Monday, July 31, 2006

Pricing in Proportion

According to the Daily Mail, consumer groups are warning that "the biggest shake-up in Britain's postal service for more than 165 years has the makings of a mega-disaster."

Beginning August 21, new pricing rules go into effect regarding the size and thickness - not just the weight - of letters, oversize greeting cards and parcels.

The paper goes on to say, "But experts are warning that hardly anybody knows about the radical shake-up which they believe is 'as big as decimalisation' which took place in 1971."

"The consumer watchdog Postwatch fears the country's 14,400 post office will be hit by massive queues from people who are left confused by the changes."

"This week the Royal Mail will begin the biggest-ever mailout with letters about the new 'Pricing in Proportion' being sent UK's 27 million addresses."

Norvic Philatelics reports on their Website that new Large Letter 1st and 2nd class definitive stamps will be issued August 1, and 1st and 2nd Class definitives for standard letters will be redesigned with a new larger service indicator which are shown above.

For more on this story, click here.

For more on the pricing changes, stamps and special postmarks, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Outside the mailbox stamp ideas

UK's Stamp Magazine reports there have been some intriguing suggestions for next year's Royal Mail stamps.

The Royal Society of Arts Design Directions competition has had a postage stamp section for nearly 30 years. This year it asked for designs on two subjects: 'The 150th Anniversary of the Science Museum' and 'Beside the Seaside'.

One suggestion was interactive stamps which could be printed on special pH-testing paper, to check the acidity or alkalinity of rainwater. Another idea was for human body stamp has a layer of ink which can be scratched off the image to reveal internal organs.

It was also proposed to have double-sided seaside stamps, to represent the complicated relationship the British have with seaside holidays. Each has a 'heaven' side in colour and a 'hell' side in black and white, and is gummed on both sides so you can choose which to use.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 29, 2006

President for a day

Shown above, in an official USPS photograph, is Postmaster General Jack Potter welcoming “President Sterling Watson” to USPS Headquarters. Watson,11, arrived in a Presidential limosine and was escorted by Secret Service agents.

Watson had made a request to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is dedicated to helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases, to be president for a day. According to the Pentagram, the young man,who is from Texas, has T-Cell Lymphoma.

During his visit Potter presented Watson with framed stamp art featuring the White House. Watson also took a ride in one of the Postal Service’s new hydrogen-powered minivans.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Friday, July 28, 2006

Cinderella stamp club

Founded in 1959 and based in the UK, the Cinderella Stamp Club is an association of philatelists, amateur and professional, whose interests lie in local stamps, telegraph stamps, railway stamps, revenues, fiscals, forgeries, bogus and phantom issues, Christmas, Red Cross, TB and other charity seals, registration labels, advertisement and exhibition labels and many other items — all of which are the so-called “Cinderellas of Philately."

The whole field of cinderellas offers many opportunities for the collector. The major stamp catalogues do not list the majority of cinderella issues and those that do usually confine them to the “back of the book”. There is no “cinderella catalogue” covering all aspects, but there are an ever increasing number of specialist catalogues available, many of which have been compiled and published by Cinderella Stamp Club members.

To learn more about the group. click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 27, 2006

American Plate Number Single Society

The American Plate Number Single Society (APNSS) is a volunteer-run association of stamp collectors organized to promote interest in plate number singles and other marginal markings.

Some APNSS members also collect other marginal markings, such as singles with ZIP, copyright, and pane position markings, logos, siderographers' or plate finishers' initials, TOP markings, denomination aids and other markings.

The APNSS was formally organized in 1976, although it traces its beginnings to 1952. It originally got its start as an organization for collectors of postally used plate number singles. APNSS joined the APS as Affiliate #178 in 1988.

Beginning with rotary press stamp printings in the 1930s, plate numbers were generally printed in the corner of each pane. Plate number 22206 appears in the selvage of the 50¢ Taft stamp from an upper left pane, shown above. Identical stamps from the upper right, lower left and lower right panes would make up a complete matched set of all positions for this issue.

To learn more about the group, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More on Azeezaly Jaffer

According to an Associated Press report appearing in the Washington Post yesterday, Azeezaly Jaffer, head of USPS public affairs and long time head of the stamps section, resigned on June 30th (see my post of July 3) after a report accused him of poor judgment if not outright misconduct.

