A Quartet Of "Heavies"

A Quartet Of "Heavies"


While doing some research a couple of years ago, the kind folks at the American Philatelic Society provided me with a copy of the magazine Postal Markings from February, 1942. In it was a short article called "FIVE HEAVIES" which pictured tracings of Town Marks from Boston, Massachusetts (1), Portland, Maine (1), Bridgeport, Connecticut (1) and Worcester, Massachusetts (2). Images of actual examples of the two Worcester "Heavy" Town Marks are shown below. I have also found two additional "Heavies" from the same era and have also displayed them below.


The first marking is a solid jagged-edge circle, quite like a circular saw blade with large teeth. In the center is a negative Shield. Negative letters form "WORCESTER MASS" in a circle between the Shield and the edge. This marking was used for a time in the late 1870's to the mid-1880's.


Worcester Sawblade

Worcester
"Heavy" Town Mark
The Sawblade
Circa 1885


The second marking is a solid circle with negative lettering. "WORCESTER MASS" is spelled-out in two concentric circles, with the city name in the outer circle and the state abbreviation in the inner circle. What is interesting about this marking is that the letters of "MASS" are so tightly wound in the inner circle as they are almost illegible. Herb Atherton, in the the Postal Markings article, drew attention to this fact when he indicated that the "twisted up middle part" was really intended to be "MASS" for the State. This marking was also used for a time in the late 1870's to the mid-1880's.


Worcester Twisted MASS

Worcester
"Heavy" Town Mark
The Twisted MASS
Circa 1885


I have found this "Heavy" Town Mark from Worcester. It is not as dramatic as the previous two but it is a wonderful item. It is the shape of a semi-circle or half dome. Negative letters form "WORCESTER" in an arc and "MASS" in a straight line. It was used, like the other "Heavies" above and below, mostly on junk mail in the late 1870's to the mid-1880's


Worcester Half Dome

Worcester
"Heavy" Town Mark
The Half Dome
Circa 1885


The fourth marking of this quartet is a solid circle. In the center is a negative Star. Negative letters form "WORCESTER MASS" in a circle between the Star and the edge. This marking was used for a time in the late 1870's to the mid-1880's.


Worcester Negative Star

Worcester
"Heavy" Town Mark
The Negative Star
Circa 1879

It is intereting to note that all of these udated Town Marks were not usually used on First Class mail but rather on what we would call "junk" mail today. What went in the trash over 100 years as fast as they do today now are much sought-after jewels of Postal History.


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