I have posted several "mysteries" over the
years, and some have been solved! Many thanks
to those kind people who have replied and
This mystery item is a picture postcard
mailed from India to Santa Barbara, California, in 1907. The
American flag cancel used as a receiving mark in Santa Barbara
is not the mystery, but rather it is the Indian postmark.
I've asked some India collectors and they have guessed
that it might be an Indian RPO mark. This is
indeed the solution (see below).
The lettering in the Indian postmark seems to be "US IN SET No. 2".
The Indian mark is dated 18 November, and the receiving mark
indicates December 25th.
The entire postcard.
Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 17:21:15 +0000
Subject: India cancel
If nobody else has chimed in, I think the India postmark is a railway mark used as a cancel (common practice). Trains are descibed as IN or OUT and UP or DOWN indicating direction. The first part of this cancel usually takes the form letter colon number e.g M:13. Railway lines were divided into SECTIONS and sections into SETS. This cancel was in use for 30 years from 1891.
Hope this helps
I asked the question "Where is Army City?"
This mystery came from my work on first world war U.S. postal history. I have an image of a soldier's postcard used from "Army City, Kansas". I asked if this place was part of Fort Riley? Part of Camp Funston? Close to these military facilities? Near or part of Junction City?
I have had several helpful answers, including the following:
From: "Doug Fisher"
Subject: Army City Mystery Solved
Date sent: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 16:07:12 -0400
During the First World War Camp Funston was built in 1917 on Fort Riley at the east end of the main fort. It was in a 2,000 acre rectangle on the Pawnee Flats next to the Kansas River (a.k.a. Kaw River). Just at the east end of Camp Funston, toward Ogden, Kansas, there was a commercial area constructed for the use of the boys at the camp. It was about 4 blocks long and contained lots of different business establishments. It was called Army City, and was also known as the Zone. It sold just about anything a soldier could want.
So, the jist of it is that this was a civilian enclave built especially to service the off-post needs of the soldiers from Camp Funston. This camp was not particularly close to any large cities. As an example of the services available to soldiers, I have a real-photo picture postcard of a soldier, obviously taken in a studio. The location of the studio is given as "Army City".
While informal enclaves of businesses were located close to Army and Navy facilities in the First World War, this is the only one that I know of, that was established solely for this purpose. After the end of the war, I am told, this "town" disappeared.
I asked about a cover I have with the purple handstamp "Night Service". It is addressed to a hotel, which is the key to the answer.
Several kind folks answered that this was a service of the post office to hotels. If a letter arrived while the hotel was still opened at night, it could be delivered immediately.
Copyright © 1999-2017 Robert Swanson
Back to Postal History Page
Go back to the Swanson homepage.
This web page uses the 'Power of Em' page layout as described on my 'Power of Em' description page. Original code by Louis Lazaris.