Today in Postal History


Bahamas to Antigua
January 2, 1930

This is a registered cover which took a Cook's Tour through the Caribbean.
The occasion was the First Daily Flight from Nassau to Miami.
The sender had written the routing on the backflap:
"first flight Bahamas to Miami to Antigua per Miami & Porto Rico."
This route was pioneered by Pan American
Airways, Inc., as F.A.M. Route 7 on January 2, 1929.

The cover is also stamped as the First Flight between Nassau and Antigua.

The cover was addressed c/o Postmaster, Antigua, B.W.I.

This cover received a Miami registry mark on January 2 (if it takes
longer than a day to fly from Nassau to Miami, you're in big trouble).

Next, the cover would have gone onto F.A.M. Route 6
inaugurated on January 9, 1929, by Pan American.
The initial service was provided from Miami to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Service was extended to Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana, on September 22, 1929.
This service went from Miami to Havana, Cuba; Santiago de Cuba;
Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; San Juan;
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and on to St. Johns, Antigua.

The next stop was in San Juan for a registry backstamp on January 4.

On January 5, it arrived in St. John's, Antigua.

Now began the tortuous route home to the Bahamas.

On January 10, the cover arrived in Barbuda an island due north of Antigua.
Apparently postal personnel were searching for the addressee.
They probably gave up on this date deciding to return the cover to the sender.
At this time the cover was readdressed to Nassau.

The cover now went back via New York City where it was
handled in the Foreign and Registry divisions on February 13.
The routing via New York City suggests that the return trip was made via surface mail.

It was then dispatched back to Nassau where it arrived on what appears to be February 16.

That was surely a longer trip than had been expected.
I wonder if the Postmaster in Antigua had any idea what was happening.

The cover is franked with what must have been discount postage.
There are two 1919 d green George V overprinted
WAR | TAX (SG 102) and a block of four of the 1919
3d black and brown Queen's Staircase overprinted WAR TAX (SG 101).


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