Today in Postal History
This registered cover was sent from
Port-au-Prince on the
west coast of Hispaniola.
The sender used a purple oval stamp to identify himself.
The sender requested use of the S.S. Prins Willem I.
This illustration of the S.S. Prins Willem I was
done by C. E. A. van Boeckel
who has an excellent site filled with reference pictures of Dutch ships.*
Prins Willem I was built by Nederlandsche Scheepsbouw
Amsterdam in 1901.
Koninklijke West-Indische Maildienst (Royal West Indian Mail Service) owned the ship.
The vessel's vital statistics were: 1764 grt; 86x12 m; 11 kn; 46 passengers in 2 classes + 40 steerage).
(There are some slightly different statistics here - scroll down - as well as a photo.)
It was employed on the Amsterdam-Paramaribo-New York route.
It was sold to Bombay owners as AHMEDI 1920 and finally broken up 1935.
The company owned 10 vessels of this type, all names starting with PRINS.*
The cover is franked with two 1899 5 c.
pale blue Coat of
Arms (Scott 59).
The stamps were cancelled with two Port-au-Prince CDS.
Service from Haiti to Europe went by way
of New York City.
There are mostly illegible Foreign CDS for New York City
on both sides of the cover with dates which suggest August 25.
The destination was Munich.
There is a receiving CDS on the back dated September 4.
*Thanks to Tony H. of New Zealand for
information on the Dutch ship.
Thanks, too, to C. E. A. van Boeckel for his very informative site
which was the source of most of the information on the S.S. Prins Willem I.
Editor's Note: Since this was originally written, the artist
C.E.A.van Boeckel has died and his website has disappeared.
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