Variant Capital L Examples
Variant L indicates a non-standard arrangement not otherwise defined. If the postmark is a variant L, then no other variant codes are listed in its classification - even if they would otherwise normally apply.
There are occasions when the text or arrangement of the wording in a postmark defies classification. Among these are postmarks which have both "U.S. NAVY" and the FPO address (a combination of -1 and -2 variants). Other postmarks have wording arranged such that the "t" and "u" codes cannot accurately describe them. A few postmarks have been issued with the ship's ZIP code and even hull designation/number, but not the ship's name. The code L after a major type number indicates an unclassifiable arrangement.
The following cancel is classified as Type 2 (L) [S-93]
As you can see, this cancel is a mixture of several variants. It could be a "-1" variant since it has "U.S. Navy" in the dial in addition to the ship's name. It could also be a "-2" variant since it has "FPO" and a ZIP Code in the dial in addition to the ship's name. Since a "-1" variant and a "-2" variant is atypical, this cancel is given the "L" variant instead.
Also of interest, notice that the first "A" in Shenandoah is inverted.
Copyright 2022 Naval Cover Museum