Saturday, June 30, 2007

FIFA U-20 World Cup stamp

The Epoch Times International and report that Canada Post officially unveiled a postage stamp commemorating the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup which kicks off today.

According to an article by Ramaz Mitaishvili on the Web site, FIFA Vice-President Jack Warner was keen to heap praise at the 52-cent stamp's unveiling.

Mr. Warner is quoted as saying, "National stamps are fantastic because that they become not just a piece of history, but a piece of the national consciousness as well."

FIFA has a strong tradition of commemorative stamps. In 1930, the Uruguayan postal service produced a postmark to acknowledge the first FIFA World Cup™, which today is a great rarity according to Mitaishvili.

He goes on to write, "Four years later, Italy released nine stamps to coincide with the 1934 FIFA World Cup, starting a tradition that continues to engage millions of enthusiasts across the globe. In 2004, FIFA launched its first philatelic programme with a total of 71 national postal administrations around the world issuing special stamps to commemorate the FIFA Centennial and its contribution to the world of football."

In 2006, 48 countries launched a special stamp marking the FIFA World Cup.

Shown above, Bob Waite, Senior VP of Canada Post and Colin Linford, President of the Canadian Soccer Association unveil FIFA U-20 World Cup stamp.

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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Postal Service launches historic infomercial

The U.S. Postal Service used a bit of history to make history when it debuted its first infomercial titled “Today’s Postal Service: A Tradition of Innovation” on June 16 according to DM News.

Reporter Melissa Campanelli writes, "The thundering hooves of the Pony Express led viewers through a series of modern-day business success stories in a 28-minute video that will run throughout the summer on 20 different channels, including CNBC, ABC Family and The Discovery Channel."

Each story highlights a service available at that has made shopping and shipping easier. Interspersed with each story is a bit of USPS history showing how the Postal Service has been on the cutting edge of information transportation - from the early days of the stagecoach to having the largest fleet of alternative fuel vehicles in the world today.
Shown above is a 1975 set of stamps celebrating the Postal Service's 200th anniversary which depict some of the technological advances in mail delivery.

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

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Joel Rind

Stamp collector and revenue specialist Joel Rind is featured on the Web site in a article by Suzanne Walker.

Walker quotes Rind as saying, "“The beauty of an interesting hobby is that you can frame yourself wherever you want. You can put yourself in your corner. This is what a hobby should do. It’s an escape.”

Rind said in the article that he finds great enjoyment in collecting because he views his materials as “windows to the world. An object represents many different things and many different paths.”

Many materials he has collected have given him glimpses into history or other parts of the world according to Walker.

For example, Rind said several years ago he purchased a Confederate correspondence from the fourth or fifth generation of a Confederate soldier.

According to Rind, Texan troops would write home to Virginia but had to pay Confederate postage. A man by the last name Edy ran a private express by delivering mail on horseback for these soldiers. To use his express, a strip of paper was adhered to the envelope that read “Edy’s Express.”

Rind said he bought a correspondence that still had the label “Edy’s Express” attached to the front. He later sold it for $10,000.

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

French president is an avid stamp collector

The All American Patriots Web site reports that California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met Monday with the new president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to the site, Schwarzenegger gave Sarkozy, an avid stamp collector, a blue leather stamp album with the Governor’s seal on the cover and spine and two framed first-day-issue envelopes with stamps featuring California.

No word on exactly what President Sarkozy ( shown above) collects. While not a collector, Schwarzenegger did appear on this Austrian stamp back in 2004.

Schwarzenegger was invited by the French government to meet with President Sarkozy as part of the Governor’s planned trip to Great Britain.

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

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Camera in parcel tracks journey through postal system reports British artist Tim Knowles put a digital camera inside a cardboard box and rigged it so that it would snap a photo every ten seconds through a small hole in the box. Then he sent the box through the Royal Mail.

