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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

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smauggie
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10 Jun 2014
02:51:38pm
I am cataloging my collection of covers mailed from Saint Paul, MN. This is a nice example of one mailed from the Rice Street Station in Little Canada (a suburb north of St. Paul).

To be honest, I never really liked Sudoku. Blushing I am having difficulty coming up with an exact rate to match this cover.

What I know

Certified Mail - 80¢
First Class Mail - 15¢
Likely multiple weight - 13¢ x 1-3?
Total franking on cover - $1.40

Here is the cover

Image Not Found.

Thanks for any help,
Antonio

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
10 Jun 2014
06:51:14pm
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

That little claim check stub above the Certified label is the clue. That's for Return Receipt Service, which was 45 cents at that time.

Lars

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
11 Jun 2014
12:10:23am
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

What I find interesting about this cover is not only the rate puzzle (0.80 + .15 + . 45 = $1.40), but the fact that it was apparently never delivered. It was postmarked 9-12-78. First notice was 9-13-78. Second notice was 9-18-78. The item was returned 9-28-78.

Do you get a refund of the delivery confirmation fee if it's not delivered? That question is beyond my area of expertise!

Lars

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Zuzu
11 Jun 2014
12:27:47am
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

I couldn't tell you about 1978, but currently you do not receive any refund for delivery confirmation of the Return Receipt fee on Certified Mail that comes back unclaimed.

*edited for accuracy

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smauggie
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11 Jun 2014
02:05:18am
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

I am wondering Lars if the return date was written on the claim check, but the item was picked up before the return date. As it happens I got this cover as part of a box lot of correspondence all to the same person, so I am quite positive it did get into the hands of the addressee.

Thanks for clearing up the rate for me. I wasn't sure if having a claim check necessarily meant that the return receipt service was provided.

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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
11 Jun 2014
09:40:21am
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

Everyone is making the assumption that the postage applied was correct at the time the letter was mailed. Could be the sender was an idiot such as myself, who, when no scale or rate sheet is available, will just stick on a bunch of stamps. I have often carried such a letter into a post office only to be told by the clerk that I had overpaid. Since I couldn't remove the excess postage, it was sent as is.

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smauggie
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11 Jun 2014
03:15:01pm
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

In many cases, Bobby, you are right. I think in this case where there was a paid mail clerk who was responsible for keeping an accurate tally of postage used, there would be more precision.

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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
11 Jun 2014
03:59:24pm
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

I often go into the post office with stamps already attached. And if I have attached too much, and as there is no way to remove the excess postage, the letter is sent anyway regardless of what the vigilant postal clerk tells me. And, yes, the clerk hand cancels the excess postage along with the other stamps. So if you ever run across a cover with my address in the upper left, don't knock yourself out trying to figure it out, just chalk it up to that dumb Texas ex-patriot living in the wilds of the great northeast! Laughing

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
12 Jun 2014
12:02:10pm
re: Another Rate Puzzle for the Advanced Philatelists

Quote:

"I am wondering Lars if the return date was written on the claim check, but the item was picked up before the return date."



Are you suggesting that the two manuscript dates (9-18 and 9-28) were written at the same time? That is a distinct possibility. They certainly are the same handwriting and ink. Perhaps someone else knows if that is a common practice. And thinking about it a bit more it makes sense that it WAS delivered because I would assume the delivery receipt would still be attached if it were returned. (Although after return ANYBODY could detach the delivery receipt, so it doesn't prove anything). Interesting cover. I don't think it was overfranked, though. The service adds up to precisely $1.40. That was a 1 ounce (or less) certified ($0.80) letter ($0.15) with delivery receipt ($0.45) sent back to the mailer.

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