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|Honored members, officers, and...|
|Life of the society by Gordon...|
|Minutes of the 1983 annual Rossica...|
|Beware of thieves|
|Imperial Russian international...|
|USSR postage stamps used as revenue...|
|Russian perforations by Rev. L.L....|
|From the history of the St. Petersburg...|
|The 1909-1920 arms types on wove...|
|Requirements for properly addressing...|
|Back to the Ice Island by Patrick...|
|Development of the post and telegraph...|
|Bisects of the Perm' district Zemstvo...|
|A World War I propaganda postcard...|
|Forgeries of the Northwest army...|
|Russia in Alaska by A. Kholodkov,...|
|Notes from collectors|
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Table of Contents
Honored members, officers, and representatives of the society
Life of the society by Gordon Torrey
Minutes of the 1983 annual Rossica business meeting by Kennedy Wilson
Beware of thieves
Imperial Russian international money orders by David Skipton
USSR postage stamps used as revenue stamps by P. Mazur, translated by
Russian perforations by Rev. L.L. Tann
From the history of the St. Petersburg post (pre-stamp period) by M. Dobin, translated by George Shalimoff and David Skipton
The 1909-1920 arms types on wove paper by Diana Johnson
Requirements for properly addressing mail, 1892, translated by David Skipton
Back to the Ice Island by Patrick Campbell
Development of the post and telegraph office network in 1906, translated by David Skipton
Bisects of the Perm' district Zemstvo post by D. Kuznetsov, translated by David Skipton
A World War I propaganda postcard by George Shalimoff
Forgeries of the Northwest army stamps by H. T. Meyer, translated by David Skipton
Russia in Alaska by A. Kholodkov, translated by R. L. Trbovich
Notes from collectors
THE JOURNAL ISSN 0035-8363
"WIPA" 1933 BRONZE MEDAL "PRAGA" 1962 SILVER MEDAL
"PRAGA" 1935 BRONZE MEDAL "MELUSINA" 1963 SILVER MEDAL
"OSTRAPA" 1935 SILVER MEDAL "PHILATEC" 1964 SILVER MEDAL
"ZEFIB" 1937 SILVER MEDAL "WIPA" 1965 SILVER MEDAL
"BEPHILA" 1957 SILVER MEDAL "SIPEX" 1966 SILVER MEDAL
"EFICON" 1958 SILVER MEDAL "PRAGA" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"TEMEX" 1968 SILVER MEDAL "APS-68" 1968 SILVER MEDAL
"INTERPOSTA" 1959 SILVER MEDAL "EFIMEX" 1968 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"SICILIA" 1950 SILVER MEDAL "SOFIA-69" 1969 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"BARCELONA" 1960 -SILVER MEDAL "BUDAPEST-71" 1971 SILVER CERTIFICATE
"UNIPEX" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "CHICAGO-APS" 1974 GOLD MEDAL
"POLSKA" 1960 SILVER MEDAL "CAPEX-78" 1978 LARGE SILVER MEDAL
"WIPA" 1981 SILVER MEDAL
No 102/103 1983
THE JOURNAL OF THE
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
VOLUME 102/103 for 1982
EDITORIAL BOARD: George Shalimoff, David Skipton, M. E. Wilson
MANAGING EDITOR & PUBLISHER: Kennedy Wilson
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Life of the Society, Gordon Torrey .................................... 3
Minutes of the 1983 Annual Rossica Business Meeting, Kennedy Wilson ..... 5
Beware of Thieves ................................................... 9
Imperial Russian International Money Orders, David Skipton ............. 12
USSR Postage Stamps Used as Revenue Stamps, P. Mazur ................... 23
Translated by David Skipton
Russian Perforations, Rev. L. L. Tann ................................. 26
From the History of the St. Petersburg Post (Pre-Stamp Period).......... 30
By M. Dobin, translated by George Shalimoff and David Skipton
The 1909-1920 Arms Types on Wove Paper, Diana Johnson .................. 72
Requirements for Properly Addressing Mail, 1892 ........................ 75
Translated by David Skipton
Back to the Ice Island, Patrick Campbell ............................... 83
Development of the Post and Telegraph Office Network in 1916 ........... 87
Translated by David Skipton
Bisects of the Perm' District Zemstvo Post, D. Kuznetsov .............. 101
Translated by David Skipton
A World War I Propaganda Postcard, George Shalimoff ................... 104
Forgeries of the Northwest Army Stamps, H. T. Meyer ................... 106
Translated by David Skipton
Russia in Alaska, A. Kholodkov ...................................... 109
Translated by R. L. Trbovich
Notes from Collectors ............................................. 113
Rossica Bookshelf ................................................ 125
Joseph Chudoba Constantine de Stackelberg
OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY
PRESIDENT: Gordon H. Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, Maryland 20016
VICE PRESIDENT: George V. Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Drive,
San Francisco, California 94127
SECRETARY: Kennedy L. Wilson, 7415 Venice St., Falls Church, Virginia 22043
TREASURER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11226
LIBRARIAN: Howard Weinert, 500 Stoneleigh Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21212
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Lester Glass, 1553 So. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90035
Samuel Robbins, 3565 Meier Street, Los Angeles, California 90066
Howard Weinert, 500 Stoneleigh Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21212
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY
G.B. SALISBURY CHAPTER: Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11226
WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE CHAPTER: Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive,
Bethesda, Maryland 20016
ARTHUR B. SHIELDS CHAPTER: Samuel Robbins, 3563 Meier St., L.A., CA 90066
SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CHAPTER: George V. Shalimoff, 20 Westgate Drive,
San Francisco, California 94127
GREAT BRITAIN: John Lloyd, "The Retreat," West Bergholdt,
Colchester, Essex C06 3HE
Anything in this Journal may be reproduced without permission. However,
acknowledgement of the source and a copy of the reprinted matter would be
appreciated. The views in this Journal expressed by the authors are their
own and the editors disclaim all responsibility.
The membership dues are $20.00, due on January 1st for all members. Application
forms are available upon request from the secretary or treasurer. Membership
lists will be sent annually. Kindly make all checks payable to:
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
c/o Norman Epstein, 33 Crooke Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York 11226 USA
We have a number of back issues of the Journal for sale, both in English and
Russian language editions (some). These may be obtained from Mr. Wilson.
The Rossica Society
LIFE OF THE SOCIETY
by Gordon Torrey
The interim since the last issue of the Rossica Journal (May 1983) has
been a busy one for Rossica. The catalog of the Dr. Charles S. Rand
collection was prepared and distributed free to all Rossica members, as well
as to those people who responded to advertisements in the philatelic press
and paid $2.00 for a copy and a prices-realized sheet. The latter is available
to anyone who desires it at the cost of $1.00 postpaid. Write to me for it.
Thanks are due to several members who spent much time in letting and
describing lots, typing the catalog, and mailing them out. Special thanks
are given to David Skipton, Norman Epstein, Dr. Howard Weinert, and Valentine
Zabijaka. The sale could not have been possible without the professional
assistance of Abbott Lutz and Louis K. Robbins, both licensed auctioneers,
who"called" the auction. Also essential to the success was the help at the
auction by Martin Cerini, Gordon Denisenko, and Joe Taylor. There was a good
floor attendance and a lively competition for many of the lots, with big
surprises for some. In all, the auction grossed over $50,000, with no buyer's
premium. Strong bids came from England, France, and West Germany. Unpurchased
lots have been sold.
Rossica's President missed the annual meeting at BALPEX;. however, a report
by the Secretary is printed in this Journal. The officers voted a raise in
Rossica dues to $20.00 per year beginning January 1, 1984. This is the only
raise in dues since 1974. The cost of printing and distributing the Journal
has climbed continually. Members are urged to remit their dues promptly.
The membership is reminded they are entitled to a free expertization with each
year's dues, as well as a discount on Rossica publications. This is a good
time to point out that the annual meeting costsRossica nothing, as the meeting
room is provided by BALPEX free of charge and the expenses of the officers
attending is paid out of their own pockets. Costs of the Rand auction have
come out of the commission that the Society charged for carrying out the
auction. Any profit on this will be used for the publication fund.
David Skipton, who has been transferred to Germany for a couple of years,
has turned over the library to Dr. Howard Weinert. His address is 580 Stone-
leigh Road, Baltimore, MD 21212. Dr. Weinert has also been appointed to the
Board of Directors, replacing Boris Shishkin, who is unable to carry on due
While spending the month of September in England, I was able to attend
the BSRP meeting at Caxton Hall in London. It was a great pleasure to meet
the Society's officers and members present, especially our longtime Rossica
member, Boris Pritt. A few days later I had the opportunity to drive to
Colchester for a visit with Rossica's Representative in England, John Lloyd.
John, an old friend, is as enthusiastic about Russian philately as ever. It
was wonderful tc see him again and to view some of his remarkable material.
The great disappointment in the trip was the inability to have a chance to
visit with my old and dear friend Dr. Alfred Wortman, who passed away early
in 1983. We had visited each other over a period of nearly 30 years. His
collections of Russian and related material will be auctioned next April by
Robson Lowe in Zurich.
Our California colleagues have kept up a very active schedule by holding
meetings at WESTPEX in San Francisco last April, and at CALPEX '83 in early
October, under the leadership of George Shalimoff and Alex Sadovnikov.
Programs included one by Tom Harper on Soviet covers of the inflationary
period and a slide program on Russian Offices in Palestine loaned by the
Society of Israel Philatelists. Earlier in the year there was a meeting at
San Jose's "Philatelic Fiesta," where Dr. Heinz von Hungen showed and talked
on his Imperial Russian stationery and Ivars "Mike" Rozentals, managing
director of Latvian Collector, traced the postal history of the second issue
of Bermondt-Avalov (Western Army) overprints for use in Latvia in 1919.
David Skipton's translation of Prigara's "The Russian Post in the Empire,
Turkey, China and the Post in the Kingdom of Poland" was awarded a vermeille
medal in the literature competition at the American Philatelic Society's
annual STAMPSHOW '83 held last August at Pittsburgh. Copies of Prigara are
still available to Rossica members at a discount price of $35.00 plus $2.00
postage and insurance. For non-members the price is $40.00 plus $2.00
postage and insurance. These may be ordered from the President or Treasurer.
I will be judging or attending the following stamp exhibitions this
spring and would be pleased to meet Rossica members at the March Party,
Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, March 16-18 in Cleveland; SCOPEX in State College,
April 28-29; ALPEX in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and the show in Rochester,
Some members of Rossica have received copies of a newsletter entitled
"Peace Link." The avowed purpose of this newsletter is to unite people "who
hope to prevent worldwide nuclear destruction by working for improved relations
between the two superpowers." It is published in Tallahassee, Florida. The
letter suggests that one way to make friends in another country is to start
a hobby that is related to that country. It then suggests stamp collecting
and lists the Rossica Society (including the Secretary's address) as a place
to obtain information.
The membership should be aware that this use of the Rossica name has not
been authorized by the Society. Peace Link is totally independent of any
Rossica-sponsored activity. The officers of the Society and the Editor of the
Journal work very hard to keep the Society strictly non-political and oriented
strictly toward philately. The use of Rossica as a reference to support a
politicalviewpoint is to be regretted and is not authorized or approved by
the leadership of the Society.
As noted elsewhere in this Journal, the Society voted at their last general
meeting to raise the annual dues for members to $20.00 per annum beginning in
1984. This is the first increase in dues in 10 years, and it is necessitated
by the increasing costs of publishing and mailing the Journal, plus the other
normal operating expenses of the Society.
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
1983 ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
BALPEX '83 5 September 1983
The annual Business meeting of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
was held at 4:00 p.m., 5 September 1983 in conjunction with BALPEX '83 at the
Hunt Valley Inn, Cockeysville, Maryland.
Roll Call of Officers: President: Gordon Torrey excused, traveling in Europe
Vice-President: Constantine de Stackelberg
present and presiding
Secretary: Kennedy L. Wilson present
Treasurer: Norman Epstein present
Librarian: Howard Weinert present
Directors: Boris Shishkin excused, ill
Sam Robbins excused, unable to attend
Lester Glass excused, unable to attend
Members present: Mr. Arno Winard, Mrs. Arno Winard, Jacob Lurye
The secretary presented the results of the Society elections for the
triennium beginning in 1984. The official counter of ballots, Mr. Denys Voaden,
was unable to attend and make the report in person, so he forwarded it to Mr.
Wilson to make in his stead.
The elections were for the five senior Society officers, a Board of Directors
(three), an auditor, and a membership chairman. Those elected were as follows:
President: Dr. Gordon Torrey
Vice President: Dr. George V. Shalimoff
Secretary: Dr. Kennedy L. Wilson
Treasurer: Mr. Norman Epstein
Librarian: Mr. David Skipton
Directors: Mr. Lester Glass
Mr. Sam Robbins
Mr. Boris Shishkin
Auditor: Mr. George Werbizky
Membership Chmn: Dr. Denys Voaden
A complete copy of the Counter of Ballots report follows these minutes.
The secretary reported that for 1983, Rossica had 293 dues paying members.
Of these 248 were in North America, 2 in South America, 38 in Europe (of which
16 were in Great Britain), 4 in Australia/New Zealand, and 1 in Israel.
The Treasurer reported that the Prigara translation which the Society had
printed and bound had reached the financial break-even point. He did not have
precise figures on sales since they are being handled by Mr. Skipton. However,
all monies loaned by officers to prepay printing costs had been repaid, and the
monies taken from the Society's treasury had been repaid also.
The Treasurer did not have a detailed report of the financial status of
The Treasurer also reiterated that the Society was sponsoring an auction
of the Charles S. Rand collection to be held November 19, 1983 at the New York
Statler Hotel in conjunction with the ADA Show in New York. The Society was to
receive 15% of the gross proceeds from this auction for its sponsorship, including
the letting of the material and publication of the auction catalog.
Old Business: None
Annual Dues Increase
The Treasurer, Mr. Epstein, pointed out that rising costs of the Society
required an increase in the dues at this time. He noted that in spite of the
fact that we only publish the Journal once a year in order to save both printing
and mailing costs, the last 128 page journal cost just under $7.50 per copy to
type, print, address, and mail. He felt strongly that the remaining funds from
$12.00 annual dues were inadequate to run the remainder of the Society's business.
Motion/Second: Epstein/Mrs. Winard the annual dues of the Society be increased
to $20.00 a year.
After a brief discussion of the effects of this substantial increase on the
membership and a comparison with other specialist society fees, an amendment
Ammendment/Second: Mr. Winard/Mr. Wilson that the $20.00 figure in the motion
be changed to read $15.00.
The amendment failed, 2 to 5.
The basic motion to increase the annual dues to $20.00 a year then passed 6-1
without further discussion.
The Vice President noted that our long-time member, Boris Shishkin, was
suffering from advanced Alzheimer's Disease and had been placed in a nursing
home. His address is:
Mr. Boris Shishkin
Chevy Chase Retirement Center
2015 East West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
The Vice President also noted that as Mr. Shishkin was no longer able to
discharge his duties as a member of the Board of Directors, the President had
appointed Dr. Howard Weinert, the first runner-up in the election, to fill Mr.
Shishkin's place on the Board of Directors in accordance with the provision in
the Constitution for such succession.
Honored Member Status
Mr. Wilson noted that in years past, the Society had had a title of Honored
Member which it bestowed upon senior members who had spent many years of their
own time serving the Society in some capacity. This practice had fallen into
disuse in recent years for some reason, and it was felt it might be a good time
to reinstate it.
Motion/Second: Wilson/Weinert to establish the status of Honored Member of
the Society for select senior members who had devoted substantial personal time
and effort for the betterment of the Society, such members to be selected by the
membership assembled at an annual meeting, be listed on the Journal masthead,
and to be thereafter exempt from paying annual dues.
Motion passed, 5-0.
New Honored Members
Motion/Second: Wilson/Epstein that as of 1984 the following individuals be
elected to Honored Member status:
Constantine de Stackelberg
Motion passed by acclamation.
There being no further business to come before the meeting, it was adjourned
at 4:35 p.m.
Kennedy L. Wilson
ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
Report of the Counter of Ballots
Elections for 1984 1986 Triennium
Ballot forms for the electionof officers of the Rossica Society of Russian
Philately were distributed with copies of our Journal No. 100/101, for return
to the Teller by 1 July 1983.
Response was very good, with receipt of 83 valid ballots; a very small
number were not counted because of signed ballot forms or very late arrival.
Those who responded are sincerely thanked; the ballots from overseas members
were very welcome.
The elections were for our five senior Officers and a Board of three
Directors, as well as an honorary Auditor and a Chairman for a Membership
Committee. Results were as follows:
President: Dr. Gordon Torrey Directors: Mr. Lester Glass
Vice President: Dr. George V. Shalimoff Mr. Sam Robbins
Secretary: Dr. Kennedy Wilson Mr. Boris Shishkin
Treasurer: Mr. Norman Epstein (runner-up, Dr. H. Weinert)
Librarian: Mr. David Skipton Auditor: Mr. George Werbizky
Membership Chairman: Dr. Denys Voaden
The activities of our Society are encouraged by the input of members, and
it is hoped that future responses will permit all members to continue their
Tally of Ballots Cast
President: G. Torrey 81* Directors: L. Glass 66* B. Shishkin 56*
D. Voaden 1 P. Michalov 1 L. Shneidman 1
L. Mitchnik 1 D. Voaden 1
Vice Pres: G. Shalimoff 55* S. Robbins 62* H. Weinert 39
C. de Stackelberg
26 Membership: P. Baranov 1
J. Jovanovich 1
Secretary: K. Wilson 72* E. Laveroni 1
R. Trbovich 2 P. Michalov 1
P. Michalov 4 A. Sadovnikov 3
W. Solomon 1
Treasurer: N. Epstein 73* B. Shishkin 2
P. Michalov 6 C. de Stackelberg 1
G. Torrey 2
Librarian: D. Skipton 78* D. Voaden 6*
H. Weinert 3
Auditor: G. Webizky 75* V. Zabiyaka 1
Denys J. Voaden
1163 Dave Waterman, 1339 Hilliker Place, Livermore, California 94550
1164 Yakov M. Lurye, P.O. Box 482, Armonk, New York 10504
1165 Glenn S. Cucinello,2200 Congressman Hebert Drive, Chalmette LA 70043
1166 Gordy Denisenko, c/o Sideco of N.A., 34 East 51st Street, New York NY 10022
1167 Sergej Babajeff, Smidswater 27, 2514 BW's Gravenhage, Holland
1168 David E. Capra, 3990 So. Holly Way, Englewood, Ohio 80110
1169 Paul Brenner, P.O. Box 402, South Orange, New Jersey 07079
1170 Terrence F. Archer, 313 Mahurangi East Road, Warkworth, New Zealand
1171 Capt. John W. Bates, 7604B 29th Division Road, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755
1172 John Barry Clark, 67 Shakespeare Drive, Shirley, Solihull, West Midlands,
B90 2AN England
1173 Wayne V. Richter, 605 Carolina Street, Bellingham, Washington 98225
8 (continued p. 25)
BEWARE OF THIEVES
Ourlongtime member Boris Shishkin, member number 536, has lost a large
part of his Russian collection. A full list of missing items is not yet
available, but certain Zemstvos missing can be determined. These were bought
by Mr. Shishkin at the Siegel sale of the Baughman collection in 1971 and are
still on the original album pages. These pages were written up for Mr. Baughman
by Albert Gold and are distinctive. The missing Zemstvos are listed by lot
number in the Siegel sale: 1175 Cherepovets; 1473 Korcheva; 1509 Lohishef;
1583 Opachka; 1728 Petrozavodsk; 1786 Priluky. Further descriptions can be
found in the Siegel auction catalog.
The "look" of the pages missing is similar to those shown below which
appeared in a recent German auction catalog. The pages shown below were bought
and sold from the Siegel auction by someone else. They are shown here only as
representative of what the missing Shishkin pages look like.
O ctober. Ia. Llth=graose o on co- Issue of 193, B ray.
lorec ap er nose
brof .n ,ello. gws Shst 18.Lf. A Dor-
Sheet unkno Perf formt sd clock of
Iln anc also osper- 9 5. f ro SE corner
for.at ver t rcall of the heit. Paper
2 Lop. Clac., rose .ee s to be .ib ght-
aber. ly thocker than 0-
pez ule 'or other
stldps of thi Ias-
sue, 9nd wth b t-
tl. crackly tu.
Po,.tmrkld .vel CHERDYNSKUY UYEZD(NOY) ZEMSKOY UPRAd -
or pen clnclld
u o J.ry to t1e :9
ietterl. F-Iure of
vrlue "2" n :emtre
Block of four.
th double horlzontl perform tlon
KMnusczrpt Incebllatsen. or .ostmmrk1d a.. tye
In addition, Boris was known to possess about 40 covers from the Western
Ukraine bearing stamps between Scott numbers 85 and 103. A similar cover is
shown on the following page. These are also missing.
If anyone sees or learns the whereabouts of similar pages to the Zemstvos
listed above as belonging to Mr. Shiskin or the Western Ukraine covers, please
contact Gordon Torrey, 5118 Duvall Drive, Bethesda, Mhryland20016 U. S -A.
'* ""ABA MOLDAUER-
"'; a\ "
In January 1984 Rossica member Dr. Leonid F. Kvetan of Miami, Florida
suffered the loss of an album of Russian stamps valued at 10,000-15,000 dollars.
The circumstances are as follows:
One morning Dr. Kvetan received a phone call from someone who said he was
recommended by Mr. S. Serebrakian, the well-known Monroe, New York specialist
dealer. The caller was interested in seeing Dr. Kvetan's Zemstvo collection.
An appointment was made for later in the day and the stranger arrived with a
friend to view the material.
Dr. Kvetan showed them his collection but indicated that he was not interested
in selling it. He was showing them material in three stock books and momentarily
left the room to get another stock book. When he returned the men asked about
other Zemstvo collectors. Dr. Kvetan had no names to offer and the men left the
house, asking Dr. Kvetan for a ride to a street where they might catch a taxi,
claiming they arrived by taxi. Dr. Kvetan returned to his apartment to get
his car keys, but when he returned outside, the two men were gone.
Back in his apartment, Dr. Kvetan quickly learned that one of his albums
was missing containing Russian stamps with Scott numbers 470 through 857, with
many unlisted varieties and the special overprinted souvenir sheet for the 1932
Moscow Philatelic Exhibition. Twenty-five copies of the souvenir sheet were
especially overprinted "To the best shockworker" and presented to special Soviet
dignitaries. Dr. Kvetan prized this extremely rare souvenir sheet, pictured
; Wue', I *G' '-U
.. /ly~m~e.y ""d*g ..y -
Mr. Serebrakian, who knows Dr. Kvetan quite well, has stated that these men
were not sent by him. Member Jacques Marcovitch also had an encounter with
these two men who contacted him at his office in New York. They tried to interest
him in gold coins, which he turned down. The Miami, Florida police as well as
F.B.I. agent Prescott at 3801 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, Florida 33137 were
notified. Also Mr. James Beal, Chairman of the APS theft committee has been
informed. His address is P.O. Box 2457, Vienna, Ohio; telephone 216-856-5895.
Dr. Kvetan described the two men as follows:
One appeared to be 50-60 years old, gray hair, about 5 foot 7 inches. He
didn't smoke or speak Russian although would use some Russian words for some
descriptions. His English had a Brooklyn-like accent. The second man spoke
Russian fluently, was about 5 foot 9 inches tall, 48-50 years old, short-cut
gray hair, complained of poor vision but did not wear glasses. His upper front
teeth protruded and were capped. Both men were dressed casually.
Rossica members and their dealer friends should be alerted to this serious
problem. If material is offered which fits the general description of the
stolen material, Dr. Kvetan, the F.B.I. agent, and Mr. Beal should be notified.
IMPERIAL RUSSIAN INTERNATIONAL MONEY ORDERS
by David Skipton 0
Bureaucratic warfare between the various postal administrations and the
Ministry of Finance was a long-running affair that saw the post lose far more
battles than it won. For centuries, Russia's government had viewed the post
more as a source of revenue than as a service to the populace, and a policy of
appropriating postal revenue for the treasury effectively hamstrung the post
in a number of areas. The salaries of postal workers and officials were
grossly inadequate, post-roads and stations were allowed to deteriorate, and
the services offered by the post were often inefficient and slow. Many kinds
of mail that existed in western European countries were absent in Russia, not
because of any lack of need but because their introduction might result in
greater expenditures for the Finance Ministry. Thus registered mail (3AHA3HOE),
C.O.D. (HJ EHlZR n4ATELK), and declared-value (LJEHHOE) mail were not initiated
until 1871.1 The idea of money orders (nEPEBOnI) was successfully resisted by
the Finance Ministry until 1847, when the first domestic forms appeared.
A money packet from Samara to Mt. Athos
via Odessa, with enclosure of 2 rubles for
the cell of Koz'ma and Damian, St. Andrews
Monastery. 27 September 1885.
( ~4~U /CWct^ Co:aefH1iz^iy^& /^W2^ '^
Prior to that time, an explosive increase in the number of banking insti-
tutions in Russia had seriously affected postal revenues where money mail was
concerned, as the banks could offer their patrons a money-transfer system
that was far less awkward than the post's. All the post could offer was the
"money packet" (AFHE3RM TFZ4AET(Figure 1) or "money-bundle" (FHEHRbB Y3EJJ), in
which the currency itself traveled through the mail. This resulted in large
amounts of capital being out of circulation at any one time.2
This situation was gradually reversed after 1897 when "money" could be
sent by mail or telegraph by means of a form card, the "perevod." Only domestic
money orders (DMD's) have been given any listing is catalogs like Higgins &
Gage, Michel, or the Prigara handbook. Although somewhat scarce, the DMO's
can be obtained with a little perseverance; not so with the international money
orders (IMD's). Their rarity and a lack of archival materials in the west have
combined to prevent a systematic listing in any reference work, and unfortunately
this article will do nothing to alleviate that lack. However, some information
is available on their introduction and increasing financial success over the
next decade. In addition, a few of these IMO's have been preserved, but their
number (9 recorded) is too few to permit of anything more than guesswork. More
than 9 must exist, and it is hoped this article will stimulate a search for
IMO operations began on 19 March/l April 1900, but only to one country--the
United States. An agreement between the Russians and the U.S. postal adminis-
tration established this service between the Empire and several American cities,
notably New York, but it was a limited service. The largest amount that could
be sent per order was $100 or 194.33 rubles. Twenty kopeks for every 20 rubles
or fraction thereof was charged, so that for a 194.33-ruble money order, a fee
of 2 rubles would be collected.
The service was an instant success in terms of profits. According to data
from the first 18 months of operation (up to September 30, 1901), 3,350 money
orders totalling $120,009.86 were sent from Russia to the U.S. (233,000 rubles).
It was even more profitable for the American post, as 100,177 money orders
totalling $3,169,092.90 were sent from the U.S. to Russia. The huge imbalance
was apparently the result of many Russian immigrants sending money back to
It seems strange that IM3 operations with the U.S. should have come before
thsoe with the much closer western European states, but that is what occurred.
IMO service to 4 European countries began of April 1, 1904 and evidently no
other European countries had been added as of 1909. This surmise is based on
a review of a booklet that appeared early that year in the St. Petersburg Post-
and-Telegraph Journal. A Mr. F.A. Leonov of the SPB 2nd City Post Branch Office
had compiled information concerning IMO's and published it primarily for the
use of merchants. Entitled "Posobie po Priemu Mezhdunarodnykh Perevodov,"
the handbook contained detailed regulations governing the acceptance and issue
( ) of postal IMO's, examples of how forms should be filled out, and
locations within the four countries (Austria, France, Germany, and Great Britain)
that were subordinate to their postal administrations. The reviewer complimented
Leonov for compiling so useful book but complained that no locations in the
U.S. were given, a serious oversight considering the rapid expansion of IMO
operations with that country.4
.* y -r __________
IIEPEBOJ['b 11HO 1OT.
v' BrB, CoeaIHeHHue LLI.TaTbI AMepHKH.,
H a cy,.y .... ... e... ....... non.
. .. .. .. ... ....... ......................................... .
(Cyluy p7y6sl nowropiTb upouMcui.)
i Y / ... ............. ......... .... ....
-/ Moro HuSHaefiR ii no-. i
".; ,.' / :,, "_.. T, ...... ct............
S..................... .... ..............................................
"", r-,-) 780 ....,..,.... W..^-.. .-,
; .-.. ............... ,: .... ................ .................................... .. .......... ..................... .. .... ..... ... ,
I'toro Hw|*"".> f )ii^\
!7i j) 8ot arN 3TO CoANItHla NWOb"T-, a*NI T- M NO no pyooiu, HR-C -t a R&OO9TPNHHIIO
l. a t (ATIHCKMM SyNaN)1
Cayre6amsa OTxtTI H.
COy-A.a nepe eoa p.. ..O..,. a -,
Wf''^ .^- .^Mtti \
Postal revenue from IMO's (to all five countries) in 1905 came to 39,498
rubles.5 The following year saw an increase of 75% in the IMO operation,6
with 885,530 IMO's sent and received.7 No breakdown was given in any of the
available postal statistics for amounts leaving Russia, but presumably the
imbalance continued, making outgoing Russian IMO's far more scarce than in-
coming U.S. IMO's.
The geographic area within the Empire represented by IMO's is quite small.
Of the nine IMO's recorded, eight are from the Polish provinces. The four
illustrated in this article repose in the author's collection. Four more (all
Cfrm Warsaw) appeared as Lot #404 in the Stanley Gibbons Merkur Auction catalog
of 20-21 June 1978, and the ninth, from Voronezh, was featured in BJRP #54.
A cut-off receipt coupon showing that 5 rubles had been sent to Jerusalem in
1913 might also be a part of an IMO, but none of the nine noted above show any
evidence of a detachable coupon.9
Slight differences in format and text on the IMO's of the three areas
represented (Warsaw, Lyublin, and Voronezh) seem to indicate that each post-
and-telegraph district produced its own IMO's, rather than obtain them from a
central government source, i.e., St. Petersburg. If this premise is true, it
would further complicate the process of establishing a "complete" listing.
The IMO specifically for use to the United States is shown in Figure 2.
It differs considerably from the "European" forms and reads:
Transfer by Post
to the United States of America
the sum of .......rub.......kop
Write out the ruble sum
From .................... ...........................
......................... First name of recipient *).......................
......................... Last name of recipient *) ........................
......................... Destination and precise ........................
address of recipient *)
......................... County *) ........................
......................... State *) ........................
(Sender's name and
*) All of this information must be written not
in Russian, but also in a foreign language
(In Latin letters)
(This space)for office use only
Sum of transfer .........doll .......cents No. ...............
by sender's register
CJIFYfEBIfbIRT OTAI TMKI.
f. (BapmaBcxoR I'qTOBOi EOSTOpU-).
Hacmoazuit nepeeoOa a .pye. a .... non. ( ......... 0.4.4 eum.)
6 e6 Cnuco wa a .n w R cr tr, m7zbua 6 b ,O-IopHlrb ..... ..................................................
:;;-'' V (ueCo, rtclsri roi).
A, ......... .... ........... nod no iD/ O b t o, ...- ..... V
(Ipitrp Ose*ac ,'no CnucKy)
SHavaAnbHut Komop /
") "'.-- *
The back of the form (Figure 3) reads:
(This side) for office use only
(of the Warsaw Post Office)
This transfer for .....rub. .....kop. (.....doll......cent.)
has been entered in the register (and notice of the money sent) to the
exchange pint in New York......................
(Day, month and year)
No. ..... under sequential No. .............
(List #) (by register)
Office Chief .........................
Figure 4 is an IMO from Krasnik in Lyublin Province, transferring 100 rubles/
216 marks to a Polish woman in Aschersleben, Prussia, 19/20 June 1909. At
least for the Polish area, this form seems to be the "standard" one, but it is
unlike the IMO shown in BJRP #54. Starting at the top and working down, the
Transfer by Post
To............... ....... ...... ... .. ... . ........ .. ......
Write out the country's name in Russian and a foreign language
(in Latin letters)
The sum of .................. ............................................
Indicate the transfer sum in the currency of that country
Write out the sum again, in Russian
First Name ") ................ -.......................
Last name ) .........................................
Sender Exact address .................. ....................
Write in the city or place, etc., and also the street,
house number, and so on.
First name *) ........................................
Last name *) .........................................
Recipient City or place, etc. ) .............................
Street, house number, etc. ..........................
Specifying the province, district or anything similar
is not mandatory.
Country *) ........................................
"*All this information must be given by the sender of the money order in
Russian and in a foreign language (Latin letters)
(This space) for office use only
Transfer sum ........rub. ........kop. No. ....................
17 (by sender's register)
iE n P BB B0 JI 'i i rfbWc i .
SA 6,06onaasTi cyYM nepesoAs Bs MOHOTt CTpaIu HaasaieHiH
.................. .... ........... .- .
"/ oCyaMMy r opeAo0a noBroin 7rT poncb lo npycc
...... ..... ... .. .. .. ... .... ............ .....
cOT a6aamQe TowuNb aOpecnb -G ft Au'
IL p o..................n ) ..... ........... .. ..........................................................
BoacaMs rop a e BJ as cTen'o a T. n., panBo yJiI Aye, tA AOa R T. A.
I,,mpaR *) .. .Q
Ha u.MiA *) ......... .O.A.<...Q.. ....... .. c-L ... o..
's I Y.. ...... .. T. .......
c.o2q.0ame.b A A
Haneeaonalie npoBeHian, oipyra B T. n. He o6R3aTebiHo.
: L..c ......... ....... ......
Cmn patn a *) ...... ..... .......
"*) Bct r3T cItAt>Hi AonImHu 6bmb HanncanHi noAaeaS inM b nepeBo u B no pyCCKn Ha HHOCTpaHNoM R3bI, K (AaTHHCKMMM 6yaiMM.
OI-YI EBHbJ.1 OTMBTK i
CyMMa nepeeo8a........ .. .y6.... n. A
R (Pno MnoAaearTebcrKo Kni.).
Bc T sttl Om~'6lb ~NaunOGaiiM OeOQnOPCK NN HCpammj,!3lt(laNC1M
~~HAcr i t ^ '*^ F H.........- n
8^. FIi-L a8t ^\fSOKZ B6APUl t Tfrosol
R0\1TPh- HA :3.'; SAN tq Tb
noa s.erKe O ;nA DP -
On the back of the form (Figure 5) is an indistinct blue handstamp applied
in the Warsaw 10th dispatch office (D.O.) which reads:
"This transfer for ....marks....pfennigs
has been entered in the register (or list) of
the Warsaw post office (illegible?) to No. .... from....
under sequential No. ............. Dispatch Agent
Figure 6 is a similar form from Lyublin transferring 94.37 rubles/249 francs
to Ornans, France, 19 September 1909. On the back is a similar handstamp of
the Warsaw 10th D.O. but the top line is partly missing so it cannot be determined
if there was another handstamp for francs and centimes as opposed to marks and
Figure 7 is from Zamost'e, Lyublin Province to Francesbad, Austria, for
175 rubles/444.45 kroners. Sent by post from Zamost'e to the Warsaw 10th D.O.
on 1 July 1909, it also bears a similar backstamp, with most of the top line
The 100-ruble limit on IMO's was raised at some point during the first
decade, perhaps at the same time the DMO's were changed, but by the franking
on Figure 7 (1.80 rubles for 175 rubkes transferred), the 20k/20r-or fraction-
thereof charge remained in force.
From the four IMO's illustrated in this article, the 10th dispatch office
in Warsaw served as the central point to which the other towns sent the forms.
The forms themselves certainly went no further as there would be foreign marks
and probably a Russian return mark on the back. How these forms survived is
for the time being a question mark. The Postal Administration may have assented
to their sale, but then more should have been found, and the literature would
not have been so silent. An under-the-table sale seems more likely, with some
postal officials seeking to supplement their meager income by peddling them
to dealers. Another possibility--the German occupation of Poland during WWI,
when archival stores could easily have "walked out the door." Whatever the
explanation, the IMO forms appear to be rare, and it would be a great addition
to out knowledge if forms from other postal districts, especially St. Petersburg,
could be brought to light.
"1"Pochta v Rossii v XIX Veke" (The 19th-century Russian Post), by K. Bazilevich.
St. Petersburg Post-and Telegraph Journal, pp. 194-195, February 1902.
4St. Petersburg Post-and-Telegraph Journal, p. 108, February 1909.
5SPB P-&-T Journal, p. 249, May 1907. (Statistical data for 1905) "Revenue
returns on the international transfer accounts were introduced by a special
clause, as a result of the expansion of (the Post's) money order operation...
to western European states beginning 1 April 1904..."
"6Ibid., p. 248.
7SPB, P-&-T Journal, p. 285, June 1908.
8Ibid., p. 286
9"Money Transfer and Parcel Receipt Cards--Further Notes," by R. J. Ceresa.
BJRP #54, pp. 16-17, December 1977. Illustration on Plate 7.
*Ha cy.b I
'0'6o3qatainb cyOmy ueaeBOAa mioaet cpaHb ""H .
............................................ .... ... .... ..... .. ....... .................... .. ..........
SCy nepe aoa no vropqii nponaie no 0a c .
uJj , .t'oj,.s tu m Uc 0 ./ t ..... ........ ............
D ........... ...^ ^ .... .. ........
E -" Nt' K f.
I-"-' '/ y f, .; B0 .e-ropo li, uol, ol i. o4., pa.. o n .^ .. Ao.a a. A....
^CywCa nepeod ea BeO u a( .pn on* i... S 1 ....... .. .o H
S. I ... .............................. I ..............
.... c So.. .U .... B, ..................... I ..... ..................
.., oo u n ., .. ................ ..... .4 .....-.
S................. ............................ .. ..'.. ,. .. ........................ .
) Bct WN Cst)AtHb l AOJmnbN 6blTb H.anlcab nOABaBTeejiem nepe.oAi' b N kA NOCTpaHIHO'M. 'R3Mlt (A&TN#CKNMN 6yNBM).
Cy a nepeeo a .. ............. ... on .... ,lO b .. .9
~~~~~~~~I " H, -"--*:--
i Bo o no T'B.
BancaTW paay Hasoaitiia no-pycceni a'Ca HOnaI asiIt (IaraIHCKBMH 6yKBaMB).
d0oua, b cymmy a peuBoAa. er cTpanu asaaa Hia.0
J~o~yzam~m ________ __________3^ _
My nepeoAa n Topa npona -pyc .
coaeamAb Torut alpe .....------- ----
BnacaTm ropoAli i n tcreqo a T. n., pawo yanny, NM Aoma n T. A.
H I ....... ............. ..... .............. ..................
,y^ / ^ ^ / ^ ^ a~-- -.. ,! < ._-- --------. .
Iopo-6, umu iicbmenio u m. n. ..........
Y-lll a ".W Tm uo)3Ql ..
Cmrpao a *).. fie_-- ._ -__
*) Bct 3TH CBtA$HiAl AOnMIHbi 6blTb HanHcaHbi nooaaaTeineMb PepesoAan fpyccy n a _HHOCTPa 93bIxH (TaTHHCHIHMH 6yKBeaM
C 11 Y EB 1 0TM T
CyAMa nepe0eoa ..... .. ....o. .... .3aM. -e.
I'po o u .... ............ ...... ..............
OUU rt lbato C'fcn -^;. 11 11A
^ .. __ ^ '....-- .,^ -- -
USSR POSTAGE STAMPS USED AS REVENUE STAMPS
by P. Mazur
(Translated fwom Filateli- 8/81 by David Skipton )
In the 1927 F. G. Chuchin catalog "Postage Stamps and Entires (Russian Civil
War)" the following is stated about postage stamps used for revenue purposes:
"Fort Aleksandrovskii. 1922. Imperial Russian stamps of the 1909-1917 issue
with handstruck overprints in black "G" and "M" in the upper two corners."
Further on it is noted that these two overprinted letters signified the stamps'
eligibility for use either as postage or as stamp-duty. They are found on a
number of various denominations, but all of them, with the exception of those
mentioned in the catalog, are used exclusively as revenues.
S. A. Parkhomovich gave a more detailed description of these in his article
"Revaluation of RSFSR and USSR Stamps and the Provisionals of 1918-1923,"
published in "Sovetskii Kollektsioner" #1. The following information was
provided: "...c) provisionals of Ashkhabad, known by the name "Fort Aleksan-
drovskii." The Socialist Revolutionary Government of the Transcaspian oblast',
having cut its ties with Moscow and begun a war against the Soviet government,
felt a need for revenue stamps while postage stamp blocks were quite adequate
for the area's requirements. So, on 25 March 1919 an order was issued concerning
the placement of a revenue handstamp on postage stamps. The Ashkhabad Post-and-
Telegraph Office chose a quantity of stamps, overprinted them with "G" and 'TM
denoting "Gerbovaya Marka" (revenue stamp) and put them into circulation. The
minimum revenue collection in the Oblast' was fixed at 25 kopeks. Thus stamp
denominations of 25 kopeks and multiples thereof, i.e., 50k, 1 R, 3.50R, 5R,
and 10R were the ones overprinted."
Ashkabad fell to units of the Red Army on 8 June 1919, and the revenue collections
were abolished by the Soviet government. The Ashkabad Post-and-Telegraph Office
decided to use the stamps overprinted "G" and ""' as postage.
The second edition of the Philatelic Dictionary, redone and supplemented, gives
the following definition of these emissions on page 27: "Revenue stamps are
special, non-postal stamps of the so-called stamp-duty type, affixed to various
documents of a civil nature. Instances are known where revenue stamps have
been used for postage (for instance, in the RSFSR from 1920 to 1922)." Such
things are known to have occurred not only in the RSFSR but in other republics
However, Soviet philatelists have various documents of a "civil" nature that
bear not revenues but ordinary everyday Soviet postage stamps.
How widespread was the usage of Soviet stamps as revenues, in what oblasts and
republics of the USSR did this occur and for how long a time? For now such
information is unavailable, but for some of them we can already make several
more precise determinations based on study of a number of documents in philat-
Before we provide some examples on the use of Soviet postage stamps as revenues,
however, a few words on revenue stamps in general are in order. Revenues are at
once both special stamped papers sold by government institutions and a way of
exacting stamp-duties which comprise a part of the State's income.
The stamp duty was introduced in the USSR in February, 1922, but was changed
and its collection begun at the beginning of 1924. An ordinary and a propor-
tional stamp duty were established. The ordinary duty of four categories was
derived from written appeals to government institutions, from warrants on control
of property, etc., and the proportional duty of three categories--from commercial
documents. The method of collecting stamp-duties has changed several times in
As a rule, allrevenue stamps are affixed to a document and cancelled by pen.
The following documents are known with Soviet postage stamps serving as revenues
1.) a certificate, as shown by the handstamp, issued on 9/1/1924, #39, by the
factory committee of the Izmailovskaya Cloth Factory of the Simbirsk Section,
All-Russian Professional Union of Textile Workers, to a 19-year-old worker of
that factory, I. I. Petrov, and P. I. Ivanova, 20, attesting to the fact that
both were unmarried.
The certificate was signed by the chairman and secretary of the factory
committee. It bears a circular handstamp and 10 postage stamps totaling 1 ruble--
7 10k stamps (#116) and 5 6k stamps (#112). All the stamps are cancelled by a
circular marking, while the certificate bears the inscription "Stamp-duty--l
Certificate #156, issued by the same factory committee in February, 1924 to
a worker there, also has 1 ruble's worth of Soviet postage stamps affixed, but
they are cancelled by pen. The certificate bears the inscription "Stamp duty
of 1 gold ruble paid, postage stamps on reverse."
2.) Certificate #18, issued by the executive committee of the Gur'evka Rural
Committee in Gur'evka Volost' (Karsunskii District, Simbirsk Province) to a
Gur'evka village citizen and citizeness. As stated in the document, it was
issued "for the purpose of marriage. The certificate bears 15 6k stamps (#112).
cancelled by pen, a a notice that "the stamp-duty of 1 gold ruble has been paid
with postage stamps."
3.) Certificate #199, issued on 28 January 1924 by the executive committee,
Gur'evka Volost' Council of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies, Karsun District,
Simbirsk Province to M. Kuroedovo, an inhabitant of the village. Ten 10k stamps
are affixed (#116), along with the inscription "Stamp-duty 1 gold ruble and
office (fee)--5 gold kopecks receipt #5." The stamps are overprinted (cancelled)
by "Due to a lack of revenue stamps, (the stamp-duty) of 1 gold ruble is paid
by postage stamps." Two stamps are cancelled by a circular handstamp.
4.) Excerpt #199 from a birth certificate, issued on 6 October 1924 by the
Dvorinskii Volost' Executive Committee, Syzran' District, Ul'yanov Province
to a citizen (the name and that of the town are illegible). In the excerpt it
speaks of a marriage concluded in the Kuzovatskii Volost' Executive Committee,
which event is noted in register #41 of births, deaths and marriages. The
authenticity of the signatures of the Dvorinskii Volost' Executive Committee
Chairman and his Secretary are attested by the Ul'yanov Province 5th District
People's Court. The document has 10 10k stamps affixed (#116) with an inscrip-
tion stating that the 1 ruble stamp-duty has been collected.
