Today in Postal History



Fanning Island, New Zealand to Australia
February 13, 1939

Fanning, now Tabuaeran, is one of the coral atolls found in the North Line Islands.
Fanning is found near 4 N latitude and 159 W longitude.
It was discovered uninhabited by an American Captain, Edmund Fanning, in 1798.

The first postal service was sporadic based on the random arrival of ships.
In the early 20th century New Zealand established a post office.

This cover notes the end of the New Zealand postal agency serving this portion of the Pacific.
Postal service was then provided by the Gilbert and Ellis post office established in 1911.
In 1916 the Gilbert and Ellis Islands became a Crown Colony.
The Gilbert Islands became a separate Crown Colony on January 1, 1976.
On July 12, 1979, the Gilbert Islands became the independent republic of Kiribati.

This cover is likely franked with a 6p red Harvesting stamp
(Scott 211) from the New Zealand 1936-41series.
There are two Fanning Island CDSs as well as a
simple R label applied to denote registry in Fanning.
There are two Registry transit
stamps from Melbourne and Adelaide, Australia.
Unfortunately, the dates are illegible.

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