It recorded a total of 6994 images and he made a movie with them.
Knowles was given unique access by Royal Mail to produce a series of new postal works according to his Web site.
The site also says this is the second time Royal Mail has collaborated with an artist in order to raise money for its charity partner Help the Hospices.
To view the trip, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, June 25, 2007

Used $14 "Soaring Eagle" commands premium

Henry Gitner writes in his Stamp Market Tips column in this week's Linn's that mint copies of the 1991 $14 Soaring Eagle international Express Mail stamp (Scott 2542) are "plentiful and readily available at or below Scott catalog value from multiple sources in the stamp market."

However, he points out, "Finding the stamp in used condition is quite a different story. There are not many to choose from, and many of the stamps for sale have questionable or unattractive cancellations."
Gitner writes, "Stamps with smudged, wavy-line or indistinct cancellations sell at or below catalog value. Stamps with recognizable postal cancellations usually sell for slightly more than catalog value. Stamps with a legible in-period cancel often command a hefty premium. If you have any interest in used U.S. stamps, this is one that should be in your collection."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Kristen Ollies Collection

The National Postal Museum website has an on-line exhibition of Kristen Ollies collection of stamps about the life of Queen Elizabeth.

According the site, "Kristen began stamp collecting in third grade, when her teacher started a school stamp club. She and other children exhibited their collections at the National Postal Museum in 1997. That sparked Kristen's enthusiasm, and she has continued to build and exhibit stamp collections ever since. "

Kristen started the Queen Elizabeth collection in 1999, when she was in fifth grade. Forty-eight album pages are shown on the site as a way of showing the fun and enjoyment that can be found in stamp collecting at any age, especially when the collector chooses an interesting topic or specialty.

Kristen actually showed her collection to the Queen herself in 2002. The Queen's response was "Splendid!"

Shown above are Kristen and part of her award winning exhibit.

To view Kristen's collection, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, June 22, 2007

Post Office restored to former glory

The USPS NewsLink reports that earlier this year, the town of Mountain Ranch, Calif., rescued its oldest — and smallest — Post Office from oblivion.

According to the publication, "With much fanfare, the town’s residents recovered the diminutive structure from a location several miles outside Mountain Ranch. The building — suffering the effects caused by years of neglect — was returned to the town it served from 1869 until the mid-1950s. "

Shown above, in a USPS photo, is Postmaster Betsy Alberts as she raises the flag over the town’s newest and oldest Post Office.

Mountain Ranch, a town of 2000, is located 75 miles southeast of Sacramento.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saint Petersburg-2007

The Russia-InfoCenter in Moscow reports The World Stamp Exhibition “Saint Petersburg-2007” marks the 150th anniversary since the issue of the first Russian postage stamp.

The exposition's focus is on the history of philately, and different types of philately, such as air-philately, astral philately, etc., as well as a wide range of philatelic topics, including nature, culture, and science and technology.

Among the exhibits there are 13 champion collections,which have been awarded three times with gold medals at other World Exhibitions. They will be competing for the major awards of the St. Petersburg Exhibition, in particular, for the National Grand Prix and the International Grand Prix.

The exhibition runs through June 25.

For more on Saint Petersburg-2007, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Crop artist depicts new stamp

According to the Lawrence Journal, rain has put Stan Herd behind about a week, but the world-famous crop artist from Lawrence will unveil another work Monday - a replica of the new postage stamp depicting a Southern Dogface butterfly.

Herd is quoted in the article as saying, “I grew up on a farm, so I’m kind of aware of the pollination of the crops, and it was intriguing to me that some of the species are having some trouble.”

The article also said Herd wanted to get involved in something that had a national scope, and he liked the idea of using his work as a platform for discussion. It has taken him about a month to create the piece, which includes marigolds, purple petunias, mulch and sand.

Herd's creation, the world's largest living stamp, is made up of only plants and other natural materials.

"We planted 3,000 marigolds, 2,000 petunias, thousands of soybean plants, and used 40,000 thousand pounds of sand, 20 cucumbers, and 150 bales of hay," said Herd in a separate article that appeared in The Epoch Times Ireland.