Seven other documents of a similar nature are known, all of them issued in
Simbirsk Province, now Ul'yanov Oblast', as marriage certificates.
Thus, with these documents we can confirm that stamp-duty for papers issued
was collected using postage stamps in the following places: the Izmailovskii
Cloth Factory Committee, the Gur'evka Rural Council Executive Committee, and
the Gur'evka Volost' Executive Committee. Apparently they were all operating
on the basis of special instructions but thus far there has been no success in
It is possible that Soviet postage stamps were used as fiscal in other provinces
of the RSFSR or in other republics, so it would be appreciated if philatelists
possessing similar material would respond to this article.
NEW MEMBERS (continued)
1174 Joseph P. Chinnici, 1024 Robmont Drive, Richmond, Virginia 23236
1175 Quinlan J. Shea, Jr., 5250 Wild Flower Terrace, Columbia, Maryland 21044
1176 George V. Woodley, 604 Indian Head Road, Danville, California 94526
1177 Christopher T. Burgess, c/o American Embassy, Box M, APO New York NY 0862
1178 Sergio Sismondo, P.O. Box 6277 Station J, Ottawa, Ontario K2A 1T4 Canada
1179 John M. Hotchner, 6121 Vista Drive, Falls Church, Virginia 22041
1180 Postmuseum, P.O. Box 2002, S10311, Stockholm 2, Sweden
1181 Fred A. Scheuer, P.O. Box 2356, Mesa, Arizona 85204
1182 John P. K. Haydon, P.O. Box 659, Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950
1183 John E. Medeiros, Jr., 5521 Neddleton Avenue, Woodbridge, Virginia 22193
1184 Ralph M. Young, 4125 Maywood Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19124
1185 Robert M. Gibbs, 734 LeMans Way, Half Moon Bay, California 94019
1186 James Duffy, 15 North 20th Street, Camp Hill, Pennsylvania 17011
1187 Stuart Kremsky, 1716 Ocean Avenue, Suite 9-L, San Francisco, California 94112
1188 Vernon A. Chamberlin, 1506 University Drive, Lawrence, Kansas 66044
1189 Thomas E. Petroskey, 6727 Parrish Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46323
1190 Ray Hefferlin, P.O. Box H, Collegedale, Tennessee 37315
1191 James A. Buscher, 1384 Portland Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104
1192 Joseph E. Lang, 6546 Wandermere Drive, San Diego, California 92120
1193 Steven M. Johnson, P.O. Box 451, Fort Huachuca, Arizona 85613-0451
1194 Dr. Paul Shott, P.O. Box 339, Plymouth, New Hampshire 03264
by Rev. L. L. Tann i
I refer to the article by Dr. Constantine de Stackelberg in Rossica 86/87 of
1975, in which he reviews the types of perforation used in Russia in the years
1858-1955. It is, therefore, with some trepidation, in view of the learned
article and its quotations from the earlier work of Mr. C. Manshelei, that I
believe it to be wrong in some details and that the extensive table published
there is, in some places, likewise in error.
The article states that there were three types of perforation: line, comb and
harrow, and illustrations are given of each. I think the following points should
be added, corrected, and adjusted.
LINE PERFORATIONS (Figure 1) punch a single row of perfs at a time. When the
horizontal perforations have been made to the sheet, the sheet is turned round
ninety degrees and the vertical perfs punched. What was not stated there (p.16)
is that the intersections of the horizontal and vertical perfs are irregular,
and the illustration given confirms it.
................ .......... ..... ...o ..................
..... ....... .. ........ ....... .... .. ...........
..... .................... ....... ........ ................. ................. .
COMB PERFORATIONS (Figure 2) perf three sides of the stamp. It is called comb
because, as the illustration shows, it looks like a comb. But the following
paragraph (p.17) is in error. It states: "Sheet margins are not perforated..."
In fact one margin of the sheet MUST be perforated, to add the last line of
perforations. On a sheet of a hundred stamps, 10x10, such as the Romanov stamps
and the 1918 Sword and Chain stamps, the comb perforator must fall eleven
times, or else the final row will be perfed only on three sides and remain im-
perf with the margin, the American-described fantail. That eleventh stroke of
the comb perforator completes the last line of perfs BUT THE VERTICAL PINS PERF
THROUGH THE MARGIN TOO (Figure 3).
HARROW PERFS (Figure 4) complete the operation in one stroke, perforating an
entire sheet, and none of the margins are perfed. The majority of the Romanov
stamps and Sword and Chain stamps and all the kopek values of the Arms stamps
were harrow perfed.
............ ........... ............ ............ ............
Interestingly enough, it would seem that the majority of the Romanov stamps
and Sword and Chain stamps were in fact harrow perfed, but some were comb perfed.
The only way to prove comb perfing is to find marginal blocks PERFED THROUGH THE
MARGIN. I have three such items, perfed through the top margin, proving too
that the sheets were perfed bottom to top, as well as top to bottom. I have a
20k Romanov, Alexander I, which is imperf with margin at right. I think this
is a comb perf which omitted the eleventh strike, or the pins were broken, and
the sheet was perfed across, from left to right, but that is not certain.
Turning now to the tables appended to the article, we see on page 21 that the
Scott Nos. 88-104, the Romanov issue, are listed as being "L/C", that is, line
perfed and comb perfed.
They cannot possibly be line perfed. There is not a single stamp or block that
shows the irregular corners of a line perf. This type of perf was used for the
ruble values of the Arms stamps. It would have been correct to have written
"H/C", the majority Harrow perfed, the minority Comb perfed.
Having seen that "L/C" was written for the Romanov issue, it is odd that the last
line of that page notes Scott Nos. 110-111, the Romanov stamps surcharged in 1916,
as being "H"' This was merely a surcharge on the original printing. Yet the
original printing is noted as being "line and comb perfed", the 1916 surcharge
On page 24, in table III-A, referring to the Sword and Chain stamps of 1918,
(called Kerenski issue, though they were prepared under the Kerensky Government,
and issued in March 1918 under the Bolsheviks) the type of perforation is again
listed as "L", line perf. None of these stamps, for all the rough perforations
of the revolutionary period, show any signs of the irregular corners of the
line perf. These stamps were harrow and comb perfed. The examples of imperf
with margin result from the comb perforator failing to fall that last time to
give the final row of perfs.
I was a little confused on these points too, but when visiting our good friends
in the Canadian Society of Russian Philately in Toronto, we discussed this at
some length and had the opportunity to see complete sheets showing comb and
harrow perfs. Thus, with great respect, I offer these points in correction of
Dr. Stackelberg's article.
DR. STACKELBERG RESPONDS:
In the above article Rev. L. L. Tann has raised an interesting problem concerning
the comb perforations of the Romanoff and "Kerenski" issues of Russia.
But first of all I have to explain that the object of my article in Rossica 86/87
of 1975 was to list only the actual perforations of Russian stamps 1858-1955.
The reason was that at that so many "new" nonexistent perforations were
suddenly being discovered, perforations which were actually only due to the
later shrinkage or expansion of the original stamp. Although I discussed the
three types of perforations (line, comb, and harrow), I only mentioned them to
explain the letters "L", "C", and "H" in the following tables, or listed by
Manshelei and in the Soviet Catalog.
Rev. Tann is correct that in describing the line perforations I should have
added that "the intersections of the horizontal and vertical perforations are
Now concerning the comb perforations of the Romanoff and Kerenski issues, I
always understood and as always described in the philatelic literature the main
distinguishing marks of the comb perforated Russian stamps were the one, extra
perforation hole at the beginning or two at the end of each horizontal line of
perforations (see Figures 2 and 3) which do not show up on harrow perforated
panes (see Figure 4).
Rev. Tann is correct in stating that an llth stroke was needed to close the
fantails on top or on the last row of a pane. If this llth stroke was effected
by the full comb, the margins would be obviously perforated. These perforated
margins may have lead some researchers (as Manshelei) who only had small margin
pieces of a pane to the wrong conclusion that these were line perforations.
However, the point I want to make here is that I have and have seen many panels
and sheets of the Romanoff and Kerenski issues with this typical tell-tale extra
perforation hole at the beginning and end of each horizontal perforation line,
thus indicating that they were comb perforated. But the llth stroke at the
bottom or top was made by one line only with the extra hole and not a comb.
From this I only can deduct that some perforating machines used at that time
could either eliminate the vertical comb or had a device in the form of a line
perforator to close the top or bottom fantail of each pane.
Accordingly, the type of Scott Nos. 88-104, 110-118 on Table IA on pages 21 and
22 of the Rossica #86/87 should be changed from L/C to C, but not to H/C as
suggested by Rev. Tann. All specialists should be thankful to him for bringing
this matter to our attention.
CHANGES/CORRECTIONS OF ADDRESS
272 R. S. Blomfeld, 5107 Cayuga Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37914
276 R. Canman, 5555 Sheridan, Chicago,Illinois 60640
641 Louis K. Robbins, 19 W. 44th Street, New York, New York 10036
736 James Mazepa, P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, Illinois 60304
791 M. R. Renfro, P.O. Box 2268, Santa Clara, California 95055
809 Joaquin Segarra, 532 18th Street, West Babylon, New York 11704
891 Roslyn Winard, 4308 Framer Place, Ft. Washington, Maryland 20744
818 M. Budzol, P.O. Box 95260, Schaumberg, Illinois 60195
904 Don Heller, 11718 Fairpoint Drive, Houston, Texas 77099
* 953 Robert J. Thompson, P.O. Box 207, Limerick, Maine 04048
(continued p. 82)
FROM THE HISTORY OF THE ST. PETERSBURG POST
(THE PRE-STAMP PERIOD)
"Sovetskii Kollektsioner" (Soviet Collector), No. 16, 1978
George V. Shalimoff and David M. Skipton
The Post of St. Petersburg up to the Introduction
of Postage Stamps in Russia
The St. Petersburg Post in the XVIIIth Century
On May 16, 1703 on the shores of the Neva, Peter I built
a fortress around which arose a new capital of the Russian State
- St. Petersburg.
After the founding of the new city on the Neva, communications
became necessary with Moscow, which remained the center of economic
and cultural life at that time.
In the beginning of the XVIIIth century, postal communications
in Russia were conducted by means of courier horse posts (yamskaya
gonba) and the "foreign" or "German" post. The courier horse post
primarily served the government's purposes. Its administration was
concentrated in the Yamskoi Prikaz (this term is difficult to
translate, we suggest Department of the Postal Relays or Head Relay
Office as others have translated it). The yamshchiks (defined as
post riders, drivers, coachmen or postillions) were settled along
the different roads in station villages (yams). They were adminis-
tered by foreigners living in Russia (the Marselis and Vinius
families) who carried the mail on courier post horses. These posts
began to be called the "German" post. The administration of the
first posts was by the Ambassadorial Department (Ref. 1).
St. Petersburg's Postal Communications
The first mention of post stations (yams) out of St.
Petersburg is found in an 1807 manuscript titled "On the Post",
located in the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library. It
tells of "The Settling of Two Post Stations (Yams) from Novgorod
to St. Petersburg" : "On orders from the Novgorod governor Count
Brus, the clerk Volodilov was sent from St. Petersburg this year
(1703) in the month of December to arrange for the settling of
two post stations, each with ten sections" (Ref. 2).
In 1704 a courier horse post was established between St.
Petersburg and Novgorod for which eight post stations were built.
In addition to this direct postal road, there was a circular
route (post station route) along the Volkhov, through Ladoga and
Shlisselburg. Communications between Novgorod and Moscow already
In the manuscript "On the Post" mentioned above, there are
"detailed instructions on the establishment of the post and the
upkeep of the roads from Novgorod to St. Petersburg". In the
"Instructions" it is indicated that the scribe Evtifii Ignatev
conveyed to the postal couriers "an order, in the name of the
Great Sovereign, that they gallop with the mail from Moscow to
St. Petersburg and from St. Petersburg to Moscow, from station
to station with great speed day and night, not to delay anywhere
or for anything, but rather to cover 10 to 15 versts per hour
under threat of execution, and at the changes to deliver the
postal letters to one another along with a list all intact ..."
According to a 1707 order of the first St. Petersburg
governor, Prince A. Menshikov, for the postal couriers from
St. Petersburg to Moscow, "instructions were given that 10 horses
were to be kept at each post station and the stations were to be
separated a distance of 15 versts". (From a letter of provincial
court member Rimski-Korsakov to Count Apraksin, dated October 17,
1717 (Ref. 4).
In that same year post stations were established on the way
to Olonets, Staraya Russa, Velikie Luki and Toropets. In 1708
there alreadywas a postal road to the Polish border by way of
Kopore, Narva, Pskov and Velikie Luki. Postal communication
between St. Petersburg and Riga was established by way of Narva
and Derpt. Later this road had important significance for
communications with foreign states. In 1712, postal communication
with Kargopol was established (Ref. 5).
The directions of the postal route from St. Petersburg to
Moscow changed repeatedly. In 1710 the great postal road passed
through Ladoga, Tikhvin and Ustyuzhna, but a year later through
Staraya Russa, Rzhev and Volokolamsk. On September 5, 1712, an
order was given for twice-weekly dispatch of the post to
Arkhangelsk (Ref. 6).
St. Petersburg's postal communications with Moscow and other
cities in the early years had a casual character. A special
postal establishment did not exist. The word "post" implied
either special sending or a courier on a post horse. Sometimes
private letters were dispatched along with the official packets.
A turning point in the history of the St. Petersburg post in
the first quarter of the XVIIIth century was the year 1714. The
resettlement of the coachmen (yamshchiks) to the new capitol began
at that time. The "regular movement of the posts" on the Moscow
and Riga highways was established. In St. Petersburg, a Postal
Office was established, later to become the St. Petersburg Pochtamt
(the General or Main Post Office).
The Petersburg-Riga ("German") post, the organization of
which was assigned to the Petersburg postmaster Krauss, began
operations on February 24, 1714. The Riga posts were sent from
St. Petersburg twice a week and were on the road four days. The
relays on this route were not conducted by the coachmen (yamshchiks)
but rather by district inhabitants on specially-designated carts.
The administration of the Post was under the authority of
A. Menshikov (Ref. 7).
In that same year, the "regular movement of posts" was estab-
lished on the highway to Moscow. Peter I ordered in his decree of
June 22, 1714 that "from St. Petersburg to Moscow, from Moscow to
St. Petersburg an ordinary (obyknovennyi) post be established, two
days a week, in particular on Monday and Friday, in order that
necessary State decrees and letters not be delayed in forwarding"
This post, which was intended for the dispatch of government
correspondence, was already a regular one, and in its character
approximated the ordinary post that was introduced in 1720.
At the postal stations established along the Petersburg roads,
the carriers were not called coachmen (yamshchiks) but rather
postillions (pochtars); the horses were called post horses; in
contrast to the horses used for transportation, the post horses
were changed at each station (later used in relays) (Ref. 9).
Establishment of the St. Petersburg Pochtamt
In 1714 a Post House was built in St. Petersburg in which a
postal (Postmaster's) office was opened. It was a smallone-story
The opening of the Petersburg postal office in 1714 is
confirmed in the Regulations on the establishment of the Petersburg-
Riga post, issued by A. Menshikov in St. Petersburg on September 24,
1714 in which it clearly states the necessity to report all abuses
by the couriers to the Petersburg pochtamt (Ref. 10). This date
is confirmed also in a series of other documents. The opening of
the Post Office in St. Petersburg is associated by postal historians
with the establishment of the "German" post between St. Petersburg
In 1716, by order of Peter I, a second Post House was built
not far from the first Post House on the Admiralty side at the
place where the Marble Palace is now located.
In this large two-storied building, in addition to the post-
master's office, there were rooms for arriving foreigners and a
large hall in which Peter I held banquets, assemblies and meetings.
There was also a tavern at the Post House.
In the beginning the St. Petersburg post office had two
officials : postmaster Henrikh Gottlieb Krauss and translator
(Russian scribe) Gavrila Osipov. Starting in 1715, there were
20 postillions there, and in 1716 another position was introduced,
that of postal secretary, which was filled by Peterson (later by
Frederikh Ash). The positions of controller and German scribe
were added later. The clerical work and all matters of corres-
pondence were conducted in the German language. The imprint of
the official marking had a design of a two-headed eagle with an
engraved inscription "St. Petersburg Post-Comptoir" (Ref. 11).
One may judge the composition of the capital's post office
from a presentation by postmaster Krauss to the General Pochtamt,
dated January 9, 1723. It enumerates all the existing duties and
Krauss shows the necessity to have in the post office a special
delivery of letters to addressees of the city : "6/ a letter
carrier for the office has not yet been chosen, and therefore it
is necessary to designate for this matter a reliable and sworn
person, who is literate and skilled; a salary of 25 rubles a year
is plenty since from that and the tips for his troubles from
particular people to whom he delivers mail, one can earn a living"
On December 22, 1724 Peter I approved the first staff of the
St. Petersburg postal office. In 1726 the position of post-
director was introduced in place of the office of postmaster.
Frederikh Ash became the Petersburg post-director.
Further Development of Postal Communications
Formation of the Central Postal Establishments
In accordance with an order of Peter I, dated November 27,
1713, and the order of the Senate, dated July 2, 1714, yamshchiks
from all of the Russian gubernias (provinces) except Siberia were
brought together and moved to the Petersburg gubernia. They were
allotted land along the Tosno and Volkhov rivers as well as in
the city itself at the Aleksandro-Nevsky monastery (Ref. 13).
With the transfer of the central State administrations to
St. Petersburg, the highest administrations of the posts and the
yamshchiks were concentrated there as well. In 1715 the "German"
posts were transferred to the authority of Baron P. Shafirov with
conferral on him in 1720 of the title "General-Post-Director", new
to Russia. In 1719, the special Yamskoi Prikaz was restored under
the administration of Yu. Shcherbatov, who oversaw all the post
station matters. At the same time measures were passed for future
improvements and development of the posts. On the basis of a
decree of Peter I, dated July 6, 1715, the post from Moscow to the
border was no longer sent by way of Smolensk-Pskov-Vilna as was
done earlier but instead by way of Petersburg-Riga along the
postal road to Memel (Prussia). Starting February 2, 1716 the
"German" post was sent by way of the newly established "postal
stations -especially for foreign letters" from Petersburg to
Novgorod. The same decree ordered "to send out those letters to
foreign places from station to station without delay, completely
intact with written date and time, so that in the transport of
those letters there would be no delay or carelessness ... and to
carry those foreign letters on travel orders from St. Petersburg,
from the State's Ambassadorial Office" (Ref. 14).
This post served primarily for the transport of commercial
correspondence and was called the "merchant's" under Peter I.
In 1719 a regular post between Petersburg and Vyborg was establish-
ed. It was dispatched once a week on Fridays. The post to Sweden
was also sent along this route. In 1721 a post was established on
the island of Kotlin (Kronstadt), using iceboats and small sailing
craft. It didn't become accessible for private mail until the
early 1830's (Ref. 15).
On April 30, 1719, on the basis of an order from Peter I,
the Senate issued a decree "On the elimination of the ordinary
(obyknovennaya) post from St. Petersburg to all important cities".
With a decree dated May 24, 1720, "for uninterrupted internal
communications for official matters", a special "state" or
"ordinary" (ordinarnaya) post was established for the dispatch
of decrees and other mail from the collegia and secretariats.
It replaced the messengers who carried official correspondence,
and served government purposes only (Ref. 16).
Simultaneously with the establishment of the State Post,
the acceptance of private correspondence for the courier horse
post (yamskaya pochta) was allowed. The Petersburg-Moscow and
Petersburg-Riga "German" posts were designated for the trans-
portation of commercial "merchant's" correspondence (Ref. 17).
The ordinary post from St. Petersburg to Moscow was
dispatched twice a week on the days which did not conflict with
the dispatch of the "merchant's" post. The management of
the ordinary post was concentrated in the Yamskoi Prikaz.
Mail addressed to Petersburg received at this point was also
handed out there. The post began to function on November 20,
1720. The postmen were required to carry it at a rate of 8
versts per hour. With the formation of the ordinary post, the
first schedule of its run from Petersburg to Moscow appeared
There were three posts in St. Petersburg in 1720 the
international, the courier horse post and the state post. There
were two postal establishments: the postmaster's office and the
courier horse post compound (in the village of the post riders);
there were two postmasters along with G. Krauss was the special
courier horse post administrator Ivan Likhachev (starting in 1727
it was Fedor Kozhevnikov) (Ref. 19).
On April 29, 1722, by decree of Peter I the two central
administrations, the courier horse post and the postal, were
united. Aleksei Dashkov was designated the "General-Post-Director".
At this time the general pochtamt was established (Ref. 20).
Peter I's aspiration to unite the central operations and adminis-
tration of the posts and free them from foreign influence was
reflected in this act. However, the death of Peter I interferred
with the completion of the unification.
Two posts the courier horse post and the international -
were kept till 1782. With the abolition of the courier horse
post secretariat in 1781, the administration of the Petersburg-
Moscow courier horse post was transferred to provincial adminis-
tration, and later (according to a decree of January 21, 1782)
it finally became subordinated to the Petersburg pochtamt. The
postmaster and other employees of the courier horse post were
also transferred to the pochtamt's authority.
In 1724, a sea post was established between St. Petersburg
and Germany. Two Russian frigates, the "St. Jacob" and the
"Prince Alexander" served in the capacity of postal ships (paquet-
boats). They made runs between Kronstadt and Luebeck in five days.
On February 7, 1724 Peter I ordered the construction of 8 additional
paquetboats at the Olonets dockyards. Six of them later maintained
postal service on the Kronstadt-Luebeck and Kronstadt-Danzig routes.
They were used to carry mail, passengers and goods. Special
announcements were put up concerning the paquetboats' departures
The Petersburg Post after Peter I
Home delivery of packages and private correspondence was
established in 1746 in both capitols. A decree dated August 19,
1746 states, "for quick distribution of packages and private
letters received by the posts, there should definitely be at the
St. Petersburg courier horse post office a postrider with one
horse from the St. Petersburg post station villages ... each week
for a 24 hour period on those days when the post arrives from
Moscow" (Ref. 22).
The delivery of the post in the capital was made by special
postmen and private deliverymen. The latter served without pay,
contenting themselves with tips from the recipients of private
On May 8, 1758, a daily dispatch of mail to Kronstadt via
Oranienbaum was established. We know of the later developments
of the St. Petersburg post from a report of the General-in-Chief
Z. Chernyshev and General-Lieutenent L. Ovtsyn entitled "On the
establishment of the posts. 1763." The report gives the Regulations
and staff of the General-Post-Director's office. In a capitol
pochtamt, the staff consisted of an ober-post-director, a director,
secretary, bookkeeper, cashier, forwarding agent, registering
clerk, two scribes, a German clerk and 23 postmen. All the major
positions were filled by Germans.
