Costa Rica’s first airmail stamp was issued in happy anticipation of a service that did not come to pass — at least not right away.
The stamp was engraved and printed by Waterlow & Sons of London in panes of 100, perforated gauge 12½.
The stamp was issued June 3, 1926, and continued in use until 1931. As 500,000 stamps were printed, there are plenty available, both mint and used.
Airmail service for Costa Rica was not entirely a fantasy in 1926.
There had been an unsuccessful trial flight from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Nicaragua as early as April 1921. In December 1923, there was a trial flight from Canal Zone to San Jose.
Emergency flights were made by United States military aviators in January 1924 after the railway from San Jose to Port Limon, Costa Rica, had been destroyed by floods. An airmail circular date-stamp was used for this service.
Activity picked up in 1925, beginning in early January when Official mail was carried on flights between San Jose and the Canal Zone.
In August, the Colombian airline SCADTA made survey flights throughout Central America. And in December, the U.S. Army Air Service made trial flights between the Canal Zone and San Jose.
All of this took place before the first Costa Rican airmail stamp was issued. Not until March 11, 1930, however, was there regular air service, via Pan American Airways.
There is a variety of pre-production material for Costa Rica’s first airmail stamp, including essays, die proofs and progressive proofs. Not surprisingly, with the stamp being printed by Waterlow & Sons, there are also specimens with the Waterlow & Sons specimen imprint appearing diagonally across several color varieties.
Costa Rica is a great country to collect. The specialized Costa Rica Postal Catalogue edited by Hector Mena is among the best for any Latin American country. There is also an excellent little volume on airmail postal history.
Most of the other specialized literature, along with the Mena catalog, is available on disk from Socorico, the Society of Costa Rica Collectors, at www.socorico.org.
October 09, 2015 02:00 PMLinn’s managing editor Charles Snee reported the recovery of a block of three of the 1845 5¢ New York postmaster’s provisional stamp, once part of a block of 10 that was stolen from the Benjamin K. Miller collection in 1977. Read More ›
blogThis month marks my fifth anniversary writing the monthly auction report for Linn’s Stamp News. That’s 60 columns, totaling more than 100,000 words (enough for a decent-sized novel), all about our favorite hobby. Read More ›
blogWhen this cover was listed on eBay in mid-September, it didn't take long for some knowledgeable collectors to recognize this piece of postal history for the gem that it is: an early trans-oceanic survey cover for a Pacific route that included Midway Island, which would become famous as the location of a pivotal 1942 naval battle during World War II. Read More ›
blogIn mid-September I traveled to London, England, to attend Autumn Stampex, one of two British national stamp shows sponsored by the Philatelic Traders’ Society, Great Britain’s national stamp dealers association. The show took place Sept. 16-19 at the Business Design Centre in Islington (central north London), a comfortable and attractive venue for a stamp show. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman talks about the recovery of a block of three 1845 5¢ New York Postmaster’s Provisional stamps taken in an infamous 1977 stamp heist.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses current events that relate to the stamp hobby, including the relocation of a stamp show in Sweden due to the Syrian refugee crises, and new stamps honoring Pope Francis and the British monarchy.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke talks about a record fifth win for wildlife artist Joseph Hautman in the federal duck stamp art contest, and see the painting that will appear on next year’s federal duck stamp
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz questions Bolivia’s choice for the design of a 2013 stamp honoring the country’s efforts to protect its migrants in foreign lands.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.