Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aquarium Plans Underwater Ceremony to Launch Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service kicks off National Stamp Collecting Month Thursday at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by unveiling its new set of stamps ... underwater.

The Monterey Hearld reports the ceremony will be broadcast live at via two "kelp cams" at the kelp exhibit.

According to reporter Gwenyth Dickey, "During the ceremony, divers will speak with the audience and answer questions about the kelp forest habitat. Kelp, the largest seaweed, grows as tall as trees and forms a lush habitat for hundreds of marine animals."

The 10-stamp pane (shown above) is based on a painting by John D. Dawson of Hilo, Hawaii. It showcases 27 animals and fish from the kelp forest ecosystem, each of which is named and described on the back of the stamp's pane. All of the species are native to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

"This isn't the first aquatic stamp to be revealed at the aquarium from under water. In 2000, a remotely operated vehicle unveiled the 'Deep Sea Creatures' stamp series from 1,500 feet beneath the surface of Monterey Bay. Live video was beamed back to the aquarium," according to the paper.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 5:01 PM

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Letters Recall Piece of NZ's Wartime History

The New Zealand Herald reports, "Letters from a German naval cadet at the centre of one of New Zealand's best known prisoner of war break-outs more than 90 years ago have surfaced in Auckland."

Reporter David Eames writes,"... the letters, part of a wider collection of postal memorabilia, came to Auckland dealer/collector Warwick Paterson, who is preparing the items for sale, from the estate of American collector George Brenan."

There are five letters and five multiple-choice prisoner of war postcards from Albert Paulsen.

Paulsen is believed to have been captured when New Zealand took control of the former German Samoa during World War I for sale. The letters are on the market for around $3000.

"His letters to sweetheart Emma Meyer - which went on sale this week - talk about his desire to be reunited with her, and his fellow prisoners' attempts to keep the boredom of captivity at bay," pens Eames.

Shown above, Warwick Paterson with the letters and postcards written by German prisoners of war from New Zealand.

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

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stamps: Much More Than a 10-Year-Olds Pastime

"History, geography, politics, entertainment -- it's all there in postage stamps," writes reporter Jessie Faulkner of Northern California's Times-Standard.

Jessie reports members of the Humboldt Stamp Collectors Club held their 24th annual Stamp Show this past weekend, "providing a world that goes far beyond the somewhat maligned pastime."

Club secretary/treasurer Carolyn Podratz (shown above) is quoted as saying, "Aesthetics, quality, condition and subject all affect collectors' decisions in buying stamps."

While attending the show, Jessie discovered Kurt Schau of Harmer-Schau Auction Galleries Inc. spent years collecting a particular Swedish stamp -- one with cancellations for each day of the year of his birth.

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

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Asian Collectors Get Passionate About Stamps

Duncan Mavin reports in the Wall Street Journal, "...Asians from China to India to Japan are emerging as serious buyers willing to fork over large sums for sought-after stamps, thanks in part to rising fortunes in the region, as well as the ease with which fledgling collectors can now get access to stamp dealers, auction houses and philatelic societies thanks to the Internet. This burgeoning group also is helping to lift the nascent market for stamps from Asia, at a time when the value of stamps from other regions is drooping."

Duncan pens, "Frowned upon in China as a bourgeois pastime during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), stamp collecting there has become popular in recent years. China's National Post and Postage Stamp Museum opened in Beijing in 1985 and collecting was actively encouraged by the government, possibly to promote a patriotic interest in the nation's history. By some estimates, there are now 15 million active stamp collectors in China, out of 50 million world-wide."

Louis Mangin, director of Hong Kong-based stamp broker Zurich Asia is quoted in the piece as saying, "In the U.S. and U.K., stamps, like other collectibles, have fallen in value during the past two years because of the financial crisis. This has not been the case in China, or other Asian markets, based upon bidding at our auctions," says . Just last week at a Zurich Asia auction in Hong Kong, a rare Chinese stamp from 1897 sold for HK$2,587,500 (about $334,000), including a 15% buyer's premium. The sale, to an anonymous buyer from China, set a world auction record price for a single Chinese stamp."

Shown above is that stamp.

Click here to read the entire article and to see a slide show of increasingly valuable stamps.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Video Tour of the American Philatelic Center

Janet Klug sends this along via Facebook...

"There is a new video 'Tour of the American Philatelic Center' on the American Philatelic Society's YouTube channel. Check it out!"

