Friday, October 31, 2008

Antique Postal Scales

Larry T. Nix of Middleton, WI writes to say that Round-Up readers might be interested in knowing about the antique mail room machines found on the Early Office Museum website.

The site features pictures and write-ups about machines that addressed items to be mailed and that sealed, affixed postage to, and opened envelopes.

Also included are postal scales.

According to the site, "The UK introduced both postal rates based on weight and adhesive postage stamps in 1840. Other countries soon followed, and as a result there was a market for letter scales."

Shown above is a candlestick spring scale that was introduced in 1840 and marketed into the 1870s.

To visit the Early Office Museum website, click here.

Also, check out Larry's Postal Librariana website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Philatelic Bookplates

The Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie recently featured pictures of philatelic bookplates from the libraries of collectors and stamp dealers.

Among them are bookplates that once graced the books and albums belonging to such notables as American Philatelic Society Hall of Famers John K. Tiffany and Harry Lindquist; philatelic writer Charles James Phillips; and George T. Turner, the former curator of philatelic holdings at The Smithsonian.

Shown above, a bookplate belonging to Pennsylvania stamp dealer Elmer R. Long.

To see more, click here.

Also, click here to read Philatelic and Postal Bookplates by Brian J. Birch.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kentpex Stamp Show and Bourse

The Stamp Collecting Round-Up had a cameo appearance in an exhibit at the fifty-first annual Kentpex Stamp Show and Bourse on Oct. 25-26 which was sponsored by the Kent Philatelic Society of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The theme of the show was “The Dunes,” commemorating the tenth in the USPS’“Nature of America” series of stamps.

Shown above are Dick Walquist (Exhibition Chairman), Joe Scholten (publisher of the show’s flyers and program) and Carol Ligda-Wong (one of the exhibitors) in front of a pane about “The Great Lakes Dunes.”

These dunes are part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore near Empire, Michigan, and the Kent Philatelic Society was proud to show off one of their state’s jewels on the newly issued (October 2) stamps.

Carol's exhibit, “Fun With Duplicates,” had the Round-Up's Aug. 18 entry in it which was about a gentleman who used his duplicates to cover his car.

Kentpex 2008 boasted ten exhibits in 18 frames, 15 dealers, door prizes, stamp
give-aways at the youth table and well over 200 visitors.

To read an article about the Great Lakes Dunes stamps that appeared in Michagan's Muskegon Chronicle, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Las Vegas's Only Stamp Store

The Las Vegas Journal Review reports Ruth Hilliard, owner of Charleston Stamps and a former Showboat casino waitress, opened a store for stamp collectors because her late husband, then a sergeant with the Metropolitan Police Department, wanted to become a stamp dealer.

According to the article, Ruth and her husband, Robert, opened Charleston Stamps (named for the street location) in 1984. Back then there was three or four stamp stores. When they got divorced in 1986 and she took it over. Today it is the only stamp shop in Las Vegas.

When asked if she was a stamp collector herself, Ruth told reporter John G. Edwards, "I would be in trouble if I collected stamps. I would probably want to keep them all."

Ruth is quoted as saying that Las Vegas was at one time known as Los Vegas and that covers with that postmark are extremely rare.

Charleston Stamps is located at 5708 W. Charleston Blvd. Ruth can be reached at 877-1106.

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

Monday, October 27, 2008

Alzheimer's Stamp a Personal Project for Designer

The Washington Post features USPS Art Director Ethel Kessler in an article about the her and the new Alzheimer's stamp.

Kessler has designed many US stamps in the past but this one was particularly difficult according to reporter Steve Hendrix.

Kessler's mother is in the later stages of Alzheimer's.

Kessler is quoted by Hendrix as saying,"It's one of the most emotional projects I've ever worked on. I'm not even sure my mother remembers my name now. She hasn't said it in a long time."

David Failor, the Postal Service's executive director of stamp services, is also quoted as saying officials looked at dozens of designs before Kessler provided one that fully captured the serene menace of the disease.

