Hi Kimo... Many thanks for that information, as most things U.S.A. are new to us. It is an area we have not explored for various reasons, no doubt mainly because we have never been to that Continent.
However, we are always interested in any aspect of stamp collecting although our main collecting interests are G.B. pre-stamp and mint stamps from about 1937.
I spent most of my working life in Post Offices and Philatelic Sections in UK, Africa and Australia. So I was very fortunate to spend a lot of time doing a job which was also my hobby.I think I did my fair share of stamp cancelling and enjoyed a great rapport with customers.
Eunice and I have been members of a fair number of stamp clubs and I was also involved in 'Stamp Month' promotions in Brisbane and surrounds. That meant I visited schools, hospitals etc. to promote the hobby to youngsters. We have also edited newsletters for various societies and had a lot of articles published in stamp magazines in the UK and here.
We get a fair amount of feedback from our web-site and are always happy to share knowledge and we have a reasonable philatelic library to help.
We like the Stamp Community because the members seem to have a positive 'fun' view of stamps (unlike some forums which are rather 'sticky' and tend to hug their knowledge to themselves.) As you mentioned that was what the original posting of the cover was about. We have certainly appreciated all the replies.
As it says in the last lines of a prayer found in Chester Cathedral:-
Give me a sense of humour. Lord, Give me the grace to see a joke, To get some happiness from life, And pass it on to other folk.
It is very interesting and I now have a few minutes to expand on my thoughts hinted-at earlier. I believe the sender posted the cover with 2+10=12 on it thinking it would receive the 2 cent intra-city local rate within the boroughs, but the rate was not recognized in going from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The Brooklyn PO marked it due (under the current due stamp), applied a 1 cent postage due stamp at the lower right and sent it out for a special delivery attempt. Failing at delivery and (somehow) getting a forwarding address the next morning, the postage due stamp needed to be voided from the Brooklyn PO accounting system and was peeled off and the space canceled.
Regardless of whether it should have been a 2-cent local letter or not, when it was forwarded to another city outside of the NYC local area, it clearly became a non-local letter thus requiring 3 cents postage and the current 1 cent due stamp was added and collected at Great Barrington Mass.
Also, the special delivery fee paid for one delivery attempt. Although very faint, the mark on the front reads "Fee claimed by office / of first address" and with the "no answer" notation added to the rubber stamped marking on the reverse side it shows that the attempt was made in Brooklyn. Thus the letter was handled as a normal first class letter when it got to Great Barrington and was delivered with the normal mail. To get special delivery service at Great Barrington, a second fee would be needed (an uncommon use to find). The cover has a story of special delivery, postage due, forwarding, and auxiliary markings and would not be surprised to find dealers pricing it in the $5-10 range despite some damage to the stamps.
Hello John Many thanks for that in depth information regarding the cover.
Being Australian we have no inkling of the areas, costing's and Post Offices concerned so it is great to have the explanation of the routes etc.
We did wonder about that peeled off area at the bottom right and were amazed that the Post Office would have peeled off the postage due. We have never come across that before in our own collecting interests, but thought that any stamp would have to be left intact and a fresh cancel or explanation supplied.
Thanks also for interpreting the faint marks on the front, we could only make out part of them, so that adds to the story which we will write up to go with the cover.
It will be something completely different to our usual collecting interests and it is very much appreciated that you took so much trouble to explain it all.
We did realise that it would be of little value, but were interested to get the background so we could appreciate it for the postal history aspect.