Postal service organization in Finland 1881-1924


This collection presents the development of the postal service organization in Finland through the autonomous Russian Grand Duchy, the russifying era, the World War I, the inde­pen­dence war until the first years of independence.

The presentation is based on the Postal Regu­lation and the Management Order of 1881 which came into practice on the 1st of July, 1881. Addi­tional orders are published in the Imperial Rules and Declarations and also in the circular letters and in the general letters of the Postal Service. This presentation covers the validity time of the Postal Regulation of 1881: 1st of July 1881 - 1st of July 1924, when the next Postal Regulation was published.

The postal arrangements are presented using the postal documents, focusing in the markings on them. The markings have been made either for the sender or for the addressee and they may have been written either on the postal matter itself or on the related documents, such as receipts.

The exhibit plan

Different postal items
Letter ♦ Local letter ♦ Postcard ♦ Printed matter ♦ Parcel ♦ Postal money order ♦ Newspapers and magazines ♦ Cash on delivery

Additional services
Registration ♦ Insured postal items ♦ Express delivery ♦ Return receipt card ♦ Certificate of receipt ♦ Enquiry

Forbidden contents ♦ Writing of the address ♦ Distribution of the postal items ♦ Non-delivered postal items ♦ Franking and postage stamps ♦ The right to send mail free of charge ♦ Cancellation ♦ Getting lost or damaged ♦ The post offices

Under martial law
War censorship ♦ Field post and prisoners of war mail ♦ Postal service in red Finland

Condition and rarity

The material of the collection may seem to be quite ordinary when glanced over quickly, but in such a case the quality of the material compared to the average will be neglected. Lots of effort has been put out to select the items, and the objects represent the highest quality available. When taking into consideration the exceptional conditions of the era, all the items are at least unusual. There are also quite a rarities in the collection, of which the following items deserve to be especially mentioned:
Several parcels are combined with one parcel card ♦ An insured letter sealed with three seals ♦ A postal money order, which has been paid only after the inspection of the Finnish Postal Service Accounting Division ♦ A letter opened by the rights of the Postal Regulation ♦ A request for the change of address ♦ An insured letter, from which the money inside has been stolen ♦ A cash on delivery of Red Finland

Specification of rareness

The specification of rareness is based on the registers of detected postal items. For example the register created by Mr. Ari Muhonen is used in the case of the model Saarinen stamps (M1917). In this register there are around 5200 postal items from 66 different exhibition collections.

Personal studies

There has been substantial personal archive studies to create this collection. The results of the studies has been published by the maker of the collection in his books “Domestic Postal Organization in Finland”, 2004; ”Finnish foreign letterpost 1875-1943”, 2010; and ”The parcel post from Finland to abroad 1888-1942, rates and main regulations”, 2013; published by Joutjärven Postimerkkikerho ry and printed in Espoo, Finland.

Other sources

Information about different post offices is found in the book “Suomen postitoimipaikat 1638-1985” (“Post offices of Finland 1638-1985”), published by the Philatelic Federation of Finland and printed in Vammala, Finland, 1988.