Today in Postal History


Turkey to United States
March 3, 1897

This cover was posted from the Austrian Post Office in Constantinople, now Istanbul.

Austria was granted the right to organize the services
of mail couriers in the Ottoman Empire in 1739.
Russia and Austria opened post offices in Constantinople in 1748.
They were joined by Britain, France, and Italy by 1840.

The rights of resident foreigners to operate their own postal services was
the result of 'Capitulations' included in trade treaties beginning in 1535.
The Austrian Post Office was located in Galata,  an area of Constantinople
located at the end of the portion of the city on the north side
of the Halic Golden Horn estuary which runs through the city.
Galata was known as a cosmopolitan area which appealed to to foreign residents.

This cover appears to have been sent by someone on the 'world tour.'
They used stationery from the famous Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo.
Note the sender marked this letter as No. 22 - a popular practice of travelers.

The cover was franked with two 1890 1 piaster overprints (Scott 23)
of the then current Austrian 10 kreuzer ultramarine on granite paper.

There are two CDS from the Constantinople Austrian Post Office.

The cover was addressed to Philadelphia.
The fashionable Chestnut Hill area is on the northwest side of the city
The routing added a Barry machine transit mark for New York dated March 22.
The cover was transmitted to Philadelphia where
it was received at 5 pm the same day (CDS on right rear).
By 7 pm it had been received by the station which would
deliver the letter and handstamped (CDS on left rear).


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