Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Clokey Cover

In 1924, United States postal officials divided the country into three zones, and fixed the domestic airmail rate at 8¢ per ounce per zone.1 For example, a one-ounce letter could be sent from New York, New York, to Chicago, Illinois, for 8¢, but if it was continuing on to Omaha, Nebraska, an additional 8¢ was due.

The cover pictured here was postmarked in Pasadena, California, on March 6, 1926, and backstamped in Chicago on March 8, en route to its final destination of Decatur, Illinois. The 14¢ American Indian stamp and accompanying 2¢ George Washington stamp correctly paid the 16¢ rate due for a one-ounce letter traversing two zones.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and 2-cent George Washington stamp
14¢ American Indian airmail cover mailed from Pasadena, California
Reverse of cover bearing Chicago, Illinois, postmark
14¢ American Indian airmail cover mailed from Pasadena, California (reverse)

Although it is unclear exactly who mailed the envelope, the return address on the reverse indicates that it originated at the Pacific-Southwest Bank Building, an eight-story structure which was at the time the biggest commercial property in Pasadena.2

More information is available about the addressee. Ira Clokey was a Decatur native who spent nearly two decades in the early part of the 20th century working as a mining engineer in Mexico and Colorado before turning his attention to plants, a lifelong interest.3 In 1951, his studies were posthumously published as Flora of the Charleston Mountains, Clark County, Nevada.4



  1. Snee, Charles, ed. Scott 2012 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers. Sidney, Ohio: Scott Publishing Co., 2011.
  2. Howard, Bob. Historic Pasadena Bank Building Changes Hands. Los Angeles Times, 6 June 2000. Accessed 28 Mar. 2017.
  3. Clokey, Ira Waddell (1878–1950). University and Jepson Herbaria. 8 Mar. 2010. Accessed 28 Mar. 2017.
  4. Clokey, Ira W. Flora of the Charleston Mountains, Clark County, Nevada. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1951. Accessed 28 Mar. 2017.

Published 2018-06-17 Last updated 2021-01-17