Stamp Community Family of Web Sites
Stamp Community Forum
 
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

Welcome Guest! Need help? Got a question? Inherit some stamps?
Our stamp forum is completely free! Register Now!

CAM First Flight Covers  
 

Previous Page
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2
Pillar Of The Community
861 Posts
Posted 06/08/2018   10:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The thing about the American Airmail Society's Catalogs is that with each new edition there is new information and corrections to sections in the older editions. Also, pricing changes significantly from one edition to another with some items going up a bit and some going up dramatically as new information arises over time and as rarity factors are better understood. And, if your interest is in Indiana, then buying just a volume with CAMs in it will not likely meet your needs as there are other sections in other volumes that include Indiana as well such as Air Mail Field cancellations, or Pioneer flight number 32 from Evansville in 1912, or Pioneer flight 44 from Connersville in 1912, or some US Governmental flights, or Crash covers such as Interrupted Flight number 69.2 that crashed at Indianapolis in 1969, and I could go on and on. Also, even if you want to stick with just CAMs you will need at least two volumes to cover CAMS and Contract airmails. John has given you really good advice to not skimp on reference materials, especially ones as central to your interest as the American Air Mail Catalogs. A couple of hundred dollars invested in these will more than pay off in helping you know what is what and their relative values. My suggestion is to get the new 7th edition, Volumes 1 and 3 as a start, and perhaps also pick up an inexpensive full 5 volume set of the Fifth edition. I would also strongly recommend that you join the American Air Mail Society so you will have easy access to its membership who collect first flights and welcome questions and new members. With your dues you also get a nice discount on the new edition of the catalogs, a monthly journal that has interesting articles and that would welcome you submitting articles to be printed in it as you develop your expertise, and access to a currently members only Facebook discussion group. Being part of a group of people who think like you in seeing the fun and enjoyment of collecting first flight covers is something that is hard to put a value on.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
23 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   08:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks much for the suggestion, Kimo. Excellent suggestions. Now, to determine what my budget will allow. Too bad our library doesn't own an up-to-date set...
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
861 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   12:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Most libraries participate in something called the "Inter-Library Loan" program where they can make an arrangement with other libraries to get books on temporary loan in a somewhat similar way that you can get books on loan from your home library. It is not a perfect answer to your needs, but it might be a start and help you decide which reference books you should start your personal reference library with. Another way to get a first start is to use the American Philatelic Society's Research Library (the APRL) which is the largest philatelic book library in the world. If you are a member of the American Philatelic Society you can borrow up to 5 books at a time from their APRL, assuming they are available for loaning - some reference books are not loaned out just like any regular library. If you are not a member of the APS, then your local library can borrow up to 5 books from the APRL through the Inter Library Loan process. There are modest fees for borrowing books from the APRL to cover the shipping and handling costs. Eventually you really are going to want to build your own personal library of the core reference books for your area of interest, and the ones to start with are going to be the American Air Mail Society's Catalogs. Learning about your first flights and understanding their context with other flight covers and events is more fun than just buying them and popping them into storage cases. The information and research aspect is priceless enjoyment and as you become an expert in your own area, sharing that with others by writing articles or exhibiting them at stamp shows or just talking with others who are intested becomes yet even more enjoyment. Here is a direct link to the APRL's website: https://stamps.org/Library-Services
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by Kimo - 06/09/2018 12:32 pm
Valued Member
United States
23 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   1:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Kimo. The other day, I did ask my local library to try to get a couple of volumes of the Catalog through Inter-Library Loan (which they've done with other items in the past) but they said that couldn't locate any libraries that owned copies. Which sounds like they didn't look very hard, perhaps to only a handful of libraries they deal with regularly. I just looked at the APS loan program and they charge a base of $10 plus $3 per item. That's reasonable for some things, but I think I'd be better off applying that amount to buying my own. Especially for something I'm sure I'll consult regularly.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
861 Posts
Posted 06/09/2018   6:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Absolutely, having your own copies is essential if you plan on making this great area of collecting something you would like pursue. If you want to preview the catalogs you might ask your library to contact the APRL and give them their phone number from their websitez; 814 933-3803 ext. 246. The APRL does mention on their website that they do participate in the Inter Library Loan program but as you suggest it is likely that your own library may have been a bit less than diligent in their looking for copies to borrow, though I do not know if the APRL actually loans out their copies of these catalogs since they are so heavily used by people. As I mentioned, many libraries do not ever loan out their primary reference books and it is possible that the APRL may have this policy in place for these catalogs. And if they do loan them out my guess is that your library would require you to view them at the library and not check them out since under the Inter Library Loan program your library accepts complete responsibility for their timely return in perfect condition.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
23 Posts
Posted 06/13/2018   11:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the encouragement.
I just ordered a set of American Air Mail Catalogues from APS.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
23 Posts
Posted 07/18/2018   3:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, I ended up deciding to buy a 5th Edition set of American Air Mail Catalogs, and they've been extremely useful. At first, it seemed to have everything I need. Then I noticed somewhere that Vol. 2 of the 6th Edition has something the 5th Edition doesn't: a listing of First Flights after airline deregulation in 1978. I'm guessing these wouldn't be considered CAM or AM flights, but I may want to add any such later Indiana First Flights to my collection. Does anyone out there have V.2 of the 6th Ed. and live within driving distance of Bloomington IN so I could pay you visit, and peruse your copy, and make some notes?
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
861 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   08:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have it, but I live quite a distance away from Indiana. If you have a specific flight in mind I could look it up for you, but the section on First Flights by United States Airlines is 362 pages long with many flights on each page, and they are listed by airline, not by city or state so it would be an enormous task to go through each page and each flight on each page to pull up any from or to Indiana cities. In quickly leafing though a couple of dozen pages I did note a pair of listings for Indiana so I would expect there to be more, but I don't know. This particular pair of listings are on page 160 in the Delta Airlines section in between listings for an extension flight from Madrid, Spain and an expansion flight from Vail and Eagle, Colorado. The listing is a Delta Airlines expansion flight from South Bend, Indiana on February 1, 1992 along with a companion flight from Cinncinati's Air Mail Field. Neither flight has a cachet and both seem to be quite rare. No numbers on pieces flown are shown for the South Bend flight but the Cincinnati flight shows 11 pieces flown and a value of $55. The South Bend flight has a value of $35 so by inference it would likely have had a few more than 11 covers flown but not many more.

