Serendipity strikes on occasion and the two covers below are surely an example. It may have been that someone connected with the SDMNH thought the museum’s return envelopes were an opportunity to make some interesting natural history related covers. I believe these envelopes were intended for membership renewals and perhaps there actually were members in the cities they were mailed from.
The covers are posted from two cities with paleontological names and use the trilobite issue of the April 29th 1982 Energy commemorative issue to produce a thematically connected cover. They do that very nicely and one can’t argue that each one alone appears to be commercial mail. I’m a little skeptical however as the mailing dates are very close, but then again, membership renewals are done within a short period. The first cover is posted from Dinosaur, CO (Nov. 30, 1982) at the first class rate of 20 cents, to the museum in San Diego, CA cancelled with a four bar hand device. The second cover is posted from Fossil, OR (Nov. 29, 1982) at the first class rate of 20 cents, to San Diego, CA cancelled by a wavy line machine device.
I’ve only seen these two covers, so am not able to say if more were purposely made or not. If they are, one would believe no more than a handful exist, but until more are forthcoming, I can rejoice in these two examples and the thought that serendipity does happen.