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British First Day Cover - 2 Questions I Need Help With.

 
 
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Posted 09/16/2019   8:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add wert to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi..I am not too familiar with the British Postal System...I have a couple of questions...Below first of all is the cover I have...Sent from Stoke-on-Trent to Ridgeway, Ontario Canada.




Below is the letter inside the cover.


QUESTION ONE
If the first day cover was on May 31, 1939, why is it postmarked May 30, 1939..A day before the first cover date..?


And why was it not a direct flight from England to Canada...?


QUESTION TWO
This is a weird one...WHY/HOW did the Stoke-on-Trent cancel (Which is on the front of the cover) appear on ..?the back of the cover..REVERSED

People may say it is just an offset from the previously canceled cover, BUT..It dose not line up if it WAS offset from another cover...Also it has squiggly lines either side of cancel as the picture below shows..


Extra postal pics below.

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Posted 09/16/2019   10:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
the back of the cover..REVERSED

This has been addressed numerous times on SCF

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Edited by rod222 - 09/16/2019 10:18 pm
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Posted 09/16/2019   10:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is not a first day cover. It is a first flight cover, but missing the cachet it should have.

Date difference: It was mailed and cancelled on the 30th as a normal cover would but would not have been carried/"despatched" via transatlantic clipper service which left on the 31st. Normal stuff, nothing special. You drop mail in the local box or post office, it gets cancelled there or the main PO and is sent onward. The Pan-Am Clipper didn't take off from Stoke-on-Trent, either. Postal workers would have paid attention to the endorsement "By North Atlantic Air Service" and the rate paid; there was no regular transatlantic airmail service until this flight.

Route: The writer is correct in the complete routing. Though there was a stop in Southampton UK that dropped off and took on mail. This cover is supposed to have a cachet. The position of the typewritten address may have prevented a clerk from applying it.

Reversed Stoke-on-Trent cancel: It is an offset/set-off, but not from another cover. The cancelling machinery picked up the postmark, perhaps when an envelope got stuck. The reversed postmark then transferred to the back of this cover. The bars were transferred from another such event with the machinery. Covers are run through the cancel machinery upside down so there is nothing odd about the position. Commonly found.

EDIT:

the cachet for service from the UK, known in black also.
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Edited by hy-brasil - 09/16/2019 10:44 pm
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Posted 09/16/2019   10:57 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks guys..

Robert
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Posted 09/17/2019   12:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As Hy-Brasil points out, this is a first flight cover (of a kind) and not a first day cover. And technically it is not exactly a first flight cover but rather it is a first acceptance flight cover. The actual first flight took place on May 25 and flew from Marseilles to Port Washington, New York (not far from New York City). This was the return flight of the first New York to Marseilles flight and was flown by Pan American Airways on their flying boats under the US Post Office Foreign Air Mail Contract number 18 (FAM18). Your cover was one of a great many that were mailed from London and other towns in the UK that were the first time the UK Post accepted mail that they agreed to forward to Marseilles to fly on the second flight of the Marseilles to New York route that departed Marseilles on June 1 and arrived in New York on June 3 after stops at Lisbon and Horta. These British acceptance covers are mostly postmarked either May 30 or May 31. The mail was then trucked over to the New York City post office where it was sorted and forwarded to the eventual recipients - someone in Ridgway, Ontario in the case of your cover. Only some of the mail was back stamped with an arrival cancellation at New York City - your cover is one of the majority that was not. There were no official cachets on this first UK acceptance flight but there were different private cachets that were used, including the nice one that Hy-Brasil generously shared. This second return flight from Marseilles to New York flown by Pan Am was flown on another of their flying boats, the Boeing 314 'Atlantic Clipper' which was commanded by one of their senior flying boat captains, Harold Gray. The letter in your cover mentioned that it is one of three that were mailed but that only refers to that particular gentleman who prepared three covers. These are nice covers but since they are only first acceptance covers they are not given catalog number status in the American Air Mail Catalog. Your cover is a bit tatty but it is still nice to have a souvenir such as this for this event.
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Edited by Kimo - 09/17/2019 5:32 pm
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Posted 09/17/2019   09:11 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Kimo for the detailed process of this cover..Not the best of shape, but will keep it in my collection.

Robert
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Posted 09/17/2019   5:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
And there seems to have been a bit of confusion on the part of the gentleman who mailed this cover - he typed a routing instruction "By North Atlantic Air Service" and wrote 1sth Flight across the top of this cover. As we mentioned, this was the first British Acceptance of mail to go on the Marseilles - Lisbon - Horta - New York route across the Atlantic which was known at the Southern route. It was established to ensure regular mail would continue throughout the winters when the North Atlantic was subject to severe winter weather. There was an actual first flight on the North Atlantic route but that happened in June. That flight started on June 24th from New York and proceeded north to Shediac, then to Botwood, then Foynes and ended in Southhampton. It then turned around and reversed its route with a return first flight from Southhamption to New York with intermediate stops. There were almost 28,000 covers on that return UK to US flight which in the world of first flight cover collecting is enormous and makes these very common and inexpensive covers but they are nice to look at and have in your colelction.
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