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United States/Covers & Postmarks : What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
13 Jun 2015
12:19:10am
It's all your fault! I came to this board to find information on my Franklins and just being here got my curiosity up to pawing through all the boxes I've stored and moved from house to house for many years. I came across a shoe box that was the home to a collection of NJ postmark covers that I started in the early 1970s when I was a teenager. I have added covers to it over the years, but never did anything more.

Some here will note that I recently bought 5 boxes of 100 of Ultra-Pro 2 pocket clear pages, the size best suited for covers. I figured that 4 covers would fit per page, using both sides. And I like that the holders are larger than a standard envelope since I have covers in my collections that are greeting card and European cover sizes. The package came and I was like a kid. I immediately put the NJ collection into pages and binders!

I had no idea how many covers were in my NJ collection, but I used a whole 100 pack of pages. I did leave spaces in pages throughout, and started each letter of the alphabet with a fresh page. I figure I must have 350 covers. They are comfortably in two 3 ring binders at this point. The beauty of it all is that I can add pages, and I've even added one pocket pages to hold larger covers.

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I started this collection in 1974 by requesting postmarks from postmasters. I had my zip code directory and started with "A". I tried to use different and interesting stamps. Most of these are unaddressed, or addressed in pencil, so they really look like philatelic favor cancels. Here's Allenhurst and Allentown, NJ

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I have collected older covers from various sources over the years. Top cover is Bradley Beach and was commercial usage from 1932. Second one is the DPO of Brant Beach, NJ and is a philatelic cover from 1959 signed by the postmaster.

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This page is two covers from the late 1800s from Colts Neck, NJ. This shows my dilemma. I have two to many covers from different towns. To date, I've just included them if they had different style cancels or were from different eras. I don't know if this collection should just be one cover per town or if I should just let it flow, for now it's flowing!

The fun part about this collection is that there are old family covers, such as envelopes mailed to us by long gone relatives and several of the fancy wedding invitation reply cards from my wedding back in the last century. So it's a fun thing without worry of value. And I found some postmarks I lacked in my Franklin postcard hoard so they have been added. There are also some philatelic event and show covers, as well as unofficial postmarks on first day covers. If I was to go 'pure' I'd want it all to be non-philatelically used covers. Any thoughts on the bounds of this collection?

I did buy a cover lot of 8 different NJ covers, that Brant Beach cover came from that lot. I have browsed eBay but I'm not paying the $5-10 a cover for postmarks that should be fairly easy to find otherwise. So I can't wait to attend an event where there will be cover boxes to go through! And this should keep me busy, I have an old zip code directory that tells me I haven't even hit the tip of the iceberg!


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philb
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13 Jun 2015
08:26:18am

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re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

i use the same clear two pocket cover pages..sometimes put 4 back to back..and i am always running short...last night i spent hours trying to collate my Netherlands covers...most of them are in showgard type albums and everytime i find one out of sequence i have to move like 50 covers...if they were in 3 ring binders in the plastic pages it would be a whole lot easier.Image Not Found

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
13 Jun 2015
09:40:16am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Phil, I found a source on eBay and bought 5 boxes of 100 for $72 postpaid. Figured it was worth it since I can now house 2000 covers before I need more.

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philb
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13 Jun 2015
11:39:44am

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re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Wow, last time i paid 25 cents a page..500 pages would take care of a lot of stock books..i might even get organized.Happy

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philb
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13 Jun 2015
06:36:54pm

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re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Ooops i thought you were collecting Pennsylvania..how could i confuse it with Jersey ??

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
13 Jun 2015
07:33:09pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Phil- Probably because I live in Pennsylvania... which is a long story in itself.

I did go through everything in Buckacover.com and there were a lot of very nice PA covers.. got me thinking I should start up with PA as as well... but no, I have enough on my plate!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
30 Jun 2015
08:13:31pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I know, I know! This entire board is sitting on edge wanting to know how it goes with my New Jersey cover collection!

It's going swimmingly! And I'm enjoying it a great deal. I found a few more cancels in old boxes and I think I've gone through just about everything at this point. I'm using a 1977 zip code directory as my check list, and keeping a side list of the DPOs. There are towns I'm missing that I just shake my head that I don't have that one, including a town I own a house in! Otherwise, I've been spending a lot of time on the 'bay, searching the cover sections, and the postcard categories. I've done fairly well.

There was one dealer who had a ton of town cancels in his store. I found 9 NJ that I wanted (there were others that I didn't like the cover, I am being discriminatory!). Anyway, he wanted between $1.50 and $3.00 per cover and he had the "make an offer" button on a few. So I sent him a note telling him the 9 I wanted and asked him for a price, including postage on them. The system wouldn't let me send the message without filling a dollar amount in the box, so I entered a dollar just to make it move. Surprise! He came back agreeing to sell me them all for a buck each, plus $1.50 for the lot! Happy day! And there were some nice early flag cancels too!

For me now, as I am buying single covers, they must really hit me. Considering I'm paying a dollar or two a cover, and then a dollar or two for postage. So here's some recent purchases...

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I thought this one was a nice clean cover, neatly addressed and Special Delivery to boot! I paid $1, plus $1.50 postage for South Orange, a town I didn't have but didn't think it would be hard to find. But I just liked the piece.

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Hampton, New Jersey. I had to have this one because it's an early postal card, and the post mark is my birthday, although a few years earlier! Nice commercial usage, clean hand cancel and the script on the right edge is printed, not by hand. This one was $2.68 with free shipping.

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Rosemont, NJ, this one was an advertising postcard, the reverse is wallpaper samples. I liked the target cancel, but the round is marginal for me since you can't make out the date. Still for 99 cents and $1.50 postage, I grabbed it.

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And the thrill of the week. Schooleys Mountain, NJ. A DPO I've never heard of, on a 1885 cover. I think this one was worth the $1.99 plus $1.25 postage. Note that we recently were discussing people who write stuff on covers, well this is one of them. I will see if it's light and can be erased. All they wrote is friggin obvious!

So that's the past few weeks, with buying covers (for a bit more than I wanted to spend) it's like Christmas at the mail box every day! But the hunt keeps me busy while the wife watches TV and I'm having cheap harmless fun.

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smauggie
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01 Jul 2015
12:11:14pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Nice covers. Schooley's Mountain PO was open from 1851-1894. And then again from 1894 to Date. Nice DPO.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
30 Jul 2015
05:18:24pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I've been plugging along getting interesting covers as the market allows...

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Nice strike Oak Ridge, NJ hand cancel

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And while collecting Ridges, here's Glenridge. Interesting fancy cancel.

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My favorite of the week... Camp Dix, which later became Fort Dix. I still need that cancel, common enough but waiting for an interesting one at the right price.

I have more paid for and inbound! This is a lot of fun, never paying more than a dollar or two a cover. It's Christmas in my mailbox a few days a week!

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parkinlot
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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
04 Oct 2015
04:22:42pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hey - I live in Glen Ridge!

