Today in Postal History


Tahiti to United States
January 7, 1929

The island of Tahiti is comprised of two nearly circular
volcanoes joined by a narrow Isthmus of Taravao.
Papeete is on the northwest side of the larger of the two joined islands.
The Isthmus is nearly opposite Papeete on the southeast side of the island.

Papeari (from the corner card) is about 5 km southwest of the
Isthmus on the single road which circles the larger island.

Taravao was a post office on the Isthmus.
Taravao provided the two CDS used to cancel the stamps on this letter.

I believe the rough transit mark on the rear is from Papeete on the same day.
Papeete was the port of call for the island.
The sender used stamps from the 1913-1930 issues for French Polynesia.
There are two 20c brown red and dark brown Tahitian girl issued in 1927 and
a 1.10fr violet and dark brown Fautaua Valley issued in 1928(32 and 50).

The sender even provided a special delivery stamp for
use on the letter's arrival in the United States.
Some postal clerk probably added the
Special Delivery notation to explain the extra stamp.
The special delivery stamp was either the flat plate (1922) or rotary
press (1927) 10 gray violet motorcycle rider (Scott E12 or E15).
This stamp was not cancelled in Taravao.

The cover proceeded to Portland, arriving there on January 19.
The Portland post office also added the faint FEE CLAIMED straightline
stamp on the front indicating that they were taking credit for the delivery.
Surprisingly, they did not cancel the special delivery stamp.


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