Sharjah Aerogrammes

مجلة مدارات ونقوش – العدد 14

 302 عدد المشاهدات

Khaled Ali Al – Aumira

An aerogramme is a thin lightweight piece of foldable and gummed paper- with edges that stick as soon as they touch the water-for writing a letter for transit via airmail, in which the letter and envelope are one and the same. After folding the paper it turns into an envelope which is sent by the airmail service at a preferential rate.

Let’s take a look at the start date of aerogrammes, their use at the Sharjah Post Office, and the documentation of the postal envelopes issued specifically by the Postal Department in the Emirate of Sharjah.

Fig. 1: Aerogramme with no stamp design used before issuing Sharjah aerogrammes
Fig. 1: Aerogramme with no stamp design used before issuing Sharjah aerogrammes

 

Fig. 2: Sharjah Aerogramme, unfolded
Fig. 2: Sharjah Aerogramme, unfolded

 

Fig. 3: Stamp designs on the 3 categories issued by Sharjah Post Department
Fig. 3: Stamp designs on the 3 categories issued by Sharjah Post Department

 

Fig. 5: Sharjah aerogramme sent to the USA on March 30, 1967
Fig. 5: Sharjah aerogramme sent to the USA on March 30, 1967

 

Fig. 6: Sharjah aerogramme with changed value - type 1
Fig. 6: Sharjah aerogramme with changed value – type 1

 

Fig. 7: Sharjah aerogramme with changed value - type 2
Fig. 7: Sharjah aerogramme with changed value – type 2

 

The idea of ​​the aerogramme began in 1923, but under the name AEROMISIVA (Air Letter Sheet) by Columbia Post, then Mexico in 1930, and Thailand in 1933. These aerogrammes did not carry any postal tariff, so post stamps were added to them to be sent to their destination. On July 15, 1933, the Postal Service of Iraq launched the first aerogramme in the world with a postal tariff in the form of a stamp design depicting King Faisal I, 15 fils worth. This aerogramme contained the phrase ” AIR MAIL LETTER CARD”. Thereafter, the term Air Letter Sheet was widely used until 1952, where Aerogramme was officially launched at the UPU conference held in Brussels.

Sharjah Post Office

On July 10, 1963, the first post office was opened in the Emirate of Sharjah

The first issue of Sharjah aerogramme – issue of Sheikh Saqr Bin Sultan Al Qasimi

The first issue of Sharjah aerogramme was launched on August 6, 1964, and consisted of three categories: Green- 20 paisa – for the envelopes to be sent to the Gulf, Blue -30 paisa – for envelopes to be sent to some Arab countries, and Red- 40 paisa – for the rest of the world.

Aerogrammes were printed on light blue paper with a watermark bearing the phrase ”Imperial Air Mail”. They were divided, by dotted lines into seven sections at the front, and a single section with a large area for writing the letter at the back. The seven sections at the front contained the first main section (number 1), with the design of the stamp on the top right, “Sharjah and its accessories” on the top of the middle, ” AIR MAIL LETTER ” in Arabic and ” AEROGRAMME, AIR LETTER, PAR AVION, BY AIR MAIL” in English at the top left. The front side also contained four lines to write the address of the addressee.

The second main section (No. 2) was assigned to the address of the aerogramme sender, containing “Name and Address” in Arabic on the upper right corner, with the warning “if anything is placed inside it, this message will be sent by surface mail” at the bottom of the same direction. While the same words were written in English at the top of the north and a warning at the bottom of the same direction. The four sections- numbers 3, 4, 5, 6: two sections on the right and two in the left – did not contain any details and were allocated as an additional space if needed to complete the letter, and were then folded to close the envelope.

Fig. 8: Sharjah aerogramme with changed value - type 1, sent to Karachi on July 29, 1966
Fig. 8: Sharjah aerogramme with changed value – type 1, sent to Karachi on July 29, 1966

Limited samples of these aerogrammes have been canceled with the first type of Sharjah seal including a commemorative stamp for envelopes on the first day of issue that bears the logo of the Government of Sharjah. The cancellation stamp and the stamp of first day of the issue used the green color to seal these envelopes. The oldest use of a real sample of the envelopes, that wasn’t sent by amateurs, was documented in November 1964.

The second issue of Sharjah aerogramme – issue of illustrating the image

After His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed Al Qasimi assumed power in the Emirate of Sharjah on June 24, 1965, it was decided to highlight a number of previous envelopes in broad lines on the image of Sheikh Saqr Bin Sultan Al Qasimi to symbolize the change of the Ruler. This illustration first appeared on the mailings in July 1965, while it wasn’t before 1966 that they appeared on aerogrammes. After the envelopes were printed in violet lines, they were re-circulated at Sharjah Post Office on 22 March 1966.

Fig. 9: Apsley aerogramme sent to USA on August 1, 1971
Fig. 9: Apsley aerogramme sent to USA on August 1, 1971

The third issue of Sharjah aerogramme – issue of changing the value

The Postal Service has changed the remaining amount of Sharjah aerogrammes from 20 paisa category to 40 dirham, which is the postal tariff for aerogrammes to all countries of the world.

APSLEY aerogrammes

Sharjah Post Department issued the last aerogramme in 1967 and started to use APSLEY aerogrammes that did not carry any postal tariff, so post stamps were added to them according to the specified destination.