29 June 2016

Furry bulky box

Another domestic parcel address card. This time the parcel was filled with furs and it was bulky too. The furs were delivered from Tranås Furs Inc. (Tranås Pälsvarukompani AB) in Tranås to the shop Hats & Furs (Hatt & Pälsvaru AB) in Stockholm owned by Mr. Tore Gustafsson. Actually it looks like Mr. Gustafsson himself has signed the card, look in the lower left corner. The 4 kg parcel was delivered pretty fast, it took only one business day between Tranås and Stockholm in mid-November 1968.

Tranås used to be the fur hub of Sweden and fur was a big business there. The consumers' view on furs have drastically changed since 1968 and now there are hardly any fur shops at all in the country.


Domestic parcel 4 kg and bulky; fee 4.50 + 50% = 6.75 kr
1967, 16 June, 45 öre ultramarine Gustaf VI Adolf, type III. Qty: 364,000,000, 2-sided perforation.
1958, 17 September. 5 kr blue The royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000, 2-sided perforation.
1962, 2 July. 30 öre violet Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 123,000,000, 2-sided perforation.
1968, 21 February. 1 kr green-black Dancing Cranes. Qty: 140,000,000.

At the time the 45 öre ultramarine was the stamp used for the most common postal rate, the one for domestic letter  - 20 g. The 30 öre violet from 1962 seems correct as well, there was a 30 öre red available to at the time but only in booklets (released in 1966). The first version of the 5 kr blue The Royal Castle was released as early as in 1941. It was not until 1958 it was released in coils, it is the coil version we can admire on the card above. The 5 kr blue was phased out in the beginning of the seventies when it was replaced by the 5 kr blue-green National Seal 1439.

The 1 kr Dancing Cranes is of a more modern design and belongs to the series of new definitive stamps that were issued from 1967 and on. One might say that the 1 kr Dancing Cranes during the end of the sixties replaced the 1 kr orange Three Crowns from 1939.

Where are the places:
Tranås is situated 230 km SW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 270 km.



27 May 2016

Shoes

Pretty much ordinary

Here is another domestic parcel address card, but is it not something peculiar, something special with this card? - no, it is a pretty much ordinary parcel address card from the beginning of the seventies. By this time the long running Three Crown series was replaced with newer stamps, often single stamp series. The black 4 kr "Blood Money" Coin 1568 was such a stamp. The complementary denomination stamp series New Numeral was also replaced by individual stamps, as the 25 öre black/yellow-brown The Grödinge Tapestry. The only reminder of past times was the still running Gustaf VI Adolf series, the 55 öre red on the card. The 55 öre red was usually used to cover the rate for domestic letter  - 20 g.

A shoe shop called Shoe Center (Sko-Centrum) seems to return 2 kg of shoes back to the distributor Hefa Inc (Hefa AB). It was on Thursday 12 August 1971 that a representative of the shoe shop entered the doors to the Post Office in Hagfors with the parcel under the arm. The parcel reached its destination Ytterby on the Saturday and it was picked up by Hefa on the following Monday.

Domestic parcel  - 3 kg, fee: 4.80 kr
1971, 22 January. 4 kr black "Blood Money" Coins, 1568. Qty: 33,300,000
1971, 23 April. 25 öre black/yellow-brown The Grödinge tapestry. Qty: 10,300,000
1969, 28 February. 55 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf type III. 269,000,000

The 4 kr black the "Blood Money" Coins stamp is regarded as a single issue. Instead of series with several stamps the Sweish Post started in the beginning of the seventies to issue them one at the time but sometimes with a theme. The 4 kr stamp was one of the higher denomination definitive stamps with a medieval theme, the other ones were the 5 kr blue-green National Seal 1439, the 2.55 kr light blue Seal of King Magnus Ladulås 1285 and the 3 kr green-blue Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson 1306 from 1970, followed by the 4 kr stamp and in 1972 the 6 kr blue-grey Old Swedish Coin. All stamps did good services on parcel cards.

The 25 öre Grödinge tapestry was also of a medieval theme and there were two stamps issued a griffen with a brown-yellow background and the lion with a black background (the stamp above). The  two of them form two versions of se-tenant pairs.


Here is where the Post Office Hagfors 1 used to be.
[Note the Swedish Post vehicle at the left and the present Post logos on the building,  and the yellow mail box.]
(photo: Google maps)


Where are the places:
Hagfords is situated 257 km NW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 377 km.
Ytterby is situated 392 km SW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 492 km.
The distance between Hagfors and Ytterby is 327 km by road.

Read more about the Grödinge tapestry here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gr%C3%B6dinge_tapestry

20 April 2016

Two seven kg

Parcel address card variations


This post is about two 7 kilo domestic parcels. The first one was sent on Thursday 11 April 1968. It was solely a local matter. The parcel was handed over to the Post Office Stockholm 16 at 3 Ore Square Street (Malmtorgsgatan 3) in the city centre of Stockholm the part that is called Norrmalm and it arrived two days later at the Post Office Stockholm 19 on 54 Döbeln's Street (Döbelnsgatan 54) in the north part of town. Where a representative from the firm Piping Inc (Rörlednings AB) paid 60 kr (since it was a C.O.D.) and picked it up on the following Wednesday. The parcel contained printed matter in the form of drawing pads, 7 kg of paper. Pretty heavy.


