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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Ship to Shore Help

 

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egertoni
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28 Jul 2022
12:39:46pm
Among the many questions I have about the cover shown below is in what way it moved from "ship to shore." The postmarks on the front show the cover was processed on June 28, 1933, at 7:30 pm at the New York City Hall Annex. The Berengaria sailed on the evening of the 28th from New York, heading to Southampton, England.

Was the sender (presumably Robert Joseph) on board the Berengaria on the 28th and did he compose a letter and send it from the ship to shore to be processed in NYC? Does ship to shore work that way?

If, instead, he mailed it in person in New York City, why even involve the steamer? If (a big if) I read the backstamps correctly, the letter took some eight days to reach Bussels which may mean it actually traveled on board the ship. Why would Joseph send it that way when it would appear he wanted it to reach its destination quickly as the special delivery and airmail stamps suggest?

All in all, a very busy and, to me, puzzling cover.

Thanks for any insights,
Jim

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories

28 Jul 2022
06:18:00pm
re: Ship to Shore Help

I have two theories on this one.

My initial theory was:

1) The cover was paid for carriage by ship to Southampton, then by airmail from the UK to Belgium, plus special delivery. This was a common practice and usually marked "By airmail within Europe". In this case the notation "From steamer to Europe" is a bit of an overstatement. The notation "Ship to Shore" was a dealer or collector notation added afterwards in an effort to "enhance" the appeal of the cover (I have seen this many times. It is more common that one might think.)

That was theory 1.

HOWEVER, then I noticed that the "Ship to Shore" was written in (apparently) the same crayon that placed the "20" in the special delivery fee comment, AND that someone had added "No" ahead of the "Ship to Shore".

So here is my preferred hypothesis:

2) At the time of this letter, two German ships, the D(ampfer) Bremen and D. Europa carried seaplanes that they would launch with the mail about 24 hours before arriving at port (at an average of 15 knots, that's about 360 nm, about the range that could be expected for a seaplane - probably about a 3 hour flight). This service was called "Catapult Mail" because the ships were outfitted with special catapult systems to launch the aircraft. There are threads on this DB with some great pictures. Do a search for "Catapult".

It is my belief that the sender mistakenly thought the Berengaria could do the same and thus marked the cover "Ship to Shore". The mail clerk on the ship caught this, and wrote "No". The cover got the usual airmail treatment in Europe, evidenced by the Paris "Avion" arrival, after the redirection from Brussels.

That's my theory.

Roy

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories

28 Jul 2022
07:39:22pm
re: Ship to Shore Help

I take back my comment about the search for threads on this DB. There are a few mentions, but not the in depth discussion I remembered. I think I remembered a Stamporama article (which is linked to in one of the discussions) that now appears to be missing. Possibly Tim can find it buried in the bowels of the server. Pretty sure some of my own articles/exhibits have similarly gone missing.

In any case, over the years I have handled many Catapult Mail covers and also some photographs. Here are some:

D. Europa

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

Image Not Found



D. Bremen

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

Image Not Found


Roy

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egertoni
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28 Jul 2022
08:49:15pm
re: Ship to Shore Help

Roy

Hypothesis #2 sounds about right.

You were most generous in not pointing out my brain freeze regarding the sender's desire to move the letter quickly (travel by ship was a necessary element of transatlantic mail at the time). As you point out, had the Berengaria been equipped with catapult service, the sender could have gained a day (at most).

Your catapult images are great. I assume the process was risky for pilots and planes.

Thanks,
Jim

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roy
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28 Jul 2022
09:00:48pm
re: Ship to Shore Help

"equipped with catapult service, the sender could have gained a day (at most)."



Much of the mail carried on these catapult flights was philatelic (on a side note, the Zeppelins were almost completely financed by carried philatelic mail), but I have handled obviously commercial covers. Businessmen travelling on the ships could get word out a day ahead of their arrival, set up meetings, plans to be met etc. That was the marketing idea in any case. That was in the days when that "day ahead" would actually get the letter into the hands of a local addressee within that day.

Roy
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA

04 Aug 2022
12:04:18am
re: Ship to Shore Help

Ah, the silly things they had to do before email! Big Grin

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Author/Postings
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egertoni

28 Jul 2022
12:39:46pm

Among the many questions I have about the cover shown below is in what way it moved from "ship to shore." The postmarks on the front show the cover was processed on June 28, 1933, at 7:30 pm at the New York City Hall Annex. The Berengaria sailed on the evening of the 28th from New York, heading to Southampton, England.

