30 April 2015

Immigrant Documents

Flip side of a coin

Most letter covers tell a story, and if there are gaps, just fill in with your imagination. However this letter cover does not tell us much. It is definitely a registered mail and it went over the Atlantic. Furthermore the letter was handed over to the Post Office Stockholm 15 located at 1 - 5 Katarina Road (Katarinavägen 1 - 5) on Saturday 20 February 1939. There are two 35 öre violet-carmine Gustaf V, left profile, stamps and the total sum is 70 öre. In 1939 the fee for registered international  mail was 20 öre, 50 öre is hence the fee for international letter  - 40 g.

International letter  - 40 g fee: 50 öre + registred mail fee: 20 öre
1930, 14 March, 35 öre violet-carmine Gustaf V, left profile. Qty: 7,900,000 (white paper)

The letter is for the Immigration and Naturalization Service in Washington, D.C., the for bearer of today's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are not any more information on the front. Lets look at the back for a sender or something useful.

The back of the letter cover.

There is some kind of seal on the back, that looks promising.    . . .  a closer look tells us that an ordinary 1 krona coin was use as a stamp for the seal. That was disappointing. U.S. officials have stamped at the back when the letter arrived in New York on Wednesday 3 March and also when it reached its destination some times later (the stamp is blurry).

I wonder what kind of documents that were mailed and from whom?

20 April 2015

Wide hatbrims in a box

"Encombrant" means bulky

French was for long the international language of postal administrations and it might still be at some places. The Universal Post Unions website is even in English nowadays, but the second language offered on the website is French. After all French is the official language of the UPU. They say that English was added as a working language in 1994. Well, I think it just took over. Nevertheless the red vignette reads "Encombrant" on the domestic parcel card below and that is French. The Swedish Post used French in the 60s. The parcel card has three stamps, the 5 kr blue the Royal Palace, Stockholm II from 1941, 20 öre grey Gustav VI Adolf from 1961 and the 5 öre red New Numeral Type, type II from 1957. Three decades on one card.

Domestic Parcel Address Card 3 - 5 kg fee: 3.50 kr + fee for bulky parcel: 50% extra
1958, September 17. 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000 (2-sided perforation)
1961, March 20. 20 öre grey Gustav VI Adolf, type III. Qty: 224,000,000
1961, June 7. 5 öre red New Numeral Type, type II. Qty: 205,000,000

The parcel was handed over to the Post Office Malmö 4 at 31 A Greater New Street (Stora Nygatan 31 A) on Wednesday 23 November 1966. "Encombrant" or bulky meant an increase of the rate with 50 % and the rate paid was 5.25 kr which means it was a parcel weighing between 3 - 5 kg since 3.50 kr was the ordinary rate. That was pretty easy to figure out.

Some domestic parcel rates effective July 1965:
- 1 kg1 - 3 kg3 - 5 kg5 - 7 kg
2.30 kr3.00 kr[3.50 kr]5.50 kr

The bulky things were hats. The firm S. Bukenowski in Malmö sent a batch of hats to the incorporated company Modemagasinet, a fashion store in the town of Skellefteå. The parcel reached its destination Post Office Skellefteå 1 at 45 Canal Street (Kanalgatan 45) three days later.

Where are the places:
Malmö is situated 514 km south west of Stockholm.
Skellefteå is situated 622 km north east of Stockholm.
The distance by road is 1,380 km between the two places.

This is where the Post Office Skellefteå 1 used to be. (Google)
Note that the Swedish Post's old logo is still present - magnificent!

16 April 2015

Printed matter - still green

A 10 öre stamp that went far

International Printed matter was always the one of the lowest postal rates, in 1952 it was 10 öre. 1952 was also the last time when new correctly UPU-coloured  stamps in the Gustaf VI Adolf series were issued, the 25 öre red  and the 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I. The reason was that the fee for international postcard (red colour) and international  letter  - 20 g (blue colour) was raised, the rate for international printed matter remained however at 10 öre. The 10 öre had to be green in order to indicate international printed matter to foreign postal administrations.

The letter cover below is from 1952 and is an international printed matter which has a 10 öre stamp - it is of the right colour, the green colour.

