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Worldwide/Cinderellas & Seals : Seals used as postage

 

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Aug 2013
08:52:02am
In a thread on the legal uses of priority and express mail stamps, we morphed into other illegal uses, and featured an illegal use of a battleship documentary stamp. Paid the correct rate, but wasn't legal as postage.

Herewith, a recent acquisition where a Christmas seal is used as postage.

Image Not Found

The usage is especially nice on a number of counts. First is its illegal use. Second, a machine cancel ought to have caught its lack of phosphor and therefore the machine ought not to have been triggered. Third, the cover is to a local Lung Association, which are getting rarer and rarer. Finally, according to the most recent seal survey, this predates the current EKU by seven days.

All in all a nice find

David
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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

05 Aug 2013
01:57:09pm
re: Seals used as postage

Yes, it's items like that that ALMOST make me want to collect more covers! I've avoided the temptation, for the most part, but stuff like that is really appealing. Thanks for sharing!

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Rhinelander
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05 Aug 2013
02:10:41pm
re: Seals used as postage

Hi David,

Nice item -- not to rain on the parade, but: did you check that it does not say "no postage required" under the seal? Given that it is a pre-printed business return envelope it is possible that return postage was guaranteed.

The machine cancel does not appear to orginate from a machine using tagging to face and cancel envelopes. I will double check though. Standard hand driven and electric machines of various makes and models, which all require manual facing of envelopes remained in use for a long time, even until present day (but you very rarely see anything but inkjets these days).

Arno

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Aug 2013
03:29:43pm
re: Seals used as postage

Arno, I did not look under the seal. All the other, similar covers I acquired (all from the same local lung assoc) were franked. That doesn't prove anything, of course.

wasn't the convention to include a notice near the address that indicates prepayment of postage? I don't recall only the boxed BRE indicum; only in tandem with the ovalesque statement about prepayment near the address. Or another of my old man hallucinations.

Lars, these are fascinating. Nothing like being viewed as a temptress (or its male equivalent). The dark side beckons.....lars...................lars......................

David

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Aug 2013
03:30:58pm
re: Seals used as postage

and, why does reading something like

"not to rain on the parade, but:
"


cause my stomach to knot up instantaneously?

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philb
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05 Aug 2013
03:58:57pm

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re: Seals used as postage

i am not unique..but i do not have stomach problems..i blow up and then get over it !!! Ask bobg !!

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Rhinelander
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06 Aug 2013
09:06:13am
re: Seals used as postage

Yes,

"not to rain on the parade, but:"



always makes for a great lead-in.

I am not sure if there had to be an additional mentioning of the fact that postage was guaranteed by the recipient. Perhaps you can sacrifice one of the other similar covers you have to find out for sure; but the fact that all the others were franked is a very good indicator that postage indeed was required. So, no rain on the parade after all.

Arno


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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

06 Aug 2013
10:31:33am
re: Seals used as postage

thanks Arno, I was despairing trying to find my umbrella

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Stallzer
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07 Aug 2013
09:13:41pm
re: Seals used as postage

How about Postage used as Revenue ? Here is one on a Bank check.



Image Not Found

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Stallzer
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07 Aug 2013
09:25:00pm
re: Seals used as postage

Another Postage Stamp used on document

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

07 Aug 2013
10:26:15pm
re: Seals used as postage

That is another interesting improper use I never thought about! This is really fascinating. It brings to mind something I read several years ago about a use during WWI for Parcel Post stamps to pay some special war tax. I don't recall the details at this point.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

08 Aug 2013
08:10:38am
re: Seals used as postage

Lars, never heard of that; hope you can find details.

The war tax in America was simply an increase of major rates (letter and PC) by a penny (increasing by 1/3 and 1/2, respectively). This made sense because the USPOD was fully governmental, and its revenues flowed to Treasury, unlike today where only expenses incurred by USPS are sent to Treasury, but no funds are forthcoming.

David

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larsdog
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08 Aug 2013
05:09:34pm
re: Seals used as postage

David, it was a 1c tax for any Parcel Post package with 25c or more in postage. It was 1c for the first 25c and 1c for each additional portion thereof. I don't know if it was a postage stamp or a tax stamp. It was around 1918 or so.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179

08 Aug 2013
09:21:24pm
re: Seals used as postage

David,

When I got home I checked my notebook where I keep oddball info that I may wish to refer back to at some point and found these two items:

1. New York Times - Nov 29, 1917 - "{Tax} Collector William H. Edwards of the Second or Wall Street Internal Revenue District yesterday gave out a statement calling attention to the fact that the war stamp taxes on many transactions will become effective Saturday ... Revenue stamps will also have to be affixed to parcel post packages on which the postage amounts to 25 cents or more."

