The label show here is part of a customer prepared window receipt used only between 1907 and 1911. It was used only at a limited number of post offices with a high volume of registered mail. Its purpose was to have the person mailing a registered letter complete the return window receipt.
The postal clerk would then postmark this label, affix it to the item being mailed, and the receipt portion was returned to the customer. Its use was discontinued on January 1, 1911, when all post office markings on registered letters were moved to the back side of the item. This database documents all reported items bearing this label. A listing of labels found used as these specific post offices is found on the View Database page. The default listing is in date order. The user can sort on some of the other fields.
The current data includes examples of usage from about half of the post offices which were authorized to use this Form 1549a label. Postmasters were also free to provide these labels to other requesting post offices. We invite all visitors to add new information to this cover database. Please contact the Administrator for instructions on how to add covers or provide covers for entry into the database.
The post office department was being overwhelmed by the slow, laborious documentation of the custody of registered mail. At least six different forms had to be prepared by hand in this pen and ink era to document the safe travel of a registered item from its sender to its addressee. Patrons were annoyed at the time it took to enter a registered item into the mails at a postal window.
Prior to July 1, 1900 there were no registry assistant superintendents, and subsequent to that date there had never been any conference of all assistant superintendents until 1907, when a conference was ordered to promote the interests of the public and of the registry service. Accordingly, the assistant superintendents, with the superintendent of the Division of Registered Mails, began their conference session on May 1 and continued until June 30, 1907. This conference resulted in thirty-one specific recommendations to improve the registry system. Action began to be taken on these recommendations by the postmaster general as reported in his Fiscal Report for the year ending June 30, 1907 as follows:
Subsequent to the close of the fiscal year 1907, a new form of window registration book, designed to relieve the public of having to wait any considerable length of time to register letters or parcels, was prepared and put into operation at the post-office at Washington, D. C., to be tested. It is expected to furnish this special form to a few of the larger offices at an early date, to be tested before the same is put into general use. The new design contemplates the pasting of a registration label bearing the number and the date of registration, with the name of the post office of mailing on the letter or parcel, as well as the class of the registered piece, and at the same time a printed coupon receipt bearing the same number, name of post-0ffice, State, and date of registration, is required to be detached from the label and handed to the sender. This sender’s window registration receipt does not bear the name and address of either the sender or the addressee, and the time usually occupied by the registry clerk in writing these names and addresses is saved to the public, the description 0 the pieces registered being recorded after the sender has left the window. This design of receipt will preclude the necessity of having to postmark the registered pieces, as the label pasted to them answers the same purpose. The innovation will be thoroughly tested during the current year with the idea of extending the use of the new form to such offices as need it.
The first style of detachable label was used at Washington, D.C. In November of 1907.
Form 1549A as more widely distributed has been seen used in 1907 at Washington, Boston, and New York. It was adopted for wider distribution thereafter. It was eventually replaced by Form 3806 in 1915. The Postmaster General reported in his Fiscal Report for the year ending June 30, 1908 as follows:
Not all post offices were authorized to use this new “quick” window registration form. Excerpt from The Daily Postal Bulletin Friday, November 20, 1908 Vol. XXIX No. 8761 issued from the office of The Postmaster General:
|Albany, N. Y
||750||Jacksonville, Fla||500||Portland, Oregon||1,250|
|Altoona, Pa.||250||Jersey City, N. J.||1,250||Providence. R.I.||2,250|
|Atlanta, Ga.||1,600||Kansas City, Mo.
|Atlantic City, N. J.
||600||Los Angeles, Cal.||8,000||Rochester,
||600||Lynn, Mass.||500||Saint Louis, Mo.
|Boston, Mass.||14,000||Memphis. Tenn.||1,000||Saint Paul, Minn.||1.000|
|Brooklyn. N. Y.
||2,000||Salt Lake City, Utah
|Buffalo, N. Y.
||500||San Francisco, Cal.
||500||San Francisco, Cal.
|Cincinnati, Ohio||7,750||Newark, N. J.
||2,500||Schenectady, N. Y.
||2,500||New Haven, Conn.
||500||New Orleans, La.
||750||New York, N. Y.
|Des Moines, Iowa||1,000||Oakland, Cal.
||1,500||Syracuse, N. Y.
||11,000||Washington, D. C.
The 1549A window registration form proved to be very popular with postal employees. They still had to fill out all the information required for accepting an item into the registered mails but not while the postal patron stood at the window. This resulted in the following statement being published.
Excerpt from The Daily Postal Bulletin Tuesday, August 24, 1909 Vol. XXIX No. 8990 issued from the office of The Postmaster General:
|Data Field||Description||Edit Permission|
|Cover Front||The bitmap (.jpg, .bmp. .gif, .png) image of the front side of the cover. Preferred scan is 300dpi||Contributor|
|Cover Back||The bitmap (.jpg, .bmp. .gif, .png) image of the back or reverse side of the cover. Preferred scan is 300dpi||Contributor|
|Census ID||Unique Identifier for this cover, assigned by the Administrator||Admin|
|City||Post Office of mailing||Contributor|
|Label Num||The registration number on the Form 1549A label||Contributor|
|Branch||Branch office if not from main Post Office||Contributor|
|State||Uses standard USPS 2 letter abbreviations||Contributor|
|Date||Date cover was mailed; use format MM/DD/YY. Use “?” for digits not known.||Contributor|
|PostmarkYear||4 digit number the postmark year if known. Has to be between 1906 and 1914, partial years not supported||Contributor|
|PostmarkMonth||1 or 2 digit number the postmark month if known. Has to be between 1 and 12||Contributor|
|PostmarkDay||1 or 2 digit number the postmark day if known. Has to be between 1 and 31||Contributor|
|Destin City||City where cover is addressed to and sent||Contributor|
|Destin State||State where cover is addressed to and sent; For foreign destinations, this field may be blank||Contributor|
|Destin Country||Country where cover is addressed to and sent||Contributor|
|Ex Office||The USPOD Exchange Office which issued the exchange label on covers to foreign destinations.||Contributor|
|Ex Office Num||The registration number on the exchange label.||Contributor|
|Comments||User provided notes about the cover, special features, etc.||Contributor|
|Released||Flag that indicates the Administrator has reviewed and approved the cover record||Admin|
|ID||Internal system Identifier for each record||System|
|Contributor||Name of DB User who enters a record.||System|