Today in Postal History

Madagascar to Bombay
November 24, 1949

This cover traveled north from Madagascar to Djibouty at the west end of the
Gulf of Aden just south of the mouth of the Red Sea - Bab el Mandeb (Gate of Tears).
There it would have probably been transferred to a packet boat
traveling down the Red Sea after a transit of the Suez Canal
and bound for Bombay on the southwestern coast of India.

It would have been quite a trip.

Unfortunately, the town of origin is indecipherable in the cancels
however the return address indicates Majunga (also Mahajunga), Madagascar.
I also cannot read the crossed out scrawl under the address.

The stamps are from Madagascar's pictorial issue of 1946.
The 6f deep ultramarine features General Jacques C. R. A. Duchesne (1837-1918).

In 1895, the General led the French troops which overcame the Merina clan
who were quasi-independent rulers and established a French colony on Madagascar.
The 4f deep ultramarine portrays a Betsimisaraka mother and child
while the 1f brown shows a Sakalava man and woman.
These stamps are Scott 280, 279, and 274, respectively.

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