International printed matter fee: 10 öre.
1951, 6 June. 10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 7,900,000

This printed matter bound for U.S was posted Friday 23 May 1952 and was handled by the Post Office Uppsala 1 at 3 Railroad Yard Street (Bangårdsgatan 3). The sender was the Department of Bio Chemistry at Uppsala University. The department has ceased to exist or been merged into some new department, but Ely Lilly Company is yet in business. It is an American global pharmaceutical company with headquarters still located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The only funny thing is that Uppsala is still spelled the old fashion way Upsala, one "p" only. That spelling was changed to Uppsala around 1905 or so.

Here is where the Post Office Uppsala 1 used to be in 1952. Google

In the beginning of the last century it was not uncommon that the Swedish Government co-located the main post office, the branch office of the Bank of Sweden and even the Swedish Telegraph Crown Agency in each county seat. (Uppsala is the county seat of Uppsala County.) In Uppsala the post office and the Bank of Sweden were in the same building and the Swedish Telegraph at the opposite corner. The post office was at the right part of the building.

11 April 2015

Bouncing parcel

A parcel returned to sender

This domestic parcel address card is from the end of the era that this blog is covering. By now the new stamp issuing policy from the sixties was in full effect. No more stamps from the previous definitive series issued over decades and with many stamps as the Three Crowns. The main purpose of the Three Crown series was to cover the three most common parcel rates. That was of course still possible if one used several stamps, but by 1973 the Three Crown series was beginning to be phased out. The new policy meant that definitive stamps came in shorter series, often as single stamps. The motifs were of a broader variety too, not only the king or typical Swedish symbols.

This parcel address card shows from the top: one stamp targeted for parcels, the 5 kr blue-green National Seal 1439 and another stamp aimed for domestic letter  - 100 g, the 1.40 kr red/light blue Lapponia and at the bottom a complementary denomination stamp the 40 öre dark brown Nature Designs (which actually were a series of three stamps). A beautiful trio of 70s stamps indeed.

Domestic Parcel  1 - 3 kg, fee: 6.80 kr
1970, March 9. 5 kr blue-green National Seal 1439. Qty: 65,100,000
1972, September 8. 1.40 kr red/light blue Lapponia. Qty: 43,800,000
1973, April 26. 40 öre dark brown Nature Designs. Qty:33,900,000

On Tuesday 12 June 1973 Mrs. Gustafsson living in Karlskoga sent a book parcel to Mrs. Karner in Uppsala. The parcel was handed over to the Post Office Karlskoga 5 at 29 Örebro Road (Örebrovägen 29). The parcel never reached Mrs. Karner - she had moved. Mrs. Gustafson had apparently an old address and she did not even now the postal code since a helpful postal clerk seemed to have that filled in.Well, the correct postal code did not help, Mrs. Karner's new address was unknown to the Swedish Post and the parcel was eventually returned to Karlskoga. A waste of 6 kr and 80 öre and some efforts for Mrs. Gustafsson. The stamp "Åter avsändaren" means Return to Sender.

Some domestic parcel rates effective January 1973:
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7 kg
5 kr [6.80 kr] 8.40 kr 11.00 kr

Where are the places:
Karlskoga is situated 200 km west of Stockholm.
Uppsala is situated 63 km north west of Stockholm.
The distance by road is 215 km between the two places.

This is where the Post Office Karlskoga 5 used to be. (Google)

7 April 2015

Right or wrong, or most correct?

Same, but different

Clips from parcel address cards are excellent examples of how stamps were used. I found three similar ones from around 1950. They were all on domestic parcels cards for parcels weighing up to 3 kg. From 1948 that rendered a cost of 1.10 kr.

The left parcel address card was sent on Thursday 9 February 1950 from Helsingborg to Hässleholm where it arrived three days later. The stamps used are the 50 öre grey  Gustaf V, left profile, originally from 1921 (the old definitive series) and the 10 öre green Gustaf V, right profile type II from 1948.

The parcel card in the middle was sent on Friday 15 December 1950 from Öjebyn to Boden where it arrived one day later, the distance was only 77 km by road. The stamp used are the 50 öre grey Gustaf V, right profile type II, from 1941 and 10 öre green Gustaf V, right profile type II.

