The Samovar

February 1921 Russia to Latvia

vasia - 4/28/2009 at 10:01

Here is an item in my collection that poses a number of interesting questions (at least to myself):

Posted during the free-frank period in Podolsk on February 23rd, 1921 (notice cds with missing year), apparently unfranked (unless the missing backflap carried some handwriten note), it was received in Moscow on the 29th (machine cds on back).

It is addressed to Moscow to the department of diplomatic courriers (?) for delivery to a factory in Riga. It is retained in Moscow until April, when, after receiving a 3-triangle expedition oval on the 16th, it is dispatched to Riga on the following day (see superimposed machine cds on back).

Received in Riga on the 20th, the postage deficiency is noted with a rectangular cachet to a sum of "1000 kap."

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1. Why does this letter have to be addressed through "diplomatic courriers"? Is it something analogous to the earlier similar service mentioned by Alexander Epstein for Estonia (see Rossica Journal 122. p.39)?

2. Does the word "Peemaksat" in the rectangular handstamp mean the same as the Estonian word "Venemaalt" pictured by Epstein, i.e "from Russia"?

3. Does anyone know the nature of the particular factory where this letter is sent?

I would greatly appreciate any comments.

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Lacplesis - 4/28/2009 at 11:11

Only an answer to #3:

Stainless Steel



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Alep - 4/28/2009 at 11:47

1. Some senders preferred to send their mail to Latvia through diplomatic courriers (similar to Estonia), since they did not trust the official postal service.
2. "Peemaksat" means postage due. Contrary to Estonia, Latvia collected from the unpaid mail from Russia normal double rather than single deficiency. So there was no need for specially marking such mail.

jlechtanski - 4/28/2009 at 17:39

I don't see this letter as going by diplomatic courier. What appears to be the standard Riga receiving postmark on the back and the Peemaksat on the front seem to indicate it went by regular Latvian mail.

Also, part of the address is Jager Station which is shown on the Salamander Works cards as number "2." If you look closely in the lower left you can see a train there billowing smoke. The illustration intrigues me. Is it some kind of trade card or advertisement?

Lacplesis - 4/28/2009 at 17:46

Quote: Originally posted by jlechtanski  
Is it some kind of trade card or advertisement?


I took it from a 1988 publication celebrating the 75th anniversery of british stainless steel industry.

vasia - 4/29/2009 at 00:21

Thank you all for the very interesting info.

I do see the point of jlechtanski, in that the letter appears to have been treated in a regular way by both the outgoing (expedition) system of Soviet Russia and the incoming one of Latvia.

It is still interesting, perhaps indicative of the original intention of the sender, that an "international" letter is sent unfranked (although such examples occur during the free-frank period, perhaps not frequently during 1921).

Given the long delay in Moscow, it is conceivable that the sender originally intended it to be sent by "diplomatic courrier" (hence the indication in the written address to Moscow), but that such services no longer operated or were allowed, at a period when relations were becoming normalized between the 2 countries.

jlechtanski - 4/29/2009 at 11:21

Satellite image of the Salamander Works and Jugla Station. I definitely need a life.

http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&ll=56.9...

Gary - 4/29/2009 at 17:13

Remember the TV show This is your life?:hoho