© Dr. Artur Knoth

Brazilian Philately: The Pan Am Zeppelin Flight of 1930


Zeppelin Arrival

Friedrichshafen: As is the case in the other countries too, the most important cancels are the ones for the port of entry into the country. In Germany's case, this was the Zeppelin's home port, Friedrichshafen. For this flight a total of four different cancels were used and the nomenclature here has been used in other contributions.

Type a (star-b hand)

Type b (machine)

Type c (roller)

Type d (star-star hand)

An initial study published in 1990 (Y.M. and A.Knoth, Friedrichshafen Arrival Cancellations on the Pan-American Flight 1930, ArGe Brasilien, Forschungsbericht 38, 36 (October 1990)) did a statistical workup and found that the following percentages for:

Type a - ~15%

Type b - ~70%

Type c - ~10%

Type d - ~ 5%

That the machine cancel did the gross of the work makes sense. One anomaly does exist. This was brought to my attention by K-H Wittig a few years ago. Rare as the type d usage is, there are two versions. It would seem that unloading the mail from the Zeppelin took some time. The type d displayed above has the typical 19-20 at the end of the date row (7-8 pm.). But both Wittig and I have in our collections an example where a type d has instead 20-21 (8-9 pm.). A picture below:

type d: 20-21 version

Further Postal Markings

Berlin: The typical red boxed airmail marking and usual cancel


Bremen: The Bremen 5 airmail red box

Bremerhaven: The same from Bremerhaven

Breslau: The red transmittal box cancel always smeared

Frankfurt am Main – Flugplatz: Frankfurt version

Hartha: A normal cancel with an ad for the city.

Helgoland: Same here, as a spa.


Hamburg: Airmail without box

Kiel: Red box version

Köln (Cologne): A script version