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Mail To And From Famous Folks!

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Valued Member
United States
12 Posts
Posted 12/09/2022   12:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Shoveler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Return addresses have definitely made it easier to know who sent a cover.

This is off topic (but related to the above post by ernie11 - What is proper board etiquette, does my question below belong here, in a new thread, or not anywhere?) The widespread use of return addresses seems like it may have started with business and legal mail. I wonder if the use of return addresses for personal mail happened in response to the disruption caused by WW1 and/or WW2. Does anyone know if a legal requirement to include a return address was instituted at some time? In the 19th century did senders just accept that some mail might not be deliverable and they may not ever know?
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Valued Member
United States
213 Posts
Posted 12/11/2022   01:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gibby01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's one I posted somewhere else last year but fits nicely in this B list of celebrities. Post card from Tran Van Khe to NYC music professor Barry Brooks. Tran, per Wikipedia is a Vietnamese musicologist, academic, writer, teacher and performer of traditional music. He was father of the musician ethnomusicologist Tran Quang Hai. His La musique viÍtnamienne traditionnelle (Paris, 1962) was for many years a standard text of Vietnamese musicology
He was director of research at CNRS and professor at the Sorbonne, and in 2008 named a Honorary Member of the International Music Council of UNESCO where he is coordinator of the project "The Universe of Music, A History"








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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1485 Posts
Posted 12/11/2022   03:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for giving this old thread a bump @Shoveler. It's nice to see all the new posts.

Regarding your question -- return addresses go back much further than WWI. I have business mail from the 1870s with a return address. I think it began as way for businesses to keep their mailing lists up to date. If the envelope was returned, they could remove that name from future mailings and save some postage.

I don't think it's a legal requirement -- how would you enforce that?
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Edited by GregAlex - 12/11/2022 03:36 am
Valued Member
United States
277 Posts
Posted 12/11/2022   1:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The condolence letter from MacArthur is as extraordinary as it is sad. As for being a true signature, I would say yes, as Lt. Thomas' death on Jul 16 occurred just 11 days after the first US casualty in Korea on Jul 5 (Pvt Kenneth Shadrick, 19).

Following article notes MacArthur did personally sign condolence letters early on, before the losses mounted astronomically.

https://legendofhistory.com/MacArth...e-Letter.php

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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
United States
1145 Posts
Posted 12/11/2022   8:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Al E. Gator to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
craigk, I acquired that cover/letter through my Aunt Selma who was married to Howell G. (Gerry) Thomas Sr., Lt. Howell G. Thomas Jr.s' father. Lt. Thomas Jr. was the first officer killed in the Korean War.
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Edited by Al E. Gator - 12/11/2022 8:41 pm
Valued Member
United States
213 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   02:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gibby01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Figured I'd keep this string going. Something I also posted somewhere else in 2021 but fits here also. Post card from Stella Adler, broadway actress and acting teacher. Full disclosure I've had this one on ebay for almost 2 years with barely a view so her celebrity status must really be non-existent in this century. You always wonder if a famous person's secretary signed an item but in this case the typing is so bad I can't see a secretary making this many mistakes.






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United Kingdom
530 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   09:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DavidR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's one I picked up in my local auction house for £10. No-one else was interested in a 'presidential' cover. Nice addition to my US collection. Authenticated by H R Harmer of New York.
Regards
DavidR

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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
530 Posts
Posted 12/16/2022   09:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DavidR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One more from me, not quite such an illustrious recipient perhaps.
Tibor Reich (1916-1996) was a designer and manufacturer of textiles, who also designed pottery, carpets, and first day covers. Possibly one of his own designs.
Regards
DavidR
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Valued Member
United States
12 Posts
Posted 12/17/2022   2:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Shoveler to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's been interesting to see the covers to/from famous people. A lot of covers were probably saved because of the association with the person to/from they were sent and not for any philatelic reason but have since entered the philatelic market and have become disassociated from the reason they were originally saved. The covers I posted above and below were purchased on eBay where they were advertised simply as as a cover from ___[country]___ and perhaps with a date but with no mention of the addressee. The significance of my covers like this will probably always be more to me than to others because I consider them discoveries of something that was lost, much as I do when I find an arrowhead, or a musket ball when metal detecting.

Back Bay Boston 4/18/1893, Mourning Cover to Hon. William H. Taft. Taft was made US Solicitor General in 1891, but at the time was a Federal Appeals Court judge, later to become the 27th President, and then the 10th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. I don't know why he received a mourning cover at this time.

One for the Downton Abbey fans. Virginia, Surrey, UK from Patricia Beauchamp residing in Highclere Castle (set of Downton Abbey) to Lady Penelope Herbert in Middleburgh Virginia, US. Lady Penelope was the daughter of Henry Herbert 6th Earl Carnavon. Morenweiser Type 1A PC 90 censor tape. Mailing date illegible.



Infamous recipient, 2/18/1945 (pencil notation is prior owner's), registered from Vienna to Berlin. It appears that it was postally screened upon arrival in Berlin and the sender noted in blue manuscript prior to delivery but perhaps not censored. The orientation of the stamps strikes me as odd considering the subject of the stamp and the recipient. I'm interested if anyone has any information about this cover. Was all his mail seized and reviewed by Allied authorities? Were large quantities subsequently sold and by whom? Is the franking correct?

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
639 Posts
Posted 12/17/2022   2:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add centerstage98 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Brit wit Noel Coward - his envelope and the signature side of his little note to a fan.




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Valued Member
United States
213 Posts
Posted 01/08/2023   9:10 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Gibby01 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Two covers to FDR at the White House. No contents included. Unlike the previous FDR cover above, mine unfortunately do not have a stamp from HR Harmer....



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