Information

The Origins of the Official Post Card


Part6 : Seaside Photography - The Picture Postcard

1. Picture postcard of BrightonBeach near the Aquarium. Post-marked 1st March 1909, this colouredcard was produced by the firm of Max Ettlinger & Co. Ltd ofLondon & New York

TheOrigins of the Official Post Card

In1865, at the Austro-German Postal Conference held in Karlsruhe,Germany, Dr. Heinrich von Stephen put forward the ideaof an "open post sheet" made of stiff paper or thincard, which could be used as a cheap form of written communication.However, Dr Stephen's idea of an officially produced postcardwas not adopted.

In January 1869, Dr. Emmanual Hermann of Vienna, a professorof economics, revived the idea of producing printed postcardsand on 1st October 1869, the Austrian Post Office issuedthe world's first official postcard. The postcard was a great,popular success and around 2 1/4 millionpostcards were sold in the first three months.

Otherpostal authorities in Europe followed the Austo-German example.On 26th May 1870, the British Postmaster-General recommended theproduction of "Correspondence Cards" and on 1st October1870, the first official postcards in Britain were issuedby the Post Office. These early postcards were printed by thefamous firm of De La Rue and incorporated a printed, stamp. Theofficially produced Post Card carried a prepaid stamp to the valueof 1/2 d, a new postal rate for open correspondence.The postal rate for letters in a sealed envelope remained at onepenny. At half the standard postal rate, the Post Card was immediatelypopular, and 675,000 were sold on the first day of issue.

2 Britain's first OfficialPost Card with a printed stamp.( 1870).Up until 1894 only officialpre-paid postcards could be sent in the post.

IllustratedPost Cards

Nopictures were allowed on the early official Post Card, but from1872, private firms were allowed to print postcards which carriedadvertisements, as long as these commercial cards bore the officialpre-paid stamp. Around this time, postcards were produced thatfeatured line drawings. An early example carried line illustrationsof London landmarks such as St Paul's Cathedral and London Bridge.

Theproduction of pictorial cards was inhibited by the restrictionsimposed by the Post Office rule that post cards had to carry aprinted prepaid stamp. A major breakthrough occurred when theBritish Post Office announced that from 1st September 1894,privately printed post cards could be sent through the post withan adhesive halfpenny stamp. Publishers could now offer for salepicture postcards which could be sent through the post at thecheap postal rate. Within the month, postcards featuring picturesof local views were sent in the post. A picture postcard of Scarboroughhas been found which carried a postmark date of 15th September1894. This early pictorial view card was produced by the postcardpublisher E.T.W.Dennis of Scarborough. Other publishersthat produced local view postcards in 1894 include George Stewart& Co of Edinburgh and F.T.Corkett, a firm basedin Leicester.

Theseearly pictorial view postcards did not carry actual photographs.The views on the earliest picture postcards were engraved fromline drawings and could not cover the whole side of the card aspostal regulations stipulated that the front of the postcard,which carried the stamp, was reserved for the address only. Themessage had to be written on the reverse side and therefore hadto share space with any pictorial illustration. These early commercialproduced 'local view' cards provided an illustration to go alongsidethe written message or provided a decorative border around thespace that was reserved for the greeting or message.

3.An early coloured court-size postcard from Brighton.

4. Anengraved drawing of Volk's Seashore Electric Railway in Brighton,which appeared as an illustraton on the message side of an earlypictorial postcard. The Electric Sea Railway ran from Kemp Town,Brighton to nearby Rottingdean.Thisdesign was Published in 1899 by the Pictorial Stationery CompanyLtd of London.


arly Court

PhotographicPostcards

Althoughmany of the early illustrations were derived from line drawings,a number of early picture postcards employed images that weretaken from photographs. For example, in 1894, Walter Gardiner,a photographer with a studio in Worthing, Sussex, designed a pictorlalpostcard which incorporated views of Worthing beach and a localpark taken from his oriiginal photographs of the scenes.

Thephotographic images that were featured on postcards in the 1890swere not actual photographs, but pictures that had been reproducedusing the pictorial printing processes of the day - lithography,photogravure, half tone photo-engraving and other photomechanicaltechniques.

5.Picture postcard of Brighton's King's Road, looking east. Thispostcard carries a mechanically produced photograph rather thana real photograph and was mass produced. The message has beenwritten alongside the picture and is dated 9th August 1904. Thereverse of the card carries a half penny stamp which has beenpost-marked " BRIGHTON : 6.30 pm .August 9 1904.The cardwas addressed to a Miss Chase in South East London.

6.This portrait was taken at the American Art Rapid Photographystudio on Brighton's Palace Pier in 1902 and turned into a personalisedpostcard. Postal regulations meant that the message had to bewritten on the image side. The other side of the card carriedthe address of a Miss M. Goodwin of Kidderminster and is post-marked"BRIGHTON : September 7, 1902".

7.A postcard featuring a printed photograph dated 30 June 1903.


CLICK HERE TO CONTINUEOrigins of the Official Post Card


The story of the Library of Congress began in 1800, when President John Adams approved a congressional act that moved the national capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.

As part of that bill, a sum of $5,000 was earmarked for books intended for use by the U.S. Congress. Under Adams’ immediate successor, Thomas Jefferson, Congress passed another law under which the U.S. president appoints someone to the official post of “Librarian of Congress.”

Jefferson named the first two librarians, who each did double duty as clerk for the House of Representatives. (The two positions were separated in 1815.)

Jefferson’s contributions to the Library of Congress didn’t stop there: In August 1814, during the War of 1812, British forces burned the Capitol, destroying the still-small congressional library. The following year, Congress purchased Jefferson’s extensive personal library (including some 6,487 books) for some $23,950, which became the foundation of the new Library of Congress collection.

Unfortunately, another fire in 1850 (this time accidental) destroyed some 35,000 volumes, including almost two-thirds of Jefferson’s original contribution.


The Origins of the Official Post Card - History

A Brief History of Postcards

Postcards are such a good idea that it seems they should have been around forever. But they haven't. Postcards are a relatively recent invention, and an invention that took some time to mature, at that.

Postal service, on the other hand, has been around a long time. Many ancient civilizations developed mail delivery service to meet the needs of government -- often military -- communication. The Roman system of roads was built in part to move the mails from town to town.