New York artist Matt Mahurin drew the portrait. He used his aunt as a model and his wife's hand as the caregiver's according to the article.

Kessler also created the 1998 breast cancer awareness stamp.

"It was another personal issue for the designer, who won her battle with breast cancer in 1994," writes Hendrix.

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

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Stamp Collecting as a Pastime

Originally published in 1902, Stamp Collecting as a Pastime by Edward James Nankivell is can be read free online and even downloaded thanks to new technology.

Published as one of Stanley Gibbons' Philatelic Handbooks, the book fell out of copyright and has re-emerged on the Internet as a glimpse into the hobby as it was more than a hundred years ago.

Nankivell, a member of the Philatelic Society of London, writes in the introduction, "Many people are at a loss to understand the fascination that surrounds the pursuit of stamp collecting. They are surpirsed at the clannishness of stamp collectors, and their lifelong devotion to their hobby. They are thunderstruck at the enormous prices paid for stamps, and at the fortunes that are spent and made in stamp collecting."

Not that much has changed.

To read or download Stamp Collecting as a Pastime, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mystic Catalog Online

Linn's William F. Sharpe writes in his Computers and Stamps column that the Mystic Stamp Company has placed its entire 132-page full-color catalog of United States Stamps online.

Bill writes, "You can browse through the catalog page by page, use a visual index to see thumbnail views of each page, or search by keyword or catalog number."

He goes on to say, "The catalog is well-organized. It includes regular U.S. issues through 2007, as well as airmail stamps."

To view the catalog, click here then when you are at the site go to Order Stamps Online.

PS - a tip of the tongs to Bill who featured the Round-Up in a nice article that appeared in the September 15 issue. Thanks guy!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 24, 2008

Big Draw at British Postal Museum

To tie in with this year's 50th anniversary of Regional stamps, and the Big Draw theme of Architecture and the Environment, the British Postal Musum & Archive (BPMA) will be exploring how visitors feel about their own region and environment, and working together to produce a giant three dimensional 'regional' stamp.

BPMA staff and artist Paul Jackson invite visitors for an afternoon of drawing and modelmaking inspired by images from the BPMA's collections according to the website.

The Big Draw is a nationwide campaign in Great Britain to promote the power of drawing. It runs every year throughout October. People of all ages and abilities are invited to explore different techniques and materials.

This is the third year that the BPMA has participated in The Big Draw. Previous years' activities have included experimental film techniques used by the GPO Film Unit, and the classic Machin Head stamp design.

To view stamps from The Big Draw 2007, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Typeface Designers and Stamps

Kat Ran Press writes to tell me about their fascinating website which features stamps done by typeface designers.

Michael Russem writes as an introduction to the site, "Although a field that is often overlooked by bibliophiles and historians of printing and typography, several of the most important contributors to twentieth century book and letter arts have made significant contributions to the design of the seemingly modest postage stamp."

He goes on to say, "This collection was started in 1999 after I came across the stamps of Jan Van Krimpen in A Record in Honor of His Sixtieth Birthday. There are well over 600 stamps in the collection, and I'm pretty sure I've identified every stamp by anyone who has ever designed a typeface. Think there's someone I've missed? Let me know."

Shown above, the 2002 Mentoring a Child stamp which was designed by Lance Hidy . A graphic artist, illustrator and typeface designer, Lance has published a book - Designing the Mentoring Stamp - which is available for purchase on the site.

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Stamps More Important Than Life or Death to Canadian Dealer

Canada's website has an interesting article on stamp dealer and auctioneer John Talman in Toronto.

John, 70, opened his stamp store, John H. Talman Ltd. Stamp Auctions & Sales, 30 years ago and it hasn't changed all that much except most of his business these days is on the Internet.

Reporter Naomi Carniol quotes him as saying, "Stamps carry the romance of history and are often works of art, but there's another reason they're popular. Unlike the stock market or local economies, stamps tend to hold their value because they're part of an international market."

Besides his website,, John also has a stamp blog called Talman Tips, where he writes about various stamps and aspects of the hobby.

"Stamps are not a matter of life and death," John jokes. "They're far more important."

Shown above, John (in the checked shirt) and his friend Art sorting stamps.

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

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

License Plates I Love to See

The license plate shown above was spotted on a van parked outside a recent stamp show and exhibition held in Los Angeles.

For the uninitiated...

VF = Very Fine, a description of how well a stamp is centered.

OG = Original Gum

NH = Never hinged

If you have philatelic license plate and would like to share it with your fellow collectors, please send a picture of it to me at

For more on license plates from around the world, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rabbi Opposes Elvis Stamp

Rabbi Ben Kamin, Spiritual Life Examiner on the website, opines that Elvis should never have been on a postage stamp.

He points out, "Elvis Presley died ignominiously and self-abusively. He killed himself with drugs, alcohol, and indulgence. The end of his life came to be a cacophony of blind extravagance and gross irresponsibility. He was not martyred; he was stoned."

Rabbi Kamin says he was visited recently by a stamp collector who brought with him part of his collection.

"This fellow, who even carries around a special moist sponge for his stamps ('It’s so crass to lick a stamp,' he snarls), is actually a member of the American Philatelic Society. He is very disappointed in the current lack of artistic merit in US stamps, and is opposed to the self-sticking variety. He takes great pride in his anthology of cancelled samples and really possesses a pronounced sense of history and citizenship."

"But when he pulled out a commemorative first class stamp with the visage of Elvis Presley, we got into a bit of a tussle. I opposed the Elvis stamp, released by the Postal Service in 1993, although I adored Elvis and particularly admired his unabashed admiration for black-style vocalization," the Rabbi writes.

He concludes with, "In the end, the Postal Service, always poorly run, and fiscally dysfunctional, decided to run the stamp and enjoy its biggest sales of any stamp in history. Never mind the ramifications of putting the stamp of approval on an idol who surely would have never wanted any youngster to pursue the kind of self-destruction that he did."

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

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Joke Du Jour

From the Edinburgh Evening News...

"A boy of 12 was a dedicated stamp collector; until the lad next door also bought an album. 'He buys every stamp I do,' the boy complained to his father, 'and he's taken all the fun of it away.' 'Don't be a fool, my boy,' said his wise dad. 'Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of philately."

For more stamp jokes, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rare Stamp Found on McCain Letter

Andy Johns of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports, "After seven years of scanning his mail with an ultraviolet light, Bill Moore’s diligence may have finally paid off."

Moore believes he has found a rare stamp attached to a mass mailing letter from the John McCain presidential campaign.

Andy goes on to write, "Under normal light, the green stamp with a golden-colored eagle looks like other stamps on Mr. Moore’s cluttered coffee table. But when the stamp collector grabs his ultraviolet light from the floor and passes it over the letters like a wand over a magic hat, the rare stamp glows a pale, iridescent green while the others remain dull."

Moore is quoted in the article as saying, “It’s kind of like somebody out in their backyard digging around planting flowers and they come up with a dinosaur jaw bone.”

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders is quoted as saying the stamp was probably in a roll printed on a machine that had just switched from phosphorescent stamps to non-phosphorescent and some of the chemical bled onto the plain stamps.

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

Friday, October 17, 2008

Volunteers Raise Funds Through Stamps

As a thank you for the work done by area garden clubs, an Illinois elementary school is collecting stamps for the state's Audobon's "Stamps for Wildlife Habitat" program.

Reporter Lauren Traut of the Frankfort Station newspaper in Frankfort,IL, writes, "In the springtime, the courtyard at Grand Prairie is nature's classroom. Tadpoles dart around a small pond and the breeze fans floral scents across the area."

She goes on to say it wasn't always that way. The work of volunteers like Kay MacNeil and the Frankfort Area Garden Club and other area garden clubs inspired by MacNeil, transformed the spot into a living classroom.

To help repay the favor, the Grand Prairie principal and assistant principal are participating in the Illinois Audobon's "Stamps for Wildlife Habitat" program which provided support for the school project.

The program takes recycled, commemorative and foreign stamps and postcards and turns them into funds for Illinois Audobon Society and its land acquisition program.

Last year's collection brought in nearly $3,000 for the fund.

MacNeil is quoted in the article as saying, "When you put all those little stamps together, it adds up."

Stamps that can be saved include canceled commemorative stamps, airmail, express, foreign, duck, state conservation, high denomination definitives, picture postcards, unused stamps (regardless of age) and stamp collections (complete or incomplete).

Stamp donations can be sent to Grand Prairie Elementary School, 10482 W. Nebraska St. in Frankfort, or mailed directly to MacNeil, at 689 Golf Club Lane, Frankfort, Ill. 60423.

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

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stamp Collector's Car on New Stamp

The USPS News Link reports one of the featured vehicles on the recently released “50’s Fins and Chrome” stamps — a 1957 Chrysler 300C — is owned by George McKovich of Twin Falls, ID - an avid stamp collector.

According to the article, "McKovich has owned the car since 1999. The car underwent an off-the-frame restoration a few years later. It’s considered a rarity, because Chrysler only made 1,767 coupes that year, and just 180 were red. Of the original number, only 380 remain."

McKovich, says having his own vehicle on a stamp is special. “A hundred years from now, kids will be putting this stamp in their books. This is a way to leave a legacy,” he said.

Shown above, George McCovitch with the 1957 Chrysler 300C used as the model for one of the "50's Fins and Chrome" stamps.

For more cars on stamps, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Postal Troops Ship Out

The Killen, Kansas Daily Herald reports twenty soldiers from the from the 81st Adjutant General (Postal) unit have shipped out for a 12-month deployment to the Middle East.

Reporter Amanda Kim Stairrett writes, "The postal unit will be responsible for coordinating, receiving and processing incoming mail and dispatching outgoing mail in Balad, Iraq; Baghdad International Airport; and Arrfjan, Kuwait, said its commander, Lt. Col. Jason Kuroiwa. The soldiers will staff military mail terminals in which all the incoming and outgoing mail from all branches of service will filter."

Lt. Col. Kuroiwa is quoted in the article as saying, "It's an important job because mail is the No. 1 morale builder during a deployment. A letter or a care package is a tangible piece of home."

The postal soldiers had just four months to form, train and prepare for their mission. That included classes on everything from affixing proper labels to packages to distributing mail to knowing what items can't be sent to other countries.

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

WWII Concentration Camp Mail

Peter H. Semetis of Hilton Head Island, SC writes about his dad, Harry P. Semetis.

Peter says his father had given him back in the 1980's a collection of concentration camp mail. His father said he had acquired it during World War II as he and his fellow combat engineers advanced town to town until reaching Germany.

He also told Peter of how he would enter concentration camps during liberation, then go straight to the postal rooms and collect various letters and cards. A large group is from Westermark as well as a 7 piece postcard set addressed to the camp from the Ukraine.

Peter has held on to these but would now like to dispose of them and isn't sure who might be interested.

You can write Peter at
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rattlesnake Bites Florida Postman is reporting, "Forget rain, sleet or snow. The bite of a poisonous snake didn't keep mail carrier Efraim Arango from his mail route on Friday."

The 66-year-old Arango was bitten on his left index finger as he put mail inside a box. After being bitten, he smacked the snake against his car door to break its grip.

Arango then continued to deliver mail for another 30 minutes. Only when his deliveries were completed did Arango drive himself back to the New Tampa station and told his supervisor what happened. She immediately called 911.

According to the report, the snake was likely an eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Shown above, Arango in his hospital bed. Arango stayed at the hospital overnight and is expected to make a full recovery.

He's quoted as saying he wants people, especially children, to know what happened to him, and to be watchful of snakes in their mailboxes.

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

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Ventura County (CA) Youth Stamp Fair

The Ventura County Star reports that thousands of free stamps will be given away next weekend at annual Youth Stamp Fair sponsored by the Ventura County (California) Philatelic Society and the Anacapa Middle School Stamp Club.

According to chairman John Weigle, "The big attraction at the event is generally the pick-and-choose tables were young collectors can pick through thousands of stamps to find one they want to build their collections, and adults can buy all the stamps they want for 5 cents each."

Visitors will also have a chance to guess the number of stamps in a large jar. The person with the closest guess without going over the amount gets the jar of stamps and other prizes to be awarded after the event during an evening meeting of the Ventura County Philatelic Society.

John also reports, "The event will also feature a cachet contest in several age groups for budding artists to prepare pictorial envelopes that will be displayed during the event and judged after it closes."

Visitors will also be able to make stamp bookmarks for themselves or as a gift that will be laminated and mailed back to them with cacheted covers.

More information about the event may be obtained from John at 485-7121 (leave a message on the machine) or by e-mail at

Click here to visit the Ventura County Philatelic Society's Web site.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gandhi Was a Stamp Collector

News On Sunday, Port-Louis, Mauritius reports Mahatma Gandhi was a stamp collector.

According to correspondent Indradev Curpen, In The Story of My Experiment with Truth, Gandhi writes how he got the support of children of his village to send his 'green pamphlets' to his supporters."

Gandhi said in his book, “To get these pamphlets ready for posting was no small matter. It would have been expensive too, if I had employed paid help for preparing wrappers. But I hit upon a much simpler plan. I gathered together all the children of my locality and asked them to volunteer two to three hours' labour of a morning, when they had no school. This they willingly agreed to do. I promised to bless them and give them, as a reward, used postage stamps which I had collected.”

After his assassination in 1948, 90 countries, from Antigua to Zambia, issued stamps in his honor. In 1969, to commemorate the birth centenary of the Mahatma, over 40 countries issued stamps on Gandhi.

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

Friday, October 10, 2008

Scott Catalogues Go MIssing

Calling all cars!! Calling all cars!!

Four Scott Catalogues have been removed from the R.H. Johnson Library in Sun City West, Arizona and officials believe a stamp collector may be involved according to a article on the website.

The missing books are valued at $70 apiece.

Mike Whiting, Recreation Centers general manager, believes there may be more than one person responsible for the thefts.

Katy O'Grady, RCSCW spokeswoman is quoted as saying, "Owner-members, not residents from outside communities, are the likely culprits. And some cases may be the result of the absent-mindedness of residents."

"If there are owner-members out there who have mistakenly taken library items and are embarrassed to return them, they are more than welcome to just drop them off in our drive-through drop box, and we'll return them to our collection," she said.

Shown above, Library Director Carol Foutts.

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

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy World Post Day

World Post Day is celebrated each year on October 9, the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss Capital, Bern.

It was declared World Post Day by the UPU Congress held in Tokyo, Japan in 1969. Since then, countries across the world participate annually in the celebrations.

The Posts in many countries use the event to introduce or promote new postal products and services.

In most countries philatelic exhibitions are organized during this period and special stamps and date cancellation marks are issued on 9 October. Other activities include the display of World Post Day posters in post offices and other public places; open days at post offices, mail centres and postal museums; the holding of conferences, seminars and workshops; as well as cultural, sport and other recreation activities.

Shown above, World Post Day activities organized by Correos de Nicaragua.

To read a World Post Day message from the Director General of the Universal Postal Union which was sent to all Postal Administrations, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Devotees Seek One Stamp in a Million

Here's an interesting and well-written article from the archives of the New York Times. It has to do with a stamp show held at Madison Square Garden way back in 1991.

"On display were not just beautiful bits of violet, magenta, bronze and the rest of the philatelic rainbow, but an intricate and eccentric world in which it seems that everyone specializes in ways never dreamed of by children poring over their first "Stamps of the World" album," writes an unnamed reporter.

"There were collectors who want private labels or unofficial stamps (called "Cinderellas" because they have not yet made it to the ball) and those who pursue errors, freaks and oddities, stamps misprinted or misperforated. Some do not collect stamps at all, but cancellation marks: registered mail, certified mail, even fumigated mail -- letters sent during a cholera epidemic, which had to be decontaminated. Others hunt down stamps picturing penguins, umbrellas or fly whisks. Dreams of Riches Dashed."

Stephen Radin, a dealer from Miami Springs, Florida is quoted as saying, "Among collectors, high stakes can create inferiority complexes -- and snobbishness. If I had 20 cents for every guy who told me he had an upside-down flying Jenny. They're trying to impress you, like they're big shots, then you look over and they're looking through tattered covers that sell for a buck."

Click here to read the entire article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Postman Pat Promoted

In the hit BBC television series Postman Pat Special Delivery Service, Pat has been promoted and reassigned to a high-tech sorting office according to the UK's Times.

That's all fine and dandy in the cartoon world of Postman Pat, who started out as a village postie.

But there's a problem in real life.

Postal workers are angry and upset that Pat not only gets to keep his job - he gets promoted as well.

"The move to update Postman Pat for the 21st century, equipping him with a personal digital aide, helicopter and even a stunt bike is seen as a step too far — especially when dozens of village post offices are facing closure," writes Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor for the Times.

Postmistress Dianne Bath is quoted in the article as saying, “He seems to have deserted the village post office.”

Postman Pat was created in 1981. The post office on which the show is based was a depiction of a real life British post office which closed years ago.

Since then hundreds of other village post offices throughout England have been shuttered as a result of economic cutbacks.

Shown above, Postman Pat and his cat, Jess.

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

Monday, October 06, 2008

State Auction Includes Stamps

The Providence Journal reports several hundred people attended a unusual day-long state run auction Saturday.

Among them was Jack Nalbandian, a stamp dealer for six decades.

Reporter G. Wayne Miller writes, "The crying of Lot 5 began with an opening bid of $100. When it ended a few moments later, Jack Nalbandian of Warwick had prevailed and was the owner of some 1,000 American stamps, many almost a century old, that had spent years in the dark quiet of a safe deposit box."

He won with a bid of $1,350.

“I think I was pretty much to my limit,” he said as he waited to pay, Visa card in hand. Friday night, as he reviewed the inventory of unclaimed property that the state treasurer’s office was auctioning, he had penciled in $1,500 as the highest he was willing to go. Yesterday morning, he dropped his limit to $1,400.

The property came into state hands from bank safe deposit boxes whose owners or heirs have failed to pay the rental fees. The boxes were drilled and the contents moved to a vault controlled by the treasurer’s office. Those items that are not claimed after advertising and other publicity are made available for auction.

Shown above, potential bidders look at a variety of items being auctioned off.

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

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pedal Power Gets the Job Done

Australia's Young Witness website reports postman David ‘Bluey’ Norton has put a lot of kilometers on his bicycle over the last 42 years.

'Bluey' has been delivering letters since 1966, back when all postmen rode "push bikes." These days,‘posties’ ride motorized scooters.

But not him. He rode his bike right up until this week when he retired.

According to the piece by Campbell Walker, "Many of the people on his route have known for some weeks and been leaving little presents in their mailboxes for their favourite postie. That’s actually nothing new. For years nearing Christmas, Bluey would sometimes return more laden with presents than when he left."

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

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Post Office Considers Laying Off Workers

Columnist Joe Davidson writes in the Washington Post, "Here's another sad sign of our economic times: Never before has the U.S. Postal Service laid off workers. Now, it's a real possibility."

American Postal Workers Union President William Burris is quoted in the article as saying,"...for the first time in postal history, the losses cannot be recovered by postage rate increases."

Davidson points out rates can't be raised because the law allows increases only under certain circumstances. One is a substantial jump in mail volume. "Not likely," pens Davidson.

Significant productivity improvement is another reason, but Burris said "regrettably, there are no prospects" for that.

The third situation allowing postage increases is the exigency clause, which Burris said, "offers an exception to the law's prohibition against increasing postage rates above the rate of inflation; it permits such increases in 'extraordinary or exceptional' circumstances."

But raising postal rates in this electronic age could be counterproductive.

"Industry observers suggest that if postage rates rise too sharply, major mailers would abandon hard-copy communication in favor of e-mail and other technologies," Burris is quoted as saying.

To read Davidson's entire column, click here.

Shown above, the cover to Laid Off, NOW WHAT? Surviving Unemployment Financially, Psychologically and The Trade Secrets to Landing a job
by Laura Dawn Lewis.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 03, 2008

Alphabetilately: An Alphabet of Philately is reporting Alphabetilately: An Alphabet of Philately, a "vibrant" alphabetical exhibition about collecting stamps and the sending of mail has opened at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

From advertising covers to Zeppelin post, all 26 topics are clearly defined and richly illustrated with intriguing examples, including rarely displayed pieces from the museum’s permanent collection.

The stamps, envelopes and objects on view span three centuries, and the stories they tell will delight visitors of all ages and of all degrees of philatelic sophistication. The exhibit, which opened last week, offers an innovative way of looking at the hobby of stamp collection. It also demonstrates the length—sometimes creative, sometimes heroic—that people have gone to stay connected via mail.

Pat Burke, exhibition director, is quoted in the article as saying “I knew the museum had to capture the excitement in an exhibition that would inspire and enlighten noncollectors and also feature rare and stunning objects from our own collection."

On William Senkus's website (which is unrelated to the National Postal Museum or the exhibit) says a coffee table book, the sheetlet of stamps shown above, along with tongs, hinges, a magnifier, and some glassines are avaialble for $90 from Dickson's of Atlanta - Ephemera Philatelica.

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

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Nick Carter Volunteer Recognition Awards

The American Philatelic Society (APS) reports nominations are being accepted for the 2009 Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Awards and will be presented at the Summer APS StampShow next year in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

There are four categories that "recognize volunteers that contribute their talents to benefit stamp collecting."

They are:

- National Promotion/Service — maximum of five recipients each year
- Local Promotion/Service — maximum of ten recipients each year
- Outstanding Young Adult Philatelist (ages 25–40) — one award each year
- Outstanding Young Philatelist (ages 15–24) — one award each year

All these awards require at least five years of service, though APS membership is not required. APS board members, staff, and Luff Award winners are not eligible. National Promotion/Service Award winners cannot subsequently win the Local Promotion/Service Award, and each award can be won only once. Winners receive the APS Volunteer Pin shown and a certificate.

Information and nomination forms for the Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Awards are available on the APS website at The awards information is in the Almanac section, and can be accessed by using the “Almanac” tab at the far right at the top of the APS home page.

You can also send a letter requesting nomination a form to APS Awards Nominations, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823, or fax it to 814-933-6128. The deadline for receipt of nominations is December 15.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Great Britain's Regional Stamps

Royal Mail is celebrating the 5oth Anniversary of the introduction of regional stamps for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with the nine stamp, miniature sheet pictured above.

"Everyone agreed that it would be a good idea if Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey had their own definitives with a regional slant. However, it took years of lobbying, debate and internal wrangling before an agreement was finally reached and the first of the new country definitives were issued in August 1958," according to a write-up on the Royal Mail website.

Until then the symbols of all four countries of the UK appeared on one unified design, but calls for a ‘regional’ stamp began as early as 1945 when the Channel Islands requested their own postage stamps.

Of the nine stamps, three are from Scotland, three from Northern Ireland and three from Wales. Stamps from the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were not included in the miniature sheet as these territories are now governed by separate postal administrations according to

The stamps feature the portrait of the Queen by Dorothy Wilding, who was the first woman to be appointed Official Royal Photographer for the Coronation in 1937.

Click here to view each of the stamps.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM