Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Copenhagen Cover

Beginning on June 21, 1938, a new postage rate went into effect for certain mail bound from the United States to international destinations.1 Whereas an 8¢ rate that covered air mail within the United States and surface mail outside the country had been in effect for several years prior to that time, the new rate was calculated based on a 3¢ per ounce surcharge for air mail service within the U.S. in addition to the normal postage rate for mail to the destination country.

Even though a new rate was technically in effect, the amount of postage due on a letter of no more than one ounce was unchanged. The cover fragment pictured here, which was postmarked in Chillicothe, Ohio, on August 17, 1938, and mailed to one Karl Meerwald in Copenhagen, Denmark, is an example of a piece mailed at the new rate.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Chillicothe, Ohio, to Copenhagen, Denmark
Reverse of cover
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Chillicothe, Ohio, to Copenhagen, Denmark (reverse)

Besides 5¢ international postage plus the 3¢ per ounce surcharge for air mail service within the United States, the 14¢ stamp on this envelope also covers the 3¢ per half ounce surcharge for air mail service within Europe that was then in effect.

Because the left half of the envelope was at some point in the past cut away, we have no way of identifying the sender, but this is nevertheless an unusual solo use of the American Indian stamp.

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References

  1. Beecher, Harry W., and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz. U.S. International Postal Rates, 1872–1996. Portland, Oregon: Cama Publishing Company, 1996.

Published 2021-01-31 Last updated 2021-09-12