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General Questions About Hpo First Trip Covers

 
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Valued Member
Germany
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Posted 11/25/2021   03:48 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add grisuhh62 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hello,
my stamp club was approached with a question about "HPO". The questioner would like to have information on covers (as in the illustration) of "First Day Trips". Information about the cachets, the routes and the colors of the cachets. Unfortunately he has no internet access. I will of course refer him to the publications of the "Mobile Post Office Society" including the postal address.

Just briefly: in my opinion these covers are comparable to "First Day Covers". There are different suppliers with different cachets, and also in different colors. Whereby the colors should not have any specific meaning.
The top cover in the illustration bears the stamp "POSTMASTER" and his signature? Am I correct?

Please short answers, whether I am correct with my assumptions. If the questioner wants detailed answers, he can get the literature.

Here's the illustration:



Many Thanks!

Juergen
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
667 Posts
Posted 11/25/2021   09:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
With railway post office (RPO) service being curtailed in many locations, the Post Office turned to a highway bus for carrying and sorting mail en route, the HPO. The first trips were well publicized and collectors covers carried on them. The rubber stamped cachets were provided by the Post office and usually applied in different colors for each direction normally trips 2 and 2.
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Posted 11/25/2021   09:04 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
See this page on Stampsmarter:
https://stampsmarter.org/Learning/HPOHome.html
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Posted 11/25/2021   09:42 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Just briefly: in my opinion these covers are comparable to "First Day Covers". There are different suppliers with different cachets, and also in different colors. Whereby the colors should not have any specific meaning.


HPO First trip cover were all philatelic, there are no commercial First Trip covers. First trips were held as events and meant to publicized the transition from the RPO over to the new Highway service.
Cachets were done by many different private entities, very few were done by the Post Office. The cachet colors have no specific purpose.


Quote:
The top cover in the illustration bears the stamp "POSTMASTER" and his signature? Am I correct?

Yes. HPO covers can be found with many different signatures including postmasters, drivers, clerks, etc.

There is a complete catalog of all HPO Trips here https://stampsmarter.org/Learning/HPOView.html
Don
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Valued Member
Germany
58 Posts
Posted 11/25/2021   11:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add grisuhh62 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@all:
that's really plenty of information, especially on the linked pages!!! That is certainly enough to answer the questions of the questioner sufficiently.
Thank you for the quick and abundant information!!!

Juergen
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United States
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Posted 11/25/2021   2:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Covers used commercially with HPO postmarks are downright rare. When a train with a RPO arrived at a station it was somewhat of an event with people meeting arrivals and seeing off departing passengers. The opportunity to mail letters and cards directly on the RPO was used frequently. In contrast, when the HPO pulled into the back of the post office at 2:00 a.m. there was no welcoming crowd waiting to mail their letters. .
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Posted 11/25/2021   2:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Cachets were done by many different private entities, very few were done by the Post Office.

Practically all of the rubber stamped cachets commonly seen on First Trip covers of the 1940s and 1950s were provided by the Post Office Department, in the same way that they provided First Flight cachets for new air mail routes.
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Edited by jarnick - 11/25/2021 2:25 pm
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Posted 11/26/2021   12:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Whereby the colors should not have any specific meaning.


Generally the specific meaning of each color was that the creator had that color or those colors of ink on hand.

In philately, first and last are generally memorialized with some sort of cover, be it post offices attached to the ground, or on trains, planes, ships, wagons, horses, mules, helicopters, rockets, balloons etc. upon each specific leg of transportation. Heck there is even one cover commemorating the opening and closing date of the US Post Office on The Moon.
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