US Stamps

1915 magazine renewal letter recalls Christmas past

Nov 28, 2021, 11 AM
This festive third-class advertising mailing from 1915 has the 1¢ paid indicia in the wrong location. Inside the envelope was a letter offering a three-year magazine subscription plus bonus items for only 50¢.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Have you ever seen a United States third-class class mail envelope with the printed 1¢ paid indicia in the lower left corner, as shown here?

Me neither.

The location of this 1¢ paid indicia is probably illegal, but at Christmastime and with Santa Claus and his reindeer illustrated on the envelope, the St. Paul, Minn., post office probably felt charitable.

The printed letter inside the cover tells more of this story. Dated Nov. 24, 1915, it is on stationery of The Farmer’s Wife, A Woman’s Farm Journal, published monthly by the Webb Publishing Co. of St. Paul.

The letter was an appeal to subscribers to renew before Dec. 20, 1915.

And for the subscribers that did renew, the letter offered “free and postpaid … a stunning 1916 Art calendar and a package of 104 beautiful Christmas cards, tags, seals and stamps … .”

The cost of this amazing offer was 50¢ for a three-year subscription to the monthly magazine and all the extras. Think what such a package deal would cost today.

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