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.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Marty Frankevicz reports on the suspension of Canada Post’s cluster box conversion plan after the election of a new prime minister.
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.