Ai Li-Shan


It is not often that we find such a challenge as collecting the formula envelopes issued by the Post Office in Taiwan.  Those of us that pursue this avenue of collecting are always faced with the daunting challenge of what was issued - and when!  Unlike the postal stationery with the printed indicia, the formula items do not have the issue announced in advance, nor is the quantity available.  It is only by checking at the post offices does one realize a new issue is available.  Generally speaking, since 1960 there has been a monthly or bi-monthly issues of the domestic formula envelopes.  The formula airmail envelopes are printed perhaps every 4 months.  This is of course a guess!  The date or rather the  year and month of printing are indicated on most of the  envelopes.  It should be noted that this is the year and month of printing, not when they are available in the post offices.  As orders were received in the supply department, shipments were made.  It is reasonable to assume that the larger post offices would have a greater turn over of stock and thus more likely to have the later issues.


In July 1970 (imprint of  59.7) there were printed at least 6 different designs/slogans.  This is unusual, since usually the number is one or two.  We will discuss one of these designs that has turned out to be most elusive to find.  Figure 1 and 2 is the standard envelope issued.


                     figure 1                                                           figure 1a                                            figure 1 b back flap

                                                                          back with postal zone numbers



This same envelope has also been issued with the "Open", and perforated circle in the upper left corner as figure 2 and 2a.  The back flap, figure 2c has the logo and patent number of  52231 in black


                                      figure 2b


                                      figure 2a


                          figure 2


This innovation to facilitate the opening of the envelope was only on this domestic envelope.  It is interesting to note that I have perhaps gone through more than 1,200 of the 59.7 issued envelopes and only found 9 of the "open" envelopes.  To add to the mystery of this envelope is the fact all of the six copies found were used in 1972!  All listed below were from different senders to Taipei.


                                                            1. 1972.1.31 from Kingmei (Taipei)

                                                            2. 1972.2.2   from Taichung

                                                            3. 1972.2.23 from Taipei

                                                            4. 1972.2.23 from Taipei Branch 36

                                                            5. 1972.2.23 from Taipei

                                                            6. 1972.2.24 from Tainan Branch 4

                                                            7. 1972.2.25 from Towliu (Yunlin)

                                                            8. 1972.5.11 from Akang (Kaohsiung)

                                                            9. 1972.7.24 from Kaohsiung


If indeed they were printed in July 1970 - when were they actually released?  Until this summer, I never gave much thought to the matter.  At this time I found an airmail envelope that had not been seen before.  I was fortunate in being the high bidder for two copies of this previously unknown (at least unknown to me !) envelope. 



     figure 3c perforated circle



 figure 3b lower left corner cachet




figure 3d upper left corner - back of




                                       top figure 3, bottom figure 3a                   


Figure 3 and 3a is the front and back of the envelope mailed July 12, 1972 to Switzerland.  The sender was Mr. A. S. Pan, the Director of the Supply Department, Directorate General of Posts.   Figure 3b translates to - Asian Oceanic Postal Union Executive Committee Session November 8-15, 1971.


I have not seen an unused, or other postally used copies of the airmail envelope.  I suspect the envelope was prepared and placed in a packet of material given to the various delegates.  Probably for the purpose of them writing back home.  However, this may or not be true.  No "Open" airmail envelope has been found without the cachet.  Since the two used copies was from Mr. Pan, it is probable that this was from a small number of remainders in the Supply Department.


If anyone has any additional information on these two elusive envelopes, please advise the editor.