Iowa: Railroads.

(S-0021) U.S. #114  1869 3¢ Locomotive   Earliest Known Use:  March 27, 1869 
(C-0073)  Cover from “Grand Hotel” in Cedar Rapids Postmarked – December 2, 1891 on Albert Lea – Burlington RPO – Burlington/Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad  U.S. #220  1890-93 Regular Issue 2¢ Washington  Issue Date: 1890
(C-0073)  Note how the postmark date (Dec 2, 1891) on front side of the cover is inverted. On occasion, postal workers, in their haste, would insert the metal type incorrectly into their hand stamp, resulting in “backwards and/or upside down” lettering when they stamped the postmark on the envelope.
(C-0073)  The postal worker on the RPO obviously had that problem, but on the back side, the postal worker in LaCrosse, WI got his “arrival” postmark right!
(C-0076) Railway Post Office (RPO)  1884 – 1959 – Burlington (CBQ) Line – U.S. mail via Fast Mail. Chicago and Council Bluffs “Fast Mail” R.P.O.  U.S. #U311 Embossed Envelope  2¢ Washington  Postmarked Burlington-Council Bluffs RPO Sept 3, 1897.
(C-0075)  Des Moines, Iowa & Kansas City, Missouri RPO – Rock Island Railroad  U.S. #266  1895  2¢ Washington Postmarked on board the RPO on February 18, 1898 and Postmarked February 19, 1898 in Derrahs, Missouri 
(C-0075)  Derrahs, Missouri: a small town no longer in existence in Lewis County/NE Missouri – NW of Quincy, IL. Note the Postmaster in Derrahs reversed the numbers when dating received letters on Feb 19, 1898. Back in the day, postmarking tools were all handset type!
(C-0074) Cover from “The Kirkwood” (Hotel) in Iowa City. Postmarked – June 27, 1898 on Albert Lea – Burlington RPO – Burlington/Cedar Rapids & Northern Railroad  U.S. #267  1895 2¢ Washington Type III
(S-0022) U.S. #295  1901 2¢ Pan-American   First Day of Issue: May 1, 1901
(P-0206) Burlington Railroad RPO/Transfer Clerk – U.S. #300 1903 1¢ Franklin Postmarked Dec 26, 1903 in Burlington, IA.
(P-0206) Traveling on the Burlington Railroad, the sender (Dudley) obviously bought his Burlington picture postcard at the Burlington Depot (while in transit) and mailed it there. With Burlington being a major hub for the CBQ (Chicago-Burlington & Quincy) Railroad, this postcard was stamped by a Transfer Clerk who was responsible for transferring RPO mail from train to train in Burlington. The postcard arrived the next day (Dec 27), delivered to Miss Jeannette Ford (Dudley’s girl?) in Chicago.
(P-0086) Rock Island Train Depot & The “American House” – Harber Hotel– Trenton, Mo   U.S. #331 1908-09 Regular Issue Series 1¢ Franklin  First Day of Issue: December 1, 1908   Postmarked January 8, 1912 This depot was the heart of the Rock Island Railroad in Trenton, Mo. Across Water Street (Main Street) stood the Harber Hotel. Thomas B. Harber bought “The American House” hotel in 1878 and as 1881 (The History of Grundy County, Missouri by Birdsall & Dean) this once struggling hotel was thriving.
U.S. #Q1 Parcel Post Stamp  1912 1¢ Post Office Clerk.
U.S. #Q2 Parcel Post Stamp  1912 2¢ City Mail Carrier. 
U.S. #Q3 Parcel Post Stamp  1913 3¢ Railway Postal Clerk. 
U.S. #Q4 Parcel Post Stamp 1912 4¢ Rural Mail Carrier.
U.S. #Q5 Parcel Post Stamp 1913 5¢ Mail Train.
U.S. #Q6 Parcel Post Stamp 1912 10¢ Steamship & Mail Tender.
U.S. #Q7 Parcel Post Stamp 1912 15¢ Automobile Service. 
U.S. #Q8 Parcel Post Stamp 1912 20¢ Airplane Carrying Mail.

In 1912, the U.S. Postal Department established its parcel post service for sending items weighing 16 ounces or more through the mail. The U.S. Post Office divides all mail into four classes, with parcel post making up the fourth class. Almost any type of merchandise can be mailed parcel post, including day – old chicks, baby alligators, and honeybees. Only items that could be dangerous to handle cannot be sent through the U.S. postal system.

Twelve stamps with various denominations were issued in 1912-13 to prepay the fourth-class rate. Although different vignette designs were featured, all twelve stamps used the same border and color, which caused a great deal of confusion for postal workers.

Less than a year later, the Postmaster General authorized ordinary postage stamps as valid for parcel post. Parcel post stamps were then made valid for all classes of mail and were used as regular postage until the supply was depleted. The 20¢ issue was the first stamp to picture an aircraft carrying mail, although by 1912, mail had been transported by air on numerous occasions.
(C-0077) U.S. #Q1 1912 Parcel Post 1¢ Post Office Clerk  Postmarked in Iowa City on Nov. 20, 1913.
(S-0023) U.S. #Q11 1913 Parcel Post – 75¢ Harvesting  Issue Date: 1913  City: Washington, DC.
(P-0082) Burlington Street Bridge w/Dam & Power House Postcard – Postmarked – February 2, 1918 on Muscatine-Montezuma RPO – Rock Island Railroad   U.S. #406  1912-14 Regular Issue Series 2¢ Washington
(P-0081) U.S. #728  1933 1¢ Restoration of Fort Dearborn  First Day of Issue: May 25, 1933 City: Chicago, Illinois  Postmarked May 27, 1933 
(C-0068) 1938 Iowa State Fair – Des Moines, Iowa -Burlington Railroad RPO Exhibit – U.S. #838  3¢ Iowa Territory Centennial  First Day of Issue: August 24, 1938  City: Des Moines, Iowa Postmarked August 24, 1938 at Iowa State Fair.
(P-0136) U.S. #581   Series of 1923-26 1¢ Benjamin Franklin  Issue Date: April 21, 1923  City: Washington, D.C. Postmarked Aug. 30, 1938 at 1938 Iowa State Fair.
(C-0069) 1939 New York World’s Fair Railroad RPO Exhibit – U.S. #853  1939 3¢ Trylon & Perisphere  First Day of Issue: April 1, 1939  City: New York, New York  Postmarked August 28, 1939
(C-0107) U.S. #807  1938 Presidential Series – 3¢ Jefferson  Issue Date: June 16, 1938 City: Washington, DC  Postmarked Nov 19, 1943 in Trenton, MO
(C-0070) 1954 90th Anniversary of RPO U.S. #1061 1954 3¢ Kansas Territory  First Day of Issue: May 31, 1954 City: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Postmarked – Chicago/Omaha RPO – August 28, 1954
(C-0071) 1954 90th Anniversary of RPO U.S. #1061 1954 3¢ Kansas Territory  First Day of Issue: May 31, 1954 City: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Postmarked – Chicago/Omaha RPO – August 28, 1954
(C-0072) 1959 Burlington Railway RPO cachet & postmark – 75th Anniversary of CBQ Fast Mail (1884-1959)    U.S. #1124  1959 4¢ Oregon Statehood.  Issue Date: February 14, 1959   City:  Astoria, OR 
(S-0074)  U.S. #5378-80  2019 55¢ Transcontinental Railroad – 150th Anniversary: The Jupiter, Golden Spike, No. 119  First-class rate (Forever) First Day of Issue: May 10, 2019  City: Promontory Summit, UT America’s First Transcontinental Railroad was the famous pathway connecting the East and West Coasts of the United States.  It took six years to complete (1863-1869) and shortened cross-country travel from several months to just a few days. In 2019, the USPS issued three Forever stamps commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.  The se-tenant featured the Central Pacific Railroad’s Jupiter on the left, Union Pacific Railroad’s No. 119 on the right, and “Golden Spike” in the center.

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