Illustrated Airmail Envelopes II

Written by Arthur H. Groten M.D.
Please note that this first appeared in the American Stamp Dealer & Collectors Magazine, #97, February 2016
_____________________________________________________________________________

The designs seem to fall into three basic categories: hand-drawn, those made by airline companies and those either generic or specific to a non-airline company.

Hand-drawn ones have a charm all their own. They are usually made for non-philatelic purposes, manifesting the sender’s imagination. They are direct descendants of the 19th century British pen and ink covers (whose artistry is usually quite a bit more evident). The 1939 cover was carried from Belgium on the first flight from France to the U.S. The use of an air etiquette to help define the shape of the drawing shows some design sense. First flight covers rarely have such flamboyance. (Figures 1a&b)

Cpl. Holmes, stationed at Hawaii, received a rather striking cover from New York. It even has a tied-on Christmas seal. (Figures 2a&b)

A charming pen drawing graced the upper left corner of a 1946 cover from Belgium; the sketch shows a Belgian factory and an American skyline. (Figure 3)

Something seen from time to time is the usual red and blue airmail border being added by hand. That makes sense in this return card for which the sender wanted air service. (Figure 4)

Figures 5-8 show four generic envelope designs: U.S. 1931 (Figure 5), Denmark 1950 (Figure 6), Guatemala 1937 (Figure 7) and Mexico 1945 with extra pizzazz from the censor label (Figures 8a&b).

 

Envelopes produced for use by airlines tend to be a bit more eye-catching: Brazil Condor 1934 (Figure 9), Brazil Panair 1939 of which there are a number of varieties (Figure 10), Paraguay Panagra/Panair carried on first Pan American flight from Asuncion to Rio (Figure 11), Peru Lufthansa 1938 (Figure 12) and Indochina Air Orient 1930 (Figure 13).

Figure 14 is a rather interesting outlier. The Uruguay 1931 envelope specifies that there was an additional fee of 50¢ to Comision Gral. De Aeronautica (General Commission not specifying an airline) for air service. The image at the upper left is typical of the remarkable graphics seen in Uruguay at this time.

 

Print Post

Continue Reading No Comments

Illustrated Airmail Envelopes II

Please note that this first appeared in the American Stamp Dealer & Collectors Magazine, #97, February 2016
Written by Arthur H. Groten M.D.

It is no secret that I am enamored of all things related to commercial aviation. In the May 2013 issue of American Stamp Dealer & Collectors Magazine #70, I wrote about U.S envelopes preprinted to indicate airmail service. I can show some more, this time adding foreign ones. They speak for themselves and I will let them do that after a few brief comments.

The designs seem to fall into three basic categories: hand-drawn, those made by airline companies and those either generic or specific to a non-airline company.

Hand-drawn ones have a charm all their own. They are usually made for non-philatelic purposes, manifesting the sender’s imagination. They are direct descendants of the 19th century British pen and ink covers (whose artistry is usually quite a bit more evident). The 1939 cover was carried from Belgium on the first flight from France to the U.S. The use of an air etiquette to help define the shape of the drawing shows some design sense. First flight covers rarely have such flamboyance.

Figure 1a

Figure 1b

Cpl. Holmes, stationed at Hawaii, received a rather striking cover from New York. It even has a tied-on Christmas seal.

Figure 2a

Figure 2b

A charming pen drawing graced the upper left corner of a 1946 cover from Belgium; the sketch shows a Belgian factory and an American skyline.

Figure 3

Something seen from time to time is the usual red and blue airmail border being added by hand. That makes sense in this return card for which the sender wanted air service.

Figure 4

Figures 5-8 show four generic envelope designs: U.S. 1931, Denmark 1950, Guatemala 1937, and Mexico 1945 with extra pizzazz from the censor label.

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 8a

Figure 8b

Envelopes produced for use by airlines tend to be a bit more eye-catching: Brazil Condor 1934 (Figure 9), Brazil Panair 1939 of which there are a number of varieties (Figure 10), Paraguay Panagra/Panair carried on first Pan American flight from Asuncion to Rio (Figure 11), Peru Lufthansa 1938 (Figure 12) and Indochina Air Orient 1930 (Figure 13).

Figure 9

Figure 10

Figure 11

Figure 12

Figure 13

Figure 14 is a rather interesting outlier. The Uruguay 1931 envelope specifies that there was an additional fee of 50¢ to Comision Gral. De Aeronautica (General Commission not specifying an airline) for air service. The image at the upper left is typical of the remarkable graphics seen in Uruguay at this time.

