This page last updated: 5 February 2005

::: Dead Letters and Missent Letters :::

Back to UPU Period.


Honolulu's post office advertised dead letters from its earliest days. The first marking was put in use in the 1860's but the practice of marking advertised or dead letters did not become routine until the 1890's. Most examples of dead letter markings are found on domestic mail but a few letters in the foreign mail were treated as dead letters and received appropriate markings. See Dead Letter Office Marks.

Hono 5Jun90 39 DLO

Postmarked June 5 at Honolulu, this letter was sent to San Jose, California where it was advertised as a dead letter and unclaimed. It was returned and stamped at Honolulu with a dead letter mark dated August 27, 1890. Another 5¢ was charged at Honolulu for returning the letter. The 30mm dead letter circle date stamp on this cover is previously unrecorded.

Hono DLO UPSS6 front
Hono DLO UPSS6 back

Front and back of a dead letter sent by Castle & Cooke to Redding, California and returned in a 2¢ pale pink UPSS 6 envelope franked with additional stamps since lost. It was marked with the smaller 28mm circle date stamp (MH# 754) of the dead letter office on April 25, 1891. Other marks on the front are the straightline ADVERTISED and UNCLAIMED from the Redding post office and the red pointed hand mark (MH# 755) applied at Honolulu. On the back are various transit and receiving marks plus the triangular dead letter office applied at Redding on March 14, 1891.

Hono 3Nov94 Austrian DLO pc

This inbound card from Austria was unclaimed. It was advertised in Honolulu as a dead letter on December 31, 1894 and marked with the red HONOLULU/ADVERTISED circle date stamp (MH# 751) partially covered by the Austrian postage due stamps. This cover is the EKU for MH# 751. Later, the card was stamped with the circle date stamp of the dead letter office on March 9, 1895 and also with the Pas Reclamé/Unclaimed mark (MH# 767). This cover is also the EKU for that mark. The boxed rectangular RETOUR was applied in Austria along with postage due stamps for the returned mail.


Missent to Honolulu Jan98
Here is a previously unrecorded marking from Honolulu. It was postmarked December 21, 1897 at Thalwil, Switzerland and February 11, 1898 at Patterson, New Jersey. On its way, this small letter got caught in the wrong mail bag and was sent to Honolulu where it received this Missent to/Honolulu purple handstamp. See Service Marks.

Back to UPU Period.

Copyright © 1999 - 2005 POST OFFICE IN PARADISE. All rights reserved.