The Rossica society of Russian...
 Table of Contents
 From the editor's desk
 When the balloon went up, by Philip...
 Imperial Russia and its flying...
 1922 Siberia issue, by George...
 Zemstvo bisects: An addition, by...
 Some notes on the Red Cross during...
 Anatomy of a postcard, by Gary...
 Soviet air fleet/Osoaviakhim emissions...
 Russian envelopes with hidden identification...
 From the president
 Library notes
 Member-to-member adlets
 Dealer-member ads
 Society Publications for sale
 New Rossica publications
 News from the former Soviet...


Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00020235/00074
 Material Information
Title: Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Physical Description: no. in v. : illus. ; 29 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Philadelphia
Creation Date: 2000
Publication Date: [n.d.]
Frequency: unknown
Subjects / Keywords: Stamp collecting -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Postage-stamps -- Periodicals -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Stamp collections -- Russia   ( lcsh )
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
Funding: Made available to the University of Florida Digital Collections under special distribution agreement with the <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a>.
 Record Information
Source Institution: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Holding Location: <a href="http://www.rossica.org">Rossica Society</a> Library.
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB2397
lccn - 59037768
issn - 0035-8363
System ID: UF00020235:00074

Table of Contents
    The Rossica society of Russian philately
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    From the editor's desk
        Page 2
        Page 3
    When the balloon went up, by Philip E. Robinson
        Page 4
    Imperial Russia and its flying machines: History and philately, by G. Adolph Ackerman
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    1922 Siberia issue, by George Werbizky
        Page 20
        Page 21
    Zemstvo bisects: An addition, by George Werbizky
        Page 22
    Some notes on the Red Cross during World War I, by Natalie Krasheninnikoff
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Anatomy of a postcard, by Gary Combs
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Soviet air fleet/Osoaviakhim emissions on postal documents, by G. Adolph Ackerman
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Russian envelopes with hidden identification numbers, by Jim Reichman
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    From the president
        Page 89
    Library notes
        Page 90
    Member-to-member adlets
        Page 91
    Dealer-member ads
        Page 92
    Society Publications for sale
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
    New Rossica publications
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    News from the former Soviet Union
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
Full Text


APRIL 2000 No. 134

The Journal of the Rossica Society of Russian Philately


OFFICERS OF THE SOCIETY All rights reserved. No part of this journal may be
President: Gary A. Combs reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means
8241 Chalet Ct, Millersville, MD 21108, USA without permission in writing from the journal editor.
Vice President: Howard Weinert The views expressed by the authors in this journal are
7104 Oxford Road, Baltimore, MD 21212, USA
their own and the editor disclaims all responsibility.
Secretary: George G. Werbizky
409 Jones Road, Vestal, NY 13850, USA
Treasurer: Gary A. Combs The Rossica Society of Russian Philately, Inc. is
Treasurer: Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct, Millersville, MD 21108, USA a non-profit, non-political organization incorporated in
Librarian: Gerald (Ged) Seiflow the state of Maryland, USA, and affiliated with the
1249 St. Claire P1, Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA American Philatelic Society. The RossicaJournal is the
Auditor: Webster Stickney official periodic publication of the Rossica Society of
7590 Windlawn, Parker, CO 80134, USA Russian Philately, Inc., published twice a year in April
and October and mailed "surface rate" from the Editor's
BOARD OF DIRECTORS residence. Price for non-members is US $10 per issue.
David M. Skipton For air mail delivery, please add US $5. Subscriptions
50-D Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770, USA .
D R e Ra, l, MD 2 UA are available for US $30 which includes air mail pos-
Dr. G. Adolph Ackerman
629 Sanbridge Circle E., Worthington, OH tage. Available back issues are listed in the section tied
43085, USA "In The Back Room." Submit articles for consideration
Dr. Ray J. Ceresa directly to the Editor. Periodically, other Rossica publi-
Spinnaker House, 7 Jacken Close, Felpham, cations are listed in the back of the Journal. Information
Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 7DU, is available from the Editor or Secretary.
United Kingdom Society dues are US $25 per year with a discount
for early renewal. Membership applications can be ob-
PUBLICATIONS tained from the Treasurer or Secretary at the addresses
Bulletin: Raymond Pietruszka listed under "Officers of the Society."
211 Evalyn Street, Madison, AL 35758, USA .
Dealers wishing to advertise in the Journal are
Journal: Karen Lemiski
2641 a Emersn S, C er AZ 8 A welcomed. Information pertainng to advertising can be
2641 S. Emerson St., Chandler, AZ 85248, USA
found in the back of the Journal.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SOCIETY Checks and money orders submitted should be
USA made payable to The Rossica Society of Russian Philately
Washington-Baltimore Chapter: Steve Alushin and not to any officer. Checks not drawn on a US bank
13103 Wellford Dr, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA must include an additional US $20 for processing fees.
Midwest Chapter: Dr. James Mazepa Sorry, no credit cards are accepted. Please make all
P.O. Box 1217, Oak Park, IL 60304, USA checks payable to:
Northern California Chapter: Ed Laveroni
860 East Remington Drive No. A, Sunnyvale, ROSSICA SOCIETY OF RUSSIAN PHILATELY
CA 94087, USA
CA 94087, USA c/o Gary A. Combs

EUROPE 8241 Chalet Court
Jack G. Moyes Millersville, MD 21108
23 Stonywood, Harlow, Essex, CM18 6AU, USA
United Kingdom

The ROSSICA homepage may be accessed at: http://www.rossica.org
Rainer Fuch's homepage devoted to zemstvos may be accessed at: http://fuchs-online.com/zemsntos
Copyright 2000
The Rossica Society
ISSN 0035-8363


Journal No. 134 for April 2000

Editor: Karen Lemiski
Editorial Board: Gary Combs, David Skipton, Ivo Steijn


From the Editor's Desk 2
When the Balloon Went Up, by Philip E. Robinson 4
Imperial Russia and Its Flying Machines: History and Philately,
by G. Adolph Ackerman 5
1922 Siberia Issue, by George Werbizky 20
Zemstvo Bisects: An Addition, by George Werbizky 22
Some Notes on the Red Cross during World War I, by Natalie Krasheninnikoff 23
Anatomy of a Postcard, by Gary Combs 39
Soviet Air Fleet/Osoaviakhim Emissions on Postal Documents,
by G. Adolph Ackerman 42
Russian Envelopes with Hidden Identification Numbers, by Jim Reichman 73

From the President 89
Library Notes 90
Member-to-Member Adlets 91
Dealer-Member Ads 92
Society Publications For Sale 93
New Rossica Publications 96
News from the Former Soviet Union 99

From the Editor's Desk

Correction to Issue 133 All-Union Agricultural Fair 1939/40
Note 1 to the article "Historic Ukrainian Col. Asdrubal Prado is mounting a study of
Churches": The Stamp-Production Process (Rossica the All-Union Agricultural Fair 1939/40 (Scott
Journal, no. 133, page 94) states that the Heorhiy 794-810). He is searching for this set used on
Narbut Prize for best Ukrainian stamp design cover and even on CTO status (with part of the
was established in 1992 by Ingert Kuzych. city's name on the cancel). If you have any of
Following publication of the last journal, I these on cover, he would be pleased to see color
received a letter informing me that Bohdan photocopies and will reimburse for expenses.
Pauk, outgoing president of the Ukrainian Phi- Please write to Col. Prado at Caixa Postal
latelic and Numismatic Society, was also a sub- 18121, 80811-970 Curitiba PR, Brazil.
stantial donor to the award.
My apologies, Bohdan, for overlooking Drift Station Material
your contribution to this award. Rossica member Paul Uppington is looking
for early Soviet North Pole drift station to and
2000 Annual Meeting from mail and QSL cards. Please send photo-
Rossica accepted the invitation to hold its copies and prices to: P. R. Uppington, 18 Eaton
2000 annual meeting at the Philadelphia Na- Close, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3X1.
tional Stamp Exhibition (formerly SEPAD), Fort
Washington Expo Center, Fort Washington, A Postal Notice
PA, 6-8 October 2000. This is an APS World submitted by Martin Evans
Series of Philately exhibition with about 75 While doing some research in the British
dealers and 280 competitive frames. The Baltic Post Office Aichives on a non-Russian subject,
States Study Group also is convening at this Rossica member Martin Evans came across a
exhibition. There could be some great inter- notice dated 4 April 1871 (reproduced opposite
changes and exchanges of information since this on page 3). This document would have been on
area of philately is very active, display in post offices at the time and advises
how letters to Russia were to be addressed.
Forwarding Agents and the Russian Mails
V. Denis Vandervelde of London is writing
a book on the forwarders who handled Russian
(and some other Baltic) mail. He has evidence of
forty or so in the eighteenth century and rather
more in the nineteenth. We would welcome
help with the names of additional operatives
(photocopies of evidence, please) or any infor-
mation on methodology and charges. He can be
reached at 25, Sinclair Grove, London, England,
NW11 9JH.

2 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

We 17.

LLFT3ES for 11311

THB General Post Ofoce of North Germany, to
which Office all correspondence addressed to
Russia is, as a rule, forwarded from this Country,
hes again represented to the Postmaster-General
the diffoulty whioh is experienced in forwarding
many of such letters with aoouracy and despatoh,
owing to the place of their destination being
frequently written in Russian characters only.
It is very desirable, therefore, that persons
sending letters for Russia should add the name
of the place of destination. in either 3Englsh,
French, or German.
Further, in order to avoid their being mia-sent
or delayed, it is necessary that letters intended
for the smaller Towns in Russia should bear, as
a part of their address, the name of the Province
or Government in which they are situated.

By Cmasd of The NWIaMrJuiaL

Rossica Journal Number 134 3
April 2000

When the Balloon Went Up

by Philip E. Robinson

\1" SOTRpLToe n CbMo.6oa 19,,0. 0

Was there ever a balloon post in imperial member of the military, the card was carried free of
Russia? There does not seem to be any evidence of postage. The military cachet, struck in violet, is of
this, but ever since 1859, when a hot air balloon particular interest. The inscription reads: Vost.-Sib.
carrying people and mail took off from Lafayette, Polev. / Vozdukhopla. bat. This is short for

Indiana, balloons of various types have been used, Vostochno-Sibirskii Polevoi / Vozdukhoplavatel'nyi
successfully or otherwise, to carry mail. Later, air- batal'on and translates directly as "East Siberian
ships were used with a little more success, until Field / Aeronautical battalion".
disasters such as that of the Hindenburg in New As the postcard predates the Wright brothers'
Jersey in 1937, together with progress made with epoch-making flight, the term "aeronautical" can
heavier-than-air craft, led to the decline of this form only refer to balloons. These certainly had their
of transportation. military uses, and manned balloons were used mainly
It seems unlikely that balloons were ever used for observation, especially for artillery sighting. This
to carry mail in Russia before 1918, though of was, presumably, the function of the unit to which
course this is possible. However, balloons had other the sender of this postcard belonged. Thanks to the
uses, and the postcard illustrated here, from the Internet and the co-operation of Rossica members I
collection of Mr. David Lu, provides some evidence was able to learn a little more about this subject. My
of this. Sent from Manchuria and dated 28 October friend Denys Voaden kindly sent me some photo-
1904, it has a postmark of the Russian Post Office in copies regarding the setting up of a military aero-
Harbin and a receiving mark of its destination, nautical unit in 1904. Any further information on
Gatchina near St. Petersburg. As this was during the this interesting aspect of Russian military postal his-
Russo-Japanese War and the card was sent by a tory would be welcomed by the author.
j ~t^ ^/^E E...ona.

Was there ever a balloon post in imperial member of the military, the ca Journal Number 134

April 2000
Russia? There does not seem to be any evidence of postage. The military cachet, struck in violet, is of
this, but ever since 1859, when a hot air balloon particular interest. The inscription reads: Vost.-Sib.
carrying people and mail took off from Lafayette, Polev. / Vozdukhoplav. bat. This is short for
Indiana, balloons of various types have been used, Vostochno-Sibirskii Polevoi / Vozdukhoplavatel nyi
successfully or otherwise, to carry mail. Later, air- batal on and translates directly as "East Siberian
ships were used with a little more success, until Field / Aeronautical battalion".
disasters such as that of the Hindenburg in New As the postcard predates the Wright brothers'
Jersey in 1937, together with progress made with epoch-making flight, the term "aeronautical" can
heavier-than-air craft, led to the decline of this form only refer to balloons. These certainly had their
of transportation, military uses, and manned balloons were used mainly
It seems unlikely that balloons were ever used for observation, especially for artillery sighting. This
to carry mail in Russia before 1918, though of was, presumably, the function of the unit to which
course this is possible. However, balloons had other the sender of this postcard belonged. Thanks to the
uses, and the postcard illustrated here, from the Internet and the co-operation ofRossica members I
collection of Mr. David Lu, provides some evidence was able to learn a little more about this subject. My
of this. Sent from Manchuria and dated 28 October friend Denys Voaden kindly sent me some photo-
1904, it has a postmark of the Russian Post Office in copies regarding the setting up of a military aero-
Harbin and a receiving mark of its destination, nautical unit in 1904. Any further information on
Gatchina near St. Petersburg. As this was during the this interesting aspect of Russian military postal his-
Russo-Japanese War and the card was sent by a tory would be welcomed by the author.

4 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Imperial Russia and Its Flying Machines:
History and Philately

by G. Adolph Ackerman

In the Beginning: There was an early interest
in flying in Russia. During the latter part of the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, hot air
and hydrogen-filled balloons and hand-held
gliders were tested and flown by air enthusiasts.
Crowds would come, watch, and hope to have
a chance to participate in balloon and glider
events. Early reports of hot-air balloon flights
date back to 1731 when Sulakadzev filled an ,r
animal hide with smoke and around it tied a. ,
rope with a loop in which he sat and then flew l, ..,...ra.... t.
over a crowd of observers.5 Another early
documented balloon flight was made in 1804,
carrying Zakharov and Robertson aloft to study Figure 1: Picture postcard showing a Russian military air
the upper atmosphere.5 Among his formidable station with a large balloon and soldiers. St. Petersburg to
studies, Lomonosov of the Royal Academy of Paris, 1902.
Science made a working model of a helicopter
in 1754. However, the lack of lightweight
powerful engines and inept airplane designs 3 T n
impeded successful flights of heavier-than-air 1975 COATE bEPB
machines worldwide until the success of the U
Wright brothers in 1903.
The use of balloons as military observation
vehicles became a reality for the Russian military >
Si n A 1823-IAioo M
during the first years of the twentieth century. A MOKAOCKM 0
military balloon division was formed during the
Russo-Japanese War (1904) using kite balloons
of elongated design with attached observation
platforms.5 In fact, the use of balloons by the
Russian military had begun as early as 1902, as
evidenced by the picture postcard shown in
figure 1. Improved models were deployed dur-
ing World War I to observe enemy battle lines. g I
Russia's first experience with heavier-than- F
air powered flight occurred in 1884. Mozhaiski,
a Russian naval officer, championed the concept
and possibility of heavier-than-air flight (figure Figure 2: a: A. F. Mozhaiski and his heavier-than-air craft
2). Mozhaiski had a keen interest in aerody- below a supersonic TU-144 aircraft; b: Mozhaiski's air-
namics and set about designing, financing, and plane tested in Krasnoe Selo, 1882.

Rossica Journal Number 134 5
April 2000


nfoTA cccP 163 |OK!

Figure 3: a: N. Y. Zhukovski, pioneer of aerodynamics, with his wind tunnel;
b: Zhukovski and the Military Air Force Academy.

building a full-sized man-carrying monoplane the first generation of Russian airmen and
between 1882 and 1884. The airplane had a aircraft designers.5
forty-foot wing-span and was equipped with When World War I began, Zhukovski di-
two lightweight steam engines to power its dual rected his attention to military aviation and es-
propellers. This large plane weighed nearly one tablished a school for training military pilots in
ton (figure 2). In its first, and only, flight at- the theories of aviation and aerodynamics.5 By
tempt, it descended a ramp to gain speed and 1915, several military aviation schools were in
managed to leave the ground, but it traveled operation in western Russia. Zhukovski contin-
only a few feet in the air.5 Its weight and the ued his research with his students and colleagues
inefficiency of its power supply prevented any throughout the war, and in 1918 he founded
possible success. Hang gliders and manned bal- the Central Institute of Aerodynamics (Tsen-
loons continued to be the focus of Russia's air tral'nyi Aerogidrodinamicheskii Institut/ TsAGI)
enthusiasts. (figure 2)." Tupolev headed the aviation section
As the twentieth century began, N. Y. and graduates of the institute included many
Zhukovski (figure 3), a professor of mechanics names that were to become important in Soviet
and mathematics at Moscow University, became aviation, including Ilyushin, Yakovlev, Mikoyan,
interested in the theories of aerodynamics and and others. Zhukovski's research and achieve-
manned flight. In 1902, Zhukovski designed and ments concerning the basic theories of flight
had built Russia's first wind tunnel one of established him as a major figure in aviation. He
the first in the world in the laboratory at the is regarded as the "father of Russian aviation."
Moscow Higher Technical School (Vysshee The successful flight of the Wright brothers
Tekhnicheskoe Uchilishche/MVTU).5 The in 1903 did not have an immediate effect in
wind-tunnel construction and operation was Russia or in Europe. However, an increased
supervised in 1909 by A. N. Tupolev, who in interest in powered flying machines finally
later years became an outstanding designer of emerged in 1907, although heavy, inefficient en-
Russian aircraft. In 1904, Zhukovski founded gines still provided a major stumbling-block for
the first Institute of Aerodynamics in the world viable aircraft designs and manned flight.
on the outskirts of Moscow. He continued to Awaiting lighter, more efficient, engines, many
lecture on aerodynamics and the scientific as- Russian air enthusiasts had concentrated on
pects of aircraft design and his students became hand-held dual-wing gliders. By 1910, im-

6 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

HMMiEPATOPCKII BcepocciiAcil A3po-Hny6ib, ER O-CL B

Figure 4: Imperial Aero-Club of Russia of St. Petersburg, official cover and enclosed letter dated
sian designers. Soon,. i Russa stDE ROSSIE.

important strides in aircraft design, incorporat- Aero-Clubs, Early Aircraft, and Designers:
Li cmbra 9...... .

models. mitted the club to seek public funding for their
Figure 4: Imperial Aero-Club of Russia of St. Petersburg, official cover and enclosed letter dated
23 December 1910, to Paris with arrival postmark 9 January 1911; franking on reverse.
Letter signed by Secretary General of the Imperial Aero-Club of Russia.
Insert shows members of the 1911 aero-dub standing before a Farman biplane.

proved, lighter-weight engines began to be de- imperial government started to provide fpnds for
veloped in Europe and were purchased by Rus- aviation projects in isolated cases.
sian designers. Soon, Russia started making
important strides in aircraft design, incorporat- Aero-Clubs, Early Aircraft, and Designers:
ing their own modifications into foreign makes In early 1908, the Imperial Aero-Club of Russia
as well as designing and building their own was formed in St. Petersburg.5 The tsar per-
models mnitted the club to seek public funding for their
Individuals interested in the adventure of activities because of the costs involved. An out-
flight and air-related activities began to form standing early cover and letter enclosure from
small flying groups in western Russia and the club are shown in figure 4. Club members
Ukraine. Few facilities were available during the from 1911, along with a Farman biplane, are
early years. The young pilots were basically self- also illustrated; both men and women parici-
taught and flattened fields and pastures served as pated. Publicity, new models of planes, air
runways. Unlike France, Germany, and Britain shows, and records in air speed, altitude, and
that had governmental and private financial sup- endurance attracted public attention particularly
port and cash prizes for air competitions, early of the more affluent and educated. New aero-
Russian aviation pioneers supported their activi- clubs began to spring up across western Russia.
ties and the purchase of aircraft with their own Two special photocards featuring low-flying
funds. Thus, young men and women attracted Farman biplanes in 1910 at the All-Russian Air
to flying tended to be well educated and finan- Festival provide examples of early Russian
cially independent. As the significance of air- aviation (figure 5). Several aircraft models
planes and flying was gradually recognized, the were displayed and flown during the two-week

Rossica Journal Number 134 7
April 2000

lishment of an airmail route for the spring of
-- 1912 between St. Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo,
... -Gatchina, Peterhof, and Kronstadt,7 but this ser-
':".. vice was never put into operation.
K 9 "ta3.> jThe basic Farman and Bleroit aircraft de-
wr".MaT. 1 M,1 ,a signs were used in Russia during the early years,
Z t-Z < e.g., the Farman machine was modified and
.. --- named the "Rossiya A" and the Bleriot XI, the
S BE 9 isio 410e "Rossiya B". These early planes had a speed of
-i 429 ce ,-4, around forty-five miles per hour, flew well, and
were used in the training of many young pilots.
'-i .. ..iS Such modifications were made by designers such
as Hackel, who owned a factory in 1910. His
first design has been considered the first impor-
tant Russian airplane.5 Hackel's biplane designs
Sent through several changes and his third
modification with a newer engine achieved a
speed of almost fifty miles per hour.5 Other de-
signers soon appeared, including Sikorsky, An-
tonov, Grigorovich, and Grizodubov.
A few factories and workshops began to
appear in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the largest
being the "Duks" factory which produced
modified versions of the Farman biplane, the
"Duks-Farman".5 This plane had a crew of two
and a speed of seventy miles per hour. The
French Gn6me Rh6ne factory was soon con-
.5:' structed in Moscow to build airplane engines.
All factories were privately owned. Aviation
schools, including those of the military at Sevas-
topol and Gatchina near St. Petersburg, had
their own assembly and repair shops.5
Sikorsky began to design fixed-wing bi-
Figure 5: Postcard showing an early airplane, a Farman planes in Kiev in 1910 after several unsuccessful
biplane, piloted by Rudnev. Card from the Jolly Joker attempts with helicopters.5 Each of Sikorsky's
Club, St. Petersburg, 23 October 1910, to Paris, arrival 7 new airplane models showed improvements in
November. The photocard with two Farman biplanes speed and distance. The S.6 model was flown in
flown by Rudnev and Efimov is canceled 5 October 1912, achieving a speed of seventy miles per
1910, to Paris.
hour.5 Grizodubov's biplane of 1911 was based
on successful French designs.5 Seaplanes were of
event.9 The planes were flown by Rudnev, particular interest to Grizodubov. Sikorsky con-
Efimov, and others. More than 150,000 spec- tinued his remarkable aircraft designs directed
tators attended the festival.9 Earlier in March toward the development of large multipassenger
1910, Efimov had made the first documented airplanes. His giant "Ilya Muromets" emerged in
airplane flight by a Russian aviator in Russia.' 1914-1915 with considerable success. It was
The All-Russian Aero-Club proposed the estab- unmatched in size for several years and had a

8 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Figure 6: Early Russian airplanes shown on Soviet stamps. a: The Grizodubov No. 2 airplane, 1910;
b: Sikorsky's "Russiya-A" airplane, 1910; c: Grigorovich's flying boat, 1914.


