Chapter 6

Post Office Postal Stationery 1873 to 1922


The OUS also made use of Post Office postal stationery, “the Society’s postcards” (Ref. 126).


Four postcards, the first two in the Donaldson collection, have been found handstamped OXFORD/ UNION SOCIETY in black on the back at the top centre:



For the first three the handstamp is wide (43 x 8 mm.); for the last it is narrow (35 x 8 mm).


A postcard has also been found handstamped “O.U.S.” in black on the back at the NE corner:


·       1d brown foreign card Huggins and Baker CP15a (1883) used 22 Nov 1890 to Munich (Hudson collection).


The handstamp had to be on the back as otherwise the card would have contravened Post Office regulations and been charged as a letter.


Cummings noted the OUS provision of postcards and letter cards (Ref. 128). They were not to be used for “places within the messenger radius” (Ref. 129) - which was as described in Chapter 5  (in 1886) “less than half a mile” - as these were served by the free Oxford notes. The following postcards (but no reply cards) have been found embossed with the OUS arms dated 1823 on the back at the NE corner (there were no Post Office restrictions on albino-embossing):


Queen Victoria:


Edward VII:


George V:


Three letter cards have been found embossed with the same OUS arms but on the front at the NW corner:



The letter card, folded in two and sealed round the edges, allowed a short message to be sent with the same privacy as a letter.


Ordinary (non-Post Office) stationery has also been found embossed with the OUS arms dated 1823. There is a postcard embossed on the front at the top centre, with a George V ½d green Profile Head stamp, used 12 February 1915 to London (Harman collection).


Copyright © Vincent West 2023

Last updated 29 Nov 2023