The rebirth of the fancy cancellation
Period 1927-1935

The first fancy's arise from the discord of American postmasters with the black ink, that cancels the stamps.

There is a compfetely different reason for the new wave of fancy cancellations starting in 1927. This time it is an instruction by the third general postmaster, that set the ball rolling.

This third man at the head office drew the postmasters attention to an article in the postal laws and by-laws of 1924. He ordered that franking stamps on registered fetters were not to be cancelld with a postmark containing date and placename. This postmark must be placed elsewhere on the letter.

Many postmasters were confused. Many registered letters were found cancelfed as 'Courier class l". This led to an important financial loss for the Post Administration.

The repeal of the by-law in the circular comitted to tell precisely how to handle this mail in the right way. Leaving room for the postmasters and their phantasy. A new wave of fancy cancellations - but now on registrated letters - was the result.

A Wunder ? Many philatelists have their doubts. They think the incomplete instruction had a commercial aim. The US Postal Administration knew about the enthusiasm of philatelists for these cancellations. So in seven years there must been sent lots of fake registered letters. History doesn't tell us if the first behinder was made good by 7 years of fancy cancellations on registered letters.

Possibly there is at least one cancellation usable for the topic "Bees". It's the cancellation of the town Fly. Now you are thinking: "Fly ? Then a fly must be pictured."

But the opinionated collector knows the diflerence between a fly and a queen bee. In the cancellation is seen an insect with a long abdomen. That's not the abdomen of a fly. Also it has long antennae. A fly has a short one. Also - compared to the abdomen - short wings. A fly has delta wings. So the opinionated collector says: this must be a queen. Amen.

For this story I used the information found in an article about fancy cancellations published in the French magazine "La Philatelie Thematique" no 120. Signed with the initials L.C. Sent to "The Postal Bee" by Jo van Oss, Druten/Netherlands.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 2/2002 
Contact Group Bee Philately

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