Now That's Interesting by Neal Danielson

Souvenir of passing events

The Domestic Letter Rate was increased to 3¢ on November 2, 1917 to combat the war emergency in all parts of the United States and would remain so until July 1, 1919 when the rate went back to 2¢ as restoration of pre-war rate. On July 6, 1932 the domestic letter rate was increased to 3¢ due to the depression and would remain at the 3¢ rate until August 1, 1958 when it was increased to 4¢. The Post Office Department conducted First Day Ceremonies for most new stamp issues in those days. Figure 1 is a First Day Cover of the July 6, 1932 Domestic Letter Rate increase to 3¢--Now That's Interesting!!

Figure 1-First Day Cover from Wichita, Kansas July 6, 1932 for Postal Rate Increase

The First Day Cover denotes "The increase in first class postage effective today extends to July 1st 1934….Thus a curious conjunction of events, four distinct designs of three cent adhesive stamps are in current use".

The cover is a 1932 3¢ purple U436 envelope, franked with four different 3¢ water activated stamps.

From left to right:

Scott #555 3¢ violet Lincoln issued February 12, 1923

Scott #718 3¢ violet Olympic issued June 15, 1932

Scott #708 3¢ deep violet G. Washington issued January 1, 1932

Scott #720 3¢ deep violet G. Washington issued June 16, 1932

Thus the cover has a total of 15¢ postage postmarked July 6, 1932 at 12:30pm as 'SPEC. D. The back cancel is dated July 6, 1932 at 1:00pm. Apparently the thought was that the 3¢ rate would only go until July 1, 1934 and then change to another rate. Anyone out there that can shed some light on the rate being effective July 6, 1932 and extends to July 1, 1934?? The 3¢ rate remained into 1958. Was the notice by the U. S. Post Office Department such that it stated the 3¢ rate would only be for a year in order to survive the depression? As with most increases in fees and taxes…"Oh, it's only for a short time or just until we pay for this project", but it never goes back to the lower rate. If you have an answer, please e-mail the Editor, Neal Danielson: A 15¢ Special Delivery stamp had been issued August 13, 1931.

The letter was sent to Mr. George E. King a member of the Wichita Stamp Club. The note inside the envelope was on buff card stock and noted; "Just a little souvenir of passing events from C. A. Seward with best wishes". Mr. C. A. Seward, was a nationally known artist as well as a philatelist and a charter member of the Wichita Stamp Club. Seward designed the first emblem of our current Club seal, both the one that denoted 'Sunflower Stamp Club' and the one that now has 'Wichita Stamp Club', which you see as part of the header on this Newsletter.

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Posted July 18, 2004 RR