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Canada/Covers & Postmarks : Paquebot Cover

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Larryc3a
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05 Dec 2010
09:58:04pm
I don't collect foreign stamps but got this cover yesterday. I can tell the two stamps on the right are French but it doesn't look like the two left ones are. Not shown in the scan is the sender's note under the address, "By Mauretania or fast mail." It looks like the P.O. reads QUEEFC. Does that make sense? I'm new to covers so if someone can read the tracks on this one and fill me in, I'd appreciate it.
Larry

paquebot.jpg
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Stampme
05 Dec 2010
10:21:17pm
re: Paquebot Cover

Hi Larry,
I believe the postmark reads QUEBEC P.Q. If I'm not mistaken, the P.Q. was a postal code for the city which was changed in 1991: the code for Quebec was changed from PQ to QC.
Bruce

(Message edited by stampme on December 05, 2010)

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Larryc3a
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05 Dec 2010
11:10:11pm
re: Paquebot Cover

Bruce,
I looked again and I'm convinced that the second "E" is not a "B". Also, I don't understand how the card could be mailed in Quebec with French stamps and travel by steamboat to Kentucky. Could you flesh out your explanation for a rookie? Thanks.
Larry

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Nigelc
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06 Dec 2010
02:58:36am
re: Paquebot Cover

The post card appears to have been posted on board ship and handed in to the post office in Quebec when the ship reached the port and it received the PAQUEBOT POSTED AT SEA postmark.

However, under UPU regulations if the stamps were applied on board the ship before it reached the port (once in harbour the stamps should have been Canadian), the stamps should all have been British if it were a British ship or all French if it were a French ship (not a combination like this of both British and French stamps).

The post card appears French so maybe it was written in France with the two French stamps applied there with the intention of being posted but was taken on board instead and posted once the additional British stamps had been purchased and added.

Perhaps the message can tell us more about the intention of the writer?

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Larryc3a
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06 Dec 2010
03:43:27am
re: Paquebot Cover

The message is dated Aug 2 and reads "Leaving for good old U.S.A. Have had a grand time. Love to all. Wil & Helen " The card depicts a Paris scene and describes it in French. It does look like the post mark is P.Q. (not P.O.) but I don't think I'm mistaken about the top reading "QUEE"-something. Perhaps the stamp was made in error and the 4th letter was supposed to have been a "B". I can't be certain of the cancellation date.

Larry

(Message edited by larryc3a on December 06, 2010)

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Larryc3a
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06 Dec 2010
04:22:44am
re: Paquebot Cover

So here is the story as I understand it:
Wil & Helen are leaving Paris and put two French stamps on their postcard, address the thing, and write that it should travel to the USA via the English vessel "Mauretania" (the Lousitania's sister ship, BTW). Instead of mailing it however, they take it with them on whatever boat they are traveling (maybe the Mauretania itself) and, while onboard, purchase two more stamps (British stamps) and post it while at sea.
The boat arrives in Quebec where the ship's mail is processed by a Canadian postal worker who overlooks or forgives the mixed foreign postage and cancels the cover using a stamp that had been purchased which mispells the name of his city.

This is why I like covers. I keep trying to talk myself out of collecting them but I love their stories. Thanks for helping me understand this thing.

Larry

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Dec 2010
08:57:51am
re: Paquebot Cover

To follow on Larry's supposition, I think the French stamps might have been applied in France with the intent of mailing it there to the US, take it with them on the cruise ship where they then purchase correct stamps to mail from the British flagged ship. Does 1.5d pay the surface rate from UK to US? If so, that seems a likely answer. But it's all supposition and conjecture.

David

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Stampme
06 Dec 2010
11:14:22pm
re: Paquebot Cover

Supposition and conjecture: The fun stuff!
Bruce

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Bujutsu
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17 Dec 2010
05:23:25pm
re: Paquebot Cover

Hi All

I tried posting this message earlier but not sure if it went through. I am new here but not new to collecting.

Your cancellation definately does not read "Queefc" since that PO does not exist in that province.

There are 2 possibilties for your cancellation and one is that the "B" of "Quebec" was worn, or, two, the cancellation was run through too fast to register clearly.

The cancellation you have is a 'machine' cancellation and it was used on a lot of 'quantity' mailings.

Hope this helps?

Chimo

Bujutsu

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Rhinelander
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18 Dec 2010
04:40:32pm
re: Paquebot Cover

The Canadian "Paquebot / Posted / At Sea" machine cancellations are known from (at least) 1925-1969 and from the cities of Halifax, Quebec, Saint John, Vancouver, and Victoria. Machines of three different makes were in use, Universal, Perfect, and Pitney Bowes. This one is an Universal.

Needles to say, not all machines were in use in all cities and not all cities used machine cancellations to cancel paquebot mail at all times. Nevertheless, it is not a common postmark and even though it must be discounted twice for not being perfectly legible and for being struck on a postcard, it is a nice item. I was just speaking from the corner of a postmark collector. The nice thing about postal history is that every item has many different angles, for instance, for a person interested in naval history the reference to the 'Mauretania' adds considerably interest, but I don't care for it and would rather be able to read, rather than guess, the word SEA. Same for the postcard -- many collectors go nuts over an interesting image on a postcard, while most postmark collectors prefer the same postmarks on cover rather postcard and don't even really look at the front of the card. The ink smears, finally, are pretty common for the fast Universal Machines.

Thanks for showing, Larry.

Arno

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Roy
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03 Jan 2011
01:35:50pm

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re: Paquebot Cover

It was definitely posted aboard a ship which docked at Quebec City and handed its mail over to the Canadian Post Office ... that's what the Paquebot cancel signifies. "P.Q." stands for "Province de Quebec". (Us old-timers still think of Quebec [the province] as "PQ", not QC.

The supposition that the card was first franked in France, and then again aboard ship is correct. The 1 1/2d rate correctly pays for the surface rate from Great Britain to the USA in 1930 -- the french franking is redundant.

Roy
http://www.buckacover.com

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