Meier & Kruse operated stores at Waimea and Kekaha on Kauai. This UX4 postal card is
datelined February 14, 1890 and was marked with the Meier & Kruse handstamp
A manuscript Meier & Kruse was written on the face of the card as well. The usage of
this mark suggests something more than designating a sender for a return address –
after all, the origin was revealed in the message on the back and by the manuscript
notation. Another reason for this mark may have been security – a device to discourage
theft of cards kept for use by the store.
In this group of handstamps are the country stores,
mercantile firms and
other commercial enterprises. It is by far the
largest group among private auxiliary marks. Usually, these handstamps were used to
identify the sender in the nature of a return address. Companies may have used
handstamps so the letter would receive more careful attention as "company mail."
Regardless, the commercial marks also served as a convenient advertisement for a
business. On postal cards, the marks seem to be for security to discourage theft of
cards from a company office or store. Examples of commercial marks are presented below
in alphabetical order. Other examples are illustrated in the catalogue for the
Champion Sale (Shreves Philatelic Galleries, Inc., June 6, 1997). Also, the Gilman &
Co. embossed oval (shown in Hawaii Forwarder Agent Marks),
probably belongs here with the merchant marks.
Merchant marks are listed on the following pages in alphabetical order. In the case of Anglo style names, the last
name determines the alphabetical order.