A popular area for collecting of postal history is the ad cover subject that, during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, offer examples of miniature engraved art promoting the companies sending the mail. Collect by topics, for example manufacturers, railroads, agricultural products, hotels, shipping companies and so many more. The range is endless and supports many of the popular topical collecting subject already enjoyed by stamp collectors.
The duplex handstamp used commonly by Post Offices beginning with the 1860's through the 1940s. Earlier cancels were many of the fancy cancels which were discontinued at the 1860s and the machine cancels which came into use in the 1920 but did not totally replace the duplex cancel until the 1940s.
From the last 1880s to the 1940s a popular cancellation in many post offices was the machine cancellation putting down a 'flag cancel'. Many collectors look for their machine 'flag cancels' to originate in the cities of their state. The big cities are common, of course, and the smaller town's mail can be a challenge.
Presidential Inauguration covers are envelopes postmarked on the actual date of presidential inaugurations. Inauguration Covers are popular with many different collectors. Philatelists (stamp collectors) collect them postal history, political memorabilia collectors enjoy the references to history and presidents and people who have an affinity towards a particular president include inauguration covers in their collections of a favorite U.S. president.
Remember Wake Island - Patriotic Cover and Back the Attack with an Army Post Office Cancel and a 'Buy Bonds' Cachet are two examples of popular Patriotic Covers. Of course, patriotic covers run the range from Civil War Covers to any modern cover calling for a rally around the flag.
Stamps franked with 'Prexies' or the stamps of the Presidential Issue of 1922 are a challenge to many collectors. Of course the first stamps, common for postal cards and first class mail are common, but often still very interesting. The higher denomination stamps mostly went onto parcels, so covers bearing these stamps are much more rare. Tags for milk and furs picked up by Railroad Post Offices along the 'milk runs' are a good source..
John Wanamaker, Postmaster General from 1889 to 1893, thought it made more sense for one person to deliver mail than for 50 people to ride into town to collect their mail. Thus was born Rural Free Delivery (R.F.D.) and an an interesting area for cover collectors to persue. Values are based on the relative scarsity of the town cancel, with some being quite rare.
U.S.S. Constitution 'Old Ironsides' made a cruse through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast of the United States in 1933 following its refurbishment at the Navy Yard in Boston. Each stop along the way produced a cover with a ship cancel bearing the city where the stop was made, and in most instances with a cachet for the sponsoring group.
Mail to foreign destinations that have found their way back home are of interest to many collectors. One intriguing element of these covers, besides the obvious postal history question of how the mail was routed (by ship, along what treaties for example) the franking of these covers differ from the more common franking of domestic mails.
The cachets created by Mae Weigand are very distinctive in style. Best know for his navel covers and patriotic covers, iHobb.com also has a large inventory of the United Nations Flags Covers featuring handpainted cachets. Enjoy a browse of our Weigand Cachet Covers and you will find some unique 'gotta have' covers for your collection. Mae Weigand's career spanned a most interesting time in postal cover history.
1918 Cover with #433 franking Special Delivery to Camp Zachary Taylor, Louisville, KY. 1918 (WWI era) ... more info
Kanawha C.H. VA 1860 (West Virginia) #U27 buff Postal Stationery... more info
Charlestown Va. (West Virginia #U2 Cover is complete with correspondence (personal correspondence)... more info
Martinsburg, W. VA Cover with #145 ... more info
Sistersville, W. VA. Tyler County Bank 1895 cover with a pair of #247... more info
Moundsville, W. VA. Penitentiary Cover ... more info
Charlestown Va. (West Virginia #U2 ... more info
Sistersville, W.Va. Morning Cover with Scott #251... more info
Anderson, IND. To San Francisco with Washington Franklin on interesting 1914 cover View front and back... more info
Point Pleasant, W. VA. Post Card with Washington Franklin on vintage post card dated October 1910... more info
Clarksville, W.V. with #65 XF with Scott #65, an SF centered stamp, extremely fine for this issue... more info
Parkersburgh, W.VA - Railroad Cover Ohio River Railroad Company cover, with punched half-fare ticket ... more info