Today in Postal History


Finland to England
March 15, 1894

This registered cover was sent from Viborg (now Vyborg) on the
Gulf of Finland about 125 km northwest of St. Petersburg, Russia.
Vyborg is now in Russia

The destination of the cover was Derby about 55 km
northeast of Birmingham in the Midlands.
The addressee was a law student.
Was this perhaps a money letter providing cash for a student?

The cover was franked with stamps from the 1889-92 issue.
There is one 5 pennia green, a 10 pennia carmine and three 20 pennia orange (Scott 39-41).
They are cancelled by 3 double circle CDS.

The sender requested registration by inscribing 'Rekommenderas'
(register in Swedish which was probably the sender's first language).*
Registration was accomplished by a trilingual (Finnish, Swedish, Russian)
registry label in which a script serial number 1454  was added.*
The script 14 overwritten to 15 is the sequence number of the registry item on the daily list.*
The clerk probably made an initial error and then corrected it.*
The 14 appears to be in the same hand as the clerk who added the script registry number.
The wax seal appears to be a sender's monogram and not associated with the registry process.

On the rear there is a Russian transit mark for St. Petersburg dated March 18.*
  The dotted R in a circle was also added St. Petersburg as similar marks are known from there.*

The cover arrived in the London Registry branch on March 15 (red banner receiver)
and was given a crayoned registry  blue cross and a blue daily log number 623.

It was forwarded to Derby where its arrival was noted by an oval registry receiver on March 16.

The apparent magical speed with which this cover was handled was due to the differences
in the Gregorian and Julian Calendars in use in Finland and England at the time.

Do you suppose the money arrived on time?
If it was timed to arrive before the due date in Russia
and Finland, it would have arrived with time to spare.
I wonder just how aware people were of this date discrepancy.

*Thanks to Knud-Erik Andersen for his additional comments to clarify the use of this cover.


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