Royal Reels: Gambling


This cover has a ‘Packet Boat’ handstamp as well as a HONOLULU/ MAR 7/ 8 30 AM/ HAWAII cancel in a circle with the year date shown separately as 1925 as well as a large 2 in a barred ellipsoid, cancelling a pale dull blue 3d KGV head Harrison plate die I Australian stamp. It was addressed to Mr. E.M. Ehrhorn, Chief of the Division of Plant Inspection, P.O. Box 2520, Honolulu, Hawaii (Figure 1).

There is no arrival stamp on the reverse in Honolulu, but the flap is adorned with the sender’s company name in a red double-ringed oval THE COLONIAL SUGAR REFINING COMPANY LIMITED/ SYDNEY (Figure 2).

Another cover with 2 copies of the red 1½d KGV head is cancelled with a distinctly different cancel HONOLULU/ APR 26/ 9 AM (with inverted time plug)/ 1924/ PAQUET BOAT and the cover is addressed to Mr. E.M. Ehrhorn, Board of Commissioners of Agriculture, Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S. Territory. This pre-dates the issue date in Brusden White’s KGV 2001 catalogue by five days. The reverse was not seen (Figures 3 & 4).

Safeguarding Hawaii against the entry of dangerous insect pests was the important duty of Edward M. Ehrhorn, chief of the division of plant inspection for the Board of Agriculture and Forestry. He was an expert entomologist and horticulturist, with a wide experience in his profession on the U.S. mainland. He came to Hawaii in 1909 to a position of superintendent of entomology and was then named to plant inspection in 1916. He was in charge of modern laboratories, incinerator and plant inspection in the Territory of Hawaii.

Edward was born in San Francisco on January 24, 1862, the son of Adolphus and Louisa Marie Ehrhorn, and he went to Germany as a child receiving his education in German schools from 1871 to 1878, followed by one year in Switzerland and then entered Brighton College in England. He took special courses in entomology at Stanford University, California in 1891. He then was employed in California as an entomologist, quarantine officer and horticulture commissioner from 1892 until 1904 in Santa Clara county, and thence as deputy state of California commissioner of horticulture and horticultural quarantine from 1904 to 1909. He then went to Hawaii and in addition to his main duties, he was a collaborator of the Federal Horticultural Board and the Biological Survey at Washington, D.C.

He was a member of numerous scientific societies and he gave more than 30 years service to the Territorial Board of Agriculture and Forestry. When he died in Honolulu at the age of 79, he was survived by his wife, two brothers and three sisters. His picture is shown in Figure 5.

Whereas the straight- line ‘Packet Boat’ cancels of several types are well documented , I have not yet obtained any information concerning the cancel displayed in Figures 3 & 4. The Colonial Sugar Refining Co. (CSR) in Sydney (Figure 2) would have been very interested in the work of entomologist Edward Ehrhorn, because of his expertise, in regards to the control of diseases of sugar cane plantations in their Richmond River, N.S.W. as well as in their plantations in Fiji. For information about the CSR Company see Colonial Sugar Co., Rewa River, Fiji, listed under ‘Islands’ and ‘Business’.

I am indebted to Joan Hori, Hawaiian Collection, University of Hawaii at Manoa Library, and Jean Ehrhorn, Retired Associate University Librarian, University of Hawaiian Library, for details about E.M. Ehrhorn.

Addendum:  The same day as Scott, a collector of Hawaiian postmarks identified Figures 3/4 as being a variant of Hoskings # 795 (a variant because of the 4-figure year date), another example of the ‘true’ #795 turned up with a 2-figure year date, HONOLULU HAWAII/ FEB O6/ 9 AM/ 29/ PAQUET BOAT (Figure 6).

Categories: Islands, Postmarks, Science