Grandma's picture

Grandma's picture
Grandma's Passport photo

Saturday, September 27, 2014

8 - Southern Pacific - Visa Question - 2 May 1936

Click here to read story from beginning

Story so far: Grandma Cecile has begun planning her trip to visit her relatives back in her home village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslavkia. She has put down her deposit on the ship travel. 

That was a few days ago, April 29. The calendar has turned now to May, and Grandma must have been doing her homework. She must have questioned the man at the train station about the costs of visas for travel. 

Not to be confused with the VISA credit card of today - there were no VISA credit cards back then not until 1958 - Grandma Cecile is asking about the permit to travel in another country for a limited amount of time. Perhaps she asked when she paid her deposit, perhaps she wrote a letter, or maybe called on the telephone. However she asked, by May 2, Albert Noth was dutifully sending her an answer.

A couple of observations. This letter had only three cents  postage on it, but for the visas, Mr. Noth
The envelope - note the simple address
indicated twenty-five cents postage would be due. I'm not sure why the extra would be unless it would come in a larger envelope, or would be a rush mailing or even air mail. Air Mail began in the United States in 1918, so it was an option in 1936. history of air mail

 My other observation is the simple address. No matter how maligned the US Postal Service may be these days, I don't believe they deserve it. They manage to do amazing things for ordinary people every day. This is one example from history. How they can get a letter from one place to the next in a matter of probably one day or maybe two in this case is quite a feat. And for 3 cents....

Here is what Albert Noth wrote:

"Salem, Ore. May 2nd.1936....
Mrs. Cecile Beitel,
Stayton, Ore.

Dear Madam :-

The German Visa will be 50 cts plus 25 cts postage, No visa is required for Czechoslavakia on U.S. passports

A Visa for Poland would cost 4.00 plus postage too and from Chgo 50 cts .

You dont need to send any money for Visa you can pay for this all when you get your ticket, but if you desire a Poland Visa pls write me and I will take care of it for you at once.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Yours truly,
[signature of Albert F. Noth]"
The letter - on a half sheet of paper
One other interesting note. Mr. Noth makes a point of telling Grandma that if she wants that visa for Poland to let him know and he will get it for her. The cost is $4.25 postage included. Later, when Grandma is in the Old Country and heading for her brother's house in Poland she regrets not purchasing her visa at home. Over there she reported that it "almost cost six dollars". Every penny counts! 


Story to be continued...... 
To read Post "9 - What's In  Name?" click here  

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