Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sorting an Accumulation

Janet Klug writes in Linn's Nov. 24 edition, "There is nothing more delightful for a stamp collector than acquiring a whole lot of stamps all at once. The feeling must be akin to that of a pirate opening up a treasure chest full of gold doubloons."

She goes on to say, "If you have ever acquired a fat album full of stamps or a cigar box lot crammed with stamps, then you know the feeling. But then the realization sets in that you actually are supposed to do something with this treasure."

In her Refresher Course article, Imposing Order on Chaos: Processing Large Lots and Collections , Janet says there are basically four steps involved;

1. Organize it
2. Meld it into your current collection
3. Start a new collection
4. Swap or store the duplicates

She points out processing an accumulation requires some tedious sorting. She says she likes to sort by country first. After that, she sorts each country by approximate time period - 18th, 19th, 20th century, etc.

She concludes by saying, "The most important point to remember when working with a large number of stamps is to take your time. You do not need to do it all in one sitting. Spread it out over days, weeks or months, and before long your chaotic treasure chest will morph into a nice, well-organized collection."

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

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ho Ho Ho

Reporter Tracey Tong writes on the Metro Ottawa website. A little thing like a Canada Post strike is not going to get in the way of a happy holiday season.

Canada Post spokeswoman Nicole Lemire is quoted in the article as saying, "Santa Claus’s North Pole Post Office is open for business — and jolly old St. Nick’s postal elves (Canada Post employees and retirees) are raring to go."

Lemire explained that the program — which employs 11,000 volunteers a year — replied to 1.2 million letters and 45,000 e-mails in 27 languages and in Braille last year.

She said a Canadian postal workers strike will have no effect on the project, which has been receiving and answering Santa’s mail for the past 26 years.

According to Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the 2,100 workers who are on strike are predominantly administrative and technical workers and do not handle the mail. Employees responsible for the collection and delivery of the mail are members of a separate union and have a valid contract.

Shown above, Allison Scharf, 6, gets help from Canada Post employee and postal elf in addressing and sealing her letter to Santa.

If you would like to write or e-mail Santa a letter, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, November 28, 2008

Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) Creates Innovative Stamp Album

Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) has created an innovative stamp album based on PSE's "A Guide to U.S. Design Numbers," a simplified system for building a basic collection of United States postage stamps by major design type.

The 74-page album is printed on acid-free paper. It contains spaces for 435 regular-issue U.S. postage stamps issued between 1847 and 1947 and intended for use on letters or parcels. Each stamp design is illustrated and has a write-up about the stamps and the design type, i.e. Banknote and Bureau Issues.

Descriptions also have the "USD" number listed in PSE's U.S. Design Numbers booklet as well as the Scott Catalogue numbers.

Each page has a write-up about the stamps and the design type (i.e. Banknote and Bureau Issues). As an added bonus, the plain edge, 8.5 X 11 format on heavy stock makes each page suitable for framing or for sharing with friends, family or co-workers.

PSE's United States Stamps by Design Type, Part 1, Regular U.S. Postage, 1847 to 1947 is a real stroke of philatelic genius that benefits both the novice and advanced collector who don't have the money, time, and/or interest to collect all the different varieties of early U.S. stamps.

The album can be purchased for $35 each, postpaid, and is available with a plain left edge or with a three-hole punch.

For additional information or to place an order for the album, "United States Postage Stamps by Design Type, The First Century 1847 - 1947," contact Professional Stamp Experts, P.O. Box 6170, Newport Beach, CA 92658. Phone: (949) 567-1346. E-mail: Online:
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Inspired by President Roosevelt’s January 6, 1941 State of the Union address, Norman Rockwell (1894–1978) created four paintings: Freedom of Speech, Freedom from Want, Freedom of Worship and Freedom from Fear.

“Rockwell struggled with how to illustrate these abstract concepts but, in 1943, after numerous drafts and studies, he represented the four freedoms in a way every American could identify with and understand,” notes Sarah Cash, Bechhoefer Curator of American Art at the Corcoran and exhibition curator.

In 1994, on the 100th anniversary of Rockwell's birth, his paintings appeared on the souvenir sheet shown above.

Today we should all be grateful for these and al the other freedoms we enjoy.

For more on The Four Freedoms and the story behind the paintings, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bob Hope Stamp "Previewed"

The Postal Service reports a commemorative stamp honoring entertainer Bob Hope was "previewed" Monday at a ceremony on Ellis Island. Hope’s daughter, Linda, joined USPS Governor Katherine Tobin at the event.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, the stamp was a "pinch-hitting" opportunity for artist Kazuhiko Sano whose portrait of the late entertainer appears on the stamp (shown above).

Sano, 56, is quoted in article by reporter Jim Staats as saying, "I came in kind of like a last-minute stand-in in early September." Staats says surviving family members weren't happy with work done by another illustrator.

According to the article, initial talk of a Hope caricature was scratched in favor of "a good, warm, dignified image of Bob Hope to represent the man who entertained us for all those years." Sano, a Tokyo native, watched a lot of Hope's old movies and television shows in order to come up with the image.

Sano has a long history with the U.S. Postal Service. His 16 paintings or illustrations for stamps include last year's commemorative stamp for Frank Sinatra.

The Bob Hope commemorative stamp is scheduled for release nationwide next May 29 and will not be part of the Legends of Hollywood series according to the Postal Service.

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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Great Holiday Gift Idea

Christopher Diaz of Stamp Paraphernalia writes to offer up some great holiday gift ideas for your fellow (and gal) club members, window clerks who have been nice to you all year, and even yourself!

Some of the ideas include stamp coasters, clocks, and the Inverted Jenny on cover shown above.

According to Chris's website, "It's a reproduction envelope with an inverted Jenny. This is just for great fun....frame it and cause a discussion about your stamp collection. Its fun and leads to great talks about Postal History. Now come should know if this was a real McCoy it would not be $1.50. However, this envelope design was based on an actual envelope."

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

Monday, November 24, 2008

Custom Made Nutcrackers on Holiday Stamps

KIVI-TV in Boise, Idaho reports, "Ordinarily, Glenn Crider can turn out a nutcracker in two or three days. When the customer is the U. S. government, it can take considerably longer."

According to the station and Worldnow, "Crider, one of only a handful of nutcracker craftsmen in the United States, made the quartet of nutcrackers pictured on four of this year's holiday stamps. Once the final design for the nutcrackers was approved, he spent about a month carving, painting and assembling them."

Reporter Barry Abisch says, "Crider worked from sketches by Sally Andersen-Bruce, who photographed the nutcrackers for the stamps. Andersen-Bruce, whose studio is in New Milford, Conn., has produced more than two dozen other stamps for the postal service including holiday stamp sets in 2002, 2004 and 2005."

Crider is quoted as saying, "In most cases, I can produce an original in two or three days. It took about a month to produce make sure the photographer ended up with the best possible product from which to create the images."

Shown above, Craftsman Glenn Crider with his holiday-stamp nutcrackers.

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

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Autographs on Stamps

Richard Novick of Marlboro, NJ writes to say he recently got a nice surprise from President-Elect Obama - an autograph!

During the campaign, Richard sent both Senators Barack Obama and John McCain a 1950 U.S. 3c stamp showing the White House (Scott 990) in the center of a 3x5-inch white index card along with an autograph request.

Shown above is Obama's autograph which Richard received last month. He still has not heard from McCain.

For 50 years, Richard has been asking famous people to sign stamps which picture them or are otherwise related to their claim to fame.

Click here to see Richard's page on the Stamporama website with other fascinating examples of stamps and famous signatures.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How To Collect Stamps

WikiHow has a good article and video on How to Collect Stamps for beginning collectors.

According to the site, "Collecting stamps can be an intimidating hobby to undertake but with the right skills anyone can become an advanced stamp collector."

In their list of 10 steps to becoming a stamp collector, this is #1....

"Borrow books from the library. The best way to learn as much as possible about stamp collecting is to digest the wisdom of those who have written a lot about it. Most libraries will have quite a large collection of such books."

However, there are no recommended readings.

If you would like to suggest one go to the site, click "edit" and type in what you think would be a good book for a novice collector. Keep in mind books that are currently in print and readily available are probably best.

Be advised you need to be register on the site and that some knowledge of HTML code is necessary input information correctly.

To visit WikiHow's How to Collect Stamps, make book recommendations and watch the video that can be embedded into your club or personal website, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mystery Crates Revealed

The National Postal Museum reports 30 years ago, 27 wooden crates were sealed in a Smithsonian storage facility. Their contents were a mystery until museum technician Rebecca Johnson began opening them this year.

