BNAPS ORE - Online Resources - Fascinating Covers

Interesting covers presented by BNAPS members.

BNA Cover Challenge

Do you have a BNA cover with a multitude of different postmarks? Can you decipher them to describe the cover's journey from sender to recipient?

Consider displaying your cover on this page. You can use your own name or a nom de plume. For more information, contact the ORE Committee.

  1. Registered Cover from Coleville to Pasadena - Jack Gordon and Bill Robinson
  2. Registered Cover from Switzerland to Trois-Rivieres - Peter McCarthy
  3. World War II Cover from Toronto to Jenshou, China - David Whiteley
  4. Cover with 16 Different Dated Postmarks (7 RPOs) - Robert K. Lane

Registered Cover from Coleville to Pasadena

Jack Gordon and Bill Robinson (October 2004)

[Jack Gordon submitted this cover. Bill Robinson explained its routing.]

Front of cover from Coleville to Pasadena
Back of cover from Coleville to Pasadena

This registered cover from Coleville, SK, to Pasadena, California, is franked with 1932 3¢ Medallion and 1931 10¢ Cartier definitives. The front has two markings:

  1. Coleville split ring dated JUN 7 / 35
  2. Registration box cancel with the number 811 written in ink

The back has quite a few more:

  1. Coleville split ring dated JUN 7 / 35 (two strikes, same as strike on front)
  2. Biggar & Loverna RPO No1 / 258 / JUN 8 / 35
  3. M.Jaw & Macklin RPO / 311 / 8 JUN / 35
  4. Calgary & Edm RPO / 524 / JUN 9 / 35
  5. Calgary / JUN 9 / 35 (2 strikes)
  6. Med. Hat & Nel RPO 11 / JUN 9 / 35
  7. Pasadena, Calif. / JUN / 13 / 1935
  8. East Pasadena Sta / JUN / 13 / 1935

Bill Robinson provides the following explanation:

"The Rural Municipality of Oakdale No. 320 had its office in the town of Coleville, SK, located at Section 5, Township 31, Range 23, West of the 3rd Meridian, just north of Kindersley, and was responsible for taxing the area around the town. It provided rural roads and other facilities in the area. The cover appears to be a tax notice going to a property owner in Pasadena, California.
"Train 258 left Coleville at 08:25 daily eastbound arriving at Dodsland/Druid about 10:00 (20 miles). There the cover waited for arrival of train 311 westbound which left Moose Jaw at 11:35 daily except Sunday, leaving Druid at 19:56 and arriving at Macklin, SK, at 22:35, June 8.
"There are no markings for the section from Macklin to Edmonton, so the cover must have been in a sealed bag with other registered mail westbound arriving in Edmonton early on 9 June. It left Edmonton on train 524 at 08:00 southbound arriving in Calgary at 12:20.
"From there it went in a closed bag south to Fort Macleod, AB, where it connected with train 11 (Medicine Hat, AB, to Nelson, BC) leaving Fort Macleod at 22:45. It went south and west through the Kingsgate border crossing from BC to Washington, arriving in Spokane, Washington, at 11:50 on June 10.
"From Spokane, it would have traveled to Portland, Oregon, Sacramento, California, and Los Angeles, arriving in Pasadena on 13 June."

Bill goes on to comment on the terrible condition of the roads in the 1930s and the need to send by rail with much back-tracking.

Registered Cover from Switzerland to Trois-Rivieres

Peter McCarthy (October 2004)

Front of cover from Switzerland to Trois-Rivieres

This registered cover, addressed to Hugh Peck, was mailed from Geneva, Switzerland, to Three Rivers (Trois-Rivieres), Quebec, and was then redirected back to Europe. The postmark on the front and the 15 on the back provide a trail of its two-month odyssey between the two continents. Those on the back are numbered in chronological order, except for one tagged with a "?" where the date is indistinct.

Back of cover from Switzerland to Trois-Rivieres
  1. The cover was mailed in Geneva, Switzerland, on Oct. 2, 1941 (cancel on the front).
  2. Arrived in New York on Oct. 17 (cancel 1 on the back).
  3. Went to Montreal, arriving on Oct. 18 (cancel 2).
  4. Relayed to Ottawa where it was cancelled on Oct. 20 with an OTTAWA CANADA / R postmark (cancel 3).
  5. Back to Montreal on the same day (cancel 4).
  6. Put aboard train 358 and backstamped QUEBEC & MONTREAL C.P.R. / M.C. on Oct. 20 (cancel 5).
  7. A further clerk stamp was applied reading QUEBEC & MONTREAL R.P.O. / J.O.B. ROY TR. 358 / OCT 20 / 1941, a new early period of use for this cancellation (cancel 6).
  8. Arrived in Trois-Rivieres on Oct. 21 (cancel 7).
  9. Meanwhile, Peck received a commission in the army. The title of Lieut. was added to his name on the front of the cover, and it was forwarded to an address overseas - the 8th Reconnaissance Regiment (abbreviated to 8 Recce, as written on the envelope), 14th Canadian Hussars, Canadian Army Overseas.
  10. The cover was date-stamped TROIS RIVIERES, NO 6 41 (cancel 8).
  11. Arrived in Montreal the same day, Nov. 6 (cancel 9). The indistinct cancel with the "?" tag appears to be a second strike of the same cancel.
  12. Put aboard train No. 1, where it received the transit marking MONTREAL & NORTH BAY R.P.O. dated Nov. 6 (cancel 10).
  13. Arrived in Ottawa, where it was stamped with an OTTAWA CANADA / R cancel on Nov. 7 (cancel 11).
  14. Received by BASE - APO (Army Post Office) dated Nov. 7 (cancel 12).
  15. Forwarded to Canadian Base Post Office Overseas on Dec 1 (cancel 13).
  16. On to Field Post Office DO2 (cancel 14), where it is presumed Lieut. Peck finally received his letter on Dec. 2, 1941, two months to the day after it was posted from Switzerland.

World War II Cover from Toronto to Jenshou, China

David Whiteley

This World War II multi-cancelled entire was sent by surface mail from Toronto to Jenshou, China, via Hong Kong, on December 21, 1940. It was probably routed through the United States as the Canadian Pacific service from Vancouver had been suspended because its ships had been requisitioned for war service.

From Hong Kong it went again by surface mail to Chunking and finally, as far as can be ascertained, to Kumaine Kukuanfu sometime in late August or early September, some 8 to 9 months after posting.

It was then returned by surface mail to the point of mailing, arriving in Hong Kong on 26 September 1941. No indication of when it finally arrived back in Toronto.

During its voyage, it acquired 14 different cancellations and 11 instructional markings.

Front of World War II cover from Toronto to China

Features on the front:

Back of World War II cover from Toronto to China

And on the back:

Cover with 16 Different Dated Postmarks (7 RPOs)

Robert K. Lane

Front of cover with 16 dated postmarks
Back of cover with 16 dated postmarks

This registered cover was sent from the Dominion Lands Office in Prince Albert, SK, on July 30, 1920, to Drinkwater, SK, a village about 29 km southeast of Moose Jaw.

At its destination, it was readdressed to Cupar, SK, a town 75 km northeast of Regina. It was remailed on August 2, and arrived the next day.

The letter was never picked up, so, on September 2, a month after it arrived, it was returned to Prince Albert. It arrived the next day.

The 16 dated postmarks bear witness to its travels (see map below).

  1. Registered at Prince Albert - PRINCE ALBERT (JUL 30 20)
  2. Train to Regina (via Saskatoon) - REGINA & NO. BATT. (JUL 31 20)
  3. By train to Moose Jaw - W'PEG & M. JAW (LOCAL) (JUL 31 20)
  4. Moose Jaw transit - MOOSE JAW (JY 31 20)
  5. By train to Drinkwater - NOR. PORT. & M. JAW (AU 2 20) (NOR. PORT. = CPR North Portal)
  6. Received at Drinkwater and re-addressed - DRINKWATER (AU 2 20)
  7. By train back to Moose Jaw - CPR NORTH PORTAL & MOOSE JAW M.C. (AU 2 20)
  8. Received again in Moose Jaw - MOOSE JAW (AU 2 20)
  9. By train to Brandon - WINNIPEG & MOOSE JAW (AU 2 20)
  10. Brandon transit - BRANDON (AU 3 20)
  11. By train to Cupar - BRANDON & SASKATOON (AU 3 20)
  12. Received in Cupar - CUPAR (AU 3 20)
  14. Departed Cupar for return - CUPAR (SP 2 20)
  15. By train to Saskatoon - BRANDON & SASKATOON (SP 2 20)
  16. Saskatoon transit - SASKATOON (SP 2 20)
  17. Received back in Prince Albert - PRINCE ALBERT (SP 3 20)

Map of the cover's route

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