Saturday, March 13, 2021

Railroad Printed Cancels: A Milwaukee Road Receipt Book


Long gone but once common on the sides of box cars, locomotives and other railroad equipment, The Milwaukee Road logo was the brand of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway.  Today is highlighted a receipt book from the C. M. & St. P. Ry. station in Monona, Iowa.  

The item is a complete receipt book that first saw use in 1901, The first receipt in the book is dated March 5, 1901, and the last receipt is dated March 26, 1903.  The first 67 receipts, dated from March 5, 1901 to June 26, 1902, all have one cent documentary stamps with C. M. & St. P. Ry. printed cancels.  There are completed receipts from July 3, 1902 to March 24, 1903 without stamps.

Above is a typical receipt from the book for a consignment of 12 cases of eggs going to Chicago.  Many of the receipts are for eggs, from the same consignor to the same receiver, but there are several other agricultural and food related shipments that I can identify.  There is a receipt for 26 empty oil barrels from the usual egg consignor, being sent to Standard Oil in Dubuque.  And there are multiple receipts for empty cracker cans going to Chicago.  Every receipt except for one is for freight headed east.  That receipt is for a consignment to an indecipherable town in South Dakota.

Here is a quick look at the book:

The station periodically acquired stamps over the lifetime of the book and did not rely on a single sheet of stamps for the tax.  The location of the imprint of the printed cancels changes over time; in the middle months there is a series of cancels that are blurry and appear to be from well worn plates.

I'll study the book a bit more intensely in the coming weeks and I'll see if there is more to post.

Lastly, Monona, Iowa is due west of Milwaukee, but the railroad had no bridge over the Mississippi for a direct link:

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