Some of the interesting objects Johnson discovered included hand-operated machines that once canceled mail to badges postal workers would wear on their caps.

This Saturday, from 1:00-3:00, visitors can find out about work behind the scenes at the Postal Museum and take a look at some of the "mystery objects" Johnson cleaned, measured, and organized.

Shown above, the contents of one of the crates.

For more about the Postal Museum and its activities and displays, click here to read an article by Washington Parent columnist Julie Bloss Kelsey who writes, "As a lifelong stamp collector, I was excited to take my husband and sons on a trip to the National Postal Museum. My 7-year-old, however, was not convinced. 'I don’t want to go!' he whined. 'All they’re gonna have is old letters and maybe a 2,000-year-old envelope' Fortunately, my son was mistaken.”
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Philatelic Camera Sold at Auction reports the camera used to photograph Britain's Queen Elizabeth for postage stamps has been sold at auction.

The Hasselblad 503CX was used to picture the queen at her London residence Buckingham Palace on 22 June 1966, and was sold for £1,600 in Norfolk, England.

One of the pictures taken by Professor John Hedgecoe was used by renowned sculptor Arnold Machin to make a plaster cast. Hedgecoe then photographed the cast with the camera, and the image was used on billions of stamps.

According to the article, "In 2001, Hedgecoe won undisclosed damages and an apology from the Royal Mail after they claimed he had nothing to do with the stamp picture, insisting it was actually the work of Lord Snowdon."

Royal Mail later admitted Hedgecoe was "entitled to his full share of credit" for the image.

Shown above, a camera similiar to the one that used to take Queen Elizabeth's portrait.

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Linn's Launches Monthly Newsletter

Linn's Stamp News has started a free monthly on-line newsletter.

In the first issue there is a preview of the first United States stamp of 2009, a story about a new stamp from Iceland that has a connection to John Lennon, and details about a completely new U.S. postmark that you can begin collecting today.

There is also information about the nation of Georgia, a close-up look at magnifying glasses, and stamp wallpaper for your computer desktop.

According to Jay Bigalke, Linn's Online Editor, "We'll share a new selection of stamp features with you each month. Feel free to pass the news along to fellow collectors by clicking the "Send to a friend" button."

Incidentally, you can now subscribe to the digital version of Linn's for only $9.99 - a dramatic drop in cost from just a few years ago when the electronic version was more than the print edition. A subscription to the print edition costs $45.95.

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

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Historic Civil War Letter Discovered in an Old Stamp Album

The website reports that a historic letter predicting the start of the Civil War was discovered in between pages of a World War II stamp album that was purchased years ago at a St. Louis flea market.

According to the article by Lee G. Healy, a former history teacher sent the well-preserved letter to the Spartanburg County Library asking if they would be interested in having it. The writer was a former mayor of Spartanburg, SC. The teacher had the letter for about 30 years and used it to teach high school students about the Civil War.

Dated Feb. 25, 1861, it reads in part, "I expect you soon will hear of war, Fort Sumter will be bombarded ere this letter reaches you. We have quiet times here, only that our boys can't wait to attack Fort Sumter they are spoiling for a fight."

Shown here is the envelope and postmark that clearly reads "Spartanburg, S.C., Feb. 26, 1861." Fort Sumter was attacked on April 12, 1861 and marked the beginning of the Civil War.

Shown above, Susan Thoms, local history assistant at the Spartanburg County Public Library, holds the letter.

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

Monday, November 17, 2008

MN Postmaster Says, "Take Your Unwanted Mail Home!"

Minnesota's Park Rapids Enterprise reports, "Patrons of the Park Rapids post office have noticed something missing lately – the public garbage can. It was removed recently when the postmaster became concerned about identity theft."

Postmaster Denice Phillips-Kunze is quoted in the article as saying, "“I just don’t think it’s a good idea because the trash is overflowing and there’s credit cards – real credit cards in there that you get in the mail. Anybody could activate those. There’s just too much personal information there with the identity theft now I just don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Now postal customers pile their unwanted mail on a counter above where the trash can used to be.

According to reporter Sarah Smith, this poses another problem for the Post Office - when customers dump unwanted mail onto the counters, it could be confused with that “no value” mail the post office is trying to dispose of, too.

