15 Decades of Naval Covers
The first United States Navy ships opened post offices aboard in 1908. With the opening of the post office came cancels that showed the shipname. Naval cover collecting probably began shortly after this. In 1929 Francis Locy developed a classification system used to describe the different naval cancels then in use. Within a few years, naval cover collecting added a whole other dimension to the hobby as cacheted envelopes became very collectible. Today, collectors can focus on cachets, cancel types or both. Prior to post offices opening aboard ship, naval covers can still be found and collected. They can be identified by being addressed to a ship, having a corner card (return address), being written on ship’s stationary or by a letter inside the cover that may reference a ship. Here are examples of naval covers spanning 15 decades.
Examples of covers from 1860 thru 2000 are shown below: