WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

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classic1
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WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by classic1 »

Here is a cover sent by diplomatic pouch from the USSR to America in 1944. Diplomatic mail was not censored. There is a postmark "AM-M from F C" that I've never seen on similar diplomatic covers. What is it?

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Re: WWII US Diplomatic mail need help with the postmark

Post by mrboggler »

Not a Postal Mark.but an Internal marking I think,
Interestingly it is addressed to Mr Charles M Fain
and the mark says AM-M from F.C,
and one knows how the services always like to reverse everything,
so could this letter have been forwarded internally to someone else with the initials AM-M from Fain Charles, :?
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Re: WWII US Diplomatic mail need help with the postmark

Post by aethelwulf »

mrboggler wrote:Not a Postal Mark.but an Internal marking I think,
Interestingly it is addressed to Mr Charles M Fain
and the mark says AM-M from F.C,
and one knows how the services always like to reverse everything,
so could this letter have been forwarded internally to someone else with the initials AM-M from Fain Charles, :?
To have a handstamp with the initials of everyone would quickly result in an unwieldy number of combinations...espescially given that we're talking about the bureaucracy here, the most over-staffed institution known to man. Imagine that every staffer, or even only the important staffers, had a handstamp with their initials in combination with every important staffer to whom they would write in other cities...Charles could have 10 regular contacts, that would require 10 stamps...if there's 5 other people in the embassy that also have 10 contacts, that's 10 each for them...suddenly you have 60 rubberstamps, and that's just for 1 office.

I would say that the FC is for "Foreign Country"...while in the first line, the AM is together, then a space before the second M..."AMerican Mission" or "AMerican Mail"...so a way of saying "American mail [mail sent by an American] from a foreign country"
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by Allanswood »

Actually I've got another question / observation...

Why were the USSR Russian stamps cancelled in the US?


And how about a desk stamp code for AM (American Embassy) - M (Moscow)
from F C (Finance Clerk/Controller)?

I Wonder if the Washington cancel is Over the AM-M one or vise-versa?

PS Love the Magenta stamp telling you it was mailed from Russia.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by aethelwulf »

Allanswood wrote:Actually I've got another question / observation...

Why were the USSR Russian stamps cancelled in the US?

And how about a desk stamp code for AM (American Embassy) - M (Moscow)
from F C (Finance Clerk/Controller)?

I Wonder if the Washington cancel is Over the AM-M one or vise-versa?

PS Love the Magenta stamp telling you it was mailed from Russia.
Your question about the Washington cancel is discussed on the 'help' page of Linn's frequently.

The rules governing mail from embassies, at least for the USA, is that you have to frank the letter with the correct amount of postage for delivery to the USA. However, instead of going through the mail system, the letter is carried by diplomatic pouch to the State Department in Washington. There it is put into the regular mailstream. Since the host country's post office never handles the letter, they don't postmark it, that's done in Washington, and the purple rubber stamp to such effect is applied by the State Department.

Your idea about the AM M marking is good, but what about other cities starting with M -- Manila, Muscat, Manama...Its the USA, they keep embassies everywhere...The same would of course apply to any letter of the alphabet--Sydney, Stockholm, Budapest, Bucharest...

I was also wondering which came first, is the postmark over or under the AM M/F C...that could be a clue as to who applied.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by Brummie »

I found quite a few covers with "AM-M from FC" and from different countries. One explaination for the marking was that it was the pouch service marking?
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by nigelc »

Brummie wrote:I found quite a few covers with "AM-M from FC" and from different countries. One explaination for the marking was that it was the pouch service marking?
How about AMerican Mail from Foreign Consulate, so it could be a generic marking for mail received in Washington in the diplomatic pouch/bag?
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by classic1 »

Brummie, could you show examples of such stamped covers, links or pictures? Your direct email link does not work. Under close examination it seems that the "AM-M" mark on my cover was used BEFORE not only Washington cancel, but even before the address was printed, though it's hard to tell for sure. So it might be that employees of the Embassy obtained pre-stamped envelopes to write home.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by nigelc »

I see another web site expands the mark as:

AMerican Mail from Foreign Country.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by classic1 »

Thank you all, guys, for your help. I think Nigel's comment closes the discussion. It makes sense that such an auxiliary postmark could be used on covers distributed or sold to employees at the embassy.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by classic1 »

Here is a very useful blog on American diplomatic mail markings: http://filaque.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It's in Portuguese, but well illustrated and easy to understand.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmar

Post by Brummie »

Image
1945 Diplomatic mail to USA franked with 20mil pictorials alongside Washington cds dated April 17, typed "This article originally mailed in country indicated by postage" in violet with initials for censorship and approval for pouch mail, "AM-M from FC" boxed h.s., and "O.K. for pouch" Start Price $150

Here is the link to this cover:-
https://romano.stampcircuit.com/JoinRomanoMailAuction/viewlotnologin.php?item_id=111413

Another:-
Image
1944 cover with US Military Mission in Moscow cc, franked with Russian stamps, sent via diplomatic pouch to Washington, "AM-M from FC" pouch service marking, stamps tied by Washington cancel; crayon signature at left is probably the censor marking.


On this site they don't know the meaning of the "AM-M from FC" but after translation it looks pretty interesting:-

https://au.babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?trurl=http%3A%2F ... =yfp-t-501

I'd found one last night that looked great but I can't find it now :( I will keep looking though :D
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by classic1 »

BTW, $140 is unreasonable price for a diplomatic pouch cover, unless there is something special to it. A fellow in my club sold at an auction a wonderful collection of 350 diplomatic covers, including most exotic origins. It went for about $1,600!
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by Brummie »

And that was listed as the "Starting Price" :shock:

Looks like Nigels explaination seems feasilble, don't you think? I think there is great consternation, as to what it means, by all that I read. Have you thought to contact an American Embassy to ask what it means?
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by Allanswood »

classic1 wrote:BTW, $140 is unreasonable price for a diplomatic pouch cover, unless there is something special to it. A fellow in my club sold at an auction a wonderful collection of 350 diplomatic covers, including most exotic origins. It went for about $1,600!
All the variables! Who it was to? The Date it was sent during the war and from where, Italy?
What was inside the letter if it is still in there?

Roosevelt died on the 12th
Trueman gave a first speech as the new pres' on the 16th

This letter is postmarked arrival date 17th

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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by aethelwulf »

classic1 wrote:Thank you all, guys, for your help. I think Nigel's comment closes the discussion. It makes sense that such an auxiliary postmark could be used on covers distributed or sold to employees at the embassy.
Not to gloat, but credit should be given where credit is due, I had said the same as nigelc a few messages earlier :roll: Maybe i should be less verbose in my messages... :?
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by aethelwulf »

classic1 wrote:BTW, $140 is unreasonable price for a diplomatic pouch cover, unless there is something special to it. A fellow in my club sold at an auction a wonderful collection of 350 diplomatic covers, including most exotic origins. It went for about $1,600!
I would agree with this. I collect embassy/consulate stationery (from all nations in all nations, so the permutations are vast), and generally don't pay more than $10USD for a piece. If its a modern/contemporary piece (1960s onwards) they are generally only $1-2. If you go back to early 20th century there might be a scarce stamp used as the franking to increase the value, in that case I sometimes pass on it and wait for another example to come along, as the value in that case would be foremost for the stamp and secondary to the type of envelope it is on. If you go further back into the 19th century, then covers start to get into the price range here, but for a piece like this it looks quite non-descript.
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Re: WWII U.S.A. Diplomatic mail - Need help with the postmark

Post by Brummie »

aethelwulf wrote:
classic1 wrote:Thank you all, guys, for your help. I think Nigel's comment closes the discussion. It makes sense that such an auxiliary postmark could be used on covers distributed or sold to employees at the embassy.
Not to gloat, but credit should be given where credit is due, I had said the same as nigelc a few messages earlier :roll: Maybe i should be less verbose in my messages... :?
It looks like your early pick-up was overlooked aethelwulf :? Next time you should bold it :D Clever working out though!
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