Copyright 2011-2018 John N. Lupia, III

J. P. Charlton as he is popularly known is an important figure in American postal history beginning about 1861.

John Pascal Charlton (1833-1915), son of Fredrick Riddle Charlton, an English immigrant and carver, and Mary Frazier Pascal Charlton, owner of a trimming store, was born on 2 February, 1833, at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Charlton worked as an imprinter and stationer at his shop 32 South 4th Street Philadelphia, and was the first to patent the patriotic picture envelope immediately after the breakout of the Civil War. This soon branched out into his “Post Card” on December 17, 1861, when partnered with Hymen P. Lipman to print them.

These picture post cards were private ventures initiated by Charlton. Soon following his initiatives the United States government saw it was good too and began to print Postal Cards as official postage with the stamp imprinted. The conveyance of preprinted postage in a portable mailer was not new since the government had already capitalized on this idea in 1853 with Nesbitt designing and printing postal stationary, also known as embossed postage envelopes, &c.

Fig. Charlton also patented the postage letter sheet the same year seen here, which he called the American Cheap Postage Letter. Design : recto printed with Charlton’s patented design comprising a series of tight and closely spaced parallel lines in red ink and a fringed draped awning with tasseled cordage in upper left corner framing a blank space for return address. In the upper right corner an empty Art Nouveau picture frame for postage stamp placement. Centrally placed at the top edge is an oval logo of the American Cheap Postage Letter. John Hancock to Victor E[mel] Piolett, Esq. asking for his endorsement as a candidate for state treasurer. For Sale. Write SOLD $130

Piolett was the Postmaster of Wysox, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, who was appointed on February 13, 1868. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. For sale. Estimate $125. Make an offer. Write

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