Chad – Surface and Airmail Services

Many countries have both surface mail and airmail services available for international destinations. The postage fee of course differs, airmail being more expensive as it arrives quicker than surface mail.

Surface Rate of 60 Francs to USA

Surface Rate of 60 Francs to USA

Surface rate cover dated November 7, 1967 from Baibokoum, Chad to Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Airmail Rate of 90 Francs to Canada

Airmail Rate of 90 Francs to Canada

Airmail rate cover dated April 5, 1968 from Moundou, Chad to Ottawa, Canada.

Tchadanthropus (uxoris) is the subject of debate as to where the fossil remains belong in the scientific classification system. There are arguments for it being an archaic Homo sapien (heidelbergensis), a synonym of Homo erectus and same favor a Homo sapiens classification. Still others indicate it should be considered an unidentified specimen as it’s condition doesn’t allow for accurate measurement even though it’s estimated between 700,000 to 900,000 years old.


The Scopes Monkey Trial and WJ Bryan

A high school substitute teacher, John Scopes, was accused of teaching human evolution in Dayton, Tennessee where it was against the law (Butler Act) in 1925. The trial became known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. It was never clear he actually did teach evolution, but the attention the trial brought to the subject and location made it much of a publicity stunt. The lawyer for the prosecution was William Jennings Bryan who was an active anti-evolutionist as well as a politician. When Bryan was embarrassed by questions from defense lawyer Clarence Darrow, the judge expunged the testimony and the case was closed without a summation, Bryan being declared the winner. The Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision and Scopes was released a free man.

Special Delivery Fee paid by Issue of 1986

Special Delivery Fee partially paid by Bryan Issue

First class letter (25¢ postage) from Durham, Connecticut to Greensboro, North Carolina dated May 17, 1990 with Special Delivery service ($5.35 fee). The Special Delivery fee was paid with two copies of the $2.00 Bryan issue of March 19, 1986 supplemented with additional stamps (1.60) for a total of $5.60.

Illustrated Corner Cards and Postage Meters

Many organizations utilize illustrations on their mail to bring extra attention to their organization. Some are simple and others elaborate but they are all eye-catching advertising for their respective group. Without these types of corner cards, it would be difficult for most people to identify the organization only by the serial number of the postage meter. Until the recently introduced Illustrated Mail Division which includes corner cards, exhibitors had a difficult time justifying the inclusion of such covers in their exhibits even though they were examples of postal history of these entities. It was a development long needed to expand the horizon of postal history in general. The illustration and return address typically are printed in the same color and at the same time making them one unit.

Position of the Continents before Continental Drift

Position of the Continents before Continental Drift

Service cover of the Furman University Department of Geology, Greenville, South Carolina to Columbus, Ohio dated September 20, 1977. The university leased Pitney Bowes meter machine serial number 631982 and this cover was sent via first class mail at the then rate of 13 cents.

Trek for Survival is Illustrated by the CSEM Cornercard

Trek for Survival Illustrated in the CSEM Corner card

Service cover of the Center for the Study of Early Man, Orono, Maine to A.P.O. N.Y. 09333 (Coleman Barracks, Sandhofen, Germany) dated December 16, 1986. The organization leased Pitney Bowes meter machine serial number 6012167 and this cover was sent via pre-sorted first class mail at the then rate of 18 cents.


Chinese Elk

One of the earliest sets to capture the interest of philatelists with a paleontological bent was from the People’s Republic of China (mainland). The set was issued on April 15, 1958 and the three values depicted a trilobite, a dinosaur and the Pleistocene Chinese elk (Sinomegacerus eurycerus) respectively.

Wrapper with Chinese Elk - Sinomegacerus eurycerus

Wrapper with Chinese Elk – Sinomegacerus eurycerus

This package wrapper was posted from Peking (now Beijing) and sadly, the cancellation is too incomplete to read the date. The wrapped uses 13 copies of the 16 fen stamp with make-up postage (1 fen) paying a surface rate with registration. The total is 209 fen (100 fen equal 1 yuan).

Fossil, Oregon – Mayville Rural Station

Smaller communities often use the post offices of nearby cities and no special indication (other than perhaps the return address as in this instance) that they originated from outside the city is evident in the postmark. There are occasions however when outlying facilities had their own canceling device even though the mail was routed through the larger post office.

Mayville Rural Station

Mayville Rural Station

In this case, the postmark reads “Mayville Rur. (rural) Sta. (station)” along the bottom of the datestamp in addition to the standard town name of “Fossil, Oregon” along the top. The post office began operation in October 1884 with Samuel Thornton as postmaster. I’ve been unable to find the date of final operation for this station in the literature I’m familiar with.

Penn Academy – Use as Postage Due Payment

Not only postage due stamps can be used to pay a postage due fee. Regular and commemorative U.S. postage stamps are also ocassionally found paying the missing postage and are nice items in and of themselves for the thematic collector When combined with other factors, they become even more interesting.

Penn Academy Commemorative Issue Used to Collect Postage Due

Penn Academy Commemorative Paid Postage Due

This cover from Carthage to Golden City, Missouri is dated 18 February, 1955. The envelope has a 1.5 cent imprinted indicia (postal stationery) with an overprinted penalty clause for official business. This was done by the Post Office Department and the envelopes could only be used by them. Legally, the person using this cover to avoid postage could be fined $200.00. Fortunately for the sender (no sender’s address is on the rear), the fine was ignored and a 3¢ postage due fee assessed instead using a single copy of the 150th Anniversary of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia) commemorative issue depicting Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827 – painter and naturalist) and a mammoth leg bone in the lower right corner.

Jefferson Card Cutout

Postal card indicia are valid for postal cards they are printed on. Sometimes, when the indicia on a card is mistakenly not canceled, the indicia is cut out and pasted onto a mailable item, usually a first class letter. This practice is not sanctioned by the post office, however many examples can be found as frugal users of the postal system used whatever postage they had to mail letters.

Thomas Jefferson was not only president and a statesman, he was also a naturalist. He had a keen interest in prehistoric life (fossils) as well as archaeological objects found throughout the United States. His support for expeditions to both map the country and find historical artifacts or fossil remains is unparalleled by any other president.

Jefferson Postal Card Indicia Cut-out

Jefferson Postal Card Indicia Cut-out

This local rate letter mailed within the city of Buffalo, New York on 4 June, 1928 used a Thomas Jefferson postal card indicia cutout to pay the postage. In this case, postal system personnel caught the attempt and assessed the letter two cents postage due as indicated by the manuscript notation. A precanceled postage due stamp of Buffalo, N.Y. was applied to indicate the missing postage was paid.