The term "post office" had its origin in the system of establishing posts where riders or vehicles could exchange tired horses for fresh ones and continue on. A "post road" would have posts, or relay stations, at regular intervals to accommodate official, and sometimes private, traffic. Letters were posted between cities, and soon not only the act of carrying the letter, but the act of entering it into the system was called "posting." The term "post" was applied to everything as both noun and verb: "post" became not only a way-station on the road, but the mail itself, and the delivery of the mail by a postman -- who was originally the person in charge of a post along the road, but eventually came to be the person who collected and delivered the post.

Cards have probably been sent through the mail for as long as there has been a postal service. It wouldn't take a great deal of imagination to write a message that didn't require privacy on one side of a stiff card, address and stamp the other side, and put in the mail. (In the United States the stamp would have been for the letter rate, of course, because there wouldn't have been a separate rate for postcards.) The earliest such card that is known to postcard collectors is dated December 1848. (1)

The American genius for invention was first applied to postcards when J. P. Carlton of Philadelphia applied for a patent on Dec. 17, 1861. He sold the idea to H. L. Lipman, who printed cards marked "Lipman's Postal Cards." (2)

("Postal Card" quickly became a term reserved to cards printed by the Post Office. Privately printed cards which required stamps for posting were called "private mailing cards" and later "postcards." "Postal card," or "postal," is still a term most appropriately applied to a particular type of official postal stationery.)

Various sources quote various dates for postcard "firsts". It's generally agreed the first postals were issued in Austria in 1869. Britain and France followed in 1870, according to Jack Smith. (3) The United States was late to the game -- most writers agree that while the Postmaster General began talking about postals in 1870, it took Congress a couple of years to authorize them. President Grant signed enabling legislation on June 8, 1872, and the first postal was issued on May 13, 1873. (4) Scott's Standard Postage Stamp Catalog shows the 1-cent postage printed on the card, Lady Liberty enclosed in an oval of fancy scrollwork. (5)

Smith says the first picture postcards -- cards with an illustration on one side and the address on the other -- were issued during the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-'71. Images were printed on government postals. The first U.S. view cards, he says, were scenes of the 1873 Industrial Exposition in Chicago, also printed on postals, and the connection between U.S. celebrations and expositions and views printed on postals can be traced through the next two decades.

The first U.S. postcard views are generally thought to be cards that bore scenes of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Views were printed on both postals and blank cards that required letter-rate postage for mailing. The cards circulated widely (as evidenced by the numbers still available).

The snowballing popularity of postcards during the next couple of decades was part of the rage for expositions -- Trans-Mississippi (Omaha, 1898), Pan-American (Buffalo, 1901 -- where President Garfield was assassinated), Louisiana Purchase (St. Louis, 1904), Jamestown (Hampton Roads, 1907), Hudson-Fulton (New York, 1909), Panama-Pacific (San Francisco, 1910).

These special events each provided an occasion for a set of colorful commemorative cards. New technologies made the cards specially impressive. The German chemical industry produced brilliant dyes and inks, and perfected the lithographic printing process for mass production. When the United States finally authorized privately printed postcards at the same mailing rate as postals, the floodgates opened. "Made in Germany" became the byword for postcards that turned black-and-white photographs into dazzling color views of seemingly everything in the landscape, and a fad for postcards swept America.

Postcard collectors divide the history of postcards into eras. They use general features of the card to assign it to a period. The size and design of the card, the printing technology and paper used, and the wording of the text that appears on the card all contribute clues that help date individual cards:

Pioneer Era -- before 1898

In the United States, the prehistory of postcards is consigned to the Pioneer Era. This includes everything from the first card mailed with a letter stamp to the extravagantly colored Columbian Exposition cards -- anything, in fact, that had a stamp on the outside and no inside and was privately manufactured to go through the mail before Congress said that was legal in 1898. In 1873 the cost of sending a non-postal card was set at 2 cents.

Private Mailing Card Era -- 1898 to 1901

On May 19, 1898, Congress authorized private printers to make and sell "Private Mailing Cards" and encouraged the use of such cards by lowering the postage required to mail one from 2 cents to 1 cent, the same as postals. These cards bore the wording "Private Mailing Card" to distinguish them from government-printed postals. Like postals, the private mailing cards allowed only address information, no message, on one side of the card. Many pictorial cards compensated by leaving a small blank area along an edge for the sender to write a few words to the recipient.

Undivided Back Era -- 1902 to 1907

On Dec. 24, 1901, changes in the postal regulations allowed private printers to use "Postcard" or "Post Card" on their products. Other requirements remained the same. The reservation of the back for the address, rather than divided between an address and a message, gave rise to the designation of such cards as "undivided backs."

The six-year undivided-back era corresponds to a phenomenal growth in the popularity of postcards. Collecting postcards and putting them into albums became a major hobby.

Apparently the postcard fad finally reached Salem in this period. The earliest views in this collection have undivided backs.

View cards were just one category of postcards that were bought and mailed. Comic cards with funny photographs or drawings and snappy sayings were another. Some of the most sought-after cards are paintings of beautiful women, often signed by the artists. The most popular in terms of sheer volume were holiday cards. Long before Hallmark Americans made almost any holiday an excuse to send millions of postcards -- not only Christmas, but the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, and even Washington's and Lincoln's birthdays were occasions to send the very best postcards.

While "real-photo" cards don't automatically belong to a particular era, they do represent an important subspecies of postcard. A real-photo card is an image printed on photographic paper with the back stamped or printed with the design elements required for mailing.

Real-photo cards appeared in the pioneer era and grew in popularity along with the public's burgeoning interest in both postcards and amateur photography. Many commercial photographers and photofinishers offered prints on postcard backs, and Kodak sold a camera that made negatives the size of a postcard, and allowed the photographer to write a caption on the negative.

Many Salem scenes were recorded as real-photo cards. Before World War I the photographer who signed his work PENN apparently lived and worked in Washington County, and C. U. Williams (what a great name for a photographer) ran a large-scale postcard business from Bloomington, Illinois, and visited Salem more than once to photograph the town.

Today real-photo cards are especially prized by collectors for a couple of reasons -- because the photographic prints carry greater detail than comparable ink-based technologies, and because photography was such a democratic medium: real-photo cards often picture scenes and subjects that do not appear in volume-produced postcards -- small towns and family pictures that are often unique.

Divided Back Era -- 1907 to 1915

On March 1, 1907, postal regulations were relaxed to divide the available real estate on the address side of postcards. The address was squeezed over to the right half of the card back to permit a message on the left. While postcards still have divided backs and the "divided-back era" thus extends to the present, the term is generally used to refer specifically to the golden age of the postcard in the United States, from 1907 up to World War I. Postcards became a national mania in this period. One chronicler quotes official figures from the U.S. Post Office saying 677,777,798 postcards were mailed during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1908 -- at a time when the total population of the U.S. was 88,700,000. (6)

White Border Era -- 1915 to 1930

White-border cards are distinguished by what they're not. When World War I cut off the flow of beautifully lithographed, lushly colored cards from German printers to the U.S. market, domestic printers filled the gap -- and did it, on the whole, very badly. Lithography was replaced by coarser half-tone process printing, like the photographs in newspapers, and the subtle multi-color overlays of lithography were lost. Printers made do with screen tints and process washes, but the quality just was not the same. Economizing led them to add wide unprinted borders to the cards, which let them use smaller printing plates and save on ink.

By the end of the war in 1918 the public mania for postcards had subsided, due at least in part to the inferior quality of the available cards. Even when German production was available again the public's interest didn't revive. The golden age was over.

Linen Era -- 1930 to 1950

As the 1920s turned into the 1930s paper-making and printing technologies changed the nature of postcards. An inexpensive, brighter, uncoated paper stock with a higher rag content and a fabric-like textured surface was developed. Brighter inks and offset printing technologies could put a brilliantly colored image on this new paper. The cards, called "linens" by collectors because of their surface texture, became the new standard for manufacturers like Curt Teich in Chicago and Tichnor Bros. in Boston.

While the offset technology couldn't hold the detail of photographic images, the the brilliant colors of the cards were used by designers to compensate, and the result was views cards that featured heavily retouched and garishly tinted photographs and comic linens, artist-drawn cards that lacked subtlety both in their themes and their visual appeal. Millions and millions of linens were printed across a period that ran from the early 1930s to the late 1950s. When America fell in love with the automobile and took to the roads on vacation in the 1930s racks of linens filled the roadside stands. During World War II servicemen could "frank" their mail home by marking it with an APO address, and the Post Office delivered more millions of linens for free. When the war, was over, though, the new, high-quality chrome cards began to push the suddenly old-fashioned-looking linens off the racks.

Chrome Era -- 1939 to present

In 1939 the Union Oil Co. of California began publishing postcard views of Southwestern scenes which were given away as premiums in the company's service stations. The Union Oil cards introduced new printing technology. Cards were printed in four-color half-tone process with a varnish overcoat called "photochrome," probably because of their link to Kodak's newly introduced Kodachrome color reversal slide film. Kodachrome slides were the basis for most of these new "photochrome" cards, a name soon shortened by collectors to "chrome." This new technology yielded a high-quality, detailed image with a shiny surface that was close to photographic quality and in realistic color. World War II slowed their spread, but in the early 1950s chrome cards took over the postcard market, replacing both linens and black-and-white real-photo views.

Postcards are still almost entirely chromes. The computer has changed the look of view cards in the last few years, as designers working with digital image-editing software have turned blue skies into blazing sunsets with an abandon not seen since the linen cards of the 1930s, and added larger and larger type effects, reflecting the public's preoccupation with logos and brand names.

The most noticeable change in postcards since the beginning of the chrome era has been their size:

    "Standard." For almost a century the standard size for a postcard was 5 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. The first postal cards issued by the Post Office were roughly the same size as a standard mailing envelope in the middle of the 19th Century. Private manufacturers of postcards quickly began to experiment with the size of cards -- teeny ones and fold-outs and double-wide panoramas, for example. But throughout the golden age of postcards, from the pioneer era through white borders and real-photos and linens and chromes, the vast majority of postcards were this standard 5 1/2-by-3 1/2 size.

(2) Konwiser, Harry "The American Stamp Collector's Dictionary," Tudor Publishing Co., New York, 1949.

(3) Smith, Jack H. "Postcard Companion and Collector's Reference," Wallace-Homestead Book Co., Radnor, PA, 1989.

(4) Konwiser, op. cit. See also J. Garland Marks, "Postal Cards" in the Scientific Philatelist for July-August 1942.

(5) (Scott's catalog -- reference?)

The Postcard FAQ -- a good starting point for exploring postcards.

Rotopex -- detailed information about Rotograph and its cards.

Real Photo Postcard Stamp Boxes -- This invaluable resource, currently hosted by postcard dealer Ron Playle, can help you date real photo cards by their back designs.

Vintage Views Postcard Links -- includes a good list of postcard reference sites


Setbacks and scrutiny

However, the report is already facing scrutiny. Although it’s a joint effort between Chinese and WHO officials, investigators representing the WHO were denied permission to visit the Wuhan market and collect other data in the initial phases of the research, leading some pundits to say that the WHO was ceding responsibility to China, its second biggest funder behind the United States.

China also held back information about the initial outbreak in Wuhan, which delayed the WHO’s investigation.

Today, a joint statement issued by the governments of 14 countries, including the U.S., raised concerns about the transparency of future research into the origins of the novel virus.

“It is critical for independent experts to have full access to all pertinent human, animal, and environmental data, research, and personnel involved in the early stages of the outbreak relevant to determining how this pandemic emerge,” the statement reads.

Despite the study’s setbacks, Tulane University’s Garry believes the WHO report is credible. “It’s a very detailed report—it’s not the type of data you can make up,” he says.

Lipkin agrees: “It’s thorough, it’s exhaustive, it’s well written,” he says. “It’s what we predicted. That’s not to say that it wasn’t important to do this, but there’s nothing here to say, Ah-ha, I never thought this would be the case.”


A History of the Postcard

Though we are used to seeing them practically everywhere these days, from every souvenir shop in the world to card stores to museum gift shops, and even at the grocery store, postcards are a relatively recent invention. The oldest one, and thus, what is believed to be the first, was sent in 1840 in England.

Most postcards are instantly recognizable because of their rectangular shape and thick card stock paper, which is made for writing and mailing something without an envelope. Of course, there are novelty exceptions to the shape and material with postcards, but the standard postcard type remains the same. There is even discipline of collecting and studying postcards, known as deltiology.

Ever since postal services began in various parts of the world, there have been the occasional people who write messages on cards and send them without envelopes. These early examples were always handmade and not of standard size and material construction. What is considered the first official postcard as we know them today was a hand-painted design on a card that was created by writer Theodore Hook in London in 1840 he mailed the card to himself, using a black penny stamp. It is believed he created and mailed the card as a joke to the post office, as the design he painted on it was a caricature of postal workers in a post office. This first postcard is now in the hands of a private collector, having sold at auction in 2002 for £31,750.

The postcard made its way to the United States in 1848, with the sending of a card depicting printed advertising. It was a handmade card, like its British predecessor. Postcards began being commercially produced in the United States in 1861. The first producer of them was John P. Charlton in Philadelphia, who obtained a patent on his postcard design. Charlton later sold the rights to his patent to Hyman Lipman. Lipman sold postcards with decorated borders, but no images, and labeled them “Lipman’s postal card.”

Example of a court card, postmarked 1899, showing Robert Burns and his cottage and monument in Ayr (Wikipedia)

In issuing official postcards, England was not far behind the United States. The British post office began issuing postcards without images in 1870, and included a stamp in the design, so buying additional postage was not necessary the price of the stamp was built into the cost of the postcard. There were originally two sizes of card offered, but the larger one was found to be too challenging to handle by postal workers and was soon discontinued. The smaller card came into favor.

While people had been designing images of their own on postcards for a while, the first postcard sold with a commercially printed image on it was made in France in 1870, by Leon Besnardeau at Camp Conlie. This was a training camp for soldiers who were participating in the Franco-Prussian War. The design of the card included a picture of piles of weapons on either side of a scroll. The scroll was topped by an image of the arms of the Duchy of Brittany.

The claimed first printed picture postcard. (Wikipedia)

In 1871, the first picture postcard that was used as a souvenir (and not as a letter home from soldiers) was sent from Vienna, Austria. These new picture postcards, with images of all kinds of things, became more popular over Europe and the United States in the 1880s. There are postcards from that time period showing such historic things as the brand new Eiffel Tower. While picture postcards became popular in a wide variety of places during this time, a particular type of picture postcard from this era was distinguished from the others by being called “French postcards.”

The first American picture postcard was designed in 1873 by the Morgan Envelope Factory, located in Springfield, Massachusetts. The first images on these picture postcards were of the Interstate Industrial Exposition of Chicago. Later that same year, pre-stamped postcards, called “penny postcards” were introduced to the market by U.S. Post Master John Creswell. The first postcard sent as a souvenir in the United States was sent in 1893, with images on it to advertise the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

In the United States, only the U.S. Post Office was allowed to print postcards until 1898. That year, Congress passed the Private Mailing Card Act, which allowed any private printer or publisher to issue their own postcards. However, cards not issued by the Post Office were not allowed to be called “postcards” just yet. They had to be labeled as “souvenir cards” or “private mailing cards.” This rule was revoked in 1901, and anyone could call their mailing card product a postcard.

Austrian postcard from 1901. (Wikipedia)

Until 1907, any postcard made by any person or company had to be made so that the purchaser could only write on the front of the card. The address had to go on the back of the card. In 1907, the rule was changed to allow a divided back of the card, where both writing and an address could go.

While people embraced the new postcard with enthusiasm, as it allowed them to write quick notes to friends and family, without having to take the time to sit and write an entire letter when they did not have a letter’s worth of things to say, there were some legal issues involved with sending them, once picture postcards became popular. This is because picture postcards were sometimes sent across national borders, and the nations to which the cards were sent sometimes had differing laws from the countries where the cards originated, concerning what images could be printed on them.

In fact, the Ottoman Empire banned the sale and importation of postcards with images of the Prophet Mohammed on them in 1900. This has made postcards that went to the Ottoman Empire with these images before the ban highly valuable on the collectors market.


Settlement

By the 1730s the Spanish had sent more than 30 expeditions into Texas. San Antonio, which by 1718 housed a military post and a mission (the Alamo), had become the administrative centre. With military support, missions were established in Nacogdoches in East Texas, in Goliad in the south, and near El Paso in the far west. The French also explored Texas. The explorations of René-Robert Cavelier, sieur (lord) de La Salle, and his colony at Matagorda Bay were the bases of French claims to East Texas.

American colonization gained impetus when the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803 and claimed title to lands as far west as the Rio Grande. By 1819, however, the United States had accepted the Sabine River as the western boundary of the Louisiana Territory. Moses Austin secured permission from the Spanish government to settle 300 families on a grant of 200,000 acres (81,000 hectares) in Tejas (Texas). When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, Austin’s son, Stephen Austin, received Mexican approval of the grant. He led his first band of settlers to the area along the lower Brazos and Colorado rivers. By 1832 Austin’s several colonies had about 8,000 inhabitants. Other colonies brought the territory’s Anglo (European-descended American or European immigrant) population to about 20,000.


History

1952: On April 17 a bill initiated by Mr. Conrad Hilton of Hilton Hotels and Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas was passed (Public Law 82-324) that the President of the United States was to set aside an appropriate day each year, other than Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer.

1974: The National Prayer Committee begins as a subcommittee on prayer at the International Congress on World Evangelization held in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974. Out of the Lausanne gathering came the U.S. Lausanne Committee, now Mission America, and America’s National Prayer Committee. Mrs. Vonette Bright was appointed to the Prayer Advisory Group.

1976: The first members are selected for the Prayer Advisory Group: Dr. Dick Eastman, Mr. Frank Insen (World Vision), Millie Dienert, Evelyn Christenson and Vonette Bright. Dr. Harold Lindsell of Christianity Today also met regularly with the group at the Christian Embassy in Washington D.C.

1979: The National Prayer Committee is officially formed. Today there are 18 members on the NPC Executive Board. Federal EIN: 75-1914068, Exempt 501 C3

1981: Businessman Joe Mays (Religious Heritage of America), David Bryant and the NPC group meet to cast the first vision for the National Day of Prayer. Contacts were made with the Public Liaison office of the White House to begin planning efforts.

1983: The first National Day of Prayer observance, organized by the NPC, takes place at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. with featured speakers Vice President George Bush and Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie.

1986: Vonette Bright and the National Prayer Committee contact Senator Strom Thurmond (R) for guidance on writing a bill that would designate a day for the National Day of Prayer

1987: Senator Thurmond writes the bill then introduces it to the Senate Judicial Committee. It became bill S.1378, which would amend public law 82-324

In total, 13 Senators and 90 Congressmen signed giving their endorsements.
The following individuals sponsored the bill:

  • Congressman Tony Hall (D-Ohio)
  • Congressman Carlos Moorhead (R-California)
  • Senator Howard Heflin (D-Alabama)
  • Senator Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina)
  • Senator Bill Armstrong (R-Colorado)
  • Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia)
  • Congressman Bob Garcia (D-New York)

1988: Rabbi Haberman and Rabbi Tanenbaum express their support of the bill.

1988: Monday, May 5 – the Judiciary Committee in the Senate and the Committee on the Post Office and Civil Service in the House each release the bill for vote

1988: Wednesday, May 7– 4:00 p.m. final confirmation is given that the bill passes unanimously in the Senate (a few days later in the House).

1988: Thursday, May 8 – Ronald Reagan signs into law Public Law 100-307 the designation of the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer

Those present at the signing:

  • President Ronald Reagan
  • Vonette Bright
  • Pat Boone (then Co-Chair of the NPC)
  • Susan Sorensen (National Coordinator)
  • Tony Hall (D-Ohio)
  • Frank Wolf (R-Virginia)
  • Dr. Richard Halverson (Senate Chaplain)
  • William Ford (House Chaplain)
  • Senator Howard Heflin (D)
  • Rabbi Joshua Haberman
  • Father John O’Connor
  • Dr. Jerry C. Nims (National Advisor)
  • Gladys Harrington (Year of the Bible)

1991: Shirley Dobson accepts the role as Chairman of the NDP Task Force.

1998: Bill Clinton signs into law - Pub. L. 105-225, August 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1258: The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.

2016: Millions will observe the 65th Anniversary of the National Day of Prayer Shirley Dobson's 25th year as Chairman

2016: Shirley Dobson passes the baton, and Anne Graham Lotz accepts the role as Chairman of the NDP Task Force

2017: Dr. Ronnie Floyd is appointed as the President of the NDP Task Force phasing out the position of Chairman

2019: Kathy Branzell is appointed as the president of the NDP Task force, succeeding Dr. Ronnie Floyd.


The Origins of the Official Post Card - History

From 1951 until 1991, thousands of American soldiers and their families called Daley Barracks and Bad Kissingen home. The forty year story of these men and women is largely written in English and spans the immediate post World War era, the Constabulary period, then the long Cold War and finally the end of the Soviet threat. But the opening chapters for the Kaserne on the hill and the modern updates are stories told in German. Before American olive drab, there was German Feld Grau. After American woodland camouflage, there were bright colors of German red, gold and black, Bavarian blue and white. It’s a colorful and fascinating history.

March column during field training prior to move to Bad Kissingen.
--Stefanowicz
Motorcycle troops arrive at rail yard
during one of the frequent pre war moves to new barracks.
--Stefanowicz

I was at Daley from 1978 - 1981 and like many soldiers, I wondered about the history of the area. I recall standing in formation one day and noticing how rainwater had pooled in the deeply worn granite steps that led into each barracks building. How many thousands of now nameless and faceless soldiers had stepped and turned to reach for the door handle to produce such wear? All I really knew was that the 2/14th ACR preceded the Eaglehorse, that some sort of German military unit was there during WW II and that cut into the stone monument by the cavalry dining facility were the words "Manteuffel Kaserne" .

A further investigation of the story would have to wait for some years but now, time and resources allow a closer study. Trying to understand the past of the barracks and the units once stationed there is an on going process, fragments of the story turn up in books, on the Internet and on long rolls of microfilm. Here is our most current version of both the history of Manteuffel Kaserne - Daley Barracks and some of the significant units that called this barracks home.

Commercial post card showing machine
gunner in position.
--Stefanowicz
Kradschutzen post card, " They halt only to fire at the fleeing enemy! ".
--Stefanowicz

The Pre-World War II period

In the middle and late 1930s, the German military was rapidly expanding. The post World War I restrictions on size and composition were first violated in secret, then openly as new units, fighting doctrine and equipment were rapidly developed. The city of Bad Kissingen had no long standing military tradition, however, in the mid 1930s, as Germany tried to shake off a massive economic depression, every new source of income was explored.

The entire battalion on parade in
one of the Bad Kissingen parks shortly after arrival.
--Horst Hinrichse

To support the rapid growth of the military, new Kaserne were built throughout Germany. In late 1934, the Lord Mayor of Bad Kissingen proposed that his city be considered for a new barracks and a detailed plan including two parcels of land was submitted. The plan was accepted and a civil construction operation under the loose control of the German Army began work on the barracks site in August 1936. By late November, the walls and roofs of the buildings were up and, in keeping with German traditions, a Richtfest celebration was held to honor the workers. The Saale Zeitung provided an interesting insight into both the construction and the mood of the times and as the project went forward, the town knew who the first military occupant would be.

The classic trio, driver, rifleman and gunner on
a 740 cc BMW with sidecar set.. The motorcycle offered speed and mobility on the battlefield but most often, the troops were committed as dismounted infantry.
-Stefanowicz

In late Spring the following year, as construction neared completion, additional land and funds were allocated to add the “Officer Heim und Kasino“ to the plan. This building, the officer's barracks and mess, we remember as the NCO club. The total footprint was fifty acres and free use of a small field training area was granted by the nearby village of Reiterswiesen. The troop capacity for the two mess halls, six barracks buildings and motor shops was put at 1800 men. The Kaserne was named in honor of Baron Freiherr von Manteuffel of German cavalry and political fame from the previous century.

Official post card for the open house at
Manteuffel Kaserne with parade by Kradschutzen Battalion #2 in Fall of 1937.
Bad Kissingen City Archives
--Jurgen Hufner
Stunt riding was a popular way to entertain civilians and develop operator
confidence. This photo cannot be tied
to the battalion specifically but is somewhat rare because the crew is made up of three officers.
--Stefanowicz

Tracing the history of the units assigned to Manteuffel Kaserne can be a somewhat confusing task. Particularly in the late 1930s, units of the German Army moved frequently as far flung regiments were grouped into divisions, units left one barracks to draw new equipment and then returned to a different garrison. Large scale maneuvers testing the new Blitzkrieg doctrine led to wholesale changes in unit staffing plans.