Was the sender (presumably Robert Joseph) on board the Berengaria on the 28th and did he compose a letter and send it from the ship to shore to be processed in NYC? Does ship to shore work that way?

If, instead, he mailed it in person in New York City, why even involve the steamer? If (a big if) I read the backstamps correctly, the letter took some eight days to reach Bussels which may mean it actually traveled on board the ship. Why would Joseph send it that way when it would appear he wanted it to reach its destination quickly as the special delivery and airmail stamps suggest?

All in all, a very busy and, to me, puzzling cover.

Thanks for any insights,
Jim

Image Not Found
Image Not Found




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BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
28 Jul 2022
06:18:00pm

re: Ship to Shore Help

I have two theories on this one.

My initial theory was:

1) The cover was paid for carriage by ship to Southampton, then by airmail from the UK to Belgium, plus special delivery. This was a common practice and usually marked "By airmail within Europe". In this case the notation "From steamer to Europe" is a bit of an overstatement. The notation "Ship to Shore" was a dealer or collector notation added afterwards in an effort to "enhance" the appeal of the cover (I have seen this many times. It is more common that one might think.)

That was theory 1.

HOWEVER, then I noticed that the "Ship to Shore" was written in (apparently) the same crayon that placed the "20" in the special delivery fee comment, AND that someone had added "No" ahead of the "Ship to Shore".

So here is my preferred hypothesis:

2) At the time of this letter, two German ships, the D(ampfer) Bremen and D. Europa carried seaplanes that they would launch with the mail about 24 hours before arriving at port (at an average of 15 knots, that's about 360 nm, about the range that could be expected for a seaplane - probably about a 3 hour flight). This service was called "Catapult Mail" because the ships were outfitted with special catapult systems to launch the aircraft. There are threads on this DB with some great pictures. Do a search for "Catapult".

It is my belief that the sender mistakenly thought the Berengaria could do the same and thus marked the cover "Ship to Shore". The mail clerk on the ship caught this, and wrote "No". The cover got the usual airmail treatment in Europe, evidenced by the Paris "Avion" arrival, after the redirection from Brussels.

That's my theory.

Roy

Like
Login to Like
this post

"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 8,000 new covers coming June 9."

www.Buckacover.com

BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
28 Jul 2022
07:39:22pm

re: Ship to Shore Help

I take back my comment about the search for threads on this DB. There are a few mentions, but not the in depth discussion I remembered. I think I remembered a Stamporama article (which is linked to in one of the discussions) that now appears to be missing. Possibly Tim can find it buried in the bowels of the server. Pretty sure some of my own articles/exhibits have similarly gone missing.

In any case, over the years I have handled many Catapult Mail covers and also some photographs. Here are some:

D. Europa

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

Image Not Found



D. Bremen

Image Not Found
Image Not Found

Image Not Found


Roy

Like
Login to Like
this post

"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 8,000 new covers coming June 9."

www.Buckacover.com
Members Picture
egertoni

28 Jul 2022
08:49:15pm

re: Ship to Shore Help

Roy

Hypothesis #2 sounds about right.

You were most generous in not pointing out my brain freeze regarding the sender's desire to move the letter quickly (travel by ship was a necessary element of transatlantic mail at the time). As you point out, had the Berengaria been equipped with catapult service, the sender could have gained a day (at most).

Your catapult images are great. I assume the process was risky for pilots and planes.

Thanks,
Jim

Like
Login to Like
this post

BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50 - Easy browsing 500 categories
28 Jul 2022
09:00:48pm

re: Ship to Shore Help

"equipped with catapult service, the sender could have gained a day (at most)."



Much of the mail carried on these catapult flights was philatelic (on a side note, the Zeppelins were almost completely financed by carried philatelic mail), but I have handled obviously commercial covers. Businessmen travelling on the ships could get word out a day ahead of their arrival, set up meetings, plans to be met etc. That was the marketing idea in any case. That was in the days when that "day ahead" would actually get the letter into the hands of a local addressee within that day.

Roy
Like
Login to Like
this post

"BuckaCover.com - 80,000 covers priced 60c to $1.50- 8,000 new covers coming June 9."

www.Buckacover.com
Members Picture
BenFranklin1902

Tom in Exton, PA
04 Aug 2022
12:04:18am

re: Ship to Shore Help

Ah, the silly things they had to do before email! Big Grin

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