US Stamps

Challenge to find the smallest covers

May 26, 2023, 9 AM
This tiny, 3½-inch by almost 21/16-inch, 1945 cover sent from the United States got the runaround in France as it chased the addressee. Two French postage due stamps were applied on the reverse. The cover also was censored.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

In the days before the United States Postal Service imposed minimum-size requirements, small covers could be sent both domestically and overseas at normal first-class postal rates.

The smallest cover I have found that was sent abroad is shown front and back here. It measures 3½ inches by almost 2 1/16 inches.

Addressed to France, the cover was mailed May 25, 1945, just after the end of World War II while censoring was still required.

A U.S. 5¢ stamp, the 1945 United Nations Conference commemorative (Scott 928), got the cover to its original destination, but it had to be forwarded. I guess the 1 franc in postage due, paid by two 50-centime French postage due stamps (J71) on the back of the cover, was to pay for forwarding.

Can a Linn’s reader come up with a smaller example?

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