The first 14¢ American Indian stamps printed on rotary presses went on sale in 1931, but they did not immediately supplant flat plate printed stamps. Supplies from that earlier printing were not exhausted until at least the mid 1930s, so it is no surprise that our earliest rotary press example was not used until 1936.
This cover, which was carried on board the SS Europa, bears an American Indian stamp and three commemoratives: the 1¢ Yosemite and 2¢ Grand Canyon stamps from the 1934 national parks issue, and the 3¢ Oregon Territory stamp of 1936. Each of the stamps was canceled with a mute oval, and a violet “Registered” handstamp was also applied to the front of the envelope.
The return address on the envelope indicates the writer lived in Jersey City, New Jersey, but the two different New York, New York, postmarks on the reverse suggest the cover was actually posted across the Hudson River on August 8. It was then loaded on the Europa for its journey from New York to Bremerhaven, Germany, the ocean liner’s regular route until 1939.1 2
The scratched out address was corrected in at least one hand other than the sender’s, leading one to conclude that the addressee, Mr. Paul Rosendahl, had moved from Lövenich, where the cover was postmarked on August 15, to Karden, where a mail clerk added an August 16 postmark. Both Lövenich and Karden sit near Germany’s western border.
The envelope contains a letter that appears to be composed in German, but the handwriting is difficult to interpret.
Next: North Dakota cover
- S.S. Europa/S.S. Liberte: A Flagship for Two Nations. The Ocean Liner Virtual Museum. Accessed 13 Dec. 2010.
- Othfors, Daniel. Europa/Liberté. The Great Ocean Liners. Accessed 13 Dec. 2010.