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Posted Feb 18, 18 19:52 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

Spellman Postal History Symposium 2018 - program

Postal History Symposium: A Century of U.S. Air Mail.

Thursday, May 3, 2018.

at the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History and Regis College (College Hall 202), Weston, MA

FREE ADMISSION – Please register at


8:30AM Exhibition opens at the Spellman Museum’s Exhibit Hall

9:30AM Walk/drive over to College Hall room 202, at Regis College

9:50AM Opening remarks - Yamil H. Kouri, Jr.

10:00 - 10:45AM “First Flight of the Jenny” by Scott Trepel (New York, NY)

11:00 - 11:45AM “SCADTA, The Pioneer Years, 1920-1922” by Santiago Cruz (Bogota, Colombia)

12:00N - 1:00PM Lunch at Regis College cafeteria (Dutch treat)

1:05 - 1:50PM “Development of U.S. Air Mail to European, African, and Asian Destinations” by Murray Abramson (Brookline, MA)

2:05 - 2:50PM “Air Cargo Transportation in the South Atlantic and Across Africa during World War II ” by David Crotty (Park Hills, KY)

3:00 - 3:15PM Closing remarks and discussion

3:30 - 4:30PM Tour of the Museum - see you next year!

Posted Feb 18, 18 19:47 by Yamil Kouri (yamil kouri)

Spellman Postal History Symposium 2018 - press release


The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History, the oldest philatelic museum in the United States, will host its sixth annual postal history symposium to commemorate the centennial of the first U.S. government air mail service. The symposium’s theme is “A Century of U.S. Air Mail.” It will take place on the campus of Regis College (College Hall 202) in Weston, Massachusetts, where the museum is located, on Thursday, May 3, 2018, starting at 9:30AM, a day before the opening of the WSP Philatelic Show in nearby Boxboro (

The displays in the Museum’s galleries, open to the public, will include truly exceptional material from its holdings and an example of the famous Inverted Jenny U.S. Air Mail stamp error, on loan from the American Philatelic Society.

The symposium presenters include Scott Trepel, “The First Flight of the Jenny”; Santiago Cruz, “SCADTA, The Pioneer Years, 1920-1922”; Murray Abramson, “Development of U.S. Air Mail to European, African, and Asian Destinations”; and David Crotty, “Air Cargo Transportation in the South Atlantic and Across Africa during World War II.”

Admission to the symposium is free but the Museum asks that attendees register at [email protected], or go to

Those who wish to stay at the hotel hosting Philatelic Show 2018 may call 978-263-8701 and ask for the “Stamp Show” rate, or visit the website

Posted Feb 18, 18 18:39 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

Madisonville TN yellow cancel

I think this may qualify for "yellow" cancel from Madisonville Tenn. . This is from the same time period but I can't be sure.


Posted Feb 18, 18 13:39 by Roger Heath (decoppet)


David, Interesting to see that Fernandina was a naval base during the civil war. When I researched my Swiss cover to Fernandina I discovered the addressee (D.L. Yulee) was quite an interesting person.


Posted Feb 18, 18 11:07 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Fernandina, Florida

By the time this cover had reached Port Royal, the USS Potamska had been assigned to blockade duty off Fernandina, Florida, based on the docketing.

Fernandina is located on Amelia Island, in northern Florida near Jacksonville, the southernmost of the Sea Islands, a chain of barrier islands stretching along the east coast from South Carolina to Florida.

USS Potomska was a wooden screw steamer rigged as a three masted schooner commissioned on 20 Dec 1861 in NYC.  On 23 February 1863 Potomska captured blockade-running British schooner Belle in Sapelo Sound with a cargo of coffee and salt.. A week later she returned to St. Simons Sound. On 1 June 1863 she was ordered to move her blockade to Fernandina where she remained until September.  She then returned to Port Royal for repairs.


Posted Feb 18, 18 11:01 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Port Royal SC

Richard and Hugh,

Thank you for your explanation of Fred Ekenstam's cover. Speaking of Port Royal, SC, here is a 1863 cover, with a postmark that I cannot decipher, addressed to the blockading steamer USS Potamska at Port Royal.

My next post will show the reverse, with interesting docketing.

Add-on:  By the way, I have always liked this cover for the simple fact that the color of the stamp is so rich and proof-like. Studying my collection of dated covers with the 1861 3c rose stamp, those from 1863 sometimes have a rich color shade, as opposed to those from 1865 or 1866 which frequently have a paler, weaker color, almost a pastel pink. Such as this: Cover ID 25451. Also see Cover ID 21070.


Posted Feb 18, 18 8:00 by Hugh Feldman (feldman)

USS Colorado, Gulf Blockading Squadron, April 30, 1862

Fred E.

