This page last updated: 9 December 2000

Fitch cov 20Dec55 Chang

This cover bears two Auxiliary Marks, one a ship mark for the Bark Francis Palmer and the other a forwarder mark of H. T. Fitch in Honolulu.

Auxiliary Marks include a wide variety of marks associated in some way with mail but not applied by the Hawaiian Postal Service. This page addresses the various ship marks, railway marks, forwarder's marks, express company marks, merchant marks, government office marks, plantation or ranch marks, religious orders and consular offices showing how mail was handled. The number of marks encompassed by the Auxiliary Marks is extensive and some are unique.

Look on other pages for:

--> Most marks used by the Hawaiian Postal Service. Those marks are described in Honolulu Postmarks, Town Postmarks, Service Marks and Cancels. However, handstamps used to designate official post office mail are illustrated here under the heading Official Marks.

--> Marks used by the New Zealand Marine Post Office (the NZMPO) and Paquebot marks applied in other countries to mail bearing Hawaiian postage stamps. Those marks are catalogued in NZMPO and Paquebot Marks.

--> Postal marks applied by foreign exchange offices. Those marks are included in Foreign Postal Markings.

--> Fiscal marks on postage stamps, covered in Fiscal Cancels on Scott No. 49.

In the Davey/Bash listings published as Part III of Meyer and Harris, Auxiliary Marks are placed in Sections seven through thirteen. Davey/Bash used a simple numbering sequence to identify auxiliary marks. They assigned numbers 351 through 662 to auxiliary marks. Auxiliary marks lend themselves fairly well to a descriptive identification system and therefore one is offered here. Your feed back will be appreciated.

Auxiliary Marks covered on these pages fall into the following classifications:

Transportation Marks: this category includes all of the ship marks (Davey Section 7), including manuscript marks, and railroad marks (Davey Section 9). Many covers bear ship names but only those marks identifying a vessel intended to carry the letter (for either inter-island or foreign shipping) are considered Auxiliary Marks. Other ship names included in the address or written to show where the letter originated are not included. Also part of this group are other marks associated with the carriage of mail by sea or by rail. Click here to view Transportation Marks.

Forwarder Agent Marks: forwarders and express companies performed different services. Nonetheless, most authors lumped them together. Davey treated them together in his Section 13. A forwarder was a private establishment of some sort that assumed responsibility to accept letters and place them aboard a suitable vessel. An express company would take responsibility both to send the letter on its way and to deliver the letter over at least part of the route. I separate the two marks for our study. Click here to view Forwarder Agent Marks.

Express Company Marks: two express companies with offices in Honolulu used marks and they are set out on this page. These marks were included in Davey's Section 13. Click here to view Express Company Marks.

Official Marks: various government offices used handstamps, manuscript notations, seals or labels. Postal markings have been restricted to handstamps or manuscripts in the other sections. However, this group includes handstamps, manuscripts, seals and labels. Also included here are marks used by Hawaiian offices located abroad or foreign government offices situated in Hawaii. Of this group, Davey included only the Foreign Office handstamp (his Section 10). Click here to view Official Marks.

Private Sender Marks: used by private businesses, religious and other charitable organizations, plantations, ranches and individuals form a large and interesting group of handstamps or letterpress marks. Any handstamp or seal used by a private person or organization to indicate the sender would qualify. These marks and seals were largely ignored by Davey and other writers. Davey's Section 12 lists a few of these marks under the heading "Private Company Marks." Some of these marks could prove to be town postmarks but emanate from places with no listed post office. Others might have been used to indicate a forwarding service but lack the word "forwarded." Most of these marks merely show where the letter originated in the nature of a return address. Click here to view Private Sender Marks.

Foreign Auxiliary Marks: a few foreign auxiliary marks are found on mail to or from Hawaii. Davey did not address these marks in his list. Forwarders in San Francisco or elsewhere are particularly interesting and are included on various pages in this site. Some ship marks included under Transportation Marks probably were applied in a foreign country but they nonetheless are grouped with the other ship marks. On this page you will find additional foreign forwarders and express marks, including the San Francisco forwarder and express company marks. Click here to view Foreign Auxiliary Marks.

The remaining two Davey sections (8 and 11) dealing with Auxiliary Marks are addressed on other pages, as mentioned above: his section eight, port of arrival markings, is covered at Foreign Postal Markings and his section eleven, fiscal markings on postage stamps, is addressed at Fiscal Cancels on Scott No. 49.

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