1894 Kottayam Travancore Postcard Experimental P.O. Cancellation
1894 Kottayam Travancore Postcard With Experimental Cancellation. This is an Experimental Post Office Cancellation of 1894 Kottayam, Travancore Post Office. Kottayam was under the Princely state of Travancore in the British India era.
The Cancellation seal reads- “Experimental P.O. M-276, II JA 94”. There is a second stamped seal “Kottayam 13 JA 94.” Postal stamped cancellation seals with the “Experimental P.O.” seal are rare to find philately, that too from the 1890s.
“Experimental P.O.” indicates that a post office started in a particular town is only on experimental basis. They test the Post Office for six months of incoming revenue. If the revenue generated is good, they would make the Post Office permanent in that town.
If the revenue is below target, they would extend for a grace period of two years for the PO to pick up sales. But if the sales still do not pick up in these two years, the Post Office would most likely close down. Printed on the Postcard is “East India” with a Royal emblem.
This possibly refers to the British East India Company Postal service. Read more about British India Bazaar Cards. See my posts- c1885 Madras General Post Office Building., and 1936 Postcard Bombay General Post Office GPO.
Did you know- for centuries it was rare for any means other than a relay of runners on foot to carry messages. A runner would run from place to place, carrying the letters on a pole. The relay of postal runners worked day and night.