From my collection, here are three examples of the Panama Pacific Exposition (USA) cancel used on Hong Kong King George V stamps, Scott #111 - Wmk. 3 - Multiple Crown and CA. The four cent Hong Kong rate was commonly used on postcards at this time, so I think that each of these stamps were originally mailed on a postcard, on board a ship, cancelled at the port of arrival. My second scan shows USA postcards that I have in my collection with examples of the full Panama Pacific Expo cancel from various cities on the west coast of the U.S. Top to bottom, I have examples of Pasadena, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. I am sure there were other cities, too. I would think that it would be very difficult to pinpoint which city each of my HK stamps was cancelled in. Any comments are most welcome.
Second, these specific machine cancels were applied at major west coast cities over a span of years to advertise the expo and were NOT those applied at the expo itself (i.e. "Expo station" cancels). Nothing shown so far is true expo mail, just advertising.
I am skeptical, but teachable. Off cover is anyone's guess, but a decent possibility these were adjacent to US postage and just went along for the ride, incidentally got the US cancel, and got soaked afterwards. If these are Hong-Kong-used-in-US paquebot uses, then I would like to see on-cover examples, or what the paquebot catalogs show as a typical west coast handling of such mails.
There is the possibility that someone brought them to one of the pavilions in the expo and had a fovour cancel applied as a souvenir. It would of made more sense having them canceled on piece or for fun on cover? If they had a hongkong cancel also it would be plausible the cancel was just advertising.Or the stamps reached the us without a cancel on the card or cover..?.
There are often enough tiny differences in the lettering to identify individual machine cancels of the time. There may be multiple dies for a major mail center at the time like San Francisco. If I were checking, I would start with comparing San Francisco ones.
For example, while San Francisco had a cancel reading PAQUEBOT by 1913, the cancel seen more often on paquebot mail has been the standard double oval for San Francisco, I believe with and without "F" for the Ferry Building PO. So a machine cancel should also be within reason with more than a small handful of inbound paquebot mail needing processing.
Thank you all for the lively discussion and input. The questions asked are some of the same ones I have had over the years about these 3 Hong Kong stamps.
I will give you a little background information. I have had these three stamps in my collection for 15 to 20 years. When I started my Hong Kong treaty port collection in 2000, before I was on any stamp forums, I mailed out a form letter of Hong Kong material that I was looking for to dealers that sold approvals or ran classified ads in the back of Linn's Stamp News. I sent about 35 letters total, and established one good approval dealer from Florida, who basically sent me every HK stamp in his stock, on approval, over a period of many years. For example, he would send me quantity 100 of these Scott #111 and let me pick out the ones I wanted for 10 cents each. All 3 of these stamps were purchased at the same time from this dealer from one packet he sent me. I did not buy them from multiple sources.
My "best guess", based on the other HK stamps that I received from this Florida stamp dealer, was Tacoma, Washington.
Perhaps the dots in the letters of the cancel may narrow things down.
I think it's solved, except for the city. On the Japan cover, all you would get for a loose stamp there would be bars, so no one could really tell if this was a paquebot usage.
John Becker is the expert, but I agree that the dotting is just due to an inking problem. Thinned ink and a newly cleaned cancellation die with a residue of solvent could account for this look where the ink is beading up on the die surfaces.
Also note that there are flag-type and flaglike machine cancels promoting the exposition, used during the same period, I think all from Southern California. So San Diego is a definite possibility if you find one of these on a loose foreign stamp as a paquebot usage.
Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle at the exposition:
*** Edited by Staff to add YouTube tags. Please use them in the future. We prefer embedded video. ***
Cool, now we have some west coast paquebot mail to study. Yes, just like the Canada paquebot machine cancels in another thread, it would take further study to see which slogan box might match up with the cancel on the loose stamps.
I have been mulling over the "speckled" nature of the cancel impressions. I propose it is a matter of two inks.
Specifically, from the "List of Postal Supplies Furnished Post Offices of the Third Class" (July 1, 1952 ed), there is this paragraph describing the use of inks for metal devices and rubber devices:
Though there is a time difference between 1913 and 1952, the chemistry is the same. The inks for rubber stamps would have a formula with solvents less likely to be absorbed into the rubber causing swelling, perhaps an alcohol, which has considerable polarity, etc. Inks for metal could use any organic/non-polar solvent. The two types of inks would not mix very well, like oil and water due to differing polarities of the solvents/oils used. Thus I suspect the canceling machine was well-coated with ink and solvents for metal devices and the ink roller was re-inked (by mistake or necessity) with stamp-pad ink intended for use with rubber stamps. This rubber-stamp ink beaded-up on the metal and produced the speckled impressions for a few hours or days until it was exhausted or corrected. Just a theory building on the fact of two ink formulations.