Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kahului Railroad Stamps

The Post Office in Paradise Web site showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United States.

The site features a huge collection of colorful stamps, cover letters to foreign countries, pre-postal mail, soldier mail, missionary stamps, engraved stamps, postal cards.

There is also interesting Hawaiian Postal Service ephemera from before 1900 including a page about the little known Kahului Railroad stamps - none of which are listed in the Scott Catalogue.

According to the site in 1876, Hawaii's emerging sugar industry was booming. On Maui, several significant plantations were located on the isthmus and getting sugar to the port at Kahului was sometimes difficult.

The local postmaster constructed a narrow gauge railroad connecting the port to the major plantations. The train began service in 1879 and carried the mail free.

Later in 1894, the railroad decided to print a set of stamps for use on packages and freight. They turned to the American Bank Note Company which produced six seldom seen stamps.

Shown above, the $1 Kahului Railroad stamp.

To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM