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Possible to repair a wrinkled/ridged cover?  
 

 
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Valued Member

United States
7 Posts
Posted 09/19/2013   5:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add thethunderchild to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Not sure if this is the appropriate place for this question...

I just acquired an autographed cover from 1930.

The left hand side of the envelope is crimpled - like it was forced into too small of a space between corner mounts and then left like that for 70 years.

I was wondering if it was possible to smooth out these ridges/wrinkles by ironing the cover...or is there any solution at all?
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Rest in Peace
United States
7097 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   04:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
can you show a picture? That would help say better what to do if anything?
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12118 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   04:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I second the idea that a scan would be most helpful.

Although some may recommend possible solutions in ironing out creases, if the cover includes an autograph of a famous individual, it may be best to simply do nothing.

Sometimes these old covers are best left alone as you may inadvertently diminish its potential value to another collector by attempting to change the cover the way it currently exists. I always err on the side of caution and simply would leave the item in its original state. I say this based on the theory that should I desire to sell the item in the future, a potential new buyer may or may not want the cover in a state of "repair" (i.e. with creases ironed out). If I ironed out the creases and some future buyer didn't like the way it was done, there's no returning the item to its original state. If I leave it to a new owner to deal with, they can always do with it as they please -- and at their own risk.
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Valued Member
United States
7 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   10:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thethunderchild to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Here's the cover....

>>>> I say this based on the theory that should I desire to sell the item in the future, a potential new buyer may or may not want the cover in a state of "repair" (i.e. with creases ironed out).

I don't intend to ever sell this cover, although I do intend to bequeath my collection to an aviation museum....

Louise Thaden autographs on unmarred covers go for about $150, I got this one extremely cheaply.
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Edited by thethunderchild - 09/20/2013 10:48 am
Rest in Peace
Australia
631 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   11:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add huckles888 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I would put between some heavy books and leave it at that
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12118 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   11:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the scanned photo. As I said earlier, I think I'd leave the cover just the way it is and not attempt to iron out any creases.

I am more convinced this is the best way after seeing that the autograph is in the area most affected by the creases.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
772 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   11:47 am  Show Profile Check sinclair2010's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't think you need to do a lot to get the cover to return back to somewhere close to normal. I don't see a lot of actual creasing. I am sort of thinking the cover doesn't have enough room. Take it out of whatever it is in and put in a bigger sleeve. The corner mounts could also be to tight, not allowing the cover to slip as it needs to.
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Posted 09/20/2013   2:32 pm  Show Profile Check 1847bill's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1847bill to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm guessing the typed area was added later. The letter was posted in 1930 from Pittsburg. I would place it in between a couple of books for several days.
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12118 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   2:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For those who may not know, the addressee of the cover (Oscar H. Fatout) was a famous cover dealer and cachet designer in the early part of the 20th century.
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Posted 09/20/2013   4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The cover is postmarked at Pittsburgh on August 6. However, the Women's Air Derby started in Santa Monica, California on August 18 (12 days later) and ended at Cleveland on August 27 (21 days after this cover was postmarked). The route of the 20 participants in the race never went through Pittsburgh so the postmark is not only way off, but it is not related to the race. The 5 cent winged globe stamp was issued on February 10 so it is about 6 months after the first day of issue. It seems to be some kind of ordinary piece of mail unrelated to the race that Louise Thaden won and not a first day. The maker of this obtained Louise's autograph at some point after August 27 and then likely added the wording about her winning the first Women's Air Derby. Louise Thaden's autograph is more common than many of the other women pilots who flew in this and subsequent Women's Air Derbys that happened every year for many years in conjunction with the National Air Races. The ones that have significant value are the ones on actual Air Races covers where everything goes together.

You do not want to get an iron anywhere near such a cover for two reasons. If there is steam in the iron it will cause the ink in the autograph to run all over the place and ruin it and it will also unseal the glue that holds the envelope together. Fountain pen ink is pretty water soluable. Or, if you use an iron with only heat and zero steam, it will be very easy to singe or even burn the paper which again will destroy the autograph. At best the paper will be made brittle which again is not good.

Your best bet would be to put it between the pages of a heavy book and put a pile of more heavy books on top to create a press. Then leave it be for a few years, checking every so often on how it is coming along (if it is coming along - there is no guarantee this will work)
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12118 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   6:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A bit more information:

Although it may not mean anything, according to the obituary at this link, Louise Thaden's son, William, was born on July 30, 1930, meaning that cover shown was postmarked only a week after his birth:

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ro...#fbLoggedOut

According to Wiki, Louise Thaden also had these connections with Pittsburgh during the year 1930:


Quote:
In 1930 Thaden went to work as public relations director of Pittsburgh Aviation Industries and became the director of the Women's Division of the Penn School of Aeronautics. That same year Thaden and Earhart participated in the founding of an international organization for women pilots called the Ninety-Nines. Thaden turned down the presidency of the organization but served as the treasurer and vice-president.
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Edited by wt1 - 09/20/2013 8:43 pm
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3007 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   6:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This cover cannot be ironed. Ordinarily one would use a SLIGHTLY moistened q-tip on the wrinkle area, than place a fairly thin cloth towel over it and than iron it at a very low dry heat (on a hard surface, obviously). As stated above, that would ruin the signature. As also suggested above, books are the only alternative.
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Rest in Peace
United States
7097 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   6:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sometimes humidity would seal the flap to the back unevenly and cause wrinkles. There isn't too much you could really do IF that would be the case. However, the previous advise about putting in in a big book seems the best course of action.
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Valued Member
United States
7 Posts
Posted 09/20/2013   8:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thethunderchild to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks everyone for your advice, and to Kimo and WT1 for the aviation related details. I admit I never even looked at the postmarks to see if it had been signed during the race - I just assumed it had been!

That's a lesson for me for the future.
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United Kingdom
1187 Posts
Posted 09/22/2013   05:25 am  Show Profile Check Terence Collins's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Terence Collins to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi thethunderchild.

A wee bit off topic, but I thought given your username you might like to see Robert Czarny's first rate painting of "HMS Thunderchild" engaging the Martians from H G Wells' "War of the Worlds". I think it is a truly impressive piece of work.

Terry

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Edited by Terence Collins - 09/22/2013 05:27 am
Valued Member
United States
7 Posts
Posted 09/25/2013   2:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thethunderchild to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi, Terry

Thanks for sharing that illustration. It is gorgeous.

Yes, I am a big fan of The War of the Worlds and of The Thunder Child ram. (Not to mention Jeff Wayne's musical!)
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