TPO -> TPOs of Lithuania

TPOs of Lithuania

By Tony Goodbody

The history of travelling post offices in Lithuania is much the same as for Estonia and Latvia. During the period between two world wars there were 22 routes numbered 1-22 in pairs as for Latvia, but changes in the terminal points from time to time meant that the total number of different routes was 50 including two un-numbered routes.

As far as the postmarks are concerned, there was one important difference when compared with the other Baltic States. The early postmarks were circular, of the "Swiss Bridge" type, and the route(s) were indicated by number(s).

The postmark shown on the following cover, figure 1, is inscribed PASTO VAGONAS/ 1-2 and used in 1926. The route was RYGA - KYBARTAI (Riga - Wirballen) & vv. Figure 2 shows an oval postmark from the same route dating from 1928. TPO route No.1 was Kybartai to Ryga.

Fig. 1: PASTO VAGONAS / 1-2 circular TPO mark on route Riga to Wirballen
Figure 1
Fig 2: PASTO VAG. No. 2 oval TPO mark on route Riga to Wirballen
Figure 2

Figure 3 shows the postmark used by routes 3 & 4 (KLAIPEDA - KYBARTAI) (MEMEL - WIRBALLEN) & vv., while figure 4 shows the later oval mark for route 4.

Fig 3: circular TPO mark on route KLAIPEDA - KYBARTAI
Figure 3
Fig 4: oval TPO mark for route 4, MEMEL - WIRBALLEN
Figure 4

 

Bibliography:

1. Kidd, C. & Visser, J.P. Lithuania-The Travelling Post Offices.' Illustrated, b/w, 12pp.
2. TPO Journal: Vol. 37, No.2, pp27-38, 1983. Deals mainly with the independent period but includes an introduction to the Russian TPOs through Lithuania. The reader is urged to consult this reference as it contains much interesting information.

An additional reference has recently become generally available online:
Kaptein, J. & Uspuras, E.: HET BALTISCHE GEBIED NR 56, HBG, June 2010. Available only in digital pdf format, in colour, 124 p., in English, re-issue and adaption of the articles of Jan Kaptein and Eugenijus Uspuras: Railway Post in Lithuania. There is a helpful contents page outlining the extent of this useful work.


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