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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Collect? It's been awhile!

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JohnnyRockets
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16 Apr 2018
01:48:13pm
Hi all,

I'm just getting interested in the study of covers and have recently acquired a small collection of them. I am very much a novice and wondered if you all could assist with some identification basics and correct/comment where applicable(?)

Here is a simple cover (actually is a postcard actually a cover?) that I have in my collection.

Front Side of Postcard---

Image Not Found

I'm trying to accurately identify the pertinent details of this cover with your help.

1) Address: Okay, pretty obvious who it was sent to and the address is pretty clear. No big questions there.

2) Stamp: The stamp appears to be part of the postcard. Question: Is this common? I have not purchased a postcard more than once in my life and have not see too many. It appears to have been normally cancelled. The cancel appears to be very standard for the US with no special traits that I could notice.

3) Postmark: Appears to be from Southern Florida in the zip code area of 330xx. Question: How does one find out exactly what post office? Question: What does MPC stand for?

4) Postmark Date: Although missing, I think we can assume 1993 due to the fact that the post card has a copyright USPS date of 1991 in the lower left corner of the card.


Back Side of Postcard---


Image Not Found


I just found this mildly amusing because I remember calling my parents from college collect and having them not be too pleased with me. I think because in the 1980s calling collect in the USA was quite expensive per minute! Whoops!!! Big Grin

Apparently Mrs. Clay was willing to pay the fee! Happy

I blanked out the phone number because it may be current and was not pertinent to the discussion points.

Fun Question: Is it actually possible to "call collect" anymore in the US I wonder?


Anyway thanks for ANY and ALL comments.


Johnny

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
16 Apr 2018
03:26:33pm
re: Collect? It's been awhile!

JR,

this is called a Postal Card. Note the AL. it encompasses any post card with franking pre-printed. and, yes, we would call this a cover.

yes, this is a common piece, paying a fairly long-standing rate.

the stamp is part of the postal card. you'll often find people asking about what appear to be imperforate stamps that ultimately turn out to be cut squares from postal cards.

Scott has a whole section on postal cards: UX and UXC (surface and air mail). There's also a UY section in which two postal cards are joined with the idea that person A mails the double card to person B, who returns only half of the card. it functioned precisely the way YOUR card did, but with postage rather than a collect call.

I think MPC is Mail Processing Center. During the last quarter of the previous century, USPS embarked on automation efforts that also consolidated handling facilities, such that bigger and bigger hubs serving larger and larger areas were created. I believe that is what the MPC is (was).

yes, it's 93; 91 is when it was introduced (January 24, 1991, to be precise)

your card is UX153, with a Scott value of 75c used (higher than mint) from my 2011 specialized. I suspect you'd have a hard time selling it for that amount.

hope that helps


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

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JohnnyRockets
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16 Apr 2018
03:53:04pm
re: Collect? It's been awhile!

Hi, yes it helps a lot!

Wow, the more I learn, the more there is to learn.

Maybe it's time to invest in a volume of: "Scott 2011 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers"

We'll see...


Thanks!


Johnny




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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
16 Apr 2018
05:10:58pm

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re: Collect? It's been awhile!

Quote:

"Question: How does one find out exactly what post office?"



One does not! Back in the old days each post office had equipment and staff to postmark all of the mail with the post office name. It was a manual effort, even loading the envelopes into the cancelling machine.

Today there is much less staff at the local level. They merely bundle up the mail and ship it off to the MPC, where most of the handling, postmarking and sorting is done by automated equipment. Even the mail that goes into the "Local" box boomerangs back from the MPC. I was curious a while ago and posted a card to myself, in the "LOCAL" slot at my own post office. I did get it in the next day's mail, but postmarked at the MPC. That's great turnaround.

That means it's pretty darn hard on us local postmark collectors! With 99% of the mail receiving a regional marking (or smear in many cases), local identity is pretty much gone. The only mail that gets a town stamp would be special services like registered mail. So local usage is pretty rare these days!

Which is why I go on post office road rallys to get my New Jersey town cancels. You can still get a local cancel over the counter.

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