TPO -> TPOs of Estonia

TPOs of Estonia

By Tony Goodbody

The study of Estonian TPOs is not a complicated subject. Apart from some of the provisional marks (very scarce) employed in the aftermath of World War I, there were no more than about 60 different postmarks from 30 routes.

This entry deals with Estonian TPO marks used during the years of independence between the wars and, briefly, with the period during the Russian occupation following World War II.

Early Estonian TPO datestamps were oval in shape, reminiscent of the Russian marks which they replaced. Indeed some of them are thought to have been adapted from obsolete Russian datestamps.

Figure 1 shows the oval POSTVAGUN datestamp from the NARVA-TALLINN route in 1923, while figure 2 shows a later curiously shaped mark from the HAAPSALU - TALLINN route in 1933.

Fig. 1: Oval POSTVAGUN TPO mark Fig. 2: later POSTVAGUN TPO mark
Figure 1 Figure 2

A later development is illustrated in figure 3 which includes the name of the country.

Not all Estonian TPO marks were oval. Circular marks were used by a minority of routes at first, although towards the end of the independence era rather more routes employed circular cancellers. Figure 4 shows a circular postmark from the T√úRI - TAMSALU route.

Fig. 3: oval PV. (POSTVAGUN) with Estonia in the TPO mark   Fig. 4: circular P.V. & Estonia TPO mark
Figure 3 Figure 4

During the period of Russian dominance the postmarks were essentially Russian. Figure 5 shows a postmark from the Moscow-Tallinn route, inscribed in Latin characters, when, following World War II, Estonia was a satellite of Russia.

Fig. 5: circular PV TPO mark from Russian period - MOSKVA - TALLINN route
Figure 5



1. Ojaste, E. & Osi, H. 'Railway TPOs and Mail Transport on the Estonian Railways, 1918-1940.' Illustrated, b/w, 11pp.
2. TPO Journal: Vol. 38, No.3, pp56-66. 1984. Updated and reprinted from Eesti Filatelist. Detailed and comprehensive work.
3. Hurt, V. 'Estonian Railway Mail and Postmarks. Russian Fore-Runners, 1870-1918.' Illustrated, b/w, 6pp.
4. TPO: Vol. 38, No.4, pp86-91, 1984. Complementary to the work by Ojaste & Osi, published in the previous number.
5. Ojaste, E. 'TPO Routes, Services and Cancellations in Estonia during German Occupation, 1942-1944.' Illustrated, b/w, 4pp.
6. TPO: Vol. 39, No.2, pp40-43, 1985. Complements the articles in Vol. 38 Nos. 3 & 4.

The Filatelistengroep "Het Baltische Gebied" (Philatelists Group "The Baltic Area") is a group of collectors of the stamps, cancels and postal history of the Baltic states.

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