31 December 2015

Stamps in the back

The last post showed a domestic address parcel card where both sides of the card had to be used for stamps. This post's parcel card uses the back side of the card for the required stamps. There is more space there . . .

The amount 4 kr 80 öre is written where the stamps should be and the note in blue ink to the left says "stamps - turn", in other words: for stamps please look at the back of the card. 4.80 was in February 1971 the rate for domestic parcels weighing more than 1 kg, but less than 3 kg. The weight of this parcel was 2 kg.

Domestic Parcel Card, - 3 k g fee: 4 kr 80 öre.
1968, 21 February. 1 kr green-black Dancing Tranes. Qty: 140,000,000
1968, 21 February. 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 65,200,000
1969, 17 November. 30 öre multi-coloured 300th Anniversary of the Swedish Lighthouse Service*. Qty: 14,200,000
                                                                            *a commorative stamp

The parcel was handed over to the Post office in Österjörn on Wednesday 17 February 1971 by Mrs. Stenlund. It contained 2 kg of pillows, must have been pretty small pillows and heavy ones too. The Post Office clerk brought out four  1 kr Dancing Tranes, one 50 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type III and in addition, a commemorative stamp, the 30 öre 300th Anniversary of the Swedish Lighthouse Service. That last stamp should have been sold out by then, normally commemorative stamps were for sale six to eight months or so, not for well over a year like in Österjörn.

The pillows went from Österjörn to Gilleby, and arrived the following Tuesday. That is a pretty long time, six days. The receiver Mrs. Olsson picked it up the same day. Both Österjörn and Gilleby are rural places indeed. The village Österjörn is situated in the inland of the province of Västerbotten in the north and Gilleby village is on the island of Orust at the Atlantic coast of Sweden. The Gilleby Post Office was closed 31 March 1973 and the Post Office of Österjörn lasted three more years.

Some domestic parcel rates effective 1 January to 30 September 1971: (öre)
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7kg 7 - 9 kg
380 [480] 580 900 1300

Where are the places:
Österjörn is situated 644 km N of Stockholm, the distance by road is 826  km.
Gilleby is situated 398 km SW of Stockholm.
The distance between Österjörn and Gilleby is 1,175 km by road.

27 December 2015

A very local parcel

In August 1971 the postal rate for a Swedish domestic parcel weighing up to 1 kg was 3 kr 80 öre. At this time there was no specific definitive stamp with that denomination as it use to be in the sixties. The postal rates were raised much more frequently from the end of that decade and a specific stamp for parcels up to 1 kg would have been short lived. The 3 kr 80 öre rate was effective just a mere nine months.

But there was the 3 kr green-blue Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson 1306 from April 1970 and combined with the 80 öre blue/brown The Waxholm boat from January 1971 they would sum up to 3 kr 80 öre. Pretty convenient, but not at the Post Office Kungälv 1. They used one 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer archipelago of Stockholm at the front and five 70 öre red-lilac Gustaf VI Adolf type III at the back. The first one is a complimentary denomination but the 70 öre was aimed for international letters first weigh class (- 20 g). That worked too.

Domestic parcel card  - 1 kg; fee: 3 kr 80 öre.
1967, 16 October, 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer archipelago of Stockholm. Qty: 184,000,000
1967, 16 June, 70 öre red-lilac Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 26,700,000

The parcel contained blue prints and it was meant for Mrs. Karlsson living in Ytterby. Ytterby is situated about 4 km outside of Kungälv. The address of the Post Office Kungälv 1 was actually Ytterby Road (Ytterbyvägen) the road that went to Ytterby. Most likely the old road to Ytterby.

Yesterday . . .

The entrance to the Post Office Kungälv 1 where the parcel was sent from. (Photo: Swedish Post Museum - Postmuséet).

... today according to Google Street

Here is what is left of the Post Office Kungälv 1.

5 November 2015

The launch of something new

First batch of the new Gustaf VI Adolf definitive series

The old king Gustaf V died on October 29, 1950 and his son Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf, a prince sure could have many names in those days, became Gustaf VI Adolf. The existing definitive series of the king from 1939 had of course to be replace immediately. When it comes to stamps immediately can be quite a long time since the new stamps was emitted in June 1951. Apparently the Swedish Post had not planned for a succession. Which is a little bit surprisingly since the old king was 92 years old.

The new series began to be designed in February 1951. The artist David Tägtström painted the new king’s head in a relief profile. The purpose was to make a more timeless portrait, almost coin like, that would last for more than a decade. Given the portrait a contest was arranged for the detailed design. Mark Sylwan won the contest and hemade the final design of the stamp and it was engraved by Sven Ewert.

The Swedish Post decided to emit the new series with the denominations 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 öre only. 5 öre was still needed but only as a compliment and therefore the new 5 öre stamp was issued in a new series of it owns, the New Numeral Type (read more - here). From now on the lowest denomination for the definitive stamps of the king would be the rate for printed matters, in June 1951 that was 10 öre.

First Day Cover Gustaf VI Adolf type I, issued 6 June 1951.
10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 284,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 24,700,000 (3-sided perforation, pairs)
15 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 66,300,000
20 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf, type I. Qty: 70,100,000
25 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 161,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
25 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 22,500,000 (3-sided perforation, pairs)
30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 21,800,000

The definitive stamp of the old king Gustaf V covered all lower denominations from 5 öre up to 50 öre in intervals of 5 öre. The new series had no 35 or 40 or 45 or 50 öre stamps were issued in 1951, as they had done with the old Gustaf V series. Probably those denominations were not in demand anymore. Eventually a 40 öre stamp came 1952 but that was due to changes of the postage rates. For this series a new policy came into effect which meant that the raises only of the postage rates for printed matters, post cards and letters would spawn new stamps, not  any longer could single stamps of the series cover the rates for registered mail, express fees, C.O.D, parcels, e.t.c. as before with the old Gustaf V series and the lower rates in the 40s. Those rates were now taken care of by the Three Crowns (read more - here) and later on also the Rock Carving series (read more - here).

1951 was regarded as a low water mark by the Swedish stamp collectors at the time. Besides the New Numeral Type and the new definitive stamp series of Gustaf VI Adolf there were only two more new stamps issued in one single commemorative series - Christopher Polhem. 1952 was not a great year either, only two commemorative series with five new stamps. The reason is that Swedish Post had only one engraver employed, Sven Ewert, and there were no more capacity. The critics from the stamp collectors was taken seriously since the collectors was good business for the Swedish Post. The Rock Carving Series was an answer to that and also the various combinations of the new slot machine booklets in the beginning of the 50s. Later in the decade it started to pick-up and more engravers were engaged by Swedish Post.

Five new stamps, how could you have used them in the summer of 1951?