Domestic address parcel  - 7 kg, Collect On Delivery; fees: 7,00 kr + 0,70 kr, total 7.70 kr
1964, 25 June. 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 94,200,000 (3-sided perforation).
1967, 12 January. 1.80 kr dark blue Three Crowns. Qty: 7,600,000
1967, 15 February.3,70 kr  violet The Lion Fortress. Qty: 16,000,000

It seems odd that the 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf  is the 3-sided perforated version not the 2-sided one, but at this time the 40 öre was a left over. It used to be the rate for domestic letter  - 20 g until July 1967, but now it is 1968. The 40 öre stamp was taken from the 165th booklet issued by Swedish Post. The 1,80 kr dark blue Three Crowns was not originally aimed for parcels. Its single use was for domestic letter  - 500 g until March 1969. But the 3,70 kr violet The Lion Fortress on the other hand was made for parcels 1 - 3 kg, that lasted until January 1969.


From here to there . . .                                                                                                                    
Top: the Post Office Stockholm 16 used to be here.                                                                    
Bottom: the plumber firm Piping Inc. used to be here and most likely the basement door to
the left was the entrance. Note that the name of the street is misspelled on the address card,
should be Rehnsgatan.


The next parcel was an ordinary domestic parcel sent from the town Söderköping about 180 km south of Stockholm to the Post Office Stockholm 1. The sender was the company Fix Tricot Factories Inc. (Fix trikåfabriker AB), still in business. The parcel was picked up by Holgersson's Men's Clothing - that store is long gone, but it was situated across the Stockholm Central Station, just two blocks away from Stockholm 1. What about the content? Tricot of course, 7 kg of nice gentlemen's tricot one can assume.


Domestic Parcel  - 7 kg, fee: 7,00 kr
1967, 16 June. 45 öre ultramarine Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 364,000,000
1967, 12 January. 2,80 kr red Three Crowns. Qty: 15,000,000.
1961, 7 June. 5 öre red New Numeral Type type II. Qty: 205,000,000
1967, 15 February. The Lion Fortress. Qty: 16,000,000


The 45 öre ultramarine Gustaf VI Adolf single use was domestic letter  - 20 g and probably the most common stamp of the time. The 2,80 kr red Three Crowns was as The Lion Fortress intended for domestic parcels, but for the lighter ones weighing up to 1 kg. The 2,80 kr red was issued at the same day as the 1,80 kr dark blue on the first address card above. That day (12/01/1967) also a lighter blue 1,85 kr was issued in the Three Crowns series. You can read about the Three Crowns series - here. The 5 öre red New Numeral Type stamp on the card had been around since 1961 and was of course a complementary denomination. It is a type II since its colour is bright red, not red carmine as type I.


Here is where the parcel was picked up on Friday 15 November 1968.This corner at the back of the block that was the head quarters of Swedish Post and the Post Office Stockholm 1 was where the entrance for the special office for parcels was located. Today the building is used by the Swedish Government.


To sum up, two of the stamps on the cards above were aimed for domestic parcels, the 2,80 kr red Three Crowns [ - 1 kg] and  the 3,70 kr  violet The Lion Fortress [1 - 3 kg]. The Three Crowns representing the old kind of stamp issuing policy, long series with the same motif but different denominations. Where The Lion Fortress was one of the new more contemporary designed stamps that came in the late sixties, with different motifs and just one stamp.


Postal rates domestic parcels for 1968:
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7 kg 7 - 10 kg
[2.80 kr] [3.70 kr] 4.50 kr [7.00 kr] 10.50 kr

11 April 2016

Grand Hôtel

Even Stockholm has a Grand Hotel, the most well-renowned and prestigious hotel in the capital. The luxurious hotel have had many famous guests in its days   . . . one of the lesser known guests was Mr. Nils Ivar Malmström that spend some days there during fall 1952. He was on a trip back to the old country. Mr Malmstrom had emigrated to USA earlier in the 20th century and by now he owned his own company together with his partner Richard Malmstrom (maybe his son?). The company was in in the chemical industry and they were specializing in Lanolin, which is refined wool wax or wool grease.


International letter airmail, fee: 1.30 kr, 15 g?
1951, 6 June. 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 21,800,000
1939, 22 September. 1 kr orange Three Crowns. Qty: 141,000,000


I am not really sure about the 1.30 kr rate.The rates for airmail were not uniform in any way. There were specialized rate for different regions of the world and they changed frequently. My guess is that the letter weighed 15 g or less.

Anyway, a 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I which used to cover the rate for international letter - 20 g until June 1952 was applied. In October 1952 when this letter was mailed it had no single use anymore. Also a 1 kr orange Three Crown stamp was added in order to sum up to 1.30 kr. The 1 kr orange was the most common Three Crown stamp.

The letter was handed over to the Post Office Stockholm Ban in the afternoon of 13 October 1952, a Monday. The Stockholm Ban was the Post Office at the Stockholm Central Station. The letter went to the company's address in Brooklyn, a quick look at Google maps show no trace of the company. Actually it looks more like a waste land.


On the reverse side on the letter cover Mr. Malmstrom has written his present address: Grand Hotel, Stockholm.

Mr. Malmstrom crossed out his home address, which was 209 Park Street, Montclair, New Jersey. That house is still standing.


19 March 2016

The blue stamps of Gustav VI Adolf type III

Why did they have to be blue?

When you look at the Gustaf VI Adolf type I, II and III series an observation is that  some denominations change in colours. The colour changes for type I is mostly connected to the UPU-colouring rules but another reason was that the Swedish Post thought that the colours were too light. They definitely abandon the UPU-colouring in spring 1953. After the UPU-colouring rules blue was the colour that became established for the stamps in the series that covered the postal rate for domestic letter  - 20 g, the most common postal rate. The first one to become blue was the 25 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I from February 1954.

In April 1954 the first booklet for slot machines was issued. One batch of slot machines were configured for two 1 kr coins and hence the booklet contained eight 25 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf stamps. The other and bigger batch of slot machines were configured for one 1 kr coin and a booklet consisting of ten 10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf was released for those machines. In addition a 1 kr booklet of the 25 öre Gustaf VI Adolf was released as well. As long as 1 kr could evenly be divided by the stamp denomination life was easy.

That changed from 1 July 1957 when the postal rate for domestic letter first weight class was raised to 30 öre. Three 30 öre stamps makes 90 öre - 10 öre is missing. The way the Swedish Post solved that was to add a 10 öre stamp to the new booklet. That 10 öre stamp had to be of the same colour as the 30 öre stamp. The reason is that the Swedish Post's printers at the time had no multi colour capability, but they could print different stamps at the same time. That is why the 10 öre blue New Numeral Type type II was created. They also made a booklet with five 15 öre red Gustav VI Adolf and five 5 öre carmine-red New Numeral Type type II, also a new stamp. The 15 and 25 öre Gustaf VI Adolf were new too since the Gustaf VI Adolf type II was launched at the same time. This was the first time the Swedish Post issued se-tenant stamps, which was regraded as pretty exciting by the stamp collecting community. Read more about slot machine booklets and the different varieties that occurred here.

Se-tenant pairs from slot machine booklets:
Booklet* 3: 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type II + 10 öre blue New Numeral Type type II. Qty: 3,550,000 (pairs)                        
Booklet 8: 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III + 10 öre ultramarine-blue New Numeral Type type II. Qty: 1,200,000 (pairs)    
Booklet 10, 11: 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III + 10 öre ultramarine-blue New Numeral Type type II. Qty: 1,270,000 (pairs)
Booklet 12: 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III + 10 öre ultramarine-blue New Numeral Type type II. Qty: 1,955,000 (pairs)  

Note that all pairs are vertically cut and the stamps are glued to the booklet cover on the Top Left format. (Facit: RH).
* Slot machine booklets issued by Swedish Post



The cause of the changes of colours for the Gustaf VI Adolf type III series is the mono colour printing capability and the slot machine booklets which value had to sum up to 1 kr. In 1961 the Gustaf VI Adolf series got a face-lift and the type III replaced the type II. The change was not caused by raised postal rates, Swedish Post just wanted a more modern design for the sixties. The blue colour of the old 30 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type II was passed down to the new 30 öre blue. Later in the year the 35 öre violet and the 40 öre green was issued. The green colour had became the colour for International letters  - 20 g (first weight class), but there were no booklets issued with that stamp.

That is basically the line-up in the beginning of the sixties. Now, lets have a closer look at the effects of the forced colour changes.

Overview of changes in colours


The mono colour printing capability and the slot machine booklets, which value had to sum up to 1 kr, caused the blue colour to follow the denomination for domestic letter during the first half of the sixties.
(The blue colour for the postal rate for domestic letter - 20 g was inherited from the older type II series.)

July 1962

The postal rate for domestic letters  - 20 g was raised in July 1962 to 35 öre. Then the blue 30 öre was replaced by the 30 öre violet. The colour violet was taken over from the old 35 öre violet which now was replaced by the new 35 öre blue.



Replaced stamps in 1962:
1961, 20 March. 30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf  type III . Qty: 184,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
1961, 23 October. 35 öre violet Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 26,100,000 (2-sided perforation)

New stamps in 1962:
1962, 2 July. 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 366,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
1962, 2 July. 35 öre violet Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 123,000,000 (2-sided perforation)


July 1964

Two years later it was time to raise the postal rates again. The same procedure as in 1962: the 35 öre blue was replaced by the 35 öre grey and the existing green 40 öre (which earlier was primarily used for international letters  - 20 g) was replaced by the new 40 öre blue. The 45 öre orange was issued in the fall 1964 and the purpose was to cover the Collect On Delivey fee so the relase of that stamp had nothing to do with mono colour printing or booklets, but it would be affected later on.



Replaced stamps in 1964:
1962, 2 July. 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 366,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
1962, 23 March. 40 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 51,700,000 (2-sided perforation)

New stamps in 1964:
1964, 25 June. 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 416,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
1964, 25 June. 35 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 26,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
and
1964, 12 October. 45 öre orange Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 128,000,000 (2-sided perforation)

1966 and 1967

The Swedish Post invested in a new printer in 1965, a printer with multi colour capability and now the restrictions of mono colours was gone. They issued the first multi colour slot machine booklet in April 1966 with two colours, red and green. Two stamps was of red colour the 5 öre red New Numeral Type type II and the completely new 30 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf. That stamp is unique in the sense that it was never issued as a coil stamp which was the standard option for Swedish definitive stamps so far. The green colour was used for the 15 öre green New Numeral Type type II.

The postal rates were raised again in 1967 but unlike before the 40 öre blue was not replaced by a new non-blue 40 öre. A new ultramarine 45 öre stamp was issued though and replaced the 45 öre orange. This time the new stamp could be of a different blue colour as you can see. Keeping the 45 orange stamp was maybe to much of a change as the customers was used to the blue colour as the right colour for domestic letters. The next change in postal rates would introduce completely new colours, but that might be a topic for a future blog post.


New stamps in 1966 and 1967:
1966, 18 April. 30 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 2,750,000 (vertically cut pairs)
1967, 16 June. 45 öre ultramarine Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 364,000,000

As we have seen the new postal rates introduced new stamps of the blue colour and in that meaning replaced the old non-blue ones. However, they were still used here and there by the Post Offices as long as their stock of the old stamps lasted, an exampel of that can be found in the previous post before this one, look at the second address parcel card.

By the end of the sixties the rates were raised more often and the actual raise was relatively higher than in the beginning of the decade. Another substantial change was the new stamp issuing policy of Swedish Post that came in effect in 1967. More stamps were issued, often as single stamps or short series. The stamps were simply more short liven because of the frequent rate raises. That reduced the Gustaf VI Adolf type III series in to be only a provider of stamps for either domestic letter or international letter of the first weight class. Stamps of all other denominations faded away . . .


Some domestic postal rates [in öre]:
Postcard - 20 g - 125 g - 500 g - 1000 g Printed
matter
1957 20 30 50 75 120 15
1962 25 35 70 105 150 20
1964 30 40 80 120 200 25
1965 30 40 80 150 230 25
1967 35 45 90 180 270 30



Remark: the New Numeral type in brown

The Swedish Post believed that there should also be slot machine booklets for domestic and international postcards as well. The problem was that before spring 1965 it was still only possible to print mono colour booklets, but in the summer of 1964 it was so urgent to release booklets for postcards that they changed the colour of the 10 öre and the 15 öre New Numeral Type. The 10 öre and 15 öre had to be printed in the same brown colour used for the 25 öre Gustaf VI Adolf. The awkward solution was the 13th slot machine booklet. By choosing two 10 öre, two 15 öre and two 25 öre stamps it was possible to cover both domestic postcards (30 öre) and international postcards (35 öre).

15 March 2016

First violet, then blue and finally grey

35 öre stamps of Gustaf VI Adolf type III series

The  Gustaf VI Adolf definitive series was given a face-lift in 1961. It was the second time since the series was introduced in 1951. This time not only the background was re-engraved, the portrait was redesigned and it became slightly different from type I from 1951 and II from 1957. The background was engraved tighter than type II as well, which made the stamps much more colourful, but with the same pattern. Another difference was that the numeral and the word “Sverige” (Sweden) now became white coloured.

Another novelty was that for the first time the denomination 35 öre was introduced in the series. Last time a stamp with the king's portrait had that denomination was the Gustaf V right profile type II. The new 35 öre got the same colour as the old one, violet.

October 1961 to June 1962

Domestic collect on delivery parcel,  - 3 kg, fee: 2 kr + C.O.D. fee: 45 öre; sum: 2.45 kr
1961, 23 October. 35 öre violet Gustaf V Adolf type III. Qty: 26,100,000.
1952, 10 December. 2.10 kr blue Three Crowns. Qty: 15,600,000.

From its release in October 1961 the 35 öre violet was just a complimentary denomination. That lasted until 1 July 1962 when 35 öre become the new postal rate for domestic letter  - 20 g.

July 1962 to July 1964

Domestic parcel  4 kg fee: 4.50 kr + bulky fee 50 % 2.25 kr; sum: 6.75 kr  
1962, 2 July. 35 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 366,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
1958, 17 September. 5 kr blue Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000 (2-sided perforation)

1948, 1 April. 1 kr 40 öre dark green Three Crowns. Qty: 72,900,000
This address  card was originally presented in this post - here.

But suddenly there was a new 35 öre issued, a blue one. The reason for that was that Swedish Post also needed to issue new slot machine booklets with the 35 öre denomination and until 1966 the Swedish Post stamp printers could only print one colour at the time. Blue had since 1954 been the colour of the stamp for domestic letter  - 20 g. In the booklets it was accompanied by the 10 öre blue New Numeral Type type II. That was most likely the reason the new 35 öre had to be blue. Such a booklet is shown here. However, Swedish Post also issued a slot machine booklet with 25 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf and 10 öre New Numeral Type type II, but then both stamps became brown because the 25 öre was brown.

35 öre for domestic letters lasted until July 1964. The blue 35 öre was then replaced by the blue 40 öre, but from July 1967 until  December 1968 35 öre was the postal rate for domestic and Nordic postcards.

The parcel address card above was cancelled as late as December 1968 but the blue 35 öre was still used by the Post Office in Karlshamn.

From July 1964

Domestic parcel,   - 7 kg fee: 7 kr + bulky fee (50%): 3.50 kr; sum: 10.50 kr
1964, 25 June. 35 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf, type III. Qty: 51,700,000. (2-sided perforation)
1962, 15 October. 15 öre green New Numeral Type type II. Qty: 22,300,000
1958, 17 September. 5 kr blue The Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,00 (2-sided perforation)

The blue 35 öre was substituted by the grey 35 öre in the last days of June 1964, but they seem to have co-existed . . .


Some postal rates for domestic and Nordic postcards and domestic letters:
Postcard - 20 g
. . . 1961      20    30
July 1962      25    35
July 1964      30    40
July 1967      35    45


9 March 2016

Missing addresses

Something went wrong here, the red boarded white label to the left signals error . . .


The company Sunne Textiles Inc. (Sunne Textil AB) had to deliver a box of clothes to Mr. Lindell living in the village Ytterby outside of Kungälv. The weight of the parcel was 3 kg so there must have been quite a lot of clothes. The problem was that the Sunne Textiles did not fill in the address at all. They just wrote "Mr. Lindell Ytterby" and added the postal code "440 32" as well. Maybe they thought that Ytterby was a small place and that Mr. Lindell was well known. The parcel took of for Ytterby on Thursday August 5 1971 and arrived on the Saturday.

. . .  the error is that the address is missing (option: utelämnad) and the label urges the receiver of the parcel to get in touch with the sender and sort that out. As you can see Sunne Textiles did not even add there own full address.

It looks like Mr. Lindell was well-known after all since a man called Lennart Lindell paid, signed the card and picked up the parcel on the Monday. But the story do not to end there. The next Friday the card and presumably the parcel were back again at the Post Office in Ytterby, according to the last cancellation stamp. It looks like the word canceled (makulerad) is written over the cancellation stamp. Lennart's signature was also crossed out. I guess it became a return.


Domestic parcel,  - 3 kg fee: 4.80 kr
1971, 22 January. 80 öre blue/brown the Waxholm Boat. Qty: 58,100,000.
1971, 22 January. 4 kr black "Blood Money" Coins, 1568. Qty: 33,300,00

In the fall of 1971 the older Three Crowns series had start to fade away. It used to be the backbone of parcel stamps, but not anymore. The Waxholm Boat and the "Blood Money" Coins was issued oat the same time in February 1971 and both did good service on parcel cards.

The 4 kr black the "Blood Money" Coins was the one of the higher denomination definitive stamps with a medieval theme that were issued at the beginning of the seventies, the other ones were 5 kr blue-green National Seal 1439, 2.55 kr light blue Seal of King Magnus Ladulås 1285 and 3 kr green-blue Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson 1306 from 1970, followed by the 4 kr stamp above and in 1972 the 6 kr blue-grey Old Swedish Coin.

The 80 öre Waxholm Boat would during 1971 get company by more definitive stamps in the lower denomination range. Each and every one a stamp of its own, no more long definitive series of the same motif as before.


Domestic Parcel rates effective by January 1971 until October 1971: (an unusually short period of time)
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7 kg 7 - 10 kg
3.80 kr [4.80 kr] 5.80 kr 9.00 kr 13.00 kr


Where are the places:
Sunne is situated 283km NW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 377 km.
Ytterby is situated 392 km SW of Stockholm, the distance by road is 492 km.
The distance between Sunne and Ytterby is 231 km by road.

4 March 2016

Relatives on 55th Street

It seems like Mrs. Bertha Ahl mailed  a letter to a relative in New York City on Wednesday 9 March 1949. Maybe Mr. Walter E. Ahl was her brother that immigrated to America some decades earlier? We do not know . . .   but it looks like an older person's handwriting and an old fashioned ink pen was used as well. According to the backside of the letter Mrs. Ahl lived in a village called Skruv just north of Klavreström, a small place between Växjö and Vetlanda in the province of Småland, (299 km south west of Stockholm, 380 km by road.)

It is an air mail letter and the fee paid by Mrs. Ahl was 95 öre which indicates that the letter was weighing 5 g or less.

Air mail  - 5 g, fee: 95 öre
1941, 23 January. 35 öre carmine-violet Gustaf V, right profile, type II. Qty: 20,000,000.
1939, 10 February. 60 öre red-carmine Three Crowns. Qty: 77,900,000

The clerk at the Post Office in Klavreström used two stamps; the 35 öre carmine-violet Gustaf V, right profile, type II and the 60 öre red-carmine Three Crown. The 60 öre Three Crowns was a pretty common stamps in the forties, its main purpose was to be used for domestic parcels weighing up to 1 kg. It was also the first stamp in the long running Three Crown series - read more about that series here. The 35 öre carmine violet is a little bit rarer, in 1949 there was no obvious single use, but earlier it could be used as a single stamp for registered domestic letter - 20 g until April 1942.


1 March 2016

Valuable books

Businesses have to get their books reviewed at least annually. In the fall of 1968 the Stockholm based cooperative the Milk Central  (Mjölkcentralen) had their books reviewed by a chartered account in Gothenburg (Göteborg). The Milk Central was a cooperative owned by Swedish farmers, its successor Arla still exists and the Arla brand can now be found in quite many countries outside Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

The chartered account Mr. Ruhne was employed at a subsidiary to the Federation of Swedish Farmers (Lantmännens Riksförbund - LRF) and was responsible for the review. It seems like he was done with his work on Monday 21 October because then he sent back the books to Stockholm. Better safe than sorry he insured the package for a whooping 25,000 kr, close to $5,000 USD in those days.


Domestic parcel   - 3 kg, fee: 3.70 kr; insured for 25,000 kr, fee: 3.90 kr
1961, 7 June. 10 öre ultramarine-blue New Numeral Type, type II. Qty: unknown.
1961, 28 August. 2.50 kr light green Three Crowns. Qty: 19,600,000.
1958, 17 September. 5 kr the Royal Palace, Stockholm II. Qty: 16,500,000.

The red label marked with a capital V for value marks that the item is insured. In 1968 the fee for insurance was 1.40 kr + 0.10 kr per 1.000 kr insured. It took only one day to get the parcel to Stockholm and two days later the parcel was picked up by the General Manager Mr. Pehrsson.

