Today in Postal History
Straits Settlements to United States
This cover was
sent from Singapore to New
Brighton on Staten Island in New York.
Staten Island is one of the five boroughs (subdivisions) of New York
It was then forwarded to two new
destinations in an attempt to locate the recipient.
Our task is to understand the 12 different postal markings which record
The first cancels were the two CDS for Singapore on JA 21 95.
The next postmark is what appears to be a reddish London transit mark
back for February 18.
The next was the partial binocular receiver (two adjacent circles)
at the right side of the back for foreign mail in New
York on March 2.
The cover moved that day to the New Brighton branch.
The date on the New Brighton Rec'd. postmark in the lower
right center on the back is illegible but it had to
be March 2.
During sorting, the cover was readdressed and a New Brighton MAR 2 4 PM
with CDS dial and target killer was applied to the
front indicating rerouting.
The quick action indicates that the addressee had an established
address so it was redirected during sorting.
The cover then went to New York distribution where it was postmarked at
6 PM on 3 - 2 - 95.
This is the CDS just below the binocular postmark on the rear.
The cover was then forwarded to the new address of Charlottesville,
The cover was received in Charlottesville on March 3 at 1 pm.
But Charlottesville readdressed the cover once again and returned it to
It appears that another forwarding address had already been submitted.
There is no evidence of a separate Charlottesville departure cancel.
The return to New York was probably marked by the
NEW YORK, N.Y. REC'D. machine dial on the front.
Unfortunately the date is illegible.
The cover went to distribution on March 4 at 3 PM (?)
as indicated by the CDS to
the left on the rear.
There remain two more New York cancels to analyze.
The first is NEW YORK, N.Y. MAR 5 11:30 AM 1895 E CDS below the stamp
on the front.
The next is what appears to be a New York distribution CDS in the
center of the back with what appears to be a PM marking on the March 5.
One would expect one to indicate transfer from a distribution office
and the second to indicate arrival at the final office for delivery.
If this is the case, the times would suggest that the 11:30 AM cancel
from the distribution office and the PM marking indicates the final
As you may surmise some of the above is pure guesswork but I think it
fits likely scenarios.
The cover was franked with a single 1894 8c ultramarine Queen Victoria
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