Click on the center of the picture to begin the 10 minute presentation narrated by Janet.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 25, 2009

Special Inks and Pads for FDC Cancellations

In the Sept. 28 issue of Linn's Stamp News, Lloyd deVries reports in his Modern FDCs column that some collectors attending first-day ceremonies bring their own special ink and stamp pads and ask to cancel their own covers.

In his article, Cheap Ink and Inexperienced Clerks Result in Poor Cancels, Lloyd points out that USPS Cancellation Services in Kansas City sends first-day cities a kit with the rubber postmarking devices along with instructions on the type of ink and stamp pads to buy.

He pens, "...even if Cancellation Services sends the best ink and stamp pads to a first-day city, there is no guarantee the the results will be satisfactory."

According to Lloyd, "The clerks who apply cancellations at first-day events rarely spend much of their normal workday postmarking covers. Some are temporary workers hired just for the ceremonies. Others are full-time postal workers pulled from other duties."

He also says that more often than not Cancellation Services in Kansas City will provide cleaner and sharper cancellations than you would normally get at the cermony itself.

Shown above, Kathy Clements of the American First Day Cover Society's Claude C. Ries Chapter #48 uses a special brown ink and pad to cancel covers and other items at the Gary Cooper stamp first-day ceremonies in Los Angeles.

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

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Israeli Ice Hockey Stamp Designed By Canadian

The Ottawa Citizen reports,"Irving Osterer is a graphic designer, stamp collector, and member of the Ottawa group Friends of Israel Hockey. So it was natural that he pitch the idea of a commemorative stamp to give the sport some much-needed publicity."

Shown above, the stamp features a smiling portrait of Ron Soreanu, another Ottawa resident, and a member of the Israeli national team.

Irving is quoted in the article by Jennifer Green as saying, "I called him up and he had all his gear at home. We went out to his driveway. I took the pictures and drew (the artwork) from there.”

According to Jennifer, "Canada has a long history of supporting hockey in Israel. The country’s largest skating rink is in the Canada Centre, built in the 1990s with the help of Jewish Canadian communities, in the small border town of Metulla."

She goes on to pen, " also hosted the second World Jewish Hockey Championships in July."

The limited edition of 500 stamps are intended as fundraisers, and sell for $18 (the stamp and commemorative envelope are $36) at the Israel Ice Hockey Federation website.

Click here to order.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New William H. Gross Stamp Gallery Announced by National Postal Museum

William H. Gross, the founder of PIMCO and a stamp collector, has donated $8 million to the National Postal Museum to create a new 12,000-square-foot gallery that will be named in his honor. The new gallery, which will give the museum public space at the street level, is expected to open in 2012 according to a National Postal Museum press release.

In addition to the financial donation, Gross will loan three extraordinary philatelic objects: A cover from the Pony Express service; a cover featuring the 10-cent George Washington stamp, dated July 2, 1847; and a block of four 1918 “Inverted Jennys.”

The new William H. Gross Gallery will house the three rarities from Gross and other great items from the National Stamp Collection. In addition, there will be space for educational exhibits, temporary exhibitions and public programs.

The expansion will also allow direct access to the museum from Massachusetts Avenue, featuring a Welcome Center for the entire museum in the historic lobby of the Postal Square Building.

The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery expansion project will also require contributions of various sizes and from different sources. We would be pleased to discuss major gifts of $25,000 or more and naming opportunities with you.

Shown above, an architectural concept for the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery.

To support the expansion project, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heavy Demand for Cory Aquino Stamps

To satisfy the public clamor for Cory Aquino stamps, the Philippine Postal Corp. (PhilPost) started distributing the second series of the se-tenants in post offices nationwide according to the Business Mirror in Manila.

Postmaster General Hector Villanueva is quoted as saying, “We have not had a stamp that sells like hotcakes. People are lining up at post offices to get their hands on it. We have started to run out of them. We hardly had enough to supply the request of the Aquino family. It is phenomenal."

It was the second special stamp PhilPost issued for President Aquino. The first was in 1986, the year when PhilPost was still known as the Bureau of Post, days after she was sworn in as president at Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan City.

Cory Aquino was installed as president of the Philippines in 1986 as the result of the People Power Revolution. She died on August 1, 2009 after suffering from colon cancer.

Shown above, Philpost assistant postmaster general Elizabeth Tungo presenting Pinky Aquino-Abellada, daughter of former President Corazon Aquino, with the limited edition Cory stamps earlier this month. (Photo courtesy The Philippine Star)

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

Monday, September 21, 2009

British Navy Uniforms on New Stamps

UK's Telegraph reports stamps charting two centuries of Royal Navy uniforms have been released.

