Dan Ryterband, our June speaker, presented a fabulous array of covers on the topic of “Inland Waterways.” After first discussing the early history of steamboats and ship mail, Dan presented many different examples of steamboat mail and agent markings, all in very fine condition. With each item, he explained the postal rates and some of the fascinating details of the various steamboats involved.
Highlights included: 1815 steamboat mail (triple war-rate marking); Sackett’s Harbor ship marking; Steamer Sultana (St. Louis, 1850); Steamer Algoma “wreck” cover (1849 – with Post Office label); Steam Packet Franklin (first “name of boat” marking); Steamer Natchez (New Orleans); and Belle Creole ((1849).
Exceptionally rare covers included: Steamer Rapides handstamp, one of the finest illustrated steamboat markings in existence; Steamboat Star Spangled Banner; Steamer Tuscumbia, fancy eagle handstamp in gold; Five cent Franklin stamp with Troy & NY Steamboat cancel; Five cent Franklin tied 17-bar grid, Hudson River Mail; and Ten Cent Washington stamp used with Hudson River Mail markings.
Dan closed his talk with a cover showing the very rare (one of two known) steamer Father Knickerbocker illustrated handstamp.