Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Computer mogul got his start selling stamps

Michael Dell,43, the CEO and Chairman of leading online PC retailer DELL got his start as a stamp dealer.

According to the Center for Management Research website, "Michael's entrepreneurial skills were evident very early on. At the age of twelve, he created his own 'auction business' for philatelists. He got a few people in his neighborhood to give their stamps to him, advertised 'Dell's Stamps,' in a trade journal and earned $ 2,000 from this venture. According to Michael, it was then that he learnt the importance of eliminating the middleman. This became a guiding principle for all his ventures."

For more on Michael Dell, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library

Founded in 1976 by the late Harold Wineburgh, the Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library (WPRL) was envisioned as a means of promoting not only philatelic research but also of inspiring a love of learning through philately.

Since then the WPRL has grown into one of the finest philatelic libraries in the country with thousands of books and periodical volumes. Over 100 subscriptions to current philatelic journals are maintained with hundreds of older journal titles.

Among the collection's strengths are holdings in U.S., British, Western European, and Mexican philately. Other important areas include detection of forgeries, state postal histories, and air mail philately.

There is good coverage for the British Commonwealth as well as South America. The collection has especially fine holdings in Confederate postal history.

For more information, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 28, 2008

Accidental Millionaire is also a Stamp Collector

]Thailand's independent newspaper theNation reports the Kingdom's foremost stamp collector, Boonkrong Indhuso-phon, is also an accidental millionaire.

Reporter Itthi C.Tan writes, "Her collections have brought not just personal and intellectual satisfaction, but also given her a jet-setting lifestyle that takes her yearly to stamp capitals such as London, Monaco and Geneva - not to mention nest eggs to keep her comfortable for years."

According to the article, "Boonkrong admits that being a woman placed her at a disadvantage at times in a collectors' world dominated by men."

"Men read more and they knew more about history than women when it came to stamps.
But what I was able to do was to make a better presentation of my collections. I use little text, and allow the stamps to be appreciated by showing them in beautiful settings and lighting," she said.

Siam changed its name to Thailand in 1939, changed it back to Siam in 1945 and finally settled on Thailand in 1949.

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

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tropical Fruit Stamps

The new 27-cent Tropical Fruit definitive stamps were dedicated this weekend at the 2008 WESTPEX Stamp Show in Burlingame, CA outside San Francisco.

The stamps were illustrated by Sergio Baradat of Miami Beach, FL, who described them as “luscious.“ Baradat’s first project for the Postal Service was the Mambo stamp in the Let’s Dance/Bailemos issuance in 2005.

The five tropical fruits are: guava, kiwi, papaya, pomegranate and star fruit.

The WESTPEX Exhibition will include more than 5000 pages in 322 frames of worldwide stamps, postal history and postal stationery. Guest societies include COPAPHIL, the Colombia/Panama Philatelic Study Group, the British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group and the Ethiopian Philatelic Society along with meetings of numerous other societies, clubs and study groups.

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

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New home for memorial to Titanic’s postal staff

The Hampshire Chronicle reports a memorial to the five postal workers who drowned in the Titanic disaster is to be given a new home.

The future of the monument, which was made from a spare Titanic propeller, had been in doubt.

There were fears it could fall into the hands of collectors willing to pay tens of thousands of pounds for The Titanic Postal Workers' Memorial.

The plaque, shown here, was dedicated to Titanic postal workers - two Englishmen and three Americans - who desperately tried to haul 200 sacks of registered mail to safety on the upper decks.

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

Friday, April 25, 2008

Errors, Freaks and Oddities

Over the years Wayne Youngblood has written many interesting articles on errors, freaks and odditiies (EFOs) which have appeared in the American Philatelist magazine and other publications.

Wikipedia breaks the categories down as follows...

An error is any sort of production mistake that is (potentially) replicated on many stamps; the famous Inverted Jenny is the best known of these, having resulted from a sheet of partial prints being accidentally re-inserted into the printing press upside down for the second color, resulting in an invert error. Design errors include wrong dates, wrong names, wrong pictures, anachronisms and the like.

A freak is a one-time mishap in the production process. Freaks include paper folds resulting in half-printed half-blank stamps, "crazy perfs" running diagonally across stamps, and insects embedded in stamps, underneath the ink.

