Fresno and San Francisco Bicycle Mail Route
In the summer of 1894, the American Railway Union strike brought mail delivery in parts of California to a halt. So Arthur C. Banta, agent for Victor bicycles in Fresno, established his own bicycle mail route to run between Fresno and San Francisco. The first trip was completed on July 6, 1894. The service came to an end on July 18, when the strike ended. During those 12 days, bike messengers carried 380 letters. These special stamps were used on covers with current US stamps from the time or on stamped envelopes. If you take a close look, you’ll see the stamp misspells San Francisco as “San Fransisco.”
Local Stamps Make a Neat Addition to Your Collection
Local stamps include stamps issued by Local Posts (city delivery), Independent Mail Routes and Services, Express Companies and other private posts that competed with or supplemented official services. Because only a few local posts used hand stamps for cancelling, most local stamps were left uncancelled. Cancelling, if any, was often done by pen, pencil, or government hand stamp.