At the unveiling will be Chip Taylor, a professor of insect ecology at Kansas University, who will speak about the decreasing amount of wild pollinators. Richard Watkins, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service and Judy Raney, Lawrence postmaster, will discuss the issuance of a block of four “pollinator” stamps which are shown above.

To read the entire article and see a video of Herd's handiwork, click here.
For more on Stan Herd himself, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 8:49 PM

Puzzled Postage

The Aurora Beacon News reports at the Puzzled Postage booth at the Swedish Days festival outside of Chicago, Illinois, philatelists can find postage stamps from all over the world, all glued to wood backing and scroll-sawed into tiny puzzle pieces.

In the article, reporter Denise Linke quotes creator Cliff Nelson as saying, "The main reason I started making puzzles out of postage stamps is that they were something I didn't have to paint. The stamps work well because they are so pretty, and you can find a stamp showing any topic you can think of. Everyone uses stamps, so everyone is familiar with them; that's why getting a stamp as a puzzle is so much fun."

For more on stamps as puzzles, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mobile Mail Screening Station

The United States Postal Inspection Service is taking its act on the road according to the USPS News Link.

Shown here is the new Mobile Mail Screening Station (MMSS) which is a self-sufficient screening station that can detect chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive threats. It debuted recently at the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism Conference held in Miami.

The Technical Services Division of the Postal Inspection Service designed the vehicle and wrote the specifications. The 53-foot custom tractor and trailer contains eight functional areas designed to accommodate existing and future technology. The facility requires a staff of five to eight people.

Future assignments could include next year’s Democratic and Republican national conventions.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lighthouse stamps

The Grays Harbor Daily World Web site reports lighthouse fans and stamp collectors alike are being invited to the First Day of Issue ceremony Thursday for the Grays Harbor Lighthouse stamp - together with four others featuring lighthouses from Alaska, Oregon, California and Hawaii.

Elinor DeWire, president of the Washington State Lightkeepers Association, is quoted in an article by Anne Radford as saying, "People have long been attracted to lighthouses due to their symbolism. Nearly every country in the world has lighthouses, and many churches use lighthouses in their logos or literature as beacons of hope."

"Lighthouses are very benevolent structures. They symbolize things like safety, welcome, warning, ‘thy brother’s keeper.’ They have almost religious connotations," DeWire said.

A selection of U.S. lighthouses was first depicted in 1990, followed by the Great Lakes Lighthouse series in 1995 and the Southeastern Lighthouse series in 2003. The Pacific Coast Lighthouse stamps are the fourth series to feature lighthouses from around the United States.

The Grays Harbor Lighthouse was built in 1898.

Shown above are the other new stamps being issued. From the left, Diamond Head Lighthouse in Honolulu, Hawaii; Five Finger Lighthouse, near Juneau, Alaska; St. George Reef near Crescent City, Calif.;Grays Harbor Lighthouse in Washington; and the Umpqua River Lighthouse near Reedsport, Ore.

All were designed by Howard Koslow of Toms River, N.J. according to Radford.

To read the entire article, click here.

To see more lighthouse stamps, cancels, and cinderellas, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, June 18, 2007

National Association of Letter Carriers

Founded in 1889, the National Association of Letter Carriers is regarded as one of the leading unions in organized labor, a strong force for workers' causes in Congress, and a dedicated advocate of the rights of rank-and-file members.

According to its Web site, the union's first major task was to win implementation of the eight-hour workday which was deliberately being ignored throughout the country. It was not until the NALC won a Supreme Court decision and $3.5 million overtime award in 1893 that the eight-hour day was truly recognized.

In 1989, the NALC culminated a yearlong observance of its Centennial with a gala celebration in Milwaukee, WI, the birthplace of the union and the unveiling of the NALC's Letter Carrier Statue which is shown above.

Today the NALC continues to press its fight in both the workplace and the Halls of Congress to enhance the competitiveness of the U. S. Postal Service and to improve the economic and social well-being of the nation's city delivery letter carriers.