On the 7th November 1861 the Union overpowered the garrison at Port Royal in South Carolina and then used it as a repair and provisioning base for their Atlantic Blockade Squadron. The letter of April 1862 would have been landed at Port Royal and put onto one of the supply ships sailing north.

As Richard suggests, this vessel may well have gone to Baltimore where the letter was put into the PO. From July 1st 1862 the POD entered into a contract for 11 months with J.J. Wright to carry mails between Port Royal and New York, but this was some months after your letter.

Posted Feb 17, 18 20:49 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Naval Cover

Looks like Baltimore I would say. (Fortress Monroe in closed bag to Baltimore)

Posted Feb 17, 18 20:41 by Fred Ekenstam (wrapperdude)

USS Colorado, Gulf Blockading Squadron, April 30, 1862

Where would this cover have entered the US mail from off South West Pass, near the Mississippi delta on its way to Salem Mass?

Thanks for your help. Fred


Posted Feb 17, 18 18:07 by George Tyson (gtyson)

And here's another yellow, this time fortunately on a white envelope. With regard to true yellow postal markings on covers franked with a 3 cent 1851-57 stamp, I record 3 from Madisonville, Te., 2 and possibly 3 from Athens, Te., 1 from Hebron, N.H. (ex-Piller) and 1 from Warren, Ct. (never auctioned and closely held). I also record one yellow partial CDS on an off-cover 3 cent from California, town unknown (ex-Clyde Jennings).


Posted Feb 17, 18 17:59 by George Tyson (gtyson)

Good point, John.

Here's another green. There are a number of examples from Thorndike, Ms. - most of them nice - but I don't recall seeing another with a grid cancel.


Posted Feb 17, 18 15:24 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Handstamp inks


What looks like a result of mixing inks may just as easily have arisen from having used a handstamp on two different ink pads. Some red cancels are seen with streaks of black in them.

Posted Feb 17, 18 13:23 by George Tyson (gtyson)

This is a yellow CDS from Athens, Tenn. The greenish cast on the scan is due to the fact that it is on a blue cover but the ink is a pure, true yellow and has been expertized as such. I have recorded two and possibly three examples that are franked with the 3 cent 1851-57 issue. (The third was in an Ed Hyers auction and there was only a black and white illustration. I believe it was described as olive-yellow but can't be sure of that.)

I have seen this Athens CDS in black and olive in addition to yellow. I have also seen an example of blackish olive which indicates that the post office mixed inks on occasion. Chase mentions seeing an olive-yellow example but I have not recorded one.


Posted Feb 16, 18 8:07 by William T. Crowe (wtcrowe)

Nick’s NYFM book

I have scanned my personal copy for use on my IPad. If Nick will allow it, I will send a copy to Richard for posting on the board. Or if that is not acceptable to all concerned, I will provide a digital copy to anyone who asks. Again only with Nick’s permission.

Posted Feb 15, 18 19:21 by george dekornfeld (docgfd)

Nick Kirke and NYFM Cancels

Roger's comments whetted my appetite. Where can one get a copy?

Posted Feb 15, 18 18:55 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

Tiny stampless

I promise this is my last post for the evening. While sifting through some covers I came across this neat stampless cover sent from Lewisburg VA (present day Greenbriar County West Virginia) to Lynchburg VA. The cover measures about about 2.75" wide by 2.375" high. The cover is folded multiple times but it is fairly clear that the letter was sent this way. The small from panel didn't leave the Lewisburg postmaster much of a choice where to cancel the cover


Posted Feb 15, 18 18:49 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

Virginia green cancels Part2

The town of Fincastle used red, blue, black & green cancels during the 1840's and also has a number of neat fancy rate cancels. As far as Virginia towns/cities are concerned I believe they had the most diverse group of neat stampless rate markings. Also of importance is that the postmaster (and any folks in his employ) took some pride in their handiwork as most cancels from the period are very strikes. Okay maybe the postmaster was bored and mail volume low so he had no choice. It is also interesting to note from a historical perspective, there was a county by the name of Fincastle and I believe it was created in 1772 and went from Southwest VA all the way to the Mississippi River. In 1776 is was divided into 3 counties one of which was Kentucky County. I have to think that the short lived Fincastle County was likely the largest county (or certainly one of the largest) ever in the United States.


Posted Feb 15, 18 18:36 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

Green cancels

I apologize for being super late to the dance but I did want to post some additional Virginia stampless covers with green cancels. Fredericksburg used a green CDS for a number of years and it is fairly common. Richmond also used a green/bluish green cancel in the 1840's and it would fall in the fairly common (not scarce) realm as well IMHO. Here is a nice 1841 example of the Fredericksburg green CDS on a beautifully penned letter to Bishop Whittingham in Baltimore.