According to AP, "A Postal Inspection Service report dated June 19 includes accusations of Jaffer running up an excessive $8,252 hotel bill at a three-day event in Washington, of bypassing the Postal Service travel agency in order to obtain travel promotional benefits and spending extravagantly on meals and drinks."

The paper went on to say, "The report also included allegations of excessive drinking, using crass language in mixed company and commenting on the appearance of female co-workers."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Free topical collecting course available

The American Topical Association (ATA) is the largest philatelic organization in the world devoted to collecting stamps by subject matter rather than country. It has a free on-line course for those interested in learning more about thematic/topical collecting.

Established in 1949, the ATA currently serves members in over 90 countries. ATA publishes Topical Time, its monthly magazine and offers a variety of slide/DVD programs on different topics, as well as checklists of philatelic material organized by topics.

To learn more about topical collecting and take a free on-line course by Dick Sine, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 24, 2006

Hit Parade

In Hit Parade, a new mystery by Lawrence Block, professional hit man and ardent philatelist John Keller 'cancels' his victims while contemplating retirement.

With dry wit, Block tracks the pursuits of the morally ambiguous Keller, who hunts rare, pricey stamps for his extensive collection when he's not "taking care of business."

This is Block's third book about the New York-based killer-for-hire.

According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, Block is a stamp collector.

For more information on the book, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Richard Byrne -philatelic woodcarver

According to the Artist Asylum website, the APS recognized Richard Byrne in 2003 as one of only two known “philatelic woodcarvers” in the world, and the only one which was active at that time.

After retiring from the Postal Service in 1992 with 31 years of service, Bryne relocated to Wisconsin where he began a second career in woodcarving. A visit to the National Postal Museum in 1995 inspired him to begin carving famous postage stamps in large-scale high relief.

The first major project—the Commemorative Series, 1901—consisted of six stamp honoring advances in business, commerce, and transportation made in the 19th Century.

Known as the “Pan Americans” after the 1901 exhibition in Buffalo, New York, the carvings have been on exhibit at the Headquarters of the American Philatelic Society (APS) since January, 2002.

Bryne also had a booth at Washington 2006 where he worked on and displayed some of his unbelievably detailed works of art.

Sixteen of his carvings (including the one shown above) are being auctioned on-line by Regency Superior. Web bidding ends on Saturday Aug 26, 2006 at 5:00 pm CST. To view them, click here.

For more on Bryne himself, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Comic book "Super Heroes" stamps

According to The Fort Wayne, Indiana News-Sentinel the new Super Heroes stamps came about after Carl Herrman, an art director with the Postal Service, pitched the idea to his superiors. It did not originate with the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee.

""I just thought they would be very colorful and just fun to do," said Herrman, who also designed the 1995 Comic Strip Classics sheet (Scott 3000).

"The idea at first was to highlight superheroes from multiple comic-book publishers, but legal and other issues led to the decision to go with one company. So we started with DC."

According to the paper, "Herrman had planned to focus on the early days of DC's heroes, but he was convinced by the company to include some more current images, such as superstar artist Jim Lee's version of Batman."

Herrman wouldn't comment on whether more DC stamps - or stamps featuring heroes from DC's chief rival, Marvel - are in the works.

Shown above in a USPS photo taken at the first day of issue ceremonies at the 2006 Comic-Con International in San Diego on Thursday: (left to right) Stamp Services Executive Director David Failor, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, DC Comics Publisher and President Paul Levitz, dedicating official USPS Judicial Officer William Campbell, Comic-Con Public Relations and Marketing Director David Glanzer and Super Heroes Stamp Art Director Carl Herrman.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 21, 2006

Inquiring minds want to know

The Rockford Register Star in Rockford, Ill. wants to know, "Who out there still uses stamps?"

"Do you stand in line at the post office trying to decide what stamps to buy? Do you prefer comic books characters on your stamps, or would you rather your mail carry a stamp trumpeting Black History Month?"

If you’re a stamp collector or simply interested in what you put in the upper right corner of your letters, let them know right away. E-mail GO columnist Georgette Braun at or fax her at 815-987-1365 before noon Monday, July 24.

Include your name, age, city you live in and what you do for a living. Include a daytime phone number where you may be reached. The number won’t be published. And tell a bit about your stamp buying or collecting experiences.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Maori stamps released by mistake

An article appeared in yesterday's New Zealand Herald saying that the New Zealand Post has admitted that more than 500 of the withdrawn Maori stamps had been mistakenly released.

Apparently eight customers with standing orders had received the stamps which, according to the paper, are now worth hundreds of dollars apiece.

The stamps protraying the Maoris Indians as cartoon-like figures were to be released in May but were taken off sale because of public protests. New Zealand Post scrapped more than one million stamps depicting Maori performing arts after complaints that they were offensive to the country's 500,000 indigenous people.

New Zealand Stamp Collectors Club president and stamp dealer Steven McLachlan is quoted in the article as saying, "If somebody walked into my shop today with one of those stamps I would pay $500," said

"Anybody would be a fool to send them back. There is no way I would advise anyone to send them back." McLachlan said demand and the small number of stamps available could see prices rise to up to $2000 each.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

1893 $5 Columbian

For some time now The Philatelic Foundation has been cautioning both collectors and dealers to obtain a PF Certificate before purchasing or selling a $5.00 Columbian stamp.

Since they were first issued, many have been mishandled and a large percentage have certified variety of defects, or have been regummed or reperforated.

According to a research article by Robert G. Rose and Larry Lyons on the Foundation's website, only sixteen covers have been certified with $5.00 Columbian stamps.

Shown above is the largest recorded usage of Columbian stamps, $49.34 on a piece of registered package wrapper, mailed from Bangor, Maine, on February 19, 1897. Among the 25 Columbian series stamps are a strip of three of the $5.00 stamp at the bottom and a single $5.00 stamp at the top.

To find out more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

American First Day Cover Society

The American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) is a volunteer nonprofit and non-commerical organization serving the needs of First Day Cover collectors, cachetmakers, and dealers.

Founded in 1955, the society now has a membership of nearly 3,000 active first day cover collectors, including hundreds of collectors who design and manufacture their own cacheted FDCs.

The AFDCS will be holding its national annual convention, Americover next month in Independence, Ohio.

Membership dues are $25 per year ($31 per year for non-US residents), $15 for age 17 and under, (in either case, postage requires $8 additional for non-U.S. addresses).

To visit the AFDCS website, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thurn and Taxis postal service

According to the Bath Postal Museum, "In 1505, the Imperial Emperor Maximilian I established a postal system to cover the Holy Roman Empire. To run it, he appointed Count Francis of Taxis, whose family had long been involved in the organisation of Imperial posts, earning a formidable reputation for efficiency."

"From its start the Taxis posts were open to the public. Despite their heavy fees, correspondence grew, because of unrivalled scope, speed and efficiency of the service. As the network developed over the following century it crossed territories and set up links with other countries, including France and England. Thus, the idea of international posts began to take shape."

Shown above is one of the stamps issued between 1850 and 1867 used on mail transported by the Thurn and Taxis family. In 1867 the family had to sell the postal rights as a result of supporting the loosing party during the war between Prussia and Austria.

Want to learn more about postal history, then check out the Bath Postal Museum's History of the Post timeline by clicking here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Stamp Camp USA

Stamp Camp USA is an educational program for children ages 8 to 14. It encourages them to explore subjects they might not have an interest in. Using stamps from around the world - art, science, history, literature, geography come alive.

According to the American Philatelic Society, which is one of the program's sponsors, "Campers begin by learning stamp collecting basics, including the proper care of a stamp collection and the use of cool stamp tools. Popular hands-on activities follow, with an emphasis on creative story-telling, through individual and team projects."

Other participants include the United States Postal Service, the National Association of Postmasters of the United States and other community organizations.

For more information, write , or click here to go to their website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Baseball stamp grand slam

Today at Yankee Stadium, four 39-cent stamps and 24-cent postal cards honoring Hall of Famers Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Hank Greenberg and Roy Campanella will be released prior to the game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.

