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International Rate For Heavy Postcards In Prexy Period

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Valued Member
5 Posts
Posted 11/25/2021   6:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Dutchie to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
What was the correct international surface rate for heavy souvenir postcards (with pictures enclosed) sent to Europe in the 1947 - 1953 period?

Was it:
1.5c international surface printed matter rate or
3c international surface postcard rate or
5c international surface letter rate

I have examples of all three (all solo franked with Prexies).
The ones franked with 1.5c and 3c have minimal writing inside (only senders name); the one with 5c has a message inside.

Who can help?

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
882 Posts
Posted 11/26/2021   12:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Parcelpostguy to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Without seeing the items in question, I can say the 1.5 cent printed matter (sender's name okay) rate was correct. Printed matter was 1.5 cents per two ounces from the USA. So just weigh the 3 cent item and if over 2 ounces, then the rate was correct. If it weighs 2 or less ounces see below.

As to the other two, 3 and 5 cent the sender may not have known the correct rate and just guessed or erred in the direction of safety. Also it is possible the sender only had that stamp denomination at hand. Willing over payment is often referred to a "convenience over payment."
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Valued Member
5 Posts
Posted 11/26/2021   06:09 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dutchie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Parcelpostguy.

See scans of the three heavy postcards: 1.5c Prexie, 3c Prexie, 5c Prexie. All to Europe. All three weigh somewhat less or somewhat more than 1 ounce. All three are under 2 ounce.

I also show a heavy postcard (1 ounce) with 3x 1c Prexie to Belgium with postage due marking "T 12 centimes" and marking "Subject to letter rates contains writing".
This card was 2c shortpaid for surface letter. So postage due is 2c x 2 (double deficiency) x 3 centimes = 12 centimes due ($0.01 is 3 centimes in 1950).
When a heavy postcard contained writing the surface letter rate had to be paid.

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Pillar Of The Community
4091 Posts
Posted 11/26/2021   10:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Oddly enough, they can ALL be correct! Or explained.

Let's be clear on terminology first. For rate purposes, "post card" and "postal card" are specific defined mail pieces, typically a thin card stock, either single or double (reply) in format.

There is no such thing as a "heavy postcard" in rate terminology. Most U.S. tourists would call these mail pieces a "postcard folder". Anyway, regardless of what anyone calls them, they are not mailable at postcard rates. They require letter rates, most often mailed at first class surface, first class airmail, or 3rd class.

Here are 4 corners of unmailed U.S. postcard folders:

Item 1: published before April 15, 1925, with 1 cent 3rd class or 2 cent letter-rate for first class, depending on writing.
Item 2: similar, but on/after April 15, 1925, with 1-1/2 without message (for 3rd class and 2 or 3 cents as a letter if a message was added.)
Items 3 and 4: Generic information, not very helpful.

To get back to your postcard folders.

In the Prexie era, folders could be sent anywhere in the world without any additional message inside for 1-1/2 cents as a single piece 3rd class rate, which is where your 1-1/2 cent folder applies. Most folders were constructed with a flap which tucked in, but did not seal, and is consistent with 3rd class mail regulations allowing for postal inspection for possible upgrading to first class if improper writing is found inside.

Folders with a message would require the appropriate domestic or foreign letter rate postage, which is where your 5 cent and 3-paid/+due folders properly apply.

The 3 cent San Francisco folder is the challenge. With the information you have provided (minimal writing and less than 2 ounces), it would be a single piece, 3rd class letter properly rated at 1-1/2 cents, and overpaid by the sender typically as a "convenience overpayment" exactly as Parcelpostguy suggests.

Tourists seldom have correct stamps handy and find it difficult to obtain them when travelling. Both of the 3 cent mailings may have been thinking the folder WAS rateable as a postcard and the 3 cent international UPU card rate applied, but they were mistaken. Due to the presence or absence of writing, the San Francisco folder was overpaid and the Cleveland folder was underpaid!
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Valued Member
5 Posts
Posted 11/27/2021   07:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dutchie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for your knowledge John! It's of very much help. The "puzzle" is solved now, so to say.

I show two other postcard folders with Prexie use. One from 1958 and one from 1954.

Both folders were sent by surface letter mail (UPU rate). The one from Alaska (1958 with 8c van Buren) has no writing inside only name and address of the sender. The one from Virgin Islands (1954 with two 4c Madisons) has extensive additional writing.

Interesting pieces of postal history in my opinion these postcard folders.

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United States
10088 Posts
Posted 11/27/2021   08:39 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I collect 'boxed miniature view' RRPs but by the late 1930s these were not quite as popular as they were the previous 20 years so I do not have many with Prexie franking. Here is a domestic rate one…

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