F.C. STURTEVANT, IMPERIAL EGG FOOD, HARTFORD, CT
The cover was incorrectly addressed to Mr. F. C. S. Turtevant, Sole Proprietor "Imperial Egg Food", 216 State Street, Hartford Ct., U.S.A. and the reason for the incorrect spelling of the proprietor's name later became obvious. The 3 pale lilac two penny 'Stamp Duty' stamps (a pair and a single) were postmarked with 3 examples of the MELBOURNE/ 15 S/ JE 17/ 90 duplex (Figure 1).
The cover's reverse had 3 postmarks, 2 from New York in transit and one with the Hartford reception mark. The small postmark from New York, top right, was incomplete, but the larger one showed a distinct P/ 8-8-90/ 9-1P/ N.Y. transit, and the third showed a HARTFORD, CONN/ AU 9/ 9 AM/ 1890/ REC'D postmark. There was no information concerning the Melbourne sender (Figure 2).
It was surprisingly easy to identify the Hartford company and the correct name of the proprietor as F.C. Sturtevant, and there were several sources of the Trade Card which depicted the superiority of the U.S. fed fowl "Impl Egg Food Beats the World" over the U.K. "Genesta Fed" fowl. The card had been printed by Chas Hart & Sons, lithographer, 36 Vesey Street, New York (Figure 3).
The Connecticut Experimental Station had analyzed "Imperial Egg Food for poultry", which had claims for being patented in Feb. 24th, 1875 sold in packages of 1 lb. weight for 50 cents per package. "The analysis together (with) a microscopic examination shows that the Egg Food exists essentially of : Ground oyster shells, about 70 per ct., ground bone 15, ground gypsum 5, oxide of iron 2, sand 4, Cayenne pepper 4. It is evident that the use of any and all ingredients of this Egg Food is no new discovery and cannot be patented".
A 23 " x 31" advertising poster also regaled the virtues of Imperial Egg Food, and F.C. Sturtevant was named the sole importer. He was at the same address as used on the cover, namely 216 State Street, Hartford Ct, US (Figure 4).