View Full Version : First Day of Issue Covers
09-13-2002, 05:13 PM
What is the process by which the Post Office will stamp an envelope with a "First Day Of Issue" cancellation? I assume the envelope in question doesn't actually get mailed...
09-13-2002, 05:49 PM
One way to 'em is to order them through the USPS site. Go here and look under the "Stamp Products" category.
09-13-2002, 06:16 PM
Prior to the 1930's, you made up your own cover, and went down to the post office and had it cancelled on the first day.
Starting in the 1930's(and I can find the exact date if necessary. MY friend edits the FDC Society Journal), it became more commercialized. The companies would make up thousands of covers for the event, go to the city where it was being done, and have cancelled their thousands(tens of thousands) of covers and sell them to their subscribers.
You could get the envelope mailed, as you still can, or you could subscribe to a service which would procure a nicely cached cover and send it to you for a profit.
09-13-2002, 06:34 PM
I've collected First Day Covers on and off (for nearly the past ten years, mostly "off"). IIRC, on the FIRST first day of a given commemorative stamp, only one post office in the nation has the honor of giving the "First Day of Issue" cancellation. E.g., when the Roberto Clemente stamp was issued years ago, on the first day of issue only the San Juan, PR, post office was cancelling them as such.
I've seen a bunch of First Day cancellations, and any given stamp seems to be First-Day cancelled from a given post office. Maybe that's not always the case... but it'd be news to me!
09-13-2002, 06:48 PM
It's been a while since I collected stamps, but IIRC, you could either do it two different ways. You could mail an un-stamped, self addressed envelope and a check or money order for the postage to the post office where the first day cancellation was being issued. They would then affix the stamp, give it the cancellation and send it back to you. The other way is to buy the stamp yourself, affix it to your envelope and then mail it in a separate envelope to the post office. As long as they got it within 30 days of the first day of issue, they would give it an FDC cancellation.
I don't think that any requests for first day cancellations made through the mail actually go to the post office in question, though. I think that currently they are all handled by the USPS's main operation facility in Kansas City, MO.
09-14-2002, 10:53 AM
So ... if I wanted to get 100 envelopes with my design on them with a first day cancellation, I should print the envelopes, affix the stamp, and... contact some person at the main facility in Kansas City?
I guess I'm still a bit unclear on how that might work. Sorry for being slow -- but can you expand just a bit on how the step-by-step might go?
09-14-2002, 04:26 PM
See here. (http://www.linns.com/program/2002us.asp) About two thirds of the way down the page are instructions on how to get first day cancellations. You still put the zip-code of the city hat the FDC is issued in, but the "9991" suffix automatically redirects it to Kansas City.
09-15-2002, 11:30 AM
Rick . Euty's link is great. Did it make sense to you?
I called my friend this morning, and he offered one tip that isn't discussed in the Linn's direction.
If you send your "100 covers" by normal mail, you might get them back months later. The PO is that slow.
He suggests that you ship the 100 covers (with stamps affixed) to the address by means of Priority Mail. Enclose a prepaid, self-addressed Priority Mail envelope so they can send them back to you. Should really speed things up if time is of interest.
09-15-2002, 05:08 PM
Thanks, Euty and samclem!
One point of confusion remains:
Within the grace period, buy the stamp (or stationery item) at your local post office or philatelic center, affix it to an addressed envelope (postage must make up at least the first-class rate) and send under cover to Customer-Affixed Envelopes, Postmaster, (Name of City, State and ZIP Code-9991 or the ZIP+4 Code given). No remittance is required. Most collectors prefer to use peelable return address labels that can be removed after the USPS returns the cover.
My envelope, then, must have an actual address on it? And the technique recommended is to use a label that can easily be peeled off, so that the cover does not have to keep the address?
Where does one find such labels, I wonder? All my labels appear to be designed to stick pretty firmly, and when I peel them, it's not a clean removal...
09-15-2002, 07:15 PM
Rick. I tried to ask my FDC buddy about the labels but he had already fallen asleep.
Next time I can ask is tomorrow night.
09-15-2002, 07:22 PM
Bricker ... go to your local office supply store and try to find labels made of the same stuff as post-it notes. You should be able to get away with using these as, if the USPS still does it the same way as they did when I was collecting, your envelopes will be wrapped in a clear cellophane when they are mailed back to you.
09-15-2002, 10:29 PM
Since we are in the business of fighting ignorance here, what exactly is a First Day of Issue Cancellation and why is it desirable?
09-19-2002, 08:49 PM
Rick. You could always write the address ever so lightly in soft pencil, then erase that when you get them back. I've seen it done successfully. Just don't press down hard when writing.
Otherwise, Euty's advice is best.
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