US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Calling a 1932 cover ‘rocket mail’ might be a stretch

Feb 23, 2023, 10 AM
Three clever teenage boys are the source of this exotic-looking rocket mail cover from 1932. Wayne Youngblood has the details in The Odd Lot.

By Charles Snee

The March 13 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Feb. 27. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Feb. 25. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

Calling a 1932 cover ‘rocket mail’ might be a stretch

“Ironically, one of the earlier and scarcer artifacts of United States rocket mail likely originated as little more than a fun project executed by a small group of teenage boys and the father of one of the boys,” writes Wayne L. Youngblood in The Odd Lot. The cover in question, which is pictured here, was mailed in 1932. It features a striking cachet picturing “an image of a fully adorned elephant with a howdah (canopy seat) and two figures in the traditional dress of elephant handlers, with what appears to be a castle in the background,” Youngblood explains. Also of interest is the 35¢ green cinderella stamp inscribed “MINIATURE AIRWAYS AIR FEE” that shows an airplane flying over a mountain range. Youngblood provides myriad additional details about the cover and the origins of the cinderella, so be sure to read to the end.

Evaluating pre-1961 U.S. international parcel post tags

In Modern U.S. Mail, Tony Wawrukiewicz shows readers how to rate the postage on international parcel post tags that were mailed prior to 1961. The tag he examines, which was once affixed to a parcel weighing almost 20 pounds, was mailed Sept. 9, 1947, from Wilkinsburg, Pa., to Bruchsal, Germany. Wawrukiewicz refers readers to two sources that can be used to evaluate international parcel post tags like the one shown in his column: a CD containing the relevant rate tables (available from the American Philatelic Research Library) and his U.S. Postal Bulletins website. Further details are given in the column.

Crossword: translating philatelic Italian into English

Linn’s regularly publishes three games to entertain readers: Trickies, a word scramble puzzle by Joe Kennedy; a word search puzzle by D.E. Rubin; and Philatelic Lexicon, a crossword puzzle by David Saks. In this week’s issue, Saks presents his fifth crossword featuring hobby terms in Italian that must be translated into English to complete the grid. Don’t despair. As you will see, some of the Italian words bear a noticeable resemblance to their English equivalents. After you read some of the news and columns, take some time to enjoy the crossword.

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