Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cancellations of Lit.SSR - 04 Šiauliai

Шяуляй/Šiauliai 3 registered mail 1983
This post office was located at Tilžės g. 121 and today replaced by Šiauliai 15 located inside the newly built shopping center "Saulės miestas" (Tilžės g. 109)

Шяуляй/Šiauliai 4 (Zokniai) registered mail 1976
with a rare registration label error "Šauliai" instead of Šiauliai
It's a postal stationery commemorating 400 years of Vilnius University, at the time called V.Kapsukas University.
Šiauliai 4 was located at Zokniai, now closed down.

Шяуляй/Šiauliai 9 registered mail 1975

Шяуляй/Šiauliai 14 registered mail 1988
This post office was located at Medelyno g. 7, now closed down.

from left to right Шяуляй/Šiauliai 3, 4, 9 and 14

Many people think that small town's postmarks are somehow harder to collect than bigger city's ones. It is partly true. If you are looking for Soviet Lithuania's covers outside of Lithuania, most of what you would get is likely to be the ones of Vilnius. Indeed, I probably do have thousands of Vilnius postmarks in my collection. But.. unlike small towns, bigger cities tend to have branch post offices which makes the postal history of the city interesting but also complicated. Vilnius could turn into your nightmare if you are trying to complete all postmarks. Many branch post offices have been closed down, relocated, renamed or simply newly created (and recreated). Some existed only few months. Towards the end of the rule of Tsarist Russia, branch post offices had their location included in their postmarks such as: Вильна - Лукишки(Lukiškės) or Вильна - Снипишки(Šnipiškės). Unfortunately, during the Soviet rule those post offices were just numbered. This makes it extremely complicated because the post office with a same number can be located in a different place depending on which period of time you are looking for. Soviet time "Panevėžys 11" was not necessary located at the place where the modern Panevėžys 11 stands nowdays.
Anyway, here are some of the registered covers of the branch post offices of Шяуляй/Šiauliai during the Soviet time. Some of them are extremely difficult to get. According to, Šiauliai central (1), 2, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15 and 16 are officially open for operation today in Šiauliai.

P.S. Postmark of modern Lithuania, Šiauliai 15 and 16 wanted! Both located inside a shopping center, 15 in Saulės Miestas, 16 in Akropolis. If anyone can help, please write me, I would truly appreciate!

Cancellations of Lit.SSR - 03 Meter franking

 Науйойи-Акмяне/Naujoji Akmenė 1984

 Каунас/Kaunas 1987

The convenience of meter stamps is that it doesn't necessary have to be posted at the post office itself and can deal with large amount of mails in short amount of time. Meter franking machines were often purchased by companies and other big institutions on both side of the Iron-curtain. When I was still a student, I had a part-time job at a mail section of a big company using a Dodwell Pitney-Bowes postage meter machine. Those meter franking usually includes company's logo or advertisement. In Soviet Lithuania, it appears to be the same. The top cover is a registered mail from Naujoji Akmenė, with a meter stamp of the company "Akmenės cementas" which is still existing nowdays. It is a bit unsual to cancel a stationery with a meter stamp. The stationery commemorates the communist activist Kazys Giedrys. The second cover is from Kaunas and it originates from the Fizikinių-techninių energetikos problemų institutas, also existing today but renamed Lietuvos energetikos institutas (LEI).

They are various of types of meter stamps, some of them are obviously different but some can be tricky to identify.

 The above covers seem to have the same type meter stamp, but if you look closely, you can tell the differences. 

Another registered mail from Venta in Akmenė district municipality, a small town with a population of 3000.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vilnius 1916

This is an official cover of the Deutscher Handelskammern/German chambers of commerce in Wilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania) sent in 1916 to Deuben, Germany. Their office seem to be located in Georgstraße, which is the present Gedimino prospektas. Deuben is actually not a city of its own but part of the city of Freital which is just 8km south-east of Dresden.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tauragnai 1943

It's a card sent in 1943 from Tauragnai to München/Munich, Germany. The name "Tauragnai" might make you think of Tauragė but it has nothing to do with it at least geographicly, it is a small town in Utena county with not more than 600 of population. This also explains why the German authority did not bother rename the town in a German manner (but not surprisingly, it has a polish name: Tauroginy), thus, using the old 1st Republic postmark with the Lithuanian name of the town.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Panevėžys 1913

ПоневѢж / Ponevezh (now Panevėžys, Lithuania)
This is a registered cover sent in 1913 from ПоневѢж / Ponevezh (now Panevėžys, Lithuania) in Ков (Kovna/Kaunas Gubernia) to Riga, Latvia, at the time both places part of the Russian empire.