Here is a picture of me wearing a GR Field Hockey Hat. My daughter is a senior on the team.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
05 Oct 2015
12:13:48am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Cool! I'm from Hazlet in Monmouth County, born in Jersey City. I'm now living in Exton, PA. Moved here for a job I no longer have, very long story!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Oct 2016
01:34:54pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I have been plugging along in my NJ cover collection. From time to time I have posted some of the new ones I've acquired in the "What I Recently Got" threads... but it's been a year since I gave a report. So here's some of the things I acquired recently:

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Bernardsville, NJ -- Receiving postmark on 1907 postcard. I do like the older "address side only" cards since I'm searching for my Ben Franklins anyway!

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Branchville, NJ -- 1935 postal card

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Cinamonson, NJ -- No year on it but it's late 1800s. Even though it's stained and opened rough, I liked the purple Christmas eve cancel. An easy decision for the dollar I paid.

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This one I paid $6 for, a real splurge since I told myself early on that I wouldn't pay a lot per cover. Franklin Furnace is a long discontinued post office and it says "Franklin" so I needed to have it!

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Hillside, NJ -- When you've known a town a long time and never realized it was considered a substation of a large city nearby.

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Holly Beach, NJ -- another one I paid money for because this town only existed from 1885-1912 when it became part of Wildwood. I had a feeling this was my one chance to get this one... and I love going to Wildwood!


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You gotta love this one. I bid on a Registered Package Slip with the Locktown DPO postmark for a dollar. The seller included a second card, and this one also had the Kingwood DPO. Score twice!

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Long Branch Village, NJ -- Another local DPO that I'm not even finding information on. Long Branch still exists, so probably absorbed.

Now here's the interesting part, these are half the ones I've acquired since August! I was amazed when I went to update feedback on eBay and had 35 outstanding! Yea, I've been buying a lot of these.

If this is boring to most, I'll stop here, but if encouraged I can easily cue up the rest for another post!




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smaier
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Sally
04 Oct 2016
10:34:49pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

More please! I enjoy seeing the covers and reading your enthusiastic descriptions of why they are important to you. Thanks for posting them....

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ikeyPikey
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05 Oct 2016
08:20:39am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Echo!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
09 Oct 2016
01:11:10pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

And here's some more recent acquisitions...

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A modern day card from Middleville, NJ. I liked the clear hand cancel and even the nice correspondence between son and mother. I had never heard of Middleville so that sent me searching, I had a feeling it was a very small town.

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And I was right. Google Street View is my friend, here's a photo of the post office. It's in the local general store and on a country road. Now I can picture my card being in this old house!

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Ah! The kindness of fellow SOR members. CapestampMan AKA Mike, sent this Bernardsville cover along for the collection. I did have a postcard from this town, but the cancel was obscured by the card printing. So now this beautiful strike with a bulls eye cancel represents this NJ town! Thanks Mike!

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Haddonfield, NJ with a nice Doremus machine cancel. A Ben Franklin on a very clean address side only Christmas card. Note the Christmas eve date.

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Millburn, NJ cover is interesting. It's a post office building dedication cover and cachet by Anderson.

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And here's that original building today, with a later addition to the right side.

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Orange, NJ is a fairly easy cancel to obtain, so I liked this one with incorrect Parcel Post stamp on it. Known as "The Oranges" there is also South Orange, East Orange and West Orange.

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Paulsboro, NJ is South Jersey and this is a nice hand cancel on an address side only card. It's addressed to Gertrude Crook, and we can wonder "is she a crook?". Actually that is a local last name, the former Sheriff of Monmouth County was Crook. He also owned "Crooks Armored Car Service". You can't make this stuff up! And an interesting aside, per Ancestry.com, Gertrude was a popular name of this era.

Toms River is in Ocean county not far from where I'm from in NJ. There are covers and cards in my collection that I have representing a town due to the receiving cancel. I already had a much better Toms River cancel in my collection.

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I love the blue cancel on this Pleasantdale cover! It's a DPO, now absorbed into West Orange (remember the Oranges?) and now considered a "neighborhood".

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Stirling, NJ and there appears to be an argument on how to spell it. I think the post office wins on this one. I actually paid a bit more than I should've since I liked the old garage name, which fits into my automotive collection as well. There is a trend in the old car community to put names like this on old pickup truck doors. I may do a model using this name. It's safe to say Bulls Eye Garage is no longer in existence, at least they don't have any presence on the web or in phone directories. I do check on this stuff!

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Townsends Inlet, NJ is a shore town and is part of Sea Isle City on Long Beach Island. this is the most popular area of the Jersey Shore. The post office still exists. Not the best postmark, I may upgrade it if I find a better one.

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Vineland, is in southern NJ. Again, when I go postmark hunting in the postcard categories on eBay, I look for those early "Address Side Only" cards and am pleased when the "Post Card" marking doesn't collide with the postmark.

That brings this episode of NJ Postmarks to a close. Expect another post shortly as I have at least a dozen covers inbound! Note that covers can be from any era. In fact I may do a post office road rally soon enough to get some current hand cancels into the collection!

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ikeyPikey
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09 Oct 2016
04:49:59pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"... I liked this one with incorrect Parcel Post stamp on it ..."



Okay, I'll bite.

Initially, it was illegal to use Parcel Post stamps to pay the First Class Rate, and vice versa.

(Perhaps some bean-counter thought that this would be a useful way to double-check the revenue & traffic data being collected on first & fourth class mail.)

Motives aside, I can easily imagine postal clerks & customers rolling their eyes at this nonsense rule and, on 01/July/1913, it became lawful to, well, cross-post those stamps ... is yours postmarked 30/July/1912? or 30/July/1913? or ...

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

First Class Use of Parcel Post Stamps (Linn's 19981214)
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whitebuffalo
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10 Oct 2016
08:05:18am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Wow, what an awesome and interesting collection!!! Do you find a lot of listings on Ebay that specify the NJ cancels, or do you have to sort through all the listings and try to spot them? Quite an undertaking at any rate, Kudos!! Thumbs Up


WB

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
10 Oct 2016
02:35:15pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"Do you find a lot of listings on Ebay that specify the NJ cancels, or do you have to sort through all the listings and try to spot them?"



A bit of both! I use the search (nj,n.j.,jersey) under covers and that unearths a lot of covers. I set the search for cheapest first since there is a whole lot of dreaming going on in this category... as in what's the difference between a dollar cover and a ten dollar cover? Nine dollars! Pretty much the same quality of item. So I try to spend as little as possible. The one thing that frustrates me is people who list covers with say a Michigan postmark as "mailed to New Jersey".. no fricken reason to list that unless there are receiving cancels, which there aren't most of the time.

I do the same search under postcards, where most sellers ignore the stamp side of the card. Many do show both sides, but just as many don't and I cannot bid on a cancel that I don't know about. There's also a thing from the era where cards were collectibles and were often mailed in a different locale than the picture face. Originally I'd exclude common towns like Atlantic City from my search, but I've since found a few small town postmarks on these cards.

