Today in Postal History


Turkish Empire to United States
December 25, 1905

This is just the picture postcard for Christmas Greetings.
The view is of Bethlehem and the note, "Merry Christmas to all.," is dated Dec. 25, 05.

The card was mailed from the Austrian Post Office in Jerusalem.
The first Austrian post office was set up in Galata in Constantinople in 1748.
The right of resident foreigners to run their own postal services grew from the 'Capitulations.'
These were extra-territorial rights negotiated in treaties for purpose of trade since 1535.
The Austrian post office rights were included in a treaty negotiated in 1739.
The post office in Jerusalem was established in 1867.

The card is franked with a stamp made from the frame of the 10h rose Austrian
stamp of 1901 with varnish bars overprinted in black 20 PARA 20 both at the top and bottom.
This stamp was issued in 1903 for Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire (Scott 40a).

The stamp was cancelled with a JERUSALEM | OSTERR. POST CDS.

The card bears a purple oval handstamp from the Grand New Hotel
indicating that the hotel handled the card on the way to the post office.

The destination of the card was Slatington, Pennsylvania.
Surprisingly, Slatington is only about 22 km  northwest of Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is about 75 km north northwest of Philadelphia.
The Slatington receiving handstamp indicates it arrival on January 15, 1906.

And with that, a Merry Christmas to everyone!


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