United States - Dead Letter Office Seals

These seals were affixed to letters that ended up at the US Dead Letter Office in Washington, DC that were unable to be delivered, usually due to an incorrect or incomplete address.


Catalog: Scott #OXA4

Date issued: 1892

Printing: Black

Perforation: 12

Inscription: "POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, / Office of First Ass't P. M. General, / DEAD-LETTER OFFICE. / TO THE PERSON ADDRESSED: / Inform your correspondent of the correct name of your / post office. / TO THE POSTMASTER: / If this letter cannot be delivered you will, at the expira- / tion of SEVEN days, stamp the letter with your postmarking / stamp, and send it to the Dead-Letter Office as "Unmail- / able," duly entered on bill (Form 1522 1/2), as required by / Paragraph 6 of Sec. 566 of the Postal Regulations."

Control Number: "5-2807" centered above bottom frame line

Description: Used DLO single (enlarged)



Catalog: Scott #OXA1

Date issued: 1884

Printing: Black

Perforation: 10.5

Inscription: "Post Office Department, / Office of Third Assistant Postmaster General, / DIVISION OF DEAD LETTERS. / TO THE PERSON ADDRESSED: / Inform your correspondent of the correct name of your / post office. / TO THE POSTMASTER: / If this letter cannot be delivered you will, at the expira- / tion of SEVEN days, stamp the letter with your postmarking / stamp, and send it to the Dead Letter Office as "Unmail- / able," as required by Sec. 443, Postal Regulations. / A. D. HAZEN, / Third Assistant P. M. Gen'l."

Control Number: None

Description: 1884 cover from New York to Raleigh, "N.Y.", with first type Dead Letter Office seal affixed to reverse. Blue straightline "MISDIRECTED" and circular violet "DEFICIENCY / IN / ADDRESS / SUPPLIED / BY / DEAD LETTER OFF'E." handstamps on front, along with triangular Washington "DEAD LETTER OFFICE" datestamp applied on back.


Catalog: Scott #OXA6

Date issued: Circa 1898

Printing: Black

Perforation: Hyphen hole perf. 7

Inscription: "POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT, / Office of First Ass't P. M. General, / DEAD-LETTER OFFICE. / TO THE PERSON ADDRESSED: / Inform your correspondent of the correct name of your / post office. / TO THE POSTMASTER: / If this letter cannot be delivered you will, at the expira- / tion of SEVEN days, stamp the letter with your postmarking / stamp, and send it to the Dead-Letter Office as "Unmail- / able," duly entered on bill (Form 1522 1/2), as required by / Paragraph 6 of Sec. 566 of the Postal Regulations."

Control Number: "5-3282" above bottom frame line under "Sec. 566"

Description: 1898 Willard's Hotel corner card cover from Washington, DC to Ogden, "Col(orado)" with straightline violet "MISDIRECTED." and "TAKE OUT" handstamps applied on front. Triangular black "DEAD LETTER OFFICE", of Washington, dated Jul 29, 1898 and brown "DEFICIENCY IN ADDRESS SUPPLIED BY D.L.O." markings on reverse.

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Updated May 25, 2008