Today in Postal History


Switzerland to Russia
May 8, 1925

This registered airmail cover had an ambitious journey.
Its destination was Vladivostok which is on the Sea of Japan at the southeastern end of Russia.
This route went one third of the way around the world - 123° 43' of longitude.

The cover was sent just at the beginning of the spread of airmail service throughout the world.
Airmail service had been inaugurated by the principals of
World War I on both sides as wartime muscle-flexing.
By the middle of the 1920s a number of real airmail service routes had been established.

On May 15, 1923, airmail was begun between Zurich and Munich by an existing German airmail service.
The first flights between Moscow and Berlin had been made May 3, 1922.
Internal air service between some points in the USSR had been established during 1923.
Although it can't be proven, it is possible that much of this cover's trip was made by air.

The cover originated in Windisch in Aargau about 30 km
northwest of Zurich where it received two nice strikes.
It also got a nice registry label in Windisch.

The sender endorsed the cover "Nür dürch flugpost" - Only by airmail.
The sender also provided routing instructions at the bottom
but I'm not sure of the handwriting or a translation.
This would help in understanding this cover's journey so: help, anyone?

The cover also has a nice tri-lingual airmail etiquette
representing the three languages of Switzerland.
I don't know whether this was applied by the user or supplied by the post office.

In Zurich the cover was postmarked with the Flugpost handstamp of the Swiss airmail service.
Somewhere is Russia it was given a Russian handstamp.
I'm not sure whether this is for the registration or for the airmail service.
Translation anyone?

The cover is franked with 1924 75c.  orange and brown red
allegorical figure in flight airmail (Scott C11).
In addition there is a 1924 20c. vermilion on buff granite paper William Tell  (Scott 175).
The airmail rate was 75c. and 20c. covered the registration.

 All in all, a very interesting early airmail cover.


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