Ai Li-shan


On September 10, 1967 the Directorate General of Posts issued a formula letter sheet for domestic mail.  At the time of issue the domestic rate was NT$1.00  This rate was effective from September 1, 1965 until July 1, 1975 when the rate was raised to NY$2.00 per 20g.


There were restrictions on the weight, only that additional postage had to be added when the total weight exceed the 20g.  This letter sheet could contain pictures, additional sheets of paper etc.  When folded it was similar to an envelope.  Additional services could also be added, such as prompt delivery (an additional NT$1.50), or even registered services.  Prompt delivery service usage is rather common, but so far I have not found usage with the registered service.  I would suspect that with proper payment of postage and marking out the "Domestic" on the letter sheet, it could be sent overseas.


At the time of issue, there was no additional charge for the sheet itself, only the actual postage charge.  This also applied to postal cards and envelopes.  However, with the worldwide shortage of paper in 1973, and the rapid increase in the price of paper, a surcharge was imposed in February 1973.  The surcharge began with 10c per postal card and 20c per envelope.  This surcharge did not apply to letter sheets.  This rate was reduced to zero for postal cards and increased to 50c for envelopes, which is still in effect.  All stocks on hand received the surcharge, with new printings having the surcharge printed on the item.  Those stocks in the hand of post offices were locally hand stamped with the surcharge. The study of these surcharges are a separate matter.


Date of issue:  September 10, 1967                              Size:  Folded 114 x 162 mm

Paper:  80 lb. Simili (smooth white paper)                              * Unfolded - 226 x 366 mm

Paper thickness:  .0046 -0046 inches                            Printing:  Typographed

Printer: Sheng Rong Printing  Co.                                             This printer is listed by Mr. Lin in Reference 2. The post office new issue bulletin (in English) did not list the printer.


* Never issued unfolded.  No unfolded copies are known.


Figure 1 is the letter sheet, with translations of the inscriptions.  Figure 1a is the reverse.



Domestic letter sheet













(right to left)

Country first, People first





Additional postage required over 20g



Please open this side





                                                                     Fig. 1     



"YU" Post Office emblem


Republic of China

  September 1969












114 x 162 mm



1.  Please use ink.  Write clearly and neatly.

2. Please write address on the front right side.  Please write name on the front middle.

3.  Please use small characters for the return address on the bottom front, left side or back side.



                                                                  Fig. 1a


 Effective March 20, 1970 postal zone blocks were added to the letter sheet.  This was done by overprinting existing stock, not additional printing of the basic sheet.  (see figure 2 for a used example)  Figure 3 is an example of a letter sheet used for prompt delivery mail.  Please note the additional postage of NT$1.50 to pay for the extra service (total of 2.50 required).







                                Figure 2                                                       Figure 3



                                                                        Figure 4


Figure 4 is an example of the letter sheet without the stamp.  Since the stamps were applied by hand, it is possible to miss a sheet.  In this example it was mailed from Pankiao December 7, 1969 to Taipei.  A postage due (T) was hand stamped on the lower left.  Since the sheet was not available without a stamp, a postage paid chop was applied by the mailing post office.  Probably the postage due was applied in Taipei, before they noticed the postage paid.  You will note the "postage paid" had been marked out.  This is the only known example of the sheet without a postage stamp.



                                                               Figure 5


Figure 5 is an example of the letter sheet with a hand stamped "Customer Service, Chu Kwang".  This letter sheet was sold aboard the Chu Kwang  express train that ran between Taipei and Kaohsiung.  In the 1960s this was the fastest and most up to date of the trains.  The sheet was sold at the NT$1 rate.  The completed sheet could be given to the employee that walked the isles (providing lunch, hot tea etc).  Based on the destination, it would be mailed at the nest stop to catch a train North, or kept for delivery at a further destination.  The express train stopped at Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Changhwa, Chiayi, Tainan and Kaohsiung..  The only example I have is from a photo copy as figure 5.  A used copy or mint for that matter is considered scarce.


During the study of this sheet, I was fortunate in finding a new die that has not been reported.

It consists of entirely different fonts being used for the bottom characters and those under the indicia.  I have pointed out the easiest characters to identify the different dies, Figure 7A and B.  The characters on the back appear to be the same.  Figure 6 is the new letter sheet, it was mailed from Pingtung on September 12, 1967 to Taipei, only two days after the first day of issue.  This means that copies could very well be found with a first day cancel.  However, keep in mind this is the only copy found to date.  (I have checked perhaps 30 copies over the years).



       Normal Die                         New Die


                             Figure 7A 



Top row of characters, New Die


Bottom row of characters, normal die


                            Figure 7B



                               Figure 6


Figure 7A  Top inscriptions (new one at top)



Figure 7B  Bottom inscriptions (new one at top)


Up to this point, we have been discussing the wide spacing (space between the bottom two inscriptions).  The wide spacing is the first printed, with the narrow spacing being released later.  The date of issue of the narrow spacing is unknown - the earliest date I have confirmed is   September 6, 1968.  Figure 8 is an example of the narrow spacing, with prompt delivery service paid. In Figure 8A and 8B the differences between wide and narrow spacing are shown. Figure 9 is the narrow spacing with a first day cancel for the postal zone blocks, March 20, 1970.



            Figure 8A                                          16 mm



            Figure 8B                                           8.5 mm




                               Figure 8                                                                    Figure 9





More research is needed to determine the source of the new die, wide spacing and the earliest day of usage.  Also the earliest date of usage on the narrow spacing is not known.


                                                Mint  Used   FDC   Specimen


Wide spacing Die A                   X      X        X           -

  with zone blocks                       X     X         X           -

      a.  Chu Kwang Train              X     O          -           -

Wide spacing Die B (new die)    O     X         -            -

  with zone blocks                          -       -         -            -

Narrow spacing                             X     X         -            -

  with zone blocks                        X     X        X              -


 X= Confirmed

O= Unconfirmed

- = Probably does not exist



1.  Alexander, Donald R. Postal Stationery of Taiwan, Republic of China. Published 1993. See page 343, catalog number FLSD-17.  (Note:  Only the wide spacing was listed).


2.  Chang-Long Lin, Postal Letter Sheets of the Republic of China (1948-2001), published April 29, 2002.  See page 92, catalog number DR1 . (Note, both the wide and narrow spacing listed).