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United States/Covers & Postmarks : US Postmarks of the 1894 Era....

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
07 Aug 2017
08:52:17pm
The below was copied from "New Jersey Postal History" by John L. Kay & Chester M. Smith, Jr. It applies to all post offices nationwide.

"The spelling of post office names has undergone many changes. The first big change was in the Table of Post Offices for 1827 when all names ending in "burg" were changed to "burgh". A few changes occurred over the following years, until 1893-1895 due to the findings of the US Board on Geographic Names. The report was issued on January 5, 1892 and contained the following:

The avoidance of the possessive form of names (apostrophes disappeared)

The abbreviation of "borough" to "boro"

"Burgh" went back to "Burg"

The spelling of "Center" was standardized

Discontinuation of use of hyphens in connecting parts of names.

The omission of "CH" (Court House) after names of county seats

The simplification of names consisting of more than one word by combining to one word.

The dropping of the words 'city' and 'town' as parts of names.


It appears that this wasn't all that popular and may have been rescinded since many post offices went back to their original spelling around 1905, while some stuck with the "new and improved" spelling. (I'm sure there would be anarchy if the USPS tried to change town names today!)

This causes many town varieties that are listed in my New Jersey cancel list, which means there are variations to collect. The change in 1827 doesn't affect me greatly since that was pretty much before stamps and town postmarks existed. At least I won't find many for my collection.

The law of 1892 is enough to drive one daffy! I have listings like:
Chapel Hill 1884-1895
Chapelhill 1895- 1907
Chapel Hill 1907- 1909 (discontinued post office)

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Here is Phillipsburgh 1854-1894 and...

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and Phillipsburg, 1894 to date, is one of the towns that kept the change.

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Mine Hill 1872-1895
Minehill 1895-1910
Mine Hill 1910-1911 (discontinued post office)
You will notice that this is a 1908 cover with "Mine Hill". I believe postmasters had to pay for their own cancel devices in those days, so it may be that this post office accepted the "official" change, but kept on using the old cancel devices. I have a few different towns like this.

At first I thought I'd just ignore this and collect one postmark per town. Then as I went through, I found I already had multiple varieties for a lot of towns.

Is anyone familiar with this era of postal history and can add to this post? I'm interested in learning whatever I can. It's the stuff that makes collecting interesting!
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keesindy
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26 Aug 2017
12:59:02pm
re: US Postmarks of the 1894 Era....

I missed this when you posted it earlier this month! Very interesting stuff and I'm glad I stumbled upon it just now. Thanks for taking the time to share!

I can't add anything myself, but I have no doubt that members of the various postal history societies around the country could. I know that members of the Indiana Postal History Society tend to focus on a single county or two and have in-depth knowledge of the local post office histories as well as the more general history of the POD and the way the post offices were managed.

Tom

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
26 Aug 2017
02:38:30pm
re: US Postmarks of the 1894 Era....

Thanks for replying Tom... I was wondering why I hadn't gotten any responses from our knowledgeable board!

I will pursue finding the information. It would make a good article, if not a nice stamp exhibit.

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keesindy
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26 Aug 2017
09:06:19pm
re: US Postmarks of the 1894 Era....

And then there was that separate issue where we had multiple communities with identical names in some states. I don't recall when the POD finally decided that was no longer acceptable. I believe that resulted in some communities having one name for their community and another for their post office, but at least the confusion was localized and the POD wasn't wasting time sending mail to, for example, the wrong Newport, Indiana.

I've got stampless letters addressed to a community near where I grew up:

Hillsborough, White Water PO
Hillsboro, White Water PO
Hillsborough
White Water

Fortunately, the Indiana Postal History Society created a database many years ago to document and track the evolution of post office names in Indiana.

Tom


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vinman
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26 Aug 2017
09:29:39pm
re: US Postmarks of the 1894 Era....

Hi Tom,
Here is a link to the US Classics Society that cover Postal Laws & Regulations.
http://www.uspostalbulletins.com/searchpdf.aspx?pid=10&Group=60&id=60

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malcolm197
30 Aug 2017
07:07:20am
re: US Postmarks of the 1894 Era....

In the UK prior to the use of postcodes, official post office address protocols were in use to ensure that mail was expeditiously delivered.

Mail addresses sometimes were at odds with geographical and political divisions ( and sometimes trampled over local sensitivities ).

For example the postal address of Ingleton (in Yorkshire ) was Ingleton, Lancaster. Now anyone in the UK will tell you Lancashire is anathema to Yorkshiremen and vice versa - so the PO was obliged to change the address to Ingleton via Lancaster. There are also numerous villages with the same names ( sometimes in the same county ) and these were differentiated by using the nearest postal delivery town ( which fortuitously was usually the nearest population centre). Some of the most common village names usually had an "official" prefix or suffix to differentiate it for administrative purposes anyway and this was often used by the PO for the same reason. There are 2 " Newbold"s in Warwickshire, but these have always ( in living memory anyway) been officially called Newbold-on-Stour and Newbold-on-Avon.

The same problems often happen in other areas of officialdom. In one of the numerous local government reorganisations the small county of Rutland was subsumed into Leicestershire. The locals in the small village of Belton were incensed and succesfully lobbied to have the name of the village changed to "Belton-in-Rutland". A subsequent local government reorganisation resurrected the county of Rutland !!

Malcolm

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