Cuba 2" cover no one has bothered to observe that the cover bears a manuscript "Double Galoots" and the stamp is pre-cancelled with a fine drawing of the Big Galoot himself!   I might note that this cancel is exceedingly rare and not in E.A.Farnsworth's "Double Galoot Cancels of the Upper Ohio"  (Philatelics Press Penn. 1937).



Posted Jul 18, 17 15:29 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad, 1832-1875

Chuck - what is the price of Hugh's new book?

Posted Jul 18, 17 14:21 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

"U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad, 1832-1875"

Updating a previous posting, due to shipment complications, Hugh Feldman’s epic "U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad, 1832-1875" book will not be available from the CCC until after the first week of August.

Flyers detailing Hugh’s book will be available at the APS-Richmond event. The hardbound, 1,096 page reference is presented in full color, and illustrates 242 Covers, 582 Maps, and 360 other images. A DVD containing the annual PMG reports for 1817-1878 is included.

Charles E. Cwiakala, President
Collectors Club of Chicago

Posted Jul 18, 17 10:23 by Paul Dessau ([email protected])

Cuba cover

Thanks Yamil and Bernard

The letter with this cover is very heavy, and includes a boat plan drawing. I will post it in the census, including your info --

Posted Jul 18, 17 8:59 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Cuba cover

Very interesting.  The limited marking system you describe shows an example of what I call downstreaming and short marking.  It also occurred in the colonies and the stampless era in the US in various forms related mainly to ocean mail, but also RR in response to overwhelming numbers of letters.

Posted Jul 18, 17 7:49 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

numeral marking on cover to Cuba

The 2 was the double-weight Cuban incoming ship letter rate for correspondence from North America or the West Indies, in silver reals (one silver real = 12 1/2 US cents).

Since about 1858 the weight increment for incoming correspondence was changed from half ounce to ten grams, so this letter must have weighed between 10 and 15 grams.

Havana typically applied an NA marking to indicate the letter's origin in North America (or NE for Northern Europe). Other ports such as Matanzas in the north and Santiago in the southeast also had NA markings, but they stopped using them in the 1850s. Ports other than Havana simply applied rate markings.

In the 1870s Havana often applied rate markings only to multiple-weight letters. It was a time consuming two-step process to apply the NA and the rate marking separately. A typical mail-carrying ship usually brought several hundreds, if not thousands, of letters and printed matter that had to be quickly weighed and rated.

In this case the 2 was applied in Cardenas, on the north coast.

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