Regarding regular scheduled air mail routes in the US the order in which they happened are the CAMs (Contract Air Mail Routes) starting in 1926. Then in February 1934 when those were ended due to serious issues with the contracts the US Army was called in to temporarily move the air mail and those are the Army Emergency Flights. The Post Office then quickly issued new competitive contracts to carry the US air mail and while these are also called contract air mail routes, the American Air Mail Catalog lists them as AMs to distinguish them from the first set of contracts from 1926 to February 1934. These AMs began in May, 1934 and continued until airline deregulation in November 1978. The third and final major division of regular scheduled air mail flights begins in December, 1978 and these are called FFUS or First Flights by United States Airlines and these continue through today. This last section is the one laid out in Volume 2 of the Sixth Edition.

There are a great many other kinds of first flights that are listed in the American Air Mail Catalog including things like Pioneer airmails (very early), US Governmental first flights, Zeppelin flights, transoceanic flights, foreign airmail route flights, glider mail, etc. etc. which is why there are so many volumes and pages in the American Air Mail Catalogs. And it has already been pointed out that not every new Edition of the Catalog includes every section within its volumes. Keep in mind that these are labors of love written by volunteers who members of the American Air Mail Society. No one gets paid to write them, no profits are made, and the writers and editors are folks like you and me who tend to have full time day jobs making a living and so there are not the hours in the day to put out new editions and volumes very often. It is not like something like the Scott Stamp Catalog where the company that makes these is making a profit from them and has full time writers.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by Kimo - 07/20/2018 3:29 pm
Valued Member
United States
23 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   11:37 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Kimo.
From what you've said, and what I've found elsewhere, regarding first flights after 1978, many are either rare, have no cachets, or are not particularly memorable, or all of the above. So, I'm thinking that, for now, I'll concentrate on flights before 1978. I really like the variations of the CAMs and AMs. And, as I pick them up, I Google the names of pilots and Postmasters when the covers have their have signatures. And I also Google the addressees and have found a number of early collectors. I have a couple of covers addressed to Edwin L Hastry, who was Chief Cachet Designer of the United States Postal Department from 1939 to 1942. And a couple of covers addressed to Perhan C. Nahl, who was Editor-in-Chief of several volumes of the American Air Mail Catalog, 5th edition. I think that's pretty cool, and makes me wonder how many different collectors have had a particular cover in their collections over the years.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Moderator
Learn More...
5361 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   11:58 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I do not collect CAMs but I do have two covers mounted in the US airmail section of my US collection. These 'Titus' covers are attractive to me on several levels including the fact that I like 'tiny' covers. (I try to limit my 'tiny' cover collecting to those which are less than 3.5" wide and 2" tall; these do not match that spec but I still like them.)
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
861 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   3:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Don. Your two covers are not CAMs, they are FAMs. The difference is that CAMs were flown domestically under Contract Air Mail routes, while FAMs are Foreign Contract Air Mail routes which means they were flown either from or to the US to other countries under US post office contracts. These began on October 15, 1920 with service between Seattle, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia to expedite mail going to and from the far east a service between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. These early FAM services were a bit hit or miss and the first regular and reliable FAM service was established in 1927 between Key West and Havana when a new contract was awarded to a brand new company by the name of Pan American Airways. This was the start of this major and highly successful airline. Your two covers were flown on the first flights under FAM Route 5 that inaugurated service by Pan Am between Miami and British Honduras (today called Belize) and Nicaragua. The first, Miami to Belize is listed as FAM 5-3a and the second to Nicaragua is listed as FAM 5-3. There is a third flight on this particular leg of this flight that goes to Honduras. The total number of covers flown on these three components (the flights out of Miami on this route) was 3,781 pieces. Other originating cities in other countries with legs from this first flight are Belize, Managua, Cristobal, Panama City, Colon, and David. The total number of pieces of mail flown from these foreign cities ranges from a low of 25 pieces (Belize to Managua) to a high of 697 pieces (Belize to Miami). To have a complete set of first flight covers from this particular expansion of FAM 5 one would need 31 different ones. The two you have are the most common of the 31. I have a particular fondness for the FAM flights as I like the image of the expansion of US air mail service outside of the US to other countries on aircraft that had to be a little bigger and more reliable (often they were seaplanes or flying boats). But this is just me. All areas of air mail collecting are interesting and worth looking into.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
175 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   3:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mml1942 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For 'healthy' and others:

