Reader’s Question: History of Travelling Post Offices in Korea?

  Does anybody know more about the history of Travelling Post Offices (우편열차) in Korea? What I have found so far comes from two pictures showing two boards from the Stamp Museum in Cheonan (not Seoul) from an exhibit on TPO’s in Korea. This board lists for instance that the first mail transported by train […]

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Korea’s First Post Office Cancel – Don’t Be Misled!

In the summer of 1964 I received the following letter from a French gentleman: “Enclosed is $3000.00 plus in Korea No. l’s and 2’s in singles, pairs and combinations. All stamps are tied on piece and with the exception of one or two stamps the condition is very fine or superb. As I do not […]

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The special registration stamp and envelope (1961)

The special registration envelope and stamp illustrated here are used to mail currency and valuables within Korea only. The white envelope, 5″ x 9″ has an inner envelope made of paper of the same type used to cover doors and windows. Money, bonds, jewelry, and other valuables can be mailed in this. Money is not […]

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The First Two Stamps of Korea 1884 (Unique Cancelled Pairs)

At the end of the 19th century, “the country of morning calm” became a demonstration field for the world powers to demonstrate their rapidly changing military arms. A geopolitically unfavorably located country, Korea firmly tried to close the door, but the situation of this country meant it was drawn deeper and deeper into the whirlpool. […]

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Christian Literature Society correspondence illustrates different surface mail cachets

A series of covers, recently offered for sale on Ebay, show another interesting piece of Korean missionary history. The Christian Literature Society of Korea (대한 기독교 서회) was and is a major publisher and bookseller in Korea, and dates back to the earliest years of Protestant Christian missions. It is an ecumenical organisation as is […]

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Two Examples of the Often Faked Cancellations of the First Two Korean Stamps of 1884

Normally mint stamps are worth more than used stamps. One notable exception to this philatelic rule is the often faked cancellations of Korea’s first two stamps issued in 1884, the 5 and 10 mun values. As these two stamps were used for just a few days because of a riot/revolution that burned down the Korean […]

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Korean paquebot covers (1954) Part III: The captains and the Busan fires

This is the final installment of a series of articles which started with a text from Talbert B. Fowler from August 1954 as Part I and some background information to an activity started by Milbury named the Sea-Jug Post as Part II. In this part we look at Busan during the Korean War and learn […]

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Korea’s Postal and Communications System (1941)

(This text was originally published in 1941 and republished in KP XI No. 1 (February 1962). It is here being published again for its historical significance.) Only scant remainders enable us today to retrace the origins of the Korean Postal and Communications System. We do know for a fact, however, that the country’s rulers have […]

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Methodist mission address “IPO Box 1182” in Seoul

From the late 1800s a lot of Christian missionary activity took place in Korea. Given that these people usually were very well educated they inevitably wrote home. Many of these letters including the envelopes in which they were sent were saved by the recipients. In recent years with the passing of many of the post-World […]

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1963 cover from important Methodist medical missionary educator

This envelope is particularly interesting from a postal history point of view. The writer, Dr. Roberta G. Rice, was writing to Dr. Charles Mayo the head of the renowned Mayo Clinic, and his wife in a personal capacity. Dr. Rice was a member of the (American) Methodist Mission who had been appointed after the Korean […]

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The 1951 provisional inflationary surcharge issues of Korea (1961): Part 4

(Part 4 of 4) The 1951 provisional Korean stamps were issued with overprinted inflationary denominations of 100, 200, and 300 won on the basic stamps whose values range from 4 to 100 won. These overprinted stamps afford not only an exciting challenge to the casual collector, but also an excellent opportunity for specialization by the […]

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North – South: A unique cover (Backgrounds and Images)

(Note: this article is a follow-up to the article from Lloyd Heath republished in December 2019.) I am happy to be able to provide an illustration (Fig. 1), and some observations, of this extremely special item of post-war Korean postal history. The sender’s address on this cover (using the Northern Korean transliteration of place names) […]

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Military Postal Correspondence: Korean War, Korean Army Mail to the Soviet Union

(Text by James Kerr, originally published in KP Vol. XLV No. 2, May 1999, images from Peter Corson’s collection) Michael Rogers, Inc. has received the illustrated collection that follows. Michael Rogers has graciously allowed KP to reproduce this marvelous study of correspondence from the Northern Korean Army to the Soviet Union in 1953 during the […]

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Korean paquebot covers (1954) Part II: Milbury’s Sea Jug Post

A variation of the old message-in-a-bottle that shipwrecked sailors toss to the outside world is a system devised by two American Merchant Marine Captains for sending passenger and crew mail ashore. “Via Pickle Bottle” is the rubber stamp used by Captain O.H. Martinson, master of the S.S. Mexico, and “Via Sea Jug Post” is the […]

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