Air Post Society


Back to main covers page

An unusual "matched pair" of FAM-14 inaugural covers

An unusual "matched pair" of FAM-14 inaugural covers
franked with seldom seen Franklin 50¢ stamps

Ernie Wheeler provided photocopies of the two FAM-14 inaugural covers below:
with two seldom seen features - and got some serious discussion started.

Postmaster cover for FAM-14 inaugural
Postmaster cover [alternatively "wrapper"] from G.W. Manning to Postmaster / Guam
53'/2¢ franking includes 50¢ Franklin stamp of ?1912 ?1917, on blue 1 1/2¢ envelope
Inscription under address: "((Contents One Cover)) / For East bound Route"
Usual Guam Nov 27, 1935 arrival postmark on reverse
FAM-14 Guam inaugural backstamp
FAM-14 San Francisco inaugural backstamp
FAM-14 inaugural from Guam
Inaugural FAM-14 cover, Guam to US
Envelope printed with "First Fight" in red, followed by "Via Air Mail" in blue
53¢ franking includes 50¢ Franklin stamp of ?1912 ?1917
Usual San Francisco Dec 7, 1935 arrival postmark on reverse
The first "seldom seen feature" is that the two FAM-14 covers above constitute a rather unusual "matched pair." How unusual? Only time will tell. However, for your editor who had been chasing FAM-14 "postmaster" covers for about twenty-five years, this is a "first." We can't remember having previously seen the combination of a transmission cover to a postmaster and a cover that had been enclosed for subsequent dispatch by the postmaster.

[It sometimes happens that publication flushes out other examples. Logic suggests there could / should be other such pairs of covers in collections and accumulations. Photocopies of other such pairs that readers might be able to provide will be appreciated.]

The second unusual feature is that the franking of both covers includes a 50¢ Franklin stamp. We can't recall having seen that stamp on a Pacific cover earlier [nor, as a matter of fact, on any other kind of air mail cover].

So, you never know. Scarcity can be an individual perception. Sometimes we don't see things because we don't look in the right places. Photocopies of other Pacific covers indeed any air mail covers - franked with a 50¢ Franklin stamp will be appreciated. And, since a 1$ Franklin stamp was also produced, covers with such franking will also be welcome.

We should also comment on two other characteristics of the covers shown. The first is that Manning apparently thought the 50 ¢ air mail fee between the US and Guam was a surcharge, to be added to 3¢ first class postage. The other is that the additional 3 1/2¢ postage on the postmaster cover seems to include a 1/2¢ "convenience overpayment" resulting from use of the 1 1/2¢ stamped envelope. Unnecessary first class postage on air mail covers is fairly common on domestic air mail from the mid-1920s, but is not seen as frequently on international air mail in the mid-1930s.

Back to main covers page

Updated 18 February 2002
Copyright © Metropolitan Air Post Society