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Embossed postcard with train image - Limited Express


Sc. UC62 - issued 11/20/89

This aerogramme was issued in conjunction with the 20th UPU Congress, in Washington, DC, an appropriate time and place to honor its subject, who played a key role in the creation of the UPU - some consider him its father. Appointed postmaster general by President Abraham Lincoln in 1861 he was responsible for major standardization of domestic postal rates and procedures, and such innovations as money orders, free city delivery, and the sorting of mail on railway cars. He was also commemorated on a 15 cent air mail stamp, Scott C66, in 1963.

Sc. UC62 - Pugh FDC

The Pugh FDC above has a cachet that is so subtly and ably executed that if one did not have the original item above for comparison, it would seem this is the way it was issued. The aerogramme was released at World Stamp Expo 89 in Washington.

25¢ UPU CONGRESS ISSUE - November 9, 1989

No train!

Sc. 2434-7 - Geerling FDC

In addition to the Montgomery Blair aerogramme above, the USPS released eight stamps and two souvenir sheets in conjunction with the 20th UPU Congress, showing classic and future mail transportation methods. For some reason they snubbed the train and its role in moving the mail classic-style, choosing instead to feature a stagecoach, a steamboat, a biplane, and a Depot-Hack Automobile (!) Many cachet-makers corrected this oversight by featuring a classic steam locomotive in their designs for the issue, and I had to share a few here. The Geerling cover above is one I especially like.

Sc. 2434 - Peterman FDC

Sc. 2435 - Peterman FDC

Sc. 2436 - Peterman FDC

Sc. 2437 - Peterman FDC

David Peterman uses thermography (all the blaack elements of these designs) in combination with water colors to produce very dramatic designs like these. The train cover is one of my all-time favorites.


Sc. 2561 - issued 9/91

The rail connection here is of course the streetcars. The image shows the Capitol Building at the end of Pennsylvania Avenue, as viewed from the Treasury Department, circa 1903. The bicentennial being commemorated is actually the naming of the District of Columbia. It was 1800 before the US government actually took up residence there.

(untagged, no precancel) - September, 1991

Sc. 1905a - issued 9/91

Here's our friend the caboose again, as reissued in 1991 for reasons too obscure to explain here. Don't bother trying to find a difference between this design and the earlier one, there is none. It is the lack of both precancel and tagging that identify 1905a. In theory there could be copies of the original version that escaped the precancel (none has been reported) - could those be distinguished from 1905a? I think so, as to me the paper types appear different enough to permit positive identification - that of 1905 is brighter, especially under UV light.

Sc. 1905a Hilton Hand-painted FDC

The cover above is technically NOT a first day cover, since this stamp had no official date of release - the USPS regarded it as simply a reprint of the original issue. My copy of The 1995 Plate Number Coil Catalog gives the issue date as September 25, 1991, while Scott says just "September, 1991", but the cover above is postmarked September 24, 1991, so I guess that's close enough. It sports a plate number strip of five, and a charming cachet, giving it both artistic and philatelic appeal.

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Revised -- 11/17/2004