Posts by Bjoern

    Mail Bombs are in a way related to the subject of disinfected mail:

    • the mail is potential dangerous to the recepient
    • authorities are taken actions for defenses, to ensure save communication

    Definition: Mail bombs are mostly explosive devices in, generally, two categories: Parcel bombs and Letter bombs

    Defending against mail bombs: e.g. education, X-ray machines and sniffer dogs


    A good overview is given by:

    Dale Speirs: The History of Mail Bombs, Postal History Journal No. 122 (June 2002) & Postal History Journal No. 123 (October 2002) & Postal History Journal No. 124 (February 2003)


    Just to get a first impression refer to actual warnings by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (link and attachment): https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/radDocs/bombs.htm

    By accident I found an interesting notice in the exhibition catalogue of the Stamp Exhibition 1935 in Hannover:


    Within the exhibition class XI "Pre-Philately" (in German: "Vorphilatelistische Briefe und Ganzsachen") there was the following collection (No. 97):


    Kumpf-Mikuli, Major, Wien (Viena): "Cholerabriefe" ("Cholera letters")


    In the exhibition catalogue the collection is introduced by a quiet long (German) explanation:

    "Um die Ausbreitung von Seuchen zu bekämpfen, wurden in den verschiedenen Ländern sanitäre Maßnahmen getroffen, denen auch die Briefe aus verschiedenen Ländern unterlagen. Besonders als im Jahr 1831 die Cholera von Asien über Rußland auch das übrige Europe bedrohte, begann man, aus postalische Abwehrmaßnahmen planmäßig vorzunehmen. Man unterzog die Briefe einer Desinfektion an den Grenzämtern. Das Desinfizieren geschah entweder derart, dass der Brief geöffnet und gereinigt wurde, oder man versah in mit Löchern und Einschnitten, damit die Desinfektionsdämpfe in der Innere dringen konnten. Solche gereinigte Briefe erhielten dann Sanitätsstempel. Siegel oder handschriftliche Vermerke. Die Cholerabriefe sind postalisch und kulturhistorisch interessane Zeugen einer vergangenen Zeitepoche, wo der Schreckensruf "Pest" und "Cholera" Europa ebensoin Atem hielt wie blutige Kriege; es ist daher begreiflich, dass sie gesuchte Studien- und Sammelobjekte sind."


    The collection was awarded with a bronze medal (refer to Germania-Berichte No. 6, June 1935).


    Maybe the first special collection of disinfected mail which was presented in a competitive stamp exhibition by the famous phe-philatelic collector Kumpf-Mikuli. (It would be nice if we could prove the provenience of disinfected mail out of this collection "ex Kumpf-Mikuli".)

    In the meanwhile the publication commemorating the 140th anniversary of my local philatelistic club in Frankfurt is printed including an articel regarding disinfection in Frankfurt am Main (8 pages):


    Festschrift 140 Jahre Briefmarkenkunde in Frankfurt am Main 1878 - 2018 (hardcover - 237 pages - all articles are in German)

    • Michael Krug: Vereinsgeschichte der letzten 15 Jahre
    • Prof. Fueß: Frankfur und seine Stadtteile im 19. Jahrhundert
    • Björn Rosenau: Briefe in den Zeiten der Cholera - Desinfektion von Postsendungen 1831/1832 in Frankfurt am Main
    • Heinrich Mimberg: Zum Druck der "Basler Taube" - auf Spurensuche in Frankfurt am Main
    • Heinrich Mimberg: Mit der "Postea Europea" nach Kairo - auf Forschungsreise in Afrika
    • Erwin W. Friese: Preußen, die zweizeiligen Rechteckstempel ohne Jahreszahl mit Schlusspunkt, sogenannte Liegnitzer Sonderform
    • Arnim Knapp: Eine Zeitreise mit den bekanntesten Einheiten des "Sachsen-Dreier", darunter der einzig erhaltene Bogen, der Neuentdeckung eines Vierer-Blocks und vier Briefen, die eine postgeschichtliche Weltrarität darstellen. Das "Malheur von Oschatz" darf auch nicht fehlen
    • Carsten Meckbach: Die ersten Ganzsachenkarten der Deutschen Reichspost (Michel P1-P4 und PP2-PP3)
    • Uwe Lawin: Dänisch-Westindien
    • Michael Peter: Die Ganzsachen El Salvadors von 1883 - 1889
    • Louise Nilles: Villeroy & Boch: Ein Unternehmen unter der Lupe
    • Karl Louis und Dieter Michelson: Quo Vadis Philatelie? - Rückblich und Ausblick zur Geschichte des Sammelns von Briefmarken

    Selling price is 20 € plus shipping costs - if you are interested please send an email to info@phila-bibliothek.de

    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:


    SAN.S:

    Berlin 15.9.

    Cosel 21.10.


    SAN.ST:

    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.

    USA 1971, APOLLO 14, Moon Landing Letter No. 54 of 55, illustrated cover, this piece was physically present on the moon, incl. complete signature of lunar module pilot Edgar Mitchell.


    Showing the following cachet: DELAYED IN QUARANTINE AT / LUNAR RECEIVING LABORATORY / M.S.C. - HOUSTON, TEXAS


    Source: 158. Felzmann-Auction (Germany) - Lot 6238 - Realized Price: 24.000 EUR

    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.