Each of the six stamps charts the development of the British naval uniform, beginning with the gold-crested frock coat of an Admiral from 1795, through to the high visibility uniform of a 2009 Flight Deck Officer.

The new Royal Navy edition is part of the military uniforms stamps series, first issued in 2007 when it featured the British Army and continued last year with the Royal Air Force.

Shown above, The Royal Navy Fleet Diving Squadron launched the special edition release with an underwater photo-shoot at its training tank in Horsea Island, Portsmouth.

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

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 Luff Awards

The Luff Awards are the most prestigious awards presented by the 38,000-member American Philatelic Society. Established in 1940 in honor of prominent American philatelist, John N. Luff and APS president from 1907 to 1909, the awards are presented each year at APS StampShow for meritorious contributions to philately by living philatelists.

This year’s winners are Kees Adema and David A. Kent.

In addition to being past president of the American Society for Netherlands Philately (1997–2006) and a current governor of the Collectors Club of New York as well as a member of the club’s editorial board, Adema is a fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, a member of the Nederlandse Academie voor Filatelie in Utrecht and the Académie Européenne de Philatélie in Paris. His exhibit “Early Postal Markings of the Netherlands” won a national grand award, five large gold awards from the Féderation Internationale de Philatélie along with special prizes and felicitations of the jury for research, and was shown in the FIP Championship Class. It also received the “Golden Posthorn” award — recognizing outstanding research — at the specialized postal history competition in Sindelfingen, Germany in 2000. Another exhibit, “Dutch Mail in Times of Turmoil 1568–1839,” won a large gold award and felicitations of the jury for research. The exhibit has been expanded and received two more large gold medals in international competition and the Grand Prix in the Master Class at Naposta 2005 in Hannover, Germany.

David Kent is perhaps best known for his philatelic writing and editing. However, he has distinguished himself in several different organizations by holding office and in particular by serving as a volunteer at local, regional, national, and international shows. He has written more than 2,000 philatelic articles that have appeared in the general philatelic press as well as in specialist society journals. Despite the nationwide trend in recent years for general newspapers to eliminate stamp columns, David continues to write a popular one for the Hartford (CT) Courant and has done so for more than twenty-five years.

His journal editing dates back to the 1950s when he edited The Confederate Stamp Album, journal of the Confederate Stamp Alliance. In 1991 he was named a staff writer for Mekeel’s Weekly Stamp News, and today is Associate Editor of Mekeel’s & Stamps Magazine. For the past fifteen years he has edited the Military Postal History Society Bulletin, to which he also contributes researched articles. For his extensive editing and writing in our hobby he was elected to the APS Writers Hall of Fame in 2007.

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

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Youth Holiday Cover Contest

Doug Moss of the The Texas Philatelic Association (TPA) reminds everyone about the 21st annual Youth Holiday Cover Contest.

Children grades K through 12 are encouraged to enter the contest by designing a winter-themed holiday postage stamp. The stamp should have a denomination and a country name.

All contestants will receive a stamp album and stamps for entering the contest. The very best entry will have their stamp design featured on the cover of the November-December issue of the Texas Philatelist.

And this year we have prizes, prizes and more prizes! The top 3 entries for each age group will receive albums, games and philatelic literature. Thanks to a generous grant by the British North American Philatelic Society (BNAPS), the prizes will be bigger and better than ever!

The contest ends October 1, 2009, so please act soon to get your stamp design to us before the deadline. The contest is also sponsored by the Dallas-Park Cities Philatelic Society.

Shown above is last year's winning entry submitted by Alex Gill of Wisconsin.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Click here to see last year's contest

Click here for the official entry form on the TPA website. ).
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 18, 2009

Postal Entrepôts

In an op-ed piece that appeared in the New York Times, Matthew Stevenson writes when he and a well-travelled friend sat down with his 90-year-old father's 1925 stamp album, they drew blanks with places when they came across philatelic places such as Horta, Labuan, Mayotte and Rouad.

"To be sure, we both knew Heligoland as the German islands in the North Sea, and Karelia as being near the Finland Station. Nyasaland, we figured out, is present-day Malawi. But we were clueless about such stamp issuers as Inhambane (now in southern Mozambique), Nossi-Bé (an island near Madagascar), Obock (the port in Djibouti), Ponta Delgada (Azores), and Tete (on the Zambezi River). In 1925, six-year-old boys, like my father, knew more of the world than do frequent-flying travel writers today," writes Matthew.