So I start out with my basic search for the keywords above. Then if I am bored I'll go through the postcard category and look at every pre 1907 card. Those are the "Address Side Only" cards which often combine both sending and receiving postmarks on that same side.

Ah, the thrill of the hunt!

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sheepshanks
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10 Oct 2016
04:08:09pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Tom, I have a couple of NJ postcards that you are welcome to if you would want them.
One, dated Sept 10 1907 from Jersey. SHY. NJ addressed to Charleston SC, picture on reverse of Terraces, Central Park, NY.
The second is dated Jul 5 1907 and I can only make out part of the postmark which is ???(N/W)ona Island, which I presume is somewhere in NJ? The reverse of this is a picture of Albany on the Hudson and addressed to same recipient but c/o Winsted, Conn. where the receiving stamp says it arrived at 8.30pm Jul 5 1907,. Pretty fast service.
Both cards have 1c Franklins.
Send me a message if you want them and I'll get them in the post for you, no charge.
Vic

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
10 Oct 2016
08:50:38pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Vic-
I cannot make out any New Jersey town past or present that would come from either description. I have all the NJ towns I know of in a spread sheet and I ran "island" and only came up with Treasure Island, NJ and I got no hit on "SHY". Thank you for the kind offer but I wouldn't put you to the task of sending them since they can't be identified.

I do have a spreadsheet of all the towns I can share either by Excel or a PDF.

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sheepshanks
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10 Oct 2016
08:59:35pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Tom, will try and put a scan up of them tomorrow, maybe that will help.
Vic

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sheepshanks
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10 Oct 2016
09:38:45pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Tom, have scanned the cards and with a blown up image it looks like Jersey City and Iona Island.
Below are scans of the postmarks. Let me know if you want them.
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Vic

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
11 Oct 2016
01:19:49pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Vic-
Iona Island is actually New York. A very interesting place...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iona_Island_(New_York)

Jersey City is a large city and my birthplace, so I have many covers from there. If that Sept 10, 1907 date was Sept 16, 1908 it would be the 50th anniversary before my birth!

Thank you for scanning them!

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
24 Oct 2016
10:43:01am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Here we go again!

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Chatsworth is in Southern New Jersey and is home to the annual Cranberry Festival. The New Jersey Central's Blue Comet passenger train wrecked here in 1939. The card is addressed to Belford, NJ which is the town where my wife grew up.

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A nice clean postal card from Hasbrouck Heights in Bergen County, Northern NJ. New Jersey is home to many original diners, and the Bendix Diner is one of those.

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Bendix Diner, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ

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Newark Airport Mail Facility is an easy to get postmark since there are a ton of flight covers. I grabbed this one for a dollar since it had a very nice hand cancel on an airmail border.

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Newton is in rural Northwest NJ. This nice anniversary slogan cancel is on an obvious collector prepared cover. I've gone from needing just one representative cover per town, to acquiring different cancel types. When will this madness stop?Surprise

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Great Meadows is a tiny little town of 1,264 residents and the post office still exists today. It's in Northwest NJ and is incorporated as "Great Meadows - Vienna". There is also a Vienna post office on my list, and no I don't have that postmark just yet.

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Riverton is a small town on the Delaware River across from Philadelphia. This is the eBay photo, and I've cleaned up the top appearance a bit by tucking in all the confetti.

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I was the only bidder on this auction, can you imagine that nobody else wanted Buttzville? When you are on Route 80 coming into NJ from Pennsylvania, this is the second town exit. What a greeting! "Welcome to New Jersey! Exit here for Buttzville"!

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Buttzville only has 146 residents, can you blame people for not moving to Buttzville? The town was founded in 1839 by Michael Robert Buttz, and named for him, and the only thing worse than living in Buttzville is being named that! I think the next time I pass by, I'm gonna stop in and see what's there!

So we will end this episode on a low note! Hope you've enjoyed! I do have a PDF list of NJ towns with my checklist, so if you think you may have some NJ towns to share, please do contact me. If you are also collecting NJ postmarks (Gasp! Surprise) I'd be happy to share my Excel version.




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President - West Essex Philatelic Society www.wepsonline.org
24 Oct 2016
03:22:21pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Reminds me of the TV show Schitt's Creek starring Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara & Chris Elliot. If you haven't seen it, it is very funny. Highly recommended. Kind of a reverse Beverley Hillbilly's.

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APS #213005
24 Oct 2016
05:55:57pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Growing up, I knew a family by the last name of BUTTS;

went to school with the son and daughter.


Happy






Randy

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Tom in Exton, PA
24 Oct 2016
08:21:05pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

My wife works for the Krapf Bus Company. This is written down the side of many area school busses. Don't think it got past many of the kids!

She sits near the receptionist who answers all the incoming calls. She said all day long she hears the receptionist saying, "Oh no, it's Kraff." Imagine growing up with that name? And I would've named my company something else just to avoid the obvious.

Now for irony... the nearest competitor? The Gross Bus Company!

Can't make this stuff up folks! Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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ikeyPikey
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25 Oct 2016
07:14:43pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Small world, Randy: my first college roommate was a Butts.

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Tom in Exton, PA
30 Oct 2016
10:54:54am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Here we go again!

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Cape May Courthouse, this appears to be a collector created cover back in 1949. It was one of those that you see on eBay at a high price and pass on by. It started out at $5.95. Then the vendor reduced the price on the "Buy It Now" and left a "Make Offer" button. It was then reduced to $4 and I put in a $2 offer. I was surprised when my offer was accepted. Moral to the story - never fear putting in a low offer.

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Perth Amboy is a small city on the New York Harbor. Not a hard postmark to find, and I had a few different examples. Then I fell in love with this very clean International use postcard and just had to have it for $2. My model car club meets in Perth Amboy.

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East Rutherford is where Giants stadium actually is. Most folks will guess that it's in New York but no they are really the Jersey Giants! When I got back to this postmark collection I originally thought that I'd avoid philatelic event type covers, but have found it tough to do. Especially since this one captures the essence of the town so well. So I couldn't pass it up for a dollar.

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Deepwater is a small town along the Delaware River right at the foot of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, which connects the NJ Turnpike with Delaware.

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Roseland, NJ is in Essex County in Northern NJ. This is an unofficial First Day Cover of the American Folk Dance block of 4 stamps. When this one arrived I saw the familiar "JJJ" signature on the cachet and realized this one was created by an old friend Joe Jiran from my first day cover days back in the 1970s. The connection to dance would be the name Roseland, would be reminiscent to the Roseland Ballroom.

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Pattenburg, NJ is in Hunterdon County. It is a discontinued post office so I grabbed this nice strike 4 bar hand cancel, even though I don't really like post cards with written messages on them.

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A nice strike of Mine Hill, NJ another discontinued post office. It's just a shame that the words "Postcard" are in that position on most old cards obscuring the postmarks. The written message on this one is nicely and clearly written. It illustrates how postcards were used to transit quick messages prior to the telephone.

