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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

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jmh67
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06 Jan 2018
03:41:19am
The following questions came up in one of our German neighbor forums in connection with a planned book presentation (not mine!):

Imagine a letter sent from San Francisco on 3 March 1934 to Munich in Germany. Would it be realistic to assume that a delivery attempt would have been made on 14 or 15 March of the same year? Could this have been done by railroad in the USA, steamer across the Atlantic, and railway in Germany? Or was there already a regular air mail service? If yes, would there be air mail markings, and which ones? How much would the postage have been?

The original question can be found at http://www.philaseiten.de/cgi-bin/index.pl?ST=11138&CP=0&F=1 (in German, of course).

Martin

Mod: Fixed link


(Modified by Moderator on 2018-01-08 14:36:24)
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Jan 2018
11:22:48pm
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

Hi,

in 1934, there were couple of ways to handle this.

the authorities on this are Tony W and Harry Beecher. I'm taking my answers from their book, and you may want to look at it before publishing anything. It's getting late, and I may have transcribed something wrong.

You could prepay airmail in the US and surface to Germany at 10c. Beginning in 32, there was also a 3c airmail surcharge you could choose to add from France to Germany.

There were also Zeppelin flights at completely different rates, but those covers should be recognizably different.

You would likely see an airmail field transit CDS on part of its US leg.

Beginning in 39, clippers began their routes.

Hope that helps. I don't know times at all.

David

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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jmh67
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08 Jan 2018
01:03:45pm
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

Thanks for your response. The detail about the transit postmark is a valuable bit of information.

As for the postage, do 10c cover the complete postage in case the letter went by air mail in the US and by surface mail the rest of the way, or do I need to add something for the basic postage rate?

Martin

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
08 Jan 2018
01:46:13pm
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

10c got you domestic airmail and surface thereafter. A huge bargain.

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angore
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Enjoying the little works of art
08 Jan 2018
02:37:13pm
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

Google translate at work from original URL....reads fairly well.


United States letter 1934

I need your expert help.

For a scenic reading of the book Addressee Unknown , I would like to reconstruct an imaginary letter from San Francisco to Munich (date: March 03, 1934) (see illustration), but I lack the expertise to implement it.

My questions:

1. Can one recognize from the time span (March 03, 1934 San Francisco - March 18, 1934 Munich) whether this letter has been sent by airmail? Would not an AirMail stamp be added then?

2. Which stamp could theoretically have been on this cover? How many cents has this cost?

3. Was there the stamp "Receiver Unknown" and is there evidence of it?

I'm grateful for every tip. Happy

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Anglophile
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RPSL, APS, EPA; US, GB, Ireland, British Europe, Italy, Mauritius Classics
08 Jan 2018
04:13:38pm
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

Addressing question 2, reasonable choices for the stamp on the cover would be the 1927 10c Monroe definitive (Scott 642) or the 1932 10c orange yellow Washington Bicentennial (Scott 715).

It looks like the book cover illustration uses the 3c violet Washington definitive, Scott 720, which is correct for the period but represents underpayment for the reasons given above.

Image Not Found

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jmh67
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09 Jan 2018
01:24:16am
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

Thanks again for your replies. Out of curiosity: How much would surface mail alone have been?

Martin

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
09 Jan 2018
08:07:46am
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

UPU rates at the time were 5c to UPU treaty countries, of which Germany and US were both.

the picture in the URL is of a surface letter. it would NOT have been given airmail treatment in the US or elsewhere.

I've been dealing solely with the rate aspects

hope this helps


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jmh67
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10 Jan 2018
02:31:49pm
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

amsd, of course it helps! Thanks again to all who contributed, and I believe it definitely helped to improve our friend's scenic book presentation.

Martin

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
11 Jan 2018
07:59:54am
re: Postage rates and transit times overseas in the 1930s

before he publishes his book, he MUST look at B&W's US international rate book. There are also several highly useful airmail books out there that go into more depth about the development of routes, who flew them, etc.

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