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United States/Covers & Postmarks : RPO's in the US Official Postal Guides?

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partsguy
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20 Feb 2021
03:38:05pm
I've been sifting through some online PDF versions of the USOPG, trying to find DPO's (and RPO's) with the name "DAYTON" in them, and figure out dates of operation. The DPO's have been easy, but I am having some trouble with RPO's...

I started by running searches for the few USOPG years in which I already have an RPO postmark in my collection (1908, 1931, 1931), and then a more random sampling through years in which I was already looking up DPO's. Nothing.

Do these guides even list RPO's? Or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely?

Thanks,
TomD


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auldstampguy
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Just one more small cover .....
21 Feb 2021
04:09:50am
re: RPO's in the US Official Postal Guides?

Here is a link to Wikipedia re Mobile Post Offices. There is a lot of information there that will be helpful for you including links to the Mobile Post Office Society who publish a catalog which I think is what you are looking for.

Link to Mobile Post Offices

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mncancels.org
pigdoc
21 Feb 2021
10:00:37am
re: RPO's in the US Official Postal Guides?

I've also seen Agent cancellations on covers that have traveled on the rails. Many (Most? All?) of these have abbreviations in them, some of them rather cryptic.

So, Tom, if you're looking for "Dayton", you might consider also searching for "Day." or "Dtn." (theoretical examples).

Also, I think I have seen evidence that Agents may have carried their cancelling devices with them, and actually used them on other branch lines. In other words, I think I have seen covers carried on one branch line that have been cancelled with a device for another branch line.

I wonder if some of these very small branch lines (that may have had only one or two agents) relied on agents assigned to other branch lines for absentee coverage.

Anyone have any evidence of this?
I'll see if I can find any evidence in my collections.

-Paul

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partsguy
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21 Feb 2021
12:49:26pm
re: RPO's in the US Official Postal Guides?

Thank you both! I will have a look at the link, and as for the abbreviated versions of "Dayton", I have run into that at least once. I recently discovered one for the "Dayton and Ironton" Line, marked "DAY & Ironton". I expanded (or rather limited) my search terms on eBay to "DAY", and it increased my options a bit. (Although it also populated the search results with a bunch of RPO's containing the word "DAY" at the 6-o'clock position of the CDS, unrelated to the RR line itself). I assume this is a reference to a daytime run rather than an overnight run?

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pigdoc
22 Feb 2021
06:14:08pm
re: RPO's in the US Official Postal Guides?

Here's a postcard that makes me say hmmmmm:
Image Not Found

It has what I described as an Agent's cancellation. It reads "CHI.SAV.& DUB." That stands for Chicago, Savanna, and Dubuque. Chicago and Savanna are both in Illinois on the east side of the river. Dubuque is in Iowa on the west side of the river. Dubuque is way north of Savanna, Illinois, or Clinton, Iowa, or Elwood, Iowa.

I grew up very near Elwood Iowa, and its PO covered an area to the north, just adjacent to the Iowa Midland Railroad, which went from Anamosa, Iowa to Lyons, Iowa, a northern suburb of Clinton. So, there is little doubt (in my mind) that this card was carried by the Iowa Midland. Not only that, the message on the card speaks to a rail delivery, which no doubt would have been carried by the Iowa Midland back to the sender of this card. There is no business connection between the Iowa Midland (a subsidiary of Chicago Northwestern RR) and the line running through Savanna (Chicago, Burlington and Quincy RR).

So, how did this Agent's cancellation end up on this card?

For the historical record, the Young Company was one of the largest lumber firms in Clinton, Iowa, in an era when Clinton processed more lumber than any other community in North America. I could go on about that, but I won't.

Too bad about the f-ing hole punches, huh?

-Paul

PS, the cancellation also is an example of what I was asserting about abbreviations in Agent's cancels.


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