An oddity is something that is within the bounds of usability for the stamp, but still has a distinctive appearance. The usual sort of oddity is misregistration on a multi-colored stamp, which can result in shirts apparently with two sets of buttons, eyes above the top of a person's head, and so forth. These can be extremely common. The Canadian Christmas stamp of 1898, depicting a map of the world with British possessions in red, is famous for unusual color oddities that appear to claim all of Europe, or the United States, or central Asia for Britain.

Shown above, the US 1962 Dag Hammarskjöld memorial stamp. Once the yellow-inverted error was discovered, 40,270,000 were printed to prevent speculation. Only the original unintentionally printed specimens are considered to be errors.

You can read some of Wayne's articles on the Errors, Freaks & Oddities Collectors' Club (EFOCC) website by clicking here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Braille stamp features Guide Dogs

Canada Post has issued its first ever Braille stamp. .

The 52-cent, domestic-rate stamp features Guide Dogs and will have the denomination in both print and in Braille. The stamp coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Montreal Association for the Blind which is also being recognized with a Commemorative Envelope.

According to an Canada Post press release, "With thousands of soldiers returning from World War I blinded by poison gas, a German doctor named Gerhard Stalling explored the notion of training dogs to guide the wounded men. His research in training methods led to the opening of his first guide dog school in Germany in 1916. The school prospered and some 600 dogs were trained each year. Word spread and soon trained dogs were assisting people with vision loss in Britain, France, Spain, Italy, the USA, Canada and Soviet Union."

The most common breeds of guide dogs are Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers; chosen for their intelligence, size, and temperament. A calm disposition, a high level of initiation, and a strong desire to please are all characteristics expected of guide dogs.

To read the entire release, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Librarian Tosses Outdated Book on Stamp Collecting

A stamp collecting book are among many titles being removed from the East Grand Rapids Middle School Library according to the Michigan Live website.

The book (shown here) has a girl on the cover wearing a bib skirt and "Marcia Brady hair."

East Grand Rapids Middle School librarian and teacher Harry Coffill is quoted in the article as saying, "No middle school girl is going to pick that up."

If you would like to send Mr. Coffill a newer book on stamp collecting, like I intend to do, his address is

Harry Coffill
Grand Rapids Middle School
2425 Lake Drive, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

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

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ruben Salazar to be honored by the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times Media Group celebrates the official commemoration of Ruben Salazar Day in Los Angeles and today's issuance of stamp honoring Salazar with a series of public and private events according to a PR Newswire press release posted on the website,

The new stamp is one of five which immortalize the lives, work, and cultural legacies of American journalists who risked their lives reporting some of the most important events of the 20th century.

According to the release, "Ruben Salazar was the first Latino journalist to gain prominence writing for a major news organization in the U.S. In addition to his award-winning work for The Times (, he was the first news director for L.A.'s KMEX-TV and a vocal advocate for social reforms for the Spanish-speaking community. He was shot in the head and killed by a tear gas canister fired by a deputy sheriff in East Los Angeles while covering a Vietnam War protest on August 29, 1970. His death at age 42 sparked nationwide controversy and outrage."

The Los Angeles Times also ran a story today about Salazar and the new stamp which you can read by clicking here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 21, 2008

Thief's £100,000 stamp collection on eBay

One of Britain's leading philatelists is to put his stamp collection on eBay to pay back £70,000 he plundered from church funds reports Tom Peterkin on Britain's Telegraph website.

Peterkin writes, "Derek Klein, one of the country's top five stamp dealers, is to sell his 100,000-strong collection of first day covers, including stamps marking George V's silver jubilee, George VI's silver wedding and England's 1966 World Cup victory."

He goes on to say, "Klein, an accountant, suggested putting the collection on the internet site after admitting stealing £70,000 from two parishes in Norfolk over a period of more than 20 years."

"Klein, a former church treasurer, has already spent 16 months in jail for siphoning off church donations and money raised at fêtes. He took the money to feed an internet gambling addiction and his obsession with stamps," according to the article.

Shown above are some of the covers in Derek Klein’s collection

To read the entire story, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 20, 2008

UK's Rising Sun pub

Earlier this month UK's Bognor Regis Observer ran an interesting story about the Rising Sun pub which has also been named at times the Stamp House and the Bersted Tavern.

The paper writes, "Many pubs have a quirky characteristic about them. It's what makes them different and it's what attracts regular patrons who enjoy the quaint ambience."

What makes the Rising Sun different?

In 1882, a customer challenged the owner to cover part of a room with stamps. Well, the owner, who was a stamp collector, did just that. He stuck stamps all over a complete room from floor to ceiling.

According to the paper, "And it was not a matter of randomly sticking stamps on the walls; he wove designs with the stamps, such as the words 'Jubilee Stamp Room' on one wall, while another wall displayed a large star design and the Bognor coat of arms was displayed above the fireplace. Other displays included a picture of Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales Feathers."

More than two million stamps were used worth about £28,000.

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

Postal history of Heligoland

Heligoland is located 44 miles from the German coastline and consists of two islands. In 1807, Heligoland was seized by the British from Denmark. Britain gave up the islands to Germany in 1890.

Between 1867 and 1890, during the period when Heligoland was a British possession, about 20 postage stamps were issued.

The stamps were printed by the Prussian State Printing Office in Berlin. They were denominated in the Hamburg Schilling until 1875, when both German Reich and English values appeared on each stamp issue (the Farthing/Pfennig issues). All are embossed with a silhouette of Queen Victoria excepting the four highest values which featured the Heligoland coat of arms.

Mint stamps of Heligoland are moderate to medium priced. Because used stamps are often more valuable than mint stamps, forged postal cancellations are plentiful and are the rule on many high-value items.

To learn more about the postal history of Heligoland, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Collect What You Like and Stay Within Budget

As part of Linn's Refresher Course series on stamp collecting, Janet Klug has written a piece called Set Limits to Collect What You Like and Stay Within Budget

Janet writes, "Never be discouraged because you cannot afford to collect the things you really want for your collection. In all honesty, few of us can afford all of the things we want. With a little creativity and willingness to compromise, you can find alternatives that will maximize the joy of stamp collecting."

She relates how she has found many items for her collection that are both interesting and inexpensive.

Shown above is one of those items, Republic of Hawaii $1 dark blue King Kamehameha I stamp (Scott R11), which she says is within the affordable range for most collectors.

To read her entire article, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Black Experience: African Americans on Stamps

USPS has announced that The Black Experience: African Americans on Stamps, a new online collection, will be updated annually as the Postal Service issues additional stamps featuring African-American pioneers and subjects.

The exhibit is on the National Postal Museum website.

In 1940, Booker T. Washington became the first African-American featured on a postage stamp. Since then, notable African-Americans — from Colonial days to the present — have been honored on more than 100 stamps.

Angelo Wider, USPS Finance Administration manager, is an exhibit co-curator according to the announcement.

To view the exhibit, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mail That Has No Stamp

Fellow blogger Steven D. Levitt wants to know, "Why does the Post Office deliver mail that has no stamp?"

Steve reports in the New York Times that a few days ago, his daughter got a letter delivered in the mail. Where the stamp should have been, the sender had instead written, “Exempt from postage: Guinness Book of World Records attempt."

"The envelope contained a single sheet of paper, describing an attempt to set the record for the world’s longest running chain letter, along with instructions to pass this letter along to seven friends. If we broke the chain, the Postal Service (which is monitoring the record attempt) would know that we were the individuals who ruined it for all of the people who had been part of the chain since 1991!," writes Steve.

He goes on to say,"The thing that puzzled me was why the Postal Service was aiding and abetting this effort. It seemed bizarre, but at the same time lent credence to the endeavor. Maybe this really did have something to do with a world record bid."

A quick Google search by Steve revealed that the Postal Service isn’t condoning the chain mail. He is also curious to know exactly how lax the Postal Service is and is asking his readers to help find out.

To read Steve's entire post, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gross to sell Scandinavian stamps for charity

According to a press release that appears on the website, "Renowned Wall Street bond manager, Bill Gross, will offer the Scandinavia portion of his extensive, international stamp collection in a public auction conservatively estimated to bring over $1 million. All proceeds from the collection’s sale will be donated by Sue and Bill Gross to the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, according to Charles Shreve, President of Spink Shreves Galleries of New York City and Dallas..."

The collection has 110 rare and even several one-of-a-kind 19th and early 20th century Scandinavian stamps. It includes an unusual printing 152 years ago of Finland's first postage stamps (shown above) with adjoining images that are upside down to each other, a peculiar placement known as tête-bêche.

Shreve is quoted as saying, "It's one of the most famous philatelic rarities of the world. It's a mint condition block of four stamps containing two pair of 10 kopek denomination stamps, the first stamps of Finland from 1856. One pair within the block is inverted to other pair. This impressive tête-bêche block is the finest of only three known, and has graced many of the world's most famous collections."

The auction takes place May 16 in New York.

For more information, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tax Stamps

According to the website, "Taxpaids" is the catch-all title for United States Federal revenues that, for the most part, are denominated in units (one pint, 3/5 barrel, 10 cigarettes) rather than money. They are not listed in the Scott Specialized Catalog at present, although Scott appears to be adding some of the categories each year. Many of them are listed in the catalogs put out by the late Sherwood Springer."

The site goes on to say many different items fall into this category and that stamps were first used to show payment of taxes on manufactured tobacco in 1868. Some of the oddest taxpaid revenues are associated with cotton.

Various tax stamps were produced during the 1870's, 80's and 90's, and on into the 1900's. Shown here is one of the John Quincy Adams type that begun in 1940 and continued through 1955, with several values being used into 1958.

For more on tax stamps, click here.

Happy April 15th everyone!
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 14, 2008

Ken Solomon's Post Party

The Josée Bienvenu gallery in New York City is presenting an exhibition by artist Ken Solomon called Post Party. The exhibit runs from now through May 17.

According an article that appears on the ArtCal website, "Post Party explores the imagery and iconography of the U.S. postal system. Whether it is building a public mailbox from sent parcels, or falsifying postage stamps, making a tee pee-sized envelope or a giant rubber stamp of a blank stamp, Ken Solomon erects monuments to a soon-to-be extinct mode of communication."

Recently Solomon also set up an early philatelic voting booth with stamps of 5 presidential candidates which are shown here. The originals are small hand painted images of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Ralph Nader.

He subsequently printed hundreds of the stamps for the public to cast their vote. People placed a stamp of their choice on an envelope and dropped it into a ballot box.

No word on who won.

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

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Philatelic Tribute to National Library Week

Today marks the beginning of National Library Week, April 13-19th. It is also the 50th Anniversary of National Library Week.

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

To celebrate and mark the occasion, Larry T. Nix has put together a philatelic tribute to National Library Week on his website - The Library History Buff.

Shown above, a 1963 meter slogan promoting National Library Week.

To view Larry's unique website showing this and other bibliophilatelic items, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chinese Postman Relays Olympic Torch

The Xinhua News Agency and reports, "Chinese village postman Quan Erping had his dream come true on Saturday, bearing the Olympic flame in the ancient course of Marathon marked by Greece's legend of Pheidippides."

For Quan (shown above on the left), who has been shuttling between villages on zigzagging roads in a mountain area of Inner Mongolia, carrying the Olympic flame in Greece was something he never dreamed of.

According to the report, "Serving as a rural postman since 1991, Quan has never shrunk from his responsibilities. In the early years, his income was very low. He had a colleague from 1991-1996 and the two rode bicycle to deliver mails and packages. Quan was equipped with a motorcycle after his colleague shifted to a new job. "

Quan is quoted as saying, "Delivering mail is somewhat similar to torch relay. But the difference lies in distance. I travel much longer than a 200m jog in the Marathon site. I usually ride 100 kilometers on motorcycle everyday."

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

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wilt Chamberlain stamp

Wilt Chamberlain put his stamp on basketball, now there is a movement to put Chamberlain on a stamp according to

The site reports, "An effort is under way to immortalize the deceased Hall of Fame center with a commemorative U.S. postage stamp. Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens are among the sports legends with their own stamps."

Pictured above, Jay Leno showing what a Wilt Chamberlain stamp might look like on a recent Tonight Show.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 10, 2008

National Philatelic Museum in Bucharest

"Rather obscure for many, but nevertheless an important cultural institution in Bucharest, the National Philatelic Museum is the perfect place for those passionate about this old and delicate art of collecting stamps, mainly highly valuable ones, but also for those who are interested in the history of postal services in Romania," reports

It goes on to say, "Until 1970 this was the central post office of Bucharest, then turned into this impressive museum, with 600 squared meters of exhibition space, where visitors can admire some of the best stamps and philatelic objects and collections, as well as a selection of documents, correspondence, artifacts and different objects depicting the history of Romanian postal services."

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on the the museum, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Postal Workers Attacked by Wild Turkeys

The Associated Press is reporting that postal workers in Wisconsin have been attacked by turkeys.

According to the report, "About five to 10 of the birds have been pecking at the postal workers as they make their rounds, and some of the birds have attacked the letter carriers with the sharp spurs on their legs. One of the birds went through the open door of a mail truck and scratched the driver."

Eric Lobner, regional wildlife program supervisor for the state Department of Natural Resources is quoted as saying, "Color plays an important role in turkey breeding with the color of the male's head during mating season changes from gaudy blue to white to red."

Lobner speculated that perhaps the turkeys are attracted to the red, white and blue postal trucks.

Postal workers have been armed with water pistols to fend off the birds.

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

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Letter rate goes up in UK

The price of posting standard first and second class letters in the UK has risen according to - Postal Industry News

For smaller items, first class stamps are now 38p instead of 36p and second class stamp now 27p instead of 24p. For larger items, first class has risen from 48p to 52p and second class from 40p to 42p.

Hellmail reports,"Royal Mail says that stamped mail continues to run at a loss despite the increases - as much as £178m in 2007. Royal Mail said that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the subsidy on stamped mail whilst it was under so much pressure from competitors for business mail. Several key contracts have already been lost to rivals TNT Post."

Both Postwatch and Postcomm have said that it was essential that Royal Mail made greater efforts to be more efficient rather than rely on stamp prices to offset losses.

For rate increases, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM

Monday, April 07, 2008

Alabama collector tries to revive hobby

Collector Bob Hunt (shown here) is featured in an article that appears on the website.

Reporter Alvin Benn writes, "With electronic mail, cellular phones and text messaging all the rage these days, stamp collecting is going the way of the dodo bird."

In response, Hunt is quoted as saying, "That's why we're holding our Postage Stamp Exhibit. We hope younger people will come and see how interesting a hobby it can be."

According to the article, he's been beating the drum for years to get people interested in a hobby that fascinates a "dwindling number of collectors".

"That means unless a way is found to entice younger people to begin collecting stamps, it's soon going to be a dying art -- or hobby as he likes to call it," according to Benn.

Hunt, 68, said he's been collecting since 1959 when he came across an old cigar box filled with stamps. He had put them there as a boy and didn't think much about it until his unexpected discovery, which hooked him for good.

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

Sunday, April 06, 2008

More on Simon Garfield and The Error World

UK's Daily Mail has run an article adapted from The Error World: An Affair with Stamps by Simon Garfield who writes about an “ordinary” life made unusual by his obsession with stamp collecting [see SCR post for March 24].

In it Garfield (shown here) writes, "At 47, my 18-year marriage is over. We have drifted apart. I am having an affair with another woman. For my marriage guidance counsellor, the issue of an extra-marital affair is commonplace.

"But the stamps are something unusual. Stamps? Used postage? Who could be passionate about that? And who could explain it?

"An affair with stamps - stamps as mistress, just as uncontrollable as the wildest edge of obsessive love - that might take half a lifetime to understand.

"Little do wives know," ...and husbands I might add.

To read the entire fascinating piece, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Olympic Stamps popular in China reports, "Currently, stamps with the theme of 2008 Olympics are quite popular in China. Many collectors are buying them for investment purposes. But experts warn newcomers not to invest blindly."

According to the article, "Traders say as of this February, the luke-warm stamp market has been reignited by the Olympics fever. However, many of these investors are newcomers in the stamps sector. They've invested a lot of money, and are expecting high returns without doing much research."

Yuan Juxian, stamp investor is quoted as saying, "Investors should not be chasing new products irrationally. They should be more mindful of potential risks involved. I think some older products have lower risks than newer ones."

To read the entire article, click here.

Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, April 04, 2008

2008 Kehr Award Nominees Sought

Can you name a collector who makes our great hobby appeal to newcomers? Someone who works with beginners — young, old, or both — to make them collectors, too?

These are the people the American Philatelic Society has honored since 1991 with its Ernest A. Kehr (shown here)“Future of Philately” Award.

The Kehr Award recognizes a living philatelist each year who has contributed to the future of the stamp hobby. The candidate’s endeavors must exhibit sustained excellence, lasting value, and demonstrated positive results.

According to the American Philatelic Society, to be considered for the award, activities in one or more of the following categories should have been demonstrated by the nominee for at least five years.

