Today in Postal History

Paraguay to United States
January 25, 1962

Here is a bit of modern postal history.
This cover went from someone (Z. S. Rogers) attached to the United States Embassy in
Asuncion, Paraguay to Tempe, Arizona, (a suburb of Phoenix), via a diplomatic pouch.

Pouch mail was required to have proper local postage.
(In a recent discussion, no one could recall ever seeing such mail with a postage due stamp.)*
It was separated in the State Department mail room and
then put into the mail to be
postmarked Washington, D.C.

This cancel included a slogan reminder of January alien registration requirements.
(Editorial comment: why didn't that work?)

The cover was franked with three Paraguayan stamps.
The only one cancelled was the 15 g dull orange from the 1958 arms type (Scott 533).
Both the 15c ultramarine from the 1961 Founding
of the Catholic University of Asuncion issue (Scott 598)
and the 3g gray and bister brown from the
1960 World Refugee Year issue (Scott 564) remained uncancelled.

The envelope was of the lightweight onion skin variety with red and blue lozenges
on the sides for identification as airmail in Post Office sorting rooms.

I don't think this mail was philatelic although the stamp selection
might lead one to think it was intended to please a collector.
What do you think?

*Ferd W. adds this comment: there are Pouch Mail covers
with Postage Dues - however they are not common!
The main reason was that the officer responsible for Pouch
clearance checked for proper postage; most were overweight!
The cover shown (which might have gone postage free under Pan-American Union
regulations) required postage for the Special Service (i.e. Air Mail).


Today in Postal History
January February March April May June
July August September October November December

Pastnotes Index - The First 300 and the Next 208
provides more tidbits about stamps and collectors.

Comments? Send me an e-mail
Please include a reference to this item.