Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas colors—incoming mail to Koerich!





Koerich’s church
with its distinctive onion-shaped spire




Incoming mail to Koerich in 1894 


Carroll, Iowa, 14 May 1894

Transit New York City, 16 May 1894

Transit Luxembourg-Gare, 24 May 1894

Koerich [post: Capellen], 25 May 1894




Incoming mail is under-appreciated and little collected.  There are no catalogs or pricelists of such mail.  But fortunately Luxembourg, being an uncommon destination, is often mentioned in web and auction sales descriptions, enabling the astute collector to find covers like the one I show here, which just arrived today from a seller in Belgium.

Three-color covers are always visually compelling.  Here we have the violet two-cent Columbian Exposition postal stationery envelope featuring Columbus and Liberty (with a printed Carroll, Iowa, corner card!), along with the then-current one-cent blue Franklin and two-cent red Washington definitives paying the 20g letter UPU rate.

Small Iowa communities like Carroll were favored by Luxembourg emigrants.  The Carroll post office was opened in 1883.  The town was named for Charles Carroll of Maryland, the only Roman Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.  You can accumulate a nice showing of 19th century incoming mail from these small towns, often sent to even smaller towns in Luxembourg.  Give it a try!

The cover also illustrates the efficiency with which mail was transported during that era.  Today it can take 10 days for a letter to travel across the town I live in!

Last, the hinge and glue remnants on the back flap remind me that the cover has been appreciated by others.  I hope someday I’ll be able to pass it along to others who will enjoy the Christmas colors!


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