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United States/Covers & Postmarks : upset postmaster

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vinman
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21 Aug 2014
01:22:50pm
Image Not FoundHere is a recent ebay purchase. This cover was sent from NY, NY to Dover, PA but was missent to Dover, NJ. The NJ postmastter wrote"can't you read" and added five "PA" markings in blue crayon. There is also a Dover, NJ marking on the back dated Aug 28, 1878.



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Poodle_Mum
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21 Aug 2014
01:27:41pm
re: upset postmaster

LOL - think he got his message across? Big Grin

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philb
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21 Aug 2014
02:35:25pm

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re: upset postmaster

Pretty interesting ! I would have sent it to Delaware !

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TheBlueDude
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To error is human -to really fowl things up takes a computer
22 Aug 2014
08:05:59am
re: upset postmaster

Looks like nothing ever changes at the P.O.. 138 years later and they are still making the same mistakes.....Rolling On The Floor Laughing

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cdj1122
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22 Aug 2014
11:30:21pm
re: upset postmaster

I stopped writing British Columbia on mail to B.C. so it wasn't routed to Bogota while enroute.

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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. .... "
ThePhilatelist
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23 Aug 2014
12:39:49am
re: upset postmaster

Quote:

"The NJ postmastter wrote"can't you read" and added five "PA" markings in blue crayon."


How do you infer that the comment was written by a postmaster or another postal clerk?

The two-letter state codes were ratified by USPS only in 1963 (when the ZIP codes also came into force) and traditional abbreviations (Pa. for Pennsylvania) were tolerated but discouraged because of the possibility of confusion, and this cover attests that confusions did happen.

A very good cover (especially for the many postmarks).
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vinman
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23 Aug 2014
04:23:56am
re: upset postmaster

PA was used from at least the 1850's. I have many covers in my collection that show it was used and common. It was used in the CDS of many Pennsylvania towns. I infer the comment was written by someone in the post office because the blue crayon is simmilar to other markings I have on cover from the same era placed there by the post office. The hand writing is the same for "can't you read PA = Pennsylvania" and the five crayon "PA" markings.

Vince

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ThePhilatelist
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23 Aug 2014
01:28:21pm
re: upset postmaster

Quote:

"PA was used from at least the 1850's."


I never said otherwise. Instead I said that the Postal Department never ratified its use (until 1963), but tolerated it while encouraging everyone to write full state names.

Quote:

"I infer the comment was written by someone in the post office because the blue crayon is simmilar to other markings I have on cover from the same era placed there by the post office. The hand writing is the same for "can't you read PA = Pennsylvania" and the five crayon "PA" markings."


But couldn't it have been written by someone else AFTER the delivery? All I am saying is that we cannot say with certainty that it was a postal clerk who wrote them.

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Stampphile
23 Aug 2014
08:41:28pm
re: upset postmaster

And the gloves didn't fit O.J. ...

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Stampme
24 Aug 2014
06:04:14pm
re: upset postmaster

Was the cover returned to the original post office then forwarded otherwise why would the postmaster write the message to the postal folks at the correct location in Pa.?
Bruce

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vinman
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24 Aug 2014
07:11:57pm
re: upset postmaster

Bruce,
The markings cancelling the stamp are placed on top of each other so I can't tell what they are. It looks like a negative numera1 "11" that cancels the stamp, common from New York City. I can't make out the date on the front from Dover, NJ under the stamp. It is Aug " " 1878. There is also a "Missent and Forwarded" cancel on the front. There is also a Dover, NJ Aug 26, 1878 on the back. My best guess still is it was received in NJ and forarded back to PA. and the markings were put on in Dover, NJ.

Vince

edit
I don't know if the cover was returned to the original post office and forwarded of if was was just forwarded to Dover, PA. By the "Can't you read" it probably went back to New York. It looks like there are six CDS on the front to the left of the stamp.

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Stampme
25 Aug 2014
09:40:40am
re: upset postmaster


While the exact story line isn't crystal clear, I think it's an interesting cover.
Bruce

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
27 Aug 2014
06:57:11pm
re: upset postmaster

Two comments on this one:

1. It seems odd that someone would use a black pen to write "can't you read" and then a blue crayon to reinforce the point, but that appears to be the same handwriting. Did it show up twice at the same (wrong) PO? That might explain the frustration. Interesting.

2. What is the purpose of what appears to be "York" and a lower case "b" (maybe) at the bottom of the address?

Lars

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vinman
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27 Aug 2014
07:57:24pm
re: upset postmaster

Lars, I think you may have nailed it. I can see six cds to the left of the stamp, (I can't read them though)so it may have went back and forth between the PA and NJ post offices. The York refers to York county, PA where Dover is a township. I think it is a "C" for county not a "B".

Vince

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
27 Aug 2014
10:11:42pm
re: upset postmaster

OK, that makes sense. The real address is:

Mr. O. M. Storich (or Stouch)?
Dover
York Co, Pa (York County, Pennsylvania)

With that many CDSs on it, I would not be surprised that it went to New Jersey once and was rejected without any manuscript notation, but just the "Missent and Forwarded" marking. When it came back to New Jersey a subsequent time, the manuscript in black ink was added. I would guess it was ANOTHER return trip that prompted the crayon markings. Notice that the "Missent and Forwarded" marking is intentionally avoided by the crayon, so the crayon was likely added AFTER that marking. The "Missent" marking could have been after or with the "Can't you read" manuscript, I suppose, but there seems little doubt these markings were from a postal clerk or postmaster. If not, this is a rather elaborate ruse.

Lars

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