Up to 1763 28 posts along 6 highways were regularly received
and sent in St. Petersburg: the Petersburg-Moscow, Smolensk, Riga,
Revel, Vyborg and Arkhangelsk (Ref. 23). In 1765 in the St.
Petersburg pochtamt three offices (ekspeditsiyas) were formed:
the dispatching, the receiving and accounting (Ref. 24).
For communication with the Czar's court when it was set up
out of town, a special carriage post called the "daily" (sutochnaya)
was established in 1771. This post was dispatched daily to
Tsarskoe Selo or to Peterhof depending on where the court was
located. It accepted letters and small parcels at a special rate.
A similar post from Petersburg to Narva was organized in 1770, but
because of its unprofitability compared to the courier horse post,
it was soon cancelled (Ref. 25).
According to a decree of January 21, 1782, the Petersburg-
Moscow posts were separated into light and heavy. Private letter
parcels up to 5 pounds and small official packets were dispatched
with the light post (by horseback). Official packets and packages,
as well as heavy parcels from private individuals, were dispatched
with the heavy post (courier horse post). These were sent twice
weekly from the St. Petersburg pochtamt (Ref. 26).
In 1799, special extra-posts for the quick delivery of letters
and packets to St. Petersburg from Moscow and Mitava were estab-
lished, independent of the ordinary posts. Special rules were set
for the extra-post, according to which "the postman who transports
it should not stop anywhere along the highway, but go nonstop to
Petersburg; since on the day of dispatch to Petersburg at the
Moscow pochtamt there will be letters received from other cities
and brought in by the public, all of these destined for St. Peters-
burg must be collected and immediately dispatched directly to
Petersburg with a courier postman, who should by no means have any
packets for cities situated along the road, except his own mail
case; foreign letters are to be sent in exactly the same manner
from Mitava the same minute as the posts arrive from Polangen and
and Vilna; of course, this shall be when both of these posts
have been received and not separately for each; in Riga the
postman carrying the foreign mail from Mitava should by no means
delay but should similarly ride with the utmost speed directly
to St. Petersburg" (Ref. 27).
In 1799 new postal tables of organization were established,
according to which seven offices were stipulated for the St.
Petersburg pochtamt. They were the offices for current affairs,
accounting, incoming domestic mail, incoming international mail,
outgoing domestic mail, outgoing international mail and the
The international offices of the pochtamt, in addition to
the foreign mail, received and dispatched mail to Lifland, Estland,
Kurland and Finland, as well as Kronstadt.
In 1798, in connection with the introduction of censorship
for foreign periodicals, two censors were made part of the staff
of the pochtamt. The Postman's Unit of the pochtamt had three
lower-ranking officers and 60 postmen on its staff.
The capital'spochtamt had within its purview 67 postal estab-
lishments of the eight provinces (gubernias): St. Petersburg,
Arkhangelsk, Vyborg, Petrozavodsk, Estland, Kurland, Pskov and
Novgorod. There were 8 provincial post offices, 27 border and
city offices, 25 city offices (ekspeditsiyas) and 7 district
offices (uyezds) (Ref. 28).
Postal Markings of the XVIIIth Century
Up to the middle of the 1760's, letters sent through the
postal establishments of St. Petersburg (the post office, pochtamt
and courier horse post) did not have any post markings in the form
of stamped postmarks. All of them were stamped with a wax seal of
the sender and occasionally had written notations of the postal
employees (fig. 1) (Ref. 62).
The first postal handstamps in Russia were introduced by the
Petersburg pochtamt at the suggestion of an employee there in the
1760's, an official named August Gan, who later was the Riga post-
director and, in 1789, the Petersburg post-director. In addition
to indicating the place of dispatch, the marking on the letter
confirmed payment for the letter and served to exclude possible
forgeries and abuses that would harm postal revenues. Only letters
that were paid upon sending were stamped with postmarks. No
markings were placed on official packets, which were not subject
Letter sent from
"St. Petersburg to
Moscow in 1750
-- 7 "
(t 4* r( f-
In proposals submitted by the Petersburg, Moscow and Riga
post-directors in 1781 to improve postal operations, there is
"A Presentation" by A. Gan, dated October 16, 1781. Titled
"On the improvements of the post in general on the basis of those
already made in the Lifland and Estland internal instructions",
it was stated: "8. In all post offices it is necessary to obtain
handstamps to mark those letters for which payment has been
collected. This is how I instructed the St. Petersburg pochtamt,
and later established it; the Moscow and Riga pochtamts followed
.... (Ref. 29). The earliest known letters with St. Petersburg
pochtamt postmarks are dated 1766.
There are four types of handstamps used by the capital's
pochtamt in the XVIIIth century. They were single-line handstamps
with the name of the city in French or Russian placed on the
address side of the letter. (In this article the word handstampp"
means the postal marking on a letter. The markings are generally
black unless otherwise noted.)
The first French-language handstamp (fig. 2a) has several
varieties. The earliest known letter with this handstamp, dated
11/22 April 1766 and addressed to Paris, was found in the collection
of the well-known American collector Kurt Adler. It was sold at
at auction in 1974. Several other 1766 letters are found in
foreign collections with these handstamps (Ref. 31).
ST.PETERSBOVRG. St. ETe RSeO6 RG
Fig. 2a Fig. 2b
The varieties of the first handstamp differ in size and
outline of the letters and the length of the handstamp. They
are all well described in the article by P. Ashford "Russian
Handstamps of the 18th Century", British Journal of Russian
Philately, No. 45. The greatest difference in the inscription
is the handstamp with the letter "U" in place of a "V" in the
word "PETERSBOURG" (fig. 2b) (Ref. 30).
Table 1 gives the sizes of the handstamps known to the
Height of Letters Length of Handstamp Years Used
2.5 42.5 1766 1779
3.0 40.0 1773 1788
S3.0 42.0 1788
3.0 42.5 1776 1781
3.0 43.5 1778 1779
2.5 37.0 1809*
2.5 41.0 1803*
"* with the letter "U"
These handstamps were used to postmark foreign as well as
domestic letters. Letters addressed to St. Petersburg are found
with these markings (1766-1810). (Note: In this article, the
dates of use of a marking in the pre-stamp period indicated here
and below in parentheses are those known to the author from
material in collections, archives and from the literature.)
The second handstamp, in the Russian language, is enclosed
in a rectangular frame (fig. 3), which the author observed in
the archives of the Leningrad Division of the Institute of History
of the Academy of Science of the USSR. The dimensions of the
frame are 39 x 4 mm. The marking was placed on a letter sent from
The Hague to St. Petersburg to General A. P. Vorontsov, 17/28
February 1767. In St. Petersburg the letter was readdressed to
Moscow. This letter is the earliest known with the marking in
the Russian language, which is called "cyrillic" by foreigners.
SC.nIETEPEYPr'b.1 [ST. PETERS BOVRG.
Fig. 3 Fig. 4
A French-language handstamp is similarly enclosed in a
rectangular frame (fig. 4). The earliest known letter with
this marking, addressed to Amsterdam, is dated 1767. It is
in the collection of the famous French philatelist, M. Liphschutz.
The author knows of the following dimensions of this marking:
46.5 x 4.5 mm, used in 1767; 45 x 4 mm, used in 1771. The
period of usage is 1767-1772.
A Russian-language handstamp without the frame is shown in
figure 5. The earliest known letter with this marking, sent from
the Revel region on 15 February 1772, is found in a foreign
collection (Ref. 30). Handstamps of this type were used to post-
mark correspondence sent to various places in Russia up to the
beginning of the 1820's (1772-1820). On some letters sent from
St. Petersburg in 1808, the handstamp was made in red ink.
Lf" iM/oeyl (/T..e CC_
~a'deA ?tvxA 9t [ fl/a J'*
JAfPIfbw i ^
6 r if
These handstamps have a large number of varieties which
differ in the length, size and outline form of the letters and
in other details as well. Table 2 gives those dimensions of this
type of handstamp which are known to the author.
Height of Letters Length of Handstamp Years Used
2.6 37.5 1773
2.7 39.0 1772 1778
2.8 33.5 1798
2.8 35.5 1789
2.8 37.0 1773*
3.0 36.0 1800****
3.0 37.0 1776 1796****
3.2 37.5 1781
2.0 31.0 1814 1819
2.0 33.0 1815**
2.3 31.0 1819****
2.4 34.5 1817**
2.5 33.0 1811 1812
2.5 47.0 1808***
2.7 47.5 1808 1813***
2.8 32.0 1808, 1818***
2.8 34.0 1801
3.0 31.0 1816 1817****
3.0 33.0 1816 1817
3.0 36.5 1801****
3.0 47.5 1801, 1810****
3.2 40.0 1804****
3.3 33.0 1804
3.5 33.0 1809
3.5 37.0 Early XIXth century
Key : See figure 5 (Ref. 63).
"** Marking is bent.
"** Marking is red.
"*** A colon (:) appears after the letter "C".
The St. Petersburg Pochtamt and its Offices
in the First Half of the XIXth Century
The St. Petersburg post continually improved in the first
half of the XIXth century. On August 1, 1820 the following
offices were added for better operation : an office (ekspeditsiya)
for the receipt of ordinary letters and for dispatching all
outgoing major Russian posts; a finance office for the receipt
of money, insured letters and documents and valuable packages on
all major Russian posts; an office for outbound foreign posts;
and a sub-office (otdelenie) for the receipt of parcels and
the dispatch of heavy posts.
Starting January 1, 1821 the pochtamt established daily
acceptance of letters, money mail and parcels, which earlier were
accepted only on the day of dispatch of the post. On March 1,
1821 three city postal sub-offices were opened. The regular posts
were dispatched from the capital more frequently. In 1820, daily
postal communication in the summer was established with Tsarskoe
Selo and Pavlovsk. On August 18, 1824 the post began to make
daily runs, excluding Sundays, between Petersburg and Moscow.
New extra-posts were established : in 1823 to Odessa and
Radzivilov(twice weekly); in 1826 to Tiflis (via Moscow); in the
early 1830's to Brest Litovsk, Vilna and Orenburg.
On October 22, 1830, a "Statute on the organization of
Russia's postal unit" was confirmed, according to which the activity
of the capital's pochtamt was limited to the Petersburg province.
The following district post offices were subordinated to it:
Class I in Narva, Kronstadt, Sofia or Tsarskoe Selo, Novaya
Ladoga; Class II in Gatchina, Luga, Oranienbaum; Class III in
Gdov, Yamburg, Shlisselburg.
The Petersburg pochtamt had the following offices (ekspedit-
siyas) : receipt of ordinary mail and forwarding of light domestic
posts; receipt of money from all posts; sorting of all incoming
domestic light mail and distribution of ordinary mail; sorting and
distribution of money mail; outgoing foreign and Odessa extra-posts;
incoming foreign posts and relays; and accounting.
In the office of heavy posts and relays, the following opera-
tions were conducted: receipt and forwarding of parcels, receipt
and distribution of parcels, dispatch of relays and daily summer
posts to Kronstadt and Tsarskoe Selo. Later the acceptance of
ordinary mail to Pavlovsk, Strelna, Peterhof, Oranienbaum and
Krasnoe Selo was done here, as well as handing out mail received
from the suburbs.
To speed the delivery of the letters arriving in the capital,
in 1831 the city was divided into 20 "postmen's" districts (in 1858
there were 32), each of which was served by two postmen. On the
longer summer days, two deliveries of letters per day instead of
one were made to the addressees. On January 17, 1833 the first
City Post in Russia began to function in St. Petersburg.
In 1840 the office for the distribution of money was split
into three offices according to the mail flow (arrival, sorting
and distribution), due to the large workload. Private mail was
accepted at the pochtamt from 9AM to 2PM. The pochtamt was
ordered to accept for forwarding by post ordinary private letters
addressed to Moscow and beyond until 6PM with an added payment
on top of the weight charge. For letters submitted up to 5PM, the
additional charge was 10 kopeks, but for letters submitted up to
6PM, the added charge was 20 kopeks. Starting July 1841, the
procedure for acceptance up to 5PM was extended to all domestic
mail. The added charges went to the general postal revenues (80%)
and the remaining 20% was divided among the officials of the
pochtamt who handled the incoming evening mail (Ref. 32).
The mail arriving in the capitol was sorted in the pochtamt's
offices as follows : in the money, insured and parcel offices,
special notices (summons) were written out. The ordinary inter-
city letters and notices were delivered to the addressees twice
a day. The money, insured and parcel mail were handed out at the
pochtamt itself against the summons. Foreign letters were delivered
by special postmen. Official mail was also delivered separately.
In connection with the introduction in 1848 of stamped
envelopes of the general government type at the pochtamt, 32 special
green colored post boxes were placed in the City Postal Sub-Offices
(Otdelenies) and in other places of the capitol. In addition,
letters in these envelopes addressed to all parts within Russia
were allowed to be placed in boxes located at the "collection
points" of the City Post. However, local letters for the City Post
were not allowed to be placed in the boxes for intercity mail. Any
such letters found in them remained unforwarded (Ref. 33).
In October 1852 the pochtamt was instructed to accept subscrip-
tions for Russian and foreign newspapers and magazines in 1853 and
thenceforth to do this annually.
0 Regular postal railway service on the Nikolaevskaya Railroad
(now the Oktyabrskaya) began April 20, 1857. With the aim of
speeding delivery of letters in stamped envelopes by the railroad,
eight orange colored postboxes were set along the railroad in the
city in April August 1857. Letters deposited in them at given
times were sent on by train the same day (Ref. 34).
The Handstamp Postmarks of the
St. Petersburg Pochtamt Offices
Up to the beginning of the 1820's, the pochtamt used single-
line handstamps to postmark mail; they were introduced in the
1760's and 1770's (see figures 2 and 5).
All later handstamps can be grouped both by the types of
correspondence on which they were used and by the type of hand-
stamps themselves. Up to 1821, correspondence was postmarked
with single-line handstamps. Later, handstamps containing the
date were introduced. There were two-line stamps with or without
a frame, circular, oval and even rhombic forms.
a) Handstamps for Domestic Mail
The handstamp "S. PETERBURG" is in a frame in the form of a
ribbon (figs. 6 and 7). The length of the inscription is 40 mm,
the height of the letters is 3.5 mm (1809-1819).
The handstamp "S: P: BURG. 1820" has a length of text 34.5
mm, the letters are 2.0 mm high. This is the first known hand-
stamp indicating the date.
The handstamp "S. P. burg" (the last four letters are lower
case) has a length of 27 mm, the height of the letters "S" and
"P" are 4.5 mm, the remaining letters are 3.7 mm high. This is
found in red ink (1820-1821). Later this marking, in black ink,
however, is found on letters addressed to Tsarskoe Selo (1826-
1830). Apparently this handstamp was delivered to a subdivision
of the pochtamt through which the mail for Kronstadt and
Tsarskoe Selo passed.
1f"l^<-' < /
A postmark in the form of a double circle is found in black
or red (fig. 8). The diameter of the outer circle is 31 mm, the
inner circle is 22 mm (1821-1822). On letters sent in January-
February 1821, a red "S. P. burg" marking was placed along with
these markings in black.
There is a handstamp similar to the previous, as shown in
figure 9. Its outer diameter is 32 mm, the inner diameter is
21 mm. This marking is found in red ink (1825-1831).
Fig. 8 Fig. 9
In the beginning of the 1830's a red two-line handstamp
with a frame appeared on correspondence sent from St. Petersburg.
The size of the marking (fig. 10) is 31 x 10 mm (1831-1839).
There are handstamps (figs. 11 and 12) with variously shaped
convex lines above the rectangle. The first has the day placed
before the month and the year last (1832-1837). The second type
has the year before the month and the day after the name of the
c-nTrrsPBypr | CnrEPYPr. C=nETEPEyr. CJETEPByprf
20 ABT7 1S32 14 IK)A 181 1834 MAI4 14 4 BO14. 18
Fig. 10 Fig. 11 Fig. 12 Fig. 13
A rectangular frame handstamp in red with two upper lines
and dimensions of 32 x 14 mm (fig. 13) was used for more than
20 years (1837-1857). It has several varieties differing in the
outlines of the letters, their size and the presence of two dots
after the cyrillic letter "C" (S) in the word "S. PETERBURG".
This marking was placed on the address side as well as on the
reverse side of a letter.
In the article by J. Fohs and K. Adler,"Pre-stamp Markings
of Imperial Russia", (British Journal of Russian Philately, No. 33),
an oval marking with the date in two lines is shown (fig. 14).
The oval is 31 x 21 mm (Ref. 35).
Acceptance of mail at the pochtamt stopped at 2PM. Letters
which were submitted near the close of business were accordingly
postmarked with the notation "2 CHASA" (meaning 2 o'clock). The
first of such markings was circular (fig. 15), having a diameter
of 28 mm (1844-1846).
Oval markings with the notation "2 CHASA" in red (occasionally
black) are known in three sizes : 30 x 20 mm (fig. 16) (1847-1851);
30 x 22.5 mm (fig. 17) (1853-1855); and 31 x 23 mm (fig. 18). The
last marking (1856-1859) was also used to postmark letters with
postage stamps affixed.
t 9, V. -V S
S18,4 4 1847. U 1855
tio8 13 1i845 j OKT] (16 CE-T:
XI AC. 2IVAC-
Fig. 14 Fig. 15 Fig. 16 Fig. 17
The marking in a rectangular frame 34 x 14 mm (fig. 19) in
red had a series of varieties, differing in the position and out-
line of the letters in the word "S. P. Burg" (1856-1860).
An oval marking in red (fig. 20) of a type previously
mentioned has the dimensions of 30 x 25 mm. The author knows of
this marking only on letters with postage stamps (1859-1863). It
is possible that it was introduced during the postage stamp period.
f 1858 8 C.JI.BYPIr I roii. I
Zg MAP: 15 JUtB.1858 1861
Fig. 18 Fig. 19 Fig. 20
b) Handstamps for Foreign Correspondence
Up to the 1820's. a French-language postmark (fig. 21) was
used (1810-1820) along with the markings shown in figures 2 and 4.
In the article in the British Journal of Russian Philately, No. 33
mentioned above, the marking is shown with the same bent shape
A double-circle postmark (fig. 22), having an outer diameter
of 30 mm and an inner of 21 mm, had a three-line date in the
center of the inner circle, in French (1821-1830).
AC PRBODEC: C. IETEPBYPr.
28 MAIK 1838
Fig. 21 Fig. 22 Fig. 23
Later, (1831-1840) a two-line marking with Russian text was
used for the foreign mail (fig. 23). This marking has a number
of varieties, differing in the printing of the month, the word
being printed entirely or abbreviated (only two letters).
Consequently, it also differs in the length of the line (30-35 mm)
and in the height of the letters (2-2.5 mm). The date was some-
times given in a different sequence. On letters from 1831 and
1835, markings are found with individual letters on the word
"S. PETERBURG" either broken or inverted.
There is a second marking in Russian for letters sent to
foreign places (1841-1844). It has a rectangular frame 40 x 14.5
mm (fig. 24). It was placed on the side of the letter with the
return address (on the flap side of the envelope).
There is a postmark in German having a rectangular frame
52 x 15 mm (fig. 25) (1844-1853).
c:nHETEPBYPr SPETERSBURG. ERBOURC
I oH:27 1842 DEN10MAR.1844
Fig. 24 Fig. 25 Fig. 26
The last pre-stamp marking for letters sent out of the
country (fig. 26) had the shape of a diamond with dimensions of
38 x 24 mm (1854-1859). The inscription is in French, and the
month and date are given in Roman numerals. Sometimes the month
and day numbers were interchanged, with the day above and the
month below the horizontal line. In S. Prigara's article
"Postal Markings of Russia in the 19th Century" (Rossica Journal,
No. 38) the photograph of this marking shows the horizontal line
positioned above the numbers of the month and day. This was due
apparently to an incorrectly-changed date. The markings (figs.
25 and 26) were also placed on the flap side of the letter.
c) Markings for Money Correspondence
In the 1830's one finds markings on domestic money mail
(fig. 23) that were used for postmarking foreign correspondence.
Later, special handstamp markings were introduced. The author
is aware of three types of these markings : the first has a
rectangular frame (fig. 27) 42 x 17 mm (1840-1843), the second is
circular having a diameter of 29.5 mm (fig. 28), and the third
is oval, 32 x 23 mm (fig. 29).
C.IETEP6yP'B1 1852 ^\
1842 Ho0 10 V HoI 1
Fig. 27 Fig. 28 Fig. 29
Markings on money correspondence were placed on the back
of the envelope next to the wax seal. The corners of the envelope
were sealed by the sender, and the center was sealed by the
Office for Acceptance of Money at the pochtamt.
d) Markings for Official Correspondence
The Petersburg pochtamt used special postmarks for official
correspondence in the beginning of the 1830's. The first of them,
with a four-line inscription within a circle of 28 mm (fig. 30),
had several varieties. The earliest marking had the complete
name and month, while the those following had the name of the
month abbreviated (fig. 31). The varieties differ in the outlines
and positions of individual letters and numbers (1833-1859). A
second marking with the same inscription (fig. 32) has a diameter
of 35 mm (1836-1849).
These markings were placed on official packets on the side
opposite the address, next to the wax seal or a special label of
the official establishment.
C.ITBypr CJI /Cn .ypr.
183 1858 ess 1849
'QEBPAAh 0bXVI: HOJ j[
Fig. 30 Fig. 31 Fig. 32
e) Receival Markings
Arrival markings were introduced in Russia based on the
"Postal Unit Organizational Regulations", approved October 22, 1830.
Earlier the managing officials of the Postal Department,
N. Zhylkovski, K. Bulgakov and V. Popov, made a presentation
dated February 27, 1827, concerning preparations for a reorganiza-
tion of the Russian post entitled "Regulations for streamlining
operations at post offices and the introduction of several new
rules". It stated : "14. Upon receipt of the aforementioned
letters, another marking is to be placed on them, indicating the
time of receipt. This marking is reestablished in order that
the public may see that the letter was not delayed after arrival"
(Ref. 36). The markings did not show the name of the receiving
office and they were placed on the reverse side of the letter.
The first arrival markings (1831-1832) were two-lined,
without a frame (fig. 33). Varieties are found with differences
in the size and position of the inscriptions. Special handstamps
with the designation "UTRO" (morning) and "VECHER" (evening)
were introduced in 1831 for the twice-daily delivery of letters
during the long summer days. Framed markings as shown in the
British Journal of Russian Philately, No. 33 (fig. 34) are known
on letters received from foreign places (1833-1834).
Three-line arrival markings in rectangular frames with
rounded corners (1832-1839) and frame dimensions 37 x 15 mm have
the inscriptions "UTRO" (morning) "POLDEN" (midday) or "VECHER"
(evening), depending on the time the letter was received (figs.
