20 October 2016

A unique 20 öre stamp

The 20 öre green blue/orange Posthorn from 1965 is a beautiful stamp. It is also pretty unique in some ways. First of all it was the first Swedish two-coloured steel engraved stamp. It was the new three-tone steel-engraving rotary press from Goebel AG in Germany delivered at the end of 1964 that made this possible. It also was unique in the way that it has the year of issue printed between the initials of the artist and the engraver. That was a mistake actually. Beginning  in 1963 the year-of-issue was printed on non-definitive stamps, i.e. commemorative stamps. The Posthorn is the only definitive stamp that has the year printed. The stamp to the left on the parcel address card below is the 20 öre Posthorn.

Domestic Parcel 6 kg; fee: 7 kr.
1965, 17 May. 20 öre green blue/orange Posthorn. Qty: 28,200,000.
1967, 16 October. 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer Archipelago of Stockholm. Qty: 184,000,000.
1967, 12 January. 2.80 kr orange-red Three Crowns. Qty: 15,000,000.
1967, 15 February. 3.70 kr violet The Lion Fortress. Qty: 16,000,000.

This parcel address card makes me a little bit excited. It displays very well the changes in Swedish stamp design that occurred in the mid sixties. I think that maybe the 20 öre Posthorn was meant to be the first in a series of definitive stamps, just like the New Numeral Type it was intended to replace. Considering the design it would have been well suited for that, adding new denominations over time. That did not happen. The thing that happened was that Swedish Post got a new Director-General in 1965, the distinguished civil servant Mr. Nils Hörjel. The task given by the Swedish Government was to rapidly modernize the Swedish Post and make it more effective and profitable. He did and he also on the fly modernized the conservative Swedish stamp issuing policy.

Instead the Posthorn became the first of a long line of single series definitive stamps. Before Mr. Hörjel the definitive series had traditional motifs like the king, the denomination value itself or Swedish symbols. The definitive series at the time consisted of Gustaf VI Adolf type III, Three Crowns, Rock Carvings and New Numeral Type. They used to be stretched over decades and consisted of many stamps (of the same motif) and of course of many different denominations. No more from now on. Mr. Hörjel increased the number of stamps issued, both commemorative and definitive ones, and he granted single stamps series of definitive stamps. One effect was that the definitive stamp series got a much shorter lifespan and at the end there were more stamps to collect.

The next stamp is the 30 öre Outer Archipelago of Stockholm and belongs to the series called Definitive Stamps, a series of  stamps with different motifs and different denomination. There were four motifs in that series from 1967. If the old policy would have still been in place that stamp would maybe rather have been a 30 öre Posthorn.

The third stamp from the left is the 2.80 kr Three Crowns and represent the old policy. The Three Crowns was the longest running stamp series with 34 stamps in almost 30 years. The 2.80 kr was the next to the last issue of the Three Crowns.

Finally to the right the 3.70 kr Lion Fortress. One of these new stamps representing the big change in stamp issuing policy. A single definitive stamp with a unique motif. It was aimed for for covering the rate for domestic parcels, 1 - 3 kg, it did that well until January 1969 when it was discontinued. If the old policy would have still been in place that stamp would instead maybe have been a 3.70 kr Three Crowns. Who knows?

18 October 2016

Addresses can be tricky

This letter was mailed on Friday 9 March 1945. It went via England and was examined by the censors there, the war was still going on. Another note on the cover gives away the weight, 8 g. The fee for international letters was 30 öre and the air mail fee was then 1.30 kr. This must have been and urgent letter.

The address on the cover is not completely accurate, it should be The Crosley Corporation, not Crossley Corporation. They resided on 1329 Arlington Street, Cincinnati, Ohio. This is the famous Crosley Corporation that among many things manufactured radios, appliances, car parts and even cars, the latter less successfully.

International letter air mail, fee: 30 öre + 1.30 kr = 1.60 kr, max 10 g.
1939, February 10. 60 öre red-carmine Three Crowns. Qty: 77,900,000.
1939, September 22. 1 kr orange Three Crowns. Qty: 141,000,000

The sender's address is even more tricky to understand. The organisation, most likely a company, called Lincoln J:r was the sender. There are no traces of a firm called Lincoln in Stockholm during the 40s on the Internet. Stockholm 10 below the name indicates that their address is a Post. Office Box at the Post Office Stockholm 10 situated at 34 Narva Road (Narvavägen 34).

The stamps are from the Three Crown series and the 60 öre was the first stamp issued in the series and the 1 kr was the one that was printed in the largest quantity and probably the one that was in use the longest. A beautiful combination.

Here is the old building were the Post Office Stockholm 10 was situated. The Post Office moved in to a new building at the same corner in the 70s and was open until October 2002. (Photo: Stockholmskällan.)

The old Crosley Corporation industrial facilities at 1329 Arlington Street are in a really bad state. The building has ten stories and is located in the Camp Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio.

The letter ended eventually up here - 1329 Arlington Avenue, Cincinatti, Ohio, U.S.A.
(Photo: Google Maps).

12 October 2016

A letter at Christmas time

The letter cover is really thin and grey, an old fashion ink pen was used and it looks like the sender maybe was a little bit uncomfortable using a pen. Hardly any capital letters were used. The sender was Mr. Emil Göransson living in the small hamlet of Fagerhult, about 10 km north of the Post Office Göteryd.

The letter was handled by the Göteryd Post Office on Thursday 6 December 1945. The postal fee was 95 öre and indicates that the weight was under 5 g.

International letter  air mail, fee: 0.30 kr  + 0.65 kr = 0.95 kr, max 5 g.
1941, 26 April. Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 18,600,000
1940, 8 April. 40 öre olive-green Gustaf V, right profile. Qty: 84,100,000
Commemorative stamp:                                                                            
1945, 29 May. 5 öre green Tercentary of Swedish Press. Qty: 80,600,000

The clerk at the Post Office had good use of the Gustaf V, right profile, series in this case, but a commemorative stamp sneaked in at the right corner. They could have used the 5 öre green Gustaf V. Note that the commemorative stamp is also coloured in the correct UPU-colour - green for international printed matter. Göteryd Post Office closed its door for good in spring 1967.

The letter went by air to Mrs. Antosa U. Johnson living in Minneapolis, MN, in U.S.A.

The letter went from this Post Office to America. (Photo: Google Maps).

. . .  and ended up here in the household of Mrs. Johnson in Minneapolis. (Photo: Google Maps).

Where is the place:
Göteryd is situated 394 km SW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 472 km.