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U. S. Small Packet Markings

 
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Valued Member
United States
395 Posts
Posted 07/15/2021   10:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Linus to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
From my USA postal history collection, I will show the club two items, scanned below, both with "U.S. Customs Free Baltimore Maryland" oval markings. The first one, from Germany, has a partial "SMALL PACKET 10 cents" marking applied across the stamp, and the second item is just a box lid, nothing on the back, with a nice "SMALL PACKET Collect 15 Cents" marking applied. Why did they use the words "small packet" instead of "postage due?" Is this because they were parcels, instead of letters?

Just wondering,
Linus







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United States
2461 Posts
Posted 07/17/2021   3:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's probably to show that postage due was charged based on the incoming small packet rate rather than, say, the more expensive first class rate.

This is a great item, to me at least. Small boxes were commonly used but were not usually saved or collected.

Bumping this along in the hope that someone has more to add.
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United States
700 Posts
Posted 07/17/2021   6:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It is called a "small packet" because that was the class of mail it was, not letter rate, not printed matter, not parcel post, etc.

The country of delivery, per the UPU, was allowed to charge a customs clearance fee, 10 cents at first later 15 cents when delivering such incoming foreign mail matter. For parcel post (not small packet) a separated package delivery fee was allowed which was 5 cents from 1888 to the mid 1950s. The monies so collected remained with the country of delivery for that service. It has nothing to due with the "small packet" being short paid or postage due. If subject to a customs fee for the contents of the package, that would be in addition to the 10 or 15 cent fee for customs clearance and collected at time of delivery to the addressee by the postal employee.
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Edited by Parcelpostguy - 07/17/2021 6:53 pm
Valued Member
United States
395 Posts
Posted 07/18/2021   4:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I previously knew about First Class, Printed Matter, and Parcel Post, but I never knew about the "Small Packet" class of mail before recently acquiring these two items for my postal history collection. These are the first items I possess of this class of mail.

Thank you very much, Parcelpostguy, for the excellent explanation. Now it makes sense.

Also, thanks to hy-brasil for the kind reply to my OP and the bump.

If anyone else would like to show their examples of "Small Packet" markings on piece, I would like to see them. This post is open to anyone to add to it.

Linus
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United States
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Posted 07/18/2021   5:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I previously knew about First Class


"First Class" is a USPOD/USPS domestic term for "letter mail," the international term from the UPU (Universal Postal Union) which tends to control international mail and mailing rules.

There is no corresponding international "small packet" class of mail term in the domestic USPOD/USPS lexicon.

While UPU international Parcel (actually 'Parcels') Post started about 1888 from the USA, there was no domestic USA Parcel Post Service until 1913.
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United States
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Posted 07/19/2021   2:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I should have said "letter class," instead of "first class." My mistake, thanks for the correction.

Linus
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