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Guam Guard Mail Discovery - Largest Known Blocks Of M1 With Plate Numbers

 
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Posted 08/06/2019   1:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add postagedueguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Guam Guard Mail existed from April 8, 1930 until April 8, 1931. It was the only official local post run a government agency - the US Navy. On the island of Guam at that time the only way send or receive a piece of mail was to go the only post office on the island in the capital, Agana. Of course at the time not all the cities and towns on the island were connected by roads which meant mail was also not being delivered to individual addresses.

Governor Brady, a naval commander, asked the post office if they could provide this service and the answer came back that it was unprofitable so the answer was no. So the Governor then thought if they post office wouldn't do it then the Navy would. So he procured 20 sheets of the 2 centavos and 30 sheets of the 4 centavos of the current definitive stamps from the government of the Philippines at cost and had them overprinted them Guam Guard Mail. As I said before the service ran one year and lo and behold it made a profit!

The post office took over delivery of the mail on the northern part of the island on January 1, 1931 and on entire island on April 8, 1931.

These are the largest known blocks of M1 and two of three known plate blocks of the first issue.




M1 103589 Left Plate Block of 16



M1 103592 Left Plate Block of 35
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Edited by postagedueguy - 08/06/2019 1:05 pm

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Posted 08/06/2019   1:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add pennyblackie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
nice sheets, just some toning
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Posted 08/06/2019   2:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
'
Typical Guam story: the Naval Government just did as it pleased.

As to the 'profit', I am going to guess that they only counted marginal costs, with zero for facilities, vehicles, etc.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 08/06/2019   7:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add postagedueguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
nice sheets, just some toning


Thanks. Well toning isn't unexpected for stamps which spent time in the Philippines and then Guam for several years. At the time there was only limited air conditioning and climate control. I'm just surprised that their in as good as shape as they are.


Quote:
Typical Guam story: the Naval Government just did as it pleased.

As to the 'profit', I am going to guess that they only counted marginal costs, with zero for facilities, vehicles, etc.


The Naval government did this because there was a need for the 18,509 people on the island to be able to communicate easily with each other and the outside world. Initially file post offices were set up in the northern part of the island in the towns of Agana, Agat, Asan, Piti, and Sumay.

Bordallo's Taxi was used to regularly carry the mail. The 15 miles run from Agana to Agat with stops in Asan, Piti, and Sumay, was made twice a day, six times a week. The arrangements with Bordallo originally was on a gratis basis, but as the amount of mail increased, he was paid $5.00 per month. The service was completely equipped with bags, mail boxes, canceling stamps, and signs with Bordallo's bus line as carriers for the mail.

On August 29, 1930 the Guam Guard Mail service was extended to the southern part of the island with stations at Merizo and Inarajan. This route also included Umatac. The route was by bus from Agana to Piti and then to Merizo via the semi-weekly boat service (this was necessary since a bridge had not been completed on the road to Merizo). Then from Merizo to Inarajan by Island Government truck.

Commissioners of the various villages served were given the duty of providing local postal service. Often these commissioners did not live in their village and so had to delegate authority to others to handle the mail. No specific records exists of the names of those persons who first handled the mails, but the following, listed in the "Guam Recorder" of January 1930 were the commissioners who can logically be called the first Guam Guard Mail Postmasters in their several villages:

Agana: Chief Commissioner of Guam Island Antonio C. Suarez
Agat: Tomas C. Charfauros
Asan: Santiago A. Limitiaco
Inarajan: Enrique P. Naputi
Merizo: Juan E. Lujan
Piti: Joaquin Torres
Sumay: Joaquin C. Diaz

Stamps were issued to mark the payment of this service. On April 8, 1930, two stamps of the Philippines were issued with the overprint in black GUAM / GUARD / MAIL : they are the 2 centavos green José Rizal" and 4 centavos red picturing president William McKinley. 2,000 of the 2-centavos and 3,000 of the 4-centavos were issued in sheets of 100.

On July 10, 1930, two stamps were issued depicting the Guam coat of arms. These 1-cent and 2-cents are bi-color black and red, perforated 11 and without gum. 1,000 of 1 cent and 4,000 of the 2 cent were issued is sheets of 25. These two stamps were printed locally on Guam since the first issue had run out and the new supply of stamps had not arrived from the Philippines.

On August 21, 1930 the 2-centavos and 4-centavos issued with the overprint in black GUAM / GUARD / MAIL, but using a different font from the first issue. This was necessary since not enough of the older typeset was available to overprint the greater number of stamps. 20,000 of the 2-centavo and 80,000 4-centavo were issued in sheet of 100 with the right handed selvage removed for most right handed sheets.

On December 29, 1930, Philippines stamps were issued with the overprint « GUAM / GUARD / MAIL » in red using the same font as the 3rd issue. The 2-centavos and 4-centavos were used again and also a 6-centavos violet « Magellan », 8-centavos brown « López de Legazpi » and 10-centavos blue « Henry Ware Lawton ». 50,000 of the 2 and 4-centavos and 25,000 of the 6, 8, and 10-centavos were issued in sheets of 100. Again the right handed selvage removed for all right handed sheets. The bottom salvage was removed from 10-centavos stamps leaving only top plate numbers on these sheets.

This local service ceased operation in the northern half of the island on January 1, 1931 and on the southern half on April 8, 1931 when the US postal administration took over all mail delivery on the island. After that date they were served by the U.S. Post Office Department's Star Route 81102.

Just to be complete with the first issue this is the largest known block of M2 with plate number 44876. No plate blocks of m2 are known to exist. One theory is after overprinting the sheets of M1 the 4 centavos sheet were broken into blocks of twenty-five and then overprinted. This was necessary since there was only enough type available to make a printing plate of twenty-five. The printing was done at the Naval printing office in Agana.




M2 44876 Top Right block of 15
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Edited by postagedueguy - 08/06/2019 7:59 pm
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Posted 08/06/2019   9:52 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
... The Naval government did this because there was a need for the 18,509 people on the island to be able to communicate easily with each other and the outside world ...


Beneficent overlords, indeed.

Q/ And how had the Naval Government met this need for the preceding thirty-two years of their rule?

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 08/06/2019   10:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Q/ And how had the Naval Government met this need for the preceding thirty-two years of their rule?

For most of it they probably had no need to care. By 1930 the world had changed significantly and now it was needed.
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Posted 08/06/2019   10:12 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ikeyPikey to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

Quote:
Q/ And how had the Naval Government met this need for the preceding thirty-two years of their rule?


For most of it they probably had no need to care. By 1930 the world had changed significantly and now it was needed.


Uh ... we're talking about inter-village communications on Guam, 1898-1930.

The biggest change was that the English-speaking teachers hired by the Naval Government would beat the children for speaking their native tongue at school.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey
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Posted 08/20/2019   4:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GregAlex to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm trying to figure out how these stamps were obtained for overprinting. Wouldn't the Guam government have to pay the Philippines Post Office for the stamps? Or did the Navy just appropriate them, then sell the overprinted stamps to cover the costs?
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Posted 08/20/2019   11:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add postagedueguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm trying to figure out how these stamps were obtained for overprinting. Wouldn't the Guam government have to pay the Philippines Post Office for the stamps? Or did the Navy just appropriate them, then sell the overprinted stamps to cover the costs?


This is taken from the The Congress Book 1970 issued at the 36th American Philatelic Congress October 23-25, 1970 in Chicago. The paper was called 'The Guam Guard Mail of 1930' by Lawrence S. Clark. On page 140 it states:

Second Lt. Milo C. Carroll, USMC, had been working for some time under Governor Bradley's orders to prepare plans, buy equipment and supplies, and make arrangements for a Guam Postal Service. Bradley and his postmaster, Carroll, turned to Manila for stamps and on March 18, 1930 started negotiations with the Bureau of Posts of the Government of the Philippines for a supply. The Department of Commerce and Communications at Manila agreed to furnish stamps (which they received from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Washington, D.C.) for their cost. The first order was sent on March 27th for delivery to the U.S. Naval Station, Cavite, P.I. of 2,000 two-centavos and 3,000 four-centavos Philippine postage stamps which comprised the first issue of the Guam Guard Mail stamps.

This shipment of stamps was brought to Guam from the Philippines by the station supply ship, USS 'Gold Star' on its regular trip, arriving on March 5, 1930. At the time, of course, the Philippines were under United States control and the stamps had been prepared in Washington, D.C. for use in the Philippines. They came to Guam in regular post office sheets of one hundred and were overprinted in black ink at the Federal Public Works print shop in Agana. The words 'Guam Guard Mail' were hand set in a type that was only used on this issue.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I found out recently that this hand set type could only overprint 25 stamps at a time since they had only a limited supply of type type set on hand at the Federal Public Works print shop at the time. They overprinted some of the two centavos as full sheets then for whatever reason then broke the sheets down to blocks of 25 for overprinting.

