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In 1881 the railway from Cuxhaven to Harburg was completed. This improved links for Cuxhaven with Harburg, Hanover and Bremen. Harburg was already connected via a railway link to Hamburg. The steamer services then dropped mail off at Cuxhaven for onward delivery to Hamburg.
The Early Hamburg Influence on Helgoland Postal System
In 1859 Hamburg was issued with its own stamps and these could be used to pre-pay mail coming from Helgoland up to the introduction of the first Helgoland issues in 1867. Only three Hamburg values are currently known to have been used to pre-pay Helgoland mail.
Letters from England to Helgoland are known from as early as 1810. Because Helgoland was officially under Danish rule until 1814 mail was cancelled with a red “Foreign” cancel inscribed with the number “195” and year.
Helgoland (Heligoland to the English and on the stamps) is located in the North Sea about 30 miles from Schleswig-Holstein and sixty miles from the great Elbe river port of Hamburg. It was taken from the Danish and given to the British as a part of the settlement following the Napoleonic wars. While the British used it for its naval facilities and tourism local fisherman and farmers inhabited it.
Below is a summary of the postage stamp issues in Southern Africa in chronological order:
From 1994 the German Post office introduced codes for mail centres with each having its own unique number within the hand stamp to cancel mail. The Briefzentren codes were used where a town cancellation was not or could not be used. In most cases the hand stamp only has the Briefzentren code and not the mail centre location.
What are Precancels?
Pre-cancelled stamps, or precancels, were introduced by various countries as a means of saving time, reducing costs in handling certain classes of mail and as a deterrent to theft.
This was done by allowing authorised users to affix stamps already cancelled on to bulk mail, thus avoiding a time-consuming step in processing at the post office. Pre-cancelled items had to be handed in at a post office and only the holder of the license was able to do so.
The former National Postal Museum was in part established to house the collection. Today, The Postal Museum has taken over responsibility for caring and developing access to the Phillips Collection.
Germany is one of the most interesting and challenging countries to collect even in its basic form without specific specialisation. If you were to just collect Germany it would keep you interested and busy for many years. Below is a high-level breakdown of the basic areas of German philately. Each area in its own right could be a specialisation if you so wish.