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WWBD? [What would Ben do? BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Postmaster General, July 26, 1775, to November 1776]

Well, let’s see.  It now costs 49 cents to mail a letter and 34 cents to mail a postcard and I’m not convinced that most of what I have to say is worth 49 cents to mail. “In addition to first-class mail, the higher rates will apply to magazines, newspapers, advertising mail and bills, which together account for most of the 158 billion pieces of mail delivered every year.”  --Lisa Rein, Washington Post, Jan. 27, 2014 This, of course, leads me to thoughts of Eagle County mailings in the past.

Postcard from the Wells-Ryden collection Postcard from the Wells-Ryden collection


This "Via Air Mail" envelope was issued by the U. S. Post Office Department in honor of W. H. Wellington.  "Dad" Wellington began carrying the mail between the post office in Edwards, Colorado, and the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad station in Edwards on May 13, 1895.  He was scheduled for 14 trips per week at a distance of 2,264 feet per trip, using his buckboard pulled by "Faithful Jack."  Wellington claimed it was the only mule mail route in the United States. The picture on the envelope is 1981.001.022 , showing Wellington, his grandson, John Wellington, and Jack, the mule.

Wellington Cover Wellington Cover


Back in the day, photo processing in rural areas usually involved the U.S. Postal Service.  This mailing envelope for printed photos/negatives from the Photo-Craft photo developing company of Colorado Springs, K. C. Shurick, proprietor, was received in Red Cliff by Dessie Beck. The envelope was mailed May 26, 1931, and contained 6 prints at 6 cents each, +10 cents for handling and postage.  The envelope is addressed to Dismant Drug Company, Red Cliff, Colorado. Merritt V. Dismant, son of J.M. "Merritt" Dismant, was born in Red Cliff in 1902, into a family of pioneer miners in the area.  He owned and operated the Dismant Drug Store beginning in 1926, receiving his pharmaceutical training at the Capitol College of Pharmacy. Of interest is the 1.5-cent Harding stamp on the envelope.  President Warren G.Harding died unexpectedly in office in 1923.  He was chosen to appear on a 1.5-cent postage stamp made necessary by postage rate changes in 1925.  The first fractional cent stamp in U.S. history, it was intended for use on third-class mail.  In 1930, the Post Office Department decided that the 1.5-cent Harding should feature a full-face version.

First fractional cent stamp First fractional cent stamp


An envelope addressed in elegant script to Mr. Howard G. Bayer, Minturn, Colo.  Return address: Return in 5 days to The Fleming Lumber and Merc. Co., Red Cliff, Colo.  Three cent stamp, cancel unreadable. The Fleming Lumber and Merc. Co. provided mine timbers, lumber for houses and buildings, etc., to the eastern end of Eagle County.  Mr. Bayer, an engineer, also was a carpenter and built houses in Minturn.  The envelope most probably contained an invoice for materials. The beautiful calligraphy makes this artifact all the more interesting when we think about eliminating cursive writing in our schools. 2012019005     A mailing envelope from PFC John J. Fear to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Fear, was used to send a pillow top.  It was mailed through the U.S. Army Postal Service and was examined by Lt. R. E. Finley before mailing [WW II era, examiner's stamp].  There are seven postage stamps affixed to the envelope, with 12 cents postage due. 2008009349     This is one of my favorite photo postcards from the Angela Beck collection.  It is hand tinted and features a diaphanously draped woman standing with her right hand on the mane of a white horse.  Her pose is dramatic; the horse seems concerned.  I find this worthy of a 34 cent stamp.

From the Angela Beck collection From the Angela Beck collection




wonderful, who knew

Enjoyable! thank you!

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