Casey Jones Rail Road Unit of the ATA

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TRAINS on Railway Parcel Stamps and Railway Letter Stamps of the World

Page 9 - USA through Venezuela






USA - Reading RR

ABOVE: Pennsylvania Rail Road Package and Baggage storage stamps.   Reading Railroad Package Stamp.
No one has dated these, the only catalogue is really just a sales book with no known dates.

The PRR railroad ran from New York to Philadelphia to Washington, to Pittsburgh, Chicago, elsewhere. Begun in Pennsylvania.

Reading Railroad is a square in the Monopoly game and was also a railroad in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Line is the source of at least two, maybe three properties on the Monopoly Board (The B&O probably connected to Atlantic City via the CNJ, it used the CNJ Communipaw Terminal, also operated the Staten Island Rapid Transit RR, one of the few lines where on the south end, the only remaining passenger use, when you head west you are going eastbound.)

For some reason the US railway companies (with the notable exception of PRR and the Reading Road and possibly one or two others) did not use adhesives at all, but preferred to do their accounting by some other means. None that I have seen shows a rail vehicle, or indeed has any image at all.

Some history on the two American railroads:

The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad was opened 1842 to transport anthracite coal from Schuylkill County to tidewater Philadelphia. The first iron railroad bridge in US built 1845 near Manayunk, Pa. by the P&R.

The Pennsylvania Railroad was chartered 1846. After turn of the century the magnificent Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Manhattan, designed by McKim, Meade & White opened as part of a massive project that built tunnels under the rivers to New Jersey and Long Island and an amazing viaduct and bridge, the largest steel arch bridge in the world at the time, now third longest after the Bayonne Bridge (a great one to drive over between Staten island and Bayonne, New Jersey) and the Sydney bridge that is famous and the longest today. In 1963 they demolished the station, building an ugly Madison Square Garden instead, the station now just a hole in the ground. In 1968 the PRR merged with the New York Central Railroad system becoming the Penn Central which went bankrupt in 2 years, the largest business failure in American history with a loss of 431 million dollars. In 1971 the Reading Railroad Company declared bankruptcy. They had a station in Philadelphia inside an office building, but the station has the largest arched shed in the United States, it is still there but a convention center and green market today. Conrail took over these railroads, as well as the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Erie-Lackawanna, the Lehigh & Hudson River RR and the Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines. The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western RR built a still standing and still used Victorian copper sheathed railroad and ferry terminal in Hoboken that is an unknown marvel of the New York area, they merged with the Erie Railroad in 1958. The Pennsylvania-Reading Seashore Lines ran from Atlantic City to Lindenwald, and various other Jersey shore locations.

Here are articles pertaining to the passenger agents names on the PRR stamps, so as to date them:

D.N.Bell, Pass. Traffic Manager - 2 stamps in top row.
An obituary, June 9, 1929 dateline Philadelphia.

David N. Bell dead; Railroad Official/Passenger Traffic Manager of the Pennsylvania Succumbs to Brief Illness.

        David N. Bell, passenger traffic manager of the Pennsylvania Railroad, with headquarters here, died of pneumonia today at his home in Wayne, after a short illness. He was in his sixty-first year. Mr. Bell had been in the Pennsylvania's service for nearly forty-five years. Born in Philadelphia, he attended the public schools and entered the railroad's passenger department in 1884. He became assistant advertising agent in 1891 and five years later was promoted to tourist agent.
        In 1903 Mr. Bell became special assistant to the general agent, and later division ticket agent of the United Railroads of New Jersey Division. He was made general passenger agent of the Pennsylvania Railroad in charge of local traffic in 1913, and had been passenger traffic manager since 1920, when the Federal control of railroads ended.
        A widow and his mother survive.

J.R. Wood, Passenger Traffic Manager - two stamps in center row.
1895 NY Times:

        Elizabeth, March 8- The Rev. Dr. F. Marion McAllister of Trinity Epsiscopal Church here, who recently sent an open letter to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, protesting against the half-fare rate being discontinued to clergymen in New Jersey, was delighted to-day on receiving the following letter from General Passenger Agent J.R. Wood:
        "Replying to yours of Feb. 28 I beg to advise you that this company has no intention at the present time of discontinuing the clerical permits. The recent agitation which has created discussion in the papers and among clergymen and laity was brought about by the discussion among the railroads about certain regulations for restricting these permits to the proper persons and to prevent them being used to demoralize other business."

So for the DN Bell stamps 1922-1929, at least those are years he had the specific job and year he died.

For Wood, all we can say is around 1895.

History courtesy of Paul Luchter



Railway stamp from Venezuela?

"This is a semi-official stamp used for special deliveries between the cities of Coro and La Vela.
Only one value was issued: 5 cents in a grayish blue (information thanks to Williams Castillo)."
from: Klaseboer

1/14/2005 - Bill Weinberger wrote to say this is a "private carrier that delivered to rail."
So not a railway parcel stamp.


IMPORTANT NOTE: This page is a work-in-progress, subject to revision as I learn more.
If you find errors, please let me know, so I can correct them. Send to .

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All text Copyright © 2004, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 12/08/2004
Revised -- 12/12/2004