Postal History

     Mint stamps, used stamps, first day covers, plate blocks, mint sheets, zip blocks, on cover, off cover and the list of stamps goes on and on, but one of the most vibrant areas of stamp collecting today is with postal history. Many of us get all caught up in the where it has been, how did it get there, why did it go there, did it encounter any issues along the way and many other questions. It's a very simple process to begin with and you can even begin with the mail you receive on a daily basis. Something will have a stamp on it. This time of year is especially great for stamp collectors because many people still send Christmas cards and usually will put stamps on them. And there you go, the start of your postal history collection. You will be able to fill in a lot of infomation on these covers because they are current and they mean something to you; even if it is only this month's electric bill that came in the mail with a stamp.

     The internet is rife with information, so if you have an older post card of envelope you may still be able to find out quite a bit of information. I picked out a postcard that I had and decided to see what I could learn. Here have a look!

     So here we have a typical UX15 post card and here is what I was able to read from the message side. Brattleboro, VT, Sept 24 1878, Sirs, Please send me another can of lime. Would like about 5 lbs white wash in lumps. Send so I can get in Saturday sun. Truly born, B A Clark. (Written on the card at the bottom was UX15 in light pencil and Benn 0503 #146 31100. The front of the card reads L J Follet & Sons, S Adams. Very curious. The postmark looked like a railroad postmark and I could make out "& Springfield". So here is what I did. The first thing that was curious was that the gentleman wanted his lime in the Saturday sun  -  So what day was Sept 24, 1878. I found out that the 24th of September in 1878 fell on a Tuesday. So this concoction had to move faily quiickly. The lime company must have had Mr Clark's address but we know the card had to go from Brattleboro, VT to Springfield, MA , the order had to be processed and ship back  - ALL before Saturday. Could we mail in a postcard today that distance and get our product less that 4 days later?  So who was this L J Follett & Sons? I misread the card originally and thought the J was a Q so I searched for L Q Follet & Sons. Thankfully the internet is somewhat forgiving because I still found L J Follet who had  come from a long line of New Englanders, started a lime business and moved from Rhode Island to South Adams, Massachusetss. This whole story was really beginning to get some flesh on it. I learned that some lime came in lumps and there were different uses for lime. Mr Clark wanted to white wash obviously.

     The railroad was a little tougher. I did find a reference to a Hartford & Sprinfield RR but that would not help if it only went as far north as Springfield. The best lead I got was the Connecticut River Railroad, but that was still not very definitive. So more work could be done, more stories, pictures, articles, other stamps that would relate. These can all help make a great presentation or if you like just another great page in your stamp book.

Lastly, I started out to find out something about B A Clark. Right off the bat I find out the Mr B A Clark was one of the people responsible for building the Creamery Bridge in Brattleboro, VT ( ). He obviously was a deacon in the Congregational Church in Brattleboro, VT ( ) .

It's easy, fun and you can't help but learn something, but the most fun of all is that it is EVERYTHING STAMPS!