US German Sea Post 1891 - 1914

Quote from the "Dienstanweisung für die Seeposten zwischen Bremen bzw. Hamburg und New York", Berlin 1893.

[Quote]

§ 1 - Designation and purpose of the sea posts.

The sea posts operating on the German fast steamers between Bremen and Hamburg, on the one hand, and New York, on the other, constitute a joint institution of the German Imperial Postal Administration and the Postal Administration of the United States of America; they bear in the direction from New York the designation "Deutsch-Amerikanische Seepost Bremen (bz. Hamburg) - New York", in the direction from New York to Germany the designation "Amerikanisch-Deutsche Seepost Bremen (bz. Hamburg) - New York".

§ 2 - Personnel of the sea posts

I. The personnel of the Seapost shall, as a rule, consist on each steamer of one German and one American postal clerk, and of one German postal sub-officer. In the direction to America, the German, and in the direction to Germany, the American official directs the business and accordingly bears responsibility for the mail load.

.........

§ 11 - Processing of mail.

l. The forms of operational service, mutual transfer, etc., shall be governed by the implementing provisions of the Universal Postal Convention, in such a way that the Seapost, with respect to the performance of the service in the direction of Germany, shall be regarded as a Post Office of the United States, and in the direction to America as a German Post Office.

[End quote]

Only fast steamers of North German Lloyd and the Hamburg-America Line were involved and ended with the outbreak of World War I.
This Seapost began on March 24,1891 with the departure of the Havel of North German Lloyd to New York.

The "change" of post office occurred upon reaching the other country's sea area.

The postal staff had to be provided with space by the shipping company to process the mail, which was also used as a post office for the passengers. A larger room for processing the mail and with sleeping accommodations for two people. A packing chamber to house the mail bags. The mail sub clerk was given a sleeping place in another sleeping chamber. The shipping companies also had to provide cleaning, heating and lighting for the rooms.

I only collect covers from ships of HAL and from the voyage towards Europe, i.e. with American post office, and thus I only show such here.

Source reference:

Cockrill, Booklett No 54
Hosking, Seaposts of the USA


Correctly franked foreign cover to Hamburg (foreign country, 5 cents), cancelled on October 14, 1897 on board of the steamer "S.S. Auguste Victoria" of the Hamburg Amerika Linie with duplex handstamp on the voyage from New York to Hamburg before reaching the canal ports. The number in the killer can only be guessed, but should be a 5.
Left New York on October 07, 1897 and reached the canal ports on October 14, 1897 and Hamburg on October 15, 1897.
Postmark on reverse from the postal expedition of the Hamburg suburb of Rothenburgsort. Text in three lines - in the third line there is an asterisk next to ORT on the left, and an "a" on the right. Time: 5 - 6 o'clock in the afternoon.
Overstamped domestic postcard to Batavia, N.Y. (domestic, 1 cent), cancelled on December 18, 1901 on board of the steamer "S.S. Deutschland" of the Hamburg America Line with duplex handstamp on the voyage from New York to Hamburg. The number in the killer is 11. In Cockrill's Handbook No. 54 about the Transatlantic Routes, this ship is not listed in this year with this number in the killer. In the work Deutsche See- und Schiffspost 1886-1945, Volume IV by Steinmeyer/Evers the number 11 is listed for this voyage.
It left New York on December 12, 1901 and arrived in Hamburg on December 19, 1901. On the date of the postmark, this ship reached Plymouth, where the card was put ashore to be taken back to the USA. The card reached New York on December 29, 1901, as evidenced by the postmark on the image page proves.
A rare card cover, cancelled on April 29, 1903 aboard the steamer "S.S. Auguste Victoria" of the Hamburg Amerika Linie with a handstamp on the voyage from New York to Cuxhaven. The number in the killer cannot be seen, must be 12 according to literature. Above arrival machine postmark from Connellsville, PA. dated May 09, 1903. Departed New York on April 23, 1903. steamer reached the canal ports on May 01, 1903, where the letter was put ashore for forwarding to New York, and reached Cuxhaven on May 02, 1903.

"A card letter is a cardboard thick sheet to be folded with gummed and generally perforated edges. The recipient tears off the gummed edge to open it." Large Encyclopedia of Philately, Häger

On the back of the card letter the image of the steamer "S.S. Auguste Victoria" and portrait of the captain "Carl Kaempff".
Overstamped domestic postcard to Bronxville, N. Y. (domestic, 1 cent), postmarked Aug. 23, 1906 aboard the steamer "S.S. Auguste Victoria" of the Hamburg Amerika Linie with handstamp on the voyage from New York to Cuxhaven one day before reaching the canal ports. The number in the killer is a 17.

Sailed from New York on Aug. 16, 1906, the steamer reached the canal ports on Aug. 24, 1906, and Cuxhaven on Aug. 25, 1906.

In the canal ports, this card was put ashore so that it could be taken by a ship in the opposite direction. This allowed the postcard to reach its destination in the USA more quickly.

Top left arrival postmark from Bronxville, N. Y. on Sept. 03, 1906.
Overstamped domestic postcard to St. Louis, Mo. (domestic, 1 cent), postmarked June 27, 1907 aboard the steamer "S.S. Amerika" of the Hamburg Amerika Linie with handstamp on the voyage from New York to Cuxhaven one day before reaching the canal ports. The number in the killer is a 15.

Sailed from New York on June 20, 1907, the steamer reached the canal ports on June 28, 1907, and Cuxhaven on June 30, 1907.
Overstamped domestic cover to Cincinnati, Ohio (domestic, 2 cents), cancelled July 16, 1910 aboard the steamer "S.S. Amerika" of the Hamburg America Line with handstamp on the voyage from New York to Cuxhaven one day before reaching the canal ports. The number in the killer is a 15.

Sailed from New York on July 09, 1910, the steamer reached the canal ports on July 16, 1910, and Cuxhaven on July 17, 1910.
Correctly franked foreign cover to Kienzberg in Bohemia (foreign country, 5 cents), cancelled on October 30, 1910 aboard the steamship "S.S. Amerika" of the Hamburg Amerika Linie with handstamp on the voyage from New York to Cuxhaven one day before reaching Cuxhaven. The number in the killer is a 15.

Sailed from New York on October 22, 1910, the steamer reached the canal ports on October 30, 1910, and Cuxhaven on October 31, 1910.
Overstamped domestic postcard. Postage to Connecticut (domestic, 1 cent), cancelled June 21, 1914 aboard the Steamship "S.S. Vaterland" of the Hamburg Amerika Linie with duplex handstamp on the third last voyage before the war from New York to Cuxhaven while reaching the canal ports. The number in the killer is an 18.

Given ashore there to be taken to New York on a ship of the opposite direction. Left New York on June 16, 1914 and reached Cuxhaven on June 23, 1914.
Correctly franked domestic postcard, but incorrectly tax postmarked (tax postmark - with the same number (17) as the duplex postmark), to San Jose, Cal. (domestic, 1 cent), postmarked Aug. 08, 1912 aboard the steamer "S.S. Auguste Victoria" of the Hamburg America Line with handstamp on the voyage from New York to Cuxhaven one day before reaching the canal ports. The number in the killer is a 17.

Sailed from New York on August 01, 1912, the steamer reached the canal ports on August 09, 1912, and Cuxhaven on August 10, 1912.


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