According to Ed Stephan's Baseball on Stamps Web site, "When FDR's Postmaster General James A. Farley proposed a stamp honoring baseball, to coincide with the opening of the Hall of Fame in 1939, a nationwide poll of collectors voted overwhelmingly against it.

They were over-ruled by stamp-collecting President Roosevelt who said through the nation's sports pages that he wished "every boy in America could get a first-day cover."

For more about baseball on stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Friday, July 14, 2006

Floating safe stamps

Eighty-five years ago "floating safe stamps" (shown at left) were issued by the Netherlands and the Netherlands Dutch East Indies for mail shipped between the two countries.

Letters with this additional stamp were carried in a special safe designed to float and be recovered if the ship sank.

The service was introduced shortly after the First Wolrd War in 1921 because many of the shipping lanes were still mined. The stamps were discontinued in 1923.

For more on various philatelic firsts, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why the need for collecting?

The Charlotte Observer reports, "At its foundation, the pursuit of collecting, whether it's valuable stamps or salt shakers from the Poconos, antique inkwells or Beanie Babies, is about affection. It can be affection for the object itself or affection for what it represents."

It quotes Russell Belk, a professor of business at the University of Utah and longtime student of consumer culture, marketing and the psychology that underlies the impulse to collect as saying, "Building a collection satisfies important human goals. There is a sense of success and mastery, opportunities for socializing with others who have a common interest and a chance to learn."

To read the entire article, "Why the need for collecting?," click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

World Cup 2010 stamp

According to Gibbons Stamp Monthly, "As the dust settles following Italy’s triumph at World Cup 2006 in Germany, 2010 hosts South Africa have issued a new stamp [shown at left]to commemorate their staging of the next finals."

"Students at the Pretoria Open Window Art Academy were asked to submit designs for the new issue, however they were given strict instructions not to use images of football players, any team logos or colours and the stamp had to have an educational theme."

But why a dog? To find out, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 PM

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ice cream flavored stamps

Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's Count Down reports that Haagen-Dazs and Austrian Postal Service have teamed up to launch a series of ice-cream flavored stamps.

According to other published and broadcast reports, they infuse flavors like Cookies & Cream, Macadamia Nut Brittle and Strawberry Cheesecake into the adhesive on the back so you get to taste the flavor.

For every 10 scoops of ice cream purchased, a book of stamps is distributed.

Meanwhile, UPI is reporting that judges in the Vermont ice cream-maker Ben & Jerry's new flavor contest have ruled out pepperoni pizza with anchovy swirl as a valid entry.

Sour cream ice cream with onion and potato chips didn't make the cut either.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 10, 2006

World's best stamp collecting blog

CBS Sunday Morning contributor David Pogue has an article on the CBS News Web site that's near and dear to my heart.

It has nothing to do with stamps but with blogging (although Pogue does say that blogging is "a great way to leave your little 'stamp' on the Internet.")

According to the article, it's estimated that there are 70 new blogs are created every minute. WOW!

And just in case you didn't know it already, "A blog is like a diary or a daily opinion column that you post on the Internet for all to see...," says Pogue.

"Basically, they're Web sites published by people who have an interest or passion-and keep it updated daily with a lot of links ...," says Meg Hourihan, who helped develop that hosts a gajillion blogs on the Internet including this one.

Hourihan also helped come up with the word "blog."

"It was actually a joke," says Hourihan. "A friend of ours said, I decided I'm not gonna call it 'web log' anymore; I'm gonna pronounce it 'we--blog.' So, we changed it all to blog."

To read the entire article, click here.

To find some other stamp collecting blogs you can check out the links list on the right... or go to and type in "world's best stamp collecting blog."

Ah, its good to be king.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Sunday, July 09, 2006

1875 reproductions

In the July 10 edition of Linn's Stamp News, Henry Gitner writes in his popular "Tip of the Week" sidebar to his regular "Stamp Market Tips" column, "I believe the 10-cent black Washington stamp (Scott 4) is partcularly undervalued in the Scott catalog at $925."

According to Gitner in 1875, the U.S. Post Office Department produced reproductions of the first U.S. postage stamps which were released in 1847. Issued without gum they were not valid for postage because the originals were demonitized in in 1851.

"Because the imitiations were without postal validity, many collectors have spurned them," says Gitner.

