Today in Postal History

Chile to United States
September 6, 1935

This registered airmail cover was sent from Rancagua where it received five CDS.
 Rancagua is about 85 km south of Santiago in central Chile.

It was registered using a private registration label for the Braden Copper Co.
Have you ever seen such an item?

The Braden Copper Co. was a member of a world wide copper cartel formed in 1935.
The sender requested service "Via Linea Aereo Nacional hasta Antofagasta alcance de vapor."
Linea Aereo Nacional was the national airline of Chile, now LAN-Chile.
The remainder requested Linea Aereo Nacional transit until Antofagasta reaches steam (?).
I think this means that the mail would be forwarded from Antofagast by steamship but it possibly could be by railroad.
Help, anyone?

The cover traveled to Santiago where its arrival was marked by September 6 CDS.
Its next stop of Antofagasta, a Chilean port serving the mines inland in the mountains.
The cover received a registry CDS (CERT.) in Antofagasta on September 8.

From there it would was transported to New York City.
Next stop was for two New York City Registry Division ovals on September 24.
The elapsed time fits the steamship theory.
The red script R2608 was probably added there as a United States registry serial number.

The cover was then forwarded to its final destination of East McKeesport, Pennsylvania.
East McKeesport is about 15 km southeast of Pittsburgh and 5 km northeast of McKeesport.
There it was struck with a duplex CDS and oval barred killer dated September 25.

The cover is franked with a nice variety of stamps.
There are seven airmails from the 1931 issue:
a block of four of the 5c yellow green and a pair of the 10c yellow brown Condor over the Andes and
a single 50c black brown Airplane Crossing Andes (Scott C22, C23, and C26).
In addition there are three from 1931 regular issues:
a 5c light green Cochrane lithographed, and a 25c blue and black Montt and
a 50c deep green and black Zanartu with frame lithographed and center engraved (Scott 153, 167, and 169).
Finally there is a 8c slate Freire from 1918 printed from a locally made plate (Scott 126).
(It is possibly from the worn plate version of 1921 - Scott 126.)

The total rate of 1.78 pesos probably doesn't fit any rating so there is probably some philatelic aspect to the cover.


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