Welcome to Jim Forte Postal History
Please enjoy browsing or searching through over 210,000 covers for sale.
What is Postal History?
There are any number of precise and intimidating definitions of postal history. While these are all technically correct, in many ways they miss the wider aspects of hobby.
In a word, postal history is about mail. All over the world almost everyone receives mail. This mail, where it is from, where it is going, how it is paid, how it got to its destination and tribulations it faced in its journey is postal history. It speaks of the time and place it was mailed, the way it traveled and the scars it picked up along the way.
Since mail touches almost every person, postal history touches almost every interest. If your interest is in a place, perhaps your home town, the country of your ancestors or your favorite vacation spot, postal history will enhance that interest. If transportation is a passion, the movement of mail encompassed most modes of transport. Mail was the first mover in the development of some air travel and significant in utilizing rail network. Most every significant event of the last 250 years can be traced in the mail. Since every army provides mail for its soldiers, if the military is important to you, then postal history is intertwined.
Mail is a window to the past and a mirror of the present. Postal history opens that window wide and focuses the mirror. It tells us about ourselves, our ancestors, our nation and our world. The simple journey of a letter can be the start of a personal journey to wonders of the world.
New This Week
There were almost 550 new covers on the site last week. There is a selection of French Colonies with a nice range of markings, usages and airmail. There is a good range of British Commonwealth with Australia, Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Fiji and Hong Kong. Offered are markings, airmails, censors and usages. The final new additions are U.S. Fleet Post Offices. These are from naval installations from all parts of the world. Please click on the country name or category to see the new additions.
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Cover Notification Service - Receive an e-mail notification every time a new cover that fits your interests is added to this site. You can set up the notifications yourself or have me set them up for you. If your interests are fairly general, for example a single country, you can set them yourself. If your interests are more specific, like a particular issue, you might find it easier to ask me to set them up. If you choose to set up your interests yourself, I'll review them to make sure they will work the way you intend.
Worldwide Postal History - Browse here for the country of your interest. Covers begin in the 18th Century and continue to the modern era. The emphasis is on 20th century up to about 1950 for larger countries and to about 1960 for smaller countries, You will find International Airmail, Town Cancels, Auxiliary Markings, Stampless, Registered, Advertising, Censors, Special Delivery and just about anything else you can imagine.
U.S. Postal History - Explore thousands of U.S. covers arranged to be browsed by issue. The stock is strongest in foreign destinations after 1920, but you'll find a bit of everything including 19th century.
U.S. Postal History By State - Use this section to browse for covers based upon the place where they were used. Explore local postal history in hundreds of covers for each state, a bibliography of literature available for each state, and market analysis.
United States Post Offices - This is a reference that lists the name and dates of operation of every post office in the U.S. The list is the best reference ever published in one place. A far better representation of both Alabama and Georgia is now online. Despite constant additions and corrections, it is still a work in progress.
Military Postal History - Browse here for war covers I have a strong stock of military covers of all types, with an emphasis on U.S. World War II material. Look for U.S. A.P.O. covers, U.S. Ship covers, Worldwide Civil Censors, U.S. Naval Shore Stations, Field Posts from most parts of the world and Prisoner of War and Internee mail. . You're welcome to use on-line copy of my book A Price Guide to U.S. A.P.O. Covers of the Second World War.
Airmail Postal History Browse for first flights, catapults, zeppelins, crash covers, trans pacific and all range of international airmail.
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