Today in Postal History



Chile to Germany
June 13, 1894

This registered, uprated postal stationery envelope was sent from Valparaiso.
Valparaiso is a port city on the Pacific Coast about 110 km west northwest of Santiago.

Chile gained its independence from Spain in 1818.
San Martin, the liberator of Argentina, joined forces with Bernard O'Higgins, a Chilean patriot.
They led an Army over the Andes to defeat the Spaniards in a battle in Maipu.

Regular coastal mail services began in 1840 by the Pacific Steam Navigation Co.
In 1845 the Pacific Steam Navigation Co. signed a contract with the
British government to carry mail from Valparaiso and intermediate point to Panama.
There the mail went across the isthmus to Chagres for transport by
the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. to Europe and Britain.
The Panama Railroad was completed in 1855.
This was a valuable franchise financed in America for
transport between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean.
This was probably the route for this cover.

This cover has nine Valparaiso CDS.
There is also a bridge type CDS on the reverse probably associated with the registration process.
A handsomely engraved registration label was added.
There are added serial numbers as the letter passed through the various postal carriers.

The destination was Hamburg where arrival was noted by a CDS on the reverse dated July 21.

The 5c piece of postal stationery was uprated by the addition
of stamps from the re-engraved Columbus issue of 1894.
There is one 1c blue green and twelve 2c carmine lake (Scott 37 and 38).
The 1c re-engraved is distinguished by the width of the 1 and the
2c is identified by the top of the 2 which ends in a swirl and not a ball.

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