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First Time Pictorial Postmarks

 
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United States
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Posted 08/28/2019   03:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add connie12 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I hope I am posting this in the right place. My father collected covers but I never really got into it. My son did though and its something they enjoyed together. My son is also into anything space related and wanted to get the Apollo 11 postmarks. The problem is I am not really sure if I am doing this right. I have learned a lot from googling, that's also how I found this site which has been very helpful reading, but I had a few questions I was hoping someone could help me with.

Someone already showed me how to get the address from the postal bulletin, but do I need to send things separately if there are multiple postmarks at the same address, such as the three from Cape Canaveral? Or can I send them together with a note or something? My son also thought it would be "cool" to get all the postmarks on one of the envelopes, is that possible? My last question (I think) is about sending them and getting them returned. I see most people use a bigger envelope with a smaller one inside to have them sent back. Again, I unfortunately didn't pay much attention to what my father was doing but I remember he would often send them in small boxes. I guess this was so they didn't get bent? Do many people do this? I have only read that people put some type of stiffener in the envelops so they don't get bent but someone also told me if I did that, I would have to send it as if it was a box anyway. Any help would be gratefully appreciated.
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1966 Posts
Posted 08/28/2019   04:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Note the station name is different for each cancel. Since the cancels are from the same zip code here, I would guess that including a note to get all 3 cancels on one envelope would work if sent to one of the stations. Make it very clear what you want and very brief. The problem is that we never know the size of each cancel so something larger than a standard #6/#6-3/4 envelope would probably be needed as a guess. Most collectors prefer small/standard size envelopes. Unaddressed envelopes are also preferred, so either use very small peelable labels to address each cover or a soft pencil that can be erased with a soft eraser.

If not using the Apollo 11 stamps, use a stamp that is light(er) in color and neutral like the flag definitive. It shows the cancel better and does not distract. Apply stamps with very clean fingers; you don't want oil from your hands causing the cancel to smear.

It is highly recommended to provide an addressed return envelope (with postage, of course). Nowadays, it is unfortunately very common for pictorial cancel covers to get overcancelled along the way.

Add a stiffener to each cover; manila folder cardboard or equivalent is good. It gets you a clean cancel, too. 3 small covers done this way plus a slightly oversize return envelope and their mailing envelope just weighs under one ounce. I send these using a #10 business envelope and a cut-down #10 for the return envelope. Of course, you have to worry about exceeding the thickness limit for just dropping in a mailbox if you send any more covers. Still, unless you are sending out dozens of covers, it's still normal first class mail; no box needed.

Lastly, your son might have to be very, very patient. Pictorial cancel covers can take up to several months to be returned, though I would expect Cape Canaveral to be more on the ball and faster than other cities.

Try to send these out as soon as possible despite the time extension given. There probably will be other pictorials for Apollo 11 so keep checking the new postal bulletins.

If he hasn't bookmarked it yet, this would be of interest to your son:
http://www.rhcourtney-collector.com...duction.html
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Edited by hy-brasil - 08/28/2019 05:13 am
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Posted 08/29/2019   02:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add connie12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thank you for your helpful reply.

I just thought it would be cheaper and easier to send everything together since they have the same address. I didn't realize just having a different name might matter.
I didn't think about them not fitting. I do have larger envelopes I get from work, I believe they are they are #10 envelops. Maybe those would be big enough for multiple postmarks?

We are using the Apollo 11 stamps, we already bought that.

Someone at the post office told me if I put in anything that makes it non bendable I would have to ship it as if it was a package. Like I said, I remember my father using small boxes, I thought that was maybe why. I also remember he would give some to other people and send ones with different dinginess on them. I dont know where he got them but maybe he also used a box because he was mailing a lot of them too.
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Pillar Of The Community
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1966 Posts
Posted 08/29/2019   03:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'll guess the #10/legal-size envelope would work. Again, it will depend on cancel size which can be up to 2" x 3.5" or larger. And the cancelling style nowadays is to just barely hit the stamp to the point where sometimes they miss the stamp. Doing that takes up more real estate on the envelope.

Non-bendable: that's official word from your post office? Hm. I've gotten many things that weren't bendable (i.e., not easily stuffed in the mailbox).

For mailing a #10 envelope, there are cardboard flat mailers (stationery store or mailing supply place if not available singly at the usual stores) that will run a couple of dollars each but will be cheaper overall than using the USPS flat mail envelope equivalent which is free, but at the flat rate $7.35 for postage is not worth it in my opinion. You will still need something larger than the #10 envelope with a stiffener for return. Getting more complicated and costier here, but it's up to you.
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Posted 08/30/2019   10:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The non-bendable thing pertains to putting something in the envelope that makes it totally non-bendable like a sheet of metal or a piece of wood or such that would make the envelope jam up the high speed cancelling machine. A heavy piece of paper, or a piece cut out of an ordinary file folder or such is all you need. Such an insert not only helps to keep the envelope from getting folded or bent in the mail, but it also provides a backing to get a clearer cancellation.

Be patient and be kind when making any special requests. Understand that the postal workers are not able to spend much time with each piece of mail they process. Be sure you put enough postage on your self addressed return envelope. If you are going to be doing more of these, you may want to get some number 11 envelopes along with your number 10 envelopes. The number 11s are slightly larger then the number 10s and you can use them to have your envelopes returned in them.

Finally, hope for the best results but if what you get back are not as perfect as you might have hoped for then use this as a learning experience. Collectors who do this sort of thing get experience with each time and get better results as they do it more an more. And keep in mind that you can always just buy processed covers from the philatelic agency of the post office or from professional dealers, but I agree that it is more fun and meaningful to do them yourself.

And when you get your covers returned you can also think about making up your own cachet to illustrate the covers. These can be hand-drawn and hand colored, or you can use your computer to make up something very professional looking and run your covers through your computer printer to print your cachet on the cover. Again, this is fun to do.
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Edited by Kimo - 08/30/2019 10:55 pm
New Member
United States
3 Posts
Posted 09/02/2019   8:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add connie12 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My son read that link and is now very excited to design his own cachet when we gets them back.

I just found out someone in my department has a husband who does this sometimes and he was nice enough to send my an email offering a little help. He said he uses a large envelope, maybe 10x15, and inside has a smaller padded envelope to be sent back with everything he wants postmarked. He said he sends them first class mail large envelope and it is usually cost about 2 or 3 first class stamps. But he is sending 15-20 envelopes at a time. I think his point was he never has had an issue with it being to stiff.

Luckily my boss lets us take office supplies so I will only need to pay for the stamps. Since I have never done this I thought it would be a good idea to do a sort of test run. I sent a couple on envelopes to Apollo PA. Its not very far from me so I am hoping I will get them back soon. Thanks again for both of yours help. I will let you know how it goes.
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Pillar Of The Community
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1966 Posts
Posted 09/02/2019   10:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Don't forget that additional ounces after the first ounce are only 15c extra; the USPS site has an online postage calculator if needed.

Cachets: These are usually done before mailing so can accommodate cancels struck over them. Sometimes they are applied after being returning, where the shape and size may have to be adjusted to avoid printing over the cancel. Also, when done beforehand, you are not worrying about spoiling cancelled covers. Per the earlier comments, cancelling post office people not only try to just barely cancel the stamp but are afraid to place a cancel on top of a cachet. So that short note should include instructions that it's okay to place the cancel on the cachet if needed.

Also, a cachet design tip for your son: avoid big expanses of black or very dark colors, so if the cancel does overlap the cachet, it still shows completely.

We'd certainly appreciate seeing your results including the Apollo PA covers. Good luck!
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Edited by hy-brasil - 09/02/2019 10:08 pm
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