2. Official Bulletin - December 8, 1917 (A. M. Dockery, Third Assistant Postmaster General) has an article titled - "War Tax on Parcel-Post Mail Must Be Paid In Internal Revenue Stamps, Canceled By Sender". There you can find all of the particulars. (The revenue stamp was to be canceled in ink with date and initials by sender, similar to use on legal documents. Perhaps a Revenue collector has an example).

According to Beecher & Wawrukiewicz, even for a coast-to-coast parcel, it would have to weigh over two pounds to have the tax apply, so "covers" with the revenue stamp would be hard to find. B&W also briefly describe the tax on page 159 of the Revised Second Edition.

Cheers!

Lars

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drmicro68
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08 Aug 2013
09:39:54pm
re: Seals used as postage

Unfortunately I do not have the cover--but my wonderful (truly) mother-in-law mailed a check using an S&H green stamp--and it went through (at least it never came back, and the check was cashed...). Poor woman had really awful eyesight (cataracts back in the day when surgery was almost worse than the cataracts), but it's a favorite family story.

Roger

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

09 Aug 2013
08:04:26am
re: Seals used as postage

two comments

Roger, i'm guessing the S&H stamps looked a lot like the 4c make-up stamp that is currently leader for ugliest stamp. Who could tell?

Lars, thanks for this. Another extraordinarily rare rate; thanks for taking the time to specify page and specifics of the rate.

David

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Sep 2013
07:40:12am
re: Seals used as postage

So, here are seals used where postage would be, but it's a legal use (mostly) because the cover is free-franked by a service member on active duty during war time.

War-time free franking was in use during the Second World War. The practice was in place at some during the First World War, but don't know the exact date. I'm not sure if it existed before this (Saleem, Arno, Thierry, can you help here?). Stamps were created specifically for soldiers during the First World War (the now-elusive AEF booklets). Federal soldiers were allowed to send their letters collect without penalty during the American Civil War.

This particular envelope is sent from Pier 45 on the North River, another name for the southern expanse of the Hudson, and if you subtract 40 from the pier number, the know the street from which the pier extends.

I understand Army markings much more than Naval markings, so here's where Charlie can help fill in some details, but it appears to be a seaman first class. I'd also be interested in knowing the meaning of FAO, outside of the toy store.

I'm both showing off and on a fishing expedition to fully understand the cover.

Finally, it's fairly rare to see seals used as blocks, and seals were commonly used more on the backs, not the fronts of envelopes, so this is a choice usage.

Image Not Found

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smaier
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Sally

05 Sep 2013
08:01:24am
re: Seals used as postage

Wow that's neat. Does the "75" at the bottom left mean anything? Price of the cover, something else?

Sally

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Sep 2013
08:45:24am
re: Seals used as postage

pretty sure that's a dealer's mark; likely 75c. Hey, I'd pay that.

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05 Sep 2013
07:25:45pm
re: Seals used as postage

As I recall, FOA meant something about a Foreign Officer or Office, the A might be for Affairs. I do not know what the rules were for Free during WWII, but during the Viet Nam era you had to be outside the U.S. to get Free postage, and maybe even in the war zone. It has been a long time ago when I sent Free mail home. Navy pier in NY would not have applied at that time, but during WWII could have been anyone in the military??? I can only assume with the pending holiday season is what prompted the use of the seals. The cover is dated Dec 13th. What is really neat is that it was actually cancelled. I thought most free mail went un-cancelled, just delivered to addressee. I think I may still have some of the old Free envelopes I sent home. I will have to dig out and look.

But whatever, nice cover.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Sep 2013
07:52:53pm
re: Seals used as postage

thanks Dan. and, yes, find your old correspondence and keep it together and safe.

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cdj1122
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06 Sep 2013
11:34:09am
re: Seals used as postage

During Viet Nam you did have to be beyond a certain meridian and a member of the active military. Unless certain government officials assigned in country had access to the franking privilege.

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06 Sep 2013
04:48:33pm
re: Seals used as postage

Charlie - I have no idea what the parameters were for sure. I remember there was a notice at the military PO to write "Free" where a stamp usually went. When the sign went down, I had to lick a stamp to send a letter. I was use to following orders and I just did what they told me and did not ask a lot of questions. Never thought I would be dealing with the same stuff 50 years later. Could have asked, but did not know what to ask back then. I know, it is the ole hindsight trick....Should have, Could have, etc. etc. What the hell, I was just a kid doing my service to the country.

