Smithsonian National Postal MuseumTitle: The Pichs CollectionSan Carlos Institute
HomeRoberto PichsThe Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage StampsSan Carlos InstituteCredits
Smithsonian National Postal Museum The Pichs Collection, Exploring Cuba's History Through Postage Stamps
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Postal History
Aviation History

The Republic of Cuba (14)

In the United States, up to 1871, postmarks were applied by hand by a canceling clerk. However, in that year an experimental machine was employed at Pittsburgh, Pa. Manufactured by an unknown inventor, the machine was only in use for a short period during 1871-72 and was then discontinued. Experimentation later continued in other cities with other machines during the 1870’s, 1880’s and 1890’s, however, for the Post Office Department recognized the value of being able to process mail more quickly.

Most early machine cancellations obliterated the stamp with a series of horizontal bars, or wavy lines. However, around the turn of the century, text, such as the postal station number, began to appear between the bars or wavy lines. From there, it was only a short jump to replacing the bars and wavy lines with slogans.

The earliest Cuban machine cancel we have seen was employed at Havana and is dated April 25, 1911. These three machine cancels illustrated here were employed later in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and are a few examples advertising the beauty, products and history of Cuba.

Havana, 1929 - “Cuba es el Paraíso/ de los Turistas” “Cuba is the Paradise/ of Tourists”

Havana, 1930 - “Compre Azúcar/ Cubano” “Buy Cuban Sugar”

Havana, 1939 - “Martí Libertó a Cuba/ Y Glorificó a America”

Postal History
Early History
Domestic Mail
International Mail
The North American
The Republic
of Cuba

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