US Stamps

By John M. Hotchner

How did a mailing get to Japan without paid postage?: U.S. Stamp Notes

June 14, 2016 04:32 PM

  • How did this envelope get to the addressee in Japan with only a Valparaiso University cinderella stamp on it?

By John M. Hotchner

University stamps such as the Valparaiso University example shown nearby are usually seen on internal mail because they have no postal value. However, this example is on a cover addressed to Japan.

Such stamplike labels are commonly called cinderellas.

Starting at the top of the design, the inscriptions on this cinderella stamp are “Valparaiso University,” “Center of Culture,” “Citadel of Faith,” the years 1923 and 1950, and “A Lutheran University for 25 Years.”

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The cover is addressed to major and Mrs. Ernest Goldman at the Itazuke Air Force Base in Japan.

Although the stamp on the envelope is canceled, it is not a postal cancel, and it is unreadable, even with a magnifier.

So how did this mailing get to an address in Japan? My guess would be that the university had established some sort of distance learning outpost for the U.S. military in Japan, and this piece of correspondence would have been included with others in a mailed packet or one that was hand delivered by a university staff member traveling to Japan.

If any Linn’s reader can confirm, correct or expand upon my theory, I would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact me, John Hotchner, by email at, or by mail at Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125. 

Located in Valparaiso in northwestern Indiana, the school was originally named Valparaiso Male and Female College when founded in 1859 by the Methodists. It was one of the first coeducational colleges in the United States.

The Lutheran University Association purchased the university in 1925, and continues to operate it today. 

Keep reading about cinderellas:

Cinderellas are a roller-coaster ride

Have a ball with cinderella stamps without losing your slipper

Cinderella stamps offer bewildering variety