Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Burt Kerr Todd

It is just being reported by Seattle Times that Burt Kerr Todd has died. Todd, 81, passed away April 28 at his home in Pennsylvania.

Todd's claim to philatelic fame was that he introduced the postage stamp to the tiny kingdom of Bhutan.

According to the paper,"Retained as an adviser by the Bhutanese royal family, Mr. Todd was asked to help expand the country's economic base. He suggested stamps, and Bhutan issued its first regular postage stamps in 1962."

"Some were printed on silk, others on plastic. Most famous were the 'talking stamps,' small rounds of grooved rubber that could be spun on a turntable. One played the Bhutanese national anthem; another had Mr. Todd giving a history of Bhutan. Perhaps in tribute to his Pittsburgh roots, Mr. Todd also had Bhutanese stamps printed on steel. They had a tendency to rust."

"He once tried to found a small kingdom himself, on a deserted coral reef in the South Pacific. Its entire infrastructure was to be built on postage stamps. His dream was dashed, he later said, after Tongan gunboats blew his island paradise to ruins."

To read the entire article, click here.

For more about Bhutan and its stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM