Flight C0ver Collector

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by jim72051, Jun 2, 2014.

  1. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    I'm a long time collector. My current interest is US flight cover collecting. I have had several interests in the past so I have a lot of material in several rooms. I have extensive US Highway Post Office covers, Space covers, UN covers, Nuclear Ship covers, US First Day covers, Foreign regular use and first day covers, early British stationary and lots more I can't think of right now. I also collect US and Foreign stamps in multiple sets of Scott National and International albums and a Minkus Global set as well. I haven't added International pages since 2002. A few stamp themes are Europa, Malaria, US plate number coils, US precancels and once again more stuff that I can't remember at the moment. In the process I have collected a lot of extra material. Let me know your interests. In the past I have exchanged stamp or cover mixtures or lots valued at about $10. I prefer US exchanges because of the mailing costs. Let me know if you want to exchange a mixture or send me a list of your gaps in common stamps or covers and I will try to fill them.

    SATX Collector and Philactica like this.
  2. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    Welcome to the forum Jim. :)
  3. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Hello Jim:

    First welcome, I have read your posts in other sections of this forum and it looks like you will be making some real contributions.

    In relation to the quote above, I have a question about highway post offices that I have not had adequately answered before. I regularly see railway mail post office cancels on non-philatelic covers, but I don't remember ever seeing a highway post office cancel on a non-philatelic cover. All of the ones I have seen are first trip cancellations. Why is that? Do you have non-philatelic HPO covers in your collection?


  4. jim72051

    jim72051 Active Member

    the short answer is Yes, They are often called "steels" because the HPO is set up with a rubber cancel device and after it is "established" they get a steel cancel device. They still give the same trip number (usually 1, 2, 3, or 4). Trip 1 does not mean first trip it just means the route for the outgoing bus.

    For instance trip 3 is Macon To Birmingham and trip 4 is the reverse. The first trip was Aug 31, 1953. They didn't start using trip 1 and 2 cancels until Jan 1, 1956. Trip and 2 were used from then on until the last trips on July 28, 1967. Who knows why the started with 3 and 4 and then changed to 1 and 2.

    In theory either device could be used but the rubber one didn't last very long. They are rare in non-philatelic use because it was not an efficient use of the HPO clerks time to stamp incoming mail. (there was a slot on the bus to deposit mail). Anything they did cancel often look the same as the "first" trip but the date is not correct. The only possible reason to even look at mail dropped in the slot was the possibility that it could be delivered on the same run to the next towns on the route (unlikely).

    They prepared mail for offloading to the various towns that had already been cancelled by the receiving PO and any mail they picked up was already canceled in the town or left to the end of the run town to cancel. There are HPO steels that are philatelic because you could mail covers to an HPO and request a cancel at anytime. I have a lot of those. Usually they are not opened, and come in batches all addressed alike and canceled about the same time.


    Attached Files:

    Philactica likes this.
  5. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Thanks for the informative reply. Those cancels illustrated look remarkably like Railway Mail Service cancels, right down to the RMS in the killer.

    As a young man (1959-1960) I worked for the Postal Transportation System, the successor of the Railway Mail Service, as a substitute clerk. I worked on trains running from Chicago to Omaha, Omaha to Chicago, Omaha to Cheyenne, and occasionally Omaha to Denver. Since I was most always junior man on board, it was my job to "rob the box," that is pick up the mail deposited at the station drop boxes, at each of the stations where the train stopped. The letters would then be canceled on board the mail car with a hand cancel where, as you explain, the HPOs stopped at post offices along their route and nearly all the mail they took on came on as already canceled. Genuine, non-philatelic items cancelled aboard the HPO must be relatively scarce then.

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page