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Kirkwood NJ is a town in Southern NJ, and the post office is now a substation of the larger Voorhees office. Not the greatest card with a lot of pencil writing and a face tear, but the postmark is clear and it was cheap, bought along with a few others from the same dealer.

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Jutland is an unincorporated community within Union Township in Hunterdon County, just like Pattenburg. It is another discontinued post office.

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Sewell, NJ postmark was found as I mined through the eBay postcard category. The face of the card is Atlantic City, and the sender posted the card once they got back home to her sister's house. Note the wonder of someone from Michigan in 1910 at having actually seen the ocean! Most important it is home to the Barnsboro Inn, the oldest bar in New Jersey!

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Palisades Park, NJ and a great cover with proper usage of the penalty envelope. It appears to be a message between postmasters. Palisades Park is on the bluffs high above the Hudson River on the New Jersey side with a great view of New York state. The name still brings excitement to older NJ folks since it was the home of Palisades Amusement Park, which had the largest salt water wave pool. As a kid we were bombarded with television commercials "Palisades Amusement Park, fun all day and after dark". The park is long gone, replaced with high rise condos.

So that brings us to the end of this installment of NJ postmarks. Hopefully there are still folks who find this entertaining... I'm still having fun.




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Sally
30 Oct 2016
11:33:38am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

What makes it obvious that the first one is a cover created by a collector?

Thanks for posting all these!

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Tom in Exton, PA
30 Oct 2016
01:28:27pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Sally! Thanks for commenting. I believe the Cape May Courthouse cover was created by a collector. People were collecting postmarks, some trying to collect the whole country. I have multiple covers from some individuals. They would mail the envelope to the town and ask for the postmaster to give it a good postmark and return it through the mails.

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There was one collector back in the 1930s who used his business address "American Hay and Grain Company" in Ohio, that I found a few hundred of these in a big lot of covers I bought many years ago. I kept the NJ ones and sold the others in big cover lots I sold on eBay. This guy used a block of four of the 1932 Washington Bicentennial 1/2 cent stamp on many of the covers I have.

I see covers with this same address on them occasionally. Recently I bought a few things off an eBay seller and noticed that he had a few dozen (not NJ) covers from the same addressee! I let him know, and he responded that he too had a few 100 of these! So this postmark collector must've done 1000s of covers!

For the Cape May Courthouse cover, the fact that it has no return address, uses a commemorative stamp and is sealed with no contents is enough for me to suspect it's a favor cancel.

I started my NJ cover collection back in 1974 when I was a teen. I did the same thing, sending a cover to each post office, requesting a cancel by return mail. I remember that nearly all complied, and some even put the cover inside a USPS paid postage envelope to protect it. I got almost through the A's before I gave it up in 1975.

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Sad fact is that you really can't do that today. The town cancel has disappeared except for hand cancels requested at the counter. Even then you run the risk of it being run over by the usual regional center cancel. This one came in the mail this week. Nice Parsippany, NJ hand cancel (the envelope contained a cover) and they still ran it through the machine anyway. I added it to the collection since it's a typical modern cover and I don't have a lot of late date covers in the collection.


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APS life member of 25+ years
03 Nov 2016
05:13:48pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

To Ben Franklin - your Franklin Furnace postcard is now Franklin, NJ - I was born & raised there (just visited in September). I have a NJ cover and postcard collection as well.
Franklin Furnace was an iron forge and later replaced by Zinc as that was the dominate mineral in the area of Franklin and Ogdensburg in Sussex County. The mine in Ogdensburg is open for tours and has a mining museum.
Franklin has a mineral museum.

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Tom in Exton, PA
04 Nov 2016
09:48:38am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"To Ben Franklin - your Franklin Furnace postcard is now Franklin, NJ - I was born & raised there"



Thanks for the reply, I love that card, first because it is a discontinued post office and second because I collect Ben Franklin. And this collection is teaching me a lot more about my home state!

I do have a NJ postmark checklist. I send a PDF to dealers and those willing to help me with finding cancels, but if you are collecting NJ, I can send you the original excel spread sheet if you wish to keep track of your NJ collection.



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rvangorder
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APS life member of 25+ years
08 Nov 2016
03:54:34pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Thanks for the offer but right now I am working on other collecting areas and one more reference document would confuse me to no end.

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Tom in Exton, PA
08 Nov 2016
07:23:24pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

And the parade of covers making their way to my house continues! Yea!

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Wenonah post office still exists today. It makes me think of the song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". It could have been part of my recent postmark trip, but I knew I had this one enroute from eBay. I like this cover because it's normal period postal usage as personal mail. It's cool that there is an address label actually from the town on it. I also like to think Mrs Henry Hughes got better and was sent home from the hospital. The only thing that could be better would be a forward stamp! I don't mind that this is a card size envelope since my album has 5.5" x 7" pockets just for this type of situation.

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Early on I was thinking I'd shy away from event and first day covers. But when I see them for a dollar, and such a nice 4 bar cancel, I just have to bite!

Shiloh is in Cumberland County in Southern NJ. It is a very small town with a 2010 census of 516 people. It was founded in 1705 by Robert Ayers with 2,000 people from Rhode Island seeking religious freedom. From the current population I'm assuming most of these people are now dead. It is a dry town, the only alcohol served there comes from a local winery. Even though I have this cover, I'll put this on the list of interesting towns to visit.

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Here's where my search gets interesting. Sometimes when I'm bored, I'll even look at covers from towns that are very common cancels. Same goes for postcards from major vacation destinations like Atlantic City and Asbury Park. Often people would post these from other towns, sometimes I score small towns I need.

This is one of those covers. Paterson is one of the most common NJ postmarks, and that was how it was listed. But I don't see Paterson, I see the receiving / forwarding postmark from Mountain View, NJ. This is a long discontinued post office that wasn't even on my list. Score!

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Beverly was one of the towns I drove by on my postal trip. My wife said, "What about that town?" as we passed the sign and I told her we didn't need that one. I do like this cover since it has a nice strike readable hand cancel and I like the fire department corner card. I actually paid a few dollars for this one since I thought it was neat!

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Another one of those covers I just had to have. I already have six Matawan covers in the collection. It's the next town to Hazlet where I spent 35 years of my existence. I was attracted to the Registered mail, but ultimately the addressee of "The Red Bank Register" since that was our daily newspaper for many years until it folded in the 1980s. A good memory cover.

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Orange, NJ... when you drive up the Garden State Parkway you come to "The Oranges". There is Orange, but there is also East Orange, West Orange, South Orange and to the best of my knowledge no North Orange. You do need to know your Oranges since some of them are rather pricy and at least one of them is the hood. I already had a cover from Orange, but this was a super nice older cover for a dollar. I've seen covers like this with vendors fishing for ten dollars. Which leads me to the question, "What's the difference between a $1 cover and a $10 cover? The answer? $9.

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Mayetta is another discontinued post office in South NJ. It's actually considered part of Stafford Township which is today's mail designation. I've seen several of this last day cancel cover for sale, each with a different address, but all with the hand drawn cachet. Now here's the big question... this is the last day of that post office and this cover is addressed to a PO box there. The next day the post office would be, um locked? Did the person ever get their cover?

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Of course I already had Princeton. This was part of a fortunate situation. There was a lot of a dozen NJ covers on eBay and nobody bid. I got them for $3 plus $1.50 postage. Score. I have a thing for Special Delivery covers.

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In one of our last installments we reported a cover for Millburn, NJ but part of that $3 dozen was this nice slogan cancel. It's a keeper that went right into the collection. Not limiting myself strictly to a cover per town, just whatever feels good!

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And speaking of that $3 lot, here's a surprise winner. The seller just showed the fronts of the covers and one of those was Newark, again one of the most common NJ cancels. Flip it over and we have Spring Lake Beach, a before unknown discontinued post office! Score! Can't make this stuff up.

So we'll end this session on that happy note. Covers keep on coming in, and at the same time I keep finding new DPOs. So the list grows longer! So many covers, so little time! It's fun, it keeps me off the streets and maybe amuses a few folks here.

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Sally
08 Nov 2016
08:11:22pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

On the special delivery cover with the Princeton cancel, I see a stamped number in the middle of the address. Any idea what that is?

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Tom in Exton, PA
09 Nov 2016
09:26:15am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"On the special delivery cover with the Princeton cancel, I see a stamped number in the middle of the address. Any idea what that is?"



Good eye! I'd say that is a post office marking since it's in the same ink as the "Fee Claimed..." stamp next to it. It could be the Special Delivery piece number. That would make sense, but I'm not seeing any number on any of the other Special Delivery covers in my collection right now. I see a piece number on Registered mail, but not on SD.

That could be unique to the era, this is a 1923 cover, or maybe even to the Princeton post office. The fun of collecting is discovering new things!



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Tom in Exton, PA
25 Nov 2016
07:18:32pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

And here we go one more time!

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Upon having an email conversation about NJ postmarks with an eBay dealer, he included a few extras with my purchase. This is one of the extras. Bridgeton is a fair size city in Southern NJ, and this wasn't the first cover for me. But a nice cancel on a postal card, so it gets added to the collection. The dealer did tell me that this is "The" Ed Harvey, Philadelphia area radio pioneer.

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The same dealer gave me this nice Flemington cover. Again, not my first for this town but I like the age and the Veterinarian corner card. And note I said CORNER CARD. It drives me crazy on eBay as all the dealers proclaim these as advertising covers! But they're not!

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A nice 1905 flag cancel from Dover,NJ.

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A very nice 4 bar killer cancel from Staffordville, NJ in 1942. This is a discontinued post office, so I had to have it.

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These two are unofficial first day covers and represent the shore towns of Brigantine and Ocean View. Originally I wanted to keep this collection to regular postal usage, but with the daunting task of finding near 900 different postmarks, I've decided any cover with a good postmark is okay, and can be replaced with better usage in the future. This leads us into the next few covers, all of these found at a single dealer and all for a dollar apiece.

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Picatinny Arsenal is familiar to me and has no regular post office. The official military website directs their workers and residents to the nearby Dover post office. So this "Station" was no doubt set up for this event, and may be the only opportunity to have a postmark with the arsenal name on it.

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Another cacheted cover with pictorial postmark from Randolph, NJ on it's 175th Anniversary.

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Lambertville is an old 1800s town on the banks of the Delaware River. Now a charming bed and breakfast town, we stay there often and roam the streets of ancient architecture. Upon getting this cover it dawned on me that I had never seen a post office there. A quick look on Google maps found it on one of the side streets. Interesting that it's not in the business district and that the Post Office Department dropped in one of it's architecturally obnoxious 1950s post offices right into this 19th century village. Here's York Street and the walk you'd take to the post office. I doubt they'd get away with that today.

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Gibbsboro, NJ pictorial cancel, and no it's not a first day cover.

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Teterboro does have a small hub airport in North Jersey and that no doubt is where the celebration was held.

So that's all I'll post in this session. The NJ postmark cover collection has been growing. I'm not getting an increase in percentage of completion because I keep finding new DPOs to add to the list. Right now I have 367 of 886 recorded towns. I have multiple covers for many towns, so I'd estimate I must have 700 covers in the binders. We have been holding at three 3" binders for a while now, but I have a feeling I should add a fourth binder soon.

Until next installment...



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Sally
25 Nov 2016
07:42:32pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I like the cover from one veterinarian to another- wonder what was inside?

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musicman
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APS #213005
26 Nov 2016
10:01:24am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"I like the cover from one veterinarian to another- wonder what was inside?"





.......sea monkeys??


Rolling On The Floor Laughing




(sorry Sally - couldn't resist!)
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TribalErnie
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26 Nov 2016
10:50:33am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hey Tom!
How many "known" cancels are out there? Which ones are truly scarce? Do you prefer covers used for every day postal business over prepared event and/or philatelic covers?

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
26 Nov 2016
03:04:51pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Ernie!

Right now I have 367 of 886 recorded towns, for 41% completion. That changes daily in both numbers. I have been buying covers on eBay, actually more than I want to admit, since the envelopes come nearly daily! And as I search the eBay categories, I find new DPOs to add to the list. Some of these are priced at more than I care to spend, so I note the existence on my spread sheet, with the year of that cover, and hope I'll find it more reasonable some day.

You've heard me ask "What's the difference between a dollar cover and a ten dollar cover?" The answer is "nine dollars". Same friggin cover, only some people list very common covers for $8-20 each, trolling for suckers.

What covers do I prefer? Obviously actual postal usage. I like corner cards from businesses, and personal correspondence, you know "real mail". Early on I was going to stick just to that. I also was collecting the cancels on postcards, but only the "Address Side Only" cards that didn't have extraneous writing on them. And the older the better. Actually, I have interesting usage from just about every era in the collection at this point. Some of my favorite are Special Delivery, Registered, early airmail and Postage Due covers.

I've backed down on all counts! I've been collecting just about anything with a nice cancel on it. Recently I found a postcard dealer on eBay who had loads of cards for a dollar each. He only had scans of the picture side, but had noted "used in 1924 from Red Bank, NJ" in his description. I took a gamble on 10 cards from him and all but one were usable. Some of them had messages along with the postmark, but good enough! If I come across better cancels for these towns later on, I can always replace them.

I also have added in special event covers and unofficial first day covers, some with pictorial cancels, as I find them. I do like the post office dedication and last day cancels from discontinued post offices.

As to what is rare, it's difficult to say. Small towns and towns that were only in existence for a short time. On my list, there are cancels from post offices that only existed for a year or two. If I came across one of those, I'd be likely to pay a few more dollars!


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ikeyPikey
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27 Nov 2016
07:19:01am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"... some people list very common covers for $8-20 each, trolling for suckers ..."



I am a little less certain of my ability to see inside people's hearts'n'minds Surprise

When you are selling covers, you never know why someone might want that cover.

