This page last updated: 11 February 2005


::: Advertising Covers in the UPU Period :::
Wells Fargo Express, Commercial Firms and Ecclesiastic Covers

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Any cover identifying an organization is an advertising cover in the broad sense. Printed advertisements covering all or part of the cover, handstamped markings and printed corner cards are included. The commonest advertising covers seen today are those made for commercial firms. Wells Fargo franks advertised the express firm's services so they form a sub-part of Advertising covers. A few non-commercial marks are known from charitable or ecclesiastic organizations. Advertising covers existed earlier than the UPU Period but they flowered in this Period. The focus on this page is foreign mail covers bearing an advertisement. Advertising covers are also found on local and inter-island mail (See Local Mail Advertising Covers). For more information on the firms using handstamp markings, see Auxiliary Marks - Private Sender Marks.

Wells Fargo Franks

Hono 7Aug87 WF UPSS 9a 1, 39
Postmarked August 7, 1887, with the Wells Fargo frank on a UPSS 9(a)1 postal envelope and an additional 5 Scott No. 39 to pay the 10 postage to Europe. The Wells Fargo frank indicated payment of Wells Fargo fees for handling letters but did not pay any official postage rate. Wells Fargo gave up its business in Hawaii in 1889 once the Parcel Post system took most package delivery work away from Wells Fargo.

Commercial Firms

Hono 1Jul88 32 C&C
Handstamped Castle & Cooke merchant mark dated June 30, 1888 and postmarked July 1 at Honolulu. This cover is franked with the 5 Scott No. 32 during a period when the Honolulu post office ran out of 5 ultramarine stamps.

Hono 24Dec94 76 Estep
Postmarked December 24, 1894 at Honolulu, but originating at Honokaa on the island of Hawaii and postmarked there on December 22, with the handstamped merchant mark of E. W. Estep.

Hono 25Mar99 76 Thrum
Printed corner card of Thomas G. Thrum, Stationer and Bookseller at Honolulu. Thrum was a famous stamp collector of his time and sold his collection of stamps to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu where it still resides.

Hono 9Feb99 77 Benson
Printed corner card of Benson, Smith & Co. of Honolulu.

Hono 13Feb cover
Postmarked February 13, 1885, this advertising cover for the Hawaiian Hotel is one of the earlier examples of an elaborate advertisement.

Hono 10Mar92 39 EOHall
E. O. Hall & Son had another elaborate advertising cover, this one postmarked March 10, 1892.

Hono 20Oct99 82 Oceanic
Postmarked October 20, 1899 at Honolulu and sent on the steamer Australia of the Oceanic Steamship Company. The Oceanic advertising covers are among the more elaborate.

Hono 3Sep98 76 HawElec
The Hawaiian Electric Company had an interesting advertising envelope, this one postmarked September 3, 1898.

Hono 7Jan99 74,75 HawHot flags
Another advertisement for the Hawaiian Hotel at Honolulu with the crossed flags of the United States and Hawaii. This cover is postmarked January 7, 1899.

Ecclesiastic Covers

Hono 30Mar95 75 kolcath front
Hono 30Mar95 back

Not all "advertising" covers were commercial. This cover from Koloa, Kauai, shows the handstamp of the Koloa Catholic Mission. It was postmarked March 30, 1895 at Honolulu and sent to Belgium.

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