To learn how to identify the 1847 issue vs. the 1875 reproductions, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Baghdad's philatelists

Reuters reports that "Baghdad's only organized group of stamp collectors has stubbornly continued to meet in spite of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion to remove Saddam Hussein, a raging insurgency and a low-grade civil war gripping the capital."

In a feature article, Violence fails to stamp out Baghdad's philatelists, Reuters correspondent Hiba Moussa writes, "[The Iraqi Philatelic and Coins Society] meet every Saturday in a small, sparsely furnished room above a telephone exchange in one of the most dangerous areas of Iraq's lawless capital."

"It has been forced to move its office twice and its numbers dwindled to about 30 after some members fled Iraq or were too afraid to attend meetings, a fact highlighted by the group's accountant who bemoans the drop in subscription fees."

According to Reuters, there have been only two new issues of Iraqi stamps since the war, one in 2003 and another in 2006. The last Saddam-era issue was a Saddam University stamp on Feb. 5, 2003 (shown above).

The stamp printing works were destroyed in the looting that followed the U.S. invasion.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 07, 2006

Halcyon Post Office

The Halcyon (California) Post Office is more than just a place to mail letters and buy stamps.

According to, it's also "a community center with a meeting room, postal boxes for local mail delivery, a featured artist display and unique gifts such as hand made cards, books, figurines, knick knacks and conversational items."

Opened in 1908, the unusual post office is located three hours north of Los Angeles on California's Central Coast, just outside the town of Arroyo Grande.

To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 06, 2006

President Bush turns 60

Today is President Bush's 60th Birthday.

According to ABC News, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and John Quincy Adams also turned 60 while in office and Bill Clinton turns 60 in August.

For what it's worth, I'll be 60 in January.

So Happy Birthday to all us boomers!

PS - If you would like to send the President a birthday greeting, click here if you're a Democrat or here if you're a Republican...or, better yet, if you'd like the White House to mail YOU a birthday card (Sorry, you have to be at least 80), click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

Stamp collector aboard Discovery

Both Associated Press and are reporting that Discovery shuttle mission specialist, Stephanie Wilson, has been an avid stamp collector since she was eight.

According to AP, Wilson, a 39-year-old Boston native and Harvard graduate, is the second black woman in space, following Dr. Mae Jemison, who made the journey in 1992.

Wilson will operate the shuttle's 50-foot robotic arm.

“I just love it. I think it's a great adventure, Wilson told TV reporters. "There is so much to learn. Humans have always had a quest for knowledge and thirst to explore and I have that same bug.”

In a related article on, Wilson is quoted as saying, "I started collecting stamps pretty young, I believe when I was eight."

"I mostly collect stamps off letters that I receive. I usually don't go out and purchase stamps but I like to be able to tell a story about a stamp: it came from this individual, on this card."

"So, it’s probably not worth very much," continued Wilson in the article , "but it’s more sentimental than probably a pristine stamp collection. It’s interesting to me to see the designs of the different stamps from the various countries."

To read the entire Associated Press article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Solved: case of the first stamped letter

The South London Press is reporting that "the mystery of the world's first stamped envelope has been licked by a team of first-class historians."

According to the paper, the world's first stamped envelope was sent by the daughter of Thomas Moore Musgrave, the Postmaster of Bath, to an address in Peckham on May 2, 1840 a few days before stamps were officially allowed.

Since only a small section of the envelope - posted with a Penny Black - still exists, nobody knew who it was sent to and which street they lived on until historians got on the case.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Let freedom ring!

The Liberty Bell Museum features an on-line collection of Liberty Bell stamps, postal covers, memorabilia and souvenirs dating back to the 1800's.

According to the site, "Through links, resources and the display of items currently held in a private collection, the intent of the museum is to provide students, collectors and interested individuals with information about the Liberty Bell, its role in American history and the use of the Liberty Bell's image for decoration, promotion and souvenirs."

Have a happy Fourth of July!

To see some Liberty Bell stamps and covers, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 03, 2006

Azeezaly Jaffer "replaced"

According to USPS NewsLink, Postmaster General Jack Potter has announced that Jon Leonard (shown at left) has been named Acting VP, Public Affairs and Communications (PA&C). He replaces Azeezaly Jaffer, who is pursuing other career opportunities outside the Postal Service.

Jaffer was well known for his aggressive and sometimes "over the top" response to anyone using the phrase "going postal" in a negative context.

According to the release, Leonard, a 31-year postal veteran, has broad experience in the Postal Service, both at headquarters and in the field. He recently served as Communications Integration manager and previously held assignments in Government Relations, Labor Relations, Human Resources and Operations.

“Postal employees across the country do an excellent job processing and delivering America’s mail every day. And, Public Affairs and Communications does an excellent job telling their story — it’s a great story to tell,” said Leonard. “I look forward to leading the PA&C team in communicating the next chapter.”

Potter commended Jaffer for his accomplishments in six years as head of PA&C.

“Azeez led a strong team in developing and implementing communication strategies that have served us well during some of the most difficult public relations challenges faced by any organization,” he said.

“In particular his efforts during the 2001 anthrax attacks and subsequent mailbox bombings were critical to maintaining public and employee confidence in the Postal Service and the mail.”

Potter credited Jaffer with significantly enhancing the Postal Service’s internal and external communication programs at both the national and field levels.
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posted by Don Schilling at 10:00 AM

Fight illegal stamps

Collector's Target is waging war against illegal stamps. It cautions, "Be aware of what you buy, and from whom you buy your stamps."

According to their Web site, "In many cases, the illegal 'stamps' more often than not are issued in long sets, may be 8-10 'stamps' or more, and may be also 3 or 4 different miniature sheets. The illegal 'stamps' are very colourful and look 'delicious', more often than not they are bigger in size than the legal stamps issued in that country."

"The illegal stamps are 99% thematic, and the themes of the stamps has usually nothing at all to do with the country, territory, or island itself (what does a stamp featuring a Swedish winter rally champion have to do with a tiny, tropical island?)."

To see a list of countries, territories or islands, printing illegal stamps and learn some other ways of protecting yourself, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Penny Post

Carriers and Locals Society is a philatelic nonprofit founded in 1991. The group is dedicated to the issues of US private local and independent posts as well as the official or semi-official emissions; their forgeries and reprints; and their postal history.

The Society publishes an award-winning, 72-page, quarterly journal, The Penny Post.

According to a press release sent out by John D. Bowman, the Society is offering a complete set of back issues through 2005, with Volume 1 No’s. 1 and 2 reprinted, for $250 postpaid in the U.S. The usual price for the complete set is $355.

To take advantage of this special limited-time offer, please send a check for $250 (made out to the Carriers and Locals Society) to Martin Richardson, PO Box 74, Grosse Ile, MI 48138.

Annual dues are $35, which includes quarterly issues of the Penny Post. Periodic auctions are also held which typically include 200+ lots of material from $5 to over $1000.

To visit their Web site, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First U.S.postage stamps - Happy Anniversary!

On this date in 1847, the first federal United States postage stamps were issued in New York City- a five-cent stamp honoring Benjamin Franklin and a ten-cent stamp honoring George Washington.

According to the National Postal Museum, "Before 1847, only privately-produced postage stamps were available in the United States. Issued by postmasters in cities such as New York and Providence, Rhode Island, these stamps are known today as "postmaster provisionals."

"While no cover is known to have been posted at New York on July 1, the first day of issue, the new stamps were probably available for sale by that afternoon. The earliest known cover bearing one of these stamps was postmarked at New York City on July 2, 1847, although the stamps were probably purchased on the first day of issue. "

To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

More on Maria Sharapova

Reuters is reporting that Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is under orders from her agent not to talk about her stamp collection.

Why? Because "everyone's calling me a dork now," the 2004 Wimbledon champion says. For one of the most marketable players in modern tennis, poring over a stamp album does indeed jar with the willowy Russian teenager's image - and she wishes she had never let on. "We're getting e-mails from, like, stamp collecting magazines asking if I can do an interview,"

Sharapova, 19, said this week in London after her second-round victory at Wimbledon. "I mean, it's just a hobby. I'm actually good telling stories, but that is one I should have never talked about. Let's get off the subject because I'm going to be an absolute geek tomorrow."

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM