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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Out Of Era Usage Covers

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
29 Jun 2015
10:07:06am
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I am enjoying the cover and postmark related threads, so I thought I'd put this one out there....

What do y'all think about covers like the one shown above. It's obviously a dealer generated cover, using stamps last in use 20 years earlier. This one is being sold as commercial usage of Scott 314, Schermack Type 3 private perforation.

I collect imperf usage on this stamp, as there was very little usage on any of the imperf varieties on 314. Even usage that falls within the correct era is questionable to me, since that variety was issued by the post office for the manufacturers of stamp affixing and vending equipment, or the development thereof. So usage of these stamps on mail, especially pairs and blocks, must all be collectors mailing to one another.

Much of the usage of imperfs and private perfs falls to one collector of that era, Ernie Filstrip who was a manager at Covel Manufacturing. There are many covers from the 1906 through 1930s with either Covel as the sender or receiver. There are many multiples, blocks from 4 to many, that have NY Registry cancels. I believe all those trace back to Ernie.

I also have a few other covers, several with Columbians (1893) used with the then current Ben Franklin 1 cent I collect (1903-08), with those Columbians being ten years old at that point. Again, a return address of Nassau Street pretty much identifies it for me! I've bought these when they were cheap, but the cover shown is quite expensive for what it represents. Yes, if you were collecting stamp dealer corner cards, you'd want this cover.

I've also seen another dealer cover with four different private perforation varieties on the same cover, again this one from the early 1930s. In my mind, these are no different than the mail we send among ourselves, or the envelopes I receive from eBay vendors with multiples of old stamps.

They certainly don't represent authentic commercial usage, but how collectible are they? Thoughts? (and a lively and thoughtful conversation follows... Happy )

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Bobstamp
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29 Jun 2015
10:55:53am
re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

I think that such a collecting theme is as "legitimate" as any other. Among other things, it shows that what a varied and capricious landscape we collectors inhabit.

Along the same lines is this cover from my collection:

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Wikipedia offers some surprisingly detailed information about the cork obliterators/killer:

Quote:

"Cork obliterators (used to cancel stamps) in the second half of the 20th century are comparatively rare; however, cork obliterators created by H.L. Dumouchel (acting postmaster from 1928 until 1950) were still in use until they were lost in a post office remodelling sometime after 1951."



So here we have an "out-of-period" obliterator that isn't "out-of-period" at all, and isn't philatelic. Why can't we assume the same about the usage of at least some "out-of-period" stamps? I can easily imagine that lots of older stamps that reside in various desk drawers, boxes, file folders, etc. will eventually be used for ordinary mail with complete legitimacy. Think of them as retro covers! Think how cool it would be to receive a letter from Great Britain franked with a Penny Black!

Bob
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Doe
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29 Jun 2015
12:08:03pm
re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

Quote:

"Why can't we assume the same about the usage of at least some "out-of-period" stamps? I can easily imagine that lots of older stamps that reside in various desk drawers, boxes, file folders, etc. will eventually be used for ordinary mail with complete legitimacy."



This is so true. My philatelic covers consist of buying new commemoratives at the post office to send mail to other collectors, because that is what they want. When I send mail to non-collectors, I use whatever mint US stamps I have on hand. Non-collectors do not care if the stamps on their envelopes are in period use or not. There is nothing philatelic in my use of older stamps.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
29 Jun 2015
02:06:58pm

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re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

Quote:

"This one is being sold as commercial usage of Scott 314, Schermack Type 3 private perforation. "



If we use Doe's definition of "commercial," it qualifies; otherwise, it's not. Clearly, the Shermack perfs weren't intended to be used as remainder postage 20 years later with regular sheet stamps.

David
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
29 Jun 2015
02:18:29pm
re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

The cover I've used is certainly from a stamp dealer, using older stamps on that mail, just as dealers do today. I do find it interesting that both of those stamps were worth nothing more than postage at that point. Maybe yanking them off the cover would reveal flaws etc. Many years ago I was given a collection with pen notations on the back of mint stamps.


Quote:

"Non-collectors do not care if the stamps on their envelopes are in period use or not. "



Non collectors don't even notice! There is a post office in PA with the same name as my last name. I discovered it wasn't far from me, in fact it was on the way to somewhere else we were headed. So we stopped there, got a few postmarks, had our photo taken with the sign, and had our entire stack of Christmas cards hand cancelled. We thought people would think it was cool.

What happened? I waited and waited. I knew the cards had to have been delivered. No responses by email or on Facebook by relatives... so I had to ask.... and wouldn't ya know not a single recipient even noticed. And by the time I called, they had all thrown away the envelope!

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Bobstamp
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29 Jun 2015
05:56:44pm
re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

@David,

You said,

Quote:

"Clearly, the Shermack perfs weren't intended to be used as remainder postage 20 years later with regular sheet stamps."



Basically, I agree, but the wannabe lawyer in me says that Schermack coils might well have been purchased by private citizens but not used immediately. Here's a quote from "THE STORY OF THE PRIVATE PERFORATION COMPANIES":

Quote:

"The Shermack Mailing Company patented a device called the Mailometer…which was used by commercial companies. Mr Schermack left the company and the company was renamed the Mailometer company. Mr Schermack seeked to popularise a stamp vendor for druggist stores. The legacy of which can still be seen in various stores around the country."



The Defence (Canuckian spelling) rests.

Bob





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Jeredutt3
29 Jun 2015
08:52:27pm
re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

actually I love those covers with all the "junk" postage ! I tend to disagree though that they are not commercial uses just because a dealer/collector sent it. As long as it is used to send me ( a customer ) a product or service from a business I think it counts as non-philatelic. I find it very interesting that certain stamps seem to repeat themselves as this discount postage. I guess the ones you still don't see were more popular when first printed?

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
29 Jun 2015
09:07:53pm
re: Out Of Era Usage Covers

Quote:

"I tend to disagree though that they are not commercial uses just because a dealer/collector sent it. As long as it is used to send me ( a customer ) a product or service from a business I think it counts as non-philatelic."



Maybe we could call these philatelic business covers! They did do their postal duty, so they do qualify as commerce. But they obviously were prepared by a stamp collector to please another stamp collector, hence philatelic at the same time!

I also think they're interesting, and when they are reasonably priced, I will pick them up for my Ben Franklin collection. Here's the one I mentioned earlier with a Franklin along with a 10 year old Columbian! I own this one.

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