Sale 1263 — The George J. Kramer Collection of U.S. & C.S.A. Telegraph Covers

Sale Date — Wednesday, 28 September, 2022

Category — Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston incl. 1847 Issue)

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
46
c
Sale 1263, Lot 46, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)5c Red Brown (1). Horizontal pair with left sheet margin, other sides ample to touched at top, intermediate impression, bottom right corner fault from placement near edge, tied by blue grid cancels with matching "Detroit Mich. Mar. 6" (ca. 1849) circular datestamp on brown cover to Elmira N.Y. with "From Speed's Eastern, Western and Southern Telegraph Line" imprint at top, "Office over Farmers & Mechanics Bank, Detroit" below, cover is a bit age-darkened not affecting the stamps

VERY FINE APPEARANCE. AN EXTREMELY RARE USE OF THE 5-CENT 1847 ISSUE ON A SPEED'S TELEGRAPH OFFICE COVER.

John J. Speed Jr. affiliated himself with Samuel Morse in the mid 1840s. He conducted tests in 1847 between Cleveland and Buffalo which were to thoroughly convince Morse that "sound telegraphy" would be more efficient than any of the other possible techniques. He built and operated several key sections to the Great Lakes using the Morse patent.

USPCS census no. 4484. Accompanied by a second stampless cover with a different Speed's imprint (not sent through the mails)

E. 3,000-4,000
5,250
47
c
Sale 1263, Lot 47, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)Susquehanna River and North and West Branch Telegraph Company. Illustrated imprint cover addressed to Lewisburg Pa., July 1851 docketing at left, some slight waterstaining, Very Fine, this eastern Pennsylvania company was established in 1849

E. 150-200
0
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48
c
Sale 1263, Lot 48, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)Susquehanna River North and West Branch Telegraph Co., Hudson River Rail Service. Corner card from 65 March St. Station to New York, Very Fine, scarce, this eastern Pennsylvania company was established in 1849, Kramer notes he has only seen two covers from this company

E. 300-400
0
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49
c
Sale 1263, Lot 49, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)G. Swan's Astor House Telegraph Office. Cover with red text with pointing hand for this concern, with Astor House Telegraph enclosure dated from Baltimore 24 Sept. 1860 and received at Astor House, Very Fine, this private concern was a dispatch service which operated in certain prominent hotels, the masthead indicates a working arrangement with Morse and Hughes operated companies

E. 200-300
110
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50
c
Sale 1263, Lot 50, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)[Texas] "Telegraph Office. Brownsville". Bold strike of two-line handstamp on buff cover to J. T. Hogg, with manuscript "15cts to pay", fresh and Very Fine, extremely rare, Brownsville is located along the Mexican border on the Rio Grande river, ASCC No. 143 where noted ca. 1849, Rarity 8

E. 500-750
450
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51
c
Sale 1263, Lot 51, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)Union Telegraph Company. Yellow cover with red imprint for Merchant's Exchange office in Boston and addressed to Greenock, Scotland, with enclosure for telegram from Charleston dated April 5, 1859, noting a ship had sailed yesterday, cover with bold "5" debit and "1/-" one-shilling due handstamps, "Boston Br. Pkt. 6 Apr" circular datestamp on back, Liverpool and Greenock receiving backstamps, carried on Cunarder Niagara, departing Boston Apr. 6, arriving Liverpool Apr. 18, Very Fine, a very unusual use, the telegraph was used to transmit messages to the location where ships would leave in order to make the earliest possible ship, in this case to notify recipients that another ship was on its way, ASCC No. 59, Rarity 3 does not take into consideration this rare foreign use

E. 300-400
375
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52
c
Sale 1263, Lot 52, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)5c Red Brown (1). Vivid color, worn-plate impression, full margins to clear, tied by bold blue criss-crossed grid cancel, struck twice to create a waffle-iron appearance, matching "Waterbury Vt. Dec. 18" (1850) circular datestamp on Vermont & Boston Telegraph Line illustrated advertising cover to Springfield Mass., "Office at Cheney & Co's Express" corner card, some slight wear and negligible faint toning

VERY FINE. WITHOUT QUESTION THE GREATEST 1847 ISSUE TELEGRAPH COVER AND ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING OF ALL 1847 ILLUSTRATED COVERS. THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE KRAMER TELEGRAPH COLLECTION.

This well-known telegraph company design illustrates ships, a train, post rider, postman and turtle, above which is a telegraphic lightning bolt connected to a hand and quill, the obvious implication being that the telegraph beats all other forms of communication.

This is the better-known example of two 1847 Issue envelopes with this design. The other is from a more recent discovery and is ex Benjamin Franklin Bailar. Both covers are addressed to Miss Sophia H. Ring at Springfield, Massachusetts. This cover is postmarked at Middlebury, Vermont (Dec. 18, 1850), and the 5c stamp is tied by criss-crossed blue grids. The other cover bears no Middlebury postmark, but the use of pencil to cancel (and tie) the 5c stamp suggests it may have been carried outside the mails (by express) or by railroad. This cover is also one of only two recorded 1847s with a Waterbury, Vermont, postmark. The other is a plain 5c use.

USPCS census no. 13929. Illustrated in Graham's "Great Stamps Make Greater Covers" (The American Philatelist, Oct. 1977) and The Postal History of Vermont (CC Handbook 21, p. 171). Ex George C. Slawson (Vermont Postal History, Sale 360, lot 73), Paul C. Rohloff (Sale 512, lot 65) and Dr. Leonard Kapiloff (Sale 743, lot 90). P.F. certificate no. 25434 no longer accompanies.

E. 20,000-30,000
37,500
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53
c
Sale 1263, Lot 53, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)Vermont & Boston Telegraph Line. Oval illustrated corner card on buff cover, depicting "slower" modes of communication (including a turtle), being overtaken by an electric bolt emanating from a disembodied hand writing with a quill, with "No Charge," to John Smith in Albans, with enclosure from St. Albans dated July 3, 1852 for a telegram from Boston, the enclosure also lists stations and prices, fresh and Very Fine, the recipient controlled the Vermont and Canada Railroad, also with newspaper clipping from New Hampshire Statesman announcing an office in Concord N.H.

E. 300-400
160
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54
c
Sale 1263, Lot 54, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)3c Dull Red, Ty. II (11A). Large margins to in, pre-use tear at left, tied by "Exeter N.H. Oct. 25" circular datestamp on Vermont & Boston Telegraph Line illustrated cover to Barnardston Mass., depicting "slower" modes of communication (including a turtle), being overtaken by an electric bolt emanating from a disembodied hand writing with a quill, with "No Charge", 1852 docketing at right, barely reduced at right, Very Fine, with 1988 P.F. certificate stating "stamp with a small tear and with margins as shown in the photo"

E. 500-750
500
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55
c
Sale 1263, Lot 55, Telegraph Companies (Speed's thru Vermont & Boston  incl.  1847 Issue)1c Blue, Ty. IV (9). Positions 65-67L1L, horizontal strip of three, large margins to in, tied by penstrokes with red "West Lebanon N.H. Apr. 22" circular datestamp on buff cover with "Vermont and Boston Telegraph, Office at Depot" oval handstamp to Snow's Store Vt., with enclosure containing printed "Directions for putting up and using the sand battery" which are instructions for making a battery using sand, water and sulphuric acid, Very Fine and very unusual

E. 300-400
475
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