10 öre green single use: international printed matter

15 öre brown single use: domestic postcard

20 öre grey single use: domestic letter  - 20 g

25 öre red single use: international post card

30 öre blue single use: international letter  - 20 g

30 October 2015

Plain and simple in '70 or is it '71?

Here is a plain address card. It was for a domestic parcel  - 1 kg, the most common weight for parcels. It was sent from a cloth making company in Gothenburg to nearby Kungälv on Friday 6 November 1970 and it was picked up by the customer Mrs. Gerd Åkerberg the following Monday. The parcels contained clothes of course. The postal rate for the parcel was in November 1970 3 kr 50 öre, and had been so since 1 January 1969.

Domestic parcel card  - 1 kg, fee: 3.50 kr
1968, 21 February. 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 65,200,000.
1970, 6 April. 3 kr green-blue Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson 1306. Qty: 95,500,000.

But have a closer look at the stamps, the cancellation stamp has the date "6.11.71", but it was sent 6 November 1970 not 1971! A year ahead I would say. The postal clerk at the Post Office Göteborg 2 made an embarrassing error and used the wrong year. Even a simple postal item might be interesting when you have a closer look.

Wrong year! The parcel was sent in the year of 1970.

Well, I did not notice that at first. The thing I noticed was that the fee was not correct for November 1971, by then the postal fee for the parcel would have been 4.60 kr since 1 October 1971. Not a mere 3.50 kr.

The 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III was the second 50 öre stamp in the series. The first one, the olive green came in July 1962 and then it covered international letter  - 20 g. When the rate was raised to 60 öre in July 1964 it was phased out. The 50 öre green on the picture was in addition printed on fluorescent paper so it could be sorted automatically by special sorting machines.

The 3 kr green-blue Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson 1306 from April 1970 was also printed on fluorescent paper until 1976. This was a typical definitive stamp in the beginning of the 70s. It is related to the 5 kr blue-green National Seal 1439 and the (less common) 2.55 kr light blue Seal of King Magnus Ladulås 1285 that were emitted the same spring. Even though the motifs were seals they are not regarded as a series, just single definitive stamps.

20 October 2015

Blue colour - 1st weight class

A theory 

Sweden stopped to be compliant with the UPU-colouring rules in 1953 and the last definitive stamps following the rules were 10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf (from 1951), the 25 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf and the 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf (both from 1952), all of type I. Read more about the UPU colours in this post. (The green colour was used for International printed matter stamps, the red colour for international postcard stamps and the blue colour for international letters first weight class.)

25 öre was from July 1952 the postage rate for domestic letter first weight class ( - 20g), the most common rate. In February 1954 the new 25 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I came out and replaced the older UPU-coloured 25 öre. The blue colour became then the colour for the coming Gustaf VI Adolf stamps that covered the rate for domestic letter first weight class for over ten years. First the already mentioned 25 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type I, and then in 1957 the 30 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type II, then the all new 30 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type III from 1961, in 1962 the new 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf, the 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf came in June 1964 and finally the 45 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf from 1967 that lasted until March 1969 when the 55 öre red showed up and broke the long suite of blue stamps.

First Day Cover for slot machine booklet number 6.
1957, 1 June. 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type II. 2-sided vertical perforation.
1957, 1 June. 10 öre New Numeral Type, type II. 2-sided vertical perforation.
Qty of se-tenant pairs: 7,100,000
Qty of 30 öre pairs: 7,100,000

Somehow it seems like the Swedish Post continued with an UPU-colouring of their own. The chosen blue colour for domestic letter first weight class had the same effect as with the UPU-coloured stamps:
a) Existing stamps of the "wrong" colour had to be replaced and a new blue one was introduced.
b) When the denomination no longer covered the rate that blue stamp had to be cancelled and replaced with a new one in another colour.

In 1957 the rate was raised to 30 öre and the old blue 25 öre was cancelled and replaced with a brown 25 öre stamp. In 1961 a new 30 öre blue Gustaf Adolf of type III was issued. When the rate for domestic letters was raised in July 1962 the blue 30 öre was replaced with the violet 30 öre  and even worse, the existing violet 35 öre was replaced by the new blue 35 öre. When the rate was raised again in July 1964 the blue 35 öre had to be replaced with the new grey 35 öre. The orange 45 öre from 1964 was replaced by the blue 45 öre in 1967. All this stopped in March 1969 when the new stamp covering the new domestic letter rate became red.

I do not think that the main reason for the blue colour was to specifically "mark up" domestic letter stamps of the first weight class even if it seems so. Rather I think that the causes are to be found in printing technique and slot machines.

The first slot machines for booklets came in April 1954, for some of them 2 kr was required, but the vast majority was configured for 1 kr. That was a very convenient novelty, before stamps could only be bought at the Post Offices, most of them opened weekdays at 9am and closed at the latest at 6pm, Saturdays open until 1pm. Sundays and holidays closed. Now customers could buy stamps 24 hours a day as long as they had a 1 kr coin.

The first two slot machine booklet that were issued were aimed for the 2 kr slot machines, the rest was used for 1 kr slot machines (until 1966). As long as the most common rate was 25 öre everything was fine. Four 25 öre stamps in each booklet. The rate had to be raised to 30 öre in July 1957 but it was of course to complex and way to expensive to upgrade all the slot machines to accept 4 x 30 öre = 1.20 kr, which also would required 10 öre coins to be accepted. No way.

Instead the Swedish Post decided on 3 x 30 öre and top up with one 10 öre stamp. That was probably why the 10 öre blue New Numeral Type, type II was born. It is of the same blue colour as the 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type II. The 10 öre blue New Numeral Type accompanied the new blue Gustaf VI Adolf stamp until 1964 (40 öre blue). Sometimes it was a little bit tricky,for example the 35 öre blue booklet had a blank stamp for example - see this post.

Until 1966 the Swedish Post was not able to print stamps of different colours on the same sheet (panes). However they were able to print different stamps of the same colour. That is the main reason why the Gustaf VI Adolf stamps used in slot machine booklets for domestic letter had to be blue! The complementary denomination to the blue Gustaf VI Adolf had to be blue - and the 10 öre New Numeral Type was blue, right? To make things more interesting the Swedish Post printed stamps in different combinations and cuts for booklets thus creating se-tenant pairs.

The FDC above shows one of the two first se-tenant slot machine booklets, the other one was a booklet with 15 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf and 5 öre New Numeral Type (five pairs in each booklet). These new booklets were cut differently and depending on the se-tenant pairs it could be up to four versions of the same booklet. These cuts and combinations can be a little tricky to understand, but there is a post on this blog called The anatomy of slot machine booklets that sort this out for you - you can read that post here.

