Today in Postal History

Togo to Switzerland
February 10, 1917

This registered cover was sent from Lome.

German interest in Togo began when German merchants set up trading posts in Anecho in 1878.
In 1884 a German protectorate was declared providing a base for German West African mailboats.

Togo joined the UPU in 1886 and issued its first stamps in 1888.
By the beginning of World War I 17 post offices had been opened.
By the end of August, 1914, the Allies were in control of the Colony.
It was administered jointly by France and Great Britain
until it was divided between them as spoils of war on July 10, 1919.

Stamps of German Togo were overprinted starting with a hurried printing
on September 24, 1914, followed by a final setting October 1, 1914.
In May, 1914, the British issued overprints on the stamps of the Gold Coast.

There are a number of printing differences in these stamps.

A second setting of the overprint in which the word OCCUPATION
is 15mm long as opposed to 14mm was issued in April, 1916.

I believe that the stands on this cover are from the second printing.
There is a d. green, a 1d. red, a 2d. grey, and a 2d. bright blue King George V (SG H47-H50).

The stamps were cancelled with four nice strikes of the Lome CDS.
Registration was accomplished by adding a preprinted Lome registration label.
I'm not sure whether the blue 4 on the back was associated with registration or not.

The cover's route to its destination in Berne took it through London where it was
processed in the London E.C. registration branch in March (the date is illegible).

It arrived in Berne on March 12.


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