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United States/Covers & Postmarks : John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

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Linus
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23 Jul 2019
12:38:20am
From my postal history collection, I will bring to light this strange cover that was mailed from New York City, New York, USA to Los Angeles, California, USA with a cancellation that has no day, no month, and no year. There is nothing to show on the back, as it is blank. This is not a wrapper, this is an envelope. This cover is puzzling to me, so I will ask:

1. Why is there no date?

2. Was there a time period in the US when you could mail an envelope coast-to-coast for one cent? Maybe a newspaper for one cent?

3. Is John W. Scott somehow related to the Scott Catalogue?

4. "If not delivered by first mail leaving New York after that time notify P.M. of loss, as duplicates cannot be supplied." What does that mean? Was this stapled to a newspaper, perhaps, as there are staple holes below Ben Franklin? Just what is this thing?

Linus

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Cactusjack
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23 Jul 2019
05:48:54am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

John Walter Scott was an Englishman who came to the U.S. to seek gold in California. He was unsuccessful in finding gold and started selling stamps. He soon became the leading stamp dealer in the U.S. He is considered the Father of Philately in the U.S. He is also the founder of what is now Scott Publishing Company and the originator of the Scott Catalogs.

The letter is from John Walter Scott and my guess is that it was a stamp newsletter for Junior collectors as per the title of the envelope. From the cancel it looks like he might have had an early permit to cancel his own outgoing mail.

Jim

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smauggie
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23 Jul 2019
06:51:18am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

Hi Linus,

This was sent as printed matter which was a cheaper rate. The sender saved money on postage only having to pay one cent to mail the letter, but it was sent by means of third class services. As a result the date was not included in the cancellation because there was no guarantee as to when the items would be delivered.

Hope that helps.

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canalzonepostalhistory.wordpress.com
roy
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BuckaCover.com - 8,000+ new covers coming November 7
23 Jul 2019
07:54:39am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

Here are some samples of other undated US cancels sent as printed matter:

1c to Germany!
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(These were all sold through Buckacover.com)

Roy

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"BuckaCover.com - 8,000+ new covers coming November 7"

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Linus
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23 Jul 2019
09:15:22am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

Thank you Cactusjack, Smauggie, and Roy for the helpful information. I am still learning USA postal history. It makes more sense now. The 3 covers you show, Roy, all have year dates. I was trying to estimate the year of my cover. From my Scott US Specialized Catalogue, it appears to be a Ben Franklin type U69 and perhaps a U300 blue on manila? Around 1890 to 1895?

Linus

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Linus
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23 Jul 2019
09:50:53am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1897-NY-JOHN-W-SCOTT-039-S-JUNIOR-WEEKLY-Advertising-Cover-Sent-to-Los-Angeles-CA-/233217913502?nma=true&si=TMWMRfbAc7PhMZENZDuRWwFzn2U%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557


I was just Googling the internet and found the same cover, to the same addressee, in the sold listings of eBay in the UK. This twin cover to mine has a date of April 1897, and sold for 15.80 British pounds. It is a U300. How strange is that!

I found my cover in an antique mall off of Interstate 80, just west of Chicago, Illinois, USA on my way to the Unisys training center in Lisle many years ago. I paid one dollar for it.

Linus

Here is the twin cover, image from eBay, 23 May 2019:

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smauggie
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23 Jul 2019
11:32:11am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

Yeah, the printed matter cancel usually featured the year. In the the case of your cover, the postal worker got a little enthusiastic and removed the year as well as the day and month. Do not that all of the covers presented thus far have been cancelled with a machine cancel.

The cancel on your cover is a Barry Rectilinear machine cancel, Barry being the name of the company that made the machine, and Rectilinear because it was a straight-line cancel. These came into use in larger cities in the last five years of the 19th century. I think it is fair to say that the postal workers may not have been sure yet how exactly to set it up for printed matter mail.

Here is a printed matter cover from the 1850's.

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canalzonepostalhistory.wordpress.com
Linus
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23 Jul 2019
11:48:30am
re: John W. Scott USA Cover With Strange Cancel

That is a good point. The cancel on my cover looks new compared to the twin cover that looks like a lot of mail has gone through it, and needs a PM. (preventative maintenance)

Thanks for the info,

Linus

That is a cool cover, thanks for showing it.

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