Arago: Intra-City Mail

Intra-City Mail

Pneumatic mail fake postal reply card

Scott Catalogue USA: UY4

Local Chicago use of paid reply postal card with a fantasy pneumatic marking. The cover bears a pre-printed address to Peter Nanni with a single work message in Italian “Si” and a name and address.

The three line red “N. WESTERN / TUBE STA. / TRANSIT” was not applied by the Chicago Post Office. Rather, it is a fantasy marking applied at some unknown later date. There are four pieces of evidence postal historians used to reach this conclusion. First the style of lettering matches no other known Chicago postal marking. Second, a transit marking without a date or time has no postal usefulness in tracking the mail. This marking has been found only on mail to a few Chicago addresses; Peter Nanni is probably the most common. Finally, the pneumatic tube to the Northwestern Station had been damaged in 1907 when the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the LaSalle Street cable car tunnel in the Chicago River; pneumatic service was not restored until 1909.

March 21, 1908
Chicago Kinzie Station machine cancel [cancellation]
paper; ink (black)
Height x Width: 3 3/8 x 5 9/16 in. (8.5 x 14.2 cm)
Museum ID:

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  • Pneumatic mail fake postal reply card
  • Pneumatic mail fake postal reply card
Additional Records