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United States/Covers & Postmarks : From "The Hoard": An RPO cancellation

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03 Apr 2016
As requested, here's a closer view of a piece spotted in my "The Hoard" postings. Some questions:
..What is an RPO cancel anyway?Is this a particular collectable area? Why?
..What does DEN.NOGDEN (?) represent in the cancel?
..It's from 1892 and in really good shape, which is cool, but does that elevate the market value at all? Seems like a pretty common-ish stamp, I've seen available for about 50c retail on another site.
..Any other pearls of wisdom before I spend (waste?) time looking for more?

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03 Apr 2016
re: From "The Hoard": An RPO cancellation

RPO = Railway Post Office.

Not too many other ways you can combine stamps & trains, eh?

The cancels often specify the route/segment; I'm guessing Denver to Ogden (Utah) for yours, but the correct answer will be coming your way, soon.

Other times, you get the name of the railway, a train number, etc.

Collectors often specialize in one or another route, or railway, or ...


/s/ ikeyPikey

hint: http://postalmuseum.si.edu/ ... and search on RPO

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
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03 Apr 2016
re: From "The Hoard": An RPO cancellation

I think the numbers in the circular cancel are the date for May or March 31, 1892, is what it looks to me.

Thanks for posting the closeup. A complete cover would be worth more, especially if there were more ancillary markings. I have an RPO cover that I love, because the back of the envelope has an ancillary marking "Train Late".

I agree with what Chris (Anglophile) said. It is a common route, but the RPO service is a piece of our history from the proverbial bygone era though it lasted mostly until the late 1960s and in a small degree into the 1970s. The USPS tried to restart it about ten years ago, and mail service actually got better with faster delivery. However, the trucker's union and airlines complained that they were losing jobs. USPS caved in and the RPO restart was killed.

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