Today in Postal History

Costa Rica to Canal Zone
July 31, 1911

This registered cover was mailed from Juan Viñas which is about 40 km east of San José, the capital of Costa Rica.
A purple CDS was applied in Juan Viñas.
Juan Viñas is an agricultural center with coffee and cane.

The cover was franked with 10 copies of the 1911 overprints of the 1907 1c. red brown and indigo (Scott 79).
The stamps were cancelled with seven strikes of a target cancel.

There is an indistinct registry mark on the left center of the front of the cover.
A serial number, 226,  was also added.
Its destination was Las Cascadas which was on the Culebra Cut.
Activity at the Culebra Cut was near its height in 1911.
Las Cascados was one of the sites of the many landslides which slowed the construction of the Canal.
The Culebra Cut involved removing 96,000,000 cubic yards of material in 7 years of continuous work.

There are three CDS on the back of the cover showing the cover's transit.
The first was its receipt on August 9 in Panama.
The city is illegible.
Next, the cover went to Ancon, C. Z. where it arrived on August 9.
Ancon is on the east side of the Pacific entrance to the Canal.
From there it went via the Panama Railroad to Las Cascadas where it arrived later that same day.
Las Cascadas was an American settlement on the Panama Railroad, 15 miles from Panama City.
Las Cascados was the transportation headquarters of the Central Division for several years.

The Panama Railroad was completed in 1855 to carry mail and passengers
across the isthmus from the eastern United States to California.
It was immensely profitable.
At one time its shares were the most expensive stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
The railroad was one of the keys to construction of the Canal.

Somewhere en route there was an illegible machine cancel with an 8-line killer applied to the rear.


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