For more on the National Association of Letter Carriers, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Massive mail backlog found at Walter Reed

According to USA Today, U.S. Army officials scrambled to deliver thousands of undelivered letters and packages — some more than a year old — addressed to soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Alex Neill of Army Times writes that the backlog piled to some 4,500 pieces of mail because a contract employee mail clerk (who was later fired) could not locate the soldiers or staff members to whom they were addressed, and instead left them in the mailroom without further processing.

The Military Postal Service Agency is assisting a team of 20 to 40 soldiers and civilians to screen and forward the mail. Delayed mail will be forwarded with a letter of apology from Major Gen. Eric Schoomaker, commander of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Schoomaker is quoted as saying, "This delay is completely and absolutely unsatisfactory. Nobody knows better than the Army how important the mail is to a war fighter's morale, and we have taken immediate steps to address this matter."
Shown above is a 1939 stamp (SC 877) picturing Dr. Walter Reed whom the Medical Center is named after. In 1900, Reed, a U.S. Army Major and physician confirmed the theory that yellow fever is transmitted by mosquitoes.
To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

Saturday, June 16, 2007

People, technology and the post office

Nancy Whelan, a correspondent for the Sebastian Sun of Sebastian Florida, responded to a reader's question by quoting USPS spokesperson Joseph Breckenridge about why the the Post Office has changed its hours, closing earlier than it had in the past .

Breckenridge says in the article, "... the Postal Service has not laid workers off, but decreasing Post Office hours helps reduce some costs, like wages and energy usage. And, through attrition, the size of the work force has been controlled. "

The US Postal Service today is the third largest employer in the United States, only behind the U.S. Department of Defense and Wal-Mart, and it operates the largest civilian vehicle fleet in the world with 260,000 vehicles.

According to Breckenridge, "...about 700,000 Postal Service workers today deliver 210 billion pieces of mail. The same number of workers back in the 1970s delivered only 60 billion pieces of mail. However, automation makes that possible."

Shown above is a 1973 stamp (SC 1491) showing how it used to be when mail was sorted manually.

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

Friday, June 15, 2007

US releases 4 new stamps

Four new US postage stamps — the 58-cent Margaret Chase Smith stamp, the 75-cent, 3-ounce Harriet Beecher Stowe stamp, the $4.60 Priority Mail Air Force One stamp and the $16.25 Express Mail Marine One stamps were released yesterday.

Shown above in a USPS photo are (clockwise from left) the Harriet Beecher Stowe stamp, the Margaret Chase Smith stamp, the Priority Mail Air Force One stamp and the Express Mail Marine One stamp.

Margaret Chase Smith, became the first Republican woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate in 1948 . She also served in the House of Representatives, making her the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.

Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, also penned several other novels, children’s stories, poems and nonfiction works. She was a frequent contributor to publications such as Godey’s Lady’s Book and the Atlantic Monthly.

Air Force One, also known as the “Flying Oval Office,” is a prominent symbol of the presidency. Marine One is actually a squadron of 19 helicopters, which provides transport for the president, vice president and members of the Cabinet.
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posted by Don Schilling at 3:37 PM

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New stamps to honor Canadian recording artists

Four Canadian recording artists; Paul Anka, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and Anne Murray will have their own stamps beginning June 29th.

Katherine Monk of CanWest News Service writes, "If you're wondering what happened to Neil Young, don't fret, says Canada Post's marketing and public-relations manager, Cindy Daoust. "These are just the first four ... chances are good there will be a sequel."

Monk goes on to report, "Considering other countries such as the United States, and even tiny Russian states such as Ingushia, have been turning celebrity images into lickable gold for decades, Canada Post's foray into the world of pop culture is relatively new."

