Today in Postal History




Japan to France
July 9, 1934

This airmail cover had an interesting route in getting to its destination.

It was sent from Japan (I'm not sure of the city) where it received two CDS.
Via Siberia and Par Avion were requested.
There was also a bilingual airmail etiquette applied.
Routing Via Siberia would have made the first part of the trip over the Trans-Siberian Railway.*

There's also an interesting red chop.
The characters indicate Airmail.*
There are also script instructions in Japanese.

The destination was to be Sainte Geneviéve des Bois, Seine et Oise, in France.
Sainte Geneviéve des Bois is a suburb about 25 km due south of the center of Paris.

It appears to have been addressed to someone touring Europe.

The first stop noted was Berlin where it received a backstamp on July 19.
It also received a red Berlin airport post office pictorial handstamp.

The route to Paris was through Bern, Switzerland, where it was backstamped on the 19th.

It was given a machine slogan airport backstamp in Paris on the 20th.
The slogan is GAGNEZ DU TEMP | RESPONDEZ | PAR AVION.*
"Save time reply by air mail."

There are three backstamps for Sainte Geneviéve des Bois.
Two were applied at arrival and the second was applied when the letter was returned for forwarding.
All three are dated July 21.

The forwarding address was the Quaker Student Hotel in Geneva.
This was probably a hostel.
Unfortunately there are no receiving marks from its arrival in Geneva.

The cover is franked with a 1914 1y. yellow green and maroon (Scott 145),
a 1929 30s. orange and green (Scott 142), and
a 1926 6s. carmine Yomei Gate, Nikko (Scott 195).

*Thanks to Jim Whitford-Stark for identifying the red chop.
Thanks to Paul Barsdell and Mauro Mowszowicz for their correction of the routing.
Thanks to Dave Frick for correcting my French typo.

There has been an interesting discussion regarding the
possibility that the cover actually went west across Siberia via air.
There apparently was air service there starting in 1929.
Dave Frick points out that the rate was quite high and
likely associated with an expensive service.
Jim Whitford-Stark found notes on a Lufthansa service
from Germany to Tokyo which operated at this time.

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