More than once, I have posted an old item that I thought was interesting for one reason, only to have someone who was fond of researching names & addresses point out something about the recipient or the property.

As a seller, I would have a choice of whether/not to research every detail, identify every cancelling device & stamp, etc ... or to just let the thing sit there for awhile, at a high price, waiting for someone who cares more than I do, knowing that I could always lower the price.

As a shopper, I can enjoy the smug satisfaction of knowing that I will run across the same (or similar) item at a lower price.

But why guess motives?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Tom in Exton, PA
27 Nov 2016
08:33:06am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I get your point Michael. One avenue to New Jersey postmarks are the first day covers for the 1971 USPS stamp, that was released nationally. Some people collect all the different local postmarks on these cover.

This past week someone posted a handful of these with NJ postmarks. Since these were started at 99 cents each, and I didn't deem them too attractive, I posted my bids right on eBay. Per my theory of not posting bids so they aren't visible, wouldn't ya know that the same person (who I'm watching as a shill for that seller) bid me up to $1.50 each on every one of them!

But the purpose of this whine is to mention one cover. Small town of Farmingdale, NJ cover went all the way up to $6! As this person bid against me, I kept adding the next increment just out of curiosity. And left him as high bidder in the end. I didn't need the town "that bad" since it's one we drive through frequently for a favorite restaurant and the post office is right there on Main Street.

But what was this guy's motivation of bidding that one up to $6? Does he live in Farmingdale and wanted that stamp issue from his own town? Was it the last cover in that series he needed from an area? A county? If this was the era when you could communicate with other eBayers (remember before user IDs when everyone's email addy was visible?) I'd shoot him a note to find out why.

Back to my original point.. the sellers I'm speaking about (ok typing about) are the ones with a hundred very common, unattractive and torn covers all starting at $8.99 or more. Those folks are just seeing what the market will bear.

I bought a few covers at auction (at low prices) from a seller who also had these huge priced store items. She directed me to her own website, giving me an insiders code for a 20% discount. She just had a holiday sale of 50% off anything. Truth is that the prices on the website are sooo high that they are still too high at 50% off!

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ikeyPikey
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27 Nov 2016
04:53:57pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Quote:

"... the prices on the website are sooo high that they are still too high at 50% off! ..."



OFF TOPIC RANT

Is this a good time to talk about the coupons I get from CVS?

For longer than I have been alive, the Big Argument against coupons is that the customer who would already buy your product happily uses your coupon to save a few pennies, while the customer who wants Brand X just goes ahead and buys Brand X.

30-odd years ago, I ran across a 'door hanger' company in Dallas, and their pitch to manufacturers was that they would customize the coupon selection in the packet (that they hung on your doorknob) by calling & asking every household their favorite brands, and then only giving them coupons for the other brands, so as to be sure that you were not giving your own customers a break.

The Calculating Vultures Store will send me a 30%-off coupon that is good for any purchase except etc, etc, etc, 'sale items'.

I go thru the store, and every item I would purchase for the ECT (Elder Care Target) is already 'on sale' (at, say, 2% off).

Or, I get a custom-printed-at-the-register coupon set, but the coupons are for the brand of face cream that the ECT does not use, or for the brand of vitamins she does not take ... never once has the custom-printed-at-the-register coupon set included a product from a brand that she has ever bought.

I recently did some browsing at an Etsy store that offered Free Shipping in honor of Black Friday, and every two dollar item had become a three-fifty item.

Is it ever thus?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey



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Tom in Exton, PA
01 Dec 2016
09:18:42pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I was sorting out an old chest of drawers where I always kept stamps. One drawer had some large envelopes on top, but once removed revealed that it was full of old covers saved from my mail over the years. And I found a few postmarks I needed! So here goes!

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Clarksboro was on the list for my post office road rally last month, but I never got that far. I found this greeting card size envelope mailed to me at work. Envelope size is fine since my album has some one pocket pages in it. I find this one interesting due to the zip code error and rubber stamp "No Zip - Slow Trip, Wrong Zip - Long Trip". I don't think I've seen that before so that makes this one a keeper!

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Then I found this Certified Mail reply card postmarked Little Ferry, NJ. The addressee is a friend of mine (no longer at that address) and for the life of me I cannot remember why I ever would have mailed him something certified! It makes for an interesting piece for the collection with a great postmark. Cross off another town!

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I have several covers from Hoboken but not with this nice Stevens Institute anniverary cancel. It is a number 10 envelope, just shortened for the image here. I don't know where it came from, but it was in the drawer!

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I had a couple of these, Trenton Nixie cancels. The editor of my model club newsletter worked at the big regional sorting center there, so I'm assuming he mailed them from work. I know there is a term "Nixie clerk" which was someone who processed undeliverable mail, often figuring out the delivery info. I'm guessing that was his job since I consistently got these same cancels and there was nothing wrong with the address. So this becomes a piece for the collection.

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Here's one that showed up in the mail today. I already have a Bridgeton cancel but when I saw this show cancel with a hand painted cachet for a dollar... well, ya know!

And today we expanded the collection to FOUR binders. Yea, growing like crazy!

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Sally
02 Dec 2016
10:00:20am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

That's a great zip code stamp. I haven't seen that one before. Definitely a keeper.

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michael78651
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02 Dec 2016
04:49:12pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

FYI, the cover mailed to Mrs. Olive Otis to 381 Beacon Street in Boston in 1926, the house is still standing and was built in 1869. She I can't find her information, but looks like she married into a very wealthy family. The link is to the house, well actually a mansion over 4800 square feet!

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/381-Beacon-St-Boston-MA-02116/59169513_zpid/

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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Dec 2016
08:42:52pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Very cool observation Michael! I regularly do a Google search on cover addresses, but hadn't on that one! Quite a price on that house too!

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Tom in Exton, PA
16 Dec 2016
02:54:25pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

and we keep on being productive in our acquisition of New Jersey covers! Paypal and eBay love me! And we have expanded out to four binders so we have plenty of room for incoming covers!

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I bought this booklet from a postal history dealer, the date of publication is 1981. This has literally doubled my number of possible postmarks. It gives the name, county, date of founding and date of closing for each post office. I'm slowly updating my excel file to include all of these. I've been doing a letter an evening when I'm home.

So I'm having fun and here's a few to share my joy!

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Cliffwood Beach is half in Middlesex and half in Monmouth County. It's divided by an inland lake and a bridge that goes across the inlet to the lake. There once was a pool and amusement park down there, but it's all long gone. I understand that the Hurricane Donna of 1960 took it down and it never was rebuilt. This is local to where I grew up and this became the area to take girls to park! Later on they built a small park with tennis courts and basketball hoops there. The town still exists but the post office was only there from 1948-1959. There still is a Cliffwood post office across the highway, but it doesn't serve this area. New Jersey can be confusing as in... "I live in Cliffwood Beach, in Aberdeen Township where I pay my taxes but I have a Keyport mailing address". Got that?

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Here's my new cover for Daretown, another DPO that existed from 1826 to 1954. This is an 1850s example. I've started to look for some earlier covers and have upped what I will spend. This one was $5.

