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

Sale Date — Wednesday, 28 September, 2022

Category — U.S. Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.

Lot
Symbol
Photo/Description
Cat./Est. Value
Realized
1
c
Sale 1263, Lot 1, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.United States Electromagnetic Telegraph, “E. Mag. Telegraph/Washington May 5th”. Bold strike of blue double-line oval handstamp with date in manuscript, matching manuscript "2cts" at left on folded letter with similar strike and date in red on inside, docketing indicates 1846 use, virtually intact red "Telegraph Office" wax seal with illustration of an eagle

VERY FINE. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY FOUR RECORDED EXAMPLES OF THE RARE UNITED STATES ELECTROMAGNETIC TELEGRAPH COMPANY "E. MAG. TELEGRAPH" HANDSTAMP. IT IS ALSO THE ONLY EXAMPLE STRUCK IN BLUE. ONE OF THE GREAT RARITIES OF TELEGRAPH COLLECTING.

The 1993 American Stampless Cover Catalog states the United States Electromagnetic Telegraph line opened for experimental use on May 24, 1844, and for public business from April 1, 1845. It was administered by the Post Office Department until December 1846 when it was leased to private parties. In April 1847 it became part of the Magnetic Telegraph Co.'s line between Washington and New York.

Only four examples of this earliest telegraph company handstamp are recorded -- two with the Baltimore office handstamp and two with the Washington office handstamp. None are year dated. They are as follows:

1) July 22 (surmised to be an 1845 use), red Baltimore office handstamp, ex Born (Sale 1102, lot 1153, ASCC p. 5)

2) September 20 (1845-46), red Baltimore office handstamp, offered as lot 2 in this sale

3) May 5 (1846), blue Washington office handstamp with red Washington office handstamp on letter enclosure, the example offered here

4) March 5 (1846), red Washington office handstamp on a faulty cover front only, ex Hahn (Sale 980, lot 3078)

ASCC No. 1, Rarity 10, the highest rarity level.

E. 2,000-3,000
6,750
2
c
Sale 1263, Lot 2, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.United States Electromagnetic Telegraph, "E. Mag. Telegraph/ Baltimore. Sept. 20th". Clear and bold strike of red double-line oval handstamp with date in manuscript, on folded cover to Peter Hagner, 3rd Auditor of the Treasury Department, some foxing on back, at left edge and a bit in rim at top center, contents removed

EXTREMELY FINE STRIKE. THIS IS ONE OF ONLY FOUR RECORDED COVERS WITH THE RARE UNITED STATES ELECTROMAGNETIC TELEGRAPH COMPANY "E. MAG. TELEGRAPH" HANDSTAMP.

The 1993 American Stampless Cover Catalog states the United States Electromagnetic Telegraph line opened for experimental use on May 24, 1844, and for public business from April 1, 1845. It was administered by the Post Office Department until December 1846 when it was leased to private parties. In April 1847 it became part of the Magnetic Telegraph Co.'s line between Washington and New York.

Only four examples of this earliest telegraph company handstamp are recorded -- two with the Baltimore office handstamp and two with the Washington office handstamp. None are year dated. They are as follows:

1) July 22 (surmised to be an 1845 use), red Baltimore office handstamp, ex Born (Sale 1102, lot 1153, ASCC p. 5)

2) September 20 (1845-46), red Baltimore office handstamp, the example offered here

3) May 5 (1846), blue Washington office handstamp with red Washington office handstamp on letter enclosure, offered as lot 1 in this sale

4) March 5 (1846), red Washington office handstamp on a faulty cover front only, ex Hahn (Sale 980, lot 3078)

The bold strike makes this one of the most outstanding telegraph covers extant.

ASCC No. 1, Rarity 10, the highest rarity level.

E. 2,000-3,000
5,250
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3
E
Sale 1263, Lot 3, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.James M. Buchanan P.M. Bold signature on second page of letter to Postmaster General Cave Johnson, datelined "Post Office Baltimore May 15th '45", contents are a response to a request to keep the post office open at night and to utilize clerks for telegraph business, Postmaster Buchanan replies that he has only two clerks, that if they were sent out on telegraph business late at night and the doors of the post office left open it would expose the office to "depredators" and in essence suggests that the post office and telegraph offices be kept separate, Very Fine and wonderful history for both the telegraph collector and the Postmasters' Provisionals collector (Buchanan was the postmaster whose signature appears on the Baltimore Provisional, Scott 3X1)

E. 500-750
475
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4
c
Sale 1263, Lot 4, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic Telegraph Office, Baltimore. Clear strike of oval handstamp on oatmeal cover to local address, manuscript "2c" and "Pittsburg" at top, red wax seal on back, some edge soiling, still Very Fine, rare, only three are recorded, ASCC No. 3, Rarity 8

E. 300-400
350
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5
c
Sale 1263, Lot 5, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic Telegraph Company, "Magnetic/Telegraph". Clear strike of red oval handstamp with no indication of office on buff cover to Wall St. address in New York City, manuscript "75c to collect", Very Fine, a rare early marking, ex Jarrett, ASCC No. 2 var

E. 300-400
325
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6
c
Sale 1263, Lot 6, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic Telegraph Company. Three covers each with different imprint: first with "New-York & Boston" imprint, piece out of top, reputed to be the only reported example of this style; next two with different Magnetic Telegraph Co. imprints from Morse Line with one showing some text in ribbon, some edgewear, Very Fine and scarce group, the first unlisted in ASCC

E. 300-400
200
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7
c
Sale 1263, Lot 7, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic/Telegraph/Office, Phila. Oval handstamp on buff cover with blue "2" in circle handstamp indicating delivery by Eagle City Post (same style of 2c marking), addressed to Philadelphia, with original enclosure dated Feb. 11, 1849 and indicating origin in Mobile Ala., horizontal file fold affects marking, still Very Fine, scarce, ASCC No. 2, Rarity 8

E. 400-500
225
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8
c
Sale 1263, Lot 8, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic Telegraph Office, Phila. Oval handstamp on gray cover to local street address, with original enclosure and docketing indicating May 8, 1847 use with contents originating in "Pittsburg" (spelling without the "h"), Very Fine, scarce, ASCC No. 2, Rarity 8

E. 300-400
150
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9
c
Sale 1263, Lot 9, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic Telegraph Office, Phila. Oval handstamp on brown cover to local street address, bold strike of "2" handstamp at upper right, with original enclosure indicating receipt of wire from New York on Dec. 1, 1847, with Stait & Co. yellow advertising label, cover with some waterstaining and acidification causing some cracking, otherwise Very Fine, this is reported to be the earliest recorded use of this type of Stait's label

E. 200-300
150
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10
c
Sale 1263, Lot 10, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Magnetic Telegraph. Three covers and two enclosures, each with different label used to seal backflap, including "Eastern Telegraph, Umpire Block, Portland Maine", "N.Y. & Boston Mag. Tel. Association", last is "N.Y. & Erie Mag. Telegraph Company", two enclosure with one reported to be the earliest example, Very Fine and scarce group

E. 400-500
275
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11
c
Sale 1263, Lot 11, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Eagle City Post & Mag. Telegraph Messengering Dep't, at Adams' Express, 80 Chestnut St., And all the Mag. Teleg. Offices. Clear strike of large red double-circle datestamp (Lyons Ty. E), Eagle City Post, Philadelphia Pa., (2c) Black (61L2), Type B with 46 points, pen cancelled and tied by blue "Philada. Pa. 10cts Feb. 1" (1849) integral-rate circular datestamp on folded letter to Roanoke Bridge Va., stamp with small gum soaks and light creases, letter with some internal splits, still Very Fine and extremely rare, only four examples of this Eagle City/Magnetic Telegraph handstamp are recorded by Larry Lyons (Penny Post Oct. 2014, pp. 52-55), William Stait owned Eagle City Post and he operated out of the Adams Express office in Philadelphia, the Magnetic Telegraph office was located in the same building, this is also a rare example of the 61L2 stamp tied on cover, ex Gibson

E. 1,000-1,500
650
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12
c
Sale 1263, Lot 12, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Eagle City Post & Mag. Telegraph Messengering Dep't, 3 Adams' Express, 80 Chestnut St., And all the Mag. Teleg. Offices. Large red double-circle datestamp (Lyons Ty. D), with large blue "2" in double-circle handstamp for local post delivery on small Feb. 1849 cover to local street address, back with red piping and etiquette label, fresh and Very Fine, only six examples of this Eagle City/Magnetic Telegraph handstamp are recorded by Larry Lyons (Penny Post Oct. 2014, pp. 52-55), William Stait owned Eagle City Post and he operated out of the Adams Express office in Philadelphia, the Magnetic Telegraph office was located in the same building

E. 750-1,000
400
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13
c
Sale 1263, Lot 13, U.S.  Electromagnetic Telegraph Line & Magnetic Telegraph Co.Office of the Erie and Mich. Telegraph Co. Enclosure for a telegram dated June 3, 1848 from Detroit to Chicago announcing death of someone from scarlet fever, with outer cover with red "TELEGRAPH" handstamp, light waterstaining, still Very Fine, a rare early use, Kramer notes this may be the earliest complete telegram received in Chicago

E. 300-400
160
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