The first unit assigned to Manteuffel Kaserne was the Kradschutzen ( motorcycle infantry ) Battalion #2. It moved from Eisenach to Bad Kissingen arriving in the early Summer of 1937 as the units comprising the 2 nd Panzer Division were pulled geographically closer together.

The very common 37 mm anti tank cannon. Here, a three gun set goes through battle drill at their barracks. Six of these were found in the combat support company.
--Stefanowicz
General Guderian, to the right of center, confers with tank regiment commanders during maneuvers, 1937.
--Stefanowicz

The official arrival of this unit was a day marked with much military pomp, circumstance and perhaps a trace of irony. A modern writer might have reported the story with the lead line, “ the sky was brilliant blue, the soldiers wore gray and the city dressed in black “ 1 June of that year marked the traditional Memorial Day to German war dead and the town was decorated in black bunting as the motorcycle columns road through the streets. There was a major parade with a host of visiting dignitaries and a detailed but somewhat misleading recollection of the event was saved in the Bad Kissingen Stadt Archiv as part of the Annual Report by the City Administrator. The article leaves the impression that 1 June was the actual arrival date. In reality, the Kradschutzen probably arrived a day or two earlier, occupied the Kaserne and then participated in the formal opening captured in both print and photographs.

There is some conflicting information stating that the unit may have first had a brief stay in Coburg prior to moving into the new Kaserne. At the time, the 2nd Panzer Division HQ was located in Wurzburg, along with the engineer and communication battalions. Artillery was at Bamberg and Meiningen, the reconnaissance battalion was located at Kornwestheim and the tank regiments were at Schweinfurt and Bamberg. To the north, in Meiningen, was the HQ of Schutzen Brigade #2 with two truck motorized infantry battalions. The motorcycle battalion moving to Bad Kissingen was a part of this brigade. The division commander during this period was Heinz Guderian, the father of armor fast attack and exploitation doctrine. To learn more about the pre Bad Kissingen history of this motorcycle infantry battalion, please follow the link: Eisenach.

Two views of 2nd battalion soldiers in the barracks. Impossible to tell whether this is Manteuffel or a training area. They strike a pose with rifles then settle down for the beer.
--Stefanowicz

Motorcycle Battalion #2 was a large unit, the authorized strength was over 1000 men, divided into three motorcycle companies, a separate machine gun company, a combat support company and the headquarters company. Each line company had fifteen light and medium duty trucks as well as 56 motorcycles with sidecars. The 207 man unit was supported by 18 medium machine guns. A company was commanded by a captain, the xo and one platoon leader were lieutenants. The other two platoons were led by senior NCOs. Click here to see the TO & E strength, personnel and equipment, of a Kradschutzen battalion. Click here to see the TO & E strength of a typical Kradschutzen company in the early war years.

The separate machine gun company of the battalion contained eight additional light machine guns and six 81 mm mortars. The mortars were probably kept in battery to support the companies, the machine gun sections might be cross attached as the situation demanded. The combat support company contained the supply and maintenance sections, a communications sections as well as the anti tank platoon and light cannon platoon.

I have been unable to find any images of the reconnaissance companies of the 2nd Leichte Division at Manteuffel. Here is a selection of early war images showing sample vehicles theunit would have been equipped with. The metal racks seen reaching over the tops of some of these scout vehicles are the radio antennas. The images show the dangerous life that scouts have always faced.
All images : Stefanowicz

The battalion was configured and trained along the new doctrine of the Schnelle Truppen (fast troops), highly mobile forces designed to exploit the holes punched by the tank forces. The motorcycle companies were the first into the gaps to seize key terrain and hold until relieved by the following truck mounted infantry. They also could perform reconnaissance missions and provide flank screens. The Kradschutzen were, like the US cavalry of decades later, an economy of force unit capable of a self sustained fight in a fluid environment. On October 17, 1937, the officers and men of Kradschutzen Battalion #2 held a parade and open house for the residents of Bad Kissingen. The following day, the Saale Zeitung, short on detail but filled with the politically biased writing style of the period, reported on the event.

The man who commanded the battalion in both Eisenach and Bad Kissingen was a distinguished career officer, Colonel Wilhelm von Apell. In later assignments, he commanded a Panzer division, rose to the rank of Lieutenant General and survived the war. Dates of command and records of the men who commanded the 2 Kradschutzen Battalion may be seen at left.

Period post card with dual view of Manteuffel Kaserne.
--Stefanowicz
Period post card with view of front gate to Manteuffel Kaserne.
--Stefanowicz

Less than six months after the open house, the unit deployed to Austria with the 2nd Panzer Division. War survivors would not officially return to Bad Kissingen again until the 2 Panzer Veteran‘s Association reunion was hosted by the town in 1968. The first military unit assigned to Manteuffel Kaserne had stayed for less than one year. To learn more about this movement, their new home and activities of the battalion in Austria, please follow the link: Eisenstadt.

The 2 Kradschutzen Battalion would participate in most of the major German campaigns of World War II including the bloodless Anschluss ( union ) with Austria, the occupation of Czechoslovakia, the invasions of Poland, France, Greece and the Soviet Union. As tactics and the nature of the war evolved, the 2 Krad was merged with the 2 nd Panzer Division reconnaissance battalion while on the Eastern Front. The unit then saw combat in France following the Normandy landings of the Allies, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge and finally, Germany, during the defense of the Reich.

German war art post card "Kradschutzen into the fray!!" .
--Stefanowicz
Kradschutzen Battalion #2 on parade in
Coburg 1937.
--Stefanowicz

The next sixteen months at Manteuffel lack specific detail but the key facts are known. From the Summer 1938 until August of 1939, the available documents indicate that the Motorcycle Infantry Battalion # 1 of the 7 th Reconnaissance Regiment, part of the 2nd Leichte (light) Division was stationed at Bad Kissingen. This unit had initially been built near the city of Gera, north of Meiningen, and then moved south to the now vacant barracks during the hectic days of 1938. A source briefly also places two armored scout companies from this regiment’s Battalion # 2 at Manteuffel the balance of the scout battalion was based at Meiningen. It was a fast paced and confusing period.

