© Dr. Artur Knoth

Brazilian Philately: The Pan Am Zeppelin Flight of 1930

The Really Important Facts About the M.P. Hand Stamp on the 1930 Flight

A lot has been written about the purpose and use of the MP hand stamp in many journals; a few, just conjectures and wild guesses. With an article by Paulo Comelli in the “Bull's Eye” (and many thanks to its editor Bill Kriebel for his help in more than one case), one see that the requirement by the the Brazilian PO to stamp all covers that did not actually pass through their hands with the M.P. (today one could say that this was an early 20th century example of outsourcing).

But from my work in science and technology, that often the result depends on whether you've asked the correct question. This contribution with examine aspects that nobody up to now has really considered, but ought to have already. After reviewing my own extensive holdings I noted that there is some order in the M.P. Chaos. Yet, in what I'm presenting here, there are still possibly big gaps. Therefore I ask all those who read this piece (the few, anyone?) to review there own collections for M.P.s on covers before, during and dates after the 1930 Pan Am to see if we can put a complete library together. Unless otherwise noted, the examples given are those used on mail of the 1930 flight, other previous , later, or even contemporaneous ones are explicitly marked.

The M.P. roll call by city:


Only have a single cover, but no M.P. on it.


Tons (yes for our German “friend”, this is a colloquial saying among “Amis”) of covers, especially from Sieger et co., but no markings – not a single one.


Fancy script-like version


I have quite a few flight covers from here, but only the 59I (5$000/1$300) has one. One of many riddles.


Two examples used. The first one (in violet) seems the regular one, the other (in black), an older, worn down one that leaves a smeared impression.


Violet example.


Besides the fact that this city usually had its covers canceled upside down, leaving the city name is unreadable, they had a penchant for placing the M.P. In the extreme upper left hand corner.


The few covers I have, none has the marking.


Of all the markings on this flight, this one is the most distinctive and impossible to confuse with any of the other cities.


1930 Zeppelin Flight


Same marking varies


The rubber stamp had seen better days, impression varies a lot, but distinct from that used by Varig.

Porto Alegre:

Condor Pre-Zeppelin

1930 Zeppelin Flight



Varies a lot with use

Violet for the pre-Zeppelin era, on the flight black ink was used.


Same case as Rio de Janeiro below, nothing except for a Stoltz cover sent on 17.5.1930, but NOT connected with the zeppelin flight. Here I could use input from the readers.

Non-Zeppelin usage.

Rio de Janeiro:

Really, a mountain of covers, philatelic and otherwise, and none with the marking!

Rio Grande do Sul:


Varig 1932


Very clean and good impressions, very characteristic model.

São Francisco do Sul:

Seemingly relatively new rubber stamp, with good impressions.

São Paulo:

Very characteristic break in the third stroke of the M, at bottom middle.

There's a lot out there that still needs to be found, but perhaps this can be start with your help.