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roy
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07 Sep 2013
11:21:07pm
re: Seals used as postage

On the subject of "illegal uses", here's one for you. United Kingdom, 1975

Image Not Found


Roy

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07 Sep 2013
11:43:27pm
re: Seals used as postage

Reminds me of a letter I sent to a fellow SOR member I believe last year. I had given it to my Mum to post, she assumed there was a stamp on it and didn't look, just dumped it in the post box. He received the letter intact sans postage or franking!

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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..

12 Sep 2013
03:32:10am
re: Seals used as postage

In 1995 there was a discussion about the last stamp of the WW II series, specifically whether the planned mushroom cloud would offend the sensibilities of our, by then, loyal Japanese allies.
The decision was made to change the design to show President Truman in the White House announcing the "Unconditional Surrender" and thus the official end of WW II.
Image Not Found
However some clever fellow decided to print small sheetlets of the original design and I recall sending away for a sheet or possibly two.

Image Not Found

I think the cover is self-explanatory

One day some weeks later an envelope arrived with a note about needing legitimate postage.
My oldest son, who was a teenager then, had written a letter and, looking for a stamp, used the A-bomb label to carry the mail.

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jamesw

04 Jan 2014
09:33:01pm
re: Seals used as postage

This isn't an American cover, but since a Brit piece was posted above, I'll include it in this discussion. Here's a Canadian cover (sadly only the front of the envelope, but when I saw this I had to have it anyway) with an excise (revenue) stamp used as postage.
Last year I actually posted a letter to my sister using a 10¢ Canadian postage due stamp. Not only improper because it is postage due, but the postage due itself is now obsolete. It got through, but sadly, was not cancelled (like much of our postage these days) so the experiment was moot.

Image Not Found

On another note, if I may play devils advocate for a second, the image that amsd posted on Sept 5 of the cover with the four 1943 Christmas seals, has anyone noticed how the slogan cancel is not actually tied to the cover? The lines run across the seals, but the slogan frame doesn't appear on the envelope itself either to the left or right of the block.
Just wondering.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads

05 Jan 2014
07:28:23am
re: Seals used as postage

Interesting James, i had not noticed that before. i'll need to examine it more closely; perhaps look under the flap at the back of the front of the cover to see if there is another cancel underneath the seals.

David

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Aug 2013
08:52:02am

In a thread on the legal uses of priority and express mail stamps, we morphed into other illegal uses, and featured an illegal use of a battleship documentary stamp. Paid the correct rate, but wasn't legal as postage.

Herewith, a recent acquisition where a Christmas seal is used as postage.

Image Not Found

The usage is especially nice on a number of counts. First is its illegal use. Second, a machine cancel ought to have caught its lack of phosphor and therefore the machine ought not to have been triggered. Third, the cover is to a local Lung Association, which are getting rarer and rarer. Finally, according to the most recent seal survey, this predates the current EKU by seven days.

All in all a nice find

David

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
05 Aug 2013
01:57:09pm

re: Seals used as postage

Yes, it's items like that that ALMOST make me want to collect more covers! I've avoided the temptation, for the most part, but stuff like that is really appealing. Thanks for sharing!

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Rhinelander

Support the Hobby -- Join the American Philatelic Society
05 Aug 2013
02:10:41pm

re: Seals used as postage

Hi David,

Nice item -- not to rain on the parade, but: did you check that it does not say "no postage required" under the seal? Given that it is a pre-printed business return envelope it is possible that return postage was guaranteed.

The machine cancel does not appear to orginate from a machine using tagging to face and cancel envelopes. I will double check though. Standard hand driven and electric machines of various makes and models, which all require manual facing of envelopes remained in use for a long time, even until present day (but you very rarely see anything but inkjets these days).

Arno

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Aug 2013
03:29:43pm

re: Seals used as postage

Arno, I did not look under the seal. All the other, similar covers I acquired (all from the same local lung assoc) were franked. That doesn't prove anything, of course.

wasn't the convention to include a notice near the address that indicates prepayment of postage? I don't recall only the boxed BRE indicum; only in tandem with the ovalesque statement about prepayment near the address. Or another of my old man hallucinations.

Lars, these are fascinating. Nothing like being viewed as a temptress (or its male equivalent). The dark side beckons.....lars...................lars......................

David

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Aug 2013
03:30:58pm

re: Seals used as postage

and, why does reading something like

"not to rain on the parade, but:
"


cause my stomach to knot up instantaneously?