The right parcel address card is the oldest one and it was sent on Wednesday 2 February 1949 from Åtvidaberg to Hälsingborg, where it arrived two days later. The stamps used are the 50 öre grey Gustaf V, right profile type II and 10 öre violet  Gustaf V, right profile type II from 1939.

The question is which parcel address card is most correct?

  Left from February 1950:
1921, 6 September, 50 öre grey Gustaf V, left profile. Qty: 10,700,000 (white paper)
1948, 1 April, 10 öre green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 353,012,800
Center from December 1950:
1941, 26 April, 50 öre grey Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 18,600,000
1948, 1 April, 10 öre green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 353,012,800. 3-sided perforation.
Right from February 1949:
1939, 12 November, 10 öre violet Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 367,000,000
1941, 26 April, 50 öre grey Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 18,600,000

No one is completely right by my orthodox opinion. So what is wrong with them?

Using a stamp that has been replaced by a new one still after nine years does not feel right,

This looks better, the latest 50 öre grey and the 10 öre green which by the time was the correct UPU-colour for international printed matter. Perfect. But the Post Office in Öjebyn used a parcel address card with the old rates from before 1948, according to that card 90 öre would be sufficient.

The use of the 10 öre violet is questionable because the UPU-colour rules are strict that all stamps for international printed matter have to be green. The 10 öre violet should not have been used anymore.

 . . . the most correct parcel address card is the one handled by the Post Office in Öjebyn.

Read more about Gustaf V, right profile type II - here.

Where are all these places situated?
Helsingborg - 485 km south west of Stockholm.
Hässleholm  - 436 km south west of Stockholm

Öjebyn         - 691 km north east of Stockholm
Boden          - 746 km north east of Stockholm

Åtvidaberg  - 173 km south west of Stockholm

1 April 2015

A letter to Hamburg

"Use Postal Codes"

The first thing we note is that at the left corner of the letter cover the sender's address is changed, the letter was not sent from Kristianstad in the south of Sweden. Instead Mrs. Björlingsson stamped her own address on the front. Did she reuse the envelope? and what kind of company was ILCO? This is what I think. ILCO is not a company. IL stands for ileum and CO stands for colon and ILCO is the Swedish federation for people that have had Stoma surgery. The federation was founded in Kristianstad in 1965 and by 1973 several local chapters were established. I suspect hat Mrs. Björlingsson was volunteering for the ILCO organisation and needed to correspond with  Medimex a healthcare equipment supplier in Germany.

International letter  - 20 g fee: 1 kr
1968, February 21. 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf, type III. Qty: 65,200,000

The letter bound for West Germany got in the hands of the Swedish Post on Wednesday 2 May 1973 at the Post Office Stockholm Ban which was located at the Stockholm Central Station. Two 50 öre Gustaf VI Adolf, type III, stamps were required to cover the postal rate. The all new Gustaf VI Adolf definitive series (that replaced the Gustaf VI Adolf type III) which first stamps were issued in November 1972 had a black-blue 1 kr stamp, but was not used in this case. That series contained only two denominations since the king Gustaf VI Adolf passed away in September 1973 and the series had to be replaced.

Some of the International postal rates effective by July 1972:
Postcard - 20 g - 40 g - 60 g
65 öre [1 kr] 1.50 kr 1.90 kr

The cancellation stamp is marketing the use of postal codes (postnummer), by this time the postal code had been around for as long as five years, but obviously it was still necessary to remind the Swedish people. It is a little bit funny that Mrs. Björlingsson did not bother to use the postal code for the sender's address. It still says Stockholm Ö. The letter "Ö" meant the eastern part of Stockholm. The original printed sender's address uses both the new postal code, 291 02, and the old system at the same time. Maybe after all the postal code marketing campaign had to continue for a while?

The letter went from here . . . 

32 Commander's Street (Kommendörsgatan 32) in Stockholm. (Google)

. . .  to here.

27 - 29 Wandbek's Kings Street (27-29 Wandbeker Königsstrasse) in Hamburg. (Google)

Medimex is still in business: Medimex GmbH | In den Fritzenstücker 9–11 | D-65549 Limburg