“If an inspector comes in and it’s not marked and it’s in the garbage then we get in trouble,” Phillips-Kunze said, “So I would prefer they take their mail home.”

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

Sunday, November 16, 2008

National Postal Museum Features Lincoln Plate Proofs

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the Smithsonian is having a yearlong celebration, featuring exhibitions and events that will offer visitors a chance to explore the life and times of the nation’s 16th president.

Beginning later this month, the National Postal Museum’s Philatelic Gallery pullout frames will feature 11 certified plate proofs for postage stamps honoring the former postmaster of New Salem, Illinois.

Certified plate proofs are the last printed proof of the plate before printing the stamps. These plate proofs are each unique, with the approval signatures and date.

For postal scholars these plates provide important production information in the plate margin inscriptions, including guidelines, plate numbers, and initials of the siderographer, or person who created the plate from a transfer roll.

The stamps, issued from 1894 to 1959, feature a variety of Lincoln portraits.

To see proofs of the 1894 4-cent Abraham Lincoln definitive(SC 254), shown above, click here.

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

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Meal is in the Mail

How about a Thanksgiving feast for your son or daughter away at college, a missionary or a needy family in your own area?

Idaho's Latah Eagle reports, "United States Postal Service has come up with an idea for sharing your holiday dinner with someone who can’t make a trip home. By using a flat rate priority box available at the post office along with the list of contents, instructions and recipes available at your local post office, you can send a truly traditional meal to whomever you wish."

According to the paper the suggested menu includes a roasted turkey with dressing, candied yams with marshmallows, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce, olives and pumpkin pie with whipped topping.

"Now, you don’t send the entire meal ready to serve. That’s just not practical. But you can shop for the ingredients, pack the box, including the recipes and instructions that you obtain at your post office, seal the box, add an address label, and it’s ready to go."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:54 AM

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's An Addiction

"Fanatical" stamp collector Steven Chivers is quoted in an article that appeared in New Zealand's Taranaki Daily News about the Tarapex National Stamp Exhibition as saying stamp collecting is "an obsession, a drug addition and it's better than putting money into Lotto or cigarettes."

Steven, who has been collecting for 45 years, has four display boards at the exhibition showcasing his endangered bird stamps and the conceptual drawings from start to finish.

Reporter Felicity Rookes writes that stamp collecting was not for the faint-hearted. According to Steven, "It is a very competitive and expensive hobby."

Shown above, father and son at the exhibition. From the look on the boy's face, it appears he's a coin collector. Either that or he needs to go to the bathroom REAL bad.

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

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New APS Chapters Activities Committee Newsletter

One of the many benefits of belonging to the American Philatelic Society (APS) is getting ideas on how enjoy the hobby more. One way of doing that is belonging to a local stamp club or APS chapter.

Each quarter, the APS Chapters Activities Committee (CAC), under the leadership of Tom Fortunato, publishes a newsletter.

While designed primarily for club officers, the newsletter provides interesting insights and news that club members and others can also use and benefit from.

To read and download the just released Fall 2008 CAC Newsletter, click here.

To learn more about the Chapters Activities Committee and read past issues, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ken Lawrence to Start Another Holocaust Collection

Ken Lawrence is starting another Holocaust collection as well as writing a book according to Pennsylvania's Centre Daily News.

Reporter Chris Rosenblum writes, "For 30 years, Lawrence built an award-winning catalog of rare concentration camp mail and other postal material from the Nazi reign before selling the collection recently to the Spungen Family Foundation in Illinois. The 250 items, insured by the foundation for $1 million, recount the Nazis’ mass murder of Jews, gypsies, political prisoners and others through the fragile testimonies of letters, envelopes, postcards and documents."

Ken, 65, shown above, is a former civil rights activist who started collecting letters, papers and other items to refute those who denied that the Holocaust happened.

He is quoted as saying about the items that have helped him silence Holocaust deniers, “I want the viewer of these to be shocked, overcome, to have a lump in their throat and a tear in their eye. If this doesn’t create a deep, emotional response, I’ve failed.”

To read the entire article, click here.

To read a previous post about Ken and his "Postal Evidence of The Holocaust" collection click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Last Post: Remembering the First World War

Today is Veterans Day in the United States. In other parts of the world, November 11 is known as Armistice or Remembrance Day.

