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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

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smauggie
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26 Apr 2014
08:57:32am
Aside from small towns where the postmaster couldn't afford (or wouldn't afford) a cancelling device, it seems to me that RFD cancels were pretty uniform. I assume they were all hand-stamps like the one on this cover.

Image Not Found

Were there any rules as to the configuration of an RFD cancel?

Thanks!

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
26 Apr 2014
01:47:08pm
re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

don't know the answer, but here's a St Lawrence SD that didn't go awry

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smauggie
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26 Apr 2014
08:07:48pm
re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

Turns out the recipient was a barnstormer.

Quote:

"Clyde W. Ice, a pilot for Rapid Airlines, used this Ford Tri-Motor for charter trips and gave rides at barnstorming events. Unlike most early pilots, Ice lived a very long life. He died at age 103."



From http://journalstar.com/niche/l-magazine/lifestyles/clyde-w-ice/image_deecf6cc-dd6d-55f1-af9e-3da9a2959b9d.html

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michael78651
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SOR Auctioneer
26 Apr 2014
08:44:16pm
re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

Wow! That's a find!

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deacon47
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38 Year ASDA Member Life Member APS
10 Apr 2015
01:34:36pm
re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

Rural Free Delivery cancels are cancels for mail that the RFD delivery man picked up from one postal customer and delivered to another customer on the same route. He cancelled the stamp with an indelible pencil (usually purple), sometimes putting his initials and the date. Before 1904, the Post Office provided rubber handstamps with the letters RFD and a town name and a date, or the words Rural Route to some RFD carriers, but after 1903 the postman would have to purchase the handstamp from his own funds. Mail cancelled with a handstamp would often be sent to an address not on the rural route. There are many different types of manuscript and printed cancels. There is a good reference book called "Encyclopedia of R.F.D. Cancels" which lists known RFD cancels. Here is a picture of two manuscript cancels, one with the town and date.
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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
10 Apr 2015
02:01:52pm

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re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

I have some in my Ben Franklin collection, both hand stamp and hand written. My era is 1903-1908. I can post some pictures if wanted.

Important to note that post cards were both a collectors craze and a means of quick communications in the pre telephone era. I have cards with messages like, "Will come see you on Friday" and even "Here's a card for your collection". It's not unusual to find that the scene on the card and the postmark are from completely different locales, because of collectors sending each other cards.

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Webpaper
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10 Apr 2015
03:26:10pm
re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

I love the postal cards from the late 19th century that say "Will be by late this afternoon" - at that time there were 2 mail deliveries a day in many places, and if both cities were on a train route and you mailed it early in the morning it would be delivered with the afternoon mail.
Mass transit used to work. ....

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
10 Apr 2015
03:55:25pm

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re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

Very True! I have a late 1800s note like that between two attorneys... The sender was in Newark, New Jersey and the recipient was in New York City. It was sent to NYC "I will be in your office at 9am tomorrow". No doubt sent in the AM mail to be received that afternoon.

I guess you just had to have faith in the mail! And without email and cell phones!

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Bobstamp
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10 Apr 2015
04:48:49pm
re: Rural Free Delivery Cancel Question

In one of my web pages, An Irish schoolboy writes home to his father, I refer to the frequent mail deliveries in London:

Bernard’s letter was probably delivered January 23, the same day it was postmarked. In London, by the late 19th century, Londoners enjoyed between six and twelve mail deliveries a day; Dubliners almost certainly benefitted from at least two deliveries per day, and possibly more.

Such frequent mail delivery was probably a result of the need for efficient commercial communication, as well as the implementation of Greenwich Mean Time in 1847, which did away with local time keeping: Multiple, scheduled mail deliveries every day benefitted everyone; housewives could mail a penny postcard to order bread from a local baker or meat from a local butcher in the morning and expect delivery of their order in time for afternoon tea."

I have seen postcards from that period posted to butchers and grocers in the morning, requesting delivery of eggs or butter or meat for that afternoon. These days, there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to delivery times. I recently received a cover from a dealer in London only two days after I bought it on eBay. When I was doing photography in Prince George, BC a few years ago, I called a photographic supply hour in Toronto to order a light stand. I actually called after their official closing hour, but got hold of the clerk that I normally dealt with. The next morning at about 9:00 a.m. there was a knock on my door — it was UPS with the light stand. Total elapsed time: about 18 hours. On other hand, my wife ordered a blouse — she calls it a "top"! — from an on-line mail order company on March 27. She called them yesterday to see why she hadn't received it, and was informed, none too politely, that it took at least two weeks for delivery.

Bob

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