Postage Rate Change Unofficial First Day Cover Set - Baltimore Kiosk
A unoffical Baltimore Kiosk First Day Cover was created on July 3, 2002. July 3, 2002 was the first day
that the Baltimore kiosk was activated. The Baltimore kiosk was deactivated days prior to the June 30, 2002 postal rate change
date. The Baltimore kiosk was reactivated on July 3, 2002. A determined collector monitored the kiosk several times a day
to check its availability.
On the afternoon on July 3, 2002, the Baltimore kiosk was found to be reactivated and with larger 10-stamp
sheets. Purchases were made after normal USPS business hours (the local Post Office was closed). Previously made cachets (for
4-stamp sheets) were not usable with the larger stamp sheets.
This determined collector was modestly prepared. New cachets with number 10 envelopes had
to be quickly made. Two USPS facilities were open in the surrounding area until midnight. One in Washington DC and one in
Virginia. Time was short and the collector decided to only make FDC with the Washington DC postmark. The collector's original
plan was to create a FDC with Washington DC postmark and Virginia postmark (a good plan). Unfortunately, time was
the limiting factor.
This collector spent an excessive amount of time making first day purchases (for his collection and
another collector). After two separate visits, the kiosk ran out of sheets. The purchase included three "long sets" (purchase
of each kiosk selection) and several individual purchases. Number 10 envelopes had to be purchased. Unfortunately,
this collectors had a big problem, July 3 was his wife's Birthday. He was going to be late for the dinner reservation. His
understanding wife allowed the dinner reservation (in downtown Baltimore) to be moved back an hour. New cachets
were designed and several were printed.
After dinner, the collector continued making cachets. Time was running out. At 11:00 PM the cachets were
completed. A decesion was made not to attached the sheets to the cachet. It was to be attached at the Post Office (in case
he arrived at the USPS facility late). Another decesion was made to only prepare a single "long set" and several separate
covers due to the time constraint (and number of cachets printed).
The collector arrived at the Washington DC Post Office at 11:40 PM and was not serviced until 11:55PM. Within
the five minutes, the collector (with the help of his wife) attached each individual sheet with archival adhesive to a cachet
and postmarked each cover. The task was completed just in time. Several extra cachets (without a stamp sheets) were also postmarked.
The unoffical Baltimore Kiosk FDC is a unique set. This set consists of 46 pieces. The collector
gave this FDC set to his wife as an extra Birthday present for her efforts (she purchased the envelopes, changed the dinner
reservations, notified guests, drove to Washington DC, parked the car while the collector stood in line, applied the postmark
on each cover, and for being understanding on her Birthday).
The image below is 23c postcard sheet (part of a 50 stamp purchase) FDC. This FDC is unlisted in the
Specialized Catalogue for Neopost Webenabled Stamps, by Cerizet. (Note: This unoffical Baltimore kiosk FDC
set contains the 80c first day which was not at the Hayward kiosk. Identified as the sixth most important Neopost TM