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

President Ford to be honored with stamp

The Associated Press is reporting that former President Gerald R. Ford will honored on a new 41-cent postage stamp to be issued Aug. 31.
Shown unveiling the Ford stamp Monday night in a USPS photo are, from left, PMG Jack Potter, Vice President Dick Cheney, Susan Ford Bales, Steven Ford, Jack Ford and Michael Ford.
According to the AP, "Traditionally, presidents are honored with a commemorative stamp around the time of their next birthday anniversary, following their death. Ford's birthday was July 14, but his family selected the August release date, postal officials said. "
The stamp art is a portrait of Ford painted by Michael Deas, who has produced several stamp images for the Postal Service. His work also has appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Machin definitives' 40th anniversary

UK's Telegraph reports on-line reports that a new presentation pack of stamps, called the Machin Definitives' 40th Anniversary, will be released today.

One of the four stamps in the set shows a photograph of Arnold Machin which is the first time Royal Mail has honored a stamp designer in such a way.

According to the article, "Machin, who died eight years ago, was paid a flat fee of £4,500 for his work on the stamps - the equivalent of £58,000 at today's values. In return, he surrendered all his rights to the design."

The stamp design was based on the plaster bust [shown above with Machin standing behind it] of the Queen that Machin sculpted, then photographed, so it could be used in silhouette as the image on Royal Mail stamps.

The bust, measuring 18in by 16in, is normally kept in the vaults of the British Postal Museum and Archive (BPMA) in London. However, it and other material will be on display from July 18 until August 15 at the Royal College of Art in London.

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

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stamps play a role in Dutch film "Black Box"

Released in January, I finally got to see Black Book today.

The film is about a stamp collecting Nazi and the Dutch resistance during World War II.

With more plot twists than a pretzel, it was the official Netherlands entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the this year's Academy Awards.

Early on in the movie, Nazi officer Ludwig Müntze (played by Sebastian Koch) is on a train looking over his stamp album which contains stamps from the various countries he has "visited" such as Poland, France, and other countries occupied by the Germans.

The heroine, Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries (played by Carice van Houten) and he meet on the train and he tells her that he's collected since he was a young boy and that he's missing stamps from the Dutch East Indies.

Trying to win him over so that she can infiltrate Gestapo headquarters, she brings him the stamps he's missing.

To his credit, Herr Müntze uses tongs to examine Netherland Indies (SC #183) that has a picture of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina on it.

But my favorite scene in the sub-titled film is when he chides an assistant not to have food or beverages near by while he's looking over the stamps... and Fraulein de Vries, whom he later invites back his room to look at his stamp collection some more.

Based on a true story, apparently the real head of the Dutch Gestapo was a stamp collector according to a review which appeared in the Chicago Reader.

BE FORWARNED! There's lots of female and some male nudity as well as some other pretty nasty stuff in the film.

To find out where the film is playing near you, click here. Not sure when it will be out on DVD.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Eyes of Texas are upon the ATA

The American Topical Association (ATA) will hold its National Show and Convention June 15-17 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, 4440 W. John Carpenter Freeway in Irving, Texas. The show is free and open to the public. It includes exhibits, seminars, dealers, tours, youth events and live entertainment.
"Whatever your interest, there's a stamp somewhere, " said Ray Cartier, 66, executive director of the American Topical Association, with headquarters in Arlington, Texas in an on-line article, "They've Got Mail - and a 1st-class Hobby" that appears in the stamp collecting section of
According to the write-up promoting the ATA's National Convention, Ray's specialty is stamps and postmarks by, for or about space travel; science fiction author Jules Verne and explorer Jacques Cartier, who happens to be a distant relative.
Ray's wife Karen Cartier, 65, specializes in collecting stamps that have some connection to stained glass or fairy tales. She's published one book -- The Tales by Mail (Book I), about the stories behind fairy-tale and folk-tale stamps. She is working on Book II.
For more on the convention, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Paris Hilton stamp

Lloyd A. de Vries points out on his Virtual Stamp Club Web site that celebrities on stamps can pose problems for cachetmakers.

So before you go off and print up a bunch of "Paris Freed!" covers with her picture on them, get them cancelled on the day she gets out, then offer them on e-Bay or at some stamp show... you better think twice.