In the case with 30 öre + 10 öre above it resulted in two versions depending on the cut and how the margin was glued on the booklet cover. The left block is cut on top and the right one at the bottom. There is a pretty long text at the left of the FDC that explains the changes that took place because of the rates that were raised. All the new exciting se-tenant combinations are specially emphasized in the text. Well, the fifties was a pretty boring decade for collecting Swedish stamps and these new varieties, combination and versions were probably warmly welcomed by the collectors.

17 October 2015

Material for clocks and watches

Yet another parcel address card. This parcel contained metal, what kind of metal one might wonder? One clue is that the parcel was addressed to the horologist Mr. S. Ljungberg living in Dannemora a small mining community 45 km north east of Uppsala. Three kilos of metal - must have been a lot of of clocks and watches made out of that. The parcel was sent on Wednesday 4 July 1962. It reached the Post Office Dannemora the next day and the parcel card got into the hands of Mr. Ljungberg the same day since he signed it then, but it took him an additional eight days before he picked up the parcel. He was not in a hurry.

Domestic parcel 1 - 3 kg fee: 2.00 kr + Cash on Delivery fee: 45 öre
1952, 1 July. 2 kr red-violet Three Crowns. Qty: 84,800,000
1957, 1 June. 10 öre blue New Numeral Type, type II. Qty: 239,000,000
1957, 15 October. 25 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf, type II, Qty: 77,800,000

The postal rate for domestic parcels had been changed four days earlier but only two of the highest weight classes were affected. The C.O.D fee was however raised, from 40 öre to 45 öre.

A some what puzzling thing is that the older 25 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf from 1957 was used instead of the newer 25 öre  Gustaf VI Adolf type III from October 1961. Maybe Uppsala 1 still had some stock of the older one?

The new domestic parcel rates effective 1 July 1962:   (öre)
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7 kg -10 kg -15 kg -20 kg
170 [200] 250 450 600 900* 1200*

*only these weight classes were affected by the raise

22 September 2015

Address known

Another parcel card, this time it is a cash on delivery. A whooping 6 kilos of books. It was sent on Tuesday September 16 from the Post Office Stockholm 3 at 31 Svea Road (Sveavägen 31) to Mrs. Magnhild Grahn living somewhere in Karlstad. The sum of the denominations are 3 kr 90 öre. The postal rate for parcel weighing 5 - 7 kg was 3.50 kr in 1958 and the C.O.D. fee was 40 öre when the amount was paid directly to the an account at the Swedish Post called the Postgiro. The Postgiro was the Swedish Post's own money transaction system,

Domestic parcel 5 - 7 kg fee: 3.50 kr + Cash on Delivery fee 40 öre
1954, 10 December, 2 kr 10 öre blue Three Crowns. Qty: 15,600,000
1951, 1 June.  kr 70 öre red Three Crowns. Qty: 56,300,000
1957, 1 June. 10 öre blue New Numeral Type, type II. Qty: 239,000,000

The red 1.70 kr Three Crowns was a workhorse among the three lowest weight classes for domestic parcels from its first appearance in June 1951 to June 1964. Another workhorse was of course the ultramarine-blue 10 öre New Numeral Type, type II. The ultramarine-blue 10 öre was issued in coils and in various slot machine booklets, often as se-tenant pairs, between 1957 and 1966. The 2.10 kr Three Crowns is actually of the same blue nuance as the ultramarine-blue 10 öre. It was also the same blue nuance as the blue 30 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type II, the most common denomination in 1958 since it covered the postal rate for domestic letter first class (- 20 g). The single uses for the blue 2.10 kr Three Crown in 1958 was domestic C.O.D. parcel  1 - 3 kg when the amount was paid directly to the Postgiro or fragile domestic parcel  - 1 kg.

The parcel arrived the next day, a Wednesday, at the Post Office Karlstad 1. However the parcel had to be redirected because Mrs. Grahn had moved. First it went to the Post Office Karlstad 4, where they found out that it has to be redirected to another Post Office, the Karlstad 5. Finally on Monday Mrs.Grahn got the books in her possession. Nowadays there are no Post Offices in Sweden anymore All postal services for the public can now be found in corner stores, gas stations and other kind of convenience stores. The service hours are increased, but it was more fun to visit the old kind of Post Offices.

Here is where the Post Office Karlstad 1 used to be. There is still a sign over the door marked "Post Office". . . 
. . . Karlstad 4 used to be in this building . . .
... and finally Karlstad 5 could be find here.

Where is Karlstad situated:
Karlstad is situated 259 km west of Stockholm.
The distance by road is 314 km between the two places.

13 September 2015

Philatelistic cancellation of new New Numeral Types

Colour varieties

The postal rate for international letter first weight class (- 20 g) was 50 öre in 1964. This letter uses six stamps to add up to that sum. One of them is a commemorative stamp, the 25 öre green World Ice-hockey Championship from February 1963. The others belong to the definitive low denomination series New Numeral Type. The 5 öre red and the 10 öre brown New Numeral Type, type II. The letter was sent on Thursday 13 August 1964. The New Numeral Type II showed up for the first time in June 1957 but the stamps on this letter cover are pretty much brand new at the time.

International letter - 20 g fee: 50 öre
1964, 25 June. 5 öre red New Numeral Type type II. 3-sided perforation. Qty: 11,000,000 (pairs)*.
1964, 25 June. 10 öre brown New Numeral Type type II. 3-sided perforation. Qty: 2,260,000 (pairs).
1963, 13 February. 25 öre green World Ice-hockey Championship**. 3-sided perforation. Qty: 6.000.000.
* 161st booklet
** commorative stamp

The 5 öre pair can be find in the 161st booklet or in the 15th or 16th slot machine booklets. The latter booklets were not issued until 1966 so this pair must have come from the 161st booklet that contained 20 stamps and was issued on 25 June 1964.

When I think of 10 öre New Numeral Types I see blue colours. Indeed that was usually the colour for 10 öre, but both 10 and 15 öre were issued in a brown colour as well. That is a little odd. The problem was that in 1964 it was still not possible to print different coloured stamp for the same booklet. (That capability came in 1966 when they bought a new press.) There was however a need for a slot machine booklet with the 10, 15 and 25 öre denominations aimed for the postal rate of postcards, which was 25 öre in 1964. The awkward solution was to give up the colouring of the New Numeral Type stamps and print the new booklet in brown, the same colour used for the 25 öre Gustaf VI Adolf, type III. The result was the 13th slot machine booklet by the Swedish Post.

In the 50s and the 60s these kind of booklets came in different varieties combining the se-tenant stamps. The way the stamps were glued on the cover and the way they were cut resulted in four different combination of the 13th booklet. The margin could be at the Top or at the Bottom of the stamps, the stamps could also be placed in the way that the highest denomination was at the Right or at the Left, hence defining the four combinations: Top Right, Bottom Right, Top Left or Bottom Left. That results in the following setup:

Top LeftBottom LeftTop RightBottom Right
<margin><margin>25 öre15 öre<margin><margin>15 öre25 öre
10 öre10 öre25 öre15 öre10 öre10 öre15 öre25 öre
25 öre15 öre10 öre10 öre15 öre25 öre10 öre10 öre
25 öre15 öre<margin><margin>15 öre25 öre<margin><margin>

I have previously posted a post that covers this well, you can find it here.

The 10 öre brown pair on the letter cover must come from the Bottom Left or Bottom Right since you can still see the margin.

The letter was sent to West Germany, but not to some average Herr Müller, it was sent to Baron Georg von Blomberg. Baron Blomberg lived at the time in Frankfurt am Main in a pretty modest apartment (according to Google Street view). That had not always been the case the von Blombergs used to live in the castle Buchelsdorf in Silesia. They lost everything in 1945 when that part of Germany became Poland. The Baron did pretty well as a business man in West Germany and he was also a philatelist. The letter was sent by Mr Egon Bernhard Wehner living in the small town of Västervik. Mr. Wehner used to operate a pottery business there. He was also originally from Germany and most likely a stamp collector as well.

Where is it?
Västervik is situated 194 km SW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 282 km.

4 September 2015

One kilo - single stamp

60 öre during 23 years

This is a typical single use of the 60 öre red-carmine Three Crowns. It covered the rate for domestic parcels up to 1 kg from when the stamp was issued in February 1939 until April 1948. Actually the rate 60 öre lasted for an impressive long time, it was in effect already from July 1925. That is nearly 23 years. The rates for the other weight classes 1 - 3 kg, 3 - 5 kg, 5 - 6 kg, 6 - 7 kg e.t.c.  was also untouched until 1948. The 60 öre was the first of a long row of Three Crown stamps. All in all there were 34 stamps. The last one was issued in February 1969.

Domestic parcel card up to 1 kg fee: 60 öre
1939, February 10, 60 öre red-carmine Three Crowns. Qty: 77,900,000
The Swedish Post was so self confident that the rates would last for a long time that the rates were even printed on the front of the card, look below the stamp. There were in fact 45 possibilities to use the 60 öre Three Crown as a single stamp during its life time according ton the excellent website of the Swedish Postal History Society (SSPD). Check out the link!

This parcel was sent from a person called L. Fast to Mrs Amanda Borgström. Fast must have lived in the town of  Jönköping and Mrs. Borgström in the small village of Ulvhestra close to Dalstorp. The parcel was handed over to the Post Office Jönköping 1 at 10 Main Street West (Västra Storgatan 10) on Tuesday 8 July and reached Dalstorp the next day and finally on Thursday 10 July the parcel containing textiles was picked up by Mrs Borgström herself.

In order to see when the parcel arrived at its destination you have to look on the other side.

The back side of the parcel card.

Where are the places:
Jönköping is situated 285 km SW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 324 km.
Dalstorp is situated 43 km SW of Jönköping.

Postal rates fo rdomestic parcels effective July 1925 until April 1948 [öre]:
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 6 kg 6 - 7 kg + per  kg
  [60]   90  120  180  240   60

28 August 2015

Five assorted stamps

The changing colours of 25 öre

This letter cover is not of the best quality. A little shredded and stained, blurry cancellation . . . Ah well, lets have a closer look. Five stamps from the 50s. Three 25 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I, one 10 öre Gustaf VI Adolf and a 5 öre red New Numeral Type type I. The sum is 90 öre and there is also a note about that on the right of the stamp cluster. The label tells us that this postal item is an air mail. That seems correct since the postage rate for airmail to North America was 90 öre between September 1952 and June 1962.

International letter  fee: 40 öre + airmail fee 5 - 10 g fee: 50 öre
1954, 4 February. 25 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 456,000,000
1954, 12 April. 10 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 320,000,000
1951, 29 November. 5 öre red-violet New Numeral Type, type I. Qty: 140,000,000

The 25 öre denomination of the Gustaf VI Adolf type I series came in four different issues. Some what of a record having in mind that the type I existed just between 1951 and 1956, a mere six years. The first 25 öre stamp from 1951 was grey. Its single use was domestic letter  - 20 g. A year later the 25 öre red showed up in July and the reason was that the rate for international postcards was raised from 20 öre to 25 öre. The rate for domestic letter  - 20 g was untouched. The stamps for international postcards have to be red since Sweden still complied to the UPU-colours of international mail which stated that the colour has to be red and no other denomination could be red. The effect of following these rules have been presented in this blog post. The red 25 öre was one of the last Swedish stamps to follow the UPU rules since Sweden abounded this practice in 1953. The next 25 öre stamp became blue and arrived in early 1954. There were no raises in the postal rates to trigger a change in colours. Instead the Swedish Post was a little bit unhappy with shades of the colours of the whole series. They thought that the previous colours often was to light and shallow. Finally in June 1957 a fourth 25 öre stamp was issued, this time in a brown colour. It was issued at the same time as the first stamps of the the new revised type II series. That is pretty strange - to issue both old and new stamps. What was the reason? You can find a part of the explanation in the next paragraph. The brown 25 öre was replaced with the 25 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf type II in October 1957

However the blue 25 öre set a new standard for the colouring of the denomination for the domestic letter  - 20 g (the most common postal rate), not unlike the UPU-colouring practice that was just abounded. It became blue for the years to come resulting in 30 öre, 35 öre, 40 öre and 45 öre blue stamps, until March 1969, when the new stamp for domestic letter first weight class, the 55 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type III, became red. The postage rate for was raised from 25 öre to 30 öre in July 1957. The new 30 öre became blue to mark that this denomination was for domestic letter first weight class. The old 25 öre blue had then to be cancelled and was replaced by the 25 öre brown. Maybe the decision of keeping the blue colour for the most common rate was made pretty quickly and there was no possibility to engrave a new 25 öre in the type II version of the series? I think that is a likely explanation.

The 10 öre changed colours only once. The first 10 öre was green and had to be coloured that way because it single use was international printed matter, even if the rate was still 10 öre it got its new brown colour in April 1954.

The letter was sent on Wednesday 20 June 1956 and the stamps were cancelled at the Post Office Stockholm 23 at 16 Yngliga Saga Street (Ynglingagatan 16), the Ynglinga saga is an old Icelandic traditional folk saga. We have had a postal item sent from that Post Office before, look here.

The back of the cover tells us that the sender was Dr. Jakob Möllerström. He was quite famous and he is regarded to be the father of Swedish biochemistry, he did biochemical studies already in the 20s and was internationally recognized for his research. His son became quite successful also, but in another field, as a composer of music and later professor. His name was Bengt Hambreus.

25 August 2015

First red-violet than wine-red

2 kr in two colours

2 kr was the last denomination to be issued in the long running Three Crown series. It was however the second time it was issued. The first 2 kr Three Crown, the red-violet one, is from July 1952. The event that triggered the release was that the rate for domestic parcels 3 - 5 kg was raised from 1.70 kr to 2 kr from 1 July. The last raise to 1.70 kr occurred just a year earlier but the 2 kr rate was effective until 1 July 1961, a long time for a parcel rate.

As usual with the Three Crown series the old rates kind of traveled down the weight classes and 2 kr became the new rate for the next weight class the 1 - 3 kg. The rate 2 kr lasted only a year, until 1 July 1962. After that the 2 kr covered the lowest weight class  - 1 kg. It did so until 1 July 1965. Which meant that the 2 kr red-violet did good service on domestic parcel cards for 13 years in a row. It was also used as single stamps for insured and express deliveries as well as various money orders during those years. 2 kr was also a good denomination to use for higher rates since it was easy to use many 2 kr stamps to count the correct sum. A very versatile Three Crown stamp indeed.

Domestic parcel card 15 kg fee: 14 kr
1952, 1 July. 2 kr red-violet Three Crowns. Qty: 84,800,000
1958, September 17. 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000 

The parcel address card from 1968 above is an excellent example where the 2 kr was used for higher rates. It was sent from the Post Office Göteborg 2 at 3 Oak Groove Street (Ekelundsgatan 3) in Gothenburg on Friday 1 November 1968 and arrived three days later at the Post Office Stockhom 1, the general post office at 28 - 34 Vasa Street (Vasagatan 28 - 34). Stockholm 1 was also co-located with the head office of the Swedish Post, where the Swedish Post filled up two blocks. Among many functions the stamp print shop was located there at the back towards Klara North Church Street (Klara Norra kyrkogata). Also at the back in the corner of Brewer Street and North Klara Church Street (Bryggargatan/Klara Norra Kyrkogata) was the special parcel office where this parcel was picked up on 5 November 1968.

The parcel card was actually sent just two months before the new version of the 2 kr showed up, the 2 kr wine-red. To me it is puzzling why the Swedish post as the last stamp in this series of 34 stamps choose to issue another version of the 2 kr stamp. Why? They could have kept the 2 kr red-violet. In the end of the 60s the Three Crown series was slowly phased out in favor of the new kind of definitive stamps for parcels that begun with the 3.50 kr olive-grey Ale´s Stones in 1965 and the three new parcels stamps from the spring of 1967, the 3.70 violet the Lion Fortress, the 4.50  red Uppsala Cathedral and the 7 kr blue/red Gripsholm castle.

Below is a domestic parcel card with the new 2 kr wine red Three Crowns, as earlier mentioned the last stamp issued in the series. Yes, it was sent outside the time period for this blog, but it looked so similar to the one above and all the stamps were issued before the end of 1973 so I made an exception . . .

Domestic address parcel card  - 5 kg fee: 9.80 kr + fragile 50% extra fee: 4.90 kr,
over franked with 10 öre.
1969, 20 January. 2 kr wine-red Three Crowns. Qty: 67,700,000
1971, 22 January. 80 öre blue/brown the Waxholm Boat. Qty: 58,100,000
1973, 12 November. 10 kr six-coloured Goosegirl. Qty: 14,700,000

23 August 2015

From the first one

Six stamps on a letter cover and the sum is 85 öre. This letter was bound for U.S. via airmail in December 1948. After some research I can not confirm any 85 öre postal rates for airmail to North America in 1948. The nearest I got is 80 öre for the weight class 5 - 10 g which was the rate effective from 1 January 1947 to 30 November 1949. My guess is that the sender did not have the right denominations at hand for exactly 80 öre and had to over frank the letter. The letter cover is not marked "5 g" which also indicates the higher weight class 5 - 10 g.

International letter fee 30 öre + airmail 5 - 10 g fee 30 öre,
over franked with 5 öre.
1948, 1 April. 10 öre green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 82,600,000, 3-sided perforation,
. . .  from the 84th booklet.
1945, 14 February. 15 öre brown Gustaf V, right profile, version I. Qty: 18,400,000 (pairs), 3-sided perforation,
. . . from the 71 th booklet.

According to the back side of the letter cover the sender was Professor Nanna Svartz, Stockholm. Mrs. Svartz was a pioneer in Swedish academics and she actually became the first female Professor in Sweden in 1938 at 48 years of age. She was a Professor in general medicine with a specialization in intestinal and rheumatic diseases.

To me it looks like it is a private letter to Dr. Amandus Johnson at Pennsylvania University. However that was apparently not the right address, some one has changed the address to 1300 Locus Street with a pencil. The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is residing at that address which indicates that Dr. Johnson is not a medical doctor. He was not, Dr Johnson was an American historian, author and the founder of the American Swedish Historical Museum. He came with is parents to Minnesota in 1880 when he was three years old. He became a quite famous Swedish-American, at least in Sweden.

18 August 2015

New and old Cash On Delivery

This post is about two C.O.D. parcel address cards. The first one is of an older version. The parcel was handed over to the Post Office Bromma 19 in Nockeby a suburb of Stockholm on Monday 2 December 1968. The odd thing is that they used a card designed in January 1939 [more precisely form 398 b.] almost thirty years old by that time. Nockeby was built in the 30s and maybe this card was from the original stock from the opening of the Post Office?

Cash On Delivery parcel 2 kg fee: 3.70 kr + C.O.D fee 0.70 kr + unknown fee 1.20 kr
1958, 17 September. 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000 (2-sided perforation)
1967, 16 October, 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer archipelago of Stockholm. Qty: 184,000,000

The total sum paid was 5.60 kr. The fee for a parcel weighing up to 3 kg was 3.70 kr in 1968 and the C.O.D. fee was 0.70 kr. That makes 4.40 kr but the sum is 1.20 kr more. My guess is that this parcel was bulky since that fee was an extra 50%, which is the missing 1,20 kr. Maybe the bulky lable came off or they just forgot to label. Anyways the stamp 5 kr blue Royal Palace Stockholm II was first issued in 1941 but then printed on panes. The 2-sided perforated version in coils actually on the card arrived not until 1958. The 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer archipelago of Stockholm single use was for printed matter, but it was a new kind of definitive stamps. One can say that it replaced the New Numeral Type series from the fifties when it came in 1967.  The 30 öre stamps belonged to a series called just Definitive Stamps. The denominations of the series were 5 öre, 10 öre, 30 öre and 90 öre. Read more about the Definitive Stamps series - here.

