Monday, October 13, 2014

A Teacher with a Passion for Stamp Collecting

Reporter Varsha Mohan writes on the New Indian Express website about high school teacher Mathew John who recently displayed his stamp and coin collection at his school.

Varsha writes, "Though Mathew has a wide collection, he takes special pride of the stamps and coins he has from the time of British rule  through the 1950s."

Matthew, who was inspired to collect stamps and coins by his father and grandmother, is quoted as saying,  “These are very valuable and just a glimpse can brief you about the history of the particular country. I feel so happy to be able to educate students through my collection."

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 9:19 AM

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Stamp Chief Replaced

Bill McAllister, Washington correspondent for Linn's Stamp News that "Susan McGowan, a public relations executive who was named head of the United States Postal Service’s stamp program in December 2012, has been replaced..."

According to Bill, "Spokesman Mark Saunders said McGowan was 'not ousted' from her stamp position, but had been detailed to another position in the marketing department. Cindy Tackett, a senior Stamp Services executive, was named McGowan’s interim replacement, Saunders said."

Bill goes on to pen, "There has been considerable turmoil within the Stamp Services office, which controls the stamp program, according to several current and former postal employees.The office also has come under fire from stamp collectors, especially first-day cover collectors, for the slow release of information about upcoming new stamp issues."

Shown above,  Susan McGowan.

To read the entire column, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 9:40 AM

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

5 Reasons Why Your Kid Should Collect Stamps

A tip of the tongs to Gretchen Moody of the Education Department of the American Philatelic Society who tipped me off to an Associated Press story titled "5 Reasons Why Your Kid Should Collect Stamps."

While Gretchen (who is quoted in the article) can probably think of several hundred reasons why  children should collect stamps, these are the 5 that reporter Melissa Rayworth came up with...

By collecting stamps...

1. Kids can develop patience and focus.

2. Kids develop expertise.

3. Kids discover stunning artwork and intricate graphic design.

4. Screen time is minimal, and optional.

5. A stamp collection can be personalized.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more information about children and stamp collecting, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 4:39 PM

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Jim Carrey Gets His Own Stamp

Jay Bigalke writes on the website, "Five funny Canadians are being honored Aug. 29 on new commemorative permanent stamps from Canada Post. The five stamps in the Great Canadian Comedians set pay tribute to Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short and Olivier Guimond."

All are living honorees except for Guimond, who died in 1971 according to Jay.

Jay goes on to say, "The stamp designs pictured with this article are Canada Post publicity images. The stamps were designed by Kosta Tsetsekas, Mike Savage and John Belisle of Signals, a design firm in Vancouver. Canada Post stamp design manager Alain Leduc organized the stamp project."

The stamps come in a booklet of 10. with each stamp repeated twice. A souvenir sheet is also available with all five stamps along with an uncut press sheet of four souvenir sheets.

 To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 11:55 AM

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Underwater Post Offices Honored with New Stamps

Denise McCarty writes on the website, "Underwater post offices of yesterday and today are featured on two recent stamp issues.The Bahamas commemorates the 75th anniversary of the world’s first undersea post office on four stamps issued Aug. 16. Vanuatu pictures its underwater post office, opened a little more than 10 years ago, on an unusually shaped self-adhesive stamp issued July 23."

Shown above, newly issued stamp from the Bahamas honoring the world’s first undersea post office and the pioneering underwater photography work of John Ernest Williamson.

To read her entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 2:36 PM

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Stamp Collectors- No Fans of Pop Culture on Stamps

"Harry Potter, Elvis and Bugs Bunny share one thing in common: Traditional stamp collectors are no fans," writes reporter Marianne Levine of the LA Times.

She goes on to pen, "Some philatelists say the committee that helps the postmaster general pick new stamps is favoring pop celebrities and fictional characters over cultural sites and historical figures, undermining a long tradition.

 Ken Martin, executive director of the American Philatelic Society, a nonprofit stamp-collecting foundation that claims 44,000 members is quoted as saying, ""Harry Potter is a perfect example,"

"Why do you honor a British author's book?" Martin asked. "Wouldn't it be much more appropriate to honor something that reflects our country's heritage, not the product of another country?"

Levine concludes, "The answer, by all accounts, is money. Spider-Man and "Star Wars" stamps vastly outsell those commemorating the Civil War, insects and spiders, and Pacific Coast lighthouses."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 11:48 PM

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Why Stamps?

The Kat Ran Press has  released a new book, Why Stamps? by Ivan Chermayeff. 

As part of its "Essays in Philatelics"series it focuses on the philatelic work of type and graphic designers. Other books in the series include Designing the Mentoring StampNotes on Postage Stamps, Postage Stamps and Philatelic Atrocities.   

According to a company press release,  "A good graphic designer pays attention to small things, and there are few things smaller than stamps. Ivan Chermayeff has been paying attention. For almost fifty years the acclaimed graphic designer has been making collages—and in those collages stamps and mail have played an important role. Envelopes are heads. Stamps are eyes and lips. However, one could be forgiven for never having noticed this, as the whole in Chermayeff's collages is greater than the parts.

"In Why Stamps? Chermayeff calls attention to the parts with a brief essay on postage stamps and a selection of fourteen collages which use stamps and mail to the best possible effect. Also shown are two of Chermayeff's smallest cut-paper collages: Stamps for the USPS and Royal Mail."

For more information, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 9:25 AM

Thursday, May 08, 2014

History of Perforations

Janet Klug writes on the website about the development of perforations on U.S. postage stamps.

According to Janet, "This technology came to the U.S. by way of Ireland, then England: First, a machine patented by Dublin inventor Henry Archer was used on the first perforated stamp (the Penny Red) around 1850. Then, four years later, British printers William and Henry Bemrose patented a rotary machine for separating stamps — a device that cut slots, or 'roulettes,' into the paper rather than holes.

"Meanwhile, in 1851 and 1855, Congress passed legislation that reduced and modified postage rates in the U.S. In just about a decade’s time, stamp use quadrupled. So the U.S. embraced the efficiency of perforating, beginning when two early stamp designers (or engravers) commissioned by the U.S. Post Office® Department purchased the Bemroses’ machine.

"Remarkably, that basic technology was used all the way up until the 1990s, when perfs finally gave way to die-cut stamps, held together only by their self-adhesive backing."

To read her entire article, click here.

Shown above, 1976 Mexican stamp showing a partial perforation gauge.
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posted by Don Schilling at 10:02 AM

Friday, May 02, 2014

"Mona Lisa of the Stamp World" To Be Auctioned

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posted by Don Schilling at 1:09 AM

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stephen Colbert Comments on Harvey Milk Stamp

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posted by Don Schilling at 8:12 AM

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Match Factory to Lease Space to Microdistillary

Bellefonte, PA's Centre Daily Times reports space has been leased to Big Spring Spirits at the Match Factory - home of the American Philatelic Society (APS).

According to the article by Britney Milazzo, "...the microdistillery will make two kinds of whiskeys — a bourbon and a rye — a rum, vodka and gin. Corn, wheat and barley will come from local farms..."

APS Executive Director Ken Martin is quoted in the article as saying, "“We think this is going to be a good thing for the Match Factory. Any time we can see a new business that encourages economic growth, we see that as a good sign for Bellefonte.”

American Philatelic Society purchased the Match Factory in 2002.  Since then it has actively sought businesses to occupy vacant space and now has 14 tenants.

The Big Spring Spirit renovation should begin at the end of May. Progress can be viewed on a webcam set up by the company at

For more on this story, click here.

Read more here:

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Free U.S. Postal History Booklet

Want to learn more about the postal history of the United States?

A free copy of The United States Postal Service - An American History, 1775 to 2006 is available for download by clicking here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

20 Interesting Facts About The U.S. Post Office

Ariane Lange posted on the BuzzFeed website 20 Facts That Will Shatter Your Perception Of The U.S. Postal Service.

Among these are...

- Although mail was delivered directly to individual houses starting in 1863, mailboxes or slots weren’t required everywhere until 1923. Mail carriers just had to wait at your door until you answered it!
- Mail took so long to travel west in the mid-19th century that Los Angeles didn’t find out California had become a state of the Union until six weeks after the fact.

[Editor's Note: California always has been and always will be a 'state of mind.']

For more interesting facts, click here

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jimi Hendrix To Be Honored on U.S. Postage Stamp

A stamp featuring music icon Jimi Hendrix will be issued March 13 in Austin, Texas according to an article  by Jay Bigalke that appeared in Linn's Stamp News.

 Jay pens, "The pane of 16 stamps will look like previous Music Icons issues, but the arrangement of the individual stamps is different. A block of four of the Hendrix stamp, cropped from a full pane, is shown here to display the unusual “kaleidoscope” layout. Four such blocks comprise the pane, with pane selvage and backing that resembles a 45rpm record."

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Friday, February 07, 2014

USPS Modifies Stamp Selection Criteria

Bill McAllister, Linn's Stamp News' Washington correspondent, reports, the 12 stamp subject selection criteria used by the United States Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee has been reduced to 11.

"The newest version of the criteria drops the reference that stamp subjects will not be considered for 50 years after a subject has been honored," According to McAllister.

Bill goes on to say, "The newest version also avoids any mention of living people being placed on U.S. stamps or how long an individual must be dead before they can be placed on a U.S. stamp."

To read the entire article and for a list of the new criteria, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM