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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

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Rhinelander
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18 Jan 2007
12:05:46am
Here I have two curious US covers, which raise a couple of questions for me since I did not come across any similar items yet.

your_picture_name

Maybe someone can tell me something about the multitude of numbers stamped or written on these covers, particularly the big blue ones, but also "#11", "4227" respectively "#36", #47216" on the fronts and 3393, 20, 10 or 4255, 10 on the backs.

Both covers have receiving postmarks from Richmond, VA "registered" (two different forms) on the back. Apparently, these covers date from before the common "R"-labels for registered mail were introduced (?). Also, one bears only a ten cent stamp, the other has 12 cents postage. Why could that be? Questions over questions.

Finally, both covers have Doane cancels Waldorf, MD. "3", respectively Geneva, Ky "2". I know there exits a catalog for this type of cancellations. Maybe someone who has it, can look these towns up. I post two links to larger images (front and back) below.

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r28/forsta/doregf.jpg

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r28/forsta/doregb.jpg


Thank you for educating me about these items.
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THOMAS E. HARLEY,SR.
20 Jan 2007
06:02:12pm
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

Rhinelander,
a wild guess--the # 11 is the same number as the adress,a reafiming mark.Numbers on front and back,could be dealer inventory numbers,,and the 10 at top right ,on the back could be dealer price.
No idea of the 1.00 and 7.00 or is it a 4.00, in blue.
reg#36 could be either registered letter,or just the store cash register number where cover was sold.

Well ,,you wanted a wild guess,,that's mine.
TOM

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Rhinelander
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20 Jan 2007
06:16:33pm
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

Thank you, Tom. I know I coulod rely on you to at least get this thread started. I am sure, if we work together on this as a group, we will figure it out.

Arno

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stampbystamp
24 Jan 2007
08:41:29pm
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

The covers are to and from different people and companies. But both apparently unconnected envelopes have large numbers in blue crayon or grease pencil (?). The blue numbers must have been put on by someone who collects...stamps?? A cover collector wouldn't have ruined the covers with the blue numbers.

Maybe a stamp collector or stamp dealer wanted to trade them or mark the value or price (not necessarily in US dollars) on them...

My guess!

Suellen

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David Teisler (Teisler)
24 Jan 2007
09:26:05pm
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

OK, i'll go along with Tom that #11 is the street address penciled by the postman; 4227 and 47216 should be the initiating registry number; perhaps the #36 is the registry number at the receiving post office? If you want to post the reverses so we can see the markings, that might help. The blue crayons (or grease pencil) were done in the same hand, but the covers are addressed to the same office, so i'm going to guess that they represent the money that was sent IN the envelopes, probably for orders of, say, some tonic (Sea of Life?) that cured just about everything. Including cash might help to explain the regisry.

If the additional numbers on the front (or those I can't see on the reverse) aren't registry numbers, they may refer to product codes ordered by the senders.

these are all guesses, of course.

My eyes aren't that good, and the scans are a little small, but is the top cover under franked by 2c? 10c for registry, 2c for domestic delivery.

David T

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THOMAS E. HARLEY,SR.
25 Jan 2007
12:23:23am
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

David T,
Arno does show the reverse,the second UR
And I see a CD cancel,on one Richmand Virginia REG. DIV. , and second one has Richmond Virginia Registered.
So they must be registered letters. But I cant explain the rates charged.always a mistery for reassons behind a greater or lessor postage used versus intended rate,with proper postage.
I think with all the investigative work we collectors do,,we should be able to put that on our resume--Private Investigator.Or maybe Postal Detective.
TOM

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David Teisler (Teisler)
25 Jan 2007
11:09:25am
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

Tom,

except for the part where the detective misses the URL under his nose.

I don't think the rate changed, but i think it's underpaid. The underpaid cover, if that's what it is, was hand-cancelled, so it wasn't as if a machine canceller missed it.

I suspect we've answered some of Rheinlander's questions with some degree of certainty, but we've added new ones.

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Roy Lingen (Roy)
28 Jan 2007
08:40:05am
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

First, both of these covers are addressed to the same business. "Salt of Life" was undoubtedly a product sold by the Boston Chemical Co.

Some of the markings are registered mail handling marks. I think the "Reg #36" is a manuscript registry number from the small Kentucky PO that the lower cover originated at. It is possible the #11 is also the same, coincidentally the same number as the address.

The top cover does not show specific signs of registration, (other than the Registry Div backstamp) and may have been sent at an insured rate. I don't have time to check my rate book at the moment.

The blue markings come from the internal handling of the envelope in the business. They indicate the amount of money received in the envelope, so the money can be separated from the order inside as the order is sent along its way for processing. The numbered handstamps could also be internal, representing the internal numbers of the employees handling the order.

The small "10" on each cover is probably an old dealer or collector notation. Either a price, a catalog value or an indication that the cover carries the 10c Webster stamp. I'd vote on a price if asked (at least 60 years old!)

Hope that helps. Did I leave anything out?

Roy
60,000 covers available on
BuckaCover.com
priced from 60c up (all scanned!)

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Rhinelander
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Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
29 Jan 2007
09:13:14pm
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

Wow. Thank you for all the input. I thought that some of the numbers would be registration numbers. I also believe now that the big blue numbers are private in character. All the information provided here helps me to understand these covers a lot better. I also searched on ebay for similar registered covers from the same time period and found that quite a few have identical numbered handstamps so I assume these numbers were put on to keep track of these covers in the mail stream. Today USPS of course uses self-stick labels with bar codes . . .

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malcolm hirst
30 Jan 2007
04:11:10pm
re: Help: 2 curious 1909/1910 registered (?) US covers

It could be that the "47216" on the lower cover was applied by the receiver. It is reminiscent of those handstamps which automatically rotate one number when applied to a piece of paper.

As a wild guess (?) This stamp,( and the same number applied to the contents ) match a number in the receiving register in the company office to trace either or both the pieces should they become seperated during the office routines or get lost in the bureacracy which bedevils all large organisations.

Malcolm

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