Posts by Bjoern

    The Cholera epidemic of 1831/32

    At this time different post offices operated in Hamburg. The Swedish and Norwegian post office is one of them. Letters that were disinfected there had been pierced by a rastel.

    The rastel leaves behind a specific pattern of holes:

    – three rows, each with 3 / 4 / 3 holes

    – the distance between the outer holes is 72 mm in the first and third row

    – the distance between the outer holes is 100 mm in the second row



    Letter from Stettin December 30th 1831 via Hamburg January 3rd 1832 to the Quarantain Commission in Stockholm, Sweden. The letter was disinfected by the Swedish and Norwegian post office (refer to characteristic pattern of holes).

    At the moment a publication commemorating the 140th anniversary of my local philatelistic club in Frankfurt is planned and I a have agreed on to write an articel about disinfection in Frankfurt am Main.

    To do this I have updated my registry of known letters (please refer to the attachment). Can somebody add something to this list?

    Any remarks would be appriciated.

    I found some more letters in my register (unfortunately rather poor bw copies):

    • 1.8.1831: Warsaw via Berlin and Forbach to Paris (refer also to Meyer: page 164/165)
    • 1.9.1831: Namslau to Ratibor
    • 21.9.183: Krotoschin to Kelbra (refer also to DASV No. 423 page 240f: Prof. Schmidt "Ein Brief aus dem preußischen 'Cordon sanitaire'...")
    • 14.10.1831: Lauenburg to Stargard (similar to letter No. 2 above)

    Hi André,

    this is a good idea to collect all these data. Here is a first addendum:


    Berlin 15.9.

    Cosel 21.10.


    Gnesen 6.10.

    Landsberg 4.10.

    Mrotzen 10.9.

    Pillau 14.9.

    Schwedt 9.10.

    Schwetz 10.10. - 23.10.
    Stettin 7.9

    SAN ST (special form with S upside down - picture to follow):

    Graudenz 5.9.

    MEWE 14.10.

    Dear Hedy,

    you can find a similar letter also from St. Petersburg (September 8th) to Bremen (passing Memel at September 18th) here:

    The route of your and mine letter was to my opinion: St. Petersburg - Nimmersatt - Memel - Berlin - Magdeburg - Othfresen - Hildesheim - Hanover - Bremen

    Disinfection took place in Nimmersatt and Othfresen (Kingdom of Hanover).

    The GERAUCHERT-Cache of Othfresen can be classified as followed:

    • Dimension: 52 X 8 mm
    • Dot after "T" (just a little bit higher than the rest of the letters)
    • Broken Frame for the dots over "A"
    • Letter are shifted to the top

    This type can be associated with Othfresen, proved by the following attached letter (there is an handwritten mark just below the cachet "und das Pq. äußerlich gereinigt Othfresen“ (lit. "and the Parcel disinfected from the outside Othfresen").

    Dear Hedy,

    The boxed cachets "GERAUCHERT" from Hanover all differ slightly:

    • in dimension
    • some have a dot after the "T" some not
    • sometimes the frame is broken by the dots over "A", sometimes not
    • The Letters are shifted to the top (or centered)

    In your case the type can be classified as followed:


    • Dimension: 52,5 X 8 mm
    • No Dot after "T"
    • Broken Frame for the dots over "A"
    • Letter are shifted to the top

    This type can be associated with Gartow, which is the rastel station where disinfection took place. In my register I have 5 letters with this cachet date within the following period: 24.09.1831 - 7.1.1832

    I have attached another letter (Potsdam via Gartow and Lüneburg to Eckendorf - 24.9.1831) with the same cachet and a handwritten mark "Gartow" (at the top in the center), which is the proof that this type was used at this place (in addtion there is a list dated from 24.10.1831 from the General-Post-Directorium in Hanover regarding all rastels planned or in place on which Gartow as an active rastel station is stated as well).

    Dear Andre,

    all my letters from September and October 1831 from Posen (to Bromberg) with the cachet "SANITAETS / STEMPEL" have this special pattern of the holes.

    In my case I measured 17 mm on the long edge.

    I have two letters (14.9. and 8.10) from Inowraclaw to Bromberg in my collection, which are both have a "SANITAETS / STEMPEL" on the back. Both cachet are lookin similar to the one which is in the collection of Denis Vandervelde.

    Another example we can find in the auction of Peter Feuser Nr. 78 (2013). Again a letter from Inowraclaw this time to Berlin (refer to picture).

    So we have four letters from Inowraclaw (all with the same cachet on the back). So for me it is an open question if this type of "SANITAETS / STEMPEL" belongs to Inowraclaw or Bromberg.

    At the same auction of Peter Feuser there was another letter from Bromberg with two cachets similar to the second type mentioned above (also on the front side of the letter). Strange to me, that even on one letter both cachet are slighly different (e.g. in the width).

    Dear all,

    I suggest to introduce Master Data for all types of characteristic marks of disinfection. At the end we could have a world-wide catalogue.

    How should this work:

    1. Create a template for the Master Data (as a first rough draft to start discusion I loaded on example unter filebase -> Master Data -> Germany -> Thurn und Taxis):
    2. For each Master Data we could start a discussion in the forum to collect new information and further examples (again to have an example I started a discussion called "Gereinig in Frankfurt a/M." under Germany -> Thurn und Taxis)
    3. If needed we can update the Master Data by theses information and create a new version.

    Regarding the template for the Master Data there are a lot of things to discuss

    • format: at the moment I started with a simple MS-Word-template and created a PDF out of it
    • language: I suggest to have the template bilingual (English + the language of the related country [so in my example German] )
    • Catalogue-Number: A frist proposal is
      XX_YY_ZZ_AA (with XX = Iso-Code for the country, YY = Sub-Category [optional if needed, e.g. for Germany the postal authorities], ZZ = place of treatment (if place not know we can use "NN"), AA = serial number) - so in my example DE_TT_Frankfurt-aM_01
    • which fields should we include in the template (I would assume that we have different templates for the different types like seals, slits, etc.)
    • Wording - my English translation needs to be revised
    • etc.

    Comments, thoughts and new ideas welcome.