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J80 Postage Due Bisect On 1935 Cover From Ashland Kentucky

 
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Posted 01/28/2023   2:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add John Becker to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I've had this cover for a long time and had never studied it closely before rediscovering it last night while searching for something else. (Great to shop in your own boxes!) It appears to be a legitimate bisect of Scott J80 postage due stamp:



The cover is an unsealed envelope postmarked December 23, no doubt a Christmas card, although there are no contents now.

The intent of the sender seems to be one of two possibilities:
1. Single piece 3rd class, which had been 1.5 cents since April 1925. Consistent with being unsealed.
2. A misunderstanding of the 1 and 2 cent local rates for non-carrier and carrier offices, respectively. Ashland, KY is a first class PO with city delivery, thus 2 cents would have been required, and the sender could have sealed the envelope.

Regardless of the sender's intent and Ashland using a dated dial in their Universal machine cancel, the nixie clerks in Ashland found it underpaid, examined it, and allowed it as a single-piece 3rd class item, but due. Half a cent postage due accounted for with half of a 1 cent J80 due stamp (beautifully tied!), and an uncancelled half cent Hale stamp at the lower left for change.

I did not happen to find any bisected due examples from Ashland after a cursory search of the literature.

Thoughts/comments?
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Posted 01/28/2023   2:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What stamps were on this to begin with? Sounds like you are implying just 1 cent, so 1/2 cent due to meet the third class rate. Was the 1/2 cent stamp at the lower left added when the postage due was paid?
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United States
8636 Posts
Posted 01/28/2023   2:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Or a collector knew the people at the post office and deliberately did this and took it by hand to have the bisect added and then sent it to himself.
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Posted 01/28/2023   3:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Only the 1 cent was original to the cover at the time of mailing.

The half cent Hale was applied as "change" and left uncanclled, typically with just a corner glued-down so it could be removed and legitimately used later.

Here is another example of the Hale stamp used as change, used during the 2 cent postcard rate of 1925-28, where 1.5 was paid, 0.5 due, 0.5 change for a one cent paid by the recipient.


And with a slip of paper slid under the unattached portion of the Hale stamp:
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Edited by John Becker - 01/28/2023 3:41 pm
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Posted 01/28/2023   3:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating. Attaching a stamp as change is something new to me. I love learning new things. Thanks for contributing to that.
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Posted 01/29/2023   12:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I think an assumed 3rd class Christmas card is the best fit, based on the bisected due having a parcel post section/dept. cancel.
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Posted 01/29/2023   03:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, that is why I listed the 3rd class use first. Upon a closer examination, there is very light ink set-off on the back side, which shows the flap was definitely tucked-in when it passed through the canceling machine. In the era of people mailing many dozens of Christmas cards, most senders would likely apply a 1 cent stamp to each card in the stack, then a half cent stamp during a second pass. It would be very easy to miss getting a second stamp on one of them.

The circular stain above the town-dial was caused by a rusty paperclip similar to one of the circular ones in the bottom row. (Yes, I have a modest accumulation of odd paperclips!)
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Edited by John Becker - 01/29/2023 03:55 am
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Posted 03/08/2023   08:17 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A bit late to this thread, but I have a similar earlier bisect, although IMO a bit less questionable from a commercial vs. philatelic usage perspective.

Population history of Fenwood, Wisconsin puts it at 178 in 1920 and 136 in 1930, so it's small enough of a town that it's possible they did not have any half-cent due stamps. The date of the cover puts it at approximately 5 months after J68 was issued.


Typed writeup came with the cover.

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