The stamp at the left is the 10 öre in the low denomination series New Numeral Type, the two others are typical parcel stamps: the 2.50 from the Three Crowns series and the 5 kr Royal Palace. Originally the 2.50 kr was used to cover the fee for parcels weighing between 3 and 5 kg from 1961 to until July 1964 when it instead covered the weight class 1 - 3 kg until July 1965.


22 February 2016

Air mail to Chicago

Another post with two letters. Both letters were sent to Borg-Warner Corporation in Chicago, Il in the end of 1954. The first one was sent on Friday 5 November and it was a registered letter dealt with by the Post Office Stockholm 1, the main post office of Stockholm situated on 28 - 34 Wasa Street (Wasagatan 28 - 34).  Stockholm 1 was also co-located with the head office of the Swedish Post, where the Swedish Post actually filled up two blocks along Master Samuel's Street (Mäster Samuelsgatan) . The stamp print shop was also located there but in the middle of the two blocks towards Klara North Church Street (Klara Norra kyrkogata).


Registered air mail  - 10 g. Fee: 90 öre + registration fee: 40 öre
1954, 15 March. 30 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 14,900,000.
1952, 1 July. 50 öre grey Three Crowns. Qty: 23,700,000

There are three labels on the letter cover. The blue one is the air mail label - Par Avion. To the left there is the mandatory registered mail label marked Stockholm 1 with a running number. Below a green label with the text "Utförsel medgiven" which means that the letter also had to pass Swedish Custom. The international registration fee was 40 öre at the time and it all summed up to 1.30 kr. Everything seemed to went well and as you can see the letter arrived in Chicago on the 8th of November according to the U.S Postal Service:

Arrival stamps by U.S. Postal Service in Chicago.
Left: "Old Post Office Stat."
Right: "Reg. Div.

The next letter was sent a month later, on Wednesday 8 December 1954, and handled by the Post Office Gothenburg 1 (Göteborg 1). This letter was slightly heavier, but since no registration was needed the cost was less, 1.15 kr.

The three stamps on a row are the classic line-up of Swedish definitive stamps in the fifties and sixties (at least the first part of the decade). To the left the New Numeral Type a series for complementary low denomination, denominations below the most common postal rates. At the time there was only one stamp the 5 öre, but the series would get both 10 and 15 öre stamps later on. In the middle the Gustaf VI Adolf series used for letters, domestic and international of different weight classes, post cards and printed matter and much more. This was the work horse of the Swedish definitive stamp series. Finally to the right the long running Three Crown series with mainly higher denominations and it did heavy duty for parcels.The orange 1 kr was the Three Crown stamp printed in the highest quantity in the series.


Air mail  - 15 g, fee: 1.15 kr
1951, 29 November. 5 öre red-violet New Numeral Type, type I. Qty: 140,000,000
1954, 12 April. Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 320,000,000
1939, 22 September. 1 kr orange Three Crowns. Qty: 141,000,000

There are no traces of the firm Autopart that sent the letter above but the sender of the first letter Sjöö Fabriksbolag AB still exists and at the same address they had in 1954 - 15 Industrial Road (Industrivägen 15) in Solna, a suburb very close to Stockholm. Borg-Warner is still a prosperous company. In 1954 the address 79 E. Adams Street was the Pullman Building. Built by the famous Pullman Palace Car Company in the 1880's. Four years later the Borg-Warner corporation moved into the  Borg-Warner building that they built on the same spot. That building is still standing, but Borg-Warner has moved away.


Both letters went trough this door.
Pullman building, Chigaco, Il.
(undated picture found on the Internet)

9 February 2016

Two letters to UK - 40 öre blue

The first letter was sent by J. D. Viktor Bemfelt, Stockholm,  an electrical engineer to EMP Electric Ltd, London UK. Mr. Bemfeldt used to be the Country Manager for the German giant AEG's subsidiary in Sweden and had a 25 year long career in the company until 1950 when he started his own firm - V. Bemfelts Elektriska AB (V. Bemfelt Elecric Inc.). In the beginning of May 1953 he apparently had an urgent matter to discuss with EMP Electric Ltd, a well reputed supplier of advanced electrical fuses.

A 40 öre blue Gustav VI Adolf type I was applied on the letter cover and the letter was initially handle by the Post Office Stockholm Ban, the Post Office at the Stockholm Central Station. 40 öre was the fee for first class international letters ( - 20 g). The 40 öre fee was in effect for ten years, from June 1952 until June 1962. In those days the postal rates were pretty much fixed. That would change from 1962 an on wards.

The 40 öre stamp had at the time to be of a blue colour  since the Swedish Post still was compliant with the UPU-colouring rules and blue was designated for international letters first class. 1953 was actually the last year when Swedish Post followed those UPU-rules. The 40 öre blue was replaced by the 40 öre olive-green in January 1954. Here is a post about UPU-colouring and its consequences - UPU-colours.


International Letter  - 20 g, fee 40 öre
1952, 1 July. 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 12,600,000.

Twelve years later 40 öre could still bring a letter to UK. In this case it is a Christmas card that was sent on Monday 20 December and it was taken care of the Post Office Göteborg 1, in Gothenburg on the Swedish west coast. The stamp is a 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Did the Swedish Post revert to old UPU-colouring rules? Not at all, in December 1965 the postal rate for international letters was 60 öre and the designated stamp in the Gustaf Adolf series for those letters was coloured red. The Swedish Post had however always special rates for Christmas cards both domestic and international ones. The rate for Christmas card distributed abroad was 40 öre in 1965.


International Christmas card, special rate: 40 öre
1964, 25 June. 40 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 416,000,000.

The normal use for the 40 öre blue Gustaf Adolf stamp in 1965 was for domestic letters  - 20 g. The reason why the stamp became of a blue colour is more likely dependent of the fact that the Swedish Post still only had one-colour printing capabilities. The Gustaf Adolf stamp for domestic letters was also always issued in slot machine booklets. Since different stamps had to be used in the booklets they all had to be of the same colour. The sum of the slot machine booklets was limited to 1 kr and depending on the actual rate for domestic letters the numbers of stamps could vary, but it was since 1957 always combined with the 10 öre blue New Numeral Type, type II, link to New Numeral Type. Hence the blue colour.

At Christmas card time special charity stamp looking stickers were sold and one of those is placed on the back of the cover.

Season Greeting sticker.




8 January 2016

Adding up to 1.40

Traversing rates


For more then nine years the postal rate for a Swedish domestic parcel weighing less than 1 kg was 1 kr and 40 öre. There was a definitive stamp designated for that rate, of course a stamp from the Three Crown series, the 1.40 kr dark green. The stamp was first issued in April 1948, but back then it covered the rate for parcels weighing 3 to 5 kg and from June 1951 on  parcels 1 - 3 kg. Its carrier as single stamp on parcel address cards ended the last day of June 1961. It had many other single uses from 1948 and well into the late sixties. The excellent website of the Swedish Postal History Society  have researched all kind of single uses of the Three Crowns series and at the moment they have registered 492 single uses for the stamps in the series. The 1.40 kr stamp has 32 single uses identified. Here are some clips from 1959:


Domestic parcel card,  - 1 kg, fee:1.40 kr
1948, 1 April. 1.40 kr dark green Three Crown series. Qty: 72,900,000.

As described above the parcels rates kind of traversed through the weight classes. It was the same with 1.10 kr, 1.70 kr and the 2 kr rates.

Domestic parcel rates: (öre)
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg
04-1948 80 110 [140]
06-1951 110 [140] 170
06-1952 [140] 170 200
07-1961 170 200 250


But there was not every Post Office that used a single 1.40 kr stamp, some of them applied more stamps to ad up. Have a look at these clips below, also from 1959:


Domestic parcel card,   - 1 kg, fee: 1.40 kr
1954, 8 November. 60 öre red Rock Carvings type I. Qty: 53,800,000.
1957, 15 October. 20 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type II. Qty: 193,000,000. (two-sided perforations)
1957, 15 November. 40 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type II. Qty: 38,400,000.
1954, 8 November. 50 öre grey Rock carvings type I. Qty: 115,000,000.
1954, 8 November. 20 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type II. Qty: 16,800,000 (three-sided perforation, pairs)

In 1957 the Swedish post decided to print the initials of the designer (del. = latin  delineavit) and the engraver (sc. = latin sculpsit) at the bottom of new stamps. The Gustaf VI Adolf stamps has that new kind of information. Check it out. "D T del." stands for David  Tägström and "S E sc." stands for Sven Ewert. The Rock carvings stamps from 1954 do of course not have that information, but the next editions of Rock carving stamps from June 1957 have the del. and sc. printed at the bottom, forming the type II version. Oddly enough the del. and sc. policy was never applied to the Three Crown series.



31 December 2015

Stamps in the back

The last post showed a domestic address parcel card where both sides of the card had to be used for stamps. This post's parcel card uses the back side of the card for the required stamps. There is more space there . . .

The amount 4 kr 80 öre is written where the stamps should be and the note in blue ink to the left says "stamps - turn", in other words: for stamps please look at the back of the card. 4.80 was in February 1971 the rate for domestic parcels weighing more than 1 kg, but less than 3 kg. The weight of this parcel was 2 kg.


Domestic Parcel Card, - 3 k g fee: 4 kr 80 öre.
1968, 21 February. 1 kr green-black Dancing Tranes. Qty: 140,000,000
1968, 21 February. 50 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 65,200,000
1969, 17 November. 30 öre multi-coloured 300th Anniversary of the Swedish Lighthouse Service*. Qty: 14,200,000
                                                                            *a commorative stamp

The parcel was handed over to the Post office in Österjörn on Wednesday 17 February 1971 by Mrs. Stenlund. It contained 2 kg of pillows, must have been pretty small pillows and heavy ones too. The Post Office clerk brought out four  1 kr Dancing Tranes, one 50 öre Gustaf VI Adolf type III and in addition, a commemorative stamp, the 30 öre 300th Anniversary of the Swedish Lighthouse Service. That last stamp should have been sold out by then, normally commemorative stamps were for sale six to eight months or so, not for well over a year like in Österjörn.

The pillows went from Österjörn to Gilleby, and arrived the following Tuesday. That is a pretty long time, six days. The receiver Mrs. Olsson picked it up the same day. Both Österjörn and Gilleby are rural places indeed. The village Österjörn is situated in the inland of the province of Västerbotten in the north and Gilleby village is on the island of Orust at the Atlantic coast of Sweden. The Gilleby Post Office was closed 31 March 1973 and the Post Office of Österjörn lasted three more years.


Some domestic parcel rates effective 1 January to 30 September 1971: (öre)
- 1 kg 1 - 3 kg 3 - 5 kg 5 - 7kg 7 - 9 kg
380 [480] 580 900 1300


Where are the places:
Österjörn is situated 644 km N of Stockholm, the distance by road is 826  km.
Gilleby is situated 398 km SW of Stockholm.
The distance between Österjörn and Gilleby is 1,175 km by road.




27 December 2015

A very local parcel

In August 1971 the postal rate for a Swedish domestic parcel weighing up to 1 kg was 3 kr 80 öre. At this time there was no specific definitive stamp with that denomination as it use to be in the sixties. The postal rates were raised much more frequently from the end of that decade and a specific stamp for parcels up to 1 kg would have been short lived. The 3 kr 80 öre rate was effective just a mere nine months.

But there was the 3 kr green-blue Seal of Duke Erik Magnusson 1306 from April 1970 and combined with the 80 öre blue/brown The Waxholm boat from January 1971 they would sum up to 3 kr 80 öre. Pretty convenient, but not at the Post Office Kungälv 1. They used one 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer archipelago of Stockholm at the front and five 70 öre red-lilac Gustaf VI Adolf type III at the back. The first one is a complimentary denomination but the 70 öre was aimed for international letters first weigh class (- 20 g). That worked too.


Domestic parcel card  - 1 kg; fee: 3 kr 80 öre.
1967, 16 October, 30 öre red-orange/blue Outer archipelago of Stockholm. Qty: 184,000,000
1967, 16 June, 70 öre red-lilac Gustaf VI Adolf type III. Qty: 26,700,000

The parcel contained blue prints and it was meant for Mrs. Karlsson living in Ytterby. Ytterby is situated about 4 km outside of Kungälv. The address of the Post Office Kungälv 1 was actually Ytterby Road (Ytterbyvägen) the road that went to Ytterby. Most likely the old road to Ytterby.

Yesterday . . .

The entrance to the Post Office Kungälv 1 where the parcel was sent from. (Photo: Swedish Post Museum - Postmuséet).


... today according to Google Street

Here is what is left of the Post Office Kungälv 1.


5 November 2015

The launch of something new

First batch of the new Gustaf VI Adolf definitive series


The old king Gustaf V died on October 29, 1950 and his son Oscar Fredrik Wilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf, a prince sure could have many names in those days, became Gustaf VI Adolf. The existing definitive series of the king from 1939 had of course to be replace immediately. When it comes to stamps immediately can be quite a long time since the new stamps was emitted in June 1951. Apparently the Swedish Post had not planned for a succession. Which is a little bit surprisingly since the old king was 92 years old.

The new series began to be designed in February 1951. The artist David Tägtström painted the new king’s head in a relief profile. The purpose was to make a more timeless portrait, almost coin like, that would last for more than a decade. Given the portrait a contest was arranged for the detailed design. Mark Sylwan won the contest and hemade the final design of the stamp and it was engraved by Sven Ewert.

The Swedish Post decided to emit the new series with the denominations 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 öre only. 5 öre was still needed but only as a compliment and therefore the new 5 öre stamp was issued in a new series of it owns, the New Numeral Type (read more - here). From now on the lowest denomination for the definitive stamps of the king would be the rate for printed matters, in June 1951 that was 10 öre.


First Day Cover Gustaf VI Adolf type I, issued 6 June 1951.
10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 284,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
10 öre green Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 24,700,000 (3-sided perforation, pairs)
15 öre brown Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 66,300,000
20 öre red Gustaf VI Adolf, type I. Qty: 70,100,000
25 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 161,000,000 (2-sided perforation)
25 öre grey Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 22,500,000 (3-sided perforation, pairs)
30 öre blue Gustaf VI Adolf type I. Qty: 21,800,000


The definitive stamp of the old king Gustaf V covered all lower denominations from 5 öre up to 50 öre in intervals of 5 öre. The new series had no 35 or 40 or 45 or 50 öre stamps were issued in 1951, as they had done with the old Gustaf V series. Probably those denominations were not in demand anymore. Eventually a 40 öre stamp came 1952 but that was due to changes of the postage rates. For this series a new policy came into effect which meant that the raises only of the postage rates for printed matters, post cards and letters would spawn new stamps, not  any longer could single stamps of the series cover the rates for registered mail, express fees, C.O.D, parcels, e.t.c. as before with the old Gustaf V series and the lower rates in the 40s. Those rates were now taken care of by the Three Crowns (read more - here) and later on also the Rock Carving series (read more - here).

1951 was regarded as a low water mark by the Swedish stamp collectors at the time. Besides the New Numeral Type and the new definitive stamp series of Gustaf VI Adolf there were only two more new stamps issued in one single commemorative series - Christopher Polhem. 1952 was not a great year either, only two commemorative series with five new stamps. The reason is that Swedish Post had only one engraver employed, Sven Ewert, and there were no more capacity. The critics from the stamp collectors was taken seriously since the collectors was good business for the Swedish Post. The Rock Carving Series was an answer to that and also the various combinations of the new slot machine booklets in the beginning of the 50s. Later in the decade it started to pick-up and more engravers were engaged by Swedish Post.


Five new stamps, how could you have used them in the summer of 1951?


10 öre green single use: international printed matter

15 öre brown single use: domestic postcard

20 öre grey single use: domestic letter  - 20 g

25 öre red single use: international post card

30 öre blue single use: international letter  - 20 g