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Someone on eBay was breaking up someone's collection of all the possible cancels on this 1971 stamp issue. The stamp was First Day issued at every post office in America. I bought nearly a dozen of the New Jersey examples. Here's Stratford and a nice hand cancel from Sparta. Both post offices still are in service.

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Here's Palisade, not to be confused with Palisade Park in the same general area of the Palisade Cliffs facing the Hudson River across from New York. This is a DPO with 1907 to 1956.

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A nice postmark on post card from Fieldsborough. This office was in business from 1880 to 1966. This was a receiving postmark on an "address side only" card.

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Everittstown was around from 1848 to 1912, so I grabbed this Valentine card even though the cancel is less than perfect.

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And I'll leave you with the supreme cover of this batch! I originally passed this one by because it was $10. Then I kept thinking about what a great cover it was. Then eBay sent me one of those emails "Are you still interested in..." and it worked! This is the most expensive cover in the NJ postmark collection. I imagine it won't have that distinction much longer as I seek out some of the older DPOs. Georgetown was around from 1847 to 1920.

So that's the batch for today! Everytime I think people have had enough of me, someone sends me a nice email or private message, so I'll keep it up! There are more covers on the way! One of the cover companies sent me a code for 50% off so I went a bit crazy! Until next time!

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pedroguy
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16 Dec 2016
04:46:27pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I recently moved to New Jersey and am really enjoying your History of New Jersey, keep up the great posts.

Merry Christmas

Bill in Absecon

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Tom in Exton, PA
16 Dec 2016
06:17:15pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Thank you Bill from...

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This cover dates back to when I started collecting NJ postmarks. I had a paperback zip code directory and started with "A". I mailed a cover to each post office and most came back with a nice postmark. You can't do that these days, everything gets postmarked at the regional sorting center so you get that regional smear cancel.

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Tom in Exton, PA
23 Dec 2016
11:30:17am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Last installment I mentioned that a dealer on eBay had a collection of the 1971 USPS stamp from different towns. I grabbed all the NJ ones he had that I needed. So here's the remainder of that score:

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Manville, the town that brought us Asbestos! Johns Manville had a huge plant there that supplied that evil material to the country. Back then they had no idea of the hazards that would be discovered later on. Today it's a quiet little town on the river.

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Bogota is in Bergen County and this post office is still in business. The entire western border of the town is the Hackensack River.

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Birmingham is a tiny little speck in Burlington County, southern NJ. The population at last count was 33 people.

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It's within Pemberton Township and the post office is just too cute! Even though I have this cancel, that looks like one to visit on one of my jaunts!

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Bricktown is listed as a DPO, only because they changed the town name to just "Brick" in the 1980s. Go figger. It's in Ocean County and one of my model car clubs meets there. It's also a bit confusing when there is a newspaper headline "Brick Man Saves Small Child". Is Brick Man a super hero or made of adobe brick? I dunno.

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Garwood is in Union County in Central NJ.The borough was incorporated in 1903 and it's pretty much a bedroom community. Not much else to say about it.

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Keswick Grove might just be the most elusive postmark of this batch. The post office in Ocean County was in existence from 1913 to 1955. This 1952 card is towards the end of the line, and the card is the entrance to a religious camp on Lake Keswick. The child writing the card is away at camp. The post office is gone but the religious retreat still exists today as "American Keswick, Where God Speaks To Hearts". The current postal address is Whiting, NJ. And I paid a dollar for this card!

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Speaking of lakes, here's Lake Hopatcong in Morris County. This is a recreational area and the post office was established in 1889 and this cover commemorates a new post office building in 1966. Too bad they didn't have a picture of that office on the cover because the current post office appears to be much newer than 1966.

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Butler is also in Morris County and was originally called West Bloomingdale. No post office ever existed under that name according to my sources. The town of Butler was incorporated in 1901, but I don't have any information as to how far back the post office goes. This card has my favorite Franklin stamp on it and is dated 1907.

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This penny postcard has a Ralston receiving mark. This is a DPO that was in use from 1892 to 1954. Our card is from 1914. This card is the result of my eBay treasure hunts, where I comb through the cover and postcard categories for NJ cards. A while back I realized I needed to even look at common town cards like Camden and Atlantic City for two reasons. First being receiving postmarks like this and second that cards were often mailed from elsewhere. Either when the person arrived home, or among postcard collectors of the era who had clubs to mail cards to one another. This common Camden card was a dollar. The vendor wrote that he had other Camden cards, um no thanks!

Many postcard vendors have no clue to look at the back of the card. In their eyes if the card was mailed, it's no longer mint and worth less. Many will have illustrations of both sides in their ad, but many just show the picture side. That irks me since it's the wrong side for me. I especially like the earlier "Address Side Only" cards since they are classically clean.

That's all I have today. I hope you enjoy seeing what I have and my ramblings. I am off from work next week but my wife is working and I have days to myself. I may just muster up a postal jaunt to see if I can get some current offices that I'm missing.

Have great holidays!

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Tom in Exton, PA
27 Dec 2016
02:17:55pm
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

And here's the last installment of the year! I will start a new thread in January since this one has gotten rather long. It loads instantly on my computer, but I noticed it was lagging on my cell phone.

Anyway, I didn't get any stamp related items for Christmas. Didn't expect to and I buy myself enough stuff. As such, I a favorite dealer sent me a code to get 50% off on their website for Christmas. At least someone loves me (or my money!) At half price I ordered up a dozen nice New Jersey postmarks I didn't have already. It was delivered on Christmas eve after we had left for NJ, so I received them last night when we got home. Fa la la la la!

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The town of Essex Fells is in Essex County (go figger!) and is a hoity little town of 1.3 square miles. It has no commercial spaces, no multifamily dwellings due to a 1928 town ordinance forbidding anything but single family homes. Thus, it's a rather affluent town of 750 high end homes. This might have been a decent foresight since Essex County is the third most populated of the NJ counties, but you wouldn't get away with that today. It has an active post office today, probably one of two commercial buildings in town. The USPS is exempt from local zoning so the post office was built despite local rules. This nice 50th anniversary slogan cancel appears to be collector requested since it has no return address, and is sealed without any contents.

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Now here's where you learn stuff! Everett is a DPO in Monmouth County, NJ. I had never heard of Everett. When I checked my DPO directories it says it was in existence from 1901 to 1938. This card represents a last day cancel requested by a collector. It was absorbed into the Keyport post office, right in my backyard (duh)! In the web entry on Wikipedia, it described the bounds as being in Holmdel and that Everett Road still exists, which I know so that put the area right in my head! Still have to find out where the post office actually was.

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I never pass up anything related to Ben Franklin, so I had to have Franklinville. Our research shows that Franklinville is the business district within Franklin Township in Gloucester County. That Franklin doesn't have a named post office, so this is it. There is another Franklin Township in NJ with a post office in Sussex County and our DPO book shows a Franklin having existed in another 3 counties over time. This 1883 card is a handwritten communication offering baby cabbage plants at 1000 for $1.25.