Figure 7: Examples of Russian aircraft flown between 1911 and 1917. a: Gakkel VII, 1911;
b: Steglau No. 2, 1912; c: Sikorsky's Ilya Muromets, 1914; d: Porokhovshikov's P-IV Bis, 1917.

marked effect upon aircraft design in Ger- Nagurskii made the first successful airplane flight
many.3'5 During World War I, this plane proved in the Arctic during the late summer of 1914.
to be a most successful bomber and changed the Nagurskiy was assigned to participate in the
rank-and-file military commanders' opinion re- naval search mission for the missing Arctic ex-
garding the significance of aircraft during war. plorers Sedov, Brusilov, and Rusanov. Five
Several of the early Russian airplanes have separate reconnaissance missions were flown
been depicted on modern Soviet stamps (figures over the Barents Sea between Novaya Zemlya
6, 7). However, Russia had fewer good aircraft and Franz Josef Land in a French-made biplane
designers and aircraft factories than Germany, that was outfitted with skis.' Nagurskii had orig-
France, or Britain. Russia's knowledge of prac- finally chosen a Grigorovich M-5 seaplane for
tical aspects of aviation was also less than that of the mission but was overruled by naval auth-
aviators and designers in western Europe. These orities who favored the Farman. Although the
differences would prove significant during the explorers were not sighted, these pioneer flights
conflicts of World War I. proved to the world the feasibility of Arctic
On the eve of the war, the Russian aviator aviation.

Rossica Journal Number 134 9
April 2000

Figure 8: Postcard with printed insignia of the Imperial Russian Air Club on front with text below reading:
"Issued by Committee receipt for donations to build Russia's Air Fleet". Sikorsky biplane with text below:

Z fELLl I.# r

Figure 9: a: Postcard showing a Farman biplane flying above a countryside lake. Kislovodsk, 28 January 1911,
"to Reslv. b: Postcard showing two early airplanes, a Bleriot monoplane (left) and Farman biplane (right),
"flying over the sea coast. Alupka, 28 November 1912, to Kazan, arrival 4 December 1912.

10 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Early Aviation and the Public: Public interest manned by more than 130 trained pilots and
in aviation and flying increased during the next 100 observers.35 Yet as soon became evident in
several years. Aero-clubs expanded and curious, the first months of the conflict, many of these
enthusiastic crowds watched local air demon- airplanes proved obsolete or barely adequate for
stations as fliers showed off their aircraft and service on the fighting front.
flying prowess. Aeronautic exhibitions began to Military pilot training schools sprouted up
be held in Moscow in 1912 featuring new air- during the war in order to keep pace with the
planes and flying events.5 Such events attracted increased need for personnel on the front lines.
new men and women to join the emerging air Zhoukov was involved in establishing several of
revolution as active participants including pilots, these schools and teaching aerodynamics to
mechanics, and aircraft designers. A postcard trainees. An example of mail from the Sevas-
from 1912 requesting public donations for funds topol Military School of His Highness the Grand
for military airplane design is shown in figure 8. Duke Pavel Mikhailovich is shown in figure 11.
The evolution of air enthusiasm and the poten- The number of factories either building or
tial role of aviation in an evolving, modernizing assembling aircraft, engines, or propellers in-
Russia during the early years of the twentieth creased from ten in 1914 to nineteen by the end
century can be traced on a variety of postcards, of the war.3 Although productivity increased
Pictorial themes were varied from the depiction during the first years of the war, the number
of airplanes flying over the countryside (figure 9) produced proved grossly inadequate and shoddy
to fantasized illustrations of men and women workmanship caused considerable problems. The
flying artistically designed airplanes (figure 10). names and locations of these factories are listed
Humorous cards with air themes also were by Nowarra and Duval.5 Most planes built with-
printed, as well as cards showing futuristic scenes in Russia were of foreign design, e.g., Farman
that featured airplanes and airships. biplanes, Nieuports, Spads, and Moranes.3 How-
ever, new Russian models were built and tested
The Clouds of War: With the change in the throughout the war with variable success. Air-
political climate in Europe, Russia began to craft design and airmenship, while moving for-
prepare for an eventual conflict. Many people ward, could not keep pace with those of the
thought that aircraft would play an important Allies or Germany. A continued import of allied
role of the military, functioning in observation aircraft was required to maintain Russia's air
and reconnaissance missions. Machine guns were capability.5
ordered to equip the military planes that were Various air squadrons were attached to ar-
produced in Russian factories. The military war mies along the front lines. A postcard from an
machine was soon complemented with the pur- airman attached to the Fifth Ukrainian Aviation
chase of a variety of military aircraft from for- Command Base stationed in Estonia in 1917
eign sources, a practice that was to continue shows the official imperial fifth air command
throughout the upcoming war. An increased handstamp; another postcard shows a Ukrainian
numbers of pilots were trained, but their ex- air squadron (figure 11). Listings of imperial air
perience in military reconnaissance was inade- squadrons4 and their aviation handstamp mark-
quate. By the summer of 1914, the military air ings have been briefly reported.25 Military pilots
service still had relatively few aircraft in service occasionally carried solders' letters along with
and these were still inadequately equipped as the military documents from the front lines, but
war broke out that year. However, the number such mail air transport was of an unofficial na-
of Russian military planes was basically equiva- ture.6 In late 1915 and early 1916, on the initia-
lent to that of Germany, with approximately 250 tive of the pilots Kurtyan and Orlov, Russian
aircraft organized into thirty-nine squadrons and emergency air units and divisions were created

Rossica Journal Number 134 11
April 2000

,9b co76b ioBoa,/

"-- a ,ei r e u,tIs .rlarr. o o una

', ; a "- , no

Figure 10: Examples of postcards with air-related themes issued prior to and during World War I. a: "Happy Christmas"
shows elves dropping presents from a Farman biplane (c. 1911) equipped with skis; b: "Happy New Year" shows a lady
and gentleman in a Bleriot-type plane. Unfranked card, message dated 26 December 1911; c: Lady flying a plane.
Petrograd, 2 January 1917, with an imperial 5-kopeck stamp; d: Comic air-theme postcard printed in Moscow 1916.
Text: "Please can an airplane transport a live elephant? Alive? Maybe, in equal parts"; e: Red Cross card showing
air engagement during World War I. Cancel indistinct to Moscow. Written text dated 1 April 1916; f: Futuristic view
of Moscow, printed in Moscow, date of issue not indicated. Note: monoplane near a river. Monorail overhead plus
airship and airplanes flying over the city; g: Destroyer with monoplane overhead. Printed in Moscow 1914. h. Heroic
dead shows airplane ramming airship during World War I (1916).

*C'l /]- .... ,,
10. CAl'rE P'OS'TAi I "

._ tN-f I

Grand Duke Pavel Mikhailovich. Card sent from Sevastopol, 9 September 1916, to Moscow;
b: Violet double circle with central imperial eagle free frank of the Fifth Ukrainian Aviation Command Base on
the eastern front. Card sent to Kvasts-Koosa, Estonia, via Yur 've (Tartu), Liftyand Guberniya, Estonia.
Inscription date 31 July 1917, with arrival date 5 August 1917;

c: Picture postcard showing a Ukrainian military air squadron. Text in Ukrainian, printed in Moscow, no date.

to maintain communication with the Russian Slyudanka Station of the Trans-Baikal Station.9
airplane factories in Odessa ("Anatra"), Petro- French military air personnel were actively
grad ("Russian Baltic"), and Moscow ("Duks").9 involved in the military training of Russian air-
Postal items carried on these flights were men during World War I. Examples of mail
stamped with a violet handstamp "FOR from two of these individuals attached to the
PACKETS" (JJII IIAKETOB).9 Only three such Imperial Seventh Aviation Division Regiment in
items have been reported: 1) the Aviation Unit St. Petersburg in 1916 are shown in figure 12
of the Guard Corp sent from L'vov to Odessa and feature the regimental free-frank handstamp.
(arrival 27 August 1915); 2) the Seventh Avia- Initially, military leaders had little regard for air-
tion Division (from the Seventh Army located planes in their observational tactical maneuvers.
west of St. Petersburg) sent to St. Petersburg However, the success of "Ilya Muromets"
arrivall 23 July 1916); and 3) from Karks to bombers employed in a single formation strike-

Rossica Journal Number 134 13
April 2000
? |jl; P. ..

Grand Duke Pavel Mikhailovich. Card sent from Sevastopol, 9 September 1916, to Moscow;
b: Violet double circle with central imperial eagle free frank of the Fifth Ukrainian Aviation Command Base on
the eastern front. Card sent to Kvasts-Koosa, Estonia, via Yur've (Tartu), Liftyand Gubemiya, Estonia.
Inscription date 31 July 1917, with arrival date 5 August 1917;
c: Picture postcard showing a Ukrainian military air squadron. Text in Ukrainian, printed in Moscow, no date.

to maintain communication with the Russian Slyudanka Station of the Trans-Baikal Station.9
airplane factories in Odessa ("Anatra"), Petro- French military air personnel were actively
grad ("Russian Baltic"), and Moscow ("Duks").' involved in the military training of Russian air-
Postal items carried on these flights were men during World War I. Examples of mail
stamped with a violet handstamp "FOR from two of these individuals attached to the
PACKETS" (HJIA IIAKETOB).9 Only three such Imperial Seventh Aviation Division Regiment in
items have been reported: 1) the Aviation Unit St. Petersburg in 1916 are shown in figure 12
of the Guard Corp sent from L'vov to Odessa and feature the regimental free-frank handstamp.
(arrival 27 August 1915); 2) the Seventh Avia- Initially, military leaders had little regard for air-
tion Division (from the Seventh Army located planes in their observational tacti cal maneuvers.
west of St. Petersburg) sent to St. Petersburg However, the success of "Ilya Muromets"
(afrival 23 July 1916); and 3) from Karks to bombers employed in a single formation strike-

Rossica Journal Number 134 13
April 2000

0 CAt

"' ." .. .P u .I .

Figure 12: a: French Aviation Militaire with monoplane printed stampless cover with blue circular
"Aviation Frangaise en Russie" handstamp. Inscribed (top) "Mission francaise legion en Russie".
Military air squadron stationed in St. Petersburg (1916-1917). Cover addressed to Marseille;
b: Double circle violet Imperial Seventh Aviation Division Regimental Dispatch handstamp on postcard.
Squadron based outside Petrograd. Sent by a French flier attached to the Imperial Air Force, 23 July 1916, to France.
Building is the Metropole Hotel in Moscow;
c: Seventh Aviation Regimental handstamp and 10-kopeck postage on postcard. Partial cancel dated July 1916.
Written message by French airman suggests card written in Petrograd. Card shows view of the Kremlin;
d/e: Handstamps for French Aviation Militaire (top) and Imperial Seventh Aviation Division.

14 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000


Figure 13: a: Kiev's Stryetenskaya Fair issue (1913) shows a Farman biplane in background above an automobile
with passengers. No denomination, clear gum. Stamps printed on white paper in light orange,
light and dark blue, yellow-pink, and purple-brown;
b: War charity stamp issued by St. Petersburg Committee (1914). Inscribed: "Soldiers and their Families"
plus initials for St. Petersburg Committee (top) with 10-kopeck denomination. Occurs with clear or yellow gum;
slight color variations in printing;
c: World War I Loan of Fellin, Estonia Committee of Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna issued in 1917
features a Bleriot airplane. Inscribed "Fellin 1917", 2-kopeck value. Multicolor on white or rose paper;
d: War loan label issued by the Ministry of Finance shows a monoplane with pilot and gunner flying over land.
Inscribed "Invest in 5 1/2 % War Loan". Printed in color on white paper: dark gray-green, blue with red and
black lettering. Perforated, clear gum. At least ten paper shades exist, e.g., white, rose, pink, and blue-green.

force under the direction of Shkhomlinov of the war grew closer, new airplanes were im-
changed their opinions.3 These aircraft were able ported from France, England, and the United
to penetrate up to 150 miles behind enemy States (e.g., Sopwiths, Spads, Nieuports) and
lines, targeting rail lines, troop concentrations, positioned alongside the Russian-built planes.3 4,5
and other military installations. Grigorovich con- During World War I, a number of propa-
tinued developing his flying-boats; his M-9, ganda picture postcards were printed showing air
produced in 1916, proved most successful and combat and other scenes with aircraft in military
was flown by naval airmen in the Baltic and action (figure 10). One can imagine that the
Black Sea regions where they destroyed many Russian people looked excitedly to the skies,
German aircraft and bombed enemy lines.5 watching the planes flying overhead to desti-
Russia's air strength slowly increased to nations on the front lines.
seventy-five air squadrons and over seven hun-
dred planes. But these numbers were inadequate Stamps and Labels Related to Aviation and
due to high casualties in personnel and inade- the War Effort: The first Russian "stamp" de-
quate maintenance of the aircraft. By early 1917, picting an airplane was issued for the 1913
the Imperial Air Service had about one thousand Stryetenskaya Fair in Kiev (figure 13). The dec-
aircraft but a large portion of these were obso- orative design features an early automobile with
lete or inoperable.5 Aerial combat began in 1916 passengers and a biplane overhead. These stamps
and fighter squadrons emerged and comple- were issued in several colors and it is assumed
mented tactical ground actions. The superior they were intended to publicize the fair.
capabilities of German airmen and planes took As World War I opened, public funds were
its toll on the Imperial Air Service. As the end needed to finance the war effort. In 1914, the

Rossica Journal Number 134 15
April 2000


Ha BamU pyUiAN, oipaqenwue nM r mb M ua m, 6yj yrr
a-kaaum nyl as Aeun lm "y&2d--pyIm, nyjaMTm, K
coTHM TUC-um py"eA nylum aapoluaun. Ioumowre e
Commr yacuTioWk sb UsJM orraIm no6aiu. nya, GabIAr
Imob9eme pymA X nom-Ea. ro--aan. A& a

8aatie yapmuam a o ml*uuaraws ua xpexrra. CrAaR mutant am pIxsU U 4J1.sfrima
Me.xaro KpeauTa". Ileporparpa. RuAmoueu.a, 1S.
nflrporplA'b. Aosone-o *eOC*-oA uWmypol 15-X-1916 r.

Figure 14. Picture postcard with imperial eagle and text requesting public to invest in 5 % % war loan.
Printed 15 October 1915. Insert shows face of card identical to the 5 4 % war loan label.

St. Petersburg Committee issued a war charity of the war, the Estonia Committee of Grand
stamp with a 10-kopeck value for "Soldiers and Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna also issued a
their Families" (figure 13). The purchase of the stamp-label that featured a Bleriot airplane flying
stamps was voluntary and they could be affixed above a city for its "War Loan of Fellin" (figure
to envelopes as decorations and to further pro- 13).
mote the war charities. Other war charity stamps featuring airplanes
In early 1915, the imperial Ministry of Fi- appeared during the war. Samara issued a charity
nance aggressively sought the purchase of bonds label in 1916 featuring a soldier with rifle and an
by the public.8 Using a variety of means, in- airplane flying overhead in the background (fig-
cluding posters of various scenes from the front ure 15). Funds for wounded airmen were also
lines and the war effort, the people were cajoled sought by the public purchase of charity labels;
into buying the 5 Y2 percent interest bonds. Part two depicted aircraft (one a monoplane, the
of the publicizing included the printing of war other a biplane). Both incorporated the slogan
charity stamp-labels for the bonds. A great many "For Injured Aviators" (figure 15). Another fea-
varieties were issued but only one was related to tured a large anchor and the identical slogan
aviation (figure 12).8 Copied from a poster, this (figure 15). Red Cross stamps and a single
stamp showed a two-seat monoplane with a postcard were issued in 1916 to obtain financial
gunner and the inscription "Invest in 5 2 % support for those wounded during the war.
War Loan". These stamps were multicolored These items featured a military doctor and nurse
and printed on a wide variety of paper color in the foreground with soldiers climbing a hill
shades. A postcard featuring this design also was and an airplane overhead with the slogan "Our
released in 1916 (figure 14). In the latter stages Fate / Our Hope" (figure 16).

16 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000



Figure 15: a: War charity label for Samara soldiers (1916) shows a soldier with rifle and airplane in background.
Imperforate, black, gray, and olive green on white paper, no denomination or gum;
b-d: War charity labels issued as receipts for donation to the fund for wounded Russian aviators during World War I.
Inscribed "For Injured Aviators". Imperforate, no denominations or gum.
b: Bleriot aircraft c. 1911; black on tan paper; c: Farman aircraft c. 1911; green, red, blue, and yellow inscription;
d: Anchor and crossed swords, black and gray-blue on tan paper; stamp in two varieties:
with and without gold-colored swords.

ci AO aRR Y 4X

]~p^ J fnOLUWTOBA < *,,

... .............

+. i ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

hane.-,. 0Pa. M W04 U,. 20 Keo n tim py. Ynn aB0o 3 M IUzn- .Mo.00o.

Figure 16: Red Cross postcard, 20-kopeck value, 500,000 printed in Kiev (1916) features a nurse and doctor,
four outlined soldiers ascending a hill and a monoplane overhead. Red, black on tan cardboard.
Insert stamps: Multicolored stamp black, blue, red, and yellow-brown on white paper (left) of similar design issued
as 10- and 20-kopeck values, coarse perforations. Inscribed "Our Fate" + "Our Hope".
Stamps of similar design (right) and values; imperforate, black, red on tan carton paper, no gum.

Rossica Journal Number 134 17
April 2000

*m 0 .1KC K01j7./

Figure 17: Postcard with free franking of the Organizing Committee for the Russian Aviation Congress.
Violet double circle franking has emblem of the State of Muscovy and Russian Empire with the text:
"Organizational Committee of the All-Russian Aviation Congress". Moscow cancel (faint), 13 July 1917,
to Petrograd, no arrival postmark. From Leonid Kalinin, member of the Aviation Congress Committee,
to his father, Grigorii V. Kalinin, Murmansk Railway Adminsitration Warehouse, Petrograd.
Congress, held in February 1918, resulted in the establishment of a new Aviation Academy in Moscow.

The Fall of the Empire and Aviation in Air Fleet with representatives from military avia-
Russia: The abdication of the tsar in February tion, aircraft factories, and trade union.5 This
1917 and the establishment of a weak Pro- group was charged with getting aircraft factories
visional Government affected the economy and back in order and functioning. An All-Russian
^/Y-CALT E--POSTA-LE*.2 <^

military production, resulting in a loss of morale Aviation Board was soon created in December
"military and Russian aviation. Military leaders signed that month and the civil war began

were removed and two-thirds of "elitist" Spanning the imperial and new Soviet eras
military pilots left to return home or to join was the organization and meeting of a special
other Allied services. Supply and service work aviation congress. Originally proposed in early
on aircraft ceased and with the advance of the 1917, the congress was held in February 1918
German forces, many aircraft fell into enemy and resulted in the establishment of a new Avia-
hands. The new government attempted to reor- tion Academy in Moscow. The committee
"ganize military aviation through committee organizers used special free-franking handstamps
control (People's Commissariat) from Petrograd shown on the illustrated postcard (figure 17).
and Moscow5 and formed a Collegium of the The first recognized air mail in Russia took
a18 Rossica Journal Number 134

April 2000
milit ardy t e pioteftato enrtu o haom or tPo-o wasptae o chargedanizationandmee with ofa s italto
"othernAlleovernvices.tted the Supplny and aviation n congress andifuncally pArn se inAel- sar
o t product raed t and a loss of morane Aviation oa the soong reld i Fin ecember
Grand fcines, m in eenearm eanod resulted in the establishment of a new Avia917 ta o h e- r nsiesao rm

hands. The new government attempted to reor- tion Academy in Moscow. The committee
ganize military aviation through committee organizers used special free-franking handstamps
control (People's Commissariat) from Petrograd shown on the illustrated postcard (figure 17).
and Moscow5 and formed a Collegium of the The first recognized air mail in Russia took

18g Rossica journal Number 134

place on 29 March 1918 from Komendantskii part 1.J. Soc. First World War Aviation His-
Airfield in Petrograd to Moscow.6 Permission torians 17: 145-153. 1986.
was granted for sending letters through the
Naval Aviation Directorate. Apparently sacks of 4. George, M., Sheppard V. Russia's Air
letters were carried on this flight, which dem- Forces in War and Revolution, 1914-1920,
onstrated the feasibility and expediency of an part 2. The Workers' and Peasants' Air Fleet
air-mail service. No covers carried on this flight 1917-1920.J. Soc. First World War Aviation
have been reported and identifying postal marks Historians 18: 49-54, 1987.
for these postal items were not mentioned.6
Basically, new developments in aviation and 5. Nowarra, H. J., Duval, G. R. Russian Civil
aircraft design stagnated and many of the pio- and Military Aircraft 1884-1969. Transl., A.
neers of Russian aviation left the country. The Myers. London: Fountain Press, 1971.
population's attention was turned to political
strife and uncertainty, hunger, and inflation. It 6. Shabunin, A. The Origin of Airmail (in
was the end of an era of promise and potential Russian). Transl., R. Dallair. RossicaJournal
in the air arena. As Russia lost its air pioneers 108/109: 106-107, 1986.
and innovators, it fell far behind western Europe
and the United States in developing and ex- 7. Skipton, D. Notes from Collectors: Air Post
pending its civil and military air capabilities, in Russia (from St. Petersburg Post and
Telegraph, February 1912, p. 181), Rossica
Journal 102/103: 113, 1983.
1. Barr, W. Imperial Russia's Pioneers in Arc- 8. Speers, F. W. Russian Finance Ministry
tic Aviation. Arctic 39: 219-230. 1985. War Charity Labels of 1915-16. Rossica
Journal 65: 28-31, 1963.
2. Cronin, A. Notes. Post Rider 11: 6-7. 1982.
9. Vsevolod, V. Aerophilatelic Paper Docu-
3. George, M., Sheppard, V. Russia's Air ments of Russia. Filatelya SSSR 6: 16,
Forces in War and Revolution, 1914-1920, 1971.

Rossica Journal Number 134 19
April 2000

1922 Siberia Issue

by George Werbizky

Stamps of the Far Eastern Republic, Chita There are five stamps on the postcard: Scott no.
issue (Scott no. 38/41), issued in 1921, were 110, 111, 112, 114, and 115. Interestingly, Scott
subsequently overprinted IIpHaMypcKHf no. 113, the 10-kopeck value, is absent, so the
3eMCKHR Kpai / Priamur Zemstvo Region for set is not complete. The stamps were canceled
use in Siberia (Scott no. 110/115). Two stamps, with Vladivostok, letter "b" handstamp, on 30
in addition to the overprint, were surcharged September 1922.
with new values. This card permits us to establish the date of
Both the Scott and Chuchin catalogues give issue as either 29 September, the day the stamps
only the year of issue: 1922. The Stanley Gib- went on sale, as stated by the sender, or 30 Sep-
bons catalogue is more precise and dates the tember, the day the stamps were canceled. The
issue "September 1922." explanation for the one-day discrepancy could
Recently, I acquired a picture postcard of be:
Vladivostok. The card is addressed as follows:
1. The sender bought the stamps, affixed them
Via America to England to the card, and dropped it in the mailbox.
Miss Ilse Heinzemann The stamps were canceled the next day.
o/b S/S "Sophie Rickmars" 2. The sender wrote his message the day be-
c/o German Consulate fore, went to the post office, affixed the
Liverpool stamps, and had them canceled the same
day. Dating the postcard is an oversight by
The text, in German, reads: "Viele herzlichsten the sender.
Griisse, ni... et! und einem vollen Satz neuer 3. The set is not complete because the 10-ko-
Marken. Heute der erste Verkaufstag. Ihr [not peck stamp is missing. Was it issued later?
legible] G. Kronberg. 29/IX/22". English trans-
lation: "Many warm greetings, ni... et! and a Even with this discrepancy, we can narrow
complete set of new stamps. Today is thefirst day the date of issue to two days: 29 or 30 Septem-
of sale (emphasis by the sender). Yours ... G. ber 1922. In many ways, I prefer postcards to
Kronberg. 29/IX/22". covers because the message, frequently philatelic,
The return address is given as: is preserved.