After his friend left, Matthew says, "I quietly sat with the Internet and my World Gazetteer and tracked down the likes of Horta (in the Azores) and Labuan (an island of East Malaysia). Mayotte, off the African east coast, was an easy find, as it has just voted to reunite with France, and Rouad I found offshore from Syria. I still haven’t confirmed Kiaucho (Shantung in China?) or figured out a page marked 'Offices in the Turkish Empire.' Niger Coast Protectorate sounds suspiciously like an early oil drilling concession."

He goes on to say, "The longer I spent searching in the atlas, tracking down postal entrepôts, the more I began to equate stamp issuance in the 1920s with the causes of war or unrest 10 or even 50 years later.

"In the early days of World War II, places like Memel, Marienwerder, Heligoland or Upper Silesia went from stamp collecting to Nazi occupation, as if Adolph Hitler was in pursuit of first issues, not simply lebensraum.

"Names like Nyasa Protectorate, Italian Somaliland, White Russia or Stellaland speak to me about failed peace treaties or colonial dissolution, as if they were returned to their senders for insufficient postage.

"Sometimes in my travels I have tried to find a new stamp album for my son, hoping that it might have pages for the likes of Montenegro, Birobijan (an autonomous Jewish republic in Russia), Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Macau, Palau, Bashkortostan (also in Russia) or Republika Srpska.

"Instead, I meet clerks who tell me that global albums no longer exist, and that my son’s career in philately will only move forward if he specializes, for example, in the birds of the Comoro Islands. (In 1925 they had the prefix Grand.)"

To read Matthew's entire op-ed, click here.

To find out what stamp collecting was all about at the turn of the century, click here for "Stamp Collecting as a Pastime" by Edward J. Nankivell which was originally published in 1902.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Breast Cancer Semi-Postal Demonstrates The Power of Pink

Jeannie Gregory, editor of Michagan's Rockport Independent reports, "Post offices are showing that there is power in numbers by joining forces to raise awareness for breast cancer research. Participating post offices will be celebrating "Pink at the Post Office" from Sept. 28-Oct. 2. Employees will be donning pink and promoting the sale of the Breast Cancer Research postage stamp."

She goes on to pen, "The stamp carries with it a historical significance. It is the first semipostal stamp in United States history and by law, is a very powerful fundraiser. The little stamp means big numbers for health - 70 percent of the net amount raised is donated to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent goes directly to the Medical Research Program. To date, the stamp has shown the power of pink by raising more than 64.9 million dollars for research, with more than a staggering 85 million stamps sold since its debut on July 29, 1998."

Designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, the stamp features the phrases, "Fund the Fight" and "Find a Cure" and an illustration of a mythical "goddess of the hunt" by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore.

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Retired Teacher Shares Stamp Collection

Marva Moss likes sharing her stamp collection with others.

A teacher for more than 33 years, Marva - who retired Sept. 1 after spending nine years with the Brunswick County, North Carolina schools - would often display her collections for students as an educational tool according to an article that appeared in North Carolina's StarNews.

Marva stresses the importance of hobbies, and says she often reminds her children to take up their own writes reporter Brandon Sneed.

She's quoted as saying, ""I think it's nice that kids have some kind of non-technology things to do. Without their fingers clicking and sitting in front of a computer."

While Marva collects stamps honoring famous African Americans, she's also on the lookout for items related to some less well know personages who may or may not have been on a stamp.

A good example is a black scientist Charles Turner, who studied ants.

According to Marva, he discovered ants hold funeral processions. An organized team encircles the funeral site; other ants gather to observe and others carry up the body, which is then buried.

Anyone know of any ants (dead or alive) on stamps?

Shown above, Marva displays some of her stamp collection at a local library.

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

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Friedensreich Hundertwasser - Stamp Designer

As a result of inheriting his father's stamp colllection, contemporary Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser became interested in stamps and designed stamps for many countries including his native Austria as well as Cape Verde, Cuba, France, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Senegal and the United Nations.

According to Wikipedia, Hundertwasser first achieved notoriety for his boldly-coloured paintings, and is widely renowned today for his revolutionary architectural designs, which incorporated natural features of the landscape, and use of irregular forms.

