Today in Postal History


Switzerland to United States
March 20, 1940

This airmail cover was sent by the International Labour Office (ILO) based in Geneva.
The organization was created during the peace conference after World War I in 1919.
The organization is still operating.

Its destination was the Washington, D.C., Branch of the same agency.

The envelope was preprinted PAR AVION and handstamped Par Atlantic Clipper.
This would probably have been routed via Lisbon to catch that Clipper.

The cover was rated at 29 grams (script below corner card) and
franked with Swiss stamps overprinted for use by the ILO.

There are two 1936 2 Franc gray black and red on gray paper and one 1937 10c red violet.
It is impossible to tell whether the stamps have grilled gum or
ordinary gum however both stamps exist in both varieties.
The grilled gum varieties are Scott 3O30 and 3O40.
Postal use of such stamps is uncommon.

The cover received two clear strikes of a Geneva handstamp.

There is no evidence of Washington arrival.
There is also no view of the reverse.
The cover has received a notation "Rep[ly] 2 April 1940."

This cover makes a nice addition to a collection of United Nations forerunners.


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