Today in Postal History

Rarotonga (Cook Islands) to United States
February 6, 1893

This uprated postal card was was sent from Rarotonga.
Rarotonga is a potato-shaped island about 10 km by 8 km in the Southern Cook Islands.
Rarotonga is about 3800 km northeast of New Zealand.

The postal card is uprated by the addition of an 1892 2d. blue typographed stamp
printed on white paper by the New Zealand Government Printing Office (SG 1B).
The stamp and indicia share a design.

At the time the Cook Islands were a British Protectorate
as a result of a declaration of the local Vice-Consul in 1888.
Until 1903 Rarotonga was the only post office in the British Protectorate.
Mail was sent via the Auckland, New Zealand Post Office.
This postal card has an Auckland transit mark dated February 14.

The stamp and the indicia are cancelled with
two circular stamps containing only 'RAROTONGA.'
The date of the card is established by the dateline on the message.

The card is addressed to W. A. Cooper in the
Foreign Mail Department in the San Francisco Post Office.
The sender was J. H. Garnier, Chief Postmaster in Rarotonga.
This was apparently a courtesy exchange between two gentlemen
who had established contact as a result of their jobs.


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