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philb

05 Aug 2013
03:58:57pm

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re: Seals used as postage

i am not unique..but i do not have stomach problems..i blow up and then get over it !!! Ask bobg !!

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Rhinelander

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06 Aug 2013
09:06:13am

re: Seals used as postage

Yes,

"not to rain on the parade, but:"



always makes for a great lead-in.

I am not sure if there had to be an additional mentioning of the fact that postage was guaranteed by the recipient. Perhaps you can sacrifice one of the other similar covers you have to find out for sure; but the fact that all the others were franked is a very good indicator that postage indeed was required. So, no rain on the parade after all.

Arno


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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Aug 2013
10:31:33am

re: Seals used as postage

thanks Arno, I was despairing trying to find my umbrella

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Stallzer

07 Aug 2013
09:13:41pm

re: Seals used as postage

How about Postage used as Revenue ? Here is one on a Bank check.



Image Not Found

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Stallzer

07 Aug 2013
09:25:00pm

re: Seals used as postage

Another Postage Stamp used on document

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
07 Aug 2013
10:26:15pm

re: Seals used as postage

That is another interesting improper use I never thought about! This is really fascinating. It brings to mind something I read several years ago about a use during WWI for Parcel Post stamps to pay some special war tax. I don't recall the details at this point.

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
08 Aug 2013
08:10:38am

re: Seals used as postage

Lars, never heard of that; hope you can find details.

The war tax in America was simply an increase of major rates (letter and PC) by a penny (increasing by 1/3 and 1/2, respectively). This made sense because the USPOD was fully governmental, and its revenues flowed to Treasury, unlike today where only expenses incurred by USPS are sent to Treasury, but no funds are forthcoming.

David

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
08 Aug 2013
05:09:34pm

re: Seals used as postage

David, it was a 1c tax for any Parcel Post package with 25c or more in postage. It was 1c for the first 25c and 1c for each additional portion thereof. I don't know if it was a postage stamp or a tax stamp. It was around 1918 or so.

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larsdog

APS #220693 ATA#57179
08 Aug 2013
09:21:24pm

re: Seals used as postage

David,

When I got home I checked my notebook where I keep oddball info that I may wish to refer back to at some point and found these two items:

1. New York Times - Nov 29, 1917 - "{Tax} Collector William H. Edwards of the Second or Wall Street Internal Revenue District yesterday gave out a statement calling attention to the fact that the war stamp taxes on many transactions will become effective Saturday ... Revenue stamps will also have to be affixed to parcel post packages on which the postage amounts to 25 cents or more."

2. Official Bulletin - December 8, 1917 (A. M. Dockery, Third Assistant Postmaster General) has an article titled - "War Tax on Parcel-Post Mail Must Be Paid In Internal Revenue Stamps, Canceled By Sender". There you can find all of the particulars. (The revenue stamp was to be canceled in ink with date and initials by sender, similar to use on legal documents. Perhaps a Revenue collector has an example).

According to Beecher & Wawrukiewicz, even for a coast-to-coast parcel, it would have to weigh over two pounds to have the tax apply, so "covers" with the revenue stamp would be hard to find. B&W also briefly describe the tax on page 159 of the Revised Second Edition.

Cheers!

Lars

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drmicro68

08 Aug 2013
09:39:54pm

re: Seals used as postage

Unfortunately I do not have the cover--but my wonderful (truly) mother-in-law mailed a check using an S&H green stamp--and it went through (at least it never came back, and the check was cashed...). Poor woman had really awful eyesight (cataracts back in the day when surgery was almost worse than the cataracts), but it's a favorite family story.

Roger

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
09 Aug 2013
08:04:26am

re: Seals used as postage

two comments

Roger, i'm guessing the S&H stamps looked a lot like the 4c make-up stamp that is currently leader for ugliest stamp. Who could tell?

Lars, thanks for this. Another extraordinarily rare rate; thanks for taking the time to specify page and specifics of the rate.

David

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Sep 2013
07:40:12am

re: Seals used as postage

So, here are seals used where postage would be, but it's a legal use (mostly) because the cover is free-franked by a service member on active duty during war time.

War-time free franking was in use during the Second World War. The practice was in place at some during the First World War, but don't know the exact date. I'm not sure if it existed before this (Saleem, Arno, Thierry, can you help here?). Stamps were created specifically for soldiers during the First World War (the now-elusive AEF booklets). Federal soldiers were allowed to send their letters collect without penalty during the American Civil War.

This particular envelope is sent from Pier 45 on the North River, another name for the southern expanse of the Hudson, and if you subtract 40 from the pier number, the know the street from which the pier extends.