35 and 36). They are known on domestic letters as well as on
letters from foreign places. Red postmarks are found along with
RnoaI183 Yo % IIo StOAYEHO
1 863 1.BOAF. 3 BE 11839 JOA.25
Fig. 33 Fig. 34 Fig. 35
A three-line marking in a rectangular frame 39 x 18.5 mm
(fig. 37) is known on letters received from foreign places (1840-
1854). The designations of the times of day are the same as on
those proceeding. Markings with slightly rounded corners on a
frame 38 x 19 mm (fig. 38) and with the abbreviated designations
for the time of day, "UTRO", "POLD" and "VECH" were placed on
domestic mail (1836-1851). Markings in a rectangular squared-
corners frame 35.5 x 17.5 mm with small letters (fig. 39) are
known only with the inscriptions "POLDEN" and "VECHER" on
domestic correspondence (1851-1854).
EnoAYvEHIO ITOAVY EHO 11 OAYEHO nOAYEHOI
1836CEH.30 1118 5 OKT.18 I 450 KT 7 ISS CEH. 24
L BE" EPI j BsEEP'b [ nOAA
Fig. 36 Fig. 37 Fig. 38 Fig. 39
In the second half of the 1850's the arrival markings began
to show a new circular form. Markings with a diameter of 32.5 mm
(fig. 40) and the designations "POLD" and "VECHER" were applied
on domestic mail (1855-1857). The date (day and month) was
placed one of two ways : with the month placed before the day or
after it. Similar markings with a diameter of 26 mm (fig. 41)
and the inscription "POLD" and "VECHER" were placed on domestic
mail (1857-1859). Oh markings with a diameter of 23 mm (fig. 42)
only the inscription "VECHER" is known. It was used as a post-
mark on domestic mail as well as foreign mail (1855-1859).
One occasionally finds arrival markings on mail in transit,
that is, on mail addressed to various places in Russia but passing
through the St. Petersburg post. On letters addressed to St.
Petersburg with enclosed money or documents, the arrival markings
S856 0 1857 0 (19MAP.'
17 A P 2 110A 1857J
BEEP. Ron. / P
Fig. 40 Fig. 41 Fig. 42
The City Postal Branch Offices (Otdelenies)
of St. Petersburg
Up to the 1820's, mail was accepted only at the pochtamt.
This created considerable inconvenience for the inhabitants of
the capitol residing in outlying areas.
In a proposal dated January 12, 1821 to the chief supervisor
of the Postal Department, A. Golitsyn, the Petersburg post-director
K. Bulgakov wrote : "The residents of the outlying sections of
St. Petersburg often find it difficult to bring their letters
to the pochtamt. Residents of Vasilevski Island, the Petersburg
and Vyborg Sides, those beyond Liteinaya street and on the
Yamskaya must travel several versts to submit an occasional single
letter to the post" (Ref. 37). As a result, not all letters
passed through the post. Some letters were sent with people
passing through, without using the post.
Bulgakov proposed to open in various sections of the city
postal branch offices (otdelenies) in which ordinary and insured
letters, documents and money would be accepted according to the
same rules as in the other post offices (daily except Sunday to
all cities of Russia, independent of the days when posts were
dispatched to these cities). As an experiment it was proposed
three postal branch offices be opened.
The Opening of the First City Branch Office
The proposal on the establishment of postal branch offices
in St. Petersburg was approved. On January 27, 1821 the "Rules
for the Postal Branch Offices in St, Petersburg" were presented
to the Postal Department by the Petersburg Post-Director.
The "Rules" defined the method by which mail could be accepted.
They state, in particular, that the postal branch offices are
allowed to accept private mail only : ordinary letters, various
documents, applications, legal appeals, and money mail up to 500
rubles (later the sum accepted was increased to 5000 rubles). The
postal branch offices were required to place their marking on all
accepted mail with an indication of the date of receipt for
dispatch. At end of the day when letters were no longer accepted,
the branch offices had to take the mail in special bags to the
pochtamt for later dispatch to their destinations (Ref. 38).
The newly-established postal branch offices in St. Petersburg
opened on March 1, 1821. They were located as follows : the 1st -
in the Liteinaya Section on Voskresenski Prospect (presently
called Chernyshevski); the 2nd in the Moskovskaya Section on
Ofitserskaya Street (presently called Decembrists); the 3rd in
the Peterburgskaya Section on the Great Prospect (presently the
Great Prospect of the Petrogradskaya Side) (fig. 43) (Ref. 67).
The openings of the City Postal Branch Offices were announced
in the Russian and German editions of "Akademicheskiya Vedomosti"
(Academic Gazette) (Ref. 39).
In 1830, the branch offices accepted 166,764 ordinary and
money letters. The pochtamt received revenues of 120,768 rubles
for weight and insurance charges against an expenditure of 10,000
rubles (Ref. 40).
____ __I__ Fig. 43
A letter sent by A. S. Pushkin
Sin 1833 by way of the ist City
^ / '-U Postal Otdelenie
After December 22, 1830, when new postal tables of
organization were approved, postal branch offices could only be
opened on the basis of general footnotes to these tables, accord-
ing to which "the Main Postal Administration" is given the right
"to establish postal offices anywhere the need arises .... the
new offices to begin operations only on a trial basis for some
period of time." Until the staff was confirmed, the newly-opened
postal establishment operated as a temporary office, with an
official assigned there from the pochtamt heading it. If the
mail and revenues proved adequate, the establishment was confirmed
as a permanent one (Ref. 41).
On the basis of a Postal Department order dated April 1, 1831,
a temporary postal branch office was opened in the center of
After two years the Council of the Chief Postal Department
Supervisor decided to change this temporary postal branch office
into the permanent 4th City Post Branch Office starting April 1,
1833. In the journal of the Council it is stated that the branch
office gathered large revenues with small expenditures; it diverted
part of the city's residents away from the pochtamt and other
branch offices to itself (Ref. 42).
The Temporary Postal Branch Offices
For the convenience of residents who left for their summer
cottages, the Petersburg pochtamt established four temporary
postal branch offices in the suburban areas during the summer
months starting May 25, 1832. The first was located near Okhta,
the second was 3 versts down the Peterhof Road; the third was
near Novaya Derevnya; and the fourth was in the 1st Pargolovo
village. Letters were accepted in these branch offices everyday
but Sunday. The opening of the temporary summer postal branch
offices was announced in the May 25, 1832 issue of the
"Severnaya Pchela" (Northern Bee). In the following years the
temporary postal branch offices were opened at the same places
during the summer months.
The Fifth City Postal Branch Office (Otdelenie)
In September 1833 the Postal Department ordered the Peters-
burg pochtamt to open a temporary branch office between the
Kalinkin and Obukhov bridges "for the greater convenience of
patrons in the Great Column area in submitting mail, equally of
the residents near the Moscowski Gates, the barracks of the
Ismailovski Regiment and the people working along the forest roads,
located on the Fontanka between these places". The postal branch
office near the Obukhov bridge was opened on November 1, 1833.
Since the branch office's profit for the year was 14,257
rubles against an expenditure of 3,628 rubles, the Council of the
Chief Postal Department Supervisor changed it to the permanent
5th City Postal Otdelenie, starting November 1, 1834 (Ref. 43).
The Sixth City Postal Branch Office
The 6th City Postal Otdelenie was opened May 1, 1841 on
the left bank of the Neva near the Malaya Okhta ferry after a
petition by the foreign merchants who sold grain at those places,
and for the convenience of the residents of the Bolshaya and
Malaya Okhta, Rozhdestvenskaya and Karetnaya sections of the city
in sending mail. With the establishment of the 6th City Postal
Otdelenie, the need to open a temporary postal branch office
during the summer months on the Okhta declined (Ref. 44).
Later Developments of the Post in the City
In July 1838 a temporary (summer) postal branch office
opened in Pavlovsk. This was announced in the "Severnaya Pchela",
dated July 9, 1838. In 1841 a temporary postal branch office
for the summer period opened in Novaya Derevnya,in the 1st
Pargolovo village, between the Lesnyi (Forest) Institute and
Kushlevka Village, and in the city of Pavlovsk. Starting in 1843
three temporary postal branch offices opened annually at those
places with the exception of Pavlovsk.
For the convenience of the Liteinaya Section residents,
acceptance of ordinary mail was initiated within the 2nd
Otdelenie of the St. Petersburg City Post starting January
1844. Up to that time it had accepted only local letters
Fig. 44 A letter sent to the Vyborg area through the
2nd Otdelenie of the City Post in 1852.
Table 3 below gives the organizational tables of the city
postal branch offices.
City Postal Branch Office Staffs City Post Otdelenie Number
1 2 3 4 5 6
Postal Clerk 1 1 1 1 1 1
Assistant Postal Clerk 1 1 1 -
Sorters 1 2 -
Postmarks of the City Postal Branch Offices
The markings of the St. Petersburg City Postal Branch
Offices in the pre-stamp period are not yet well studied and
in this area there are many gaps. The most well-known markings
are those of the 1st City Postal Otdelenie.
The marking shown in figure 45 has two circles, the outer
one 30.5 mm, the inner 22.5 mm. On markings of this type the
date in the inner circle is rotated 90 degrees with respect to
the symmetrical inscription. They were used in the period
In 1833-1836 the 1st Otdelenie used a handstamp with an
outer diameter of 31.5 mm and an inner of 20.5 mm (fig. 46).
The marking shown in fugure 47 did not have an inner circle.
Its diameter is 33 mm (1855-1857). At the end of the 1850's
this Otdelenie used two-line markings with a rectangular frame
41 x 17 mm (fig. 48). Handstamps similar to those below were
used by other postal branch offices of St. Petersburg. The
author knows of only a few of them.
S837 1833 85
Anr. HO: ATP
Fig. 45 Fig. 46 Fig. 47
Markings of the 2nd City Postal Otdelenie were in the form
of a double circle. The first marking had an outer diameter of
31.5 mm and an inner diameter of 22 mm (fig. 49) (1821-1830).
The second marking had diameters of 35 mm and 21 mm respectively
(fig. 50). They are known on letters of the 1830's (1830-1836).
I'Oaf Isor 13
15 'EBP. 1858 c 4 0 17 0
Fig. 48 Fig. 49 Fig. 50
Markings with a rectangular frame 41 x 16 mm (fig. 51)
were used in 1847-1857. A handstamp of the 3rd City Postal
Otdelenie (1846-1853) is known which is similar to that of the
1st Otdelenie, shown in figure 47.
The 4th City Postal Otdelenie used a marking with a
rectangular frame 30 x 13 mm (fig. 52), (1840-1855).
A handstamp of the 5th City Postal Otdelenie (fig. 53)
had an outer diameter of 31 mm and an inner diameter of 20 mm
(1838-1853). Varieties are known, differing in the outlines
of the letters and in their size. The city postal branch
offices used black ink for postmarking letters. The markings
were placed, as a rule, on the side of the letter opposite
the address (on the flap side of the envelope).
C .'ihypTr 20T o T.OTP ABr.
1847 110) : 8 1855CEH .-
Fig. 51 Fig. 52 Fig. 53
Postal markings from the temporary postal branch offices
of the St. Petersburg pochtamt, which were opened for the
summer months, have not yet been discovered. On one of A. S.
Pushkin's letters addressed to N. I. Pavlishchev in Ostrov,
along with the markings of the St. Petersburg pochtamt, dated
August 13, 1836, there is a postal notation "No. 3-i iz 3-go
vr: Poch: Otd:", meaning Number 3 from the 3rd temporary
Postal Otdelenie. This letter was sent by Pushkin from the
3rd temporary Postal Otdelenie which was located at Novaya
Derevnya. From there it was forwarded to the addressee via
the Petersburg pochtamt (fig. 54) (Ref. 68).
-I Fig. 54
Jf -Address side of a letter
sent by A. S. Pushkin
^ to Ostrov via the 3rd
temporary postal otdelenie
The St. Petersburg City Post
The rapid development of industry and trade in the capital
caused an urgent need for regular communications among its
residents. Along with other questions of communications develop-
ment, there was the question of the organization of a City Post
in St. Petersburg and in other large cities in Russia.
The Petersburg pochtamt and the City Postal Branch Offices
only accepted intercity correspondence. Letters, various packets,
invitations and other cards were delivered throughout the city
by servants, with the help of special messengers, or simply with
people going in the desired direction by chance.
Schemes for Organization of a City Post
In the 1820's a series of proposals were made to the Postal
Department concerning the establishment of a City Post in St.
The most well-known plan on the establishment of a City Post
in the capital was proposed by the college councilor S. Aller,
who had no immediate relations with the post. In a petition to
the military governor-general dated November 11, 1828, he wrote:
"Desiring to establish a post in St. Petersburg, by which residents
of the capital would be able to send letters with ease from one
house to another ... I ask Your Excellency to allow me to proceed
with the establishment of such a post ... There is no doubt that
many residents of St. Petersburg, especially those who do not
have a large servant staff, would find the establishment of a
post of great benefit for mailing things from house to house,
because more than once there have been thoughts to create such
a post in this capital after the example of other capitals in
Europe" (Ref. 45).
S. Aller offered to establish a "Small or City Post" for
the delivery of letters throughout the city on the following
basis : letters would be accepted on the streets, primarily at
taxi stands by city postillions chosen from among the cab drivers.
The rate for an ordinary letter to be delivered within a period
of 6 hours would be 40 kopeks; an express letter with delivery
within one hour would be 80 kopeks or two grivnas in silver;
for a reply letter, the rate was 1 ruble 20 kopeks; for a letter
to the suburbs (up to three versts) the rate was 80 kopeks; for
a suburb express letter, the rate was 1 ruble 20 kopeks. In his
request, Aller writes that he "is ready to accept the title
"City Postmaster or City Postal Inspector." (Ref. 46).
Because the plan was unacceptable, Aller was refused.
The Postal Department also thought about the formation of
a City Post in St. Petersburg. In 1827 Department officials
F. Pryanishnikov and F. Veiraux were sent to London and Berlin
to collect information about the acceptance and handing out of
letters, money and valuable items, dispatch and receipt of mail
and number of postal workers there. At the same time, they
were given orders to collect detailed information about the
City Post and its Branch Offices.
In the reports of Pryanishnikov and Veiraux, presented
upon their return, it stated, in particular, that in Berlin a
City Post was established to allow residents to mail items from
one part of the city to another. In London letters of the City
Post were gathered from collection points and delivered six
times daily, but up to 15 versts outside the city, they were
delivered three times a day. Up to 40,000 letters were delivered
On the basis of these reports a special committee was formed
in the Postal Department from the staffs of the Department Director,
the St. Petersburg Post-Director amd the Office Director to decide
whether to draw from the experience of the European governments.
The committee worked out proposals for the State Council
entitled "On the formation of a Postal Unit in Russia". There
is a special section in the proposals entitled "On the formation
of a City Post", where it states the following:
"From the examples of Berlin, London and other heavily-
populated cities of Europe, it would be beneficial for us to form
"City Posts" for the convenience of city residents in sending
letters amongst themselves. An experiment for its establishment
should first be arranged in St. Petersburg. The regulations for
this post are very simple and easy to carry out. Special appro-
priations for this will not be necessary, since these posts will
be self-supporting from their revenue. Without doubt, these
facilities will be very convenient in many cases, facilitating
substantial assistance to people who are not wealthy and who
reside in outlying parts of the city" (Ref. 47).
With the decision of the State Council, approved October 27,
1830, the "Main Postal Authority" was given the right to organize
a City Post in St. Petersburg on a trial basis and to open at the
pochtamt a special City Post Otdelenie consisting of three
officials (Ref. 48).
"Statute on Establishment of a City Post in St. Petersburg"
The "Statute on Establishment of a City Post in St. Peters-
burg", approved on October 27, 1830, consisted of 28 paragraphs
in which all the activities of this establishment were set forth.
In the first paragraph of the "Statute: it states "a City Post
is to be established in St. Petersburg at the earliest opportunity
for the delivery of letters without money or items from one
it part of the city to another".
Acceptance of letters was arranged in shops which were open
from morning till late in the evening. These shops, called
"collection points", were provided with special signs reading
"Acceptance of Letters for the City Post No. ...". Shops located
at street intersections and bridges were the ones usually chosen
for collection of City Post letters. Free and literate people
were engaged to deliver local mail as letter carriers, so named
to differentiate them from the postillions of the Pochtamt.
The "Statute" defined the rules by which the City Post would
accept letters, invitation cards and visiting-cards and the
charges for their delivery, as well as the City Post's operational
For collection of letters deposited at the "collection points"
and their delivery to the addressees, the city was divided into
postal districts, each served by two letter carriers. Letters
collected in the districts were brought to the City Post Otdelenie
at the Pochtamt. There the letters were sorted according to
district and transferred to the letter carriers for delivery. A
marking of the City Post was applied to each letter with the
designation of the time of its transfer for delivery. To aid in
returning letters which for some reason could not be delivered
to the addressee, local letters had written on them the number of
the collection point from which the letters were sent to the City
Post Otdelenie. Collection of letters at these places was made
three times per day. Letters deposited at the collection points
in the evening were picked up the following morning and delivered
The rates for city letters were not dependent upon weight.
At first, it was 20 kopeks for letters and 10 kopeks for each
invitation, visiting or other card. City Post revenues were
divided in the following manner : "collection point" owners 10%;
letter carriers for collection and delivery of letters 20%;
officials of the City Post 20%. The remaining 50% was City
Post profit. Later, the letter carriers received a salary of
25 rubles per month.
Letters and cards intended for dispatch by the City Post
were deposited in a mail box at the "collection point" establish-
ment, but the payment for sending the letter was submitted to the
owner of the shop. The letter carrier had the key to the mailbox
The Opening of the City Post
and the First Results of its Operations
SThe process of organizing the capital's City Post after the
affirmative decision of the State Council dragged on for over two
years. It was not until January 1833 that regulations were
drawn up for clerks accepting letters and cards at the pochtamt
and posted in the "collection points" of the City Post, regula-
tions for letter carriers were distributed to each carrier for
guidance, and an announcement was made by the pochtamt of the
establishment ofa City Post and the appearance of "collection
On January 14, 1833 the newspaper "Severnaya Pchela"
informed its readers that "on Tuesday the 17th of this month,
a City Post will be initiated here in St. Petersburg for the
delivery of letters and cards throughout the city". The
announcement in the newspaper was given in Russian, French and
German. This announcement was also distributed through the
chief of police to home-owners and stores. Chesnokov was desig-
nated "St. Petersburg City Postal Manager". On January 17, 1833
the St. Petersburg City Post began to function. The city was
divided into 17 districts for mail delivery and 42 "collection
points" were formed.
From the very beginning of its operations, the City Post
proved to be a necessary and profitable establishment. By
February 1, 1833 2,979 letters and cards were handled. Two
months after the opening of the City Post, acceptance of mail
was begun at 31 additional "collection points". Starting May 20,
1833, an additional 14 "collection points" began to function,
located in the suburban areas for the summer period. By the end
of the year there were 110 "collection points".
Starting February 15, 1833 (based on a Decree of February 5,
1833) the rate for City Post mail was set at 5 kopeks in silver
for one letter or two cards.
A report on the work of the City Post after its first year
of operation stated : "This generally helpful establishment,
totally new to Russia, provides the residents of the capitol
with extraordinarily great convenience in the transmission of
local mail, and is profitable for the treasury" (Ref. 50). For
the year 1833, 84,176 letters and cards were accepted and
delivered, whereas in 1834 the number was 106,642. On January 1,
1835 a profit of 25,226.34 rubles in paper money was realized
In the journal of the Council of the Postmaster-General of
the Postal Department, dated August 1, 1835, the City Post's
operations were appraised in the following manner : "The two-
year experiment showed that the City Post, in addition to pro-
viding the public with an easy means to send mail, was not only
able to cover the cost of its own maintenance from its revenues,
but to have a surplus amounting to 1689 rubles 62 kopeks, and
that with expansion of its effort from time to time, it may bring
substantial profit to the Treasury". Consequently it was pro-
posed that the "Otdelenie of the City Post that was established
on a trial basis by the St. Petersburg Pochtamt be recognized as
permanent" (Ref. 52). This proposal was approved September 24,
1835 (Ref. 53) (fig. 55) (Ref. 69).
Address side of a letter
sent by A. S. Pushkin
S.. through the 1st Otdelenie
.- -.-. of the City Post in 1835.
In 1838, besides sending letters and cards through the
City Post, delivery of periodicals began for the capital's resi-
dents. For this it was necessary to add 10 letter carriers.
The first newspaper to be delivered in St. Petersburg by the
City Post was the "Severnaya Pchela" (Northern Bee).
The Opening of the City Post's 2nd Otdelenie
The growth in the amount of correspondence forwarded by
the City Post required further improvements in its operations.
In a memorandum to the Postal Department, dated October 30, 1842,
the Petersburg Post-Director K. Bulgakov noted that "the present
manner of delivering letters three times a day does not fully
satisfy the capital's residents". He indicated that the districts
for mail delivery were considerably far-removed from the City
Post Otdelenie at the Pochtamt, and in connection with this he
offered to establish two City Post Otdelenies instead of one.
Communications between the two would be conducted by two letter
carriers on horseback. It was proposed to have six times per
day delivery of letters instead of three times (Ref. 54). These
proposals were accepted.
The 2nd Otdelenie of the City Post was opened on January 1,
1843 at the Liteinaya Section on Shestilavochnaya Street
(presently Mayakovsky Street). For mail delivery the city was
divided into 21 districts instead of 17, each of them served by
three or four letter carriers. Thirty four letter carriers were
added to the staff of the City Post. In addition, three letter
carriers who were annually added during the summer period were
designated as permanent (Ref. 55).
On January 14, 1843 K. Bulgakov reported to the Postal
Department : "The City Post in its new form began its operations
on the first day of the current month of January at 8 o'clock in
the morning ... The significant increase in the number of letters
submitted prove ... that the new arrangement of the City Post was
necessary for the residents of St. Petersburg and was immediately
appreciated by them" (Ref. 56) (fig. 56) (Ref. 70).
S --Cover of a letter sent
in 1845 through the
...- -- 2nd Otdelenie of the
The Issuance of "Stamped Envelopes" and "Stamped Sheets"
for the St. Petersburg City Post
The existing methods of obligatory submission of city mail
at collection points in small stores that were always crowded,
and the necessity of settling payment for the letters with small
coins resulted in considerable inconvenience. The Postal Depart-
ment worked out a series of measures directed towards giving the
public greater service in using the City Post.
A report from the Head Manager of the Postal Department
V. Adlerberg, which was approved on October 19 (30), 1845,
decreed the following :
"I have ordered the Postal Department to direct that the
acceptance of letters for the City Post be made in stores on
large streets in addition to the small shops, and that regardless
of the hitherto-existing methods of submitting letters to this
post, the residents should have the opportunity to send letters
through the City Post without paying for them in cash upon
presentation. For this latter goal there will be sold in the
Otdelenies of the City Post ready-made envelopes with a special
stamped impression for 6 kopeks in silver for each, which includes
the charge of 5 kopeks for sending a letter in this envelope and
1 kopek for the envelope itself. Later, upon submission of
letters in such envelopes to the City Post, no other payment will
Later in his report Adlerberg asked permission for daily
dispatch of letters in stamped envelopes to the capital's environs
from May 1 to October 1, the period when residents of the city
went to their summer dachas (summer cottages). This would be to
Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, Gatchina, Pargolovo
and Aleksandrovski Textile Mill (Ref. 57).
On the basis of a Postal Department order dated November 15,
1845, No. 11825, the Petersburg City Post issued special "stamped
envelopes". The envelopes have blue (various shades) indicia in
the center of which is a representation of the State coat-of-arms
with posthorns beneath it. Around the periphery of the indicium
is the text "S. P. B. GORODSKAYA POCHTA" (St. Petersburg City
Post) and "ZA PISMO 5 K. C.: ZA KONVERT 1 K. C." (for the letter
5 kopeks in silver: for the envelope 1 kopek in silver) (fig. 57).
The envelopes are of various sizes and differ in the way they
The stamped envelopes of the St. Petersburg City Post were
discussed in detail in an article by V. Lobachevski entitled
"Stamped Envelopes of Russia 1845-1868" which appeared on
Filateliya SSSR (Philately of the USSR), 1973, No. 6 pages V-VII.
In the announcement the Postal Department placed in the
newspaper "Severnaya Pchela", dated November 23, 1845, the
following was stated:
... to give the residents greater convenience in sending
letters within the city, and to eliminate the petty calculations 0
and fees for each letter sent, it is considered beneficial to
introduce special stamped City Post envelopes of various sizes,
to establish the sale of covers to the public at 6 kopeks in
silver for each, that is, 1 kopek for the cover and 5 kopeks in
silver for the dispatch, but letters and cards presented in such
stamped envelopes, since they are already paid for, will be
accepted without charge for mailing".
Further on the announcement stated that acceptance of letters
in stamped envelopes would begin December 1, 1845 at all collection
points of the City Post and, in addition, at seven large stores
of the city where ... in each of these stores a special box
is found, in which those presenting letters must themselves
deposit the letters". The announcement also stressed that the
existing manner of corresponding with letters in ordinary envelopes
would continue. In addition, "it is allowed to send in stamped
envelopes ordinary private mail, which from May 1 to October 1 of
each year will be forwarded by the City Post or the ordinary post
between St. Petersburg and the suburban areas of Peterhof, Oranien-
baum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, Gatchina, Pargolovo and Aleksandrov-
ski Textile Mill.
On December 5, 1845, in an article entitled "New covers for
letters sent by the City Post","Severnaya Pchela" explained that
the acceptance of letters in small shops was not changed, and
that the stamped envelopes were only introduced with the aim of
providing the residents greater convenience in using the City
Altogether there were three issues of the St. Petersburg
City Post stamped envelopes: the first was in 1845-1848; the
second in 1848-1868 and the third in 1864-1868. The last two
issues were prepared by the Postal Department.
In 1846 special mailboxes for letters in stamped envelopes
were set up in 10 large stores of the city, and in 1849 there
were 21 of them. These were the first mailboxes in Russia.
Starting April 1, 1846 "for the convenience of correspondents
using the City Post, independent of the postal envelopes, a
postal paper with the same impressed stamps" will be introduced.
On August 17 for local letters"a special format postal paper,
also with a postal imprint, with a cut-out of a cover with three
flaps on it" was introduced (fig. 58). These were announced in
the newspaper "Severnaya Pchela" April 1 and August 17, 1846.
Stamped envelopes and stamped postal sheets were sold in
the Otdelenies of the City Post and in all city postal otdelenies
(branches of the pochtamt). Since the revenues of the City Post
were accounted for separately from the rest of the postal revenues,
by order of the pochtamt the money collected by the city postal
otdelenies from the sale of City Post stamped envelopes was
transferred twice a week to the 1st Otdelenie of the City Post
(Ref. 58). The stamped envelopes of the St. Petersburg City
Post were used in the city and its environs up to 1869.
Further Developments of the City Post
The favorable regulations for sending letters during the
summer months to Peterhof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk,
Gatchina, Pargolovo and Aleksandrovski Textile Mill were extended
only for stamped envelopes of the City Post. Letters sent to
these places in plain envelopes were subject to the usual rate
of 10 kopeks per lot ( oz.).
The introduction of the City Post's stamped envelopes
allowed the summertime acceptance of city letters in Tsarskoe
Selo and Pavlovsk where in 1846 special mailboxes were set out
as collection points "for depositing local letters in stamped
envelopes only" (Ref. 59).
With the approval of the Tsarskoe Selo Railroad Company
Board, similar mailboxes were placed at the railroad terminals
in St. Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk.
Starting in 1846, dispatch of city mail from St. Petersburg
to Tsarskoe Selo began on May 1 and lasted until November 1 of
each year, six times a day by trains of the Tsarskoe Selo Railroad.
For this purpose 10 letter carriers were added to the City
Post: 4 for mail transportation and 6 for the delivery of
correspondence in Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk and their immediate
vicinity (Ref. 60). In 1857 the City Post rates were extended
completely to Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk. Starting June 1, 1847,
when the Army arrived in Krasnoe Selo for the bivouac season, a
postal branch office was opened which received letters for the
capital and the vicinity in envelopes of the City Post (Ref. 61).
Starting February 5, 1846 the rate for sending mail by
way of the City Post was reduced for different types of cards,
from 2.5 kopeks to 1.5 kopeks per card. The volume of mail sent
by the City Post gradually increased. In 1858, 1,423,047 letters
and cards were dispatched. In 1858 there were 140 collection
points in'the city.
As an independent postal establishment with a separate staff
and self-supporting as well, the City Post in St. Petersburg
existed for a period of 25 years. In January 1859 a new method
was established in the city for the delivery of domestic,
foreign and local ma-il, and even the functions of the City Post
Handstamps of the St. Petersburg City Post
From 1833 to 1842 the Otdelenie of the City Post at the
pochtamt used three-line handstamps with rectangular frames and
changeable dates. These handstamps had changeable inscriptions
for the time of day, morning, midday and evening, corresponding
to the three times daily delivery of letters by the City Post.
The author knows of two varieties of these markings. One
marking has an outward-curving bottom line of the frame (figs 59-
61), the letters on the first line are 2.8 mm high and the letters
in the second and third lines are 3.0 mm high. Size of the frame
counting the bulge is 38.5 x 16.5 mm (1833-1838). The second
markings (1841-1842), having the shape of a true rectangle, were
38 x 17 mm, the letters in the first line are 3.0 mm high; in
the second line the letters are 3.5 mm high and the numerals
4.0 mm; in the third line the letters are 3.8 mm high (fig. 62).
rOPOACK:foqTA ToPOACK:rnOTA roPOACK. nOrTA
8 36 HOA 4 1835IOH 18 1 837A1HB26
YTPO nOAA -EHb BEIEP'b
Fig. 59 Fig. 60 Fig. 61
In 1843 in connection with the establishment of the six-
times-daily city mail delivery, the handstamps of the 1st
Otdelenie of the City Post were replaced. Instead of having
the period of the day, the hour of dispatch for delivery of the
letter to the addressee was indicated. Two varieties are known.
The earliest marking (1844-1854) was 40 x 18 mm (fig. 63) and
the later marking (1854-1858) was 42.5 x 18 mm in size (fig. 64).
roPOACK.nowrA roPACKIOqT: ropoACK: noqT:
1842MAH: 9 11851MAIM12 I 1854 AEK: 15.
YTPO 10 qAC: I 2 qAC:
Fig. 62 Fig. 63 Fig. 64
In contrast to the markings of the 1st Otdelenie of the
City Post, the markings of the 2nd Otdelenie of this post were
circular. Varieties of this marking (1843-1858) differ in :
the diameters (29-30 mm), size and outline of the letters and
numerals in the central part of the circle, the position of the
two dots following the word "GORODSK" (meaning city), and in the
spacing between the inscription "GORODSK : POCHTA" and the
circular frame. The marking in figure 65 is the earliest whereas
that shown in figure 66 is of the later period. Markings on
letters sent in the period May-November 1858 do not have the last
two numerals of the year.
X845 C i851 V1
7 IAC. 8 AC.
Fig. 65 Fig. 66
All correspondence sent through the Otdelenies of the City
Post were marked on the side opposite the address (on the flap
side of the envelope).
1. Sokolov, N. I., The St. Petersburg Post Under Peter the
Great, Pochtovo-Telegrafnyi Zhurnal (PTZh), (Postal-Tele-
graph Journal) Unofficial section, January 1908, pages
71-74, (in Russian).
2. "On the Post of 1807", Manuscript, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin
State Public Library, Manuscript Division, F. IV. No. 648,
pages 155-156. (in Russian).
3. Ibid, pages 158-160.
4. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, 1908, pages 79-81.
5. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, 1908
6. Polnoe Sobranie Zakonov Rossiiskoi Imperii (PSZ), The
Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire, 1st
Collection No. 2579, (in Russian).
7. Sokolov, N. I., PTZh, 1908, pages 211, 324-383.
8. PSZ, No. 2830.
9. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, January 1903, pages 79-84.
10. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, March 1903, pages 356-358.
11. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, March 1903, pages 361-365.
12. IrZIA CCCP (Central State Historical Archives of the USSR),
F. (Collection) 1289, Opis. (List) 1, Delo (File) 1, pages
13. PSZ, Nos. 2743, 2833.
14. "On the Post of 1807", Manuscript, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin
State Public Library, Manuscript Division, F. IV. No. 648,
15. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, March 1903, pages 343-345.
16. Sokolov, N. I., Unpublished notes and studies on the history
of Russian post, kept in government archives and libraries,
PTZh, October 1901, pages 912-913.
17. PSZ, No 3591.
18. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, April 1903, pages 478-491.
19. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh. April 1903, page 480.
20. PSZ, No. 4073; Historical extracts on establishment of
the Post in Russia. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public
Library, Manuscript Division, F. IV. No. 647, pages 10-13.
21. Sokolov, N. I., op. cit., PTZh, March 1903, pages 335-336.
22. PSZ, No. 9320.
23. A. S. Popov Central Museum of Communications, Archives,
File 30, page 32.
24. Historical review of the post in Russia. Supplement to
the general circular of the Main Postal Administration.
1846, No. 3, page 25.
25. Historical extracts on the establishment of the Post,
M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, Manuscript
Division, F. IV. No. 647, pages 47-48.
26. PSZ, No. 15330; Sokolov, N. I., Unpublished notes on the
history of the Russian post, PTZh, October 1901, page 914.
27. Historical extracts on the establishment of the Post in
Russia, M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library,
Manuscript Division, F. IV. No. 647, pages 146-149.
28. Ibid. pages 150, 214, 236; 14r4IA CCCP, Collection 1289,
List. 1, File 126, page 13.
29. LI`rIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 26, pages 195-
30. P. T. Ashford, "Russian Mail of the 18th Century",
"British Journal of Russian Philately", No. 45, pages 7-12.
31. "British Journal of Russian Philately", No. 46, page 30.
32. "Severnaya Pchela" (Northern Bee) 18 September 1840,
No. 210; 21 July 1841, No. 160.
33. "Severnaya Pchela" 29 November 1848, No. 269; 29 October
1858, No. 238.
34. "Severnaya Pchela" 19 April 1857, No. 84; 20 July 1857,
No. 145; 25 August 1857, No. 183.
35. F. Julius Fohs and Kurt Adler, "Pre-stamp Markings of
Imperial Russia", "British Journal of Russian Philately",
No. 33, pages 3-4.
36. IT4PIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 383, page 41.
37. ISITIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 312, pages 1-2.
38. LJ4PIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 312, pages 11-13.
39. LIPMA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 312, page 23.
40. I4TIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 456, Pages 1, 6,
41. LFrMA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 456, pages 10-11.
42. IYTMIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 18, File 2.
43. iriIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 18, File 3.
44. LIT4IA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 18, File 10.
45. lPIIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, pages 35-41.
46. I4rI4A CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, page 42.
47. I4Pr4A CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 382, page 285.
48. I4r14A CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, page 20.
49. LrIIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, pages 3-6.
50. LjrIIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, pages 92-94.
51. IY4MA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, page 117.
52. LrIiIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 447, pages 152-157.
53. LTVIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 3384, page 3.
54. LYrIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 640, page 1.
55. ITIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 640, page 21.
56. ir4IA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 640, page 21.
57. Sokolov, N. I., On the establishment of the City Post in
St. Petersburg, PTZh, April 1894, pages 485-486.
58. A. S. Popov Central Museum of Communications. Archives.
Postal Deaprtment Circular Instructions of the 6th City
Otdelenie 1857-1858, page 12 (folder 1856-1858).
59. 4LITIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 640, page 33.
60. UIPMIA CCCP, Collection 1289, List 1, File 640, page 27.
61. "Severnaya Pchela" 29 May 1847, No. 119.
62. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, Manuscript
Division, Collection 592, Letters of Trubetskov 1850,
pages 23, 24 (ob.).
63. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, Manuscript
Division, Collection 777, File 2662, page 12 (ob.).
64. "British Journal of Russian Philately", No. 33, figures
14, 21 and 34.
65. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, Manuscript
Division, Collection 50, File 22, page 56 (ob.).
66. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, Manuscript
Division, Collection 286, List 2, File 163, page 8 (ob.).
67. Institute of Russian Literature, Academy of Science of
the USSR (Pushkin's House), Collection 241, List 1, No. 1496.
68. Pushkin's House, Collection 241, List 1, No. 666.
69. Pushkin's House, Collection 241, List 1, No. 1540.
70. M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library, Manuscript
Division, Collection 539,-List 2, File 1216, page 20 (ob.).
This second article by the author on the history of the
St. Petersburg Post covers the pre-stamp period whereas the
first article covered the early postage stamp period. Rossica is
printing the translation of the second article (pre-stamp period) first so
the reader may better understand the origins of many St. Petersburg postal
establishments. A translation of the first article (early postage stamp
period) will be published in the next issue of Rossica.
It seemed best to leave some terms untranslated. The
reader will find transliterated terms throughout, although
a definition is always given with the first few usages.
The author does not mention how the stamped envelopes were
canceled in this article although such an envelope is shown
with a circular stamped marking in his first article.
The author does not explain the meaning of the terms
Class I, II and III district post offices.
The author is fond of direct quotations. We have tried
to retain the style and content of these quotations to give
the reader some idea of the complex and oftentimes flowery
style of the language.
G. V. S. and D. M. S.
1909-1920 ARMS TYPES ON WOVE PAPER
by Diana W. Johnson
From 1909 until 1920, the arms type stamps were produced on wove paper
instead of the vertically laid watermarked paper used for the 1902-1906 issue.
In addition, the 1909-1920 issues had a diamond-shaped network of chalk
(varnish) lines on their face.
Wove paper is produced when, at one point in the manufacturing process,
the wet paper pulp comes under the pressure of a dandy roll covered with
wires interwoven like cloth. This wire cloth gives the paper its 'wove'
finish, which appears as numerous thin spots in the paper.
From my observations it seems that the wires comprising the 'weft' and
'warp,' so to speak, of the dandy roll used for the 1909-1920 arms issues
were set at different distances apart, with the 'warp' being about 24 wires
per cm and the 'weft' about 18 wires per cm. Where the wires crossed over
one another in the weave, the asymmetry of the thread arrangement meant that
the 'bumps' caused by the 'warp' wires crossing over the 'weft' were slightly
elongated in the warp direction. Thus, the small thin spots in the paper
prepared off this dandy roll were also slightly elongated in the 'warp'
direction. Depending on whether these elongated thin spots were aligned
vertically or horizontally in relation to the stamps, the wove paper composing
them could be said to have either a vertical or horizontal mesh.
While the stamps on a horizontal mesh (HM) paper are quite easily de-
tected, some stamps on a vertical mesh (VM) are so 'opaque' that it is almost
impossible to physically see the mesh at all. In these cases, other means of
determining the mesh direction have to be employed, such as applying warmth
to one side of the stamp (eg., by holding it near a light bulb) and observing
which way it curls (opposite to the mesh). If this fails, or gives a dubious
result (eg., diagonal rolling) because of gum on the back of the stamp,
observation of the design side of the stamp in a strong glancing light will
often reveal parallel ridges of the mesh in the elongated direction. No
ridges are visible across the direction of the mesh.
Using stamps in my own collection, I have made various observations
regarding the mesh direction of the paper (s) used in the manufacture of the
1909-1920 arms type stamps:
1. All stamps postmarked from 1909-1912 inclusive were on HM.
Those with later postmarks were all WI.
2. The imperforate stamps of the Duma issue were all on VM.
(Some are easily distinguishable as VM, others were of the
3. The 3r50 and the 7r (first issued on wove paper in 1917) and
the 5r and 10r (first issued wove in 1915) were only on VM
paper. (The 'sideways varnish' issues of 1923 were on HM
paper, but this is consistent with the VM paper being turned
on its side.)
4. Several values underwent obvious color changes between the
1909 and 1912-1917 printings:
a. the 15kop purple of 1909 and the 1910-1911 changed
to a purple-brown in the 1912-1917 printing. In my
collection I have a copy postmarked 1909 which is HM
and another postmarked 1911 which is also HM. The
remaining purple copies are also HM, while all the
purple-brown copies are VM.
b. the 35kop purple of 1909 changed to purple-brown in
1910-1911 and was purple-brown, almost brown in the
1912-1917 printing. In my collection HM stamps are
purple while all the brownish-purple ones are VM.
c. the 50k lilac of 1909 changed to purple in 1910-1911
and to dull purple in 1912-1917. The purple colored
stamps in my collection are HM while the dull purples,
browns, etc. of the later printings are all VM.
5. The 7 and 10k stamps were overprinted in 1916. Since it is unlikely
that many stamps from the 1909 or 1910-1911 printings would still
have been available in 1916, it seems reasonable to assume that
surplus from the more recent printings would have been used for
the overprints. The overprinted stamps in my collection are all VM.
6. Several catalogues state that the 5kop stamp was first issued wove
in 1912, although Tann (Ref. 1, p.43) first lists it in the 1910-
1911 printing. In my collection I have one copy of the 5kop with
HM while the rest are on paper with VM.
7. Several catalogues state that the 20k stamp was first issued wove
in 1912, although Tann (Ref. 1, p.44) first lists it in the 1910-
1911 printing, stating that its centre had a mottled appearance.
I have one copy of the 20kop with a mottled centre, printed on IN
paper. Other 20kop stamps with clear colored centres are all VM.
From these observations, it seemed to me that paper with HM was used in
the preparation of the 1909-1911 stamps and that from 1912 onwards, paper with
VM was used, the changeover probably occurring toward the end of 1911.
The presence in my collection of numbers of HM stamps clearly postmarked
1912 does not disagree with this theory since stocks of HM stamps would pre-
sumably have been used up before the release of new late-1911 VM printings.
If the changeover date was near the end of 1911, very few of the new VM stamps
would have been used in 1911, and most would thus have post-1911 postmarks,
while the 'tail-end' of the 1910-1911 printings would also have later (eg.,
1912) postmarks. Similarly, the presence of one 5kop HM and one mottled centre
20kop HM in my collection indicates that the changeover occurred shortly
before the start of the 1912 printings. (If it had occurred some time before
the end of 1911, itseems reasonable to assume that I would have more than one
copy of each.)
Further evidence to support my theory can be gained from close examination
of Tann's work (Ref. 1):
a. on p. 148 are three dated blocks--1909 printing of 14kop, 1910
printing of 70kop and 1908 printing of 25kop. My copy of this
book quite clearly shows the mesh to be horizontal on the 1909
and 1910 blocks; the 1908 block does not clearly show the mesh,
although it, too, appears to be horizontal.
b. on p. 53 is a block of Ir stamps with the three marginal stripes
of the 1911-17 printings--the photograph clearly shows the mesh
direction to be vertical.
This hypothesis, when proven, will be extremely useful in distinguishing
betweenissues of the 1909-1911period and those of late 1911-1917. The shade
differences and plate wear associated with these arms issues are no doubt
obvious to experienced philatelists, but the person concerned must always
rely on his or her subjective judgement to make the distinction. Although
detecting the mesh direction in these stamps takes a little practice, the
difference is at least a concrete one and won't, for instance, alter if viewed
in artificial light as opposed to daylight, as does color shade.
One further observation I have made indirectly from my studies of Tann's
(Ref. 1) and Lobackevski's (Ref. 2) works is that the chain-like watermark in
the margins of some of the stamps appears to have been aligned with the mesh
of the paper. Tann (Ref. 1, p. 40) and Lobackevski (Ref.2, p. 39) both
mention this watermark appearing in either the upper or lower margin in the
earlier (1908-1911) issues, while in the later issues it appears on one or
other of the vertical margins. (On. p. 40, Tann states that the watermark
appeared in the upper or lower margin only in the 1909 printing and that it was
in one or other of the vertical margins from 1910-1914. This statement seems
to be contradicted by his photograph of p. 148 which shows the watermark along
the bottom margin of a dated 1910 block of 70kop stamps--aligned with the mesh.
He also states on p. 45 that he has in his possession a 1910 issue of the 20kop
with the watermark along the bottom margin (?HM?). The photograph of the 7kop
block on p. 51 also shows the watermark (upper margin) to be aligned with the
mesh (HM). Whether or not the watermark was always aligned with the mesh
should be easy enough to prove by those who have stamps with watermarked
It is possible that all the chain watermarked paper was prepared off the
same dandy roll and that for some reason the sheets of paper were rotated
through 90 degrees during late 1911. This would explain the change in position
of the watermark and also the change in mesh direction.
Ref. 1: Tann, Rev. L. L. The Arms Issues of 1902-20, published by the
Canadian Society of Russian Philately, 1980.
Ref. 2: Lobachevski, V. V. Imperial Postage Stamps of Russia Issued
1857-1923, translated by George V. Shalimoff and published
in The Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately,
Vols 94/95, 96/97, 98/99, 100/101, 1978-1981.
SUMMARY TRANSLATION OF ARTICLE ON VARIOUS INTERNATIONAL
REQUIREMENTS FOR PROPERLY ADDRESSING MAIL -
RUSSIAN SECTION BEGINS ON P. 278 OF THE
ST. PETERSBURG POST-AND-TELEGRAPH JOURNAL (UNOFFICIAL EDITION), 1892
translated by David Skipton
The most recent review of the question of addressing postal correspondence
in Russia came when the provisional decrees of 1871 on the postal unit were
promulgated. The basic rules in these decrees came out somewhat changed and
supplemented in the in 1885 collection of decrees and instructions on the post-
and-telegraph administration (Part 1: Postal), but they have remained unchanged
On the basis of existing postal regulations, the address and (other)
inscriptions on correspondence submitted to the post must be in Russian (Articles
71 of the provisional decrees and 154 of the collection) and as legible and
precise as possible; that is, the town and province (also the street and house)
must be designated. For instance:
I peuiamiih',. ho.i.r, .,' 10. faapnmupa 3yesa. ao .iue.xm.
(To Kiev / His Worship / Simon Ivanovich / Vasil'ev / Kreshchatik,
House No. 10, Zuev's Apartment, in the wing)
O z / oce'.y .u e.s "2 6. -'
^- -- -- -- - --- --- -- s
(From Russia, in Kursk / Moskovskaya St., House No. 26)
If mail (considered here exclusively as ordinary correspondence) is sent
not to a post office or a railraod station, then the address must contain the
province and the post office as near the place as possible. According to
Article 155 of the collection, that post office must undertake to deliver the
mail to the addressee. Correspondence addressed to editorial boards, printing
places, banks, etc., need not have the street address, as these enterprises
are well known to the local post offices (Article 156) of the collection).
The sender's last name and place of residence is necessary on sealed parcels
with valuables and packages (with or without valuables).
[Footnote: The most important of the current postal regulations have been
printed up by Mr. Khryenovskii in a handbook for the public entitled "Postal
Regulations for Private Correspondence," 2nd Edition, 1888.]
For ordinary correspondence, inclusion of the (return address) is left to
the discretion of the sender (Article 76 of the provisional decrees). Other
than the address and those inscriptions permitted by postal regulations, (for
instance, concerning the enclosure in an ordinary letter of a passport, documents
or a petition; or advertisements of official markets in a registered letter,
etc.) no inscriptions or additions may be made on envelopes submitted directly
to the post or placed in mail boxes (Article 75 of the provisional decrees).
Registered letters, parcels, and packages with corrections or deletions
(something blotted or scratched out) in the addresses or inscriptions will not
be accepted. Addressees on letters to foreign destinations must be in French,
with the country and place also given in Russian (and, on registered letters,
money parcels and packages with valuables the name of the sender) (Articles 157
and 222 of the collection). For instance:
at Mademoiselle uo
Marie DegloI. "p"a.
Grand HIotel, 2 3.
Ba IHapu-ica (Opamgini).
Addresses written in pencil (and also with letters, numbers or signs in
code) are not permitted in mail for which registers are kept; i.e., registered
mail, money parcels, and packages, bundles and parcels with valuables enclosed
(circular of the Main Post-and-Telegraph Administration Chief, 18 July 1886, #31).
Besides these general rules, several special requirements concerning
addresses on postacrds, wrappers, registered mail, money packets, parcels and
packages with valuables enclosed, money bundles and finally mail sent free are
contained in the temporary decrees and the collection of decrees and regulations
on the post-and-telegraph administration.
Nothing is allowed on the address side of a postcard other than a person's
title, job, rank, first name, patronymic, last name, place of residence, and
location or "poste restante," plus the sender's name and address, which may also
be applied by means of a handstamp. If anything else appears on the postcard's
address side, it will not be sent (Articles 188, 190 of the collection and
circular #31 of the Main Post-and Telegraph Administration Chief of 18 July 1886).
On wrapper mail, the destination must be given on the wrapper itself (foot-
note to Article 198 of the collection). Regarding in particular those periodicals
sent to out-of-town subscribers, the name of the publisher must also appear on
the wrapper with the address (Article 243 of the collection).
Addresses on the registered mail must include the apartment number in
addition to the street number. Initials in place of the addressee's name are
not permitted on registered mail. The inscription "Zakaznoe" must be present
on the address side in the upper right corner (Articles 220 and 223 Of the
collection). For instance:
BbWamb no noelbcmKi L no.
r. omcmasno6 y nopywuay.
Be s. Kypcss.
mocaroesaa yAnua, 0. BecaudHa.
(Registered / "Hand over (to the addressee) against a notice" /
His Honor / Ivan Vasil'evich / Opatovich / Retired Lieutentant /
To the city of Kursk / Moskovskaya St., Besyedin's house)
(From Ivanovo, Voznesen / Pr., House #45, Apartment #5.)
On the address side of money packet and parcels with valuables enclosed,
the words "Denezhnyi" or "Tsennyi" are put in the same place (upper right
corner), with the value of the contents both written out and in numerical
form (Articles 270 and 301 of the collection). For instance:
For Money Packets, Address Side
AuJIrb Co.ueluoawio Bellle.ib.
Ha vemupecma py6eza (400 p.)
Ba Odeccy,'Pume.ie6ecKa yjU na, u e co6cm6eelHO.S o.Hib.
(No. 60 / To Her Excellency / Anna Semenovna Ventsel / General
Major's Widow / the Sum of Four Hundred Rubles (400 R.) /
To Odessa, Rishel'evskaya St., in her own house.)
The number of the book in which the packet is entered is given in the upper
1 C.1.. akas.--.4zl/:-
(At top from Ivan Ventsel' / Ryl'sk.) (At left Postage computation:
2 lots in weight...14 kopeks / Insurance...2 rubles / Registration...
7 kopeks / 2r21k.) (At center official seal) (At bottom signature
of accepting clerk)
Ba oduna py6Jb (I p.).
Hlo.maecrod sy6. lHomoean cmadnia Basoeepxosea
Ba xymopa A6a3oeKa.
The preceding Address Side reads: (Denezhnii (money) / To Aleksandr Petrov /
Vasil'ev. / the sum of one ruble (1 R.) / Poltava Province. Postal Station-
Byelotserkovka / in the village of Abazovka.)
@ TdAau, I wan c'mei, 5ola oea
-c ...n..7. .a. -.
(At top from Ivan Borisov. Kremench. / District, Ivanovskaya Rural
Administration, / village of D'yakovo) (At left Computations: weight...7k. /
Insurance... k. / Registration...7 k. / 15k. ) (At center official seal)
(At bottom signature of accepting clerk)
For Packages with Valuables Enclosed
VyghOiWcCKA yAUt4a, domaa 1iosesuewa.
Ha soce.b mlrUcHa py6. (8000 p.).
(No. 5...Tsennyi (Declared Value) / To Zhitomir / Chudnovskaya St.,
Yakovlevich's house / To His Worship / Platon Semenovich / Platkovskii /
Value of Eight Thousand Rub. (8000 R. )
.....M. .. e...7..- i
The flap side reads: (At top From Ivanov / Nevskii, House #74, Apartment #16)
At center official seal) (At bottom signature) (At right weight...21k. /
insurance...10R. / Additional Payment...3.50R. / Registration...7k. / 13R.78k.)
X 6. Ifwhus".
KpetuamuRa, das foogy6qoa.
Ba rempecma py6. (400 p.).
(No. 6...Tsennyi / Kiev / Kreshchatik, Golubtsov's House / To Nadezhda
Petrovna / Vasil'eva. / Value of four hundred Rub. (400 R.)
^^~~~~^'" om...~. -
(At top Sokolova. / Ehrtelev Lane, House #15, / Apartment #3.) (At right -
Weight...14k. / Insurance...2R. / Registration...7k. / 2R21k.)
The address on packages must
be written on canvas, leather and
other durable materials; it is ft_,a w'oo ^
forbidden to have the address on ."-
paper affixed to the outer wrapping / e1
(Footnote 1 to Article 321 of the /
collection). For packages with _
valuables the address requirements
are the same as those for packets
For instance, see the figure
to the right.
In sending money bundles, the address and inscriptions must be made on
the lower part of the bundle, where the leather is taut and smooth, or on the
"rag" (1X0CIT) (Article 365 of the collection).
A designation of the institution from which or the person from whom the
postage-free correspondence is mailed must be placed on the address side
(Article 70 of the temporary decrees), and on official letters the serial
number of the enclosure must also be given (Article 161 of the collection).
For Offical Letters
Ba PoNeH, Bo.AumsoH sy6epaiu.
P. PoeencNo."y Hcnpaenuxy.
OmIa io.Mcuneaw ry6epHamopa.
(Secret / To Rovno, Volhynia Province. / The Rovno Police Superintendent /
No. 26. / From the Volhynia Governor. )
II. Open (Postcard)
The inscription on the postcard illustrated on the following page reads as
(At top Offical Postcard. Place for sender's official handstamp.)
(At middle where / To whom / No. / Day of 18 --. )
(At bottom From whom / All corrections and erasures must be
must be specified. )
Omnnpum oe Nasenn| oe nucb.Uo.
H y d a ...... ....... .. ......... .............. ......... .... ...........
I o .u y .................... ............................. ........................................................
S Rya .. ........ .
o .............. .......................................... .............. O u a 1 8 ......... 1.
1 O m Kows ........................................ .... ...... .. .... .. .......
"BBcaHin nonpaeoKu noducm nu Ha amoma nucb-
xnb duomiiu 6tumb otoopenW.
In addition to these, the current postal regulations also mention special
inscriptions on certain other forms of postal correspondence, such as "collect
on delivery" (S Nalozhennym Platezhom), "hand out against a notice of receipt"
(Vydat' po Povyestkye), and "with delivery" (S Dostavkoyu), "secret" (Sekretno)
and so on.
The following instruction in current postal regulations applies to where
postage stamps are affixed: "When presenting postage stamps to the sender of
the letter, the postal official is supposed to ask that they be placed on the
address side." (Footnote 1 toArticlel46 of the collection).
(The article ends with the observation that all the different methods of
addressing mail are very complex and inconvenient both for postal patrons and
for postal establishments themselves.)
CHANGES/CORRECTIONS OF ADDRESS
960 Jean R. Walton, 125 Turtleback Road, Califon, New Jersey 07830
1029 Gary A. Combs, 7613-B Thorne Street, Fort Meade, Maryland 20755
1031 Francis Adams, Box 165, APO New York, New York 09333
1038 Michael Zaitseff, 66 Remly Street, Lakemba, NSW 2195, Australia
1045 Peter A. Michalov, 307 S. McKinley, Champaign, Illinois 61821
1054 Michael Tihomirov, 5470 Lighthouse Lane, Burke, Virginia 22015
1062 Gustaf G. Lindstrom, Baden Powell Scout Reservation, Route 2, Box 250A,
Hawthorne, Florida 32640
(continued on p. 105)
BACK TO IHE ICE ISLAND
by Patrick Campbell
Back in 1977, in Volume 93 of the Rossica Journal, I wrote an article on Ivan
Papanin and his intrepid team, not to mention the dog Veselyi, who spent the period
21 May 1937 to 18 February 1938 drifting southward from the North Pole on the
ice island North Pole 1 (or CI7-1 in Russian).
On the last page of the article was a description of four vignettes printed in
Catalan inhonor of the Papanian expedition, and issued by the "Association of
Friends of the Soviet Union." It seems that these were issued in Barcelona in
1937, and were described as vignettes because, although they each had a 10-
centavo value, they were not known to be authorized for postal use, hence the
It should be stated that my knowledge of these vignettes was only from having
seen an article in the magazine "Filatelia USSR of January 1971. The Russian
magazine was, hi its turn, describing the vignettes based on a description in
Volume VII of the "Zanlehr Express" of 1965, a reference I have been unable to
trace. The Russian magazine illustrated four of the vignettes (or facsimiles
as they incorrectly described them). These are illustrated below, based on a
photostat of the Russian illustration.
1. Waving goodbye to 2. The Four Conquerors
departing aircraft. of the Pole.
3. Father of the Expedition 4. The Heroes of
and his Son. the Pole.
A few weeks ago, while looking through a pile of Russianphilatelic material in
Toronto,I came across a page of vignettes, one of which was item 2 from the
items described above! The others were of various subjects and in various
colors as seen in the checklist below. All are 43.5 mm x 25.5 mm (or vice
versa); all are valued at 10-centavos and have the same heading. I have
allocated numbers for cross-reference to the illustration, but actual sheet
construction is unknown to me as the stamps were separated.
While certainly not postage stamps, these are interesting items, and it appears
likely that they were printed in all four colors, using the same plate. The
sheet layout cannot be determined and the size of N 1 is a mystery, as is the
change of title for numbers 3 and 4 when compared with the ones I have.
Now another surprise was that, when the stamps were turned over, there were
pieces of a legend, obviously a hand-held rubber stamp, in carmine-colored ink
on the smooth, yellowish gum. Tracing the portions of the stamp, it assembles
as something like this:
CQMITE CATALA PRO-HOMENA EALk U.R.S.S.
'I ANIVERSARI BE-LA 'EVA REVOLUCI,
Certs Catalanes 654, pral. teellfon 12384
SBARCELO NA -
The word means Catalan Committee (of friendship?) for the USSR. Twentieth
Anniversary of the EVA Revolution" (note missing letter), with an address
Is there anyone who can throw any further light on this matter or can describe
some of the missing items, colors, or the sheet layout?
_a_11S27 ah U.S. 193___ 19
Soviet Sailor Maxim Gorky Soviet Children
10. 11. 12.
NOMN A 37 OMN3 1 7
President Kalinin Sverdlov Soviet Vacations in the USSR
Volga Canal: Moscow The Four Conquerors
of the Pole
TABLE 1: Checklist
REF FORMAT STATED TOPIC BLUE BROWN VIOLET RED
Illustrations from Filitelia USSR (Figure 1)6
1 Horizontal Waving Goodbye to Departing Aircraft t
2 Horizontal The Heroes of the Pole (and ANT-6)
3 Vertical Father of the Expedition and his Son2'3
4 Vertical The Heroes of the Pole2
Copies in My Collection
5 Vertical Sailor of the USSR X X X
6 Vertical Exercit Roig4 X X X
7 Vertical Maxim Gorky X X X
8 Vertical Group Sculpture, Paris Exposition5 X X
9 Vertical Soviet Infants X
10 Horizontal President Kalinin X X X
11 Horizontal The Soviet of Sverdlov X X
12 Horizontal Vacations in the USSR X X X
13 Horizontal Volga Canal: Moscow X
My collection also includes copy of No 2 above. X
NOTES: The Filatelia illustrations shows stamps of different sizes but with same AUS motif.
I cannot read the words on illustration for NO 1.
These seem similar to my vignettes, but have title
3This is Professor O.Y. Schmidt and his son.
'I cannot translate this; the soldiers look Oriental.
5What Paris Exposition was this?
6 Philatelia illustration were black and ite so colour of vignettes unknown to m.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE POST-AND-TELEGRAPH OFFICE NETWORK IN 1916
[from the Petrograd Post-and-Telegraph Journal,
(Unoffical Edition) April, 1917 pages 44-64]
translated by David Skipton
When examining the Post-and-Telegraph Department's estimates, the legislative
institutions repeatedly point out that the network of post-and-telegraph offices
is poorly developed, especially in the rural areas, the inhabitants of which
constitute' 6/7 of the total population. They also state that it is imperative
that steps be taken to expand the rural network of offices which (currently)
neglect 85% of the countryfolk. The postal demands of these people have grown
significantly the last few years when in connection with successes in small and
medium-sized agricultural enterprises, the constant change on the part of the
peasantry to more efficient forms of farming, and the successful activities of
small credit establishments have added up to a general improvement in the economic
welfare of the agricultural masses. It goes without saying that with the con-
ditions cited above, the mobility of the populace is increasing and the circle
of business contacts is expanding, which consequently create a requirement for
links between various areas of the empire. Meanwhile, the great expanses and
insufficient means of communication in our vast state make contact between many
rural areas and the outside world difficult. This brings the question of
providing the countryfolk with the opportunity to send and receive correspondence
by means of postal establishments to the forefront.
In all fairness, it must be noted that this question has been on the minds
of those in the Post-and-Telegraph Department constantly. However, the limited
amount of funds allocated in the budgets has prevented expansion of the office
network to the extent called for by the situation. This insufficency.of funds
has forced the department to consider other, cheaper means to improve postal
service for the rural populace.
Among these measures, setting up postal operations at rural district adminis-
trative offices (volostnye pravleniya) was the most attractive. This to some
extent alleviated the problem of too few postal offices. We say "to some extent"
because only a few of the more ordinary postal operations are conducted by the
volost' offices. The idea of combining postal operations with volost' adminis-
trations first arose in the 1890s, and twenty years of experience provide
evidence that it has completely justified the hopes placed in it. The rural
inhabitant, calling frequently at the volost' office in his worldly and judicial
affairs, wastes no time by having to go to a postal branch that is sometimes
25-40 versts distant from his village.
Postal operations were instituted in 1895 at 22 volost' offices and then, as
can be seen in Table 1, the tempo of establishment quickened. By the middle of
1915 postal operations were in effect at 2,711 volost' offices.
Perusing Table 1, we note that the province which started the most volost'
postal operations in 1915 was Tobol'sk with 209. Next comes Perm' Province
with 187, Saratov with 167, Akmolly with 102, Novgorod and Tomsk with 98, and
Arkhangel'sk with 93. In the other provinces and territories the number of
volost' postal operations fluctuates from 1 to 89.
TABLE NO. 1
THE NUMBER OF VOLOST' ADMINISTRATIONS WITH POSTAL OPERATIONS IN EACH PROVINCE
O o O 0 0 ,-- ,-4 t-- M- -
C-- r -4 ,"4 ,"4 C) r 4 v r- 4 ,-l
1. Akmolinskaya 31 36 36 41 48 55 60 73 80 85 102
2. Amurskaya 9 9 9 10 9 9 11 11 13 14 12
3. Arkhangel'skaya 33 35 36 38 50 69 72 79 96 94 93
4. Astrakhanskaya 25 15 15 15 18 19 19 19 21 26 27
5. Batumskaya 1 3 3
6. Bessarabskaya 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 7 15 15 14
7. Vilenskaya 30 32 32 32 36 36 35 40 43 47 47
8. Vitebskaya 9 9 9 9 10 21 23 24 26 31 32
9. Vladimirskaya 3 3 3 3 3 13 12 12 14 15 20
10. Vologodskaya 2 2 2 8 8 34 33 37 40 59 65
11. Volynskaya 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 5
12. Voronezhskaya 11 11 11 13 19 38 42 47 50 58 64
13. Vyatskaya 24 25 26 27 29 32 43 46 74 83 89
14. Grodnenskaya 1 1 1 2 17 22 23 57 64 -
15. Ekaterinoslavskaya 4 4 4 5 8 11 14 17 20 24 26
16. Elisavetpol'skaya 1 1
17. Eniseiskaya 13 14 14 14 14 17 16 18 25 28 33
18. Zabaikal'skaya 24 25 25 25 26 28 30 30 33 37 37
19. Irkutskaya 1 2 2 2 1 4 3 6 6 8 7
20. Kazanskaya 2 6 6 7 23 27 28 29 33 45 47
21. Kaluzhskaya 12 11 11 14 14 15 19
22. Karsskaya 3 2 3 3 4 4 4 2 2 2
23. Kievskaya 16 13 13 13
24. Kovenskaya 2 10 5 5 6 15 16 20 22 22 22
25. Kostromskaya 2 11 11 12 15 16 16 18 20 23 27
26. Kubanskaya 1 3 4
27. Kurlyandskaya 3 3 2 2 3 4 4 5 5 6 9
28. Kurskaya 5 5 5 7 7 18 18 28 30 34 32
29. Kutaisskaya 2 1 2 1 1 6 6 6 5 9 10
30. Kyeletskaya 1 1 1 -
TABLE NO. 1 (continued)
Ln \o 00 (n c) o 1-
O O O O O r- r- 4l i-
o J 0 5 m 01 7- 01 mI v-I
i-4 v-I r-4 r-4 r-- r-4 P-4 v-I r-I -4 r--4
31. Lyublinskaya 3 3 3 3 4 -
32. Liflyandskaya 1 4 6 7 8 10
33. Minskaya 2 3 3 5 6 18 18 22 26 33 36
34. Mogilevskaya 14 14 14 14 15 20 24 24 27 27 28
35. Moskovskaya 20 13 14 15 13 12
36. Nizhegorodskaya 10 14 13 15 19 30 39 47 47 53 66
37. Novgorodskaya 25 24 24 24 30 40 49 68 75 90 98
38. Oblast' Voiska 1 1 1 1 11 25 32 35 39 47 35
39. Olonetskaya 8 10 10 14 14 15 18 25 28 33 34
40. Orenburgskaya 19 19 18 17 18 19 25 29 38 44 53
41. Orlovskaya 18 20 19 24 20 23 27
42. Penzenskaya 4 5 4 6 13 14 17 19 21 33 41
43. Permskaya 10 10 10 10 19 73 94 99 154 186 187
44. Petrogradskaya 20 20 22 21 21 26 25 27 32 35 31
45. Petrokovskaya 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2
46. Podol'skaya 1 1 1 1 1
47. Poltavskaya 9 11 11 11 11 22 26 27 37 39 41
48. Primorskaya 5 5 5 6 9 8 10 11 14 15 17
49. Pskovskaya 1 2 7 18 19 22
50. Radomskaya 1 -
51. Ryazanskaya 11 8 9 6 5 6 7
52. Samarskaya 2 2 2 6 8 20 24 25 31 37 52
53. Saratovskaya 51 65 63 66 84 120 137 157 161 169 167
54. Semipalatinskaya 1 1 1 2 2 2 5 9 15 17
55. Semiryechenskaya 2 3 3
56. Simbirskaya 1 2 2 2 4 16 19 21 30 33 37
57. Smolenskaya 9 18 38 39 42 46 48
58. Stavropol'skaya 8 8 8 10 12 13 14 17 18 20 22
59. Suvalkskaya 7 8 9 9 9 -
60. Syr-dar'inskaya 1 1 1 1 1
TABLE NO. 1 (continued)
Ln \O I O O rO 0) CD t u
l l r- l l r- i
61. Syedletskaya 3 3 3 -
62. Tavricheskaya 23 21 20 20 19 15 23
63. Tambovskaya 2 1 1 2 13 13 11 13 14 15 26
64. Tverskaya 20 21 21 22 23 24 25 25 29 28 30
65. Terskaya 1 1 1
66. Tiflisskaya 1 1 3 11 11
67. Tobol'skaya 128 126 126 126 136 149 161 178 182 192 209
68. Tomskaya 15 17 16 16 24 33 42 60 64 85 98
69. Tul'skaya 2 2 2 2 15 24 27 30 37 41 44
70. Turgaiskaya 2 2 3 5 7 10 12 13 15 15
71. Ural'skaya 5 5 5 5 6 9 9 9 8 6 6
72. Ufimskaya 2 12 6 8 8 11 11 13 23 35 48
73. Ferganskaya 1 1
74. Khar'kovskaya 8 8 8 9 14 15 53 73 71 81 82
75. Khersonskaya 29 33 36 37 36 39 71
76. Kholsmskaya 1
77. Chernigovskaya 3 5
78. Chernomorska 1 1 1 1
79. Ehstlyandskaya 7 7 7 7 8 14 18 20 20 27 31
80. Ehrivanskaya 1 1 1 1 1 1
81. Yakutskaya 5 5 7 8 6 6
82. Yaroslavskaya 13 12 12 12 12 14 14 17 19 18 24
Totals: n t 0 C D 0 t
t1O 00 o t 0 .D i ( o L
i- ii i- i--I r1- C4 s
It was stated above that only the more ordinary postal operations were
conducted at volost' offices. To this statement it must be added that, unlike
all post offices, there are no postal savings banks in operation at volost'
offices. In the meantime, with the improvement in the welfare of rural areas and
an enlivening of economic turnover in them, the need for savings banks has become
increasingly acute, evidence of which can be seen in the unprecendently high
flood of deposits. To satisfy these needs it was necessary to expand the network
of savings banks. During consideration of this question, it was deemed more
expedient to increase the number of post offices, at which savings banks could
be opened because the Siberian volosts' attraction toward savings activities
in the past had in practice produced negative results. This is quite under-
standable. The volosts' officials to whom these operations were entrusted are
organs [of the state responsible for] collection of government and other taxes
and payments in arrears from the peasantry. Naturally, this situation might
arouse fears on the part of the peasants that their deposits in the volost'
savings banks could, against the depositor's wishes, be used to cover the above-
mentioned taxes and arrears. Once such a fear were born, it could in time lead
to a bias against savings banks in general, which would cause colossal damage
to savings bank operations that have won the widespread good will and trust of
That was the way this question was viewed by a special conference that had
been convened to discuss it, and volost' administrations were excluded from those
establishments at which savings banks might be opened. Thus, the sole institution
in rural areas where savings banks could be started is the post office (noimoeoe
Postal establishments were first attracted to savings bank operations in
the 1880s when the question of bringing savings banks closer to the rural
populace was raised before the finance ministry. Prior to that, the countryfolk
had been completely deprived of any opportunity to utilize the services of such
banks, which operated at branches of the state bank and the treasuries. The
rural populace considered a money box to be the safest place for their savings.
The post offices called the attention of the finance ministry to themselves as
having the closest ties with the people, and in a law of 26 June 1889 the state
bank was authorized to open savings banks with the assent of the (becmme
y.pextenu) of the postal department. These banks were to be under the closest
supervision of the cental banks at offices and branches of the state bank and
treasuries. In that same year 184 post-and-telegraph savings banks were opened,
and their number grew yearly. Primarily, they were set up at postal and post-and-
telegraph branch offices in villages and hamlets. Their purpose was set forth
in the statute on savings banks of 30 October 1841, which stated that they should
serve "to accept small sums for safe-keeping, which would earn interest, to
furnish people of little or no rank the means to save, in a sure and profitable
fashion, a little money from their expenses against future needs."
In spite of their novelty forte rural populace, the post-and-telegraph
savings banks posted glittering results right from the start, and they served
as the mightiest weapon in popularizing savings operations among the people
because with the spread of this type of bank, word of the savings banks began to
penetrate into the most isolated areas, [thereby] helping the people to become
more accustomed to using the banks' services.
In Table No. 2 it can be seen that by the second year of their existence,
the post-and-telegraph savings banks accounted for 2/3 of the total number of
savings banks, and they maintained this ratio over the course of the next
From the same table we can see that in 1915 the number of post-and-telegraph
* savings banks had achieved the impressive total of 6,507, constituting 70% of
Small state savings banks.
TABLE NO. 2
COMPARATIVE DATA ON THE NUMBER OF STATE SAVINGS BANKS IN RUSSIA
4J -is> 03 'o
1889 34 98 536 167 6 841
1890 35 98 543 1145 5 1826
1891 36 98 542 1641 5 2322
1892 36 96 542 1760 5 2439
193 37 97 54 213 5 -
4 0 4-1 1 -0 o (U 4 O
1894 39 112 603 2807 31 3592
1895 41 125 614 3065 30 3875
1896 43 138 634 3354 31 4200
1897 43 141 647 3492 31 4354
1898 42 184 650 64 3606 31 457
+j 4J4 4-j () r-1 4-4 In H t--4
189 9 44 201 704 84 37184 30 4781826
18900 47 207 715 96 3852 466 32 23225415
1892 36 96 542 1760 584 5 2439
1893 37 97 554 2193 -886 130 35 2886
1894 39 112 603 2807 947 133- 31 3592
1895 41 125 614 3065 -885 134 30 387
1896 43 138 634 3354 -882 139 31 4200
1897 43 141 647 3492 -872 136 31 4354
1898 42 184 650 64 3606 31 4577
1899 44 201 704 84 3718 30 4781
1900 47 207 715 96 3852 466 32 5415
1901 48 212 726 103 3946 58904 33 5652
1902 57 210 729 100 4041 886 130 35 6 6194
1903 62 218 734 102 4146 946 132 38 39 6417
1904 62 222 749 107 4257 947 133 38 43 658005
1905 63 224 759 120 4351 885 134 34 39 6609
1906 63 206 744 119 4468 882 139 34 24 6679
1907 63 202 736 112 4635 872 13 6 35 19 6710
1908 64 196 742 106 4631 865 135 35 18 6792
1909 66 195 748 103 4848 904 136 36 15 7051
1910 69 194 756 101 5092 967 138 37 11 7365
1911 75 214 765 100 5338 1009 145 48 11 7705
1912 81 220 779 106 5525 1077 152 52 13 8005
1913 82 231 788 111 5964 1147 166 53 11 8553
1914 85 236 844 112 6354 1194 169 53 6 9053
1915 127 332 870 112 6657 1530 169 52 6 9855
On the one hand, the amount of deposits accepted by the post-and-telegraph
savings banks testify that the idea of linking them with postal establishments
was quite successful. However, a further expansion of this savings bank network
has become impossible because all existing post offices are now being used for
savings purposes. Meanwhile, in connection with the prohibition on the sale of
alcoholic beverages, the increased activities on the part of industries in
raising wages and the expenditures by the government of vast sums for military
necessities (a part of which is dispersed among the masses), great amounts of
free capital are in the hands of the Empire's population. This is especially
noticeable among rural residents where the influence of (having to) sober up has
manifested itself strongly, and price increases for essentials are felt less
sharply. This situation has fostered among the populace a desire to make
greater use of the banks' services, a fact proven by the unusually large influx
of deposits to state savings banks. Under such circumstances, affording the
people a haven for theirsavings is a task of great importance. That is the
reason why the question of an immediate increase in the number of post offices
with savings banks therein was raised before the ministries of finance and
internal affairs. It was considered expedient to establish new postal branch
offices in places where volost' administrations were located, places that are
usually situated where rural life is most active, places with large factories,
mills and other industrial enterprises (are also candidates for these post offices).
The workers there, who receive high wages, are especially interested in the
conveniences of savings. It goes without saying that these measures must be put
into effect as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this favorable
state of affairs.
Besides the interests of postal exchange, the projected new offices also had
to serve those of savings, which is why it was fair to have the state savings
banks participate in covering their operating expenses, with the outlays charged
to the account of general yearly profits for savings operations.
In accordance with these considerations, the ministries of finance and
internal affairs passed a bill which was advanced as Article 87 of the basic laws
and confirmed on 23 October 1915.
This bill provided for the opening of 4,971 postal branch offices, of which
3,119 were to be opened at volost' administrations. At the same time, postal
operations at 2,679 volost' administrations were to be closed down (in favor of
the state-run post offices). These branch offices were distributed among the
(post-and-telegraph) districts as shown on Table No. 3.
From the table we can see that for numbers of offices projected, Perm' is
in the lead with 417, followed by Omsk and Samara Districts with 343 and 341,
Vladikavkaz with 297, Tambov with 253, Petrograd and Arkhangel'sk with 234,
Ekaterinoslav at 230, Odessa at 228, Saratov and 227, Nizhnii Novgorod at 225,
Khar'kov and Rostov at 205, and in the remaining districts, a figure that
fluctuates between 56 and 191, with the exception of Vil'na at 12. This last
instance is due to the fact that almost all of Vil'na District is now occupied
by the enemy (only 28 offices out of 294 are active). This situationalso
explains why Warsaw and Grodna Districts are omitted from the list--they have
been completely evacuated.
Total expenditures for opening and maintaining all of these branch offices
came to 11,676,688 rubles as of 31 December 1916. Of that sum, 5,715,981 rubles
TABLE NO. 3
DISTRICT NAME # OF OFFICES PROJECTED OPENED BY
BY 1 JUNE 1915 OPENINGS 15 DECEMBER
1. Arkhangel'sk 206 234 118
2. Vil'na 294 12 2
3. Vladikavkaz 278 297 297
4. Ekaterinoslav 247 230 188
5. Irkutsk 176 76 73
6. Kazan' 160 110 102
7. Kishinev 252 77 74
8. Kiev 393 132 126
9. Minsk 231 116 103
10. Moscow 324 191 178
11. Nizhnii Novgorod 252 225 203
12. Odessa 336 228 172
13. Omsk 112 343 336
14. Orel' 249 158 152
15. Perm' 201 417 396
16. Petrograd 339 234 211
17. Priamor 140 97 66
18. Riga 258 100 88
19. Rostov 285 205 191
20. Samara 264 341 341
21. Saratov 185 227 220
22. Smolensk 167 156 133
23. Tambov 276 253 164
24. Tiflis 188 69 14
25. Tomsk 181 182 140
26. Turkestan 113 56 35
27. Kharkov 192 205 181
TOTALS 6,299 4,971 4,304
were charged to the state treasury and 5,960, 707 rubles to the profits account
of the savings operation. The general expenses are broken down into 4 parts:
1. Funds for personnel (wages, etc.) 164,380 rubles, of which the
treasury paid 3,823,868 rubles for branch office chiefs and
postillions, and the savings banks paid 3,340,512 rubles for
6th-class officials and guards
2. Maintenance costs heat, light, equipment upkeep 1,164,000 rubles
charged to the savings banks
3. Rent 1,456,195 rubles charged to the savings banks
4. Mail transportation 1,892,113 rubles charged to the treasury
In calculating these expenditures, the postal department used the figures
provided by the district chiefs in 1913 and 1914. However, execution of the law
(to establish the new branch offices) had to be during the last part of 1915 and
in 1916, when costs for office furniture and equipment had gone up drastically
and the cost of rent and mail transportation had increased several times over.
This is especially true for mail transportation expenses, which are calculated
on the basis of 3 and 4 kopeks per verst and horse (respectively). Understandably,
looking for a contractor to undertake (mail transportation) for such a charge
is quite useless. The cost of forage has gone up five times over, hired hands
now get three to four times more, the number of workers (available) is negligible,
and the price of horses has increased. Thus, a great amount of time and effort
most be expended to find those willing to carry the mail for 10-12 kopeks, and
in some instances, especially in the northern provinces, for as much as 18-21
kopeks per verst and horse. The cost of office furniture has shot up for the
same reasons. A bookcase that went for 30-35 rubles in peacetime now costs
100-130 rubles, so that expenditures for initial furnishing of each office and
upkeep come to an average of 700 rubles instead of the calculated 235. In some
cases, it has gone as high as 1,000.
Finally, expenditures for employee wages have increased. The law of
22 November 1915 introduced new salaries for workers in the municipal establish-
ments of the post-and-telegraph department, whereby a branch office chief holds
a salary of 600 rubles (per year)(compared to the previous 450). When all branch
offices are counted, the difference comes to 745,650 rubles more (counting normal
wages). A 6th-rank official used to earn 360 rubles per annum but now gets 450
(with no housing allowance), which adds up to 90 rubles extra per official or
447,390 rubles for all branch offices.
By the same token the expenditures for the wages of postillions and
guards have also gone up. A salary of 240 rubles per annum has been proposed,
but to attract a healthy and trustworthy individual for such money is now, of
course, impossible. Three hundred to 360 rubles yearly are necessary, which
also ups the yearly expenditures to 680,000 rubles or so. Under such conditions,
the cost for opening and maintaining all 4,971 branch offices for one year would
increase by about 18,000,000 rubles. However, in view of the great difficulties
encountered in seeking mail carriers, preparing furniture, weights, seals, and
handstamps, and especially finding places (for the offices themselves), even if
those places could provide only primitive conveniences, it wasn't possible to
open all the projected branch offices at the start of the year. The execution
TABLE NO. 4
EXPENDITURES FOR SETTING UP 4,971 POSTAL BRANCH OFFICES
(PBO'S) IN RURAL AREAS OF THE EMPIRE, WITH THE FINANCIAL
PARTICIPATION OF THE STATE SAVINGS BANK ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
RELEVANT ARTICLES ON GENERAL PARTICIPATION TOTAL
EXPENDITURE ESTIMATES TREASURY BY THE STATE
BY THE PFT DEPARTMENT ACCOUNT SBA
Section 5,Article 1 Rubles
A. Establishment of 3,119
PBO's to replace postal
operations at volost'
administrations 2,152,110 1,871,400 4,023,510
B. The same for 1,852 PBO's
on general grounds 1,492,802 1,111,200 2,604,002
TOTALS: 3,644,912 2,982,600 6,627,512
Section 5, Article 1
A. For 3,119 offices 112,284 224,568 336,852
B. For 1,852 offices 66,672 133,344 200,016
TOTALS: 178,956 357,912 536,868
Section 5, Article 1
(Upkeep: heat,light, etc.)
A. For 3,119 offices 623,800
B. For 1,852 offices 540,200
Section 6 (Rent)
A. For 3,119 offices 966,890
B. For 1,852 offices 489,305
Section 11, Article 1
A. For 3,119 offices 1,331,052
B. For 1,852 offices 561,061
OVERALL TOTALS: 5,715,981 5,960,707 11,676,688
TABLE NO. 5
THE NUMBER OF POSTAL BRANCH OFFICES OPENED IN COMPLIANCE
WITH THE LAW OF 23 OCTOBER 1915, IN EACH MONTH
(FROM NOVEMBER) 1915 TO 15 DECEMBER 1916
DISTRICT 1915 DURING 1916
N D J F M A M J J A S O N D TOTAL
1. Arkhangel'sk 24 16 18 8 14 7 4 7 6 4 1 9 118
2. Warsaw -
3. Vil'na 2 2
4. Vladikavkaz 1 18 29 15 56 59 91 18 4 1 4 1 297
5. Grodna -
6. Ekaterinoslav 62 3 4 17 12 13 9 10 6 8 5 29 10 188
7. Irkutsk 9 9 12 16 7 4 9 1 2 2 2 73
8. Kazan' 2 55 13 10 3 3 5 4 2 3 1 1 102
9. Kishinev 29 3 5 3 2 6 11 5 10 74
10. Kiev 1 28 14 17 20 9 12 7 1 7 5 3 2 126
11. Minsk 8 14 13 11 28 8 8 3 5 3 2 103
12. Moscow 46 15 21 3 21 19 13 15 2 14 6 1 2 178
S 13. Niznii 15 40 28 26 16 6 10 13 7 23 7 11 1 203
14. Odessa 3 82 2 10 5 23 4 1 16 2 13 11 172
15. Omsk 18 16 26 30 27 19 45 46 49 54 6 336
16. Orel' 8 30 22 28 5 13 24 9 5 6 1 1 152
17. Perm' 3 221 22 55 21 5 2 1 1 8 29 28 396
18. Petrograd 1 3 6 31 28 23 23 27 35 10 9 7 8 211
19. Priamur 4 20 8 6 8 2 3 1 4 4 4 2 66
20. Riga 10 28 4 6 28 3 2 2 2 1 2 88
21. Rostov 2 7 65 12 25 11 7 5 5 2 4 8 18 20 191
22. Samara 1 56 90 3 3 6 5 11 14 10 10 58 65 9 341
23. Saratov 4 12 162 10 3 1 6 4 1 12 3 1 1 220
24. Smolensk -76 1 2 5 5 9 26 5 3 1 133
25. Tambov 1 112 7 5 2 4 3 6 6 6 5 5 2 164
26. Tiflis 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 5 14
27. Tomsk 50 8 6 5 4 14 5 11 9 10 7 11 140
28. Turkestan 1 7 4 2 2 3 2 1 2 6 2 3 35
29. Khar'kov 61 51 5 7 11 9 13 8 7 4 3 2 181
TOTALS: Co U4 (A
(.14i O W kO t -P LA^ 00 CD C9
o00 i0 00 00 G 0 -_J 4->
of the law had to be drawn out over the course of the entire year, due to the
cost overruns in preparing office equipment and mail transportation having to
be covered by funds for personnel wages and rent.
If we follow the opening of branch offices by month (Table No. 5) we see
that January had the most (1,234), followed by March (392), April (325), and
May (319). In following months the number of openings went down considerably,
averaging 200 offices per month. The reason for this was that in all those
villages where in terms of cost and size acceptable facilities for branch
offices already existed, the offices were quickly opened when office equipment
was provided. Further openings were delayed by the lack of mail carriers and
available space, and in a considerable number of places scheduled for such
offices, these prerequisites were totally absent. As it was impossible to
open offices in all these places, it was necessary to issue instructions to
open offices in neighboring villages or cancel the requirement altogether,
opening instead in those places whence petitions from inhabitants or zemstvos
had been submitted.
In identifying those factors responsible for the delay in opening branch
offices, it cannot be overlooked that the practice of allocating the savings
banks' funds only as far as the actual opening of the branch offices is not
the least of them. There is also the fact that when renting a space it is
necessary to pay a year's rent in advance, which in the majority of cases is
spent by the owner to repair and adapt the structure; all the suppliers now
firmly request payment for items immediately upon installation. Meanwhile, in
the face of current high operating costs, the funds allocated by the postal
department in 1916 estimate for office upkeep and rent weren't enough even for
the requirements of existing offices, and there are absolutely no sources for
temporary loans. Thus, a vicious circle results: money is necessary to open
an office, but to get money, it is necessary to open an office. And under such
circumstance it is (truly) amazing that the postal department nevertheless
opened more than 4,000 branch offices.
A total of 4,304 offices were opened by 15 December, and as can be seen
by Table No. 3, the Vladikavkaz and Samara Districts have already met the
provisions of the 23 October 1915 law. Irkutsk, Kazan', Kishinev, Kiev, Minsk,
Moscow, Omsk, Orel', Riga, Rostov, and Saratov Districts have almost completed
establishment of their assigned numbers, while Ekaterinoslav, Nizhnii Novgorod,
Perm', Petrograd, Priamur, Smolensk, Tomsk, Turkestan, and Khar'kov Districts
have done the greater part of- their work and will undoubtedly complete it in
the next one or two months. The program is far from complete only in
Arkhangel'sk, Tambov, Vil'na, and Tiflis Districts, where the first one still
has 116 offices to open and the second 89. As for Vil'na and Tiflis Districts,
where only 1/6 and 1/5 of the projected offices have been started, completion
is quite impossible due to circumstances of war.
All the newly opened offices are distributed among 76 provinces and
territories (Table No. 6), with the greatest numbers falling in Perm', Tobol'sk,
Saratov, Vyatka, Kuban, and Samara Provinces.
If we compare districts according to the number of offices opened, then
Perm' is first with 396, followed by Samara (341), Omsk (336), Vladikavkaz (297),
Saratov (220), Petrograd (211), and Nizhnii Novgorod (203).
TABLE NO. 6
A LIST OF PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES WITH THE
NUMBER OF OFFICES OPENED IN EACH BY 15 DECEMBER 1916
NAME OF PROVINCE # OF NAME OF PROVINCE # OF
OR TERRITORY OPENINGS OR TERRITORY OPENINGS
1. Akmolinskaya 91 39. Orlovskaya 61
2. Amurskaya 23 40. Pensenskaya 56
3. Arkhangel'skaya 42 41. Permskaya 240
4. Astrahkanskaya 38 42. Petrogradskaya 60
5. Bakinskaya 3 43. Podol'skaya 26
6. Batumskaya 2 44. Poltavskaya 98
7. Bessarabskaya 48 45. Primorskaya 41
8. Vilenskaya 3 46. Pskovskaya 36
9. Vitebskaya 42 47. Ryazanskaya 37
10. Vladimirskaya 43 48. Samarkandskaya 1
11. Vologodskaya 45 49. Samarskaya 133
12. Volynskaya 33 50. Saratovskaya 173
13. Voronezhskaya 83 51. Semipalatinskaya 8
14. Vyatskaya 155 52. Semiryechenskaya 14
15. Dagestanskaya 13 53. Simbirskaya 47
16. Ekaterinoslavskaya 89 54. Smolenskaya 91
17. Elisavetpol'akaya 1 55. Stavropol'skaya 85
18. Eniseiskaya 36 56. Sukhumskii Okrug 2
19. Zabaikal'skaya 50 57. Northern Manchuria 1
20. Zakaspiiskaya 1 58. Syr-dar'inskaya 11
21. Irkutskaya 23 59. Tavricheskaya 55
22. Kazanskaya 56 60. Tambovskaya 68
23. Kaluzhskaya 36 61. Tverskaya 73
24. Kamchatskaya 1 62. Terskaya 51
25. Kievskaya 46 63. Tiflisskaya 3
26. Kostromskaya 78 64. Tobol'skaya 219
27. Kubanskaya 140 65. Tomskaya 104
28. Kurskaya 71 66. Tul'skaya 55
29. Kutaisskaya 3 67. Turgaiskaya 33
30. Liflyandskaya 37 68. Ural'skaya 13
31. Minskaya 61 69. Ufimskaya 98
32. Mogilevskaya 42 70. Ferganskaya 8
33. Moskovskaya 58 71. Khar'kovskaya 111
34. Nizhegorodskaya 84 72. Khersonskaya 117
35. Novgorodskaya 114 73. Chernigovskaya 47
36. Oblast' Voiska Donskogo 110 74. Chernomorskaya 8
37. Olonetskaya 32 75. Ehstlyandskaya 52
38. Orenburgskaya 93 76. Yaro.slavskaya 42
It is interesting to compare the number of offices opened with the number
of already-existing establishments. It turns out that the number of establish-
ments increased by 62%, with a fluctuation among the districts of 7% to 300%.
For instance, Omsk District increased from 112 offices to 336.
In conclusion, it is also interesting to compare the number of post-and-
telegraph offices opened each year for the last decade.
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