This is the reason there are only 3 plate blocks of M1 (2 centavos) known and no plate blocks of M2 (4 centavos). The 2 centavos stamps sold for 1 cent and the 4 centavos sold for 2 cents. This was done because at the time one Philippine Peso was valued at 50 cents.

The reason Bradley turned to the Philippine Bureau of Posts was that the Post Office refused to sell stamps to the Government of Guam at printing cost.

Please let me know if you have any other questions.




This is a letter from J. A. Stuart superintendent of the Guam Guard Mail in 1930 to Mr. Clark with more info on the Guam Guard Mail issues.
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Edited by postagedueguy - 08/20/2019 11:31 pm
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Posted 08/22/2019   12:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add postagedueguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is the only other M1 plate block (which I don't own or I'd make a better scan ).


M1 108682 Left Plate Block of 9
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Posted 08/30/2019   6:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Do forgeries of these overprints exist? Do you have any too show?
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Posted 08/30/2019   8:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add postagedueguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Do forgeries of these overprints exist? Do you have any too show?


This is the best fake I've ever seen. The overprint matches my plate blocks perfectly, BUT this plate number is the problem. The next paragraph was taken from Napp's Numbers Volume 2 page 332 which states:

"Only the First Issue was overprinted with the small size GUAM GUARD MAIL overprint (2 MM FANCY CAPITALS). The First Issue was placed on sale on April 8,1930. In the April 1931 edition of the Guam Recorder, the local newspaper noted that "The first and second issues of … have been exhausted". Printing Plates 122334-122337 were completed and certified by the US-BEP in Washington on March 9, 1931. They were first "Sent To Press" on November 15, 1931. It is unlikely that any 122334-337 panes would have arrived in Manila until early 1932. And still more time would have been required in 1932 to reship those panes from Manila to Guam for use as Guam Guard Mail stamps. All of the Guam Guard Mail Issues were overprinted or printed and sold between April 8, 1930 and April 8, 1931."

The 2 and 4 centavos stamps arrived on Guam via the USS Gold Star on March 5, 1930. So the overprinting occurred between then and April 8, 1930 and none of the other overprinted issues (m5 - M6 and M7 - M11) were overprinted using these fonts. Also, in J. A. Stuart's letter of October 2, 1930 to Mr. Clark he states that the first and second issues (M1 - M2 and M3 - M4) were exhausted. So any stamps with plate numbers 122334, 122335, 122336, and 122337 are fake. Unfortunately if any of them are single stamps its going to be quite impossible to tell the difference.

There are fakes of both M1 and M2 and usually if you compare the overprint with mine or the illustrations in Scott's Specialized you can easily tell the difference. Unfortunately I don't have any other scans of those fakes. I have seen some fakes of M1 and M2 on eBay from time to time and have informed the seller, but it usually didn't do any good. So buyer beware!




M1 Top Single plate 122335
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Edited by postagedueguy - 08/31/2019 10:48 am
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Posted 08/31/2019   08:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add perf12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The stamp shown above was from a Siegal auction with a 122335, lot 1105.(with a certificate) ?
https://siegelauctions.com/lots.php...9&page_no=31
_________________________________________________________________________________________
So I made a little comparison with another stamp..


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Posted 08/31/2019   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add postagedueguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for doing the comparison. I forgotten that this stamp had had a certificate. It only shows that even experts can be mistaken if they don't have all the pertinent information.
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Posted 09/02/2019   9:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Andyrich74 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Really enjoyed reading this thread. Of course as collector of Philippine stamps under US occupation; this is fascinating and thusly...I want one of everything now!

Also nice to see fellow Marines in the correspondence.

Thanks for posting this; good stuff!
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Posted 09/02/2019   11:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add postagedueguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Really enjoyed reading this thread. Of course as collector of Philippine stamps under US occupation; this is fascinating and thusly...I want one of everything now!

Also nice to see fellow Marines in the correspondence.

Thanks for posting this; good stuff!

Thanks. I've been collecting Guam Guard Mail for 45 years and finding these large plate blocks of M1 was really exciting!!! I think you might enjoy this thread too: http://goscf.com/t/51599. Please have a look.
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