Lloyd says, "Courts have upheld a celebrity's right to control, and charge for, use of his or her name, image and public persona. When that person dies, the right lives on, the intellectual property (as this area of law is called) of the estate."

Shown above is a make believe Paris Hilton stamp found on the Worth 1000 Web site which features this and celebrities in their on-going "Going Postal" stamp design contest series.

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

Friday, June 08, 2007

Save the Keeler post office

The Los Angeles Times featured Postmaster Nylia Swanson of Keeler, California in an article about how she sells stamps to people outside the rural community as part of an effort to keep the town's post office from closing.

Reporter John M. Glionna writes, "At 72, Swanson is waging a homespun one-woman campaign to keep her office open and her tiny town on the map. Mixing the folksy forthrightness of a cold-calling saleswoman with the heartstrings tug of a Jerry Lewis telethon, she promotes the Keeler post office (ZIP Code 93530) as the spot for one-stop mail shopping."

According to Glionna, "Once Swanson has corralled her customers, she keeps them in the fold with folksy seasonal fliers. Why wait in line at your crazy-crowded local post office, she asks, when you can buy your stamps stress-free from her? All orders to the Keeler post office, she pledges, will be returned by priority mail the same day they are received."

The article goes on to say, "Still, Swanson isn't sure how much longer she can stave off the inevitable. Her worst enemy, she says, is the metered mail big firms use instead of stamps."

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

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Australia salutes 'Big Things'

Stanley Gibbons Stamp Monthly reports Australia Post has issued five new stamps featuring some of the large roadside replicas that can be found scattered across the country.

According to SG, "These former advertising billboards have been immortalised on new 50c stamps by Reg Mombassa, New Zealand born artist, musician and founder member of pop group Mental As Anything.
Wikipedia says Mombassa is inspired by "the wind, semi-professional birthday clowns, heavy machinery and the behavior of domestic animals".

The five stamps (which are shown above) picture;

  • A Big Merino in Goulburn, NSW
  • A Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, NSW
  • A Big Pineapple in Nambour, QLD
  • A Big Lobster in Kingston SE, SA
  • A Big Golden Guitar inTamworth, NSW
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

While US and British forces got most of the credit, over 15,000 Canadian soldiers landed on Juno Beach, in Normandy, France as part of a bold and bloody operation that marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

According to Canada Post, "An additional 450 soldiers parachuted behind the beaches, while 10,000 sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy were standing by in 110 ships of all sizes. By the end of the day, Canadian casualties numbered more than a thousand, with nearly 400 dead. At the end of the Normandy campaign, more than 5,000 Canadians had been killed – giving their lives for freedom. "

Anne Joynt, President and CEO of Canada Post noted in 1964 when the above stamp honoring D-Day was released, "Canada is undeniably proud of the men and women who went through the pain of war to ensure that our children had a future free of tyranny. It is our hope that as this stamp travels the country, it will remind all Canadians of the major role we played in D-Day, and the price so many paid for it."

For more on D-Day and stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Egypt says no pyramids on Portuguese stamps

According to Reuters, "Egypt has refused to allow images of its pyramids to be used on a Portuguese postal stamp featuring sites in a competition to name the new seven wonders of the world."

The Middle East News Agency (MENA) quoted Zahi Hawass, Egypt's antiquities chief, as saying the pyramids at Giza should not be used on stamps issued for commercial purposes or included in a competition that is not based on scientific standards.

The Zurich-based New 7 Wonders Foundation removed the pyramids from the competition it is sponsoring after their inclusion sparked an outcry in Egypt.The organisation, established by Swiss/Canadian filmmaker Bernard Weber, instead lists the pyramids - the only original wonder of the world to have survived to the present day - as an honorary candidate for which the public cannot vote.

Twenty-one sites from different historical periods around the world are still in the race, among them the Acropolis in Greece, the Statue of Liberty in the United States, France's Eiffel Tower, and the Kremlin and Red Square in Russia.