1. Work showing a high level of creativity in making stamp collecting attractive to newcomers.
2. Efforts over several years showing a high degree of dedication in working directly with newcomers and youth.
3. Activity in developing and administering programs that are aimed at recruiting newcomers and fostering their development in the hobby.

The Kehr Award is named for Ernest Anthony Kehr, one of philately’s most distinguished spokesmen. He became hobby news editor of the New York World-Telegram in 1935 and then stamp news editor of the New York Herald Tribune from 1939 until the newspaper closed in 1966.

Kehr distributed tons of philatelic materials to Veterans’ hospitals as head of “Stamps for the Wounded” and, as a newspaperman, probably produced more lineage to support philately than any other person in history. He continued as stamp columnist for Newsday (Long Island, New York) until he died in 1986.

Kehr also wrote several popular books, of which The Romance of Stamp Collecting (1947) was a philatelic bestseller. In 1964, he founded the Philatelic Press Club (later known as the International Philatelic Press Club), and was its chairman emeritus at the time of his death.

To nominate a recipient for the Kehr Award, please include his or her name, accomplishments, and supporting documentation. Send your nomination to the American Philatelic Society, Attn: Kehr Award Committee, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte PA, 16823 by June 13, 2008.

Additional information on the award and the complete list of previous winners is available. For more information, contact Ken Martin, 814-933-3817 or via e-mail.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Junk Mail Stamp

A special April Fools Day stamp has been created by Christopher Phillips of the Scarborough Philatelic Society. The “junk mail” stamp reminds people to place unwanted mail in the wastepaper basket and not be “fooled” into buying things they don’t want.

According the the Scarborough Evening News, the stamps will be given out free to members of the Scarborough group and some will be sold to collectors on auction website Ebay.

Mr Phillips has been producing the April 1 stamps since last year, when he created a topsy-turvy version of a first class stamp with the lettering “Airmail Post to Southern Hemisphere”.

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

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Wilbur the Pig inspires young collector

Fourteen-year-old Amber O'Reilly's passion for philately was fuelled by her father, but her inspiration came from an animated pig named Wilbur according to the Edmonton Journal.

O'Reilly is quoted as saying, "I've always liked pigs - I had a stuffed animal collection - but I was three when I saw Charlotte's Web and it was one of the first movies that made me cry."

Her pig-themed stamp collection, currently at more than 1,000 and growing, is on display at the Edmonton Stamp Show.

The Edmonton Stamp Club, with nearly 350 members, is one of the biggest clubs in Canada. It is also one of the oldest, its activities dating back to 1912.

Reporter Jamie Hall writes, "Then, collecting stamps of the world was almost a rite of passage for children, but that is no longer the case...In the world of philately, which attracts those of a much older vintage, the teenager stands out."

Shown above, Wilbur the Pig commemorative which was one of the "Favorite Children's Book Animals" stamps issued in 2006 by the United States Postal Service.

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

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Philatelic April Fool's Joke

The Neutral Moresnet website relates a philatelic prank that took place in April 1867 by Belgian Jean Baptiste Moens, who is often thought of as the first stamp dealer in the world.

According to the site...

"In his magazine J.P. Moens always scored points off his colleagues with the latest news facts about stamps.

"However, it irritated him that his Parisian colleague Mahé always indiscriminately copied his articles without mentioning the source.

"In the April edition of "Le Timbre-Poste" Moens had a letter printed, addressed to himself. In this letter Mr. Decrackt, director of the Postal Services in Moresnet - a republic situated between Prussia, Belgium and Holland - told him that a series of four stamps for letters would be issued, i.e. stamps of 10c. and 20c. for Belgium and 12½c. and 25c for Prussia.

They would have been printed by Messrs. De Visch and Livra in Brussels. The letter was signed by J.S. Néom.

"As Moens expected, an article appeared in "Le Timbrophile", obviously without mentioning the source. Once again proof that everything was copied discriminately, because, when critically reading the letter, it could have been discovered that this was an April fool's joke.

"Because Decrackt should be read as "de Craque" (boaster, liar) and De Visch as the Flemish word for "poisson" (fish). Livra read backwards is "Avril" (April). Together they form the expression "poisson d'Avril" which is French for April fool's joke.

From the signature one can easily read Moens."

Shown above, the fantasy stamp devised by Moens to fool his colleagues.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM