— By Larry Mann
PIPEX 2008 is at Seattle Center, on the site of the 1962 Seattle
World’s Fair. Although it was held 46 years ago, many buildings from
the fair— including the Space Needle— still exist and are reminders of
this event. Many of us attending PIPEX are probably old enough to re-member—
and may have attended— this fair.
It is safe to say that none of us are old enough to remember Seattle’s
first world’s fair in 1909. Next year marks the centennial of this fair, the
Alaska- Yukon- Pacific Exposition ( AYP), which celebrated Seattle’s
ties to Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, developed during the 1897- 98
Alaska Gold Rush, when Seattle prospered as a source of supply and
transport for miners. The exposition also celebrated the city’s ambitions
as a port with connections throughout the Pacific region.
The exposition was held from June 1 to October 16, 1909, with
buildings spread over today’s University of Washington campus. Some
of these buildings still survive as a permanent part of the campus.
A two- cent red commemorative was issued to celebrate the fair. It
pictures William H. Seward, the US Secretary of State who negotiated
the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867.
The stamp came in two types, a perforated 12 version issued on
opening day, and an imperforated version issued 12 days later on June
13. The imperforate version was issued to allow private companies to
apply their own coil perforations for use in vending machines.
Alaska- Yukon- Pacific Exposition
PIPEX 2008 Page 19
Several different cancellations celebrated the fair. The above ma-chine
cancel was used during 1908- 09 to advertise the fair. It was pro-duced
by the International Postal Supply Company, who created similar
cancels to advertise the 1904 St. Louis, 1905 Portland, and 1915 San
Francisco world’s fairs.
The “ 1” in the Seattle cancel identifies the number of the machine. It
is fairly common, although a nice item when used on an AYP com-memorative.
The less common “ EXPOSITION STATION” machine cancel is
shown above. It was used throughout the fair at the exposition post of-fice.
This is also an International cancel, similar in type to cancels used
in many US cities during the 1900- 20 period. The “ D” in the cancel was
designed to identify the source of mail: “ D” for mail deposited at a post
A rare American Postal Machines Company flag cancel was also
used at the fair. Sample impressions on unstamped cards were given to
visitors. Only two properly used examples are known, both dated June
23, 1909; one reportedly sold at auction for $ 9,000 in 2002.
Many different AYP postcards were also issued by private compa-nies,
advertising the fair and showing the many different buildings on
Northwest Federation of Stamp Clubs
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.