The content of the parcel were boots and they were bound for the shop called The Shoe Company (Skokompaniet) on King's Street (Kungsgatan) downtown Stockholm. The parcel was picked up the next day. We can also note that the sender filled in the correct postal code 111 22. Postal codes were a novelty for 1968 and introduced in May.

The second C.O.D. parcel address cards was sent more than a year earlier, on Wednesday 25 October 1967, but it looks much more modern. The card came in 1964 and was called form 2010.5. In this case the card has to be printed 1965 or later beacuse the card has the new logotype that was introduced the same year. The parcel was sent from the town Linköping to the village Tandsbyn in the province of Jämtland. The weight was 3 kg and the fee was in this case the same as above, 3.70 kr, the C.O.D. fee was 70 öre totaling 4.40 kr. It was sent from Post Office Linköping 1 situated in a magnificent building at 18 - 20 St. Lars Street (S:t Larsgatan 18 -20).

C.O.D. parcel 3 kg fee 3.70 kr + C.O.D. fee 0.70 kr
1967, 15 February, 3.70 kr violet the Lion Fortress. Qty: 16,000,000
1957, 1 June. 70 öre orange Rock Carvings type II. Qty: 10,900,000

In this case it is the 3.70 kr violet the Lion Fortress that is new, issued in February 1967. The 70 öre orange Rock Carvings is a definitive stamp of an older generation where the first stamp in that series was issued in 1954 as a complement to the long running Three Crown series. In the fifties the Rock Carving series felt fresh and it stayed around at least as long as in the beginning of the 70s. On this card both stamps are a nice couple of Swedish definitive stamps.

Here is where the Post Office Bromma 19 used to be. (Google)
. . .  and here is where you could find the Post Office Linköping 1. (Google)

Where are the places?
Nockeby is situated 8 km W of Stockholm
Tandsbyn is situated 446 km NW of Stockholm.
Linköping is situated 174 km SW of Stockholm.

11 August 2015

From unknown to known

Shorter life spans

The stamp 3.70 kr violet the Lion Fortress from spring 1967 had as a purpose to cover parcel rates. It covered parcels weighing 1 to 3 kg.  The domestic parcel address below got one Lion Fortress stamp and it was sent from Helsingborg Thursday 13 June 1968 to Stockholm. Mr. Münch the sender did not have the correct address to Mrs. Wedar, as it seems. Apparently Mrs. Wedar did not live on 2 Tor's Street (Torsgatan 2). That building was used as office building and was not residential. The address card got stamped "back to sender" on the front and "address unknown" on the back. However the Post Office Stockholm 1 did not give up and sent it to its special bureau for finding addresses.

Domestic parcel 2 kg fee: 3.70 kr.
1967, 15 February, 3.70 kr violet the Lion Fortress. Qty: 16,000,000
The back side of the parcel address card.

On Monday 17 June the card got in the hand of the special address bureau according to the oval stamp on the back and they sorted out the problem quickly. The parcel was intended for the Swedish magazine Swedish Journal (Svenska Journalen). The correct address was added to the card on the front. Mrs. Wedar worked there as a journalist, she was also an author of several books. The parcel was picked up the next day.

The 3.70 kr violet the Lion fortress was a new kind of definitive stamps that replaced the old Three Crowns series. The new thing in 1967 was the fact that it was just a single stamp not a series of stamps with the same motifs but different denomination as before.

Take the 1.70 kr red Three Crowns for example. That stamp had the same main purpose as the Lion fortress. It was issued in 1 June 1951 and then it covered the new rate for domestic parcel 3 - 5 kg. In June 1952 it covered the new rate for 1 - 3 kg parcels and finally in June 1961 it covered the new rate for parcels up to 1 kg until July 1964 when the rates were raised again. The denomination 1.70 kr propagated through the postal rates for parcels. After that the 1.70 kr faded away.

The Lion Fortress on the other hand did not last after the raise of the parcel rates in January 1969. The reason was that in the sixties the raises had to become much more substantial than before. Often these specific stamps just lasted during one period of parcels rates.

The life span of the 1.70 kr Three Crowns as a stamp for domestic parcels [öre]

June 1951 to June 1952 to June 1964
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg
110 140 [170]
140 [170] 200
[170] 200 250

The life span of the 3.70 kr the Lion Fortress as a stamp for parcels [öre]

January 1967 to December 1968
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg
280 [370] 450

8 August 2015

Holland Michigan

Ordinary Gustaf VI Adolf stamps

On Wednesday 1 April 1970 the incorporated company Proinvestements Scandinavia in Stockholm sent a letter to Surplus Service in the town of Holland in Michigan, US. Two 55 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf type II and one 10 öre blue/black Swedish ship in Öresund made 1.20 kr. The letter cover has no Air Mail label but the sum 1.20 kr was the rate for air mail letter to North America 5 - 10 g. The rate for sending the letter by surface would have cost 70 öre.  The 55 öre Gustaf VI Adolf single use was domestic letter  - 20 g since March 1969 until October 1971. Two 55 öre Gustaf VI Adolf would cover the fee for international letter 20 - 40 g. The 10 öre stamp was a complementary denomination and belonged to the quite revolutionary series called Definitive Stamps from 1967. Read more about the Definitive Stamps series - here.

Air mail to North America 5 - 10 g fee: 1.20 kr
1969, 28 February. 55 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 269,000,000
1967, 16 October, 10 öre blue/black Swedish ship in Öresund. Qty: 156,000,000

The letter was handled by the Post Office Nacka 1, but the address of the company Proinvestments Scandinavia was 33 King Street down town Stockholm, definitely a quite posh address, at least thirty years earlier. The closest Post Office would have been Stockholm 1. Nacka is a suburb south of Stockholm.

In 1970 the address of the sender was 33 King's Street in Stockholm. (Google). Just besides one of the two famous King's Towers, Stockholm's first skyscrapers,    . . . well, high raises) and the crossing bridge of  the Ridge Dividing Street (Malmskillnadsbron).
Read more about the King's Tower - here.

There are not much traces of Proinvestments Inc. The Surplus Service in Holland, Michigan, seems to have been in business at least during the sixties and seventies. The regularly advertised in magazines as the Popular Mechanics or the Field & Stream. They sold any kind of government surplus to the public. Just write for inquiries,  . . . so did indeed Proinvestment.

Add from Field & Stream July 1970.

4 August 2015

Bound for a box in Argentina

This letter cover has a some what puzzling address. I am not sure what Casilla means in Spanish, Casilla Correros seems to be mail boxes. Maybe it is a Post Office Box? That would mean mail box number 4327 in Buenos Aires. Must be a lot of Post Office boxes in that big city.

There are two 2 kr wine-red Three Crowns and a 20 öre green-black St Stephan, the Stable-Boy on the cover summing up to 4.20 kr. The letter was sent by air and it was also a registered letter. The postage rates for air mail have varied a lot over time and depending on which country. It is quite a research effort to sort that out, unlike surface mail that had a flat rate for every country since 1874.

