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Postmark Irregularities

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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 03/31/2020   11:28 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Something else just occurred to me. Unlike VE-Day, VJ-Day was known ahead of time: "A nationwide broadcast by Truman was aired at seven o'clock p.m. (daylight time in Washington, D.C.) on Tuesday, August 14, announcing the communication and that the formal event was scheduled for September 2." Wikipedia

The news report I posted above notes that the P.M. already had 500 covers awaiting VJ-Day cancellation on May 8, nearly 5 months before VJ-Day. And no doubt a lot more came in during those 5 months.

Sheer speculation, but the P.M. could have begun processing the Sep 2 covers any time after Aug 14. If the processing was spread out over several days ahead of Sep 2, could this account for the variations?

If the sample I own is representative, the pattern seen in the top two rows account for just over 80 percent of the total. Suppose those were processed first, and a few days before Sep 2. The SEP, 2, and VJ slugs would then have to be removed and replaced with AUG, a date, and A.M. slugs to process normal mail. Then a day or two later, the AUG/date/A.M. would have to be removed and the SEP, 2, and VJ slugs put back in.

Could something like that account for the differences? I am not sure it does, but cannot help but wonder if it might.

Any obvious defects in positing a scenario where the processing was done in batches alternating SEP/2/VJ with AUG/date/A.M. slugs?
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Pillar Of The Community
1344 Posts
Posted 04/01/2020   09:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Here's an image of two covers, one with NOV and the other with JAN. I adjusted the contrast on the NOV cover because the cancel was faded.

If the VJ was created as you suggested, wouldn't portions of the slug where the NO and AN were shaved down have to be cut off, leaving two smaller slugs with V and J. Assuming a little more than necessary was cut off of one or the other, could that account for vertical horizontal shifts in the placement of the VJ as the two slugs were removed (for whatever reason) in then reinserted?

You wrote:

For both VE and VJ day covers it woud have been easy for Stark and others to pre-stage by sending blanks (with or without cachets) to the Victory postmaster, since newspapers would have reported ongoing surrender negotiations with Germany (it wasn't instantaneous) and the Japanese surrender was way back on August 15. A telephone call to jog her memory, if needed, would be an easy thing to do.

Actually, I think this was SOP for most Linto Victory, VT covers. Linto (or Stark) would supply Ms. Stanley with covers with generic (not tied to a specific event) cachets. When an event occurred that Linto wanted to make a cover for, Mrs. Stanley was would be asked to cancel a set of covers with that date. When received, Linto would add a two-line cachet relevant to the event. The top cover in the image above is an illustration of this.

There were quite a few "victory" themed cachets prepared well ahead of VE day which contain nothing about the date. By September or October of 1944 most people were certain that victory in Europe was just a matter of time. Covers with these victory themed cachets were sent to Victory, VT and other places and held until victory was actually declared. In the case of cachets which actually mention the date, these were created by requesting blank covers with a May 8, 1946 postmark as soon as victory was declared, and the cachets added later.
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Edited by blcjr - 04/01/2020 11:08 am
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