Postally Used Covers and Postcards With Malaria Eradication Stamps
(Published: May, 2017, Volume 17, Number 2, Issue #44) (Table Of Contents)
(Author: Kelly Horn)


Researching postally used covers oftentimes reveals more information than what one would expect. One can learn about the culture and history of the stamp-issuing country and about mailing rates.

The following covers and postcards each carry at least 1 stamp from the 1962 anti-malaria issues and illustrate these learning points.

Angola

This airmail cover from Lobito, Angola (Af. Oc. Port) to Deutsche Alemanha (Germany, Wurzburg, Bavaria) was posted on 18-1-64.




The stamps on the cover are, with their Scott numbers (description, issue date) and value:
  • 400 (various costumes in multicolor, 01 Jan 1957) 40c
  • 419 (portrait of Angolese women in natural colors, 30 Nov 1961) 10c
  • 439 (WHO drive to eradicate malaria, 08 Aug 1962) 2.50e
  • 461 (coat of arms of Luandra in original colors, Caxito, 1963) 1.50e
The total postage is 4.5 escudos (450 centavos), where 100 centavos = 1 escudo, same rate as Portugal.

In 1964: 100 escudos = $3.49 US (per http://fxtop.com/en/currency-converter-past.php)

The mailing rates for Angola, and the other countries in this article, in the 1960s have not been catalogued as far as my research has determined, so to calculate if the correct rate was paid, I used the rates that a letter from the United States (US) would cost. An international airmail letter from the US in 1964 was 13 cents for first ounce and 8 cents for each additional ounce (US Code of Federal Regulations Title 39 Chapter 1 Table II). Therefore, the relative postage cost of this letter was:

($3.49/100e) x 4.5e = 15.7 cents, which is comparable to the rate of 13 cents for the US.

Paraguay

A real challenge in working out the mailing rate is finding covers with legible cancellations and of course the translation of the different languages presented on the covers. The following certified cover from Paraguay, posted on 30 APR 1964, to Munich, Germany has multiple stamps of the same issue:


  • 531A (coat of arms, 1958-1964) 5g (x7) = 35g
  • 659 (WHO drive to eradicate malaria, 23 May 1962) 1g (x5) = 5g
Total postage was 40 guaraní, where 100 guaraní = $0.79 US on 30 Apr 1964, which equaled 31.6 cents (US) ([$0.79/100g] x 40g). Certified mail cost in the US was 15 cents, so if the rate was similar to the US, the total postage would be 13 cents + 15 cents = 28 cents.

For each of these covers, the postage was a bit more than what would be expected in a letter coming from the US, but the Universal Postal Code Convention Article II states “Each country has the option of increasing by 60 percent or reducing by 20 percent, at the most, the postage rates prescribed in Article 49, Section 1…” so the slight difference in rates can be expected.

Cambodia

The next example is a postcard of Angkor Wat from Cambodia mailed on 4-3-63 to the US.


This cover has the following stamps:
  • 61 (Prince Sihanouk, recognizing the first anniversary of Cambodia’s admission to the United Nations, 01 Mar 1957) 8.50r
  • 106 (WHO drive to eradicate malaria, 07 Apr 1962) 2r
  • B10 (Children of the world, surtax was for the Red Cross, 09 Dec 1959) 80c + 50c

Total postage was 11.3 riels (not counting the 50-cent surtax, with 100 cents = 1 riel) which equaled 31 cents (US) in 1963.The international airmail postcard rate for the US was 8 cents in 1963.

It looks like the writer Harvey paid too much. Maybe he just wanted to help fund the Cambodian Red Cross a bit and recognize the history of Cambodia. With the careful placement of the stamps and his brief message stating his apparent enjoyment of the country, it again appears that the overpayment was intentional. In addition, the recipient of the postcard is Jerry Husak, founder of The American Topical Association, so one can surmise that this was a philatelically inspired postcard.

It’s interesting that Harvey used stamps that were first issued 3 to 6 years earlier. Were these stamps still available at the post office?

Albania

The last example is a postcard of “a characteristic miniature house” from German text on reverse side in Gjirokastër, from Tirana, Albania to Sofia, Bulgaria, mailed on or about 7-III-64 (based on written date) with the following stamps:


  • 514 (congress emblem, 04 Oct 1957) 5 l
  • 609 (WHO drive to eradicate malaria, 30 Apr 1962) 1.5 l
Total postage was 6.5 leks. In 1992 (the earliest year the currency calculator used), 100 leks = $1.33 US; therefore, 6.5 l = 8.6 cents, which is the about the same international airmail (Par avion) rate for the US. Again, a stamp issued 5 years earlier was used for the postage.

The inscription on the reverse side is:
Gjirokastër – characteristic
Medieval house (in Russian)
Gjirokastër
A characteristic medieval house (in German), where Gjirokastër is a city in southern Albania.

A little bit of research on the internet provided all of the necessary information to add to the context of these covers and postcards. Hope this inspires you to investigate your material so that you might share with the rest of us.