Railway Post Offices, Route Agents, Station Agents, Waterways, Etc.

Below is a list of Railway Postal History Reference Literature that we currently have available. With these references, collectors and dealers can identify and evaluate thousands of different postmarks.

Most of these books are regular stock items, but some are available in limited quantities. As an example, the total printing of my Illinois Post Offices book was 418 copies. More than two-thirds of those have been sold since it was published in February, 1996, and I do not plan to reprint it. Such limited-edition titles are often difficult to obtain once the original printing is sold out.

PUBLISHERS: If you have any reference literature that you would like to make available through this page, please email mehrer@postal-history.com , call or write to discuss terms.

DEALERS: If you would like to stock any of the literature that we publish (those showing Jim Mehrer as the author), we give generous wholesale discounts at low quantities.
Email mehrer@postal-history.com, call or write for details.


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Before the price of each item is a 6-digit item number. When ordering, please indicate the item number and a few words from the title.

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Jim Mehrer
2405-30th Street
Rock Island, IL 61201


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U.S. Railway Post Office Postmark Catalog. (Charles L. Towle, Fred MacDonald, et al.): This is the completely revised update of the original U.S. Transit Markings Catalog Volumes II & III. All reported RPO markings (more than 13,000) are recorded alphabetically, fully illustrated, with complete data: shape, dimensions, colors, dates of usage recorded, unusual killers, special notes, location of stations/terminals, terminals of routes, mileage of routes, catalog numbers, etc. PLUS a VALUATION SYSTEM. This is THE catalog for U.S. Railway Post Office postmarks. (1,149 pages; unbound, three-hole punch.) #970363. $115.00.

As above, on CD-ROM. Also includes "U.S. Transit Markings Catalog / Volume IV" described elsewhere on this page. #850801. $39.00.

Cross-Reference Guide to United States Railway Post Office Postmarks. (Jim Mehrer): For identifying RPO cancels where the first town name is partly obscured or not fully struck. More than 7,500 listings by second and third town names, as well as other words used in RPO cancels ("fast mail," clerk's names, etc.). Also helpful for collectors of single towns or states. The RPO Catalog tells you which cancels START with "St. Louis;" this book tells you which ones END with "St. Louis". (101 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #970366. $20.00.

Abbreviations and Misspellings in United States Railway Post Office Postmarks. (Jim Mehrer): Identifies more than 2,000 abbreviations and misspellings used in RPO postmarks. An indispensable tool for collectors and dealers alike. (15 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #970367. $8.00.

Directory of Railway Post Offices (1864-1977). (John L. Kay): A listing of the Railway Post Offices, operated by the U.S. Postal Department and the U.S. Postal Service, over railroads and waterways, including the dates of establishment, discontinuance and changes of name and operation. (455 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #970365. $49.00.

U.S. Route and Station Agent Postmarks. (Charles L. Towle): This is THE catalog for the early Railroad and Station Agent postmarks. The book covers the development of railroad mail, route agents and their duties, waterway mail routes and agents, station agent postmarks, the distributing post office and how to use the Catalog. Section 1 contains more than 1,569 railway route agent postmarks and 184 waterway agent postmarks listed and illustrated. Also included are route agent names, work periods and routes from 1837-1861 (by John L. Kay); postmark index; station postmarks indexed by station name; selected bibliography. All markings are illustrated and valued. (420 pages, plus 55 page foreword.)
Hardbound book, plus 32 loose-leaf addendum pages showing newly discovered markings: #970368. $49.00.

Guide to Identifying U.S. Route and Station Agent Postmarks. (Jim Mehrer): Packed with essential information for deciphering those cryptic Agent postmarks - even partial strikes! Contains cross-reference guides, abbreviations identifiers, manuscripts identifiers and much more! This Guide even includes a list of dozens of entries that are out of alphabetical order in the Agent catalog and tells you where to find them. Be sure to add this one to your reference library. (110 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #970371. $20.00.

U.S. Transit Markings Catalog / Volume IV. (Charles L. Towle & Fred MacDonald): In the same style and format as the U.S. Railway Post Office Postmark Catalog, this book contains Transfer Clerk, Transfer Office, and Local Mail Agent markings; Terminal Markings (Rail, Truck and Air, Air Mail Field RMS & PTS markings); plus Received and Due markings; Train Late and Auxiliary markings; and Separating Post Office markings. Valuation ratings are included for most of the listings. (236 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #781203. $26.00.

Directory of Route Agents. (John L. Kay): A companion piece to the above, this covers the route agents during the period 1837-1882. (168 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) 970369. $20.00.

U.S. Narrow Gauge Mail Routes & Postal Markings. (James Felton): Contains all information on all narrow gauge railroads in the United States. Includes changeover dates to standard gauge; listings of all known markings with MPOS numbers and tracings of each style; plus an alphabetical listing by state. (78 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #781204. $18.00.

U.S. Highway Post Office Cover Catalog. Contains an HPO cover valuation system; alphabetical index of all 410 HPO routes; 30 pages of first trip and last trip HPO details, with cancel illustrations; an HPO cancel type chart; experimental routes prior to 1941; temporary routes after 1941; HPO fairs, exhibits & special events; the Butterfiled Overland Mail Caravan; special HPO first trip folders;and the "RPO Bus." (42 pages; unbound, three-hole punched.) #781205. $18.00.

The Railroads of Cameroun and Associated Postal History. (Martin Bratzel/2009): This publication examines the railroads of Cameroun beginning when the first rails were laid by the Germans in 1901, the transition of World War I, during and through the British and French administrations, and after independence through to the present day. Summary of contents:
-- The plantation railroad networks ­ their development and demise, plus equipment and rolling stock, with a focus on the locomotive Gouverneur Ebermaier.
-- The mainline railroads ­ construction and operation, services and schedules, rolling stock, the transition from public to private ownership, and the outlook for future growth and expansion.
-- Other rail lines in the port and town of Douala.
-- The transport of mail and the railroad postal service ­ under the German administration, through the Anglo-French occupation of World War I, expansion during the French administration, and into the post-independence period.
-- Railroad postmarks and their recorded dates of use.
-- Profusely illustrated with 138 railroad-related photos (including 31 from the archives of the French Ministry of Culture) ­ rail line construction, locomotives and other rolling stock through the years, plus train stations and railroad bridges, and much more.
-- 32 postal history items ­ railroad cachets, World War I-related covers, mail postmarked and carried by the railroad postal service, registered railroad mail, censored railroad mail, plus more.
-- Railroad-related Cameroun postage stamps.
-- Extensive appendix with train schedules and sundry official orders and announcements.
(170 pages; perfect bound.) #790606. $55.00.

Postal Markings of U.S. Waterway Routes. (Fred MacDonald/1997): Incorporates and combines research of Towle, Meyer & Kay into a single work. Includes: U.S. Route Agent & RPO Operations, 1839-1978; Contract Listings, 1843-1905; Detroit Marine Operations, 1895-1997; more. (196 pages; hardbound.) #970601. $45.00.


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