Air mail to Argentina fee: 1.70 kr  + registered fee 2,50 kr
1971, 23 April. 20 öre green-black St Stephan, the Stable-Boy. Qty: 36,200,000
1969, January 20. 2 kr wine-red Three Crowns. Qty: 67,700,000

But there is one thing we know for sure - the fee for registered letter: 2.50 kr.  Then the air mail fee must have been 1,70 kr to Argentina in the fall of 1972. The registered fee was raised to 2.50 kr as of 1 October 1971.

The letter was dealt with at the Post Office Stockholm 1 the General Post Office at at Wasa Street on Thursday 30 November 1972. When Señor Juan Lukan received the letter is unknown.

30 July 2015

A farewell FDC

The Three Crowns series on its way out . . .

Three different definitive stamps were issued on 20 January 1969. Different series and different motifs - yes, but also representing different issuing policies.

The 10 öre denomination from the series Definitive Stamps came as a booklet, the same with the 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III and then there was the 2 kr wine-red Three Crowns. This was the last stamp of that series. The first stamp of the Three Crown series, the 60 öre red-carmine, was issued on 10 February 1939, almost 30 years earlier. The series came in 34 denominations. The original idea was that this series should cover the fees for the most common postal rates for domestic parcels and C.O.D. parcels.  That was not the case with the 2 kr wine-red, it could be used a single stamp for domestic letter -250 g, it could also be used for various money orders  until 1971 and later on  used for international letters  -50 g between 1975 and 1976. Read more about the Three Crown series - here.

First Day Cover 1969, 20 January.
10 öre blue/black Swedish ship in Öresund. Qty: 9,500,000 [pairs]. 3-sided perforation.
From the 217th booklet issued by Swedish Post.
50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 3,400,000 (pairs). 3-sided perforation.
From the 218th booklet issued by Swedish Post.

2 kr wine-red Three Crowns. Qty: 67,700,000

The 10 öre blue/black Swedish ship in Öresund represents the new kind of definitive stamps that showed up for the first time in 1965, like the Posthorn and the Ale's Stones. The 10 öre belongs to the series called Definitive Stamps and it was first issued in 1967. The series emphasized the new issuing policy of Swedish Post with definitive stamps in smaller series and adding the concept with different motifs within the same series. That was a big novelty in 1967. The Definitive Stamps series and the Iron Age slot machine booklet were examples of that. Why Swedish Post almost two years later choose to issue a booklet with twenty 10 öre stamps from that series beats me.

The 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf was first issued as a two sided perforated stamp in January 1968 and now a year later it also came in a booklet with ten stamps. There was an earlier 50 öre stamp in the series, the 50 öre olive-green from July 1962 where its single use covered International Letter  - 20 g until July 1964. The reason why there was a new need for that denomination in the series was that the rate for C.O.D became 50 öre in 1967. Oddly enough the fee 50 öre lasted only until March 1969. That must have been some what of a bummer, but 50 öre probably did good use as a complimentary denomination for the following years.

28 July 2015

Movie box

1941 - 1948 - 1962

First we have the stamp 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II, originally issued in July 1941 as a four sided perforated stamp, and the two sided variety on the card was issued in 1958. Then there is the 1.40 kr dark green Three Crowns issued in April 1948 and the 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III from July 1962. That sums up to 6.75 kr. The weight of the parcel was 4 kg. In December 1968 such a parcel cost 4.50 kr to send anywhere in Sweden. However this particular parcel was also big and bulky and the fee for that was 50 % of the parcel fee; that is 2.25 + 4.50 = 6.75 kr. Check!

Domestic parcel  4 kg fee: 4.50 kr + bulky fee 50 % 2.25 kr, sum: 6.75 kr
1958, 17 September. 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000 (2-sided perforation)
1948, 1 April. 1 kr 40 öre dark green Three Crowns. Qty: 72,900,000
1962, 2 July. 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 366,000,000 (2-sided perforation)

On Wednesday 4 December 1968 it was time to return a movie that have been shown in the small town of Karlshamn in the southern Sweden to the movie production company Swedish Culture Films Inc (AB Svensk Kulturfilm) in Stockholm. Mr. Jönsson carried the parcel to the Post Office in Karlshamn. The next day the parcel arrived in Stockholm and was picked up on Thursday 5 December. The card was printed with the address to the movie company. But it was not really completed since by this time the novelty of postal codes were used. The postal codes were introduced in May 1968 in Sweden. In this case the postal code 111 20 was stamped on the card. The parcel reach its destination the Post Office Stockholm 1 located at 28 - 32 Wasa Street, the funny thing is that the office of the movie company was just across the street. The company also assures that the film was fireproof.

The Swedish Culture Films was not the most productive production company. Actually they produced only nine movies between 1949 to 1957. Mostly documentaries and short films. They were also distributors of religious movies in the fifties. Not all of them were even sound film and of course they were shot in black and white only. The first movie got a sound track recorded in 1968 and maybe that was the movie that were shown in Karlshamn?

Where is the place?
Karlshamn is situated 400 km SW of Stockholm. the distance by road is 532 km.

16 July 2015

Gustaf V right profile - quantities

A look at some statistics . . .

First place. 1,076 millions issued.
April 1940 to approx. June 1951.
The stamp of the Gustaf V right profile series that was issued in the greatest number including all varieties, was the 20 öre red Gustaf VI right profile type II. Which should not be a surprise to hardly anyone. After all it covered the rate for the most common postal item - the domestic letter first weight class (up to 20 g), international postcard and the extra fee for registered mail until April 1948. In addition, during a time when the postal rates were not changed that often. It was hence around for a very long time period compared to commemorative stamps and other definitive stamps further on.

Second place. 563.5 millions issued.
January 1941 to April 1948.
As a good number two is the 5 öre green. It was around from January 1941 until April 1948 when it was replace by the 5 öre orange. The 5 öre green covered printed matters.

Third place. 506.4 millions issued
November 1939 to April 1948.
It was a hard struggle about the third place, but the 10 öre violet type II was issued in a mere million more than the 15 öre brown. The 10 öre violet was used for local letter  - 20 g until July 1944 as well as for domestic postcards until April 1948.

The quantities issued of Gustaf V right profile series type I and II

The 15 öre brown was used for domestic letter  -20 g until April 1941, local letters after June 1944  and also for domestic postcard after April 1948, that is an explanation why the number was pretty high.

The 10 öre green replace the 10 öre violet in April 1948 because the rate for international printed matter (and domestic) was raised from 5 to 10 öre. Since Sweden still complied to the UPU-colouring principle the 10 öre stamp had to be green. The old 5 öre green was replaced by the 5 öre orange.

