Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Merchant Marine Library Postal Card, 1947

As a collector of postal librariana I am interested in both the postal history and library history of artifacts that have been sent through the mail. Of course, as a library history buff, library history takes precedence over postal history for me. Stamp dealers on the other hand mostly could care less about library history. They value their postal artifacts based on postal significance. I recently acquired a postal card mailed by the American Merchant Marine Library Association (AMMLA) in NY,NY in 1947 (shown above). The AMMLA came into being after World War I largely as a result of the work of the American Library Association's Library War Service in providing books on merchant marine ships during the war. I was happy to get a postal artifact related to this organization. The postal card has a great message. The New York AMMLA is notifying representatives of the S.S. George Bancroft that they can't deliver books to the ship because the railroad tracks near the pier "knock hell out of our tires", but the ship's representatives can come over to the (AMMLA) library and pick them up. Unfortunately the front side of the postal card indicates that the message never got through. And there lies the postal significance of the card. The postal card was mailed special delivery to get the card delivered fast, but the address was insufficient and the card was "returned to sender". I like the fact that a U.S. Merchant Marine commemorative stamp was used to help achieve the correct postage rate for special delivery. Too bad it didn't work.

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