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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Mail wihout stamps

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Apocovers
04 Feb 2014
07:38:04pm
I've been cleaning out some boxes of covers recently and found three covers that went thru the mail without stamps. Now I would understand that mail from the last 20+ years is often untouched by people and just goes thru machines so it could happen. But two of those are from the 60s so they were certainly handle by several people, especially the delivery mail man. So why would they go thru without postage due?

Thierry

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
04 Feb 2014
08:42:33pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

presuming that the mail carrier has spent time actually LOOKING at the envelope is a stretch. I think automation has removed the carrier from much of it, and the carrier is trying to get things done as quickly as possible. I have seen large numbers of these over the years

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philb
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05 Feb 2014
11:16:54am

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re: Mail wihout stamps

i almost always see the person picking up my mail studying the strange mixture of stamps i put on many of the envelopes i mail out,up to a certain value...if i mail out something i consider valuable i put the current denomination stamp on the envelope .

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BobbyBarnhart
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05 Feb 2014
12:28:03pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

And then sometimes even when there is a stamp, it is as if it weren't there because the carrier doesn't know what it is!

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
05 Feb 2014
01:09:09pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

the carrier is only partially right. it IS a picture of a stamp that also happens to be a stamp, or in the vernacular of some topical collectors, stamp on stamp.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
05 Feb 2014
02:27:35pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

That was one of the poorest excuses for a souvenir sheet I have seen from the US. It had the look and feel of a magazine insert, rather than a sheet intended to be postally valid. Rather than risk getting my carrier in trouble, I just ate the postage due, and kept the cover as a conversation piece.

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Apocovers
07 Feb 2014
08:32:26pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

How about this one. It's an ACE cover with no stamps but it is hand cancelled so no excuse of not being seen by a human. It has the sorting code at the bottom and the pink one on the back so it was actually mailed!

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dani20
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08 Feb 2014
09:10:53am
re: Mail wihout stamps

The ACE cover without a stamp reminded me of when I was a postal temp during the Christmas break in NYC, a lifetime ago. When sorting mail we were told to be aware of "shed stamps" and to process the mail regularly. When we came across such stamps to just place them into a box near my station.

Could that cover have had a stamp on it at one time that just shed off?
Best,
Dan C.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
08 Feb 2014
09:41:42am
re: Mail wihout stamps

there is also the possibility, although it's technically against the rules, that the envelope was mailed in a glassine, with the stamp affixed to the glassine and cancels applied both the cover and the glassine, or to the cover only, adjacent to the spot where the stamp appears.

no matter what the actual reason, the cancel on the cover would NOT be allowed, although clearly, it's there, in contravention to the postal rules

David

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dani20
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08 Feb 2014
10:31:35am
re: Mail wihout stamps

Perhaps we're speaking here of a totally new category of errors-THE POSTAL GOOF- or some such designation in one's album. Sounds like a fun area.
Just saying!
Dan C.

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
08 Feb 2014
10:42:28pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

I think the stamp was affixed over the pond where it got wet and fell off.

(Yeah, I know, I'll keep my day job.)

One thing about the postnet barcode (actually a routing code, not sorting code - semantics perhaps), is that it can be added by anyone. Microsoft Word prints it, for example, so it was not necessarily added by the post office.

Could you please post a picture of the back of the card? I'd like to see what the pink postal markings look like. Thank you.

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Apocovers
09 Feb 2014
02:12:30am
re: Mail wihout stamps

Here's the back. By the way, the letter is still in the envelope and does not mention anything unusual about the way this cover was mailed.

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John Macco
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09 Feb 2014
06:47:12am

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re: Mail wihout stamps

Since the back of the envelope has the bar code on the bottom, I think what possibly happened is when the envelope went through the letter sorting machines, the stamp fell off. Since there had to be a stamp on the envelope for it to be detected by the sorting machines, I think this scenario is possible.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
09 Feb 2014
07:09:03am
re: Mail wihout stamps

John, that is a plausible scenario, but it still doesn't explain the errant hand cancel cancelling nothing, which is not allowed (but hardly the most egregious sin I could conjure).

It is dated 2010, already well into the self-adhesive period, and those are typically not known for falling off anything. Older stamps.... but then there'd likely be more of them unless the sender was using the 50c Halsey or 52c Humphrey something.

Phosphor in the paint.... but then there's the pesky hand cancel.

i'm less concerned about the routing bars, of which i have plenty of unfranked examples, than i am the hand cancel, which was likely done as a favor.

David

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smaier
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Sally
09 Feb 2014
10:01:16am
re: Mail wihout stamps

Is it possible that this went through the mail stream without receiving a cancel and the receiver sent it back to have a dated cancel applied?

I have had a couple of stamp club mailings (which went through without any cancellation or markings at all) returned to me with a request to have them hand cancelled at my tiny post office so that there is a date on them. These of course, did have stamps on them.

Just a thought....

Sally

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
09 Feb 2014
02:11:54pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

Thanks for posting the back side. The pink marks are the sorting marks.

Dave, I sort of agree with you that this seems to be favor-canceled. However to be favor canceled, The item has to have first class postage affixed. Something definitely amiss about this cover. Makes it exciting to try to figure it out.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
09 Feb 2014
03:02:25pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

exactly, Michael, it IS a mystery in a quite unusual wrapper

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Stampme
10 Feb 2014
02:22:25pm
re: Mail wihout stamps

A variation on what Sally stated: Is it possible that the envelope was returned to the sender because of no postage and the CDS was applied in the old fashioned way as a received marking? Or, are we certain that the CDS was applied by the post office?
Bruce

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