Among the higher denomination the 40 öre olive-green sticks out. I think the main reason is that 40 öre was the total fee for registered domestic letter  - 20 g until April 1948 and also it covered domestic letter second weight class (20 - 125 g) from April 1942, as well as local letter  - 500 g until July 1944. To me it was a little bit surprising that the 30 öre blue was issued in a comparatively small number. After all it covered the rate for international letter first weight class for a long time, from April 1940 until approximately June 1951.

Lastly, there are the two stamps that were issued in really small number and they are of course the only two stamps in the type I series issued in spring 1939. They were withdrawn and re-engraved.

Least quantity. 8 millions.
February 1939 to April 1940.

11 July 2015

Urgent needs and fragile

Overflow of stamps

By some reason Lingbo Manufacturing Incorporated (Lingbo Verkstäder AB) at the absolute beginning of the new year 1968 needed some thermometer glass and quickly.  The weight was under 1 kg, but of course it was fragile. Labels with the text Colis Fragile, Exprès and Urgent in French were attached.

Domestic Parcel - 1 kg fee: 2,80 kr  + express fee 100 % +  fragile fee; all sums up to 8.40 kr
1967, 15 February, 3.70 kr violet the Lion Fortress. Qty: 16,000,000
1967, 12 January, 45 öre orange Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 13,700,000 (3-sided perforated pairs). 190th booklet.

The first stamp we notice is the upside-down 3.70 kr violet the Lion Fortress. It was issued in February 1967 and its main purpose was to cover the rate of domestic parcels, 1 - 3 kg.

Then there are four 45 öre orange Gustaf VI Adolf type III series. That is maybe more surprising in the beginning of 1968. It is the 3-sided perforated version and they came from the 190th booklet. Unfortunately they are vertical pairs and not the preferred horizontal ones and there by not really interesting for stamp collectors. The 45 öre orange Gustaf VI Adolf came in October 1964, but then only in the 2-sided perforated format. It was not until January 1967 until the booklet showed up. The reason was that the postal rate for domestic letter  - 20 g was raised from 40 öre to 45 öre effective 1 January 1967. Since 1957 the Swedish Post had followed a policy that the stamp for domestic letter - 20 g (first weight class) should have a blue colour. Quite like the by now abounded UPU-colouring policy, but for domestic letters. It had the same side effects which meant that existing stamps had to be cancelled and new blue ones printed. But orange is not blue, it was not until June 1967 when the 45 öre ultramarine Gustaf VI Adolf arrived and replaced the orange one. It is remarkable that it was almost six months after the raise of the postal rate.

However in January 1968 the 45 öre ultramarine should have been used. Maybe the Post Office Johanneshov 4 had a surplus of the old 45 öre booklets and they wanted to get rid of those stamps first. Johanneshov 4 was situated in Bagarmossen a suburb to Stockholm.

The sum of the stamps are 5,50 kr. The rate for domestic parcel  - 1 kg was 2,80 kr. The fee for express delivery was a 100% extra, which was 5,60 kr and the fee for fragile had to be added as well. Where are the rest of the stamps? - on the backside of course:

1961, 7 June. 10 öre ultramarine-blue New Numeral Type, type II. Qty: unknown
1967, 11 April, 35 öre red-violet World Table-tennis Championships. Qty: 3,300,000 (3-sided perforated pairs).
. . . from the 189th booklet. [commemorative stamp]

The stamps on the backside are the 10 öre ultramarine-blue New Numeral Type, type II from 1961 and the commemorative stamp 35 öre red-violet World Table-tennis Championship. The championship was played 11 - 21 April  1967 . . .  Also a quite obsolete booklet stamp in January 1968.

There are stamps for 8,40 kr on the parcel address card which indicates that the fee for fragile was in this case also a 100% of the ordinary rate. 2,80 kr parcel  - 1 kg + express fee 2,80 + fragile fee 2,80 kr = 8,40 kr. The Post Office Johanneshov 4 in Bagarmossen sure had good use for their surplus booklets that day.

The  domestic parcel rates 1 January 1967 until December 1969:
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7 kg 7 - 10 kg 10 - 15 kg 15 - 20 kg
[2.80 kr] 3.70 kr 4.50 kr 7.00 kr 10.50 kr 14.00 kr  17.00 kr

Where are the places:
Bagarmossen is a suburb of Stockholm situated 7 km SE of the city centre.
Lingbo is situated 205 km NW of Stockholm.
The distance by road is  233 km between the two places.

1 July 2015

Plain and simple

2.30 kr brown fulfilling its purpose

The Three Crowns series was originally designed to have single stamps for the most common postal rates for domestic parcels and Cash On Delivery domestic parcels. The first stamps in the series released in 1939 covered parcels up to 1 kg, 1 - 2 kg and 2 - 3 kg for those postal rates. There was also a complementary denomination, the 1 kr orange Three Crowns, which could be used for heavier parcels.

The domestic parcel card below was sent on Friday March 25 1966, almost 26 years after the first issue of the Three Crown series and it was still doing its job. A single 2.30 kr dark brown Three Crowns was all that was required.

Domestic parcel address card  - 1 kg fee: 2.30 kr
1965, 24 September. 2.30 kr  dark brown Three Crowns. Qty: 9,600,000

However, things had already started to change. The new postal rates for parcels effective from July 1965 was like this: [all amounts are in öre, 100 öre = 1 krona]
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7 kg 10 kg 15 kg 20 kg 
230 300 350 550 800 1100 1400 

The Three Crown series was for the first time no longer covering the three most common parcels rates with a single stamp since the highest denomination in the series was the 3 kr blue Three Crown issued in 1964. Instead the rate for  parcels 3 - 5 kg now was covered by the new 3.50 kr Ale's Stones. It was a single definitive stamp, no more long definitive series issued over decades. That was a novelty in 1965.

The incorporated company Swedish Mullard (Svenska Mullard AB) sent some vacuum tubes to the Sahlgrenska Hospital, Oncology Department, in Gothenburg (Göteborg). Swedish Mullard was a subsidiary to Mullard Ltd. which originally was an English firm that pioneered in producing high quality vacuum tubes. They also pretty early teamed up with Dutch Philips. Mullard is not anymore, there last production facility closed down in the early eighties.

First the parcel arrived at the Post Office Göteborg 7 at 41 Linné Street (Linnégatan 41) and then it went to the Post Office at the hospital, Göteborg 33.

Some other single uses for the 2.30 kr Three Crowns at the time were domestic letter 500 - 1,000 g or domestic registered letter with advice of receipt 20 - 125 g.

Where are the places:
Gothenburg (Göteborg) is Sweden's second largest city and it is situated 397 km SW of Stockholm.
The distance by road is 470 km between Stockholm and Gothenburg.