Postal Stationery
and Stamps

UX1 Postal Card

Steve Levine
P.O. Box 951
Linden Hill Station

Flushing, NY 11354
Phone: 718-939-5788



If ordering Dinosaur Style (thru the mail), you can print out this sheet, then circle the price of what you want and mail it in with your payment.  PLEASE circle with a fine colored marker; any color will do.
2.  ONLINE  Sorry, this is not a full-function interactive website with a shopping cart and card processing ability.  It's Dinosaur-style; it only has listings.  Still, we can improvise!
You can
send me an e-mail and type out what you want and the price.
     OR, you can cut & paste the item with its description and price.
IF the item exists in several conditions or forms (such as f-vf or vf for stamps, or as Cut Squares or Full Corners) please indicate which you want.
     OR you can cut & paste large portions of the list and
HIGHLIGHT whatever you want.  Green (the 00-80-00 shade for the techs out there) works well, as does Red (the FF-00-00 shade).
     I accept VISA, Master Card, and American Express.  I also accept PAY PAL,
at my e-mail address of "".
3.  PHONE  IF your order is relatively simple or if you have a few questions, you can phone me at 718-939-5788.  For me, "business hours" are flexible.  I'm usually in, and if I'm not, you get the answering machine.  Leave your #; I'll get back to you.

TERMS OF PURCHASE:  Items from this list may be combined with items from my other lists for a MINIMUM ORDER of $15.  ALL ORDERS will be shipped via Insured or Registered mail, for your protection.  Please add $2 for postage and insurance to all orders.  Smaller orders will carry private insurance and will have NO USPS markings.    There's no "handling" fee; just actual postage expenses.  This is for U.S. orders only.  Overseas shipments, please e-mail me in advance for shipping information.
     New York State Residents, please add the appropriate Sales tax.  VISA, Master Card and American Express are accepted: please include all information which appears in raised print,
PLUS the 3 digit security code which appears on the back.  PayPal accepted.


     There was a time, when Air Letter Sheets were relatively new, in which they were collected somewhat more fanatically than they are today.  There were specialized catalogs which listed varieties - particularly on the UC16 Air Letter Sheets - which are all but forgotten today.  I came to learn this thru a long odyssey...

      I had noticed many years ago that some of the UC16c ALS were around with both a CLEAR GUM and a BROWN GUM on the back.  This prompted me absolutely nothing.  It just didn't seem that interesting.

     I noticed, years ago, that some of the overlays were easier to read than others.  I quickly chalked that off to worn plates and forgot about it.

     I noticed, some years later, that the OVERLAYS on most of these issues were HORIZONTAL on the front, and VERTICAL on the back...but every once in a blue moon I'd see one the other way.  I asked around, and was told that these were scarce, but nobody could tell me HOW scarce.

     Finally, I bought a lot of UC16ds last year...and some of them were marked as having a MISSING PROPELLER on the right engine.  Again, there was no information for me...except that there was an airmail catalog called KESSLER'S CATALOG OF AEROGRAMS, a 2-volume catalog published in 1961.

     This finally got me moving....and after a few months, I was able to buy a set of catalogs.  There were only 7 pages of interest to me -- the UC16 issues -- but what was on those pages was a bombshell to me.

     To those UPSS members who are involved with the UPSS Envelope Catalog reading this now: I think it's time that you made some mention of these varieties.  I'd be happy to photostat the appropriate pages from Kessler and forward them to you.

     OF COURSE, the PRICES in Kessler are 53 years old, but the INFORMATION hasn't changed...and frankly, the prices DO show some relative degree of scarcity...even if the UC16c ($45.00 Scott) is listed at only 40¢!  In this instance, the catalog mentions a variety - a printing flaw - with a large DOT between the "U" and "S" of "U.S. POSTAGE", and it's listed at $5.00.  It is not unreasonable to assume that this variety, today, is worth well over the basic $45 Scott price.

     BUT WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT IS TO KNOW THAT THIS VARIETY EVEN EXISTS!!  It'll give you something to do, searching your collection and duplicates.  It's about time these varieties were revealed.

     1.  FIRST, LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE BASIC DIE!  There is a major variety, the "Missing Propeller", shown at the right.  Compare to the regular die, at the left.  The circle that marks the end of the right propeller as it spins is missing.  In addition, the antenna which  sticks downward at the front of the plane is just a dot, whereas on the regular die it's a solid line.  This Die exists on UC16 and is priced at $3.00 vs 90c for the basic variety.  It is not listed as existing for UC16a or UC16c, but is listed for UC16d at $3.00 vs 35c for the basic.  Of course, these are old values (1961) but you get the idea.  Now, it HAS been said to me that even though you can't see the propeller circle, you CAN see some flecks of color in that general area.  I'd ask Kessler, but I suspect he's long departed.  This is what happens when knowledge is lost...

The scan at the left is a typical overlay.  If you measure the distance from the center of one star to the next, it's 34½mm to 36mm.  In addition, there are 8 overlay lines to the inch.  This overlay was used on UC16, 16a, 16b, 16c and THE FIRST PRINTING of 16d.  More about that FIRST PRINTING later.  For now, let's talk about the configurations.
     The overlay exists on both the back and front sides of all UC16a-d Air Letter Sheets, and the back overlay is ALWAYS 90 degrees out of phase with the front.  If the front is vertical, the back is horizontal.  Always.  HOWEVER, the front may be vertical reading up or reading down, the the back may be horizontal reading "normally" or reading upside-down.  This gives us FOUR different configurations.  Now:
     ALL 4 configurations are listed for UC16, all more or less the same price.
     ALL 4 configurations are listed for UC16a, all the same price.  HOWEVER...UC16a also exists with the front overlay horizontal, back vertical reading down...AND the front reading horizontal but upside-down, with the back reading up.  These last 2 configs carry about a 50% premium.
     UC16b, with the chocolate lozenges, exists only with the front horizontal and the back reading down.
     ALL 4 configurations are listed for UC16c.  However, only 2 of them..front down/back horizontal and front up/back horizontal upside-down are priced.  The other 2 are not priced.  In addition, the 2 configurations with horizontal fronts are not listed.  As of 1961 they had not been reported.  They may -- or may not -- exist. 
     ONLY 2 configurations are listed for UC16d (first printing).  Front down, back horizontal and front up, back horizontal but upside-down.  The other configurations had not yet been reported as of 1961.  They may or may not exist....according to KESSLER.

     3.  UC16d had a SECOND PRINTING!!  The original UC16d was issued in 1955.  In 1957, UC16d was reprinted, with a change in the overlay!  The new, "Size 2" overlay looks pretty much like the overlay pictured above, but if you measure the length "star-to-star", you get 29 mm, and the lines are 8-to-the-inch, as before.  In addition, a 3rd new overlay size was made for the back only!!  Star-to-star measurement is 34mm, and there are only 7 lines to the inch.  The letters are a shade taller, as well, 2˝mm vs. 2mm before.  NOW I know why I found it easier to read.  It was larger.

     There are 4 listed configurations:

1.  Front Size 2 down, back size 3 horizontal.
2.  Front Size 2 up, back size 3 horiz upside-down.
3.  Front size 3 horizontal, back size 2 reading down.
4.  Front size 3 horizontal upside-down, back size 2 reading up.

     Now, 1 and 2 are common.  3 and 4 are errors and scarce.  Kessler prices 1, 2, AND 3 at 35¢ and I believe this pricing of 3 is a mistake.  #4 is not priced.

     And of course, configurations 1 and 2 exist with the NO PROPELLER variety.

     4.  ONE more bit of information!...  In 1958 the GPO started using BROWN GUM.  According to Kessler, ALL varieties of the UC16d reprint exist with Brown Gum, as well as the Clear Gum.  There is no indication of price.
     We are now ALMOST at the end of the line....

      5.  There's still one more item to discuss....the overlay breaks on UC16d listed in UPSS as ALS4c...the FO FOREIGN & ST STATES overlay errors.
The scan at the left speaks for itselfIn addition to the FO FOREIGN and ST STATES configs which are listed in the UPSS Envelope Catalog there are also AI AIR and M MAIL breaks.

     It wouldn't surprise me if some of you have one of these in your collection, but are unaware of it.  Here's the problem:

     The SEPARATION between letters (FO FOREIGN and ST STATES) IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME on every ALS with that break.  Sometimes it's a bit wider, sometimes a bit narrower.  If you're looing for the GAP, IT MIGHT NOT BE THERE.  And when it's narrow, the eyes play a little trick on you -- a nasty little optical illusion -- and you don't notice the doubling of the letters, thus missing the error entirely!

     Plus, most of you don't know to also look for the AI AIR or the M MAIL clusters.  There are some lines on these overlays which DO NOT HAVE the FO FOREIGN or ST STATES groups, and a casual run across the sheet might mislead you.  However, they DO have the AI AIR or M MAIL groups.  You really have to go across the line slowly and be on the lookout for ALL 4 CLUSTERS.

     By the way....sometimes the AI AIR is so close that it reads A AIR.  The I is missing.

