Wien Offices 71 and 73

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Offices 71 and 73, both in Bezirk IX, have a complex and involved relationship. While it is documented piecemeal elsewhere, it may be useful to have it collected together.

Office 71 was opened at nr 6, Lazarettgasse on 1 Nov 1886 as a normal Post Office called "WIEN LAZARETTEGASSE"; it also offered pneumatic services for which it was named "K. K. Pneumatische Station XVI". Under the Grand Renumbering of 1892 it became "9/2 WIEN 71", and in 1966 it became "WIEN 1095".

Above is a typical pneumatic card sent from Wien 71 to Taborstrasse on 9 July 1891

Office 73 wasn’t a Post Office but a Telegraphstelle, located at the (old) Allgemeines Krankenhaus at Nr 4, Alserstrasse. In 1892 it remained thus; but by 1910 had begun to function also as a letter-handling office – Stohl records cancels "9/3 WIEN 73" from 1910 to 1919.

The 1932 Dienstanweisung part 2 page 23 gives the address of Wien 73 as nr 6, Lazarettgasse and does not mention Wien 71 at all.

Hajek records in Appendix 2 for 1931, "Umbennung der Rhrp.St W71 in W73", which means that "the pneumatic service of Office W71 was renamed as Office 73". It seems that the Alserstrasse site was abandoned then, the functions of W73 now operating from Lazarettgasse. W73 closed with the rest in 1956.

This map (from the the Vienna City Street Map, which at this scale gives the house numbers) shows the area just behind the Votivkirche where the offices were. The parallel lines are the tram routes.

When Wien 73 moved to Lazarettgasse, it used an unusual cancel on outgoing pneumatic mail – perhaps to console the staff. The canceller was made on 26.10.1931. Legible specimens are rare, but the wording is:
TELEGR. AMT 73 WIEN IX/2 R/a 25.VIII.32.13- DIENSTSTELLE DES P.A.71 [We have listed it as 'type X10'.]

This item is on official business (cachet from the Telephone Administration Works Dept!), so travels free. It started at Wien 73 at Lazarettgasse who applied their special cancel and a red routing mark 28 for Nordbahnhof.

This item carries the correct fee, 10 Rpf, the reduced-rate for a foreign postcard to Czechoslovakia on 12 Oct 1938; plus another 10 Rpf for pneumatic carriage. (The sender chose not to pay a further 50 Rpf for express delivery on arrival!) It was cancelled at Office 72 (Alsergrund III) then passed to Wien 73 at Lazarettgasse who applied their special cancel and a red routing mark 1 for Centrale, who would have forwarded it to Brno by train.

Local Postcard of 22.11.1946 from 3 Wien 45 at 6pm. Directed to Station 73, which at that date operated from the premises of Office 71. Apparently its journey stopped at Station 66 (Porzellangasse), the station before 73: see pipe map below. 66 cancelled it at 5.50pm (so one of the time slugs is in error!). Card with 55G adhesives: 5G postcard rate + 10G Surcharge for Rohrpost + 40G Express rate. The payment of the surcharge plus the use of the Rohrpost und Eilbote label would (or should) have ensured expedited forwarding by the pneumatic system – which it would probably have received anyway – as well as delivery by messenger.

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