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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Seeking Cover Album Advice

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StamperMA
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31 Dec 2019
08:41:29pm
I'm a U.S. collector but have never collected covers. However, when I moved to Boston two years ago I decided to collect USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") covers from the ship's 1931-1934 tour of Atlantic, Gulf Coast, and Pacific ports. At every port they produced event covers with unique cachets identifying the port, visit dates, etc. Most all of these covers are #6-3/4 envelopes (3-5/8" x 6-1/2").

I'm seeking recommendations from you cover collectors on good quality cover albums to house my budding collection. On the tour the ship visited 76 ports. So far I have about 45 covers and when all is said and done I expect to have on the order of 120 covers (allowing for some color variations and the fact that the ship visited some ports twice, both going and coming). I'm seeking quality over price and ideally an album that is sized for these covers (or at least is not too oversized). Your suggestions are most welcome and if you have suitable used cover albums I might be interested. Thanks,

Dennis



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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
31 Dec 2019
09:06:27pm
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

For #6 covers like my HPO cover collection shown below, I like the Showgard #894 albums. They hold 104 covers in an economical and practical way. The labels are made with a Brother D600 label maker.

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Don

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"Current Score... Don 1 - Cancer 0"

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
01 Jan 2020
07:04:54am
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Very nice.

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musicman
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APS #213005
01 Jan 2020
09:32:04am
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Don,

Love the fact that you can put the bus image on there!

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StamperMA
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01 Jan 2020
10:23:05am
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Thanks Don, that #894 album sounds like an ideal solution.

What a great collection of HPOs! Roughly how many do you own? I know very little about HPO covers. If one wanted to collect first trip covers with nice cachets what is a rough estimate of the number of such covers created? Thanks,

Dennis

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
01 Jan 2020
11:10:31am
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Hi Dennis,
The collection shown above are First and Last Trip covers. Out of a possible 1894 total First and Last Trip covers, I have about 1400 of them in the albums shown. But the total number of HPO covers I currently own is around 5800.

HPO cover collecting is rewarding, challenging, and inexpensive. Armed with the information, you can find many rare (less than 25 known) HPO covers in dealer’s dollar boxes. I also like HPO covers because, while the first trip covers are all philatelic, you can be sure that the cover was actually on the bus on the date it was cancelled.

There were a total of 317 HPO routes over the life span the service. You can access a free online catalog of these covers on my website herehttp://stampsmarter.com/Learning/HPOHome.html. You can also download either a condensed or fully illustrated PDF catalog at the same link. And there is also a free downloadable checklist to help collectors manage their HPO cover ‘have’s and ‘needs’.
Don

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StamperMA
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01 Jan 2020
01:38:01pm
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Don,

What an amazing resource you've created. It's fascinating to browse the catalog. I'm confused about something however.

In the HPO history discussion you mention that some routes were interrupted during WW II, which I can understand. However, if I look at, for example, the Saginaw to Detroit HPO (which was post-war) the 1st trip occurred on 10/8/46 and the last trip occurred on 6/30/65. That last trip is listed as trip #8.

I always assumed the HPOs ran frequently but the above indicated only eight trips were made over the ~19 years the route existed. Is this correct? If so, what dictated when the postal service would schedule a trip? It doesn't seem logical to me that many months or perhaps even years might elapse between trips. What am I missing?

Dennis

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
01 Jan 2020
01:52:15pm
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Trips were not the total number of runs made over the years. For example, the first route Washington and Harrisonburg has two trips (or runs). The first one has the bus leaving Washington in the morning and traveling to Harrisonburg (making stops along the way). The second trip was when the bus left Harrisonburg and travelled back to Washington later in the day. The postmark are the same, but they changed the Trip number in the cancellers. But the Washington and Harrisonburg route was open for years and years and thousands of trips were made.

On very busy routes, trips could be added for the same day (and in the same direction). This type routes often used multiple buses so there could be several buses moving between cities at the same time.

Like almost everything about the HPO service, it was all derived from the RPO (Railroad Post Office) service that preceded it. You will find the same ‘trip’ methodology used for these trip designations.
Don

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StamperMA
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01 Jan 2020
04:37:53pm
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Ah, I think I understand. So for the Saginaw to Detroit run I cited, on the final day of that HPO it appears there were eight trips. Perhaps four buses each making a round trip, or two buses each making two round trips, or some other such combination. That seems like it must have been a busy route.

I'm embarrassed that multiple rounds trips per day didn't occur to me. That certainly makes lots more sense than eight trips over 19 years! Thanks Don,

Dennis

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
02 Jan 2020
07:16:46pm
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

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For covers I use the readily available 2 pocket clear plastic pages. I add a 5.5" x 7" filler card to give the pages strength, which also allows me to add a description. The size pocket is ideal if some of your covers are a little oversize. Plus you can add pages as needed.

These are the Ultra-Pro Platinu, archival quality pages. They are available from dealers on eBay. Bought in small quantities they are expensive, but I buy them 500 at a time (boxes of 100) and they become very cheap. I use standard 8.5" x 11" binders I buy at Staples, usually using my Staples Bucks rebates from my business purchases.

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StamperMA
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02 Jan 2020
10:27:37pm
re: Seeking Cover Album Advice

Thanks BF1902; I'll look into those two pocket pages.

Dennis

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