Today in Postal History
During September 21-26, 1912, a third
series of Swedish
were made between Stockholm and local destinations.
Facit has the following note:
are] privately produced Air Mail stamps. The Children's Day
Society of Stockholm issued 10.000 stamps without postal
About 3.200 were sold at 60 ore each. 10 ore was for the
stamp and 50 ore for the air mail charge and the Children's Day
charity. Letters to foreign destinations had to be prepaid
copies of the special air mail stamp, of which 20 ore were postage
stamps. The stamps were used on September 21st, 22nd and 26th
letters or cards together with 5 or 10 ore postage stamps as actual
postage. They were cancelled officially with the special
The Mail Flight on September 21st took off from Gardet (the Festival Fields at the north of Stockholm). The mail was dumped at Tureberg and canceled there on the same day. The flight on September 22nd ended in a forced landing in Vartan (the bay at the north of Gardet). The mail was recovered and canceled on arrival at Lidingo Villastad (the residential suburb of the north of Vatan) on September 25, 1912. The flight on September 26th took place about Gardet.
All flights were made by Olle Dahlbeck piloting a Sommer plane.
Sometimes the Air Mail stamps as well as the ordinary postage stamps were canceled with the ordinary hand stamp at the Post Office
Of the remaining 6,800 not less than 4,800 were overprinted and used in 1937.
This is certainly the most definitive and
information I've encountered.*
There are some other sources which provide other views and some contradictory information.
I do believe that the Facit catalogue is the most reliable.
Knud-Erik Andersen also found us this
story on Sommer
and the planes
he built in the early days of aviation.
Catalogue, Volume 2 (1950 edition) describes these flights
points on this route were Tereberg and Vartan. About 5,000
were carried by the Pilot Olle Dahlbeck which were franked with special
semi-official air stamps of the value of 50 ore and officially
cancelled by the post office with a special marking reading
"Sveriges -- September 1912 -- Forsta Flygpost." Flights were
made on September 21, 22, and 26.
We can learn more from Dr. Max Kronstein's
book, Pioneer Airpost
Flights of the World,
published by the American Air Mail Society in 1978.
The greatest of
Swedish pioneer airmail events was arranged for Barnens Day,
1912. Olle Dahlbeck again was to carry this
airmail. At the
time he was working on a new "First Swedish Built Hydro-aeroplane"
(with a 20 HP Gnome motor) and had
test flown this plane on September 19, 1912. But it was
not this new plane which he used for the airmail flight. On
September 17 the local papers began to carry daily ads "Anvand Barnens
Dags -- Flygmarke!" A special airstamp was on sale for 60 ore
each at all "marked airpost centers" or at the Barnens Day Headquarters
at Vassagaten 11. [Note: Subsequent information
that the 60 ore included 50 ore for the special airmail stamps and the
charity and 10 ore regular postage.] This air stamp was
in sheets of 8 x 7
stamps, perforated 12 ½. It was on sale starting September
1, 1912, even though the flights did not start until late in the
month. Regular postage was to be added besides the air stamp
a cancellation was announced reading "SVERIGES [SEPTEMBER 1912] FORSTA
On September 21 it was announced that Lt. Dahlbeck would carry the Barnens Day Airpost in his airplane and he was getting ready for the occasion. On September 22, a Sunday, he started at 5:30 and made a curve over Vartans, but ran into engine trouble. At that time he had at least some of the airmail on board. At a height of 200 meters (200 yards) he was forced to change into a glider flight and succeeded in landing his plane safely at Havfladen.
After the plane was repaired and a new motor had been installed, he started the airmail again on September 25 between 5 and 6 p.m. and was touring over Djurgarden.
Dr. Kronstein doesn't explain what flight
took place on
The discrepancy in price has been resolved, I belive.
The seller of the cover supported the 60 ore value
but was probably unaware of the inclusion of regular postage.
All of the locations mentioned are in the vicinity of Stockholm.
Kronstein does, however, discuss the
Facit identifies the stamp as HF 1.
10,000 were printed.
Only 5,452 were sold (vs. Facit quantity of 3,200).
Imperforate copies are reported in mint condition.
At the 25th anniversary of this issue
3,000 (vs. Facit
4,800) stamps that
were overprinted with a diagonal imprint "SILVERJUBILEET 1937."
Special cards and cancels were prepared for use on the
25th anniversary flight using the overprinted remainders.
The special Barnens Dag 1912 stamp in
violet on this cover
was cancelled with the special cancel in violet.
In addition, the cover is franked with a
1910 10 ore carmine
King Gustaf V (Scott 80).
The cover is cancelled with a Stockholm CDS dated September 27
which is probably the date the mail got to the post office.
This date is consistent with the Facit explanation of a flight on September 26.
The cover was forwarded to the
The imprinted commercial cover included
contents on a
company letterhead indicating that it was being sent by air.
Note that the majority of the mail was special cards
and this commercial cover is probably uncommon.
*Thanks to Knud-ErikAndersen for
Now most of the serious contradictions can be resolved.
However, some incomplete and contradictory information remains.
Thanks, too for finding the Sommer airplane page for us.
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