US Stamps

Phonograph letters sent home after World War II

Apr 14, 2023, 8 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

In the U.S. Stamp Notes column in the July 12, 2021, issue of Linn’s, I presented a 1947 mailed voice recording of a Marine stationed at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in California. The envelope said it was “A Recordio message from a U.S. Marine.”

Since then, I have found a few more examples of mailed phonograph records, each different from the original mailing.

The earliest is the cover in Figure 1, “A recorded message from Your Man In The Service” sent “through courtesy of Pepsi-Cola,” mailed June 20, 1947. It’s from Don Waddell, a sailor aboard the USS Hector (AR-7), a repair vessel deployed in the western Pacific.

The cover is franked with three 1946 5¢ DC-4 Skymaster airmail stamps (Scott C32). The 15¢ in postage paid the domestic airmail rate for up to 3 ounces.

Figure 2 shows both sides of the phonograph record inside the envelope.

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