I understand Army markings much more than Naval markings, so here's where Charlie can help fill in some details, but it appears to be a seaman first class. I'd also be interested in knowing the meaning of FAO, outside of the toy store.

I'm both showing off and on a fishing expedition to fully understand the cover.

Finally, it's fairly rare to see seals used as blocks, and seals were commonly used more on the backs, not the fronts of envelopes, so this is a choice usage.

Image Not Found

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smaier

Sally
05 Sep 2013
08:01:24am

re: Seals used as postage

Wow that's neat. Does the "75" at the bottom left mean anything? Price of the cover, something else?

Sally

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Sep 2013
08:45:24am

re: Seals used as postage

pretty sure that's a dealer's mark; likely 75c. Hey, I'd pay that.

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DSCStamps

05 Sep 2013
07:25:45pm

re: Seals used as postage

As I recall, FOA meant something about a Foreign Officer or Office, the A might be for Affairs. I do not know what the rules were for Free during WWII, but during the Viet Nam era you had to be outside the U.S. to get Free postage, and maybe even in the war zone. It has been a long time ago when I sent Free mail home. Navy pier in NY would not have applied at that time, but during WWII could have been anyone in the military??? I can only assume with the pending holiday season is what prompted the use of the seals. The cover is dated Dec 13th. What is really neat is that it was actually cancelled. I thought most free mail went un-cancelled, just delivered to addressee. I think I may still have some of the old Free envelopes I sent home. I will have to dig out and look.

But whatever, nice cover.

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Sep 2013
07:52:53pm

re: Seals used as postage

thanks Dan. and, yes, find your old correspondence and keep it together and safe.

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06 Sep 2013
11:34:09am

re: Seals used as postage

During Viet Nam you did have to be beyond a certain meridian and a member of the active military. Unless certain government officials assigned in country had access to the franking privilege.

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06 Sep 2013
04:48:33pm

re: Seals used as postage

Charlie - I have no idea what the parameters were for sure. I remember there was a notice at the military PO to write "Free" where a stamp usually went. When the sign went down, I had to lick a stamp to send a letter. I was use to following orders and I just did what they told me and did not ask a lot of questions. Never thought I would be dealing with the same stuff 50 years later. Could have asked, but did not know what to ask back then. I know, it is the ole hindsight trick....Should have, Could have, etc. etc. What the hell, I was just a kid doing my service to the country.

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07 Sep 2013
11:21:07pm

re: Seals used as postage

On the subject of "illegal uses", here's one for you. United Kingdom, 1975

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Roy

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07 Sep 2013
11:43:27pm

re: Seals used as postage

Reminds me of a letter I sent to a fellow SOR member I believe last year. I had given it to my Mum to post, she assumed there was a stamp on it and didn't look, just dumped it in the post box. He received the letter intact sans postage or franking!

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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
12 Sep 2013
03:32:10am

re: Seals used as postage

In 1995 there was a discussion about the last stamp of the WW II series, specifically whether the planned mushroom cloud would offend the sensibilities of our, by then, loyal Japanese allies.
The decision was made to change the design to show President Truman in the White House announcing the "Unconditional Surrender" and thus the official end of WW II.
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However some clever fellow decided to print small sheetlets of the original design and I recall sending away for a sheet or possibly two.

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I think the cover is self-explanatory

One day some weeks later an envelope arrived with a note about needing legitimate postage.
My oldest son, who was a teenager then, had written a letter and, looking for a stamp, used the A-bomb label to carry the mail.

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jamesw

04 Jan 2014
09:33:01pm

re: Seals used as postage

This isn't an American cover, but since a Brit piece was posted above, I'll include it in this discussion. Here's a Canadian cover (sadly only the front of the envelope, but when I saw this I had to have it anyway) with an excise (revenue) stamp used as postage.
Last year I actually posted a letter to my sister using a 10¢ Canadian postage due stamp. Not only improper because it is postage due, but the postage due itself is now obsolete. It got through, but sadly, was not cancelled (like much of our postage these days) so the experiment was moot.

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On another note, if I may play devils advocate for a second, the image that amsd posted on Sept 5 of the cover with the four 1943 Christmas seals, has anyone noticed how the slogan cancel is not actually tied to the cover? The lines run across the seals, but the slogan frame doesn't appear on the envelope itself either to the left or right of the block.
Just wondering.

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amsd

Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Jan 2014
07:28:23am

re: Seals used as postage

Interesting James, i had not noticed that before. i'll need to examine it more closely; perhaps look under the flap at the back of the front of the cover to see if there is another cancel underneath the seals.

David

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