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Posted Jun 22, 17 12:50 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Well, she did have a Spanish connection -- the greatest bullfighter of the time.  Although post divorce, I think, Frankie did not love that, although he was protective of her in his way until she died.

Posted Jun 22, 17 12:47 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Yes.  One question is whether it was contract or non contract steamboat.  The handling of these was confused, especially in the 1840s on the Southern and Western rivers until the PMG more or less sorted it out at the end of 1852.  Henry Meyer and many books get this badly wrong.   This was probably a non contract steamer.   (Although if it was a contract, then maybe there was an officially contracted carrier who took care of it.) 
There are fragments of an interesting little problem -- who carries the mail between the carrier and the offfice?  As I recall, the horsey guys were supposed to carry the bag(s) into and from the PO but the clerk could help.  Off course with heavy RR mails, there were special messangers.  As a wild speculation, the apparent failure to institute a SB mail contract on the Hudson in 1813 may have faltered from this cause.  This may have been a key element in the non contract SB arrangements, as the PMG put it, in the early days.  The Mississippi was a mess because no one was able to sustain a large enough fleet to handle regular mailings, so by the trip contracting was used -- the same boat can appear as both a contract "way" marked carrier, or as non contract "steam."   Meyer failed to recognize that Steam was normally used for both, the Miss. network, for a time (and Mobile -- NO) being exceptions.

Posted Jun 22, 17 12:04 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Wilkinson County

So the letter was posted somewhere along the river, brought by steamer to a Wilkinson County landing, and brought from there to Woodville, all out of the mails, for collection by the addressee?

Posted Jun 22, 17 11:32 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Movie Maja

An eBay seller is offering this press photo that shows the simulated painting from the movie. Observe the face. The face.


Posted Jun 22, 17 10:53 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Ava Gardner

I think there is a movie -- I have only seen a still in her biography? -- in which there is a statue of Gardner in the buff.   I wonder how they handled the problem of the painting in this movie -- did they use a reproducion of the original or do a Gardner imitation?

Posted Jun 22, 17 10:49 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Woodville Weirdness

That is a STEAM 5 not STEAMER, but that does not negate the question.  It is a listed marking but very rare.  That is peculiar  -- my 1855 Lippincott's has it 15 miles from the river.  (By then it was connecting by rail to St. Francisville 29 miles away).   I'm guessing they made a deal with someone near the wharf to bring the stuff in,  though I wonder about the economics of that. 

Posted Jun 21, 17 21:31 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

The Naked Maja motion picture

The title of the film is a tease. You don't get to see Ava Gardner unclothed. The only nudity is in the simulated painting. The story line is jarringly peculiar, because the villain and persecutor is Manuel Godoy (Gardner calls him man-you-el), whereas in actual history he was Goya's patron and owner of the painting, which most scholars believe portrays his mistress, not the Duchess of Alba. But the Inquisition scenes are probably as historically accurate as Hollywood was capable of scripting.

If anyone here wants to see it, I can lend my DVD.

Posted Jun 21, 17 21:19 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

new arrival

Why STEAMER? Woodville is the county seat of Wilkinson County, right in the middle, not on the river. My search for Holly Retreat plantation, also in Wilkinson County, revealed that it is near the Louisiana line (i.e., to the South of Woodville).

Posted Jun 21, 17 21:03 by Richard Babcock (babcock)

new arrival

new to my collection


Posted Jun 21, 17 20:04 by Darrell Ertzberger (mteton)

Maja in the mail

And an Italian meter publicizing the 1959 film


Posted Jun 21, 17 16:04 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)


Leonard - take the stamps outside and hold then in sunlight. The change is darn near instantaneous and very noticeable.

Posted Jun 21, 17 16:00 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

new Eclipse of the Sun stamp

I first saw it yesterday and bought some for 
postage today, in most the touch to show the 
globe does not work and when it does it is so 
faint one can't see much, not sure if it shows the 
Earth or the Moon

Another PO blunder


Posted Jun 21, 17 13:32 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Other side

Madrid to Paris


Posted Jun 21, 17 13:31 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Not banned in Europe

in 1910


Posted Jun 21, 17 13:24 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Lancaster County

Look at a map of Lancaster County. If you are driving in the county and happen to be in Blue Ball, the shortest way to Paradise is via Intercourse. It's true.

I wish I could say I made up that quip, but it's been around for many decades.