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Laurence Harbor is another small town I know fairly well. It's in Middlesex County right on Route 35 in a small shopping center. I first knew that post office to be in an old house building that sat on a small hill on the highway so it was fairly prominent. Once the office moved, that building was knocked down and a Duncan Donuts stands there today. If you remember Cliffwood Beach from our last episode, Laurence Harbor is the next town north. I passed right by this office on Christmas Day. It has waterfront on the New York Harbor and you can see the Verrazano Bridge from here.

There isn't a whole lot here, a small business area right on the highway and the rest is small shore like houses. The most interesting thing that happened to me in this town was when I was standing outside a church waiting to attend a funeral and a car pulled up with a lost couple in it. They asked me if I was waiting for a wedding as that's what they were to attend. Then I looked at their printed invitation and they needed to be in LAURENCE TOWNSHIP, not LAURENCE HARBOR. They thought they had just gotten there in time, but I had to inform them they were an hour away! Guess they went to the reception. Anyway, my most recent information shows Laurence Harbor as a branch of the South Amboy post office. I grabbed this cover since it was nice for $3. I will no doubt stop in the office to see if their postmark states that it's a branch or appearing like a town to itself like on this cover.

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Mantolokin is a shore town in Ocean County. It's on the Barnegat Peninsula and is accessed by the (get this) the Mantolokin Bridge! It is a "dry" town which is ironic since it has water on two sides. It just means I could never ever live there. Mantolokin got creamed by Hurricane Sandy with over 90% of it's buildings damaged. A lot of the infrastructure was destroyed and Verizon declined to restring the island for communications, instead offering Voice Link wireless service there.

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Marlton is in Evesham Township in Burlington County in Southern NJ. Evesham is a DPO that only existed through 1945 and somehow the Marlton post office remained. This 1912 postal card has a nice hand cancel and is in nice condition. The message on the back is hand written between two men, one confirming to the other that he'd be available on Saturday to help put in stone. Today this would be a text.

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Middlebush is a section of Franklin Township. Despite the post office appearing active in my old post office directory, it's apparently gone and served by the Somerset post office. This isn't too far from one of my offices, so I'll have to go snooping. It appears that old Elmer had some business with John Deere so this would fit into my automotive collection as well. You may say, "Hey Tom, John Deere is a tractor not a car!" but I gotcha there. The Deere family also started the Velle car company, a long gone marque from the same era as this cover!

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Netcong is another of many NJ towns with Indian names. It means "Grass Creek". "Rapid Stream", "Swamp Stream" or "Clear Stream Place" in Lenope but apparently nobody speaks that anymore so we have these multiple opinions. Oh well. It's in Morris County and was originally called South Stanhope (um, because it was south of Stanhope) they changed the name to Netcong to have their own identity.

I bought this card size 1939 cover since it had a nice cancel and exhibits the 1 1/2 cent unsealed card rate. Yes it once held a Christmas card and has a Christmas seal on the back of it. My cover album has 7" x 5 1/2" pockets so odd size covers are welcome here and add interest to the collection.

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Readington is listed as one of the 20 most wealthy towns in the USA so it's quite the place to be! It's in Hunterdon County and once hosted the headquarters of Merck Pharmaceuticals, but that huge facility sits vacant today. This is a postcard from Egypt, that somehow the sender waited to return home to mail to his Reverend.

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Warren Point is part of Fair Lawn in Bergen County. This is one of the most populated areas of the state and a melting pot where up to 50 languages are spoken. I don't believe the post office exists anymore, although listed as current in my 1972 post office directory and not a DPO in my 1981 published DPO book. Anyway, I have this postmark now so I don't have to go looking!

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And New Germantown! Again someone writing to John Deere plow company. This is in Hunterdon County and is currently called Oldwick today and is a historic town of old protected architecture. Oldwick does appear to be a current post office so I may have to go take a look one of these days!

So that's my end of the year wrap up. I do have a few covers inroute as well as a few bids sitting in my eSnipe account on interesting old DPOs. If you've been enjoying this foolery, I'm happy to continue in the new year! I am seeing 438 towns accounted for on my spread sheet, but I won't look for a percentage. I'm only to "C" in putting my new DPO list into my spread sheet and we're already up to 1100 possible postmarks. I'm sure it will be way up there once I'm done! Does that discourage me? No, it's more to hunt for, and I just found a cover for a post office that existed for less than 5 years in the 19th century. So it's on!

Happy New Year to everyone! And may there be many postmarks in 2017! Winking

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smaier
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Sally
28 Dec 2016
10:55:19am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Please continue- at least one person does enjoy seeing the covers and reading the explanations. Thanks and Happy New Year!

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TribalErnie
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29 Dec 2016
10:40:21am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

I read on another thread how you're up to four volumes! Very cool indeed.

Question:

Do you arrange those NJ covers alphabetically or some other way? maybe by county? Maybe it would be neat to have a Jersey Shores section with all the great towns there by themselves with right ups and ancillary ephemera to compliment the covers.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
29 Dec 2016
11:14:31am
re: What I've Been Up To... NJ Covers

Hi Sally- Thank you for the kind words! I will keep on posting. I also got a nice private message from another member. I'm enjoying sharing these, and will do so as long as people like to see it!

Hello Ernie- Yes! Up over 450 unique towns and many of those towns have multiple covers with postmarks from different eras, slogan cancels etc. I probably have 1000 covers in the albums now. Cleaning up my office and found a blue binder the same size and quality so I'm ready to expand to five binders when the time comes.

To answer your questions.. for now I have everything in alphabetical order, pretty much because that's the way I had it set up as a kid. I bought covers at shows and other means in those days, but I also had started sending away to postmasters asking for cancels. I got nearly through "A" so I left the collection that way since the "A" section was impressive!

I have an Excel spread sheet that started out by downloading the USPS list of active post offices from their website. I then went through my old 1974 zip code directory (the one I started the collection with!) and added missing branch offices etc. Recently I bought the NJ Postal History Society's Discontinued Post Office Directory and have been adding those, along with the start and end dates, and county. As I do that I'm adding the county for all the others on the list. I'm up to "C" in that effort. I started out with about 650 active offices, and the list stands at about double that now. I'm estimating there are probably 2000 possible postmarks as I get the spreadsheet completed.

The DPO list is interesting. I know I'll never complete the collection since some of the listed towns ended in the 1820s. I got some encouragement this week as I found a cover for a post office that only existed for five years in the 1880s. So some of the rare ones are out there.

Once that's done, I can sort by county, by active or DPO, and a few other ways. To work on this thread, I've either been scanning all new covers or stealing the jpg off the eBay auction. I do have a decent amount of webspace available to me, so I was considering starting a webpage called "The New Jersey Project" with a page for each town showing the cover, and giving a history with some of the information you have mentioned like a photo or postmark. I'm figuring I'd set it up so you could search in different ways. Like I need another project! But I'm having fun.

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