The 2 Leichte Division took part in the war against Poland in September 1939 and its Kradschutzen Battalion returned to Bad Kissingen with a victory parade in October [see section at left]. To learn more about the 2nd Leichte Division and view images related to the period, follow this link.

Of note, the 2 Leichte Division, a pre war configuration of armor, reconnaissance and infantry units, that had fought with distinction in Poland was expanded into the 7th Panzer Division in October 1939. At that point, the motorcycle infantry unit at Manteuffel Kaserne was redesignated as the 7th Kradschutzen Battalion. The division left its central Germany garrisons, to include Bad Kissingen, in January 1940 for camps near the far western Eifel border region. Erwin Rommel took command of the 7th Panzer on 12 February and that summer, led the division to victory in France

Victory Parade in Bad Kissingen

Two images showing the victory parade in Bad Kissingen following the return of the motorcycle infantry battalion from Poland in late 1939. This unit was part of the 2 Leichte ( light ) Division which was redesignated at the 7th Panzer Division shortly after these photos were taken. [Photos courtesy of Norbert Ruckel]

In late 1939, the 2 Krad is long gone and after the fighting in Poland, the recon BN of the 7th Recon Regiment, part of the 2nd Light Division (2 Leichte) parade through Bad Kissingen. Another view of the return from Poland parade.

A rare sequence of photos showing the victory parade as units of the 2 Leichte Division return to Meiningen after the defeat of Poland in 1939. The reconnaissance regiment of the division consisted of two battalions, the motorcycle infantry unit stationed in Bad Kissingen and the regimental headquarters and scout battalion located in Meiningen. Seen here, the central square in Meiningen, the banner sign reads ‘ We greet the victors - the homeland thanks you! ‘ A wide view of the scene showing the massed troops.

A close up of the senior NCOs of the scout battalion in their black Panzer uniforms and padded berets. Note that the boots are very dusty and no one wears combat decorations. The parade shows the actual day the unit returned to garrison after road marching out of Poland.


The History of Earth Day

Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970.

Let’s take a look at the last half-century of mobilization for action:

ORIGINS OF EARTH DAY

Earth Day 1970 gave a voice to an emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet —

In the decades leading up to the first Earth Day, Americans were consuming vast amounts of leaded gas through massive and inefficient automobiles. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of the consequences from either the law or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. Until this point, mainstream America remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how a polluted environment threatens human health.

However, the stage was set for change with the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries as it raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and the inextricable links between pollution and public health.

Earth Day 1970 would come to provide a voice to this emerging environmental consciousness, and putting environmental concerns on the front page.

EARTH DAY FOR A NEW MILLENNIUM

As the millennium approached, Hayes agreed to spearhead another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people, Earth Day 2000 built both global and local conversations, leveraging the power of the Internet to organize activists around the world, while also featuring a drum chain that traveled from village to village in Gabon, Africa. Hundreds of thousands of people also gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC for a First Amendment Rally.

30 years on, Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders a loud and clear message: Citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.

EARTH DAY 2010

As in 1970, Earth Day 2010 came at a time of great challenge for the environmental community to combat the cynicism of climate change deniers, well-funded oil lobbyists, reticent politicians, a disinterested public, and a divided environmental community with the collective power of global environmental activism. In the face of these challenges, Earth Day prevailed and EARTHDAY.ORG reestablished Earth Day as a major moment for global action for the environment.

Over the decades, EARTHDAY.ORG has brought hundreds of millions of people into the environmental movement, creating opportunities for civic engagement and volunteerism in 193 countries. Earth Day engages more than 1 billion people every year and has become a major stepping stone along the pathway of engagement around the protection of the planet.

EARTH DAY TODAY

Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes.

Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more and more apparent every day.

As the awareness of our climate crisis grows, so does civil society mobilization, which is reaching a fever pitch across the globe today. Disillusioned by the low level of ambition following the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and frustrated with international environmental lethargy, citizens of the world are rising up to demand far greater action for our planet and its people.

The social and cultural environments we saw in 1970 are rising up again today — a fresh and frustrated generation of young people are refusing to settle for platitudes, instead taking to the streets by the millions to demand a new way forward. Digital and social media are bringing these conversations, protests, strikes and mobilizations to a global audience, uniting a concerned citizenry as never before and catalyzing generations to join together to take on the greatest challenge that humankind has faced.

By tapping into some of the learnings, outcomes, and legacy of the first Earth Day, EARTHDAY.ORG is building a cohesive, coordinated, diverse movement, one that goes to the very heart of what EARTHDAY.ORG and Earth Day are all about — empowering individuals with the information, the tools, the messaging and the communities needed to make an impact and drive change.

We invite you to be a part of Earth Day and help write many more chapters—struggles and victories—into the Earth Day book.


U.S. Official Mail stamps: officially gone?

If you're looking for a new collecting specialty involving United States stamps and other issues, give Official Mail stamps, also known as departmental stamps, a try. For one thing, it would be a finite challenge, because we've probably seen the last of the U.S. Official Mail stamps. It would, however, be somewhat expensive.

Nothing is more official in the United States than the federal government. Official Mail stamps were developed in the 19th century as a means of accounting for postage on mail sent by various federal departments.

The story of Official Mail stamps is related to the franking privilege, the benefit of sending a piece of mail free by signing it rather than paying postage.

The franking privilege began in 17th-century England, and the idea was adopted by the Continental Congress in 1775 and written into U.S. law in 1789. Those enjoying the privilege included the president, Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, and some executive branch officials.

The privilege intended to facilitate communication between citizens and their elected representatives, but abuses abounded. Some elected officials supposedly free-franked their laundry to send it home, or allowed family and friends to use their signature.

Critics accused incumbents of flooding the mails with self-promotional materials to promote re-election.

The Post Office Department had a huge deficit after the Civil War. John Luff's Postage Stamps of the United States quotes the postmaster general's 1869 report as stating that 31,933 people had the franking privilege at an estimated cost of $5 million for the POD. The 1872 Republican party platform included a plank endorsing the elimination of the free frank.

On Jan. 27, 1873, the Senate voted to abolish the congressional franking privilege as of July 1, but by 1891 full franking privileges were restored to congressmen.

In related legislation passed March 3, 1873, Congress appropriated a sum of money for the purchase of postage stamps for the use of various government departments, with the stipulation that, as the law read, "the Postmaster General shall cause to be prepared a special stamp or stamped envelope, to be used only for official mail matter for each of the executive departments."

The stamps or envelopes were to be sold to the departments at the price for which "stamps and stamped envelopes of like value" were sold in post offices. The departments were Agriculture, Executive, Interior, Justice, Navy, Post Office, State, Treasury and War.

This ruling was intended to provide accounting for services provided by the POD for the departments and to help reduce the postal deficit.

The first Official stamps, printed by the Continental Bank Note Co., were issued July 1, 1873.

The speedy production was possible because, with the exception of the stamps for the Post Office Department, all the departmental Official stamps used the same central designs (vignettes) as the regular-issue postage stamps of 1870-71, which featured profile busts of various U.S. statesmen.

Official stamps are prefixed with the letter "O" in the listings in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue and other Scott catalogs. The listings are located after postage due stamps but before newspaper stamps.

The name of the department appeared in an arch at the top of its Official stamps, and each department's Official stamps, in whatever denomination, were of the same color. Thus, the nine different values for the Department of Agriculture were yellow, the five Executive Department stamps were carmine, the 10 Interior Department stamps were vermilion, and so on.

Figure 1 shows at left the 1¢ ultramarine Franklin regular postage stamp issued in April 1870, Scott 134, and at right, the 1¢ yellow Franklin Agriculture Department Official stamp of 1873, Scott O1.

Interestingly, the Post Office Department chose not to use the vignettes of the regular postage issues. It created instead a new design for its 10 values. This design was printed in black and depicted only a large numeral for the value within an arc that said "OFFICIAL STAMP."

The 1¢ Post Office Department Official stamp, Scott O47, is shown in Figure 2.

Why the special post office design? Western Stamp Collector in February 1949 quoted "a newspaper clipping of 1873" as follows: "This difference was made in the post office stamps so as to leave the thirty thousand postmasters no excuse for pleading mistakes. They are always to know the difference between a post office stamp and any other. If this fails, it would appear necessary to adopt a new stamp as large as a poster. The intelligence of the postmasters is certainly not rated at a very lofty standard by the authorities at Washington."

This story may be dubious, but it is the only contemporary explanation found in a brief survey of the subject.

Official stamped envelopes also were printed in 1873, for use by the Post Office Department. These are designated in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers with the prefix UO. The imprinted design of Scott UO1, is illustrated in Figure 3.

A new law in August 1876 authorized the departments of State, Treasury, War, Navy, Interior and the Attorney General to requisition postage stamps for departmental use, with the cost to be credited to the POD for each fiscal year.

The next major change came soon after, in March 1877, with a congressional act authorizing the executive departments of the government to provide necessary envelopes for itself with the endorsement "Official Business," with a misdemeanor charge and fine of $300 for any person avoiding payment of postage by using any such Official envelope.

These penalty envelopes made Official stamps superfluous. The Executive Department discontinued using stamps in 1877. Post Office Official stamps were discontinued as of June 30, 1879, but supplies in the hands of postmasters could be used until exhausted. Both Official stamps and envelopes were abolished by an Act of Congress of July 5, 1884.

Official stamps were resurrected in 1910 for use in the U.S. postal savings program. These stamps are listed in the Postal Savings Mail section in the Scott catalog, numbered O121-26. This program also included three stamped envelopes, Scott UO70-72, and one postal card, Scott UZ1. These usages ended in 1914.

Like a phoenix, the matter of departmental postage accountability arose yet again in 1983, this time with the words "Official Mail" printed on the new postal issues.

The first modern Official Mail stamps, six values of sheet stamps and one coil value, Scott O127-33 and O135, were issued Jan. 12, 1983.

The vignette did not mimic any existing design. It was a brand-new image using the Great Seal of the United States, shown on the 20¢ coil stamp, Scott O135, pictured in Figure 4.

Official Mail stamped envelopes, issued both with and without windows, use an embossed version of the Great Seal design. A first-day cover of a 20¢ Great Seal Official Mail envelope, Scott UO73, is shown in Figure 5.

Many modern Official Mail envelopes were used only for specific purposes, such as to mail passports or savings bonds, as with Scott UO75, a first-day cover of which is shown in Figure 6.

In 1995 a 32¢ stamp and envelope were issued for Official Mail purposes, but the United States Postal Service was hoping to have a new accountability program in place before the next rate increase, scheduled for January 1999.

Many departments were already using postal meters on their mail rather than stamps or stamped envelopes, but a postal official was quoted in print in 1999 as saying that Official mail accounted for about 40 percent of deficient postal revenues in 1998.

The proposed plan, called the Federal Postal Payment Card, would allow participating agencies to obtain regular stamps and envelopes at post offices. The project was delayed, the rate increase took effect, and USPS issued a 33¢ Official Mail envelope, Scott UO89, on Feb. 22, 1999.

Eventually a 33¢ Official Mail stamp had to be issued, and Scott O157, a Great Seal coil stamp released on Oct. 8, 1999, became what probably is the last of its kind.

A recent search on the USPS web site reveals nothing for "Federal Postal Payment Card," while "Official mail" remains a subject heading with several dozen sub-categories in the USPS Directives and Forms Catalog.

Something similar to the FPPC idea, but with meter-like imprints, seems to be described in the USPS handbook for post offices serving Department of Defense installations.

Under "Official Mail Metering," this publication instructs its mail-handlers that the DOD "is in the process of implementing 'Postage on Line,' particularly for smaller installations that currently use postage stamps. This marketing initiative will allow low-volume stamp users to print the equivalent of meter strips on their own personal computer."

Collecting Official stamps on covers that display specific uses can be even more challenging and gratifying. For example, Figure 7 shows a parcel tag bearing $7.30 in Official Mail stamps, sent by the Commander, U.S. Navy Central Command. The handstamped upside-down "SAM" marking stands for Space Available Mail.

Collectors of U.S. Official mail should watch for new developments, but we probably have seen the last U.S. Official Mail stamps and postal stationery. But that is probably what collectors thought in 1914 too, so who knows.

A worldwide Official stamp collection may still hold some future surprises.


Watch the video: THE POSTCARD KILLINGS Trailer 2020 Jeffrey Dean Morgan Movie (January 2022).