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International Air Mail Question

 
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Valued Member

United States
68 Posts
Posted 10/26/2020   4:46 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add healthy to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm trying to make sense of something, and I'm hoping someone can offer an explanation.

I know that on October 10, 1975, all domestic intercity First Class Mail began to be routinely transported by air. Which effectively ended Air Mail within the United States as a separate service. I also know that on May 1, 1977 the U.S. Postal Service made it official, and domestic Air Mail was formally eliminated.

I've also know that in 1995 International Air Mail was also eliminated, and the USPS announced that the words "Air Mail" would no longer appear on postage stamps in the United States.

What is confusing is the Scenic American Landscape Series of Air Mail stamps. I know that the series began in 1993, and the stamps were priced to satisfy the International Air Mail Rate in effect when they were released. But what doesn't make sense is the fact that the series continued until 2012, which was long after International Air Mail was eliminated in 1995. So, my question is this: If there was no such thing as International Air Mail, what were the later stamps in the Scenic American Landscape Series used for?
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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
5180 Posts
Posted 10/27/2020   02:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Isn't it the same as the position here? Great Britain didn't issue air-mail stamps, but there was, and remains, a cost for sending post by air-mail, so appropriately denominated stamps have been issued..
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
7107 Posts
Posted 10/27/2020   07:27 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I suspect that the designs had already been approved, so they issued them; the stamps themselves were valid for any postal use in any case.
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Valued Member
United States
68 Posts
Posted 10/29/2020   10:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add healthy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just found this on Mystic Stamp website:

On May 12, 1999, the USPS introduced a new series of Airmail stamps the Scenic American Landscapes.

These stamps are part of the Airmail series. Airmail as its own separate service came to an end in 1977. After that time, airmail stamps were issued to pay international rates. After 1995, the USPS called these "international-rate stamps," though they still said "Airmail" on them.

Then on May 12, 1999, the USPS began a new series of Airmail stamps that would picture the "mountains, canyons, and swamps that comprise our country's diverse and majestic terrain." However, unlike previous issues, these stamps wouldn't include the word "Airmail," rather, they had a small silhouette of a jet next to the denomination. Like the stamps before them, these new issues paid the international rate. But they could also be used to pay for other postal services and make up other rates. New stamps would be issued as the rates changed. There were also postal stationary items including postal cards and aerogrammes.

So, for the bottom line, it seems they were:
International Rate Stamps, which probably transported mail in an airplane, and Scott classifies them as Air Mail, but weren't really called Air Mail.
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