This year several countries are issuing stamps to mark the 90th Anniversary of the end of World War I on November 11, 1918.

The Cambridge Network website reports a new exhibition opened in London last week to celebrate the critical role the Post Office played during the First World War (1914-1918).

According to the site, "Last Post: Remembering the First World War highlights a fascinating, previously untold story of the challenges faced by the Post Office in quickly expanding its operation to meet the demands of the war, at a time when around 25% of its workforce signed up to fight for their country."

The exhibition, part of which is shown above, is on display at the Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms in London. It is being jointly staged along with The British Postal Museum and Archive. The event will run to the end of February 2009, before going on a three-year national tour to 15 museums across the UK.

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

Monday, November 10, 2008

Youngblood Joins Regency-Superior

Linn's Stamp News reports that Wayne Youngblood has joined Regency-Superior Auctions as vice-president for cosignor relations.

A lifelong collector, Wayne is well-known and liked throughout the philatelic community both in the United States and aboard. He currently sits on the board of the American Philatelic Society and is an expert for the APS Expertizing Service.

In the past, he has served as an associate editor at Linn's, editor of Scott Stamp Monthly and editor-publisher of Stamp Collector. For the past 18 years, Wayne has also taught the Stamp Technology Course at the annual APS Summer Seminar on Philately course.

His collecting specialities include U.S. stamps, postal history, errors, freaks, and philatelic oddities.

If you are thinking of selling your collection, he can be reached at or by calling 1-800-782-0666.

Shown above, Wayne at last month's SESCAL stamp show and exhibition held in Los Angeles.

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

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Stamp Handbags

Elliott Williams, CEO of ez-duz-it by Elliott, reports in the USPS New Link that his USPS-themed handbags, bags, belts and totes have become the most popular line he has sold during his 25 years in business.

The 90-percent recycled, repurposed, refurbished, eco-friendly and handmade handbags are available online and at boutiques and specialty stores across the United States and Canada.

To view the various items, click here. PS - Order early for Christmas.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, November 08, 2008

China 2009 World Stamp Exhibition

China's CCTV reports, "The World Stamp Exhibition prepares to come to China for a second time. The annual event moves around the world from year to year. Next year it will be in Luoyang in central China's Henan province. An introductory exhibition has begun a tour of sixty Chinese cities, in preparation for the major event next April."

China 2009 World Stamp Exhibition is under the patronage of Federation of International Philately and is sponsored by China State Post Bureau,People’s Government of Henan Province, China Post Group, All-China Philatelic Federation and undertaken by the People’s Government of Luoyang City, Henan Province.

Accroding to the write-up, "It's an influential event with a history of a hundred-and-fifty-years. The touring exhibition will showcase achievements in the Chinese postal system over the decades. The tour also emphasizes the historical and cultural significance of Henan. The province is considered as the birth place of Chinese civilization."

Shown above, the exhibition's emblem which features the ancient gate tower in Luoyang, flying pigeons (which represent peace and development), the earth, and the words “CHINA 2009."

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

Friday, November 07, 2008

Malta's Postal Window on History

The Times of Malta reports, "The annual philatelic exhibition, MALTEX, will open to the public tomorrow with a line-up of exhibits that demonstrate there is more to stamp collecting than meets the layman's eye."

According to the report, "While the hobby may seem to some a vestige of the last century, not only is it still very much alive in Malta but it is also one way of learning more about the past."

Alfred Bonnici, president of the Malta Philatelic Society, which organises the exhibition, gives as examples specialised areas of interest such as infected mail or prisoner of war mail, which can reveal unknown details about society or events decades or even centuries ago.

Alfred is quoted as saying, "Philately goes beyond collecting stamps. The spectrum is much wider than that. It also involves postal history."

This year's exhibition is on the theme of Malta Mail, which dates back to the establishment of the Sovereign Military Order of St John nearly 500 years ago.

Shown above, one of the items in the exhibit - a ship hand stamp on a cover sent to Constantinople via Malta, dated December 27, 1862

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

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Stamp Collecting is One Big History Lesson

According to Denny Donnell of Columbia, Missouri, "Stamp collecting is one big history lesson."

Denny and the Columbia Philatelic Society are featured in an article that appears on the Columbia Tribune website.

