19 april 2024

Postal historians and postmark collectors are always interested in postal routes and geography in order to write up their collections and even often wishe to show the place on the map, especially as some places can’t be located on present day maps.

Fig. 1

Take for example Neuzen, a name you will even find in postmarks. You will not be able to find it on present day maps such as Google Maps or modern atlases. Ah, you will say than I will look it up in Google Search. Good idea, but to search ‘just’ for Neuzen will not easily help.

Fig. 2: 1917 postcard showing “NEUZEN” cancellation. Also notice the “VELDPOST” (or field post) cancellation. Although the Netherlands were neutral, the army was active, especially in areas close to the borders of the country.

You are hardly able to find the right place with the present name. Many hits on neuzen, but only if you look for the city of Neuzen, will you find it. Neuzen is today known as Terneuzen.

Fig. 3

An other possibility to start is with www.plaatsengids.nl (figure 1). Even though the site is entirely in Dutch, you can see that Neuzen is today’s Terneuzen. You will even find the name Neuzen on the map, but only in 1870.

Fig. 4

With the example of the (military) picture postcard from 1917 (figure 2) it was already easy. However the bridge postmark says ‘Neuzen’, the sender wrote ‘Terneuzen’. But when we want to illustrate Neuzen on the map of 1917 we can have a look at www.topotijdreis.nl (figure 3).

Fig. 5

Here you will find maps from 1815 till present day, starting with the – for us philatelists – interesting map of postal routes of 1810 (figure 4).

Fig. 6

Now we can make a screenshot of Neuzen on the map of 1917 and even in different maps for the same year, on different scales (figures 5-7).

Fig. 7
René Hillesum

René Hillesum

Collector of postal history of Finland and postmarks of Imperial Saint Petersburg.

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