US Stamps

What is the meaning of the 'Owl Mail' handstamp on this cover?

Aug 26, 2015, 8 AM
What is the meaning of “OWL MAIL?” It certainly cannot mean that the oversize cover was attached to a homing owl.

By John M. Hotchner

We can likely take as a given that the cover shown nearby was not sent from Los Angeles to Alameda, Calif., attached to a homing owl. But why is the cover prominently handstamped “OWL MAIL?”

There is no indication that this Oct. 17, 1934, oversize cover went by airmail, so the 12¢ paid by two 6¢ 1934 Crater Lake National Parks stamps (Scott 745) likely paid four times the 3¢ first-class letter rate. No other special service is indicated.

If a Linn’s reader can explain this owl mail marking, I’d be grateful. Contact me, John Hotchner, via e-mail at, or by mail at Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041.