A Single U.S. 3 cent Washington

on a cover

from Middletown, CT.,

July 19, 1861


Addressed to Miss Emeline M Beals


This cover shows a single 3 cent Washington postage stamp (Scott #26) used domestically on a cover from Middletown, Connecticut, to Cummington, Massachusetts, dated July 19 1861.


3 cent washington cover 1861 front


The outgoing dater (round, about 1.25" in diameter) was impressed in the upper right corner of the envelope by hand, using red ink. A round 9 bar 'killer' or 'canceller' was hand applied to the face of the stamp with black ink. The killer ink ties the stamp to the cover.

The stamp itself (Scott No. 26, Design A21) was printed by Toppan, Carpenter & Co., between 1857 and 1861. Scott catalogues this as Type  II - i.e., with no frame lines on the top or bottom of the stamp, and with side frame lines showing continuous from one image to the next (Type I was the stamp as originally issued in 1851, Scott No. 10, Design A10). The postage stamp itself was affixed to the cover in the upper left corner, rather than in the upper right as has come to be a standard placement as machine cancellatoin use has expanded. Stamps of this design were produced with about 7 colour variations - dull red; red; rose; brownish carmine; claret; orange brown; and plum, with dull red presumably being the most common. This particular stamp would appear to be 'dull red', but with no similar items on hand to compare to, the actual colour is uncertain. The stamp was line perforated, 15½ x 15½.

The intended recipient of the contents of the envelope was 'Miss Emeline M Beals' of Cummington, Mass'. There is no receiving office date stamp on the reverse of the cover. There is nothing on the cover's front or back to indicate who the sender was. 

3 cent washington cover 1861 back


The cover has been trimmed very slightly on the left, most likely at the time of opening by Miss Beal.

Miss Emeline M Beals was fully known as Martha Emeline Beals. She was the only known child of Elias and Polly [nee Bates] Beals. She was born in Cummington, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, on 29 April 1833, so the original contents of this cover would have landed in her hands at her parents' home, when she was about 28 years of age. Emeline's mother Polly died in Cummington in 1864, and Emeline continued to live with her father until at least mid-1870. In 1871, when she was about 38 years of age, Emeline became the second wife of 12 years older Lyman Strong Mayhew, and she died at their home in Worthington, Hampshire County, on 29 August 1875. No children of this union are known. Emeline's father also died in Cummington in 1881, and his remains joined his wife's and his daughter's in the Village Cemetery there.

Offered for sale at US$30.00

(plus shippping & handling, and any applicable taxes)

Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.

A Stunning

Imperial Mail Marking Machine Cancel

from Ottawa, Canada,

16 July 1897


This cover is stunningly beautiful in it’s simplicity.


ottawa f4 1897 07 16


The envelope appears in size [5 1/8” x 4 3/16”] to be something that we might equate today with a greeting card.

The envelope was franked with a very well centred 3¢ rose Queen Victoria Jubilee stamp [Scott/Unitrade No. 53]. The full set of 16 'Jubilee' stamps, ½¢ to $5.00 denominations, were issued 19 June 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's 60th year of reign, which began on 20 June in 1837.

The stamp was canceled in Ottawa, Canada, on 16 July 1897, less than one month after the stamp was first issued for use.

The cancellation is an almost perfect impression of a dater from an Imperial Mail Marking Machine [Sessions Type Y]1, with an obliterator which also highlights Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubliee on the throne, 1837-1897 [Sessions Type F4]. This particular obliterator was used on the machine in Ottawa only between 21 June 1897 and 6 August 1897.

The People Behind a Mystery 6¢ Wilding Cover


An article appeared in the March-April 2020 edition of “Corgi Times”.1 The author, Ingo G. Nessel, wrote about “A 6¢ Wilding Cover and a Mystery", and an image of a registered cover was presented The cover (or envelope) had been franked with 4 Canadian 6¢ Wilding issue definitive stamps.. The cover entered the Canadian postal system through the Post Office in Weston, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario, on Monday 9 September 1957. It was addressed to Cyril Redford and J. D. Brown at the same delivery address as the return address that was written in the upper left corner of the cover. The enclosure shown was a short affidavit concerning a conceptual idea, and was addressed “To Whom It May Concern”. It was signed by both Cyril Redford and Joseph D Brown. Redford's signature was witnessed on the affidavit by one Gordon J Stanley. Brown's signature was witnessed by someone whose full name is not readily deciperable - the surname, however, looks like Swayze.

The author stated that “Attempts to Google the two gentlemen did not reveal much, except that one of them, Mr. Cyril Redford seems to have been more active in the field of inventions. If anyone has more information on either Redford or Joseph D. Brown, or can answer any of the questions, your enlightenment will be appreciated.”

My investigations shed a bit of light on both Redford and Brown, and some general facts were forwarded to the author through the editor of the Newsletter by email on Sunday, 9 May 2020. At that time, I stated that “I may not be able to answer the fundamental questions about the cover, or it’s contents, but I may be able to shed a bit more light on the two men concerned.” Below is the text of my email (very slightly edited since that time).