The public can vote online on with the winners to be announced on July 7 in Lisbon.

For more on the pyramids and stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Wreck & Crash Mail Society

The Wreck & Crash Mail Society is devoted to the collecting and study of all aspects of delayed and/or damaged mail and interrupted mail services.

Currently the Society is composed of four study groups:

  • The Air Crash Study Group

  • The Railroad Wreck Study Group

  • The Ship Wreck Study Group
  • The Suspended Mail/Conflicts Study Group

The Society publishes a quarterly journal "La Catastrophe", which contains articles on all aspects of wreck and crash mail, as well as news on new cover discoveries, auction realizations on wreck and crash mail, and questions from members who are seeking information on their crash and wreck covers and the stories behind them.

The Wreck & Crash Mail Society normally holds an annual meeting where members display parts of their collection, meet other collectors of wreck and crash mail, and exchange information and material with fellow members.

For more information and a membership application, e-mail

Shown above is one of earliest crash covers known to exist. It was carried by a balloon out of Paris during the Siege of Paris 1870-71. The Parisians were able to get mail out of the besieged city by building balloons and flying them out over the heads of the Prussian army.

Some of the balloons crashed and often the mail was recovered.

For more examples of crash covers, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, June 03, 2007

John Walter Scott

Just about every stamp collector knows what the Scott Catalogue is. But few know much about the man whose name it bears.

John Walter Scott was born in England in 1845 and came to the United States as a young man.

After trying his hand at gold prospecting in California, he went to New York in 1866 and opened a stamp store mostly with items he had collected as a child.

According to February 2007 issue of The American Stamp Dealer and Collector magazine, "Within a decade, Scott had become one of the leading stamp dealers in the United States-having begun circulating his own printed price list in 1867.

"That 'price list' was to eventually turn into the premier stamp catalogue in America widely respected and continually published today by his successors."

It's also a little known fact that Scott organized the first stamp auction in the United States.

Scott died in 1919... but his name lives on today.

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

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hagåtña Bay stamp and ceremony

Jay Bigalke, associate editor of Linn's Stamp News, is featured in an article that appeared on the Pacific Daily News Web site.

Bigalke, Guam officials, residents, tourists and U.S. Postal Service personnel were at the first day ceremony Friday for the eleventh in the Scenic American Landscapes series of international letter rate stamps.

According to the site, "Bigalke stood in line with many stamp collectors, Guamanians and island dignitaries who were the first to purchase the stamps at the Onward Beach Resort. The site of the unveiling was specifically chosen because its view of Hagåtña Bay mirrors the image on the postal stamp, postal officials said."

The report went on to say photographer Michael Yamashita of New Jersey, who took the scenic Hagåtña bay sunset photo used on the stamp, did not make it to the ceremony.

Located approximately 1,600 miles east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, Guam is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands. Around 212 square miles in size — roughly three times the area of Washington, D.C. — Guam has a population of about 158,000 that includes native Guamanians, known as Chamorro, as well as others of European and Asian descent.

To read the entire article by Lacee A.C. Martinez, click here.

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

Friday, June 01, 2007

Amelia Earhart’s philatelic connection

May was the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s Solo Transatlantic flight, which set speed and women’s distance records.

According to the National Postal Museum Web site, Earhart carried fifty pieces of mail on her solo flight across the Atlantic, May 20-21, 1932 which was not authorized by the post office.

The site points out, "Philately supported Earhart’s career in a variety of ways. The sale of her flown philatelic souvenirs helped offset the expenses of her aeronautic adventures and further ensured her legacy in aerophilately. She personally collected examples of her mail and exhibited them at TIPEX, the May 1936 international stamp exhibition, where she also spoke and distributed exhibitor awards. "

Shown above in a National Postal Museum photo is Earhart with husband George Putnam (center) and airmail specialist Nicolas Sanabria (right) in 1936 at TIPEX.

For more on Ameilia Earhart and her connection with stamp collecting, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM