Seapost -> USA Paquebot Marks

USA Paquebot Marks

By Mike Dovey

When the new rules regarding paquebot mail came into force in 1894 various countries opted to use the rules from different standpoints and while Great Britain and France used an omnibus type of cancellation the USA decided that much of the mail carried on board their vessels would be cancelled with an "on board" Sea Post cancellation. Mail deposited at US ports from non USA vessels would receive a paquebot cancel where available.

USA 2 line Paquebot Cancel
The 2 line Paquebot Cancel: New York, (Hosking 2050B).

In 1894 New York was the first port to begin using a paquebot postmark and this mark lasted for 10 years until 1904. Unlike British ports where all incoming mail was cancelled with a paquebot mark whether it was a British or Foreign registered vessel, in the USA, the post offices would only use their paquebot marks on mail that did not use a USA stamp.

USA Ship Letter cancel
The SHIP LETTER Cancel: Chester, (Hosking 1891DD).

In 1898, for only 2 years, Chester used a Ship Letter cancellation for mail posted on the high seas, a very rare mark!!

USA Single Line Paquebot Cancel
The Single Line Cancel: Boston, (Hosking 1843D).

By 1904 onwards there were a number of ports that were beginning to use the single line cancel. Boston was one of the first to use such cancels and used a number in succession from 1904 onwards. The example shown is their mark used for 2 years only from 1906.

USA Circular double ring Paquebot Cancel
The Circular Cancel: San Francisco, (Hosking 2140DD)

One of the first circular cancels in the USA was used in San Francisco in 1913. By this time there were not too many ports with paquebot cancels but those that did produced an array of different styles and this double ring circular cancel was one of them.

USA Duplex Paquebot Cancel
The Duplex Cancel: San Pedro, (Hosking 2152A).

The duplex cancel at San Pedro was one of the first of these marks in the USA. While the USA registered vessels all used a duplex cancel on board their ships, there was very few on land. This mark was first used in 1926 and was last recorded in 1997 which gave it a life span of 71 years which was not bad considering the multitude of new marks that appeared from the 1950 onwards.

USA Boxed Paquebot Cancel
The Boxed Cancel: Mobile, (Hosking 2014B)

There are very few boxed paquebot cancels in the USA as most of them tend to be single line. Mobile was one of the first ports to use such a mark and it was in use from 1933 until 1969.

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