Posted Feb 15, 18 17:25 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

1900 rate to Switzerland

The T marking says the cover was double weight. With the better scan one can see a faint "2" above the junction of the two circles. UPU regs. said the due marking was supposed to indicate the number of letter rates for the cover besides the amount of underpayment.

Posted Feb 15, 18 15:02 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

1900 rate to Switzerland

I'm sorry the image was so small. In some cyber way it was set on low res. I certainly never clicked that myself, but....?

Here is a proper resolution.

However,...I think I have it figured out.

While not a "Lady Envelope" this is a smallish cover, with only a thin one sheet letter enclosure. That was confusing.

In finally getting to reading the letter, I found that it mentions "sieben Bilder."

So there were probably photos enclosed. Overweight much more likely now.

Thanks everyone.


Posted Feb 15, 18 14:59 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

2017 SESCAL "On the Road Seminar"

This piqued my interest so I found the schedule. Each presentation touched on some aspect of my collection.

Where can I obtain transcripts?

Posted Feb 15, 18 14:09 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

May 2-3 APS course at Boxborough

Postal History of World War II in the Pacific Ocean from the American Perspective

The full description is here.

Posted Feb 15, 18 10:01 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)

Nick Kirke and NYFM Cancels

Just received a courtesy copy of Nick's 2017 SESCAL "On the Road Seminar" on "New York City Foreign Mail 1850-1877 - a New Direction". A big WOW. Finest book on the subject ever written, beating out Van Vlissingen, Bill Weiss and the earlier great historian Hubert Skinner. Not only are listed all of the cancels from that era, but cancelled covers as well with explanations as to route, postage, postage due, etc. Time and time again the phrases pop up saying "Only known cover", "Earliest use reported", "Not previously reported", etc. Major contributors to the book that are mentioned include our host Richard, Dan Richards, Matt Kewriga and Bill Ainsworth. Thank you, Nick.

Posted Feb 15, 18 9:45 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)

19c PO Classes

Thanks, Mike.

Posted Feb 15, 18 0:51 by Henrik Mouritsen (dkcollector)

Cover to CH

The cover was second weight. 5 cents = 25 centimer = rate for UPU letter. Marked T and 25 centimes missing on departure from USA => the cover was second weight. Double missing postage 2x5 cents = 2x25 centimes = 50 centimers charged postage due.

Best wishes Henrik

Posted Feb 14, 18 21:47 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

1900 to CH


Posted Feb 14, 18 21:11 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

1900 Rate to Switzerland

Just bought this cover. Am wondering why 5 cents was not the rate to Europe (Switzerland) in 1900.



Posted Feb 14, 18 16:18 by Richard Drews (bear427)

Gross collection

I concur with Gordon. When tightly held material finally comes on the market it often sparks a high level of interest. When there is very little on the market for many years it inhibits collecting in that area. collectors lose interest if they can't find new things for their area of interest. The publicity from the sale will reach far beyond our normal chanels. The only downside I could see would be a statement from Gross that he was selling in order to beat was he sees as a coming market drop.


Posted Feb 14, 18 15:01 by Gordon Eubanks (gordon)

Bill Gross's US collection


Thinking about the impact of these sales is a fair question. While the future of the hobby is not determined by one sale or one collector, history tells us that this will be very good for the hobby: new people entering the hobby or current collectors getting more involved.

Posted Feb 14, 18 14:00 by Mike Ludeman (mml1942)

19c PO Classes

The item below from the Postal Laws & Regulations for 1887. I believe it was fairly constant for most of the second half of the 19th century, although shortly after the Civil War, there was a 5th class post office for a few years with a maximum compensation/salary of $100.

The 4th class Postmaster compensation was limited to $250 each quarter, regardless of receipts and mail sent. Promotion from 4th Class PO to 3rd class would occur when the quarterly compensation met or exceeded $250 for four consecutive quarters.


Posted Feb 14, 18 12:57 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)

19th c. P.O.Classes

I'm aware that classes 1-4 were set up with each classified by the amount of the annual receipts. 1st class received metal devices from the P.O., 2nd class got wooden devices while 3rd and 4th needed to supply their own. This created a cottage industry to produce and sell CDS and other markings. Usually they were not attached to a cancel. Thus we see hand carved cancel devices used in conjunction with the purchased date devices. . However, I cannot remember the annual receipts requited for each class. Someone please help.

Posted Feb 14, 18 12:33 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

Found it!

Littleton, NH Green CDS

Knew it was around here somewhere. Chip


Posted Feb 14, 18 11:39 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Bill Gross exits

Will the sale of Bill Gross's stamp collection bode well or ill for our hobby's future?

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