Catalog Numbering for Michel, Scott et al.
Printings, Remainders and Scarcity
The Michel  6 Varieties
The Michel  8 Varieties
The Schilling Reprints
Table of Colors, Gum and Paper
Color Comparison of Originals and Reprints
Genuine and Imitation Paper
Reprints on Lemberger Pages
Maps of Heligoland       Heligoland Cancels
Reprint Data Tables     Forgeries
Lemberger and Michel Color Chips
Proofers' Signatures
Proofers: Names and Signature Placement
The Examination of Various Stamps
Higher Value Stamps
The Robert Pollard Study
The Wagner Collection

Heligoland History
and Postal Rates



Important Dates in Heligoland History



1402 — The Friesian island was acquired for the independent Hanseatic League City of Hamburg.

1714 — The island was seized by Denmark.

1796 — The first postal agent was stationed on the island by Hamburg and remained there until June 30, 1866. The postmasters and their dates of service were: Paul Volckers (1796-1866), Peter Volckers (1866-1873), Robert Pilger (1873-1879), and Detlev J. Hornsmann (1879-1890).

1807 — England siezed Heligoland during the Napoleonic Wars.

1814 — Following the final defeat of Napoleon, Denmark paid the price for being an ally of the French. At the Kiel Peace Treaty the island was ceded to England.

1826 — Mail service from England to Hamburg via Heligoland by two fast sailing ships was established. A tradition began which became the service by the two principal German steamship companies, North German Lloyd and Hamburg Amerika. The former served Bremen on the Wesser River via Geestemünde and the latter Hamburg on the Elbe River via Ritzebüttel (later a part of Cuxhaven). See the map from 1900 that shows the ports in relation to Helgoland and Hamburg. A song was written to commemorate the 100th anniversary and was printed on a postcard in 1926.

1862 — Hamburg stamps are used for Heligoland postage sometime in the summer. Hamburg first introduced stamps in 1859.

1866 — On July 1, the post office of Heligoland, previously operated by the city of Hamburg, was turned over to British administration. Herr Volkers was appointed British postmaster. The stamps of the city of Hamburg continued to be used on the island for postage until the following year.

1867 — The British introduced Heligoland postage stamps following a postal agreement with Hamburg. The stamps were produced by the Prussian State Printing Office (Preussiche Staatsdruckerei).

1873 — Postal rates for letters, postal cards and printed matter were aligned with German rates.

1875 — On July 1, German values were introduced for postage stamps.

1890 — On August 10th Great Britain ceded Heligoland to Germany. This was a part of a general settlement treaty signed on July 1st between Germany and Great Britain involving territorial claims in Africa too complex to be related here. The Kaiser arrived on his yacht, SMS Hohenzollern, and with pomp and ceremony, he formally took possession in the name of Germany.

1914-1918—In 1914, the first sea battle of World War I was fought near Heligoland, called by the British, "the battle of Heligoland Bight." The German navy turned the island into a submarine base. A 1916 picture postcard with a military franking (Feldpost) can be seen in the postcard section. The reverse with the Feldpost cancel is not shown.

1940 — Germany issued a stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Island's acquisition. Heligoland again served as a submarine base during the Second World War. The island was ringed with anti-aircraft gun emplacements. A 1945 letter that has been opened and resealed by the military censor (Feldpost) can be seen in the postcard section. The reverse with the Feldpost cancel is not shown.

1945 — On April 18, a raid of 1,000 British bombers smothered the island and destroyed almost all buildings including the post office. On May 5, British forces occupied the island without resistance. On May 12, the British evicted the populace and mail service ceased.

1947— Great Britain shiped some 6,700 tons of war-surplus explosives to Heligoland. The intention was to obliterate the island. The resulting explosian was the largest non-nuclear detonation in history. The faces of some of the cliffs were destroyed leaving great masses of rubble and ruining part of the distinctive fa çade of the island. The submarine pens were certainly obliterated, leaving a crater where the pens had been. A friend tells me the result was referred to as "Der Krater." The island was otherwise intact.

1952 — On March 1, Heligoland was returned to Germany, and postal service began again. A commemorative stamp was issued with the inscription "Helgoland Wieder Frei." The island is developed as a modern tourist destination and receives great numbers of visitors every year.

1967—Germany issued a centenary commemorative stamp.


		
		
		

POSTAL RATES

From April 15, 1867, to August 10, 1890

   By agreement with the British, Heligoland became a postal dependency of Hamburg and used Hamburg stamps from sometime after they were introduced in 1859 (earliest known use: summer of 1862) until Heligoland began to issue its own on March 21st, 1867. Heligoland followed the Hamburg postal rates which were denominated in Hamburg Sch illings (not British Sh illings!). When Hamburg joined the North German Postal District effective January 1st, 1868 and ceased using its own stamps, Heligoland aligned its rates to the Postal District's on that date.     When Hamburg was incorporated into the newly unified Germany in 1871, it perforce used the German currency and the German postal rates. Deutsches Reich stamps were first issued in 1872 and Heligoland adopted the German postal rates on July 1st, 1873. When Germany joined the Universal Postal Union on July 1st, 1875, Heligoland adopted the same rates although it only actually joined the UPU four years later on July 1st, 1879. These events account for the several stamp issues and help explain their surplus or scarcity.

1867 to 1875—The Hamburg Schilling Issues

From March 3, 1867 until January 1, 1868

Stamps issued in 1867:
½ Sch (Mi 1I), 1 Sch (Mi 2), 2 Sch (Mi 3) and 4 Sch (Mi 4)
These are the original rouletted issues.

Letters with postage on letter, per ½ oz (16g)............................ 2 Schillings

Letter without applied postage ................................................... 3 Schillings

Registered Letter........................................................................ 3 Schillings

Printed Matter, per 1¾ oz (40g)................................................ ½ Schilling

Money Orders (Geldsendungen) omitted

From January 1, 1868, new rates of the North German Postal District

Stamps from 1868 to 1873:
1868: ½ Sch (Mi 1II) [The last rouletted issue.];
1869: ½ Sch (Mi 6a) [The first perforated issue, as are all later issues.];
1870: ½ Sch (Mi 6b);
1871: ½ Sch (Mi 6c) and 1 Sch (Mi 7a);
1872: ½ Sch ( 3 issues: Mi 6d,e,f) and 1 Sch (Mi 7b).

Standard Letter within Germany...............................................3½ Schillings

Printed atter........................................................................... 2½ Schillings

Same-add ½ Sch per 50g up to 250g

Postcard (no change)

Registered Letter (no change)

Money Order (Postanweisung)....................................................3 Schillings

Same over 62½ and up to 125 Marks.........................................4 Schillings

From June 15, 1873 (Adoption of the German Postal Rates)

Stamps issued in 1873:
½ Sch ( 2 issues: Mi 6g,h), 1 Sch ( 2 issues: Mi 7c,d), ¼ Sch ( 4 issues: Mi 8a,f,b,c),
¾ Sch ( Mi9) and 1½ Sch (Mi 10.)
Note: These are the quadrilled paper issues (except Mi 8c [never issued]).

Standard Letter........................................................................ 1½ Schillings

Double Letter ..............................................................................3 Schillings

Postal Card. ............................................................................... ½ Schilling

Printed Matter up to 250 gr (per 50g)....................................... ½ Schilling

Same from 250g up to 400g.........................................................4 Schillings

Money Order (Postanweisung)...................................................3 Schillings

Same over 62½ and up to 125 Marks........................................6 Schillings

Registered Letter................................................................... 2¾ Schillings




1875 to 1890—The Farthing-Pfennig Issues


From January 1, 1875 (Germany's new Currency: 1 Mark = 100 Pfennig)

[The related English values: 4 Farthings=1 Pence; 12 Pence=1 Shilling]
Stamps issued in 1875:
1F/1Pf (Mi 11), 2F/2Pf (Mi 12), 3F/3Pf (Mi 13), 1½P/ 10PF (Mi 14a),
3P/25Pf (Mi 15), and 6P/50Pf (Mi 16).

Standard Letter............................................................10 Pfennig = 1½ Pence

Postal Card ....................................................................5 Pfennig = 3 Farthings

Printed Matter...............................................................3 Pfennig = 2½ Farthings

Other Rates unchanged

From July 1, 1875 (Germany joins the Universal Postal Union)

Standard Letter to foreign countries that were
members of the UPU......................................20 Pfennig = 2½ Pence

Stamps issued in 1876-1877:
1876: 2½F/3Pf (Mi 17a) and 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18a).
1877: 2½F/3Pf (Mi 17b)

From July 1, 1879, Acceptance of Heligoland into UPU

Stamps issued from 1879 to 1890:
1879: 1Sh/1Mk (Mi 19a) and 5 Sh/5Mk (Mi 20)
1880: 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18b)
1882: 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18c)
1884: 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18d)
1885: 1½P/ 10PF (Mi 14b) and 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18d)
1887: 1½P/ 10PF (Mi 14c) and 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18f)
1888: 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18g)
1889: 1½P/ 10PF (Mi 14d) and 1Sh/1Mk (Mi 19b)
1890: 3F/5Pf (Mi 13b, [13c not issued]), 1½P/ 10PF (Mi 14e), 6P/50Pf Mi 16b),
 2½P/20Pf (Mi 18h) and 1Sh/1Mk (Mi 19c [not issued].

Standard Letters (domestic and foreign).......................20 Pfennig = 2½ Pence

Postal Cards...................................................................10 Pfennig = 1½ Pence

Printed Matter.................................................................5 Pfennig = 3 Farthings

Other Rates unchanged


		
Catalog Numbering for Michel, Scott et al.
Printings, Remainders and Scarcity
The Michel  6 Varieties
The Michel  8 Varieties
The Schilling Reprints
Table of Colors, Gum and Paper
Color Comparison of Originals and Reprints
Genuine and Imitation Paper
Reprint Data Tables      Forgeries
Reprints on Lemberger Pages
Maps of Heligoland       Heligoland Cancels
Lemberger and Michel Color Chips
Proofers' Signatures
Proofers: Names and Signature Placement
The Examination of Various Stamps
Higher Value Stamps
The Robert Pollard Study
The Wagner Collection

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