Wladivostock Top: Figure 1: Picture side of the postcard, view
German Red Cross of Vladivostok. One word "Cnopra" ("Of
G. Kronberg Sport") is above the entrance to the large
Bottom: Figure 2: Message side of the postcard.

20 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

-^h^--- ----------

Rossica Journal Number 134

April 2000 21

Zemstvo Bisects: An Addition

by George Werbizky

LA^4_-- l j~ *A "I N- iW

Figure 1: Urzhum bisects on piece.

In Rossica Journal No. 131-132, I showed more than I expected. This is both "good and
zemstvo bisects that were listed in the Chuchin bad news": prices for zemstvo stamps and covers
catalogue (J. Barefoot reprint, 1988). Now, one are going up, while obtaining missing material is
more zemstvo bisect can be added to this list: getting to be more expensive.
Urzhum, Viatka government, number 1. Ac- The hard cover auction catalogue, with all
cording to Chuchin, the stamp "was cut in its illustrations in color, is superb -just like the
halves and used for 1 kopeck." material that was offered. If there was one bar-
The Corinphila auction (Zurich, 5 Decem- gain, it was the catalogue, each copy of which
ber 1999) of the 0. A. Faberg6 zemstvo col- sold for $50.00.
election offered "1891 2 kop. blue vertical bisect There were bisects on cover from Osa,
with 3 kop. blue-green on piece tied by oval Perm', and Ust 'sysol'sk, similar to what was
d[ate] s[tamp], two such items dated 1 and 31 shown in my earlier Rossica article. The Perm'
April 1893 respectively" (lot no. 2469). cover that was shown in the article was from the
This is the only lot that I succeeded in Faberg6 collection; at the recent auction, it sold
buying, even though I bid on other lots signifi- for 1,300 Swiss francs, or about $810.00.
canty over estimation by my standards. As the The Urzhum bisects are shown above. Both
results demonstrate, my bidding was insufficient bisected stamps are the left half. "Somewhere
and zemstvo material was sold for a great deal out there" must be the right halves.

22 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Some Notes on the Red Cross
during World War I

by Natalie Krasheninnikoff


.Poeeifteioe .O6uieeTrso. pa earo Kpee
a ccroimmee nomi BucoilaimRrm noKpduicnmboTC T
En Ilu'epaTropcrcaro BejrrieoTBa
Fl^ rocyAapbiHH HMnepaTpHMbi MAPIM EEOOPOBHbl. J

S nTpaabnoe CnpaB'monoe B1opo o BoeHmonatI P


Figure 1: Reply sent in 1915 from the Russian Red Cross Inquiry office in Petrograd concerning a missing soldier.
MapHH OeogopoBHa is Maria Fedorovna, the patroness.

The Red Cross today plays a leading role in tivities of the Red Cross are embodied in the
a number of humanitarian tasks compared to Geneva Convention of 1864.
earlier days, when its role was more limited to The ideas behind the Red Cross were met
giving aid to wounded soldiers in war situations. with sympathy by several countries and Red
The Red Cross was founded at the initiative of Cross societies were established with affiliation
a Swiss, Henry Dunant (1828-1910), with the to the Head Office in Geneva, Switzerland. The
intention of aiding the sick and wounded sol- Danish Red Cross was founded in 1876.
diers and training the personnel who were ne- In Russia, the Red Cross was founded in
cessary for these tasks. The principles for the ac- 1867 and proved its value in the Bulgarian fight

Rossica Journal Number 134 23
April 2000

cities, or committees, under the patronage of
S'. .. other members of the tsar's family. Based on cir-
Jr1 cular No. 51, dated 6 September 1914, the Red
Cross was given free mail privileges for all types
of domestic mail for the duration of the war.
SThe main office in St. Petersburg (Petrograd
S.from 20 August 1914) established an Inquiry
*/, Office for Prisoners of War. This office used a
cachet with Russian letters and others with
French text. The French ones had some vane-
Figure 2: Cachets used by the Central Red Cross Inquiry ties: "Sur" spelled with a capital letter and an-
office in Petrograd; left in Russian, right in French with other with the spelling mistake "Jur" (figure 2).
the spelling error "Jur". The Hague Convention permits the estab-
lishment of inquiry offices in neutral countries.
On this basis, the International Red Cross com-
"^ mittee in Geneva, on 3 October 1914, asked the
Danish Red Cross to establish a special inquiry
r office in Copenhagen that would cover the
whole Eastern Front. On 4 October, the Croix
Rouge Danoise Agence des Prisoniers de Guerre
opened. The Danish Red Cross performed a
useful and important function. It was the instru-
s ment in the exchange of letters between priso-
"'-^ ners of war and their relatives both in Russia
and Germany, and it processed inquiries about
Figure 3: Envelope sealing wafer used by the Danish Red family members in the occupied areas.
Cross. Later, the Danish Red Cross extended this
task to include Russian prisoners of war in
for freedom in 1877-78, a war in which Russia Austria-Hungary and vice versa. It proved prac-
took an active part. The Red Cross established tical to place this office in Copenhagen as mail
military hospitals in the Balkans and in the could only be sent through neutral countries
southern part of Russia. Later on, Red Cross so- after the normal exchange of mail had been sus-
cieties were founded in a number of larger cities pended at the start of the war. Mail between
all across the empire. Russia and Western Europe was sent through
On 1 August 1914, Germany declared war Finland, neutral Sweden, and Denmark, and
against Russia. The next day France entered the from there passed on to Germany and vice
war, soon followed by the United Kingdom, versa. The wafer of the Danish Red Cross is
Belgium, and other countries. The First World shown in figure 3.
War was a reality. Early in August 1914, serious In July 1915, the Russian Red Cross estab-
battles took place in East Prussia, which resulted lished an office in Copenhagen. The full name
in many wounded and captured soldiers. The was Hilfscomite der Moskauer Stadtverwaltung fur
contribution of the Red Cross became essential. russische Kriegsgefangene und im Auslande zurick-
The Russian Red Cross was under the pa- gehaltener (The City of Moscow Committee to
tronage of the dowager empress, Maria Fedo- Aid Russian Prisoners of War and Persons De-
rovna (the former Danish princess Dagmar) trained in Other Countries, also called Moskauer
(figure 1). It was divided into a number of so- Hilfscomite fir Kriegsgefangene) (figure 4). In Rus-

24 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

: iKrIegsgefangenensendun 'rg. -

An das

Moskauer Hilfskomit6 fur Kriegsgefangene.

nach Danemark. KOENH E

Raum fflrt I nOTA BOEHHOnftHHIblXb.
Zensurstemnpel. gnas HeMeJi eHHaoi OTupaXB Bs POCCiO:

a KO M Y ....... .... ........a .. .

= .l -
"sian, this was M KOM i hown in figure 5.... This camp was closed on

lorm.' Haamie MocKOSCxaro NOBHTeTa noNoigN pyccimo 8oeoxonxtrHxbidmu.

Figure 4: Envelope with a pre-printed address to the Moscow Aid Committee in Copenhagen.

sian, this was MOCKOBCKHl KOMHTeT, is shown in figure 5. This camp was closed on
rnoMOtiH pyccKHMI BoeHHOIInJmHHIM 24 June 1918.
The Inquiry Office in Petrograd and the Mos- The Swedish Red Cross achieved much,
cow Committee worked closely with the Danish mostly aiding German and Austrian prisoners of
Red Cross. They helped not only Russian war. It had offices in Petrograd and in Moscow,
POWs in Germany, but from May 1917 also and cooperated with a special committee for
took care of the prisoners in the internment and POWs in Moscow that had been established by
hospital camp in Horserod and in camps for the Russian Red Cross (figures 6 and 7).
POW deserters from Germany in the southern The International Red Cross established its
part of Jutland and on Funen. The camp in own office in Germany. Figure 8 illustrates a
Horserod was established in accordance with the cachet of the International Red Cross office in
Hague Convention of 1849, which allowed Barmen with text in Russian. The card is
neutral countries to establish hospital camps for addressed to a German POW working at a sugar
sick and wounded soldiers from the belligerent factory in Khar'kov province. In Russia, pris-
countries. An envelope from the Horserod camp owners of war were permitted to live outside a

Rossica Journal Number 134 25
April 2000


Comite de Moscou

Kobenhavn K.

Bredgade 42.

Figure 5: Letter from the hospital camp in Horserod, Denmark, to the Moscow Aid Committee in Copenhagen.
The envelope is postmarked 3.7.17, Prisoner of War Camp No. 1, Denmark.


SUnTPorAfl ;.,

Figure 6: Cachets used by the Swedish Red Cross.

26 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000


2..._:......... _T11111.^ ^ ^..ci ....! S ...

.. .................. ..................................... ... I ......... .... .....-.
................. ....

Figure 7: Postcard from an Austrian POW in Tashkent, mailed in November 1915,
to Vienna through the Moscow Committee and the Swedish Red Cross. Censored in Moscow.

camp provided they were under the supervision increased dramatically, and it was necessary to
of the local police. In this way, they earned place them in internment camps.
some money and could spend their time in a Apart from helping POWs and refugees to
meaningful way. There was no risk of escape establish contact with their relatives, the Russian
because the local population was not prepared to Red Cross Inquiry Office had a special section
help them. Besides, apart from this specific case, in Petrograd to report in which hospital the sick
POW camps were usually placed far inside the and wounded soldiers could be found, based on
country, stretching from east of the Volga River currently updated lists. A reply card from this
all the way through Siberia. office is seen in figure 11 and the cachet of this
The situation for Russian prisoners of war office is shown in figure 10.
in Germany was rather different. They all had to Being a private organization, the Red Cross
stay in camps, and to make escape difficult, had to raise the necessary funds for its work.
whatever money they received from relatives The money came from private organizations and
and friends was handed over to them as special partly from the aid of the government by means
trading stamps valid only in that particular camp of a special tax on items like telegrams, theater,
(figure 9). This, however, did not prevent them and railway tickets (figure 12). The Red Cross
from escaping. My own father-in-law escaped also obtained permission to issue envelopes and
twice from camps in Germany to Denmark, postcards to be sold at a premium through post
from where he was helped back to Petrograd via offices. During the war, such postcards often de-
Sweden. Close to the end of the war, the num- picted patriotic motifs with a line of verse be-
ber of prisoners who escaped to Denmark had neath the picture and with the Red Cross logo

Rossica Journal Number 134 27
April 2000

S Kregefangenn.SendufZ ,--*'

t BoeHHo-wn unHOMy: M

0 17- 7-84

Figure 8: A cachet of the International Red Cross office in Barmen, Germany, with text in Russian.
Postcard to a German POW working at a sugar factory in Khar kov province, Russia.

G- &
s me s^ \ y^i(Ru si *

Nu ilt i fangfangenennen -Laer.
*LA"a Russland. 7 7

Figure 9: Special trading scrip valid only in the Figure 10: Cachet of the Inquiry Office
POW camp DYROTZ. in Petrograd.

28 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

r -.OTKPIH-TOE 'I:A E" HO. E s

...... ............ ............
.... ...... ...... .. .

..... \ ... .......- ....... ......... .. ....... ... -- -

"O"ns Cnpaeonazo Omn.M.-, npu .rts eos YnpaejeniuPoeic. K
OOwuecmea Kpacnato Kp'-cma (BatewcuwcKas.y.A.,..MA 10).

.; .' "' :, -x ..in:pau a H noe:rga *;Oaot ao ma a uAi. ^'

Figure 11: Answer from the Inquiry office in Petrograd about whether a soldier might be in a military hospital.
On the back of the card, the office points out that it is not in possession of lists
naming missing or killed soldiers. Such requests were to be addressed to an office at the General Staff.

also featured (figure 13). Apart from issuing Note on the author: Natalie Krasheninnikoff
postcards, the St. Eugenie Red Cross Society was born in Liepaya, Latvia, in 1931, and has
also issued charity seals, two of which are shown lived in Denmark since 1944. She is a member
in figure 14. of the Copenhagen Philatelic Club (KPK), the
Local authorities all over Russia made col- British Society of Russian Philately, and the
elections to raise money for the Red Cross to be Russian Collectors Club (Ruslandssamlerforen-
used for equipment another operating costs of ingen) in Copenhagen. A version of this article
military hospitals and the like. Figure 15 shows originally appeared in a catalog, edited by Arne
two stamps without denomination that illustrate V. Rasmussen of Skovlunde, for a stamp exhibi-
a hospital train donated by Viatka province. tion in Redovre, Denmark.
The Russian Inquiry Office had to cease its
operations some months after the October This article was originally published in the
Revolution. The Danish Inquiry Office con- Luren, vol. 31, no. 7 (July 1999). This is a pub-
tinued to operate for some time after the war location of the Scandinavian Philatelic Library of
had ended. During the years it had functioned, Southern California edited by Paul Nelson
about 1.5 million letters passed through its of- (pnels@worldnet.att.net). Permission has been
fice. Some of these letters, mostly the dead granted to reprint this article both from the
letters, ended up at stamp dealers. author and Mr. Nelson.

Rossica Journal Number 134 29
April 2000

Figure 12: Railroad ticket special Figure 14: Charity seals issued by the
tax stamps to benefit the Red Cross St. Eugenie Red Cross Society.
(enlarged to 150 percent).


Figure 13: Two postcards issued by the Red Cross.
Left: Text reads "Winter cold or summer heat, our sentry can endure it all".
Right: "In the hands of young girls, the piles of shirts for our heroic soldiers is growing rapidly".

30 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000
~cn~z~ ~~rsi : A

'1. ~J~zf


/ 7 Et'............)


Fiur 3:To otcrs sue yh RedCos

Let ex ed "itrcodo urmrhet u snr anedr i l"

April 2000

Figure 15: Two seals illustrating a hospital train donated by the province of Viatka.

r I

0- .1 -.

Figure 16: Picture card showing a Red Cross nurse and a wounded soldier studying a wall map.

Rossica Journal Number 134 31
April 2000
", 'L ..
,.,It:~ ~ : ."'i "*-Li
S.... '"'"..."': ''I
.. ... .2 :A

Apri ).000

The next four illustrations indicate is was possible to send money to POWs via the Red Cross. This seldom-seen example
is a preprinted postcard with reply sent directly from Moscow to Germany in 1915. A friend or relative in Moscow
attempted to send 15 rubles to a Ms. Medvedova in a POW camp in Hannover, Germany. Unfortunately, the money
was not delivered as indicated by the German cachet "Hier unbekannt." On this page are the front and inside (bottom)
of the card sent free-frank.

Soci t Russe de la Coix oug

p ac e sou s /Patronage -de fa M est 'lmpera ie
F i0orD oua' l Euau Moscou de Renseigne t sur les pris ".'-ls- de

s.... ...l: .. ... .... ......

f lld b i 5 1 W 7

"" A t
.._:.. _.,-..,Io ....:.oaHoBpeMeHo..Ha Bame M ../V py6nef, iopo
i' rpoclarfiT.u nbo.ysefia .HX1 yBstOMHTb, OTOpBaBb AIS a3Toro BTopy1o no-
n" losBuHy. nHcbMa. Ha OTB1THOFl. apToqKt, KpOMt Toro. MOmuHO, fln nepe-
Aan. poaqbljhu, HaricaTb CfBAttia 0 ce6, yKasa-b ToqHO, KoMy H Kya3
a-on .HO.6blTb nocnaHo HsBB'afeHie.,

3a 3aerayo ifaso .

.. . -

.* -'*t-, ,. .. .
Wi-' ^ ^'t^,^_^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

The reply portion of the card is self-addressed with a section (bottom) for the recipient to indicate the money had been
received and to add any comments desired. Of course, any unwanted comments would have been censored and removed
before delivery back to Moscow or in Moscow itself.

1 t1-5..... ,, ,t.b
S' ', -;

Tir,. ':A- ..-- .-." .. .
iM -0- '-- -- *--.C''' e "; ":": '

"" ... *.. ^ ^ "3-, ...,, ;
.- '' -: -'." ti *. '. .'; "
0 0 M I ." 's .

-- -.1 .. .- '.

C ,h lvM

R s .tc11t4 a q 1

0o 0. t .. .
.- . .. -. A .'.T,.
._' '..

Apl 2i000 "I "
n.-,,.& i ,.... cyMIt k..


Rossica Journal Number 134 33
April 2000

dL 4 ... ,

n~ F

a. ..--,
27 September 1914 registered letter from Moscow to the International Bureau of POWs in Geneva, Switzerland.
This cover was sent less than two months after hostilities began and one week before the
International Red Cross asked Denmark to establish an inquiry bureau.

6.^/ Oi4 ^Ur e eL7^

X^ '^' 3 .

Regisd e m o C h set in9.
^ ~ ~~~ ^ ^^ ^^^-

y fle.-rb9^

Registered cover from Moscow to Copenhagen sent in 1915.

Letter sent to the Chief of the Central Bureau for POWs in Copenhagen in 1916.

#---' ___ __ _

1916 letter sent to the Copenhagen Red Cross for POWs, the Russian section.

Rossica Journal Number 134 35
April 2000
~ /C6/r;^^i3
i -) "--
U^^ .^^^A.^^ _^*

April 2000

"~;" I

Registered letter sent to Copenhagen in 1916.
It is unusual to see the name of the sender also on the cover (at bottom of cover).

AA,~wt^hn e, Lh

Cover sent to the Moscow Committee in Copenhagen in February 1917.

36 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

1MocKoI0 P0oe 0 o60ic'0e:Ol cTICH gHoeYc I aBianici.
K OpraHMuauiur ol 1 6i l BoHHaMab.
I{MNTmlT nomOHIa pYlcCKMIm MI BoNow 3- ar.aulud.
MOCKBA. 3Ian: An.


.OTE. 7 'j1 L'. .; ',
Bureau du Comite de Moscou pour HonearareNcHoe Eiopo

s !niers de gierre MocHoeBHaro HOMHTBTa
O f S nDoMOmII 8oeHHonHitHHDn i.

agen- Dnemark. KoneHrareHIb.

Registered preprinted cover sent from Moscow to the Copenhagen Bureau of the Moscow Committee in July 1917.

./ -

;4..2 .

Cover sent from Moscow to the German POW Committee in Stockholm in 1914.

Rossica Journal Number 134 37
April 2000

I-. '

..t e- .. _

Cover sent from Moscow to the German POW Committee in Stockholm in 1915.
r ' t ~ _.
.. _. .

Anatomy of a Postcard

by Gary Combs

w/ -1leSt 4 1l1lu. -"-olrb*

Ata. ()0:1o rpa1lliu)pl,(,,;TO)l'O'll, L.'i^ /o

Figure 1: Front of a postcard sent from Novyi Afon to St. Petersburg.

When you look at a postcard, what do you items. Deltiology is an exciting field of collect-
see? There are as many answers to this question ing and requires very little money for the more
as there are collectors who would respond. In common postcards to a lot of money for the
this short article, I would like to present the more elusive items. Storage space for the thous-
viewpoint of one collector and openly solicit the ands of items available can be large.
opinions of other collectors. In this brief article, let us see what this
The postcard illustrated above is just one of postcard can tell us.
many used in Russia around the turn of the
century. From the 1890s, Russia had many The picture on the front of the postcard is
picture postcards that cover every aspect of its that of Novyi Aon in Sukhum Military
history, culture, etc. These postcards can be the Region on the Black Sea. It would be
standard issues from the government printing interesting to compare this picture with
presses, picture postcards from many publishing another taken from approximately the same
firms both in Russia and abroad, or handmade location ninety or so years later.

Rossica Journal Number 134 39
April 2000

Bc 0ioTOBIt COI03'1. Pocc(1.

S i CL a v...r ..... v ......... .......... -


Figure 2: Reverse side of the same postcard.

* The Russian text tells us this is a general The postcard was posted in Novyi Afon as
view from the sea and the card is from the firm noted by the postmark, serial letter "a",
of Grandberg in Stockholm, Sweden. The per- canceling the franking and the second post-
sonal message sends a greeting to the addressee mark indicating the item was dispatched.
on her Day of the Angel, wishing her luck and The postcard left Novyi Afon on 21 August
good health. The sender also informs the addres- 1909 and arrived in St. Petersburg on 26
see that they will travel to Sukhum tomorrow. August 1909 a journey of five days.
Note the St. Petersburg "MSK" postmark.
The reverse of the cover is full of in- The rectangle says that this item once
formation! belonged in the collection of Yu. I. Ivliev.

* The postcard indicates that Russia is a A little background information is in order
member of the Universal Postal Union. In- at this point. Baedeker 1914 says the following
structions at the bottom inform the sender about Novyi Afon:
to use this side for the address only.
"* It is franked with a 3-kopeck stamp from ... a little convent of the monks of Mt.
the vertically laid issues of 1902-1905. This Athos, founded in 1875 (accommodation
is the proper franking for this item during in the guest-house). An old church found
this period. here has been enlarged to serve as the
"* The correspondence is addressed to Nataliya convent-church, and on the highest terrace
von-Rass, who lived in St. Petersburg on there is also an imposing cathedral, con-
secrated in 1900. A good view is obtained
Liteinyi Prospect, house No. 11, apartment s i
from the high-lying Iberian chapel. The
no. 40.

