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United States/Stamps : Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

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DSCStamps
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04 Aug 2013
10:07:44am
I have a group of about 25 full sheets of Mint - original gum U.S. stamps with full sheet cancellations from Moscow, ID, from the mid 90's - 1994, 95, 96.

Does anyone have any idea what these might be?? Attached is an example of one of the sheets.

Image Not Found

Thanks for any guidance.
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meostamps
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04 Aug 2013
11:04:25am
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

Some PO's, as a receipt for payment on fees, such as the amount due for returned business reply envelopes, will have the person 'buy' US sheets, which they would then cancel with a roller canceller. I have seen like sheets before from the 80's & 90's from other small PO's.

Mike in NC / meostamps

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DSCStamps
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04 Aug 2013
11:50:07am
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

Mike - good observation. Had not thought of that angle. It does appear they were cancelled with some kind of a roller cancellation, possibly a machine of some kind.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Aug 2013
01:26:00pm
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

that's the kind of canceller they use on flats

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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DSCStamps
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04 Aug 2013
02:30:44pm
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

This is a new term to me - "Flats" ?? give us a tutorial please. Thanks - Dan

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Jlav
04 Aug 2013
02:55:51pm
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

Hi Dan,

This is taken from the USPS Business 101 web page:

The Postal Service uses the word "flats" to refer to large envelopes, newsletters, and magazines. The words large envelopes and flats are used interchangeably. Whatever you call them, flats must:
Have one dimension that is greater than 6-1/8 inches high OR 11-½ inches long OR ¼ inch thick.
Be no more than 12 inches high x 15 inches long x ¾ inch thick.

Jacques.

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DSCStamps
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04 Aug 2013
03:28:27pm
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

Jacques - Thanks for insight on Flats. I do not think that applies in this case of full mint gum sheets that have been cancelled and never attached to anything.

Another possibility is these are sheets that were excess and not sold and the local post office de-valued them by cancelling. I do not know what the USPS policy is on un-sold stamps. This was a big issue when rates were changed and even with the make-up stamps they had problems selling all of the inventory. They may have been thrown into a dumpster or an employee picked them up. There are 34 sheets and range from Scott's #2616 to 3060, or several years of different cancel dates.

Another possible answer is they were used for pre-paid shipments and the PO provided them to the shipper as proof of payment. An office clerk filed them and they were noticed by someone who knew something about stamps and put them on the market.

My concern is I have never seen this from any other post office. There must be something unique about these and how they got this way and how they got to be available. I find it hard to believe a stamp collector would have mint sheets of significant value cancelled just to have them in cancelled format.

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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
19 Aug 2013
09:41:16pm
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

" .... I do not know what the USPS policy is on un-sold stamps. ...."

On Long Island, New York, bundles of unsold stamps were brought regularly to the Babylon Town Incinerator to be consigned to the flames. Postal officials stood around and watched at least till the flames began to engulf the bundles and then left for coffee or a beer.
Both my brother-in-law and father-in-law worked there and as soon as the Post office people turned away, water hoses were sprayed on the bundles and large chunks of un-destroyed stamps were salvaged and shared.
The edges would be singed and a few sheets deep, dampened, but the bulk were brought home by various employees. Those who worked there at the time all anticipated the semi-annual, or quarterly, stamp conflagration and had a detailed plan to be able to retrieve as many bundles of sheets as possible.

In the late 1960s and early '70s my wife's family used blocks of #1034, the Bunker Hill 2½¢ definitive on bill payments, birthday cards, X-mas cards and anything else they wanted to mail. When I noticed the odd usage, sometimes even over franking, my B-i-L showed me a drawer full of part sheets in a desk in his garage which when opened still bore a smokey smell. The edge stamps were mostly torn away, but he used them for several years and at times other salvaged stamps.

I don't know if other postal facilities disposed of excess stamps that way, or if other incinerator crews around the country were as clever (devious) at the caper, but both are likely unless the postal authorities stood by in that smelly town dump near the hot stinking fire and watched til the stamps were in cinders. In later years, both my F-i-L and B-i-L came down with multiple cancers as did several other sanitation employees that was, at least partly, attributed to the toxic fumes they inhaled all day, all year.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
DSCStamps
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20 Aug 2013
08:21:59am
re: Info on Moscow, Idaho cancels

Charlie - Sorry about your B-I-L. For a minute I thought you were going to say it was from licking all those stamps. Whew! I have heard stories of such activities and even in the case of some duck stamp sheets that someone went dumpster diving for them and actually ended up destroying the collector value for those stamps because he flooded the market with them. Boxes full. Printers are a lot more careful today to destroy the waste sheets.

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