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At the Edges of Confusion aka '1926 combination mail'


Some preliminary comments about interesting and challenging things that happen
at the edges of 'confusion' aka '1926 combination mail.'

It has been observed elsewhere that, at the core of 'confusion,' which is about ' 1926 combination mail,' there really isn't that much confusion. Once the basic notion - new contractor-operated 'contract routes' connected, and served as 'feeders,' to the well-established government-operated three-zone Transcontinental route - is under control, and the related geography is understood, evaluating the large preponderance of confusion covers is fairly straightforward.

Most of the time evaluating the postage on confusion mail is a straightforward l / 2 / 3 exercise: [ l ] determine how many CAM routes and how many Transcontinental zones will be traversed; [2] multiply the routes by 10¢; multiply the zones by 5¢; [3] add to arrive at the required franking.

However, there are some confusion items - a relatively small minority - which are not amenable to the l / 2 / 3 treatment. Getting to understand them well can involve a lot of time and effort. And, at this time, it seems to be convenient to refer these demanding pieces as being at the 'edge of confusion.'

The edge of confusion is a sort of wilderness that hasn't been full explored. So what we'll be briefly discussing today are some confusion pieces that have turned up so far, and that we understand more or less. But the suspicion is that, as time goes on, other items will show up at the edge hedges] of confusion, and that the confusion story, as we perceive it this week, will probably change itself.

In fact the story has been changing itself as these notes were being recorded. We're going to start by noting there are some covers whose franking makes them look like confusion covers but they aren't [we're calling them 'look-alikes']. A couple of representative examples are included because they seem to tell the evolving confusion story a little better.


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Updated 1 February 2006
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