Figure 14

Print Post

Continue Reading No Comments

Inter-Island Airways, Ltd.

Written by Arthur H. Groten M.D.

Inter-Island Airways was founded in early 1929 by a local steamship company to link Honolulu with the outer islands in November of that year.

Sometime thereafter, either 1930 or 1931, they established an Air Express service to carry mail between Honolulu and Hilo. By 1934, the name had become Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. which officially carried mail as AM Route 33 (revised) as of October 8, 1934.

Recently I came across a group of seven covers from 1931 to 1933 with various hand stamps for the Inter-Island Airways, Ltd. Air Express. There were two hand stamps used. One is three-line reading “Shipped by Air Express/[ a pair of wings]/Inter-Island Airways., Ltd.” used 1931 to 1933 in blue and purple (Type 1). The second reads “Received by Inter-Island Airways, Ltd/Date:…./To Be Called For” in purple in 1932-1933 (Type 2).

Of the seven covers, five are definitely commercial while two are probably philatelic. The rating and hand stamps on the commercial covers are as follows: 1) Aug 1, 1931 unfranked but has several numbers on it probably some form of accountancy, Type 1 in blue; 2) October 28, 1932 (hand-dated) on R.R.B. cover, Type 1 in blue; 3) April 1, 1932 2¢ Washington Bicentennial postal envelope, Type 1 in blue (Figure 1); 4 & 5) not dated,, lightly tied with Type 2 in purple, one franked 2¢ postal envelope + 1¢ Franklin, the other with 4¢ + 8¢ Washington Bicentennial issue stamps (Figure 2). The two suspected philatelic covers have 1) 3¢ William Penn tied with Type 2 with Type 1 alongside, both in purple (Figure 3) and 2) 3¢ Oglethorpe tied by Type 2 in purple. None have back stamps.

From this small sample we can surmise that Type 1 was in blue 1931-1932, later purple and that Type 2 appeared in 1933 in purple. The 12¢ rate is an outlier, perhaps a multiple weight.

So much for the description of the group, I have been able to find no information about the service or any catalogue listing. That surprises me. I ask if anyone can help. I can be reached here.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Print Post

Continue Reading No Comments

Aviation Miscellany

Written by Arthur H. Groten M.D.

Over the years I have devoted a number of columns to various aspects of aviation paraphilately. This column will describe some bits of more or less philatelic ephemera. I have not been able to accumulate enough for a column devoted to any one of these topics so let’s call this a miscellany.

Covers have been used for advertising and promotional purposes since the mid-19th century. I have written about how government promoted the development of aviation in the U.S. using various pieces of ephemera. This, of course, happened elsewhere as well. Examples from Belgium, Czechoslovakia France and Germany show how the slogans on machine cancelling devices of the 1930s sent the same message: use airmail. (Figures 1-4)

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Beloved of philatelists are fancy cancels. I have found only this 1951 one that notes the 5¢ airmail rate. (Figure 5) Adjuncts are the myriad private hand stamps such as the 1953 “Air Mail Hubba Hubba” used from APO 704 in Japan (Figure 6) and the 1973 “Air Mail Wiki Wiki” from Hawaii. (Figure 7)

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

Particularly popular, beginning in the 1930s, were the recently created meter machine slogans. They were particularly popular with companies as free visual advertising. Thus, Imperial suggested to use their airmail from Singapore in 1936 on a cover franked with the scarce Universal “Midget” imprint. (Figure 8) Lufthansa had many different slogans for their services during the 1934-9 period; they used Francotype machines, in this case, type D multi-value. (Figure 9) The de Havilland Aviation Co. at Hatfield Aerodrome in Hertfordshire mentioned their production of aircraft, engines and propellers in 1955 on the Universal “Multi-value” machine. (Figure 10)

Figure 8

Figure 9

Figure 10

Amongst the rarest of such slogans are those found on permit imprints. The one shown in Figure 11 is known in red, blue and green, all from the same company with the same permit number 13399.

Figure 11

In keeping with the tradition of the advertising cover, many airlines used envelopes imprinted with their name, often franked with slogan meters and, on occasion, found with their own airmail etiquettes. Examples of the former, from Egypt (MISR), India (Air India) and Italy (LAI) (Figure 12-14), and of the latter from Australia (Qantas) and France (Air France) are a sampling of what can be found. (Figures 15-16)

Figure 12

Figure 13

Figure 14

Figure 15

Figure 16

These covers neatly bridge the philately/paraphilately aspects of our hobby and are examples of how to enhance one’s collection (and exhibit, if one wishes) with collateral material. Or is it collateral? You decide.

Print Post

Continue Reading No Comments

American Airlines Etiquettes

Written by Arthur H. Groten M.D.

American Airlines, as we know it today, first appeared as such in 1934 after E.L. Cord of automotive fame acquired American Airways and renamed it. They worked closely with Donald Douglas to develop the DC-3, the first airplane to carry passengers at a profit without subsidy for mail handling. They were instrumental in establishing LaGuardia Airport.

I shall look at the etiquettes they issued prior to the post-war acquisition, in 1948, of American Export Airlines to form American Overseas Airlines, sold to Pan Am in 1950.

All American Airlines labels were either arrow-shaped or a horizontal hexagon. The first appeared in 1937, claiming “Tomorrow’s Mail Today.” This slogan appeared on all but two of the 8 and two of those in Spanish (Figures 6 & 7 which differ in the size of the lettering). The first four separated “American” and “Airlines” with their flying eagle logo (Figures 1-4); thereafter that logo was omitted.

As you will note in the illustrations, several have “NC136” or NC136A’ on the right wing (Figures 2, 3, 5 & 8). I do not know the significance of this. Perhaps a member can enlighten me.

The first of the two covers I show is from Chicago in 1939 to San Francisco and forwarded within that city, using the first etiquette produced (Figure 9). The 16¢ stamp paid the 6¢ airmail postage and the 10¢ special delivery fee. The second, a postcard, was sent from Mexico using the Spanish-language label. (Figure 10)

The study of American Airlines etiquettes can be extended to include their many early subsidiaries as well as those issued after the War. The last etiquette appeared in 1962.

Figure-1    Figure-2    Figure-3

Figure-4   Figure-5   Figure-6

Figure-7   Figure-8

Figure-9   Figure-10

 

Print Post

Continue Reading No Comments

airmail,etiquettes,featured

Why I Collect Airmail Etiquettes

This article is part of The Captain’s Log, Issue 40-4, Spring 2016
Arthur H. Groten M.D.

For the past several years I have been writing about those funny little pieces of paper that are applied to envelopes to designate carriage by air. I have been a stamp collector for 65 years although for the past 20 or so I have concentrated on postal history or how the postal system works.

We have all seen etiquettes on letters such as airmail, registered, certified and special delivery, to name a few. They tell us what additional services are being utilized. Because much of my interest in postal history has centered on the development of commercial airmail I started paying attention to the labels. Recently, I’ve begun limiting my collection to those used before WWII and I still have several thousand different with many used on envelopes.

You’ve had a taste of these covers in my articles which tend to be about a specific country or theme. Those will continue. Here I want to show a number whose unifying theme is that each is the first airmail etiquette issued by the country involved.

The very first was issued by France on August 17, 1918, a simple boxed “Par Avion” on red paper. (Figure 1) It is on a postcard carried on the first experimental flight by A. Vancaudenberghe at St. Nazaire.

A number of labels specify the route to be used such as Czechoslovakia’s 4 different destinations from Prague. Figure 2 calls for the route from Prague to the Netherlands to pass through Strasbourg. The other routes were through Paris, Warsaw and London. Another, from the Ivory Coast to Paris in 1931, noted “de Dakar a Toulouse.” (Figure 3)

Some, though not many, have the country name on them such as the etiquette on this registered cover from Madagascar to Paris on the first official flight between the two countries in 1930. (Figure 4)

Others indicate the extra postage required for airmail as on this 1934 cover from Mozambique to Scotland: the air fee was Fr. 1.05. French is the official international postal language. In this case, Mozambique added the Portuguese “Por Aviao” to the French “Par Avion.” (Figure 5)

From Tahiti to France in 1927, a particularly rare label was used to seal the letter. (Figure 6)

Etiquettes in the shape of arrows are often seen as on this 1931 cover from Guatemala. The paired oblique lines indicate the end of air service, in this case, most likely in the U.S. (Figure 7)

I have many more and, in due course, they will appear in these pages. I welcome correspondence with interested members.


Print Post

Continue Reading No Comments


Airliners International™

 2019 Atlanta, Georgia


June 19-22 / 2019

The Worlds Largest Airline Collectibles
 Show & Convention
returns to Atlanta, Georgia
 for our 43rd Annual Show!

WAHS LogoWorld Airline Historical Society, Inc.
PO Box 83339, Hollywood, Florida 33081 USA
Contact Us

Archives

Copyright © 2018 World Airline Historical Society

Site by PixNinja