This page last updated: 10 July 2000

::: UPU PERIOD - Second Class Mail and Postmarks :::

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For a more detailed explanation of second class mail rates, see Mail Rates. For an example of a registered pamphlet, see Hawaiian Stamps On Foreign Mail.


Wrapper to Madeira front
Wrapper to Madeira back

Front and back of a newspaper wrapper or sleeve sent to the Madeira Islands. The newspaper rate beyond North America was 2. This wrapper was postmarked at Lisbon, Portugal on November 8, 1896.


Book to Germany 14Oct99

Postmarked October 14, 1899 at Honolulu with the ordinary Honolulu postmark used for first class mail. However, this large wrapper enclosed a small book weighing less than 2 ounces and is franked with the Hawaii 2 Scott No. 81 for the 2 per 2 oz. rate.


Hono 12Oct95 circular
Postmarked October 12, 1895 and franked with the 1 overprinted blue Scott No. 54 for the 1 circular rate to the United States. This envelope still contains a printed circular for John Brown, stamp dealer.

Circular to Ontario Mar97

A circular for Ontario, Canada, postmarked with one of the Honolulu undated second class mail cancelers (see below). The circular rate to Canada was also 1 per 2oz. paid with the 1 overprinted green Scott No. 55.

Circular to Brazil Apr97

A circular to San Paulo, Brazil canceled with the Honolulu undated squared circle used for second class mail. The circular rate was 2 per 2 oz. of weight to South America. The manuscript red 2oz. appears to have been stricken by pen.


Starting about January, 1897, postmarks used for second class mail were different from those used on first class mail. However, the second class mail postmarks are also seen on some domestic first class mail, but the incidence is scarce. So far as the foreign mail is concerned, I have noted these marks only on second class mail.

All of the second class postmarks are undated. The first is the squared circle postmark produced in Canada and sent to Honolulu as a sample or gift. The proof for the Honolulu device shown in the Canadian set of squared circle postmarks has a date of February 9, 1894, but the use of this device as a postmark started in January, 1897, based on the dates figured for nearly unworn strikes. The other two second class mail devices produced single lined circle marks.

Type 226.52

226.52 20Apr97

Datelined April 20, 1897

25mm x 26mm; squared circle; black, purple
Usage: January, 1897 to February, 1900
Estimated: 10

Type 233.528

233.528 5Apr98

April 5, 1898

233.528 31Dec98

December 31, 1898

25mm; black, purple
Usage: January, 1897 to June, 1900
Estimated: 10
This device is larger and the letters are taller than strikes of the next type

Type 232.528

232.528 5Apr98

Date unknown

24mm; black
Usage: March, 1899 to May, 1899
Estimated: 6


  • Whitehead, Alfred, The Squared Circle Postmarks Of Canada, British North America Philatelic Society, Thornhill, Ontario, Third Ed., 1964. The Honolulu squared circle cancel is described at p. 58.

  • Whitehead, Alfred, The Squared Circle Postmarks Of Canada, British North Hansen, Glenn, and Moffatt, Dr. W.G., "Honolulu, Hawaii", The Squared Circle Postmarks of Canada, p. 237, British North America Philatelic Society, Altona, Man., Canada, 1981. Illustrates the proof of Honolulu squared circle cancel, Type 226.52; interestingly, the proof contains a date (Feb. 9, '94) where the cancel as used has no date; see also Whitehead for earlier edition.

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