Tin Can Mail

The Tongan Island of Niuafo'ou had no deep-water harbour, so mail from the island was thrown overboard from ships a mile from the shore.

Wrapped in greaseproof paper and placed in biscuit tins, the mail was collected by swimmers.  Faced with strong currents in shark infested water it could take up to 6 hours to retrieve the dropped mail.

During the 1930s and 40s this became a tourist attraction as cruise line passengers loved to watch the 'natives' collect the mail.  Soon most of the cruise liners made a point of calling at 'Tin Can Island' to watch this spectacle.  You could have your mail covered in cachets to show it had made the journey.13th August 1934

16th November 1937

17th January 1936

26th August 1938

Until next time

All the best

The Buckingham Covers Team

P.S. You can view any of the covers shown above in more detail by clicking on the image

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