You might check out the following website: AERODACIOUS at

http://www.aerodacious.com/CAM.HTM br /

It's been a good while since I poked around it looking for some Texas flights, but as I recall it had things organized in a user-friendly manner.

He has a similar set of pages for the FAM flights at:

http://www.aerodacious.com/FAM.HTM

Mike
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Edited by mml1942 - 07/20/2018 4:00 pm
Moderator
Learn More...
5361 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   3:58 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Kimo, I have never understood why they are not called FCAMs. I believe these covers are also EKU for a U509 but I could be wrong.

I assume that there are no records of which stamps were used on CAM/FAM mail runs, so how are values assigned if this info is not available?
Don
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Valued Member
United States
23 Posts
Posted 07/20/2018   4:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When I started looking for CAMs, I did use the AERODACIOUS site, but I suspected that some listings were amiss. And, when I checked the information with the AAM Catalogs, sure enough, a few things were incorrectly transcribed. Nothing serious, though. It is a good website, and I still check it out occasionally.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Pillar Of The Community
861 Posts
Posted 07/22/2018   8:40 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Don.

The FAMs were a different kind of beast from the CAMs in that they involved getting legal permission from other countries to fly the mail to and from them, as well as among them by US airlines. This was not easy to do since they wanted to have their own airlines fly their mail to and from the US and among the other countries as it was a money making proposition. So, the US Post Office gave them a different kind of contract and a different name from the domestic only CAMs. The American Air Mail Catalogs followed suit and the FAM section is separate from the CAM section.

As for stamps used - there were no requirements in most all cases to use any particular stamps on a given first flight so long as enough postage was paid for the service. In a few cases either the US or another country issued a special airmail stamp specifically for a first flight and those were typically used on most of the mail, but not universally. I have never heard of any records of a US or foreign post office as tp what stamps were used on each piece of mail - that would have been time consuming and with no particular point to it. As I said, all they wanted was to check that the right amount of postage was paid.

Catalog values are assigned by the American Air Mail Society's members who do the volunteer work to create the catalogs. They are very knowledgeable folks and spend a great deal of time tracking sales prices in various auctions and sales lists. And since amount of mail flown is often known, this allows for extrapolating prices among similar flights when there are few or no auctions of those particular flights in the past few years since the last Catalogs were issued. Of course there is always some variation in such prices depending on where the auction or sale took place, the condition of the cover, the attractiveness of the cover, whether there is a pilot autograph on it, etc. but the Catalog prices in each updated Volume are actually pretty close to what one can expect to pay for such a cover. That makes them unlike the Scott Stamp Catalogs and similar catalogs where one typically uses between 15 percent and 50 percent of catalog value for the price one would expect to pay for something.

As for the value of the stamps used on a first flight cover, generally speaking the Catalog prices assume the normal airmail stamps on sale at the time of the flight are used and in good condition on the flight cover. One can deduct a bit for first flights that do not have those stamps, but one rarely adds value to a Catalog price for the first flight cover since the vast majority of first flight cover collectors are collecting the cover for the flight and not the stamps.
Send note to Staff  Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Previous Page
 
To participate in the forum you must log in or register.
Go to Top of Page
Disclaimer: While a tremendous amount of effort goes into ensuring the accuracy of the information contained in this site, Stamp Community assumes no liability for errors. Copyright 2005 - 2018 Stamp Community Family - All rights reserved worldwide. Use of any images or content on this website without prior written permission of Stamp Community or the original lender is strictly prohibited.
Privacy Policy / Terms of Use    Advertise Here
Stamp Community Forum © 2007 - 2018 Stamp Community Forums
It took 0.79 seconds to lick this stamp. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.05