Posted Jun 21, 17 13:21 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

And the inevitable

Great American novelization.


Posted Jun 21, 17 13:19 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Other side

of banned 1959 card


Posted Jun 21, 17 13:15 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

This one slipped through

despite the ban


Posted Jun 21, 17 13:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Banned from the U.S. mail in 1959

as obscene


Posted Jun 21, 17 12:38 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


The account below, based on memory  (and perhaps correct for some news reports at the time) appears to be mythical in some details -- see Wikipedia.

Posted Jun 21, 17 12:26 by David Snow (dwsnow)

Interesting letter

It pays to read the contents of  your stampless letters, which can yield surprises.

Example: Cover ID 25810

Here are links to the sender, Joshua Barney, U.S. Navy hero of the War of 1812, and the recipient, Judge Joseph Story, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, later known for the Armistad case, as told in the Steven Speilberg film.

Attached is the second page of the letter, signed by Joshua Barney, which is most interesting.


Posted Jun 21, 17 12:15 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Ribald collections

I think the Purser's had a collection of vulgaria.  One thing to look out for are those ribald humourous pseudo valentines -- near as can tell, they were sent by males to males -- I am not sure what the game was - c 1850 -- and when it disappeared.   i think Richard may have had an outstanding example of some such about ten years back.
PS John's appropos posting went up whilst this was being written.

Posted Jun 21, 17 12:13 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

Town Names

Ohio will be hard-pressed to top Lancaster County, Pennsylvania when it comes to racy town names: Bird-in Hand, Blue Ball, Intercourse, Mount Joy, Paradise, and Virginville.


Posted Jun 21, 17 12:11 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Lewd post office names

As a teenager I once saw, about 1961,  an afternoon quiz show that Johnny Carson had before he hit the big time.  It involved bringing on unrelated couples with stories to tell -- I don't remember more -- perhaps inspired by Groucho Marx's show.  The couple was a slightly strange woman who had awakened in a morgue after an accident and a guy (Ralph Ginzberg) who was starting an erotic magazine.   That very posh, and quite soft core, though hard bound, mag was Eros.   The mass mailings were sent out from Intercourse, Pa and, I think, Blue Balls wherever.  Some of these mailings went to nuns and brothers who objected, and the publisher went to jail for a couple of years on mail charges, in a relatively easy Fed facility.  He wrote an article about the trauma of the experience, and was accused of whining because he did soft time.   I think the point was well taken though, that just having your freedom taken away is a very heavy punishment.   Of course while he was in trouble, the strictures on sex and drugs were disintergrating all over the courntry

Posted Jun 21, 17 11:33 by David Handelman (davidh)

Off-colour collecting

The late Allan Steinhart had an extensive collection of amusing postal history, ranging from the risqué to the obscene—postmarks from Dildo (NF), Come-by-chance (NF), Mile 69, etc, as well as non-postmarks, such as a stampless cover from Condom (Fr). From what I remember of Allan's accumulation, the US list of towns pointed to by Farley is mild by comparison.

He once exhibited it at a local (Toronto) show, and the judges refused to consider it.

Posted Jun 21, 17 10:43 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Ohio names

As it so happens, I have an exhibit of Licking County, Ohio postal history, which on one of its outings obtained a gold medal but I haven't been able to replicate that success again.  The county and the river are, of course, named for the presence of salt licks. 

Pee Pee has captured the imagination of Ohio collectors for quite a while - it was mentioned in the very first issue of the Ohio Postal History journal.  By tradition (reported in literature as early as the 1840s) the name comes from initials found carved on a tree along a creek.  The creek was given that name, and so was a township, leading to the PO name.  it was changed to the rather less exciting Buchanan in the 1880s.

Here's a Pee Pee handstamp.  I have a manuscript kicking around somewhere but it isn't scanned.


Posted Jun 21, 17 10:32 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Who says you can't have fun in a dollar box?  Here's a 1931 cover from Robert Siegel, who would have been 18 at the time. 


Posted Jun 21, 17 10:29 by Farley Katz (navalon)

Licking Valley

Bernard's mentioning of this lewd-sounding town gave me the idea for a great thematic collection.

There are more here


Posted Jun 21, 17 0:02 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

The L towns

A useless follow up to Brer Farley's briliancy (from 1870 list, L------y):  Le Roy, Liberty, Lilly, Lindsey, Londenderry, Licking Valley.  The apparent late use of the stamp is surprising.

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