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Foreign Post Card Arrives In US Un-Canceled

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Pillar Of The Community
3530 Posts
Posted 05/15/2020   11:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Kimo,

Things to ponder...

Am I correct in thinking there are two types of what collectors might call "diplomatic mail": the free internal government pouch mail and the stamped personal mail which came along for the convenient rapid ride (which this would be.)

Second, Who actually canceled the mail? Somehow I doubt the State Department canceled this mail, but rather they turned it over to the foreign mail section of the Washington DC Post Office who marked it as it first officially entered their control. Does anyone know of any documents or instructions for how foreign mail was handled to clarify this, rather than us all guessing?

Third, canceling machines have a thickness adjustment feature which can be set for the average mail piece thickness. This might typically be an envelope with one trifold piece of paper .. somewhat thicker than a postcard, Thus cards would tend to double-feed and only half of them get canceled.

Also, card with foreign postage just dropped into a random box would be charged postage due.

Occam: It could be wrong, and any of our explanations are just guesses, but I believe it is a simple explanation as it naturally gets into the US mail and gets the auxiliary handstamp together at the same place ... through the diplomatic route, and not many offices would be set up to handle this. This pairing is not simple. It does not get the auxiliary mark without being controlled up to the point of getting that mark.
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Edited by John Becker - 05/15/2020 3:26 pm
Valued Member
United States
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Posted 03/11/2021   6:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jgoody2shoes to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello all, now for the answer, this WAS sent via Diplomatic Pouch. It simply did not get cancelled for whatever reason. The marking that reads "This article originally mailed in country indicated by postage" is found only on diplomatic pouch mail. I have never seen it used for any other purpose! Just think about it. Nice card but would be nicer if it had gotten cancelled. Don't you just love postal history!
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Pillar Of The Community
1102 Posts
Posted 03/12/2021   12:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Kimo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, jgoody2shoes. Could you please let us know the reference you are using that says this particular handstamp was only used on diplomatic mail? By the way, there are a number of different kinds of mail that people like to call diplomatic mail. There is the kind that is purely internal and goes in a specially sealed diplomatic pouch and does not actually need any postage as it is handled internally within the Department (this is the real diplomatic mail), there is the kind that is personal mail that gets a ride in a pouch and goes into the Department's mail room on arrival and gets cancelled there and put into the regular US mail stream (this is when the local country post office is less than reliable or takes a very long time, there is the kind that is personal and goes through an APO or FPO with US postage and gets that APO or FPO cancellation if there is an APO or FPO at that particular overseas location (not all embassies and consulates and other diplomatic posts have such access, and there is the kind that is personal mail that gets US postage and is carried by personal favor by an officer who is returning to the US and that officer simply drops those letters into the nearest post box when they arrive back in the US.
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United States
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Posted 04/10/2021   9:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jgoody2shoes to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The reference that I used was simply my experience. I have handled many items with the handstamp and they have all been from overseas personnel that used diplomatic pouch. Ask yourself this question have you seen it used elsewhere? If so, I would like to see it but I have not. (not that I have seen every piece of mail or anything) So, in over 50 years, diplomatic pouch mail is the only place I have ever seen this marking used. I could be wrong but I am quite sure I am not. I'm certainly not perfect in any way but if anyone has this marking used for some other use, I would love to see it! Thanks.
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386 Posts
Posted 04/10/2021   11:34 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For what it is worth, what jgoody2shoes said is also what John Hotchner a well known stamp collector, writer and legend said. While most of us may know of John Hotchner via philately, he was a career State Department man with clearances.
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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 04/10/2021 11:34 pm
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