The Eight-cent Prexie
International surface letter use
The international surface letter rate to UPU countries was eight cents for the first ounce from November 1, 1953 until July 1, 1961.
A cover sent to Tanganyika in 1957.
Territories and possessions used the same surface rates as the mainland from the time we had any such that weren't on the mainland. This letter was sent at the eight cent rate between Samoa and the Ellice Islands in 1954.
A card sent to the American Embassy in London sometime between late 1953 and mid 1961. Note the Department of State cancel. The card was likely carried outside the mails, in a diplomatic pouch.
A letter sent through the APO system would be charged the same rate as if it had been mailed in the United States. This cover was sent between France and Germany in 1958 for eight cents.
The penalty mail designation was only sufficient to send mail within the greater U.S. postal system. This letter, sent to England in 1954, required postage at the regular UPU rate.