Is this a disinfected mail? Could anyone help?

  • The cover was sent in 1902 from Chefoo, China, via Siberia, to UK. I have noticed a label printed in English attached at the upper right corner of the cover reverse. Was this cover disinfected? I would appreciate very much if someone could inform me of the label message in full. My e-mail is edchu13@gmail.com. Many thanks for the help.

  • Dear Edward,

    Thank you very much for showing this cover. The item shows no signs of disinfection (discolouration because of vinegar or slitting). Unfortunately I haven't seen a label like this before and so we will not know the complete text of the label and its meaning. Because of the English language it will be probably applied in Britain. Is it possible to send a better picture of the fragment of the label? Than I would forward it to Denis in London.

    Best regards,

    André

  • disinfectedmail.org/index.php?attachment/465/


    Dear Andre:

    I am very grateful for your very kind attention and reply. The piece of

    paper attached underneath the label with the printed text should be

    the margin of some stamps, as indicated by the perforations. However,

    it surely did not belong to Chinese stamps issued at the time, as no sheets

    were printed with color-bars. This cover was sent via Siberia before the

    Tran-Siberian Railway was built completely, but some sections had been

    accomplished. Thousands of workers were dead due to some contageous

    diseases. This thus makes me feel the cover might have been disinfected,

    especially with words, like "hand", "cleaning", etc., appeared on the label.

    Again, I appreciate very much for your help.


    Best regards,


    Edward

  • Dear Edward,

    Disinfected mail of Russia of this time is usually marked with the cachet "OБEЗЗAPAЖЕНO". Here you will find an interesting article as PDF ("RUSSIAN DISINFECTION of mail, 1897 – 1914"). As I wrote earlier, it was not common for Russia or China to use labels in English language.

    Best regards,

    André


    http://www.rossica.org/RVG/_pd…ail%201897%20-%201914.pdf

  • Dear Edward,


    I forgot to mention that Dr. Meyer wrote in the chapter of the British Isles of his book about disinfected mail: "Mail disinfection seems to have ceased more or less spontaneously between 1850 and 1860."


    Denis Vandervelde told me once: "By 1843 Britain was no longer disinfecting mail."


    You are welcome,

    André

  • Dear Andre:


    After reading your article, titled "RUSSIAN DISINFECTION of mail, 1897 – 1914”, I would like to salute you with my highest admiration. Before I inserted my name in the Study Circle website, I had little knowledge on mail disinfection. I specialized in stamps and postal history of Chinese Imperial Dynasty, i.e., from 1878 – 1911. I would like to raise the following points and questions, if you do not mind answering. I would be most grateful if you could help.

    1. In fact, I have not seen one Chinese overseas mail, sent before 1911 and via Siberia, stamped by the cachets of OБEЗЗAPAЖЕНO. As almost all covers do not show transit postal markings, I hence assume the covers were not handled individually by the Russian post offices located along the Railway. Nonetheless, the arrival dates, from China to western Europe in approximately 15-20 days, indicate they were indeed sent via Siberia. Is it possible only the mailbags were disinfected, rather than the mail contained?
    2. As no signs of OБEЗЗAPAЖЕНO. were stamped on the cover previously displayed for your opinions, it was then treated in the London Post Office by tearing open one of the upper corners and resealed with a small piece the stamp sheet margin. The label on top might have been printed with slogan of some sort.
    3. I am interested to know how the mail could be sent from Moscow to western Europe in early 1900’s, from St. Petersburg to Warsaw? Or any other routes you may suggest.
    4. I am also very interested to know: mails from Mongolia, like Urga, and Sinkiang, like Tihwa, were delivered, via Siberia, to Peking (Beijing) after 1908. Could you suggest the respective Russian Post Offices for receiving these mails?


    Best Regards,


    Edward Chu

  • Dear Edward,


    I have to apologize if you got the impression that the article "RUSSIAN DISINFECTION of mail, 1897 - 1914" comes from me. The article was published on the website of the Rossica Society www.rossica.org . There is a similar publication in the DMSC newsletter, but this one is not available online. My main interest is the disinfected mail of Spain. I'm not an expert of the postal history of China or Russia. At the end of next week I have some time left and I hope to find answers of your questions in my literature archive.


    Best regards,

    André

  • Dear Edward,


    I got a message from Denis Vandervelde in London concerning your letter: "... I am fairly sure the 'label' on his envelope has nothing to do with disinfection of mail, (which was discontinued in the UK in the 1840s.) I think someone has 'mended' the envelope with a strip of sticky paper from a product bought in a shop, possibly cleaning instructions. I have seen edging from sheets of stamps used in this way."


    Kind regards,

    André

  • Dear Andre:


    Many thanks for Denis' comments on the cover, which pretty much clarify its status regarding the disinfection. However, I am still looking forward to seeing your opinions on

    1 the mail route to western Europe after Moscow in early 1900's, and

    2 the receiving Russian post offices for mail coming from Sinkiang and Mongolia.


    Finally, I would appreciate very much if you may also provide me with the following information,

    1 your last name so that I may include a note of thanks in any future publications in either Chinese or English,

    2 the names of literatures that Denis got his information from, and

    3 what is the complete title of Dr. Meyer's book?


    With my very best regards,


    Edward