Stamps magazine reports on its website that Hundertwasser once wrote, "A stamp must experience its destiny. A true stamp must feel the tongue of its sender when its glue is licked. It must experience the dark inside of the letterbox. The stamp must bear the postmark, it must feel the Postman's hand - a stamp that has not been sent on a letter is not a stamp as it has never lived. It is a precious piece of art that reaches everybody as a present from afar. The stamp must bear witness to culture, beauty and human creativity. The most viable mark of national identity becomes the most effective way to convey the message of harmony."

Following his passing in 2000, Austria issued a miniature sheet in his honor which is shown above.

To see more of his stamp designs, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 14, 2009

Twigg- Smith Pony Express Collection to Be Auctioned

The Pony Express collection formed by noted philatelist, Thurston Twigg-Smith will be auctioned off by Siegel Auctions sometime during October or November.

According to the Siegel Dispatch, "Estimated at $2.5 to $3.5 million, the collection contains dozens of important pieces, including one of three known First Day Covers, the unique Pony cover to Switzerland (shown above), one of two known $4 Black Pony covers, and the rare $1 Garter stamp tied on cover."

Twigg-Smith was the publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser from 1961 to 1993 and is well known for his Hawaiian collection which he sold in 1995 for a reported $10 million.

"But soon after selling his first collection, Twigg-Smith found he missed collecting. Starting from scratch, he built a new assortment that now consists of stamps worth from a few dollars to $250,000," according an 2006 article that appears on the Pacific Business News website.

The article also reported, "Twigg-Smith, 85, the founder and former chairman of Honolulu-based Persis Corp.,said he is selling his second collection because of a degenerative condition that is slowly claiming the sight in his left eye."

Twigg- Smith is quoted in the piece as saying, "I realized that collecting stamps is one thing where you've got to be able to see, so I thought I'd auction it off while I was still around."

Siegel Auction Galleries will be selling a hardbound catalog of the collection at some future date.

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

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rotary Stamp Could Set a Guiness World Record

The Times of India reports when school teacher PS Seshadri walks into his classroom students immediately start asking to see his "special" stamp albums.

According to reporter Lakshmi Kumaraswami of The Times, what they're interested in are the albums filled with a 2005 Australian stamp marking Rotary's centennial. His collection could put Seshadri in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Seshadri started getting stamps as part of Rotary International's Project Stamp through which people with motor dysfunctions like Parkinson's disease were being rehabilitated by cutting out stamps from envelopes.

The 61-year-old, who is a Rotarian himself, is quoted as saying those stamps were then sent to him so that they could be distributed them at schools and stamp exhibitions. Apparently, there were a lot of duplicates of the 2005 Australian stamp with the Rotary emblem and a student suggested that he try collecting as many of those as he could.

After asking friends and purchasing some through dealers, Seshadri now has 1,50,150 copies of this one particular stamp according to the article.

Seshadri wrote to the Guinness World Records and they said they needed to verify his claim of collecting the most number of commemorative stamps of a single design from a foreign country. He's gotten several verifications and now all Seshadri can do is wait.

But he isn't too worried writes Kumaraswami.

"I keep myself occupied by conducting philately workshops for students where I teach them to maintain a stamp album," Seshadri says in the article. He adds that several of his students have taken their own personal collections to state and national level exhibitions.

"For some, these are just random pieces of paper but for us philatelists, they are bearers of knowledge and wealth."

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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Japan Post Readies Stamps for Mariner's Ichiro Suzuki

Kyodo News reports that the Japan Post Group will issue commemorative stamps featuring Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki if he records a ninth consecutive 200-hit season, an achievement unprecedented in the majors.

To be issued by Japan Post Network Co., the postal service arm of the Japan Posts Group, is a stamp set — a sheet containing 10 ¥80 stamps, nine postal cards and a stamp holder — priced at ¥3,980, including shipping fees.

Post offices nationwide will accept advance orders for the stamps from the following day of Ichiro attaining the record through Oct. 30.

Suzuki is just five shy of logging 200 hits for the ninth year in a row. He reached the 2,000th hit of his major league career Sunday.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 11, 2009

Old 9/11 Stamp Hoax and New 9/11 Website

Shown here is a picture of a painting that has been rumored for some time now to be the design of a new U.S. postage stamp commemorating the Attack on America on September 11, 2001.

According to the website, "Although the painting is inspiring to many because of the depiction of deity, it is not a picture that is being considered for a postage stamp."

The website says the image has been circulating via email since mid-2002. The emailed artwork, which has also been reproduced on various websites under the title "Forever ... in God's Hands," was created by artist Danny Hahlbohm,

One of the most documented events in world history, the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum is appealing for more stories, photos and video from people who lived through the tragedy.

Click here to