© Dr. Artur Knoth

Brazilian Philately: The Pan Am Zeppelin Flight of 1930

The United States of America

The Green Zeppelins: The special green arrival cancellation that included an image of a Zeppelin comes in two major categories, the Lakehurst versions used on the 31st of May, 1930 and the later New York versions, used on three different dates.

Lakehurst: As described in the Sieger Catalog*, the Lakehurst cancellation comes in four variations. These variations are discerned by various combinations of the the length of the aft-tip of the Zeppelin and the lengths of the fins. Below are examples of each version, to ease their differentiation, keeping the Sieger type designations (fin:aft-tip).

Type I: long-ragged edge:long

Type II: smooth edge:short

Type III: ragged-edge:short

Type IV: short-ragged:long

As an aid, the following enlarged details, should ease the determination for the collector.

Type I

Type II

Type III

Type IV

New York 13: That leaves us with the New York case. There are three dates, with which one finds this cancel; the 16th, 18th and 23rd of June, 1930. For mail addressed to Spain and the rest of Europe, but that eventually was returned to the US, upon arrival received a version of the green Zeppelin cancel with the New York, N.Y.13 die. The three versions are shown below. But of very great interest is that all the NY13s I've seen until now, all were type II!

Type II

The order of the illustrated cancels is due to the fact that the dates 16th and 23rd are related to the mail until Seville, the 18th to letters addressed to Germany. It seems that the mail offloaded in Seville took the local post office quite a bit of time to digest. If the envelope has the typical Seville Olive Oil machine cancel (details are under the Spain section of this expose, see there) with the date the 5th of June, then the NY13 carries the date, the 16th of June. If the machine cancel instead reads the 6th or 7th, or the back cancel consists of the usual Seville hexagonal hand stamp, dated 5th or 6th, then these covers were processed too late to be sent back to the states with the first shipment by boat to get the NY13 on the 16th. This last category was sent on a later boat and upon arrival in New York, received the NY13 with the date 23rd of June.

The European covers that eventually returned to the USA, were back canceled with one or more of the 4 different Friedrichshafen cancels used on this flight (see the Germany section). When the batch reached the US, they received a NY13 dated the 18th of June.

New York Paquebot H: When applying the stamps, the covers could sometimes have easily stuck together, and not get canceled in Rio. Thus some arrived in New York uncanceled.

The 3 covers above demonstrate that some covers actually ended up being canceled in New York by the USPO/3/ by two different devices – with one cover having had both applied to it. The amazing part being that all had the Recife cachet applied without anyone noticing that they had never been canceled in Rio. From the positioning of the stamps and the manner of the Recife application, the covers would seem to stem out of the rdj7aa batch – see von Meister article.

The canceling devices were a Paquebot H and a mute version as displayed below. Up to now, this type of extraordinary cancellations has only been noticed in the 59D von Meister cards. The Paquebot cancel is very similar to versions used in other cases, e. g. the Hindenburg Disaster covers.

The States: In this section we're putting together all the back/arrival cancels we've seen and the names of the corresponding addressees, arranged by state.


Compton: F.H.Wilde, 920 N. Burris Ave.

Monte Bello: Arthur E. Dewey.

Oakland: Wahl, 6043 Harwood.

Pasadena: Paul E. Harrison, 1145 Heather Square.

San Francisco: Walter S Norton, Ferry Post Office

Snelling: Frank C. Haldeman, Jr.


Champaign: R. Wild, 409 E. Daniel Str.

Chicago-Machine “45”: Seymour Rose.

Chicago-Air Mail Duplex: R.J.Schwarz.

Chicago-CodenParkSta.: Mrs. A. Paton.

Chicago-SouthParkSta.: Seymour Rose, Main POB 592.


Anderson: Louis E.A. Hirsch, 907 Meridian Street.


Newton: John B. Heffelfinger.


Saint Joseph: Miss Rose Wenz, 317 N. !0th St.

New Jersey:

Bloomfield: Serge Netzoff, Box #72.

Dover: Carl Ripley, 34 Bergen Str.


Rahway: Bill Schneider Jr.

South Orange - Machine: Mrs. Otto Dietrichson, 270 Walton Ave.

South Orange – Duplex: Mr. Harold Dietrichson, 270 Walton Ave.

New York:

Batavia: Sidney A. Sherwin.

Buffalo: Charles Martin, 489 Dartmouth Street.

Dryden: Leland C. Metzgar.

Howard Beach, Long Island: G.E. Reynolds.

Irvington: B. Nicolay, 47 Fredrick Terr.

New York – Chicago RR: Miss Jeannette H. Spahr, 7833 - 27th Ave., Kenosha Wisc.

New York – Registry: Isreal Isenberg, 10 E. Fortieth Street.

New York – Hand-Violet: Frank Mitchell Wright.

New York – Madison Sta.: Hansa Co., 131 East 23rd. Street.

Patchoque: Frank Toth.

Rochester: John P. Ehrhart.

North Dakota:

Grand Forks: Dave Galbraith, Box 281.

Grand Forks – Duplex: R.J. Darling, 231 Conklin Ave.


Piqua: Mayer Kahn, 902 Cadwell Str.

Wooster: Howard McAfee, Station 2.


Albion: Walter J. Conrath.

Connellsville: 512 Vine Street.

Lancaster – Duplex: Richard L. Single.

Lancaster – Hand-Violet: Richard L. Single.

Palmyra: Homer L. Boltz, Box 23.

Penna Term RPO: Franklyn James Bradley, 109-01 205th Place.

State College: H Clay Musser, 301 S. Gill Str.

Steelton: W.F. Housman.

Williamsport: J.R. Hammerle, 691 Seventh Ave.

Rhode Island:

Providence: Dr. S.A. Welch, 253 Washington Str.


Nashville: Pat Milam, Box 522.


Pasco: E.M. Thornton c/o Pauly Co.

Walla Walla: E.M. Thornton c/o Pauly Co.


Milwaukee: Miss Louise A. Steiner.


*/Zeppelin Post Katalog, 22nd Edition, page 108(top), Sieger Verlag (Lorch 2001)