 I've been a dealer in postal Stationery for 33 years, during which I've found my share of these varieties.  And ALWAYS, they were on the BACK SIDE of the Air Letter Sheet.  Never on the front.  It took me 33 years to learn why!
     You see, these overlay breaks ONLY happen on the SIZE 3 overlay, which is the back side of the 1957 SECOND PRINTING.  They DO NOT OCCUR on the SIZE 1 overlay, which was used for the FIRST printing, and they DO NOT OCCUR on the SIZE 2 overlay, which is on the front of the 2nd printing.  They're only on the back side, SIZE 3.


     If you go back to section 3.... UC16d exists in 4 configurations.  I have both #1 and #2 in my inventory as Overlay Break Varieties.  If #3 or #4 exist as such, they are rare.


     The overlay breaks, in both configs #1 and #2, exist with both CLEAR GUM and BROWN GUM...

All I can tell you at this point is that a search of my inventory has not revealed any of the overlay break ALS with the MISSING PROPELLER.  However, there is no reason to suppose that they do or do not exist.

     SUMMARY  The UC16 Air Letter Sheets offer an interesting run of varieties, with UC16d being
the most complex.  Between the basic Die Varieties, Overlay Configurations, Overlay Sizes, Gum Colors and Overlay Breaks, the issue is a dream --  or a nightmare --depending on your goals as a collector.
     BASED ON MY INVENTORY and what I now know about these issues, I'd like to state my opinion regarding some prices.  Of course, it's impossible to place "catalog" values on an item based on the inventory of any one dealer.  So let's just say that what I have here are a few "moderate indications of general ranges" for a few items. 

     I'm not going to discuss the UC16, 16a, 16b or 16c.  Scott and UPSS are probably on target with those.  I'm just going to discuss UC16d. Based solely on my inventory, I find the FIRST OVERLAY PRINTING of UC16d to be more difficult to find than the SECOND OVERLAY PRINTING.  HOWEVER, I find the SECOND PRINTING with the CLEAR GUM to be difficult, moreso than the FIRST PRINTING.  I find the second printing with the BROWN GUM to be the easiest one to find.

     I believe the Scott and UPSS prices to be CORRECT for the BROWN GUM printing, but definitely TOO LOW for the FIRST OVERLAY printing and the CLEAR GUM SECOND OVERLAY printing.

     AS for the FO-FOREIGN & ST-STATES OVERLAY BREAKS, I find them to be much easier to obtain with BROWN GUM than with CLEAR GUM.  I believe UPSS at $100 is JUST A SHADE HIGH for the CLEAR GUM, and could be lowered quite a bit for the BROWN GUM.

     I believe the "NO PROPELLER" varieties to be worth about THREE TIMES the value of the regular varieties, in all classes.

END OF THE LINE: A little fun, a little eyestrain, a little information!  Whether or not these issues make it into the UPSS Catalog is beyond my ability to predict.  Certainly, they are no more complicated than some of the "Working Dies" which are already listed, or the "CITY TYPES" of the 1920s overprints.


     I wish I could offer you all the items I discussed above, but if I could, then I'd have a LOT more of these than I do have.  Here's the best I can do...while they last.  All Aerogrammes are UNFOLDED, and in excellent condition...keeping in mind that they're not Postal cards; they're a lot flimsier, and do pick up some minor dents & dings.

  #       #        SIZE           CONFIGURATION                                         PRICE

UC16d    ALS4      1            F=UP, B=INVERTED                                        12.50
UC16d    ALS4      2-3          F=DOWN, B=REGULAR   Clear   Missing Propeller           25.00
UC16d    ALS4      2-3          F=DOWN, B=REGULAR   Brown                                8.50
UC16d    ALS4      2-3          F=UP, B=INVERTED    Brown                                8.50
UC16d    ALS4c     2-3          F=DOWN, B=REGULAR   Clear   FO-FOREIGN, etc...          85.00
UC16d    ALS4c     2-3          F=UP, B=INVERTED    Clear   FO-FOREIGN, etc...          85.00
UC16d    ALS4c     2-3          F=DOWN, B=REGULAR   Brown   FO-FOREIGN, etc...          50.00
UC16d    ALS4c     2-3          F=UP, B=INVERTED    Brown   FO-FOREIGN, etc...          50.00

That's all, folks!  Not a very extensive offering, this month: just short and sweet, like last time.  Please check out my updated CUT SQUARES & FULL CORNERS list, as well as my new website at  This is only the beginning.  

         Best Regards,



Dinosaur on the NetSteve Levine
P.O. Box 951
Linden Hill Station
Flushing, NY 11354
Phone: 718-939-5788
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