Post by smauggie on Jul 31, 2017 21:34:49 GMT
First I want to start out with a definition of Auxiliary Marking (which may change if/as we have a discussion about this branch of US Postal History.
An Auxiliary Marking is a marking on a cover, parcel, package or postal form (USPOD/USPS) which is added to indicate a special service or event in the processing of the mail item.
There are four methods of adding an auxiliary marking that I have been able to detect:
Manuscript marking on the cover
Handstamp marking on the cover
A combination of handstamp and manuscript marking on cover
- Machine-Applied marking directly on envelope
- Labels (aka stickers or etiquettes) adhered to the cover
Items that are questionable as auxiliary markings (I haven't made up my mind about these, perhaps you have):
Labels (aka stickers or etiquettes) featuring a short 1-2 character code composed of numbers and or letters (used 1970s to 1990s)
"Chop" marks of a combination of 1-2 letters and numbers (used 1980-s to 1990's)
Spray on post office or routing information (used 1990-s to early 2000's)
Spray-on barcodes used for routing mail using automated mail processing machines (used 2000's to date)
Items that are not auxiliary markings:
Received Machine Cancels (which can often look quite unique but are simply cancels)
Post office seals (either federal or local)
Local Post stamps and markings
Cinderella stamps (including Christmas Seals)
For those with an interest in this area of US postal history I highly recommend the Auxiliary Markings Club. They have an excellent journal which I look forward to every time it comes in the mail (yes, I am a member). They have a more detailed definition on their site for auxiliary markings but I though I would keep things as basic as possible.
I will start by reposting one I posted to TSF a while ago here, but I wanted it to be a part of this thread for convenience and educational purposes.
This item was mailed on December 30, 1963. The mailbag it was in was assumed empty and placed in storage. When it was brought out of storage to be used again, this bank statement was found inside. It was re-postmarked on July 7, 1964 and mailed to the customer.
I hope to share many more examples of auxiliary markings as time allows.
Thanks for stopping by (and reading all the way to the end).