40 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

vineyards and orchards are very well kept. card is dated 5 days later than the Novyi
There is a pretty walk to the waterfall and Afon cancellation, therefore there would
on to a cave (cave of Simon Kananit). have been time for a 1-or 2-day sea jour-
ney to begin with. An interesting postcard,
There is no mention of any hotels or other and an interesting exercise researching it.
amenities. So, was the traveler who sent this The fact that this relatively common item
card on land or on ship? has come down to us (thanks to being
Philip Robinson adds the following: looked after by Yu. I. Ivliev and others)
has enable it to be studied, so that some-
The views shown on topographical cards thing can be learned from it. This is, in
give an impression of the places where large measure, what our hobby is all about.
give an impression of the places where
stamps and postmarks were used, and "art"
cards can give an insight into the life and Lets now end this article with a brief
culture of the people who wrote the post- synopsis of what may have happened so long
cards, and who used the postal system that ago. A traveler thinking of a friend of loved one
we study. Thanks to Peter Ashford we purchased a picture postcard showing the mon-
have a fine series of books to which we astery of Novyi Afon, wrote a brief note, and
can refer on the postmarks and postal his- posted it. The card was franked with an empire
tory of this region. Peter's book entitled stamp. If the traveler had been on a ship, most
Imperial Russian Stamps used in Transcaucasia likely the card would have received a ship
also give much general information about cancel, if the ship had one. However, although
the area. In Part 4, Peter wrote that post- it did not and considering the short travel time
marks ofNovyi Afon are "decidedly infre- to St. Petersburg, one can assume that the item
quent," the only recorded postmark being
tt y, recorded pwas posted on ship. Although not mentioned di-
that on Gary s card, its recorded penod of
use being 1907-1910. However, Peter rectly, there surely must have been places to stay
notes that "picture postcards of the monas- and eat for travelers in the town. The traveler
tery and cathedral seem to be fairly com- does say they are off to Sukhum tomorrow.
mon." Peter also refers to Baedeker in giv- The postcard took five days to reach St.
ing information about Sukhum, stating Petersburg. This would suggest it traveled by rail
that in 1914 it had a population of 25,000. for some part of its journey. However, there is
It was an important military post, and the not an acknowledged rail mark to be found on
name of the town, often given as Suk- the card. The St. Petersburg "MSK" mark has a
hum-Kale, suggests that it had been a suggested rail connotation, but relative to the
Turkish fort before becoming Russian. Moscow-St. Petersburg railway.
Steamers of the R.O.P.i.T. company plied Rather than continue on longer, I think we
a busy trade along this part of the Black
can say that an ordinary postcard can open a
Sea coast, especially in August, and so it is d t y m i t
l t a y dialogue that yields much information to the
reasonable to assume that Gary's postcard
began its journey by sea, perhaps being collector. The example illustrated here has
began its journey by sea, perhaps being
taken to Novorossiisk or Feodosiya for something for everybody: the stamp collector,
onward transmission by rail. I have the the postmark collector, the historian, the del-
1910-11 steamer timetable (albeit for the tiologist, the religious, etc.
winter period) from which we learn that
the Batum-Odessa steamers left Novyi
Afon on Mondays, Thursdays, and Satur-
days, arriving at Novorossiisk one day
later, and Feodosiya two days later. The
St. Petersburg receiving mark in Gary's

Rossica Journal Number 134 41
April 2000

Soviet Air Fleet/Osoaviakhim Emissions
on Postal Documents

by G. Adolph Ackerman


Z- /
i" .\O!( ll'/. i :\ /i..'

Figure 1: World War I postcard from St. Petersburg, 23 August 1914, to Pontiac, Michigan, no arrival postmark.
St. Petersburg 10-kopeck charity stamp for soldiers and their families.
Charity stamp tied at right margin by St. Petersburg cancel. Stamp features an airplane, ship, and cannon,
with the inscription "soldiers and their families," the initials for the St. Petersburg Committee, and the date 1914.

The Soviet Air Fleet (O.D.V.F.) semi- and cards to further promote the war charities
official stamps and subsequently those of the (figure 1). In a similar manner, special non-
Osoaviakhim provide an important historical postal stamps were employed during the post-
chapter in the early development of both civil war period and early years of the Soviet gov-
and military aviation in the U.S.S.R. During eminent to foster public support of various
World War I, charity stamps were sold in order charities. The Central (All-Union) Committee
to secure public funds to support the war effort of the newly established Air Fleet and the
and provide monies for soldiers and their fami- growing number of aero clubs throughout the
lies.1 The purchase of these stamps was voluntary U.S.S.R. embarked on a program using special
and they could be affixed to mailed envelopes stamps in an effort to secure much needed pub-

42 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000


Figure 2: Wrapper (damaged with portion of address removed) from Smolensk,
1-- I. ,---

Figure 2: Wrapper (damaged with portion of address removed) from Smolensk,
24 July 1922 to Petrograd, 27 July 1922. Violet circular Air Fleet handstamps:
"Headquarters Southwestern Air Fleet" (outer ring) and "Mail Box Dispatch" (center).

lic funding for the construction or purchase of Pritula16, few articles have directed their atten-
aircraft, the construction of aerodromes, and the tion to the use of these stamps on postal docu-
training of air personnel.2,9,1115,18 ments4'15 or to a discussion of the aeronautical
O.D.V.F./Osoaviakhim emissions have re- organization.2'3'18 Speers'1, Nicklin'112,
ceived relatively little attention by philatelists Reynolds'7, and Ackerman3 also have provided
with these stamps being categorized as charity or partial catalog-style listings for the Air Fleet/
cinderella issues. However, since the Air Fleet Osoaviakhim stamps/labels from information
stamps were officially sanctioned by the Soviet available at the time.
government which founded and oversaw The purpose of this report is two-fold: to
O.D.V.F. programs, it would make these stamps present the historical background related to the
more than strictly charity issues.2'4,15'16 Postal development of the Soviet Air Fleet/Avia-
directives of 1923/24 established specific rates khim/Osoaviakhim; and to illustrate a number
for the voluntary use of O.D.V.F. and charity of these issues affixed to postal documents. It is
issues (e.g., for orphaned children and for dis- surprising that postal documents bearing Air
abled soldiers and their families) on postal/tele- Fleet stamps are so scarce today given that the
graphic sendings.'5'16 Several hundred stamps/ Air Fleet program and the sale of Air Fleet
labels were issued by the government-supported stamps proved so successful and widespread dur-
O.D.V.F./Osoaviakhim and local/district/re- ing the 1920s.
gional clubs until the mid-1930s. While Air The covers/cards illustrated have been
Fleet/Osoaviakhim stamps and labels have been organized by the origin and date of issue of the
cataloged by Krasnin and Turchinskiy8'9 and by applied O.D.V.F. stamps. With each cover/card,

Rossica Journal Number 134 43
April 2000

HoBa, ialAaqa.: AO n0mer poo rMoRuTrio
aur a am Rem- -M n 1"
te wla lr, M l'S i- i iwc* l IW wTlO 'n,- I il Ta.IaH ,+aay wala a ,a a .Ia l a laa n al-s S. ? I MBr
*SrrSllr ln*, n 01 Iiwmww li* = 'V wuw *w; ,. I Ro 0Mt 'm:
fru. eaai Hm- U a han l a I I aat aar I 7rm a. a a.i d, ar fai!ap. arlsr ya nen .s...w
ai au a va a tsunaw an ow i aala c nala. ?l a alt i lSra l l wa X ', a viwv Kiisa aa aarl Pa rln *s!" 9,
+aa t p ya r lI 3 .m )irpn. a^ ai, aW 6'B6a nant. v 'i. at apam Ma. aiya'n ai ri x aB raa9 a,.a (l. a im6o a m r

aaaI T'.Ai a if a* ci a I Ia' i MI M pI. ai O iM CM i IqI' it l t, ema.aa. 1 I I vt a ..a....

*3aTz lTVa W I ns i .aS l n i io aai m 5la C. arai Kir.n* i i a Ia rIe-t a4 a'1".unPv. P7rlu pmtan P ars' '060 W -
tr r-.Maa. a" Ca aa aC ala3la711ro Ja al aaa a 'Yanml aa tas.s apaa-'a

Bn 3 < ie+ 4i'ill p x< .c i!+ Z. n | .. ..... .. I nos
eaarwiu a.Maa a ww 4-n .0 aiaai imtnais 7a.. kiam. 7 I aa a ama cu aa oulalal alal 'aja an' cm r m l '(.aai mW -

n ..... T.t qW trl ,. .m, l. ? '." W '" a a are ua a 'la *
a -t ). a w ww aa* w.f a*t,'n ur, a1 a qmcaa r nZla ?. ;n 'at l-; a ;an ? ." C n acr Smpac.
PI .'aI. w n ifta t mal anl al cnsma l nmaml i u im a cl m, n eal 7 < ana a "aIYIm n wLn n iin* .m a, R' an xa a tu*e a mf e
l.am *am'wan Cam w a i .as Iaa lt Sa* sal'.. a 70w '"- *a 1 j 7 .ana ysiai a S '.asjita awn -r ap
lni' asal Bt. ca s a iyai P acaSe aamam, 3a al. ani iT m Uoan a. c lI BrIa *aaa, mau. ctra a. a <,. cm t r cpera Ie (" M MO a -M.
alma anw la aner. i 7mulr fanl1 a ara l a s o ren.7. a n r s ican ?p w
a o.p ala. i. ... (. ma a 'Ct5 i ,laal IaaI 7 f .iliai a a I' i -lt .
ascm a..na. a. 'ri n aaaz a. apasa a' t "coopeaeHH81e Bo03AYLy MHbe IopaafN .
amaid a i ayaw t +a- Z llaB a low r -aln em laa3 M r H. <,a, ,, )CMKa? 73., 3 ,. ., -rlr Mna
+res, J ls^ -'( 1 .-f -.,m.-,
ra a. Y o im IN m AIlia ."ila la' 'CIW W.*(" Xl a IP +.1a,,<
0,a T"U rrnein laear J clm apiIi' an'w ,,ana.1 a ralalca aall aa'aa. art 7mwlrT. SjamU aI
S ta i'm --'- -l.- ---,al a a".c.t l P N aa? I 'Sia' caimu p7 s ''6sa i .10

a A

Figure 3: Newspaper reports fon Pravda, 15 June 1923 (top) and 19 July 1923 (bottom),
T MshowhSg articles related to Air Fleet activities
the amount of postage fran Wng the item is in-
Air Fleet and postal rates as prescribed by the design and air-related activities took place in
stamps have been incorporated with the figure development ofan aircraft industry, aerodromes,
shwn ar1ce r elamz at ed to A es

when the design of the stamp has been partially and both commercial and military aviationUN
dfcated A Ihse t e -af t, a dn e g ai Mc rafi

44 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000
Figure 3: Newspaper reports from Pravda, 15 June 1923 (top) and 19 July 1923 (bottom),

the date of the posting of the cover/card and HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

dictated for those interested in correlating applied Important pioneering efforts in aircraft

stamps have been incorporated with the figure development of an aircraft industry, aerodromes,
when the design of the stamp has been partially and both commercial and military aviation

44 Rossica Journal Number 134

?TI C OT C. .

,>.. ,, ..... j U IfclM" /

Figure 4: Portions of a membership diploma from the Moscow O.D.V.F. (left) that shows the
society handstamp featuring a biplane and sun rays. Text of the outer ring:
"Moscow Friends of the Air Fleet"; text within the design: "Working People Build the Air Fleet".
Right: Zlatoust O.D.V.F. handstamp on 1923 one-ruble Ural District stamp on piece.
Details of Zlatoust handstamp (center), which is identical to Moscow O.D.V.F. handstamp but with
"Zlatoust" substituted for "Moscow" in the outer ring text.

war, famine, and rampant inflation in Russia fol- Soviet Union were greatly influenced by
lowing World War I and the October Revolu- Russia's recent past: e.g., the Russo-Japanese
tion. In contrast, rapid changes in aviation were conflict, World War I, the invasion of Allied
taking place in the United States, Germany, Forces in the North, Ukrainian, and Siberian
Great Britain, and France as aircraft design and sectors, plus the territorial disputes along its
technology improved. Soon commercial air net- southern border and the build-up of air power
works began to emerge throughout Europe and in Western Europe. In 1921, Lenin called for
in the United States in the post-war years, the building of a "mighty Red Army" and this
As the new communist regime consolidated call was taken on by aviation activists to include
its power, the Soviet leaders recognized the the formation and development of a "mighty
need to develop both their military and civil air Red Air Fleet." Thus, national defense provided
capabilities, allowing for rapid communications a major impetus for the development and
and the transport of goods to its distant and expansion of an aviation complex within the
inaccessible towns and cities and for the pro- U.S.S.R. during the 1920s and 1930s.
tection of its extensive territorial borders. Plans Bringing Russia and its largely rural and
for forming a formidable air capability and for poorly educated people into a modern techno-
establishing an extensive air network within the logical world would prove to be a formidable

Rossica Journal Number 134 45
April 2000
Cr 1amut 1

Figure 4: Portions of a mmesi ilm rmteMsowODVF lf)ta hw h
soit ansapfatrn ipaeadsu as ex fteoue ig
"MsowFied o heAr le";txtwthnth esg: Wrin eol Bid h ArFle"
Rih:ZatutODV..hnstm n123oerbe rlDstitsap npee

April 2000

O.o U swe- al $, ^s

Figure 5: Postcard sent from Sevastopol, 2 July 1923, to Constantinople, Turkey, no arrival postmark.
Two-ruble first issue (April 1923) of the Central Committee of the O.D.V.F. tied by postmark to card.
Design features a monoplane, balloon flying above the sun, and clouds.
Inscription: "S.S.S.R. Friends of the Air Fleet".
Postage 10 rubles, with a 2-ruble supplemental O.D.V.F. stamp. No defined O.D.V.F. rate in effect at this early date.

task requiring public awareness, education, although during the 1920s both civil and mili-
special training, and the active participation of its tary aircraft generally were purchased from Ger-
citizens. As a prelude to the establishment of the many and France. To stimulate public interest in
O.D.V.F., satellite Air Fleet headquarters were aviation, encourage its youth in the various as-
opened to organize and oversee developing pects of aviation and air defense, and to further
District Air Fleet Programs. In figure 2, a mail public support for air-related activities and main-
handstamp from the Headquarters of the South- tenance, the Soviet government, on the initia-
western Air Fleet is illustrated on a 1922 wrap- tive of Trotsky, sponsored the formation of an
per from Smolensk. air fleet society (March 1923).13 The first organi-
zational sessions of the new society included
Formation of the Society for Friends of the representatives of the supreme military staff,
Air Fleet (March 1923) existing air groups, the trade unions, state ad-
Civil airlines began to evolve and expand in ministration, and the Industrial Bank.13 Estab-
the U.S.S.R. with the initial formation of the lished initially in Moscow, aero clubs were rap-
Deruluft line (1922), a German-Soviet venture, idly formed in the major cities and districts
that provided mail service between Moscow and throughout the Soviet Union. These aviation
Berlin via Kdnigsberg. By the spring of 1923, a clubs were loosely federated under the Central
Ukrainian airline was carrying mail and pas- Committee in Moscow as the "Society of
sengers in the region and from the southern part Friends of the Air Fleet" (O.D.V.F./ Obshchest-
of the U.S.S.R. to Moscow. An embryonic vo Druzhei Vozduzhnogo Flota). Membership
aircraft construction industry was in operation, in the O.D.V.F. was voluntary and an active

46 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000


0, a!/tf\(p T^^ B

,,,, -
^ ^ ^i 0 "' ,
S..... ^ ^I I I ..... .. ^ C ,

Figure 6: Ten-ruble Central Committee fifth issue (1923) sealing flap and tied to cover by Verel cancel.
Local mail: Verel in Moscow District cancel, 14 December 1926, to the Central Union Cattle Breeding Company
with Moscow postmark, 15 December 1926. Two-line postmarked postal slogan handstamp: "Make Use of Fast Mail".
"Franked with 8 kopecks in postage.

campaign was made to recruit new members district or city name was used on membership
into the aviation fold. The newspapers Pravda and other official documents of the local aero
and Izvestia provided daily coverage of the pro- clubs (figure 4). The Zlatoust O.D.V.F. applied
gress of O.D.V.F. activities and voluntary public their seal as a handstamp on the stamps of the
fund raising (figure 3). While conflicts arose seventh and eighth issues of the Central Corn-
concerning military versus civil direction of the mittee (Moscow) and to the 1924 Ural District
embryonic Air Fleet society, both activities were stamps. These marked stamps were used on pos-
successfully blended during the first years of the tal items and as membership receipts (figure 4).
An emblem was designed for the O.D.V.F. The Air Fleet Stamp Program
showing a biplane flying above the sun and During the first years of the O.D.V.F Air
radiating rays encircled with text and the name Fleet stamp program, a unique cooperative effort
of the society. The basic seal modified with the between the Soviet people, the Soviet govern-

Rossica Journal Number 134 47
April 2000

Nit Fi 0,

Registered air mail from Kiev, 29 May 1926, to Antwerp, Belgium via Moscow, 1 Ju i26, and Berlin, 1 June 1926.

B 3.

ment, and the civil/military aviation ventures of its formation, other regional and district Air
existed. Donations to the O.D.V.F. were used Fleet groups evolved and also began designing
for training pilots, aircraft mechanics, ancillary and issuing their own special stamps. Air Fleet
personnel, and the building of aircraft, aero- stamps were sold at local and regional post
dromes, and training facilities.2'5'11'14'15'16'18'20 offices and by regional O.D.V.F. groups to
Raising funds for charitable causes had been a promote the Air Fleet and to be used as receipts
custom in Russia in tsarist times and during for dues and public funds.11,15,16,18,20 These special
World War I with the sale of decorative charity stamps not only generated public funds for avi-
stamps. Most solicited funds were used for aid to ation programs but helped publicize the cam-
wounded soldiers and their families and for the paign to "Build the Red Air Fleet."
war loan during this period (A). The O.D.V.F.
Central Committee was granted permission by Postal Directives Related to Charity and
the People's Commissariat of Finance of the Air Fleet Stamps
U.S.S.R. to issue stamps of different denomina- While Air Fleet stamps were not authorized
tons for distribution throughout the country as for postage, the public was encouraged to place
a way to help secure public funds for the sup- these stamps on postal documents. Postal work-
port of aviation.1516 ers were to cancel these stamps in a routine
The first Air Fleet stamps from the manner (figure 4). During the first months -
O.D.V.F. Central Committee in Moscow until early August 1923 no specific rates were
became available in April 1923. Within a month set for the use of the Air Fleet stamps on postal

48 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

... .. ..

0,eo 4-, "

I)" II

^ *^ ^'tZ. ..-S'I Q5 i- k, -

.*. ? ....I .....

Moscow, 22 June 1924, to Riga, Latvia, 25 June 1924.
Franked with 20 gold kopecks in postage plus 1-gold kopeck Air Fleet stamp.

and telegraphic documents' 6 Archival postal the O.D.V.F.) on 4 August 1923, about four
directives have yielded specific rates for the use months after the first Air Fleet stamps were
of charity and O.D.V.F. stamps on postal docu- issued by O.D.V.F. groups.15'16
ments and telegrams for 1923/24.15'16 These di-
rectives are summarized below: Postal rate first directive:
25-100 rubles: 1-ruble charity stamp to be affixed
100-200 rubles: 2-ruble stamp
1) The Northwest District of Posts and 200-500 rubles: 3-ruble stamp
Telegraph issued its first specific rate for postal 500-1000 rubles: 5-ruble stamp
distribution of charity stamps (including those of over 1000 rubles: 10-ruble stamp

Rossica Journal Number 134 49
April 2000

G!h- _-" __, ".__,,ff

-, qOC~cin. AA dt. !A- j*lS "Q "

Figure 9: Philatelic usage of O.D.V.F. stamps on a registered air mail cover.
Central Committee 3-gold kopeck seventh (1924) and 10-gold kopeck eighth (1924) issues (lower left)
tied to cover with Tashkent cancel.
Tashkent, 15 September 1925, to Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany, 24 September 1925, via Moscow and Riga;
routing inscription (top). Franked with 70 kopecks in postage.

Figure 10: 10-gold kopeck Central Committee seventh issue (1924) used on an air mail postcard.
Sukhumi, Georgian S.S.R., 29 September 1927, to Warsaw, Poland.
Postage is 22 kopecks with 10-gold kopeck O.D.V.F. stamp.

50 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

2) The second supplemental fee rate for 1924) removed any prescribed rate for Air Fleet
charity stamps soon followed in 1923 for postal stamps on postal documents.15"16
sending. It took effect on 8 October 1923.15'16 The People's Commissariat of the Post and
New denomination surcharges were printed in Telegraph was allowed to retain six percent of
October on stamps of the O.D.V.F. Central proceeds from the postal sale of charity stamps
Committee and other district and regional from February 1923 to March 1924, at which
O.D.V.F. societies. In Moscow, the funds de- time a fifteen percent commission was set.15'16
rived from the sale of O.D.V.F. stamps was di-
rected toward building the "Red Moscow" Emissions of the Central Committee of the
squadron. In Ukraine, funds were gathered for O.D.V.F.
the purchase of planes for their regional air A single basic design with some modifica-
squadron. In Petrograd, funds were to be used tions was used for the Air Fleet emissions of the
for building additional planes for the developing Central Committee during 1923 (figures 5 and
Soviet air fleet. 6). Later stamps were surcharged during the in-
flationary period (figure 7). In January 1924,
Postal rate second directive: multiple designs were approved by the Commis-
25-100 rubles: 5-ruble charity stamp to be affixed sariat of Finance for the stamps of the seventh
100-200 rubles: 10-ruble stamp issue of the Central Committee and denomina-
200-500 rubles: 15-ruble stamp tions were set in gold kopecks (figures 8 and 9).
500-1000 rubles: 20-ruble stamp With the stabilization of the monetary system,
over 1000 rubles: 25-ruble stamp new issues with multiple designs (1, 2, 3, 5, 10,
25, and 50 gold kopecks, and 1 gold ruble; the
3) The change in the monetary system in ,
Sy s m eighth/ninth issues of the Central Committee in
1924 to the gold currency system produced Moscow) were printed in February 1924 and
"-. Moscow) were printed in February 1924 and
another rate change for the use of Air Fleet andted e ry
distributed throughout the country (figures 8-
charity stamps on postal items. It was announced 1 e text "" the abbreviatns
n 29 J r 12 .T Ne Ar 11). The text "O.D.V.F. and the abbreviations
on 29 January 1924.1516 New Air Fleet stamps r
.on 29 January 1924.16 New Ar Fleet st for gold kopeck in four regional languages ap-
with denominations in the gold standard were i
peared on the eighth and ninth issues of the
printed by the Central Committee and by a
Central Committee. "Compulsory Sale Prohibi-
number of district O.D.V.F. chapters. However, te a rinte o te o e stamps.
S ted was printed on the back of these stamps.
many post offices continued to use their older The Moscow Division of the O.D.V.F. was
stocks of Air Fleet stamps, causing confusion in t i o 1
formed later in the year (1 September 1924).
attempts by postal employees and customers toter i t r
T his chapter issued their own stamps with the
follow the rates prescribed in the third directive. ds h
designation "M.O.D.V.F." (figure 12). These
P l re t d d: stamps were distributed to local chapters. Some
Postal rate third directive:
Postal rate thir older Air Fleet stamps were surcharged with
up to 1 gold ruble: 1-kopeck (gold) charity stamp to o A F
be affixed new values in gold kopecks. Older issues with
1-3 gold rubles: 3-gold kopeck stamp unchanged denominations were used on some
3-5 gold rubles: 5-gold kopeck stamp postal items, which reflects the sale or use ofre-
5-10 gold rubles: 10-gold kopeck stamp mainders by the post office and public as well as
10-50 gold rubles: 25-gold kopeck stamp for philatelic decoration in later years. The num-
over 50 gold rubles: 25-gold kopeck stamp for each ber of stamps for each issue remains unknown.
50 gold rubles
Air Fleet Stamps from Regional O.D.V.F.
The third rate lost its significance by early 1925, District/Cities on Postal Documents
when a fourth postal directive (issued in August Many district, region, and city O.D.V.F. or-

Rossica Journal Number 134 51
April 2000

C. C. C. P.
UIeHTplIbnlKe paanpiaNe roeyAaeTBleHHRu Od'AueHNOHHX aumiHOcTpOHTObHI saeaoAo
BapopcKaB nnouani., enaioA inoap. 8-0 noA'ea.

S(' y ,' i ll ll im llilillin a i n iiilij

S,. ""T :
,.3 ,, -PAOA

Figure 11: Central Committee fifth (1923, 10 ruble) and eighth (1924, two examples of 25-gold kopeck) issues
tied to large cover with Moscow cancels.
Express mail, Moscow, 10 March 1925, to Sormovo (300 miles east of Moscow), 11 March 1925.
Franked with 70 kopecks in postage.

52 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

;-- .... ... ----......

Franked with 20 kopecks in postage.

ganizations throughout the U.S.S.R. designed many of those issued by the Moscow and
and printed their own Air Fleet stamps. Colorful Northwest District (Petrograd) O.D.V.F. are
and dramatic designs characterize most Air Fleet more common. The large stamps of the Ural
stamps. A wide variety of designs from simple to District (Sverdlovsk), the Southwest District
the more complex was generated. Printing (Rostov), and Ukraine (Kiev) also are relatively
quality and the paper used in preparing the prevalent. Funds generated through the sale of
stamps/labels varied, and quality control was stamps and membership dues were divided be-
frequently lacking. This resulted in color/text tween the local O.D.V.F. chapters and the cen-
misalignments and crude and/or missed perfora- tral organization.
tions. In several instances, printer legends re- One of the 1923 Northwest District (Petro-
corded the number of stamps printed, but other- grad) stamps featuring an aviator in an airplane
wise no records seem to have been kept or cockpit is shown on a Petrograd cover to the
reported for the vast majority of stamps printed United State (figure 13). Two covers with
by the various O.D.V.F. chapters. The printer's Northwest District surcharged Air Fleet issues of
legend on a series of 1923 Ukraine District Air 1924 for the changed monetary system are also
Fleet stamps gave numbers for the issue ranging shown (figure 14). The large Southwest District
between 100,000 and 1.2 million copies. (Rostov) 5-kopeck stamp (third issue) on cover
While all Air Fleet stamps are scarce, those (figure 15) imaginatively shows Mikhail Kalinin,
of the Central Committee (Moscow), which chairman of the U.S.S.R. Central Executive
were distributed throughout the U.S.S.R., and Committee, sowing seeds that grow into air-

Rossica Journal Number 134 53
April 2000

Figure 13: Northwest District (Petrograd) 15-ruble O.D.V.F. (1923) aviator issue on, but not tied to,
a registered cover. Petrograd, 3 January 1924, to Bridgeport, CT, 25 January 1924, via New York.
Postage is 51 kopecks plus 15 rubles (1923).

planes. This cover is one of a number of phila- are affixed to a wrapper made from a newspaper.
telic covers sent to Stolow in the mid-1920s This unusual item was sent locally in Khar' kov.
from various cities in the U.S.S.R. and decorated These stamps have a 5-ruble denomination and
with different Air Fleet and/or charity stamps, the printer's legend indicates that 1.2 million
Two unusual covers with Ural District copies were printed. The next example of a
O.D.V.F. stamps are shown in figures 16 and Ukraine District Air Fleet stamp on cover
17: one from Zlatoust to Haiti and the other reflects the change in the monetary system to
sent from Moscow to Australia, where it was the gold standard. The older 3-ruble stamp has
forwarded to Java and then to the Netherlands. been surcharged diagonally across the design to
The designs on the 5 and 10-kopeck stamps 10 kopecks (figure 20).
feature two monoplanes flying over factories Local Air Fleet stamps are much less com-
with smoking chimneys. From the Ukraine Dis- mon than those from the larger districts and are
trict (Kiev), a 10-ruble 1923 stamp, which fea- seldom found on covers. Several covers with
tures a monoplane soaring over a red star, is also local chapter O.D.V.F. stamps are illustrated be-
shown on cover (figure 18). This stamp has a low: two from the Pskov O.D.V.F. (figures 21
printer's legend indicating that 100,000 copies of and 22), one from the Yelets O.D.V.F. (figure
this variety were printed. On the cover shown, 23), and another from the Valuiki O.D.V.F.
the stamp seals the flap of the letter sent (figure 24). These local stamps demonstrate the
from Saratov to Berlin. Another example with wide variety of stamp designs developed by the
Ukraine District Air Fleet stamps of similar local O.D.V.F. groups.
design is shown in figure 19, where the stamps By mid-1925, the O.D.V.F. had two-three

54 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Fiue 3 Nrhws Dsrit(Ptora)15rbl .DVF.(92)aiao ise n btno ie o
a rgiteed ovr.Petogad 3 anar 194,toBrdgeor, T, 5 anary194,viaNe Yrk
Posag is51koeck pus 5 ubes 193)

plns hi oe s n fanubro hia r afxdt awaprmaefo nwppr
tei oessett tlw ntemd190 hsuusa tmws etlcly nKalv

f- ... .. 1

Figure 14: Northwest District (Petrograd) 15-ruble O.D.V.F. (1923) aviator issue with 5-kopeck surcharge (1924)
and 25-ruble (1923) soaring biplane issue with 10-kopeck surcharge (1924) on covers.
Leningrad, 18 July and 28 July 1928 to Moscow. Each with 10 kopecks in postage.

million members and had contributed more than additional planes were given to the squadron by
five million rubles to the air fleet program; 159 the end of the year, all bought with funds de-
aircraft had been purchased.1 Funds collected in rived from the sale of Air Fleet stamps.5'15',1618
Moscow allowed the construction of the "Red One of the Ukraine O.D.V.F. stamps used for
Moscow" squadron.1s'16 In Ukraine, the "Red funding the "Ilich" squadron is shown on cover
Kievan" and "Red Chemist" airplanes were pur- (figure 25). In Petrograd, several airplanes also
chased in May 1924 and used to carry mail and were built with O.D.V.F. funds. Additionally,
passengers between Kiev and Khar'kov.15'16 At monies derived from sales of O.D.V.F. stamps,
the same time, ten planes purchased by Ukraine and later those of Aviakhim and Osoaviakhim,
were presented to the Red Air Force, forming helped finance further airplane and aerodrome
the basis for the "Ilich" Squadron that honored construction as well as the building and staffing
Lenin, who had died six months earlier. Sixteen of air schools and other defense programs.

Rossica Journal Number 134 55
April 2000


Figure 15: Rostov O.D.V.F. 5-kopeck (1924) third issue tied to a registered cover by Tashkent postmark.
Tashkent, 29 October 1925, to Charlottenburg, Germany, 9 November 1925.
Design features Kalinin sowing seeds that grow into airplanes. Franked with 36 kopecks in postage.

The Formation of the Aviakhim (May versus military aspects of technological devel-
1925) and Osoaviakhim (January 1927) opment, and the ensuing creation of a strong
In addition to the O.D.V.F., the Soviet Soviet militia.'3 Trotsky championed the non-
government and military leaders established a military aspects of technology with the emphasis
society for studying military activities and for on civil aviation not being incorporated into the
officer training (the V.N.O./Military Scientific military framework. The relationship between
Societies, November 1920) and later one for the O.D.V.F. and Dobrokhim was defined as
chemical technology and defense (the Dobro- one of mutual support. But with Lenin's death,
khim, 1924).' Other organizational groups es- Soviet governmental power under Stalin became
tablished by the Soviet government during the more restrictive, bureaucratic, and military in
early 1920s included those for agriculture, fi- nature. The O.D.V.F. was amalgamated with
nance, and transportation3 the Dobrokhim the chemical society had not
During the early to mid-1920s, heated po- achieved a large membership in May 1925 to
litical debates voiced by Trotsky and Frunze form the Aviakhim.13
revolved around the role of social-economic The Air Fleet stamp program was continued

56 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

II +O-i

.- I -

Figure 16: Ural District O.D.V.F. (Sverdlovsk) 10- and 5-kopeck issues tied to cover front/back
with Zlatoust cancel and Haiti arrival postmarks respectively.
Zlatoust, 3 November 1925, to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 29 November 1925. Franked with 14 kopecks in postage.

but with less vigor and fewer new issues were The society's name was changed to the Society
prepared during this period. Most Aviakhim for the Assistance to Defense (O.S.O.) in 1926.
stamps had the Aviakhim designation and incor- At this time, the O.S.O., which had a member-
porated designs related to both the air and ship of only 85,000 members,13 was charged
chemical groups. Two examples of stamps of the with insuring the coordination and cooperation
R.S.F.S.R. Aviakhim that feature a bold airplane of the O.D.V.F. and Dobrokhim groups under
in their design are shown on cover and card Aviakhim. In little more than a year and a half
(figures 26 and 27). However, older O.D.V.F. (January 1927), the Aviakhim amalgamated with
stamps continued to be used on postal items the O.S.O. paramilitary group to form the Oso-
during this period, as evident from the cancel aviakhim.3 The joining of these societies ended
dates of some items illustrated earlier, much of the cooperative and unrestrictive inter-
Under Frunze's direction, the V.N.O. action between the local and regional aviation
changed in 1925-26 from an intramilitary scien- clubs and the Soviet government. These organi-
tific group to a mass volunteer organization that zations assumed a paramilitary status. Military
included both civilians and military personnel.'3 training was stressed within the new society. It

Rossica Journal Number 134 57
April 2000

,5- ,, 1... p.

I./c( 7
I... r1. ..


V .- '

I. 1 "

Figure 17: Ural District O.D.V.F. (Sverdlovsk) 5-kopeck issue on back of a registered cover.
Moscow to Australia and the Netherlands via Java.
Tied by the Amsterdam postmark and Soviet foreign philatelic tax stamp. Franking is 14 kopecks.
Routing: Moscow, 25 November 1925, via Milan and Brindisi, Italy, 30 November 1925,
to Sydney, Australia, 11 January 1926, forwarded to Weltevreden, Java, 29 January 1926,
where it was readdressed to Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2 March 1926.

58 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

.e tjt/.. i.,_,, 3 A KA 'N'Q

Par avion
P ?, F'C0n iP

Figure 18: Ukraine District O.D.V.F. (Kiev) 1923 10 ruble (first printing)
with printer's legend (bottom margin) indicating 100,000 copies printed.
Saratov, 28 September 1927, to Berlin, 1 October 1927, via Moscow, 30 September 1927.
Franked with 58 kopecks in postage.
JS^ a ; --

Rossica Journal Number 134 59
April 2000
April 2000

"- B:C T O a H1
1 n20 M n' fa-neDla dnarpyrp cTBo lOr noT

RgoJfl in* aW U. r0..cO e ai
--[, Ova-na8 n -- r n*r"a Ias. oyrAO3 I
bSeY11 jaggL "M K sop, nt-4m .jual
-1 T J .'M0/4 &M i a. m.\bso p
MO e" e U =0ifr. o-M as 1"

*M *6% W a T ... D
I- lBcTIh e i IU-. a=pwa

SI... .... lilla Ma ii
Z1OOI w l o 5a O'a

Figure 19: Three examples of Ukraine District (Kiev) 1923 5 ruble (third printing) affixed to a
registered wrapper made from the newspaper Proletariat dated 20 November 1928.
Air Fleet stamp printer's legend (bottom margins) indicate 1,200,000 copies printed.
Khar'kov cancel/registration, 13 December 1928.
Address label: Kamenets-Podolsk Ukraine District Office of Union of Food Providers
(subordinate to Khar'kov Office of the same union). Triangle label plus first line of address label:
"Collect on Delivery" with "75" inked inscription on label. Affixed postage is 24 kopecks.

60 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000
I" ^ '^ ~ 'S m .- wT' i^ '^ *^ -'^ *!^ / l
'^ lB A .ml i-"'''"*"wia,.., a~io ^~l-.^ e *
^^-^'J?,^' *> --tl'"; ^'r i"ri.iLr>,, TCT.wiiLw M -^ -.\*
< a t > ~r ia'F cn!)"*"'.I; TO(i %!3>4~"i IH r Croi ll's "~- '^

3 j

0!014 fi*t'iN W&

S. 'CE... ^U''.....lH ino'<. E D r

membership war. The emphasis of the Osoaviakhim differed
Figure 20: Ukraine District (Kiev) 1923 3 ruble Osoaviakhi(third printing) with diagonal surcharge: "Price 10 gold kopecks".
Express mail from Moscow, 5 May 1925, to Sormov, 7 May 1925. Franked with 70-gold kopecks in postage.

was reported at the First And reso-Union Congress of workplaces; 3) to gradually change the organizations, while the ac-
Osoaviakhim that the required re-registration of tional patterns and attitudes among the member-
members and the changed direction of thdefense new ship; and 4) to increase public awareness of new
society resulted in over a twenty percent drop in technologies and propaganda in case of future
membership.13 war. The emphasis of the Osoaviakhim differed
The broad aims of the Osoaviakhim'3 were from those of the original O.D.V.F., Dobro-
designated to: 1) find resources (financial, mater- khim, and O.S.O. organizations, while the ac-
ial, and labor) for allocation to the aviation and tivities of the Osoaviakhim paramilitary units
chemical sectors, agriculture, and the defense in- needed to be curtailed in order to prevent for-
dustries; 2) to train members in basic military eign recognition of the similarities between
skills and to increase their knowledge in avia- Osoaviakhim and Red Army military training
tion, chemical, and military technologies with- and goals.13
out taking them away from their homes and New stamps were prepared by a number of

Rossica Journal Number 134 61
April 2000

PezaHauHs ra3eTbl ,,nPAR 1"

J. ,. ;.<, 4b,j

Figure 21: Pskov O.D.V.F. 5-ruble 1923 issue on cover. Design shows an airship and several small airplanes
flying over the sun, buildings, and factories with the inscriptions:
"R.S.F.S.R." (top) and "For Benefit of the Air Fleet/Pskov O.D.V.F." (bottom).
Local letter from the editor's office of the newspaper Pravda. Moscow, 8 December 1925.
Postage of 6 kopecks.

K harkov' ..I'

. .- -,I .
*i " ', lbr '/ '.


Figure 22: Pskov O.D.V.F. 5-kopeck 1924 issue (uncanceled) on registered cover.
Design shows an airship and soaring over the sun and buildings.
Inscription: "For Benefit of the Air Fleet/Pskov O.D.V.F." and iriitials "R.S.F.S.R." (top).
Khar'kov, 23 January 1925, to Czechoslovakia. Postage of 35 kopecks. Note that the registered
foreign surface postal rate at this time was 40 kopecks; 5-kopeck O.D.V.F. stamp made up the rate.

OTpOi oN y' '

0. A.. 0. ..

Figure 23: Yelets O.D.V.F. non-denomination 1924 issue showing a biplane over the sun and initials "SSSR".
Inscriptions: "Working People Build an Air Fleet" (top) and "O.D.V.F. Yeletskoe Division."
Yelets cancel/postmark, 10 [month illegible] 1924, to New York. Postage of 20 kopecks.

local units for the Osoaviakhim. Designs had a for the purchase of one hundred military aircraft
more military and defense appearance than those for the Red Army.6 With planes flying over-
issued earlier by the O.D.V.F. (figure 28). A head, these new airplanes were presented to the
boost in support of the Osoaviakhim came in army at special ceremonies in early 1928.6 The
April 1927, several months after its official or- military planes received names for the offering
ganization. The Soviet's arrest of British engin- organization e.g., "The Ural Worker," "The
eers in the northern Caucasus for alleged spying Moscow Trade Union," "The Peasant" -,- or
caused England to break off diplomatic relations for Soviet leaders e.g., "The Lenin," or "The
with the U.S.S.R. and assume an aggressive pos- Stalin." All of these airplanes were built in
ture. Sir Austin Chamberlain was serving as the Soviet factories by Soviet workers and were
British Foreign Secretary at that time. The funded through donations and the purchase of
slogan "Our Answer to Chamberlain" was Osoaviakhim stamps and labels. By 1928, there
adopted and used on a number of local Osoavia- were 32,000 associated air societies with mem-
khim chapter stamps. A rare example of one of bership in the millions.10 Over 160 aircraft had
these stamps from the Maikop Osoaviakhim on been purchased and more than six million rubles
cover features Chamberlain watching a Soviet had been spent on aircraft and chemical warfare
airplane with workers in the background and the development, including the construction of thir-
slogan "Our Answer to Chamberlain" (figure ty-five aerodromes.
29). This British move resulted in a Soviet During the following years, Osoaviakhim
propaganda campaign and a fund-raising drive stamps were issued by local chapters and asso-

Rossica Journal Number 134 63
April 2000

J i z"

Figure 24: Valuiki O.D.V.F. 5-ruble 1923 issue showing an airplane silhouette and stars with hammer/sickle
and wreath. Inscription: "For Benefit of the Air Fleet" and initials "R.S.F.S.R." (top)
and the individual letters O.D.V.F. in each comer.
From Kiev, 29 June 1928, to London. Postage of 24 kopecks.

ciated groups. The Ukraine Pioneers issued tion with record assents into the stratosphere,
three stamps for their first anniversary and Avia- and in long-distance record aircraft flights. Nu-
tion Day (1932); one of these is illustrated on merous air-related ventures were commemorated
cover in figure 30. Two other examples of Oso- on Soviet postage stamps during the 1930s. Ad-
aviakhim stamps on cover are also shown: one ditional monies were required for these new ac-
from the Crimean Osoaviakhim (figure 31) and tivities and for expanding the scope of military
another from the Sukhumi Osoaviakhim (figure and civil aviation.
32) with designs and slogans for building an air By 1930, the sale of decorative Osoavia-
squadron and an airship. khim air and defense stamps/labels no longer
By the early 1930s, 6300 student pilots were provided sufficient funds to meet the ever-in-
in training and their program was expanded to creasing financial demands. New sources of pub-
include military tactics, ballooning, riflery, and lic funding were sought, e.g., lotteries, cacheted
motor vehicle experience.'" Three thousand postal stationery/propaganda postal cards. The
O.D.V.F. paratroopers participated in military issuance of new Osoaviakhim stamps/labels rap-
maneuvers in 193418 and by 1935, O.D.V.F.- idly decreased by the end of the 1920s with the
owned airplanes had flown over five thousand last sporadic issues emerging in the mid-1930s.
hours during military maneuvers in Kiev."1 The The Gorky stamp of the Moscow Central Oso-
Osoaviakhim expanded its activities during the aviakhim, seeking funds for building a giant air-
early 1930s, participating in the development of plane, was one of the last stamps issued (figure
Soviet airships, in high-altitude balloon explora- 33). Special Osoaviakhim membership stamps

64 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

z.f Il ..A. A r

Figure 25: Khar'kov 1924 15-kopeck "Lenin" Air Fleet issue from Ukrainian and Crimean Association
for Aviation and Aeronautics. Funds from sale used'to purchase airplanes for the "Ilich" military air squadron.
Stamp features aviator, airplane squadron, and Lenin in the foreground.
Caption: "For a Squadron in the name of Ilich".
Express mail from Moscow, 1 July 1925, to Sochi, 4 June (?) 1925. Postage of 70 kopecks.

were issued as receipts for annual dues. These sponsored by the Osoaviakhim. In the early
small stamps were to be placed in the individ- 1930s, Soviet propaganda postcards came into
uals' special membership booklets. This practice wide use with a number of them issued under
continued until the onset of the Soviet-German the auspices of the Osoaviakhim, with designs
conflict in 1941. showing airships, airplanes, air mail, and air and
During the 1930s, the Soviet post office military defense activities. These fund-raising
issued a number of postage stamps commemo- ventures were complimented by national Oso-
rating and propagandizing airship construction, aviakhim lotteries in order to provide additional
Soviet aircraft, and various Soviet air achieve- support for Soviet military and civil aviation and
ments (figure 32). The Soviet civil air network for national defense as ordered by Stalin.
continued to expand to remote regions of the Stalin's push for Soviet military power and
U.S.S.R. Air achievements were publicized in national defense was solidified in the late 1930s as
the newspaper and on radio, and they became a the political posture of Western Europe changed
part of Soviet life. Many of these activities were and Germany's military aggression began. Oso-

Rossica Journal Number 134 65
April 2000



April 2000

C BCeCIOi3nA C.-X. m HnYTAPMO-nPOiMbU BbicTAr '
i a MOCKIe. 'c22
-,-,.qT.p.T..O..I.M.- CARTE POSTALE.

'4. "r 4V' Gd.V.er 'c,'Wr4a'Z,

Figure 26: Central Soviet Aviakhim 1925 R.S.F.S.R. non-denominational issue of card.
Stamp features a biplane in front of a red start with the slogans "Citizen of R.S.F.S.R." (top)
and "Create." Moscow, 24 October 1925, to Kaluga, 25 October 1925, postmark over air issue.
Note: boxed handstamp (bottom, center) with inscription: "M.O.D.V.F. to Strengthen Red Air Fleet/25 kopeck gold".
Postage of 4 kopecks.

-/* ,.." ~.. '" ^rC.. .. C:.
Re ommiande_ O -

*-- - -

4 3AAcTE! C.c.c. .

E j

L., n ~c~ 1---------- .......C..

Figure 27: Central Soviet Aviakhim 1925 R.S.F.S.R. non-denominational issue sealing back of cover
with Saratov cancel/Berlin arrival postmark. Design shows a biplane above the sun's rays with the slogans
"S.S.S.R." (top) and "Create" (bottom).
Registered air mail from Saratov, 9 September 1927, to Berlin-Charlottenburg, 12 September 1927.
Postage of 58 kopecks.

Top row: a: Aviakim 3-kopeck 1926 issue with a biplane and soldier with gas mask; Inscriptions: "Build Red

OCOMMAMMt&& onoppA- -__,

tractors plowing a field, and factories in the background; Inscriptions: "Osoaviakhim Supports Peace and Defense" (top)

and "Our Reply to Threats is Ukraine's Defense of Soviet Union" (bottom); 20 kopecks;
f ..,

-o00, ,,ABHO"

Figure 28: Aviakhi andkov Osoaviakhim 1932 issue recognizing a decade of defense. Design show designs militia militen and women, cannon,otifs.
Top row: a: Aviakhim seal in front of a buildingssue with a biplane and soldier with gasgn "Home Defense." Inscriptions: "Build Airships",
Aviation Chemistry" (top)rengthen Defense", and "Receipt for Voluntary Contrengtheion for Benefit of Aviation Chemistry (Aviakhim)";logy";
Bottom row: a: Early Osoaviakhim 1932emblem issue with a soldier in a gas mask in ont of the Osoaviakhim (1927) features a gas canister,
crosstractors plowing a field, and prctories in the background; Inscriptions: "Osoaviakhim Supports Peace and Defense" (top)cled by machine gear and sickle; 10 kopecks;

b: Osoaviakhim emblem 10-kopeck issue (1927) from the Moscow Central Committee featuring
crossed propeller, rifle, and a gas mask (rather than a gas canister) encircled by machine gear and sickle with text:
"Osoaviakim Supports World Peace and Works Ufor the Defense of Soviet U.S.S.R." (top) and "Aviation Fund" (bottom); 20 kopecks;
c: Samarkand Osoaviakhim 1927 issue reognizing a decade of defense. Design shows militia mention) showing a soldier with rifle and women,gas mask, a gas canister,
and airplanes overhead with fatories f a building th the backsign "Home Defense." Inscription: "Our Answer to Chamberlain";
"Strengthen Defense", and "Strengthen Red Army Technology";

Bottom row: a: Early Osoaviakhim 1936 label on card stock with cargo planes Osoaviakhim (1927) features Leningrad Palace;
crossed propeller, rifle, and star encircled by machine gear and sickle; 10 kopecks;
b: Osoaviakhim emblem 10-kopeck issue (1927) from the Moscow Central Committee featuring
crossed propeller, rifle, and a gas mask (rather than a gas canister) encircled by machine gear and sickle with text:
"Osoaviakhim Supports World Peace and Works for the Defense of the U.S.S.R." (top) and "Aviation Fund" (bottom);
c: Samarkand Osoaviakhim 1927 issue (no denomination) showing a soldier with rifle and gas mask, a gas canister,
and airplanes overhead with factories in the background; Inscription: "Our Answer to Chamberlain";
d: Leningrad Osoaviakhim 1936 label on card stock with cargo planes and parachutes over Leningrad Palace;
Inscription: "Our Country Pledges a Thousand Brave Airmen."

Rossica Journal Number 134 67
April 2000

4= :

Figure 29: Maikop Osoaviakhim stamp without denomination on folded express mail letter
(postage section cut off). Stamp shows Chamberlain with top hat watching a large airplane and Soviet workers.
Inscription on airplane (in Ukrainian): "Our Answer to Chamberlain".
Novorossiisk, 28 June 1931, to Moscow, 1 July 1931.

aviakhim membership and paramilitary activities dispatched. Because the Soviet government
continued to increase during the pre-World War founded and oversaw the O.D.V.F. organization
II period, with personnel training paralleling that and its local chapters, and gave them permission
of the Red Army. Over one thousand Osoavia- to issue special stamps for soliciting public funds
khim chapters were operations in 193918 and the for the Air Fleet program, the stamps assumed a
Osoaviakhim had prepared hundreds of thous- role different than strict charity labels and there-
ands of Soviet citizens in modem warfare for the fore have a more official character. In addition,
days ahead. the O.D.V.F./Osoaviakhim stamps were direct-
ed by postal authorities to be used at designated
SUMMARY rates in relationship to the amount of postage
required for the sending of postal items. This
Funds derived from the sale of Soviet Air report documents the use of a number of Air
Fleet stamps played a pivotal role in the devel- Fleet/Osoaviakhim stamps on covers/cards that
opment and public support of Soviet aviation traveled through the mail. There seems little
during the 1920s and 1930s. Although these question that the Air Fleet/Osoaviakhim stamps
stamps were not valid for postage, the public should be classified as semi-official governmental
was encouraged to purchase these issues volun- issues with a unique place in philately.
tarily and place them on items to be postally

68 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

A> B/ ; A

Figure 30: Ukraine Young Pioneers 10-kopeck stamp of Zhmerinka issued for Aviation Day and the
first anniversary of the All-Union Ukraine Pioneers. Designs shows Young Pioneers,
one with a banner and pointing to a monoplane flying over a factory.
Simferpol, 15 November [year indistinct], to Kiev, 17 November 192-.
Note: "6" on Kiev postmark shifted to right. This stamp is cataloged as being issued in 1932.

1. G. A. Ackerman, "Imperial Russia and Its Planes," New York Times (18 March 1928):
Flying Machines: History and Philately," 4:3.
Rossica journal 134 (April 2000): 5-19. 7. M. Fainsod, Smolensk under Soviet Rule.
2. G. A. Ackerman, "The Soviet Air Fleet Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
Semi-Official Stamps. Their Role in Postal 1958.
History and the Development of Soviet 8. Yu. Krasnin & Yu. Turchinskiy, Vignettes
Aviation," Rossica journal 113-114 (1990): for voluntary receipt for building and de-
8-23. velopment of aviation SSSR (1923-1940).
3. G. A. Ackerman, Soviet Semi-Official Air Unpublished manuscript (Russian).
Fleet Stamps and Labels. APS Library, ex- 9. Yu. Krasnin & Yu. Turchinskiy, "Voluntary
hibition copy. 1994. Stamp Receipts to Help Build Aircraft
4. G. A. Ackerman, "Soviet Air Fleet Semi- (1923-1936)." Soviet Collector 24 (1986):
Official Stamps on Postal Documents," Air- 154-156; 25 (1986): 146-155, 167-178
post journal 67 (1996): 158-163. (Russian).
5. P. Campbell, "Airmail Labels of Osoavia- 10. W. Mitchell, "Russian Aeronautics," The
khim," RossicaJournal 89 (1975): 49-51. Forum 80 (1928): 107-111.
6. W. Duranty, "Air League Gives Soviet War 11. J. W. Nicklin, "Russia: The Air Fleet Stamps

Rossica Journal Number 134 69
April 2000

Postage of ruble 35 kopecks.

39-50. 1998: 55-59; February 1998: 58-59; April

12. J. W. Nicklin, "Russia: The Air Fleet 1998: 56-57; June 1998: 58-59; July 1998:

Stamps," Aero Phila. Ann., 10 (1963): 101- 55-57; August 1998: 60-61; September
103. 1998:57-60 (Russian).
13. W. E. Odom, The Soviet Volunteers: Moder- 17. J. H. Reynolds, Russian Propaganda Labelsfor

nization and Bureaucracy in a Public Mass Or- Aviation. Cambridge, 1956; 2nd edition,

"ganization. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Uni- 1984.
"versity Press, 1973. 18. F. W. Speers, "A History of the Osoavia-
14. J. Posell, "Printing Varieties of Soviet Air khim," AirpostJournal 39 (1967): 8-13, 31.
Labels," Rossicajournal 76/77 (1969): 74-76. 19. F. W. Speers, "Russia: Air Fleet Labels. A
15. V. Pritula, "The Post and ODVF Charity Revised Listing," Aero Phila. Ann., 15
Stamps," Philat. SSSR 1 (1989): 48-51 (1968): 57-68, 95-112; 16 (1968): 19-28,
(Russian, transl. P. Michalove). 49-53.
16. V. Pritula, "The Post and Soviet Air Fleet 20. E. Wolski, "The Chronicle Stamp: An Air-
Stamps," Filateliya, April 1997: 57-59; May mail Label as a Record of History," Rossica
1997: 55-57; June 1997: 54-56; August Journal 88 (1975): 61-62.

70 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000
1997: 55-57 Jn 19 5 6AgsJu

Figure 31: Crimean Osoaviakhim (Simferpol) 10-kopeck stamp on thin card stock with diagonal overprint

39-50. 1998: 55-59; February 1998: 58-59; April

April 2000

t .
-u. em e u ... t .i... .. ,
... )At .)3;

Figure 32: Sukhumi Osoaviakhim 1932/33 issue showing a moored airship with a factory in the background.
"Price 10 kop." (top)... Inscription: "Build Soviet Airship Osoaviakhim".

Uncatalogued stamp. From Supreme National Economy Board of Scientific Research.
: ,:1.-. r k. .. ., -t ,I

Moscow, 13 October 1935, to Santa Ana, California, no arrival postmark.
Postage of 50 kopecks.

Rossica Journal Number 134 71
April 2000


Figure 33: Central Soviet Osoaviakhim 1933 10-kopeck Gorky issue on registered air mail cover
from Moscow, 3 January 1935, to Christchurch ld,Eg 11 January 1935.
Design shows Gorky and a large airplane above city and factories.
Text: "We shall build a giant propaganda airplane Maxim Gorky".
Gorky was serving as president of the Moscow Society for the Promotion of Aviation at this time.
Franking includes 1931 15 kopeck/1934 10-kopeck airship construction and
1934 5-kopeck balloon stratosphere ascent issue. Postage of 85 kopecks.

72 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Russian Envelopes with

Hidden Identification Numbers

by Jim Reichman

l_^--- 1.^1 -- _| | .( \ ,: L
:BRaxaiBH d+KUi sHwnovueBH liaedgo

Example of
"a cut line Location of

Location of
flap parallel

."." U tfOp a. J .Aw ..
"Apx@iw.ro* C, Cgra
SM.sa*Tipcri atsc I C.CcP, f0
ft. 1. 90. 10 49 I U.lW*, 8 N. a tl. Aqx&m

: 'roT s i nflpreftt*a *.e rr r
.. .... ... : .. .

Figure 1: Back of an envelope showing typical areas where hidden impressed numbers occur.

Careful study of Soviet-era artistic, pre- erately hidden numbers. Results of research into
stamped envelopes and postcards reveals a wide these numbers is presented in this article in-
variety of printing/production identification cluding confirmation of their intended meaning.
numbers.' While some of these numbers still As usual for this type of discovery, it takes
have obscure meanings, they were always print- luck and the reviewing of hundreds of envelope
ed (when printed) in relatively visible locations, samples. As part of my continuing interest in en-
Another class of identification numbers was velope printing details and research on varia-
recently discovered accidentally: a class of delib- tions, I've looked at the backs of many enve-

Rossica Journal Number 134 73
April 2000

lopes. On one such envelope (vintage 1990) I _
noticed a curious bulge sticking out from under
the right side of the lower back flap edge. I've
seen raised characters on the back sides before
but these were normally due to some post-
manufacturing handling of the envelope, e.g., a
heavy cancellation or someone typing an address
on the front side so that the letters and par-
ticularly the periods pressed their image out
through the back-side paper of the envelope.
Since this was an unused envelope, this
bulge was clearly caused during the manufac- Figure 2: Example of bottom parallel number 11269.
turning process and, since the impression was not
in the paper making up the front side of the envelopes I could afford to destroy, I also hap-
envelope, the bulge had to have been pressed opened to cross-check my new findings with a
into the back-side flap paper before the envel- fellow Rossica collector, Jean Walton, to deter-
ope was folded and glued together. The bulge mine what she could make of these numbers. It
had a curved configuration like the upper part of was Jean who suggested that I simply open the
a numeral 0, 8, or 9 or the letter "o" but top, usually unsealed flap and peer inside with a
further examination under a light could not de- flashlight! Voild! My dilemma was resolved.
tect the rest of the character hidden under the Although this technique has some draw-
lower flap edge. Lightly rubbing the flap with backs in thoroughly studying these numbers
my finger tips indicated there was more there (e.g., in accurately reading poorly impressed
and probably more than just one number or let- numbers and measuring the numbers and their
ter. Using this "touch" technique I quickly placement), it certainly is preferable to taking
found more envelopes that had the bulge but no apart and thus destroying the value of each
part of a character was exposed beyond the flap cover being analyzed. A very small flashlight is
edge like the original discovery was. my preferred solution, particularly one with a
I found a few "spare" envelopes with these variable focus so you can put a uniform spot of
bulges and steamed them apart to find out for light at the number location. When viewing the
sure what was under the flap. Each of these numbers with a flashlight, it is best to hold the
bulges turned out to be made up of a series of light beam so that it crosses over the impression
numbers. Most of the time this series was five at a very oblique angle in order to maximize the
numbers in a straight line, parallel to the bottom shadowing effect. This becomes even more im-
of the envelope, located about half way up the portant when viewing weakly impressed num-
flap from the lower right comer of the envelope bers, which happens frequently.
toward the center (see figure 1) and all carefully An early problem was to determine from
placed during the printing process so that the which side the impressed numbers were in-
bottom flap would cover them totally (as viewed tended to be read: the depressed side or the
from the outside of the envelope) when folded raised side. As you could imagine, even five-
up and glued into its regular position! See figure digit numbers made up of Is, 8s, and Os could
2 for an example of an impressed number. look normal from either direction. Complicating
My dilemma, at this point, was how to do the issue is that the impression of the individual
any serious study of these numbers with- numbers is frequently blurred or otherwise un-
out steaming apart all of the envelopes to clear so that a "2" from one side could really be
be checked. As I contemplated just how many a "5" from the other. Taking apart some envel-

74 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

opes solved this matter and it became apparent Type Number Percentage
that the numbers were intended to be read from 3 digits 8 0.81%
the depressed side. This is also confirmed when 4 digits 84 8.52%
a very clear, deeply impressed number is found: 5 digits 884 89.66%
the numbers are very distinct only when read Can't tell 10 1.01%
from the depressed side in these cases. Total 986
Total 986
This situation also allows the numbers to be
read correctly while looking into the envelope,
c w n into th e vl p Table 1: Statistics on numbers of digits in impressed
e.g., with the upper flap open. Whether this is S c on numb of d in impressed
intended or not is unknown. Even knowing the
intended meaning of these numbers (discussed
later) does not resolve this matter. However, the weak that it is only with close scrutiny that
numbers can still have two different orientations you can tell that there is one present. Lastly,
- one upside down from the other. In one case some of the numbers were impressed so
the number can be read correctly while looking close to the flap edge that part of one or
into the open envelope with the back side of more digits was missing.
the envelope toward you (I'll call this reading-
orientation or RO #1) while in another, the For this study, the impressed numbers were
number is correctly oriented for reading only if recorded whenever possible including guesses
the front side of the envelope is toward you (I'll when a digit's image was marginal, but even
call this RO #2). then 193 of the numbers (21.5 percent of the
With this background on how these im- 986 impressed numbers found) had one or more
pressed numbers were discovered and how to digits that couldn't be determined.
find and read them, let me proceed to relay my
observations about them. The following obser- 2. The impressed numbers range from 3
vations are based on a sampling of 1,954 envel- to 5 digits in length. The five-digit situa-
opes all with some type of government-printed, tion is the most prevalent as can be seen
artistic cachet from the 1950s to the 1990s. Of from Table 1. In thirty-five of the envel-
these, 1,346 had pre-printed postage while those opes, the number of digits could be esti-
without pre-printed postage included 396 gov- mated as five but what the digits were or
eminent first day covers with artistic cachets and what their orientation was could not be de-
212 regular covers with artistic cachets but with- termined. In ten envelopes even the num-
out pre-stamped postage. Impressed numbers ber of digits could not be determined.
were found on 986 of the 1,954 covers.
There is some question as to whether the 3-
1. The impressing is usually not clear and 4-digit numbers actually exist or whether
enough to be sure about all of the they are merely 5-digit numbers with the other
digits. Frequently there is bunching up of digits too weak to see. To account for this possi-
the paper at one end or the other or even ability, whenever such fading away occurred at
both. Sometimes the number sequence is one end or the other in the 3- and 4-digit
clear at one end and almost fades out at the examples, a higher number was counted. In
other. Sometimes the impressions look like some cases, the paper bunches up at one or both
the die is worn causing the numbers to be ends defining the extremes, i.e., the first and/or
blunted or otherwise poorly formed. Num- last digits, of the impressed number. A few of
bers like 3, 6, and 8 are often difficult to the lower numbered examples had such bunch-
tell apart. Sometimes the impression is so ing at both ends thus, in my hnind, clearly limit-

Rossica Journal Number 134 75
April 2000

Cover Type Total Covers Covers w/Nos Percentage
Pre-stamped 1,346 915 67.98%
Regular covers 212 15 7.08%
FDCs 396 56 14.14%
Totals 1,954 986 50.46%

Table 2: Statistics of cover types with impressed numbers.

ing the number of digits to less than five. Lastly, 4. Not all Perm '-produced envelopes
several of the 4-digit impressed numbers were have impressed numbers. Even within
used in more than just one envelope making it the same issue, some will have impressed
more likely that they were intended to be just numbers and some do not. I originally
four digits long. estimated that ten to twenty percent of the
Additionally, some of the 5-digit numbers Perm' envelopes didn't have these numbers
used leading zeros. There were twenty-two such but after analyzing the situation more thor-
occurrences where twenty of the occurrences oughly I now conclude that these cases are
had just one leading zero, one occurrence had much rarer than that. See the Perm'-
two leading zeros, and one even had three lead- produced envelope statistics in table 4. The
ing zeros! data in this table is based only on the pre-
stamped, artistically cacheted covers because
3. The impressed numbers are only found these envelopes have the best chance of
on envelopes produced at Goznak's being correctly identified as coming from
Perm' Printing Factory. This is my con- the Perm' factory.
clusion based on the fact that no envelope,
which is clearly identified (either from This situation is somewhat complex and
printing details on the envelope or from requires an understanding of the type of flap
catalogs) as being printed at any other print- shapes (also called knives) used in envelopes
ing plant, had these impressed numbers in from the Perm' factory.2 If you hold any of
the 1,954 envelopes researched. The ma- these covers up to a light source you will see a
jority of those with impressed numbers shadow outline of the shape of the flaps used to
were of the pre-stamped, artistically cach- make up the envelope. In a simplified sense, the
eted envelopes but I also found the im- Perm' envelopes will have five basic types of
pressed numbers on some of the modem, flap types as illustrated in figure 3.3 These I've
government-prepared first day covers as labeled as "R3", for those having three rounded
well as some regular covers without pre- tip flaps, and Fl through F4, for those having
stamped postage (see table 2). These latter one or more "flat" or clipped tips. The sequenc-
two categories usually don't have any print- ing of the F1 through F4 series relates to the
er information on them and rarely have the sequence of the usage or appearance in the sam-
Perm' printer identification. The ability to ples I have. A sixth type flap was seen in one
tie a cover to the Perm' printing facility by odd-sized, non-stamped Perm' envelope in my
the presence of the impressed number is a possession. I only mention this flap type because
significant finding, it contains the only example of one of the im-

76 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

flaps have rounded
tips. Right Flap
Right Flap
SImpressed number
Left Flap to right side

"Bottom Flap ',

Bottom Flap \

Flap Type R3
Side-Parallel Number Example

F4 flaps are pointed.
F2 flaps are clipped
Sflaps are clipped to different extent
F3 flaps are pointed.
r lRight Flap
Right Flap Left Flap RhF

LeftFlap "'

Bottom Flap \ Bottom Flap

Flap Type F Flap Types F2 .

Figure 3: Envelope flap types illustrated.

pressed number orientations to be discussed b) Flap Types F1 and F3.In late 1970,
later, another flap type was introduced at Perm .
These flaps have straight-edged sides and the
a) Flap Type R3. This flap type has three upper and lower flap comers are cut obliquely.
flaps (left, right, and bottom) with rounded tips; See the upper right-hand comer of such a flap
the top flap has a pointed tip. Also, the flap in figure 5. This flap type is also distinguished
edges are slightly rounded and the comers of the by having the tips of both the left and right flaps
upper and lower flaps are even more rounded as clipped off such that they just meet and some-
seen in figure 4. This flap type was used at times overlap near the center of the envelope.
Perm' from their first issues in 1966 until 1975. The lower flap on type F1 is also clipped slight-

Rossica Journal Number 134 77
April 2000

these envelopes are also rounded as shown in
figure 4. In 1985, a variation of this flap type
was introduced at Perm'. This F4 variation is
the same as F2 except the right flap tip is fully
pointed. This F4 variation very quickly replaced
the F2 types such that no F2 flaps were seen
after 1985. During 1985, some issues can be
found printed on both F2 and F4 flap variation
Figure 4: Flap types R3, F2, and F4 showing rounded envelopes. I believe F2 and F4 are both varia-
comer cut. tions of the same class of flap for two reasons:
first, they both have the rounded cuts in the flap
comers and, second, neither have impressed

d) Other Flap Arrangements. Other flap
arrangements were produced at Perm' for other
classes of envelopes, e.g., those without stamped
postage on them. One such flap arrangement,
shown in figure 3, is from an odd-sized envel-
Figure 5: Flap types Fl and F3 showing oblique comer
cut. ope, with side flaps that only extend toward to
the center of the envelope a short ways. The one
example I have of this flap variety doesn't have
ly (see figure 3). In 1985, a variation of this flap any date marking but it does have the Perm'
configuration was introduced where the lower printer's identification line and its cachet subject
flap tip is pointed. I call this flap type F3. I be- is the 25th Communist Party Congress. Other
lieve these are both variations of the same class philatelic issues relating to this subject were
of flap for two reasons: first, they both have the issued during the years 1975 and 1976 and so
oblique angle cuts in the flap covers and, sec- this envelope is probably from the same period.
ond, they both have impressed numbers. The F1 A summary of the characteristics of these
flap type was the predominate type configura- five types of envelope flap arrangements is
tion used at Perm' for printing the artistic, pre- shown in table 3.
stamped envelopes throughout the 1970s and
into the early 1980s. After the F3 type was in- Now back to the lack of impressed numbers
produced in 1985, it eventually became the pre- on some types of Perm' envelopes. From table
dominant type produced at Perm', although 4 you can see that in the early years the Perm'
you occasionally see an F1 flap even in the 1990s. printers were producing envelopes, they didn't
seem to use the impressed numbers feature or it
c) Flap Types F2 and F4. In 1983, Perm' wasn't available on the presses they had.4 In
started producing another type of straight-edged addition, those Perm' envelopes using the
envelope flaps that I call type F2. This flap F2/F4 flap arrangement never have the
configuration has the left and right flaps clipped, impressed numbers. Since the Perm' printers
similar to the Fl type, but the right flap tips are obviously see the need to use these impressed
clipped less than in F1 causing much more of an numbers under normal conditions, this could
overlap near the middle. In addition, the lower mean that the printing presses that create these
flap tip is pointed in the F2 type (see figure 3). F2/F4-style envelopes don't have the feature
The comers of the upper and lower flaps on that allows such impressions.

78 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Flap Impressed Side Left Right Bottom Flap Start End
Type Numbers? Edges Flap Flap Flap Corners Date Date
R3 starting Rounded Rounded Rounded Rounded Rounded 1966 1975
Fl Yes Straight Clipped Clipped Clipped Oblique 1972 1990's
F2 No Straight Clipped Clipped Pointed Rounded 1983 1985

F3 Yes Straight Clipped Clipped Pointed Oblique 1985 1990's
F4 No Straight Clipped Pointed Pointed Rounded 1985 1990's

Table 3: Summary of envelope flap characteristics.

1966 to Jun 68 Jun 68 to Present 1983 to Present
(Flap type R3) (Flap types R3, Fl, and F3) (Flap types F2 and F4)
Total Covers Researched 14 961 67
Covers w/o Numbers 14 46 67
Percent w/o Numbers 100% 4.79% 100%

Table 4: Statistics on Perm' envelopes without impressed numbers.

If you don't consider these date phases and printing typebar having the raised numbers on
the differences related to the flap types, the cal- one end) would be the sharpest/clearest and suc-
culation of the percentage of envelopes without cessive sheets would receive less and less distinct
impressed numbers comes out to around twelve impressions. Under these circumstances, any num-
percent. However, once those situations are fac- ber of conditions (e.g., worn numbers, uneven
tored in, you can see that the real percentage of pressure, uneven paper density) could result in
unnumbered envelopes varies significantly with the impression not reaching or only partially
the circumstances. The fact that the middle reaching the sheet furthest from the number
group had approximately five percent of the en- slug. This latter circumstance could account for
velopes without impressed numbers is also a the examples where the numbers seems to fade
mystery. This missing number phenomena exists away at one end of an impressed number.
in envelopes throughout the period from 1968
to the present. 5. There are three basic position ori-
One possibility is that the numbers are entations of the impressed numbers to
impressed into the envelope edge at a point in the flap edge. One of these orientations is
the printing process when the paper is still parallel to the bottom of the envelope (i.e.,
stacked several sheets thick. The sheet closest to about 45 degrees to the flap edge for the
the number printing "slug" (i.e., a cast metal most common envelope flap types), another

Rossica Journal Number 134 79
April 2000

is parallel to the flap edge, and the last is
parallel to the side edge of the envelope. I
call these types bottom-parallel, flap-parallel,
and side-parallel respectively.

a) Bottom-parallel numbers. These are
impressed on the flap near6 the edge about half
way between the extremes of the flap edge Figure 6: Example of flap parallel number 12800.
length. See figure 2 for an example of this type.
This location can vary from that center position flap-parallel number is just a few millimeters
by about a centimeter and still be considered away from the flap edge. Similar mis-orienta-
normal; however, I have one example which tions were not noticed in the bottom-parallel
was impressed into the flap only 1.2 cm from case possibly because it is really hard to judge
the flap tip or about 3 cm from the center point how closely they are aligned with the envelope
location, bottom without taking the envelope apart. Of
the envelopes I did soak apart, all of the bot-
Although the bottom-parallel location de- tom-parallel numbers were strictly parallel to the
scribed above is where you will find the vast bottom of the envelope.
majority of these hidden impressed numbers,
there is an exception. I found three envelopes c) Side parallel numbers. Only one en-
where the numbers were impressed on the op- velope with this orientation was seen. This en-
posite, i.e., left side flap. All three were bottom- velope happens to be an unstamped envelope
parallel numbers. These envelopes have produc- variety and was previously shown as an odd-
tion dates of 9 August 1973, 5 November 1973, sized envelope in figure 3. The impressed num-
and 10 December 1973. Although they were on ber is parallel to the envelope side along the flap
the opposite side, they were impressed so that edge about half between the top and bottom of
numbers were depressed and thus readable from the envelope. This envelope is of a non-standard
inside the envelope. This rules out that these size (10 cm by 18 cm) and flap configuration.
envelopes may have been "inverted" printings in The bottom flap is very wide (almost 10 cm) at
which case the impressed numbers would have its "tip" while the side flaps are short and only
their raised side showing on the inside of the fold in 5 cm from the sides. This makes the
envelope. The reason for these anomalies is un- overlap edge between the bottom and right side
known and even stranger that it only occurred flaps angled up pretty steeply thus allowing for
within a few months span in the latter half of an impressed number which is fully vertical, i.e.,
1973. parallel to the envelope's side edge, and still not
visible from the outside of the envelope.
b) Flap-parallel numbers. These are im-
pressed along the flap edge between the corer 6. Impressed number position orienta-
and part way up the flap edge from the bottom tions started out parallel to the flap
right corer toward the center of the envelope, edge and then switched to the bottom-
See figure 6 for an example of this type number. parallel orientation. The earliest flap-
parallel numbers were found on an envel-
Occasionally flap-parallel numbers are no- ope with a production date of 13 June 1968
ticeably cocked away from being strictly parallel and continued to be found until 27 August
to the flap edge. By noticeably, I mean 10 to 20 1974. This overlaps with the time period
degrees. This offset is easy to see because the that I found the bottom-parallel impressed

80 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

numbers, i.e., production dates ranging 1969 to 27 August 1974) and there may be
from 20 November 1969 and continuing more of these instances from this period.
until to the present time (1997 in my col- In addition, there is also a very strong statis-
lection). tical correlation between flap-parallel impressed
numbers and the R3 flap type envelopes. Of the
The reason for the switch in impressed sixty-four flap-parallel envelopes, fifty-eight are
number position orientation is unknown. The of the R3 flap type and only six are flap type
change is not related to the flap type since both Fl.
types of position-orientations are found on both
types of flaps (R3 and Fl). One reason for the 8. Impressed numbers come in only two
switch may be that, if there is a shift in the font sizes. There are two basic sizes of
positioning of the impressed number toward the impressed number fonts: large and small. A
flap edge, a flap parallel number has the chance 5-digit impressed number spans 8.5 to 9.0
of not registering at all whereas the bottom- millimeters when composed of the large
parallel number would (and does in many exam- font and 6.75 to 7.0 millimeters when com-
ples found) have only one and possibly parts of posed of the small font. The length varia-
a second number missing. The remaining whole tion within each font size is due to the
and parts of digits, in these cases, should be digits within the number, i.e., those con-
enough for identification, training several ls are narrower than those
that have several of the wider numbers. The
7. Bottom-Parallel impressed numbers are heights of the font digits are around 3.0
the most prevalent position-orientation millimeters for the large font and 2.0 milli-
but reading-orientation types are nearly meters for the small. These physical dimen-
split evenly. Of the 986 envelopes found sions do not, on the surface, appear to be
with impressed numbers, 921 or 93.4 per- significantly different but once you get used
cent are positioned parallel to the bottom of to viewing the larger numbers, the occur-
the envelope. Flap-parallel numbers make rence of the small font is very dramatic
up only 6.5 percent. Of those Perm' en- visually. There is some date correlation with
velopes that do have impressed numbers, the smaller fonts: they don't start showing
roughly 43 percent are reading-orientation up until early 1975 in my samples and the
#1 or RO#1 numbers (i.e., appear right last one I found was dated in April 1990.
side up when peering in with the back of However, during this period the larger fonts
the envelope toward the reader) and 52 are still being used in far greater numbers
percent are reading-orientation #2 or than the smaller fonts.
RO#2 numbers (i.e., appear right side up
when peering in with the front of the en- 9. The larger impressed numbers come in
velope toward the reader). See table 5. only one font style. The limited number
of samples available (especially clear exam-
In the samples reviewed, issues that have ples) of the smaller font make it impossible
impressed numbers have either one or the other to determine any font variations or even if
type of reading-orientations but not both. How- they are the same font as the larger im-
ever, one issue was found, with a production pressed numbers. For the larger font, my
date of 15 January 1974, where one envelope conclusion is that they are the same style
has a bottom-parallel number and another envel- throughout the period studied. There is a
ope of the same issue has a flap-parallel number, lot of variation in the observed width of the
This is during the overlap period (20 November lines making up the various stroke segments

Rossica Journal Number 134 81
April 2000

Position Orientation Number Percentage
Bottom-Parallel (RO #1) 398 40.37%
Flap-Parallel (RO #1) 26 2.64 %
Sub-Total 424 43.01 %

"Bottom-Parallel (RO #2) 478 48.48%
Flap-Parallel (RO #2) 38 3.85 %
Sub-Total 516 52.33%

Bottom-Parallel, Reading 45 4.56 %
Orientation Unknown
Side-parallel Orientation 1 0.10%
Total 986 100.00%

Table 5: Statistics on impressed number orientations.

Reading-Orientation #1 Reading-Orientation #2
Impressed Number Type Lrg Sm % Lrg Sm %
Bottom-parallel, 5 digit 352 11 3.13 410 14 3.41
Bottom-parallel, 4 digit 30 2 6.67 47 2 4.26
Bottom-parallel, 3 digit 3 0 0.00 5 0 0.00
Sub-total 385 13 3.38 462 16 3.46

Flap-parallel, 5 digit 25 0 0.00 36 0 0.00
Flap-parallel, 4 digit 1 0 0.00 2 0 0.00
Sub-total 26 0 0.00 38 0 0.00
Total 411 13 3.16 500 16 3.20

Table 6: Statistics on font sizes among impressed numbers.

in the number characters but this may not 10. The larger impressed numbers are the
be style related. In a small percentage the most prevalent. By far, the larger font
lines are very thin and sharply defined so numbers are the most frequently used,
that serifs and other features (e.g., a ball at accounting for around 97 percent, while the
the end of the lower curl in the number smaller fonts are found in only about three
"5") can be clearly seen but in most cases percent of the cases. This is true whether
the lines are thick thus totally obscuring all the impressed numbers are either in read-
but the most general structure of the font. ing-orientation #1 or #2. There were no
This, in my estimation, is caused during the small font sizes observed among the flap-
impressing process and is not an indication parallel impressed numbers but this may be
that font style itself is different, due to the small sample size in this study.
See table 6 for the statistical details.

82 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Number Earliest numbers where introduced gradually in increas-
Series Year ing values through the years 1968 through 1980.
9,000-9,999 1970 Although a few of these numbers (the 9,000s
10,000-10,999 1968 and the 20,000s, in particular) appear to be off
11,000-11,999 1968 the general trend, these deviations can be at-
12,000-12,999 1969 tribute to the small sampling size of this study.
13,000-13,999 1972
14,000-14,999 1972 12. Impressed numbers used within one
15,000-15,999 1973 issue can vary greatly. Case in point is
16,000-16,999 1974 the International Geophysical Year (IGY)
17,000-17,999 1977 25th anniversary issue (production date of 3
18,000-18,999 1977 February 1982). I have four copies with im-
19,000-19,999 1977 pressed numbers "281", "18512", and two
20,000-20,999 1983 envelopes with "19886". The 25th anni-
versary of the Cosmic Era issue (production
21,0-21, date of 7 May 1982) is another. In eight
examples there are two with "0313" (one
Table 7: Earliest year impressed numbers were found, in reading-orientation #1 and the other
inverted, i.e., in reading-orientation #2),
11. There is a definite series of impressed one with "0331", one with "0386", three
number values and these numbers have with "10033", and one with "16861".
a strong date correlation. The numbers
vary from a low of "0005" to a high of 13. A few impressed numbers appear on
"21540"; both numbers were found on envelopes from more than one issue. If
envelopes produced in 1980. The few you buy envelope issues in multiple quan-
three-digit numbers found had a low num- titles from the same source, you have a
ber of "158" on a 1991 envelope and a good chance of finding the same impressed
high number of "691" on a 1977 envelope, number in the all of the envelopes of that
Four-digit numbers started with either 0, 1, purchase. Conversely, if you buy one copy
2, 4, 8, and 9 and ranged from "0005" on each of an issue from multiple sources, you
a 1980 envelope to "9847" on a 1972 en- have a good chance of finding a different
velope; I assume numbers starting with 3, 5, impressed number in each envelope. The
6, and 7 would have been found if the sam- real question though is, does the same im-
ple size was large enough.7 The five-digit pressed number show up on different issues?
numbers ranged from "000xx" (where "x" The answer is "yes". This research found
indicates a digit I couldn't read) to "21540"; 105 groups of envelopes impressed with the
again both high and low numbers were on same number (up to seventeen envelopes in
1980 envelopes, some groups) but only 82 of these groups
had different envelope issues in them. A
From this you might conclude that the couple of the most popular numbers used
numbers didn't correlate with dates, i.e., any on more than one issue were: "14506" used
number can occur on any age envelope. How- on twelve different issues with production
ever, this is not true as can be seen in table 7 dates from 15 September 1981 to 13 May
that shows the earliest envelope production year 1991 and "14887" used on eleven different
an impressed number was found. What this data issues with production dates from 9 March
implies is that the higher numbered impressed 1982 to 7 August 1991.

Rossica Journal Number 134 83
April 2000

These statistics are actually pretty dismal for indicate the operator number of envelope producing
anyone trying to catalog and correlate these machine." In addition, he also indicated two
types of numbers. Of the 986 envelopes that had other facts which help bear on the under-
impressed numbers in them, only 793 were reas- standing of these numbers: 1) "The envelopes
onably readable. Of these 793, there were 496 were printed on a sheet of paper and there are
unique numbers and of these 496 numbers only 9-20 copies on each sheet depending on the size
82 were found on more than one envelope issue of the envelopes." 2) "Envelopes were cut in
type. stacks."
This confirmation, that the impressed num-
14. The impressed numbers appear to have bers are press-operator numbers, is a relief but
too many variables to have any more still leaves several puzzling questions. Chief
than limited collector appeal. From the among these questions is "why were the num-
above statistics it is clear that the impressed bers used?" Other questions are: "Why was this
number variability is unpredictable and it method used?"; "Why were they only used at
would be a monumental effort to determine the Perm' printers?"; "Why so many
all the numbers used on any one issue, let numbers?"; and "When, during the printing
alone determine the numbers for all of the process, were they applied?"
Perm' Printing Factory envelopes. Other
variables were previously mentioned: large 1. Why were the numbers used? My own
versus small numbers, position-orientation guess is that they are for quality control
and reading-orientation variations, and the much like the little paper tag we sometimes
presence versus absence of the impressed find with a purchase stating that the item
number. One potential variable may be purchased was "inspected by #". The "#"
worth collecting: a double impression of the in the Perm' situation turns out to be one
impressed number. I found what I thought assigned to the printing press operator -
were several impressed numbers that could perhaps it is also his employee number as-
be double impressions. On closer examina- signed when hired. This might explain the
tion all but one of these was eliminated wide variety of numbers observed (from 5
because what looked like a double number to 21,540) and the strong date association
turned out to be just the bunching of the discussed above.
paper around the impressed area. However,
one true double impression did turn up; it 2. Why was this method used? This im-
was a clearly-distinguishable, second impres- pressed number process seems extreme and
sion of the same number which overlapped costly compared to other potential methods.
the first but was displaced downward about First there is the cost of casting the metal
one millimeter, numbered type slugs for each operator and
not just one slug but upwards of twenty per
Impressed Number Identification Revealed! operator since there were up to twenty en-
A couple of months ago the official identi- velopes per printing sheet. As these wear
fiction of these impressed numbers was finally down, get lost, or are broken, more would
revealed. I am deeply indebted to Jean Walton have to be cast. Then there is the lost proc-
who actually coaxed the response out of the essing time to remove one operator's num-
Marka Publishing and Trading Centre in Mos- bered slugs and inserting the next operator's
cow. In a letter to Jean from Vadim Yu. Bekh- slugs at shift changes (and lunch breaks?). If
terev, the Marka Deputy Director General, Mr. this change process is done hurriedly, this
Bekhterev states the impressed numbers "... might explain why some of the numbers are

84 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

upside down to the others (i.e., reading- or an average of 9,744,444 envelopes per day.
orientations #1 and #2). A far less costly That's an average of 6,767 envelopes per minute
method would be to use a rubber stamp assuming they were running twenty-four hours
with the operator's number on it or even to every day. If Perm' had twenty printing presses
print the number on the envelope (after all, working these issues that would mean the aver-
this is a printing press the operator is using), age production per printing press per minute
The advantages for this impressing method was 338; if there were thirty presses then the
are that several sheets of printed material average would have been 226 per minute. If the
could be marked with the number simul- true number was somewhere around those num-
taneously and the number is readable after bers then the press operator staff on any one day
the envelope is in its finished state. would have been sixty to ninety operators.
Given this guess, perhaps 700 or so operator
3. Why only the Perm' printers used this numbers over twenty-five years isn't too high a
method for quality control? Not only number to expect.
that question but also why weren't all of
Perm 's envelopes impressed with these 5. When, during the printing process, are
numbers? The answer is possibly either the these numbers pressed into the envel-
others don't care or have an equally ef- opes? There are five basic steps to the
fective but different quality control method. process: 1) the images of all the envelopes
are printed on a full sheet of paper; 2) the
4. Why so many numbers? As discussed printed sheets of paper are stacked; 3) the
above, out of 793 impressed numbers that envelopes are cut out of the full printed
were fully readable in 986 total envelope sheets; 4) glue is applied to the envelope
samples, there were 496 unique numbers or flaps; 5) the envelopes are folded.
65.5 percent. What if I sampled double that
many envelopes, would I find twice as a) Printing Arrangement. If you steam
many operators? To evaluate this possibility apart a typical envelope and unfold it, you get a
I looked at an additional fifty envelopes; rhomboid shape whose dimensions (from side to
this new sample uncovered another seven- side) are 195 mm. If you put five of these en-
teen unique operator numbers, or thirty- velopes side to side (5 times 195 is 975 mm) and
four percent of the new samples. This trend include a couple of mm on each side and be-
would tend to indicate that five hundred tween the envelopes (to allow for the cutting
operators is definitely low but probably process) you get pretty close to 1000 mm or one
within an order of magnitude of the real meter. This is my guess for the width of the full
number. Let's assume that the number of sheet of paper used for printing these envelopes.
unique operator numbers could grow to Even though the rhomboid in only 195 mm
700 or 800. That just seems like an awful wide, its true "length" is 294 mm (see figure 7).
lot of printer operators unless there was a Because of the rhomboid's shape, putting two
high turnover rate or a lot of printing side by side the long ways does not double the
presses, length because one fits slightly under the other.
In fact each extra envelope after the first only
Now let's look at the Perm production adds 213 mm so four of these envelopes would
rate based on the printing numbers in one of the take up just 933 mm (three times 213 mm plus
Russian envelope catalogs.8 During the first 294 mm for the first envelope). Add a little
ninety days of 1974, Perm' produced 235 dif- extra to account for the cutting process and
ferent issues for a total of 877,000,000 envelopes this 933 is also pretty close to 1000 mm or one

Rossica Journal Number 134 85
April 2000

meter. My guess is that a full-sized printer paper
sheet is one meter by one meter and contains
twenty of these envelope images in an array of
five columns with four envelope images stacked
in each column.

b) Stacking the sheets. As each full sheet
comes out of the print press, it is accumulated in
a stack awaiting the cutting process. This fact
was confirmed in the letter from the Marka
SPublishing and Trading C enter. The stacks are
SIestimated to be five to ten sheets thick before
They are moved as a group to the next station
195 mm C for cutting.
% 294 mm
c) Cutting the envelopes out of the
195 sheet, I'm not quite sure if this is a one- or
\ two-step process. What is apparent is that the
envelope image is still face up at this stage
because there are cutting guide marks printed on
the sheet. One of these marks can be seen
occasionally on the FL-flap type envelopes on
the left side of the upper flap (typical location
found) or on the right side of the lower flap.
These cut lines (call them cut lines #1) range in
S\ length from 6 to 15 mm and are probably used
S\ for the cuts along the "length" of the envelope
S\ \ images, i.e., into vertical strips of four envelopes
each. See figure 1 for an example of cut line #1.
SAnother cutting guide line helps align the cut-
213 mm ting knives to finish the envelope cutout (call
these cut lines #2). A small portion of this latter
line occasionally shows up on the top side of the
left flap; these cut-line remnants range in length
from 1 to 4 mm (see figure 8). If the cutting
knives are accurately lined up when the envel-
"" opes are cut out, these cut guide lines will
probably be removed as part of the gutter scrap
between the envelope images.
The reason I favor a two-cut process is that
in order to get all twenty envelope images on
the sheet, the columns have to be staggered.
With this staggering, cut lines #2 do not line up
across the sheet. Therefore it would be more
Figure 7: Envelope dimensions in probably printing appropriate if the sheet is first cut into the five
configuration. columns using cut lines#1 and then move these

86 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

one-meter-by-20-cm column stacks to a differ- a) There is a good chance the envelopes are
ent cutting station to cut across the columns still in stacks. From the impressions observed, it
using cut lines #2. This has an additional ad- is clear that the number is pressed into the paper
vantage if the operator numbers were pressed while it is in stacks. This explains the disappear-
into the envelopes in between these two cutting ance/fading of the numbers, the bunching of the
operations or during the latter cutting operation paper around the numbers, and the dulling of
because only four operator-number slugs would the digit images. The more sheets in the stack,
be needed along one edge of this column stack. the more these conditions will occur. At some
point, the stack may be too thick, causing one
d) Application of glue. This is probably a or more envelopes to be missing the impressed
two-step process. Step one would be to turn the image altogether.
envelopes over so the gluing surfaces would be
face up. At this point the envelopes may or may b) The operator number is pressed into the
not still be in stacks. If still in stacks, this would paper from the non-printed side. This would be
be another opportunity to press in the operator's easiest to do when the paper is positioned with
number and, perhaps even better than before, the printed face down. This occurs just before
only one operator-number slug would be the glue is applied.
needed! Once turned over, the envelope would
proceed to step two and have the glue applied c) As mentioned before, impressing the
to the outer edges of the upper and lower flaps. number at this time also reduces the number
type slugs with the operator's number to just
e) Folding the envelopes. This also a one.
two-step process. Step one would fold the side
flaps in and the lower flap on top of them. This d) An interesting printing error. A re-
step must follow the step to apply the glue fairly cent purchase (an unused envelope with a pro-
quickly before the glue dries preventing the flaps duction date of 24 April 1986) showed a curious
from sealing properly. The second step in this flaw: the top back flap is sealed and the bottom
process would be to fold the upper flap down flap is not just the opposite from normal.
onto the other but only after its glue has dried. The open, bottom flap has all of its glue intact
and looked as if it had never been sealed. There
Impressing the operator number. It's were two possibilities: 1) the bottom flap had
not an easy task to make a logical guess as to not been properly sealed during the manufac-
when in this printing process the impression is turning process or 2) the bottom flap was really the
made. If the number is used simply to identify top flap in the manufacturing process, it was the
the printer machine operator, then it could be envelope printing which was "inverted". This
applied early. However, if it is used to signify would be a major printing production error.
that the operator checked the quality of the en- Luckily this envelope was printed at the Perm
velope then it would be applied as late in the Printing Factory and also happens to have an
process as possible. After all, what operator impressed operator number. The number was a
would want his "name" put on a product before bottom-parallel number, "08429", and is in the
checking to see if it was manufactured correctly? correct location assuming the open flap is really
Clearly it is too late to impress the number the top flap.
after the folds are made and also not good to This error shows that the operator number
press it in when there is wet glue on the flap is not pressed in near the time when the envel-
edges. However, just before the glue is applied ope images are printed on the paper, i.e., when
is my choice for the following additional reasons: the sheets are still whole, because the impressed

Rossica Journal Number 134 87
April 2000

Cut line"
is a more appropriate quality check opportunity
after the envelope has finished the entire pro-
duction process. At this point, all aspects of the
process: printing, cutting, gluing, and folding
would be assessed. If a problem was found, the
envelope could be opened and the operator's
number read.

Figure 8: Example of cut line #2 on upper left flap. Notes
1. Jim Reichman, "Back of the Envelope," Rossica
Journal (October 1998-April 1999): 54.
number would be in the correct orientation to 2. Many thanks to Vladimir Glasov for his valuable in-
the printing at this point and the above error formation and insight on envelope flaps used in the
could not have occurred. What I suspect hap- preparation of this discussion on Perm' envelopes.
3. Types F2 and F4 have further distinctive features
opened is that after these envelopes were cut out, F2 F4 have further distinctive fears
Se n that none of the R3, Fl, or F3 flaps have. These
they were turned upside down to start the glu- features include a black bar (approximately 0.4 cm
ing process. At this time both the printing and long) along the lower edge of right-side flaps, a small
the paper cutting are done and this would be a black triangle at the clipped tip of the left flap, and
good time for a quality control check to be three to six colored boxes even spaced along the
made. For some reason, this stack of envelopes lower edge of the right flap. Unfortunately, they
was turned around/inverted at this point. Per- don't appear on all samples and appear only in lim-
s t ited combinations. Further detailed discussions of
haps the operator noticed something peculiar these features will have to wait until another issue.
and picked the stack up to get a better look and 4. This June 1968 date needs to be considered approxi-
when it was put back on line it was rotated 180 mate and is heavily influenced by the limited
degrees from normal. Since the envelope shape amount of research materials I had to review. For
is symmetrical and the printing is face down, this example, the Perm' Factory produced more than
rotation would not have been noticeable. In this two hundred different envelope issues until May
1968, but I had examples of only fourteen of these.
inverted position the operator number was im- 5. The printing plant at Ryazhsk uses these F2 and
pressed into the paper causing this printing error. F4 flap configurations exclusively for their pre-
One final observation revolves around stamped, artistically cacheted envelopes and in those
whether or not the impressed numbers were I researched, they never had impressed numbers.
ever intended to be read after the envelope was 6. "Near" meaning between one and two millimeters.
folded and sealed. If the purpose of impressing However, exceptions do occur: some where part of
the number is actually missing because the impres-
these operator numbers on the envelopes was to sion extends out beyond the flap edge and some too
assure quality products and the number was far the other way causing the "hidden" number to
pressed into the envelope when I surmised (i.e., be exposed. The latter situation is what allowed their
just before glue was applied to seal the envel- existence to be noticed by the author.
ope) then the answer must be "yes". Otherwise 7. It is also interesting to note that some 4-digit num-
this processing station (i.e., just before the glue bers are technically the same as related 5-digit num-
bappli) ers. For example, I found both a "1115" 4-digit
is applied) is the last time the number would be number and a "01115" 5-digit number. Others
externally visible as part of a quality check or noted were "9469" versus "09469" and "9847" and
other unknown function of the printing process. "09847".
In this case the operator's number, if useful, 8. V. A. Orlov & N. V. Orlov, Khudozhestvennie
would have to have been impressed at an earlier Markyrovannie Konverti SSSR, Katalog-Spravochnik
print processing station. I am more in favor of 1974-1976 (Artistic, Pre-stamped Envelopes of the
USSR, Catalog-Directory 1974-1976) (Moscow:
the quality check premise and suggest that there Svia, 1980): 9-25.

88 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

From the President

I trust we all survived the much-taunted vertisements and any complaints. This "commit-
Y2K bug and all its predictions of disaster tee" will call upon the expertise of other Ros-
around the world. You will be pleased to know sica members as requirements demand. Stay
that Rossica transitioned without any problems, tuned, you could receive a call for assistance.
The Rossica website is up and running We are also going to demand more of our
under the leadership of Jeff Radcliffe. He is authors. Illustrations are our primary concern. If
doing a fantastic job. Currently, we have 176 you send a terrible picture, the editor cannot
members who admit having email, and applying make it instantly beautiful and the author should
rocket science 101 principles, Internet access. not demand it be so. We are requesting that
The sad news is that only seventeen percent authors check their spelling more closely. If you
have registered at the website (www.rossica.org). use a computer to generate the text, use spell
The oasis is there, the water is fresh and pure, check. If you are including transliterated Cyrillic
stop by and have a sip. This is your website. words quoting another source (maps included),
Support it! I am strongly considering reducing send the Cyrillic word as well. If you are send-
mailing costs by placing the Bulletin at our ing a translation from any language, please also
website and those with Internet connections can send a copy of the original item in the language
acquire their copy from the website. If they re- from which you translated it.
quire a printed copy, they can print it at home. Many of our members routinely bid on
This will produce substantial savings in unneces- items offered at the various Internet auction
sary postage. Before you send someone to visit houses. I am sure that many of you also know
me in the middle of the night, hear me out. there are many bogus items offered for sale.
No, we are not doing away with paper copies. Recently, there has been a rebirth of interest in
We are simply asking you to make the copy zemstvo stamps. Items are appearing literally
since it is cheaper and faster. There are people "out of the woodwork." These stamps are
who love computers, those who hate them, and highly desirable, but come with very few auth-
those who do not understand them. What I am entication tools. Since many of them are crudely
asking Rossica members to do is participate just made items, creating them is easy as well. This
a little in this communications medium. It takes is sad, but true. Along the same lines, there has
less time than search eBay for collectible items been a wealth of non-postal cinderellas appear-
or searching for earth-shattering deals on things ing. I have noticed many members paying large
to buy. The Internet is an information tool. Try sums of money for items that have no method
it, you may be surprised at how easy it is. of verification. In line with the above, many
We are making some changes in the way "errors" also have appeared recently, the majori-
we handle the Journal starting with the October ty of which have been printing errors. It is
2000 issue. In the past, we have always had a interesting to follow which sellers change gears
single person who did everything. This has been as the market shifts to new items. The same
rewarding at best to the single person, but also names appear over and over. This should be
hampers any personal life. Ivo Steijn will take sufficient to warn even a novice collector, but
over as managing editor for the Journal. Karen alas it does not. I am not saying that all items
will handle the shipping. I will handle the ad- available are bad. In fact, there are many per-

Rossica Journal Number 134 89
April 2000

fectly legitimate items for sale. Seasoned collec- us? No other organization dedicated to our area
tors know that items "too good to be true" are of interest has or is publishing more information.
probably not good, although they can be. Are you aware there are many new catalogs
The key to deciding what may be good available in Russian? Did you know we now
rests firmly in knowledge. There is a wealth of offer the most comprehensive English-language
information available in the literature. Unfortun- catalog available based on the Lobachevski effort?
ately, philatelic literature sales are not having a I extend a special thanks to all who took
good year. There are also times that I would the time to express themselves on the proposed
question whether a person who purchases litera- Constitution. A few minor changes and "clean
ture even reads it. But hey, it is your money, ups" will be made and the Constitution will be
Are you aware that Rossica has one of the finished. This is also an election year. Please read
largest English publication efforts working for the flier sent with this journal. It is your society.

Library Notes

by Ged Seiflow

Recent Library Acquisitions would be able to obtain the missing copies of
Since my last article, there have actually Filateliya for me. I am really delighted to let you
been no new acquisitions. That, hopefully, is know that this seems to have been successful. I
about to change. Several months ago, one of am hoping to receive these journals in the very
our members wrote to me asking for copies of near future! Keep these requests coming.
various articles from Filateliya, an excellent phila- If you would like to borrow any of these or
telic journal written in Russian with many illus- other publications in the library, please contact
trations that make the articles usable even by me (see inside front cover of the Journal). The
those of us that do not know Russian. The only cost to members is to reimburse the li-
library has copies of Filateliya through 1991, but brarian for shipping and handling (including
no copies after that date. Unfortunately, the insurance). The material may be borrowed for a
articles are member was looking for were all month and is to be returned insured for the
from after 1991. This request spurred me into same amount as when sent. If you have any
action! How do I acquire copies of a Russian questions, please feel free to contact me either
journal at a reasonable price? via e-mail (ged.seiflow@rossica.org) or via regular
I tried several dealers over here but without mail. Xerox copies are also available at ten cents
any success. Then I had a most interesting idea. per original page plus shipping and handling.
I have been using eBay (the online auction web
site) for about a year now, and during that time New Library Summary Listing
I have purchased material (difficult to find over In my last article, I stated I was working
here) from people living in Russia, Lithuania, with Jeff Radcliffe (Rossica's webmaster) to
and so on at very reasonable prices. I sent emails provide a listing of the complete contents of the
to those individuals that I now felt I had an library on the Rossica web page. (If you haven't
"on-line" friendship with and asked them if they checked out our web site www.rossica.org

90 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

- please do so, you will be very impressed! Jeff sheet. I have added many new entries for the
is doing a really great job, and the more support items not listed in the original printed index
we can give him, the more we will all benefit.) (there are now over 16,000 cross references!).
Well, we are still working on it. Nothing is ever This is a major effort and consumes a lot of time.
as easy as we would hope, and with our other I have recently purchased some new software
commitments, the completion date has been that should make publishing this much easier. If
delayed. I hope we will have something out things go well, I should be able to give better
there by fall 2000. Those of you who don't have news in the next journal. This is a really import-
access to the Internet do not need to worry. ant project as it helps you, the member, to
The library summary listing will also be available know what we have in the library.
in hard-copy format. I cannot stress enough how much more
enjoyable this hobby can be when you have
Updated Library Index additional information. Please feel free to contact
I am also still working on updating the li- me with any questions you might have and I
brary index. We are investigating various ways will do my best to help you. Even such general
in which this information can be made available questions as "I collect Russian stamps, are there
to our members (including CD ROM). Where any better catalogs than Scott?" are perfectly
am I now? Well, the entire index as published okay. I hope more of you will take advantage of
several years ago (and still available for purchase) what the library has to offer.
is now comfortably located in an Excel spread- As always, have fun collecting!

Member-to-Member Adlets

Rossica cannot assume any liability for limitation, the price is 10 cents per word,
transactions resulting from member responses to no matter how long the word may be.
adlets nor get involved with mediating disputes. Each adlet must include the name and
Members are cautioned to be fair in offering and address of the member placing the ad.
in responding. Any material considered to be of No dealer ads will be accepted as adlets.
value by the sender sent through the mails The journal makes other provisions for
should be insured or registered for your own strictly commercial advertisements.
protection. Adlet service is available to Rossica mem-
The regulations and prices are as follows: bers only.
S All adlets exceeding the 480-character
"* Member adlets are free with the following limitation must be accompanied by a check
limitations: they must not exceed 480 for the correct amount made out to the
characters. A character is defined as a letter, Rossica Society.
number, space, or punctuation mark. The Adlets for the April journal must reach the
member's name and addresses are NOT editor by 15 February.
included in this 480-character limitation. Adlets for the October journal must reach
"* For adlets that exceed the 480-character the editor by 15 August.

Rossica Journal Number 133 91
April 2000

* Mail all adlets and checks to: Dealer-Member Ads

c/o Gary Combs
8241 Chalet Court The Editorial Board of the Rossica Journal
Millersville, MD 21108 invites advertisements from our dealer-members
USA as well as nonmembers who conduct the occa-
sional auction or mail-sale with a strong offering
Wanted: To sell, trade, or buy: Ukraine of Russian and related-areas material. The Journal
(1918-1920) Western Ukraine (1918-1919) appears twice a year, and reaches over 400
- Carpatho-Ukraine (1944-1945). Available: a members and affiliates worldwide in April and
lifetime of material in all specialities and areas, October. Deadlines for submission of ads are
1000s of stamps and 100s of postal history items. February 15 for the April issue and August 15
Contact: Ron Zelonka, 1274 Monks Passage, for the October issue. We strongly prefer com-
Oakville, Ontario, Canada, L6M 1R4. mitments for ads in three consecutive issues or
more (except for the back cover) to aid us in
Wanted: Non-postal souvenir sheets; collec- planning. However, onetime ads for upcoming
tions, accumulations, whatever you have. I auctions or mail-sales can be accommodated and
would also like to correspond with other collec- are welcome.
tors of these fascinating items. Contact: Pat
Eppel, 108 Pinewood Circle, Apply Valley, MN Rates:
55124. Email: peppel@agribank.com. 1/4 page $15 per issue
1/2 page $25 per issue
Wanted: Mute cancellations of Russia during full page $50 per issue
World War I. Send me photocopies. I would
also like to correspond with other collectors of Full page does not include the inside or outside
World War I mute cancellations from Russia. of the back cover. The back cover is first come,
Contact: Arnold Levin, 26-19 Fair Lawn Ave- first served. The rates for these are:
nue, Apt. E2, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410, tel: (201)
791-6987. Inside back cover $100
Outside back cover $150
Wanted: Any unusual material of the Valmiera
(North Latvia) Issue of 1919. Covers, proofs, If you have any questions, please contact the
varieties, etc. Contact: Ian Stone, 13 Larivane journal editor.
Close, Andreas, Isle of Man, IM7 4HD,
England, tel: (44) 1624 880454. Email:

For Sale: Copy of Vitas Fugalevicius, P.O.
Cancels ofLithuania (Lithuanian Philatelic Society
of New York, 1984). Any reasonable offer ac-
cepted. Contact: Karen Lemiski, 2641 South
Emerson Street, Chandler, AZ 85248.

92 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Society Publications For Sale

The Russian Post in the Empire, Turkey, China and The Russian Posts in the XIX Century
the Post in The Kingdom of Poland by S.V. Prigara. by K.V. Bazilevich, trans. by Dave Skipton
trans. by Dave Skipton

SI nnby Nv row. h



This is the standard upon which many studies and The original work, published in 1927 in Moscow, is
conclusions have been established. Written in 1941, the today almost impossible to find. It is one of the most
book is considered by many to be the authoritative guide detailed overviews of the imperial Russian postal system
for Russian postal history. Any serious collector of to be found under one cover, and contains a wealth of
Russian postal history must have this book on his shelf. information and illustrations. Dave has provided many
The translation can be purchased from the Treasurer or illustrations not in the original. If you want to learn about
Librarian at the following rates: the whys and wherefores of old Russia's communica-
Non-Rossica member $40 postpaid tions system, this book will oblige.
Rossica members $35 postpaid Intended as a companion to the Prigara translation, the
Dealer rate $24 per copy for single orders of Bazilevich book will be a handsome addition to your
5 or more. shelf: 165 pages on semi-gloss paper, casebound, with a
purple-and-white dust jacket. Members may order
directly from the Treasurer, Librarian, or Journal Editor
of the society. Prices are as follows:

Non-Rossica member $50 postpaid
Rossica members $45 postpaid
Dealer rate $30 per copy for single orders of
5 or more.

Rossica Journal Number 134 93
April 2000

Imperial Russian Postal Placename List, Reverse Rossica Library Subject Index-Part One, by
Sort (1858-1915) compiled by David Skipton. David Skipton. Cost $50 plus postage ($5) for mem-
Have you ever had a partial strike on a loose stamp or
cover, where the first few letters of the placename are
missing? If so, and you collect imperial Russian cancel- Dave Skipton spent over a decade creating one of the
lations, this working aid is a must for you. It contains finest Russian philatelic libraries in the world. However,
18,187 postal placenames gleaned from ten sources, all the knowledge of what is available has rested solely
ranging from the Prigara book to the official 1916 Postal with Dave until now. Dave, with the help of J.D. Myke,
List. The Reverse Sort is 379 pages long, photocopy, Scott Allen, and Ged Seiflow has spent an incredible
printed on one side only, and unbound. It contains an amount of energy in compiling a partial library index for
introduction, an explanation of how to use the RS, general dissemination.
compiler's notes, a list of cancellation abbreviations,. The Index is approximately 800 pages long and
format explanation, a list of sources, province and oblast' contains 10,600 entries, which are divided into 92 cross-
trigraph listings, a cyrillic-latin alphabet conversion referenced categories-and it is only a partial listing. A
chart, and 361 pages of cross-referenced placenames. A larger Part One would be too bulky and extremely
must for the serious cancellation collector. Members demanding on the reproduction process. Part Two is
may order directly from the Secretary, Treasurer, Librar- currently in development.
ian or Journal Editor of the society. Prices are as follows: The Index is mostly arranged first by subject, then by
Non-Rossica member- $45 postpaid period of Russian history, and in some cases further by
Rossica members $40 postpaid (Overseas type. Each category is presented by title, author, journal,
orders please add $3 for surface mail on volume, date, page numberss, publisher, translator, and
all orders.) abstract.
Dealer and bulk purchase rates are available upon A transliteration guide and a comprehensive phila-
request. telic or communications journal abbreviation list also is
If you are serious about using your library for phila-
telic research, but do not know what if anything is
available, then this Index is a must for your bookshelf.
However, be sure that the shelf is sturdy since the Index
weighs in at approximately four pounds!
The Index is currently being reproduced in limited
quantities so order your copy now. Actual costs for
shipping will be determined when the item is mailed-
rates vary by type of postal service and location- and
you will be notified of the additional charges.
Orders may be sent to Dave Skipton, or the Trea-
surer, Gary Combs. Please make checks payable to "The
Rossica Society" and not to Dave or Gary.

94 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

Cumulative Alphabetical List 1858-1916, by Gary Back Issues of the Rossica Journal
Combs. 138 double-sided pages plus four introduction
pages. Cost: $45 for Rossica members, $50 for non-
members. Sent post paid at surface rate. Available from W h a
We have a limited number of back issues of the
the author. Also available on floppy or CD ROM in journal for sale, both in English and Russian
.,obe croba .journal for sale, both in English and Russian
Adobe Acrobat format.
language editions. Russian editions available are
numbers 44-69 (see list below for availability);
In 1984 Dave Skipton introduced the Reverse Sort, English editions available are numbers 70-127.
which is used by Russian philatelists around the world. Unfortunately, there are many holes and some
Nearly a decade later Gary Combs has takenthismassive issues have less than three in stock. Prices listed
work--over 18,600 entries-and rendered a "forward for back issues are in U.S. dollars. To order,
sort" of the information and corrected a few minor please contact the Treasurer.
This work first appeared in English, and subse- Single Issue:
quently reworked to produce a Cyrillic version thanks to Member $7.50
computer support provided by Pat Eppel. This version is Non-member $10.00
better than the original.
As often as I use the Reverse Sort to find a location Singles issues currently available are: 44-45, 54,
when only the last part of the placename is visible, I 62-71, 73-75, 79-80, 88-89, 93, 110-112,
found a definite need for a work that provided the same 115-117, 119-127, 130
information, but in a left-to-right or "forward" order.
This work precisely fills that void. Double Issues:
Both the Cumulative Alphabetical List and its part- Member $15.00
ner publication the Reverse Sort offer the postal historian Non-member $20.00
and cancellation collector the most comprehensive list-
ing of locations available, albeit not a complete listing of Double issues currently available are: 46-47, 76-
all possible locations. An effort to produce a document of 77, 94-95, 96-97, 98-99, 100-101, 102-
that magnitude would clearly exceed the size of this 103, 104-105, 106-107, 108-109, 113-114
work. Copies of issue 128-129 are available at a charge
Gary has done an impressive job with this work and of $20 for members and $30 for non-
filled a void that has existed since day one of collecting members.
for those without access to State archives in Russia or
numerous postal listings. This work represents the larg-
est single cumulative listing of Russian locations in
existence in the Western world.
This publication is highly recommended for the
serious postal historian or cancellation collector. Let him
know if you want it sent via a faster method (and include
extra postage).

Rossica Journal Number 134 95
April 2000

New Rossica Publications

Rossica is pleased to announce the long awaited "A Study of the Postmarks of Moscow, 1765-1917, Part One"
by Gary Combs and Noel Warr. Over a decade has passed since the effort began. During the ensuing years, the scope
of the work has grown tremendously with input from some of the world's best-known philatelists. Now Part One
is ready for publication and comes in at nearly 300 pages.

Gary and Noel have captured information from many sources in their attempt to bring together information in
English about this overlooked subject. Part One is just the tip of the iceberg. It is richly illustrated where possible.
The amount of information contained in this study is staggering. However, as Gary and Noel say, "...there is still
so much we do not know. If we hold off publishing waiting for more information, we would be re-writing the study
over and over. It is now time to turn it over to the philatelic community and openly solicit their further input into
the effort."

The study opens with a brief historical synopsis of the Russian postal system from the 1660s to roughly the 20th
century. After the historical section, they launch into an incredibly detailed presentation of the post within Moscow
proper. They include: the design of the city, locations of all the gates, a bit on the environs, and introduce the
telegraph. Once all this is said and done, they get down to the main subject of this study, Moscow Postmarks. They
have borrowed heavily from publications in Russian and include illustrations of rarely seen items where possible.

Links have been provided from the Table of Contents as well as the postmark reference tables to the appropriate page
within the study. To view the study, you must have Adobe's Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. This
software is also provided on the CD ROM.

This study will be available only on CD ROM to start in order to keep costs down. Publishing a 300-page document
with a lot of illustrations can be very expensive. It will be offered in a paper addition at a later date. Cost for the CD
ROM version is set at US $40 for Rossica members and $60 for non-members, which includes Air Mail shipping
anywhere. Pricing for the paper version will be set later.

Anyone interested in purchasing this Rossica publication on CD ROM should contact Gary Combs at the address
listed below or via email at gcombs@erols.com. Cash, money order, or check drawn on a US bank and made payable
to Rossica are accepted. Sorry, no credit cards or stamps or non-US currency are accepted.

Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct.
Millersville, MD 21108

96 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000

In 1993, Peter Michalove published his epic work "The Philatelist's Guide to Maps, Atlases, and Gazetteers of
Russia." It was a limited edition and sold out over the years. Rossica is pleased to announce it is again available for
publication in CD ROM format. Anyone interested should contact Gary Combs. Both the Moscow study and Peter's
book may be had on a single CD ROM. Just let Gary know when you send in your order.

The Philatelist's Guide to Maps, Atlases, and Gazetteers of Russia, by Peter A. Michalove. 134 pages and 23
illustrations. Cost is $22 for active Rossica members, $30 for non-members.

This excellent reference book is a must for all serious Russian postal historians. The book contains three parts with
topics as follows:

Part One: The Classic Cartography of Russia
"* Contacts Between Russia and the West
"* The Late 16th and the 17th Centuries
"* The Reign of Peter the Great and Beyond
"* References for Part One

Part Two: The Period of Imperial Russian Postal History
"* Russian Postal Guides, Postal Lists, and Related Sources
"* Other Sources for the Empire as a Whole
"* European Russia
"* Poland, The Baltic, and Finland
"* The Caucasus, Central Asia, and Siberia
"* Railway Routes

Part Three: The Soviet Period
"* External Border Changes
"* Placename Changes and Spellings
"* Cartography in the Soviet Union
"* Sources on the Soviet Union as a Whole
"* European Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, and Moldova
"* The Baltic
"* The Caucasus and Central Asia
"* Siberia
"* Railway Routes
"* Epilogue

A transliteration guide and a list of Russian geographical terms also is included.

Rossica Journal Number 134 97
April 2000

The Rossica Catalog of the RSFSR

Thanks to Ged Seiflow, Rossica Librarian, we now have a new and very interesting series available to the
membership. This series (which has been several years in the making) is special and represents the fulfillment of
a need that has existed for a long time. Ged has started what we believe is the most comprehensive catalog of RSFSR
stamps available. Members can refer to issue 128-129 of the journal for a glimpse of this effort. This new catalog
is ideal for the specialist as well as for the new collector just starting. It is profusely illustrated (most published
catalogs are sadly lacking in this respect) and lists every known variety.

Why such a huge undertaking? Well, which catalog do you use when stamping around? Michel? Scott? Gibbons?
Russian? French? Italian? Or do you have all of them like most of us? The reason for this is simple, no single catalog
is sufficient when studying Russian philately. No catalog is complete. Additionally, no catalog is flexible enough
to allow for additions and deletions without purchasing a new catalog-until now!

The series consists of 29 sections. It will be produced unbound so the member can store the catalog as s/he sees fit.
In order to keep costs down, updates will be available either as a complete section or as individual pages (initially
only the complete sections will be sold). This format is truly what we collectors have been waiting for!

Each section is divided into three parts:
Detailed illustrations of varieties
Detailed catalog entries with prices

The first three sections released are:
Section 0, Introduction -10 pages
Free with first section ordered
Section 3, 1st Issue of the RSFSR, The Chainbreakers (35 and 70 kop.) of 1918-82 pages
US $10 for members, US $20 for non-members
Section 7, 1st Standard Issue of 1921 (1, 2, 5, 20, and 40 rub.)-58 pages
US $9 for members, US $18 for non-members

Pricing includes surface mailing costs. Dealers interested should inquire about lots of 10 or more.

"Availability date is now! For more information about the catalog itself, please write or e-mail the Treasurer
(information listed below).

For sales, please send a check (drawn on a US bank and made payable to Rossica), money order, etc. to the Rossica
Treasurer, whose address is listed. Sorry, no VISA/MC or stamps for payment.

Gary A. Combs
8241 Chalet Ct.
Millersville, MD 21108


98 Rossica Journal Number 134
April 2000