Last weekend at the Columbia Public Library, Denny and some other members of the society shared their love for stamps with younger generations by displaying their collections - each of which is its own history book writes reporter Parker Eshelman.

Fellow collector Scott Ward is quoted in the article as saying, "With technology like the Internet and e-mail, some kids are not learning the importance stamps play when mailing a letter. That’s where we come in."

Shown above, Denny Donnell, 73, who founded the Columbia Philatelic Society nearly 40 years ago.

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

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama stamp

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

Holiday Gift Idea

A New York-based manufacturer has launched its first product line consisting entirely of USPS stamp art — the “P.S. Collection” by jeweler Arjang & Company.

The company’s first offering, which includes the “P.S. I Love You” and the “P.S. Happy Holidays” product lines, features the All Heart love series stamp and the 39-cent Snowflake stamp from the holiday collection.

The “P.S. Happy Holidays” collection offers decorative wrist watches in a variety of stamp designs with a number of shapes, sizes and colors of watchbands. In addition to watches, the “P.S. I Love You” collection includes decorative wall clocks, fine jewelry and bone china gift sets.

In 2007, consumers bought $89 million worth of products licensed by the Postal Service according to the USPS News Link.

Typically, USPS receives a royalty on all sales of licensed products. That's money which goes straight to the USPS bottom line, and it also extends the Postal Service's images into new areas.

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

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day USA

According to the USPS News Link more and more Americans have elected to cast their ballots by mail.

Election officials report that in 2008:

- Thirty-three states allow voters to vote absentee by mail or in-person early.

- Twenty-eight states allow “no excuse” absentee voting by mail.

- Florida election officials estimate that nearly a quarter of the state’s 10 million voters will vote before election day in-person or by mail.

- Half of California’s voters are expected to cast ballots by mail.

- 2008 marks Oregon’s third presidential election using the mail.

- In Washington, 37 of 39 counties are vote by mail only.

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

Monday, November 03, 2008

Solar-Powered Mail Delivery Vehicle Debuts

The Florida Times-Union reports U.S. Postal Service officials unveiled a new solar-powered, fuel-efficient vehicle (known as the T-3) late last week in St. Augustine, Florida.

Other locations where the T-3 is being tested include Atlantic Beach, Key West and Ocala in Florida, Phoenix and Sun City in Arizona, and San Diego and Irvine in California.

Reporter Larry Hannan writes, "The T-3 has a science fiction-like appearance with three wheels, a driver who stands up while driving, and a load capacity of 450 pounds. It travels at a maximum 12 mph and costs 4 cents a mile to operate."

USPS spokesman Bill Tyler could not say how much a T-3 costs, but is quoted as saying the price was less than a cheap new car.

He also said, "It is not clear how long the Postal Service will be testing the new vehicles, or what will happen once the testing period is over. If the T-3 works well in the testing areas, the Postal Service hopes to produce more vehicles and send them out to all parts of the country."

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

Sunday, November 02, 2008

1868 B-Grill Sells for Million Plus

The New York Times reports, "In a sign that high-end collectibles may withstand the economic downturn, a near-record price for a rare postage stamp was set last week at an auction in New York City."

Auctioned on Wednesday at the Siegel Auction Galleries, an anonymous bidder bid $1,035,000 for the 1868 stamp shown above. It is one of only four known copies with a B-grill.

According to the Times, "The four were rediscovered in 1969, on a single envelope from a letter mailed to Germany. The stamp is one of the keys to assembling a complete collection of American stamps."

To read the entire article, click here.

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

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Postage Stamp Portraits

The UK's Sutton Coldfield Observer reports an exhbition of postage stamp portraits are on display at a local museum.

Painter and illustrator Pete Mason is displaying his works, including pictures containing 2500 stamps up to 20,000 stamps at the Museum of Cannock Chase until November 14.

The exhibition, entitled Post Pop Art Too! features portraits of such notables as Nelson Mandella, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Winston Churchill and Simon Cowell.

A part time teacher of art at Kingsmead Technology College, Mason gets many of his stamps from pupils, parents and the local community and also buys them from a dealer.

Shown above, Mason with is his giant stamp portrait of American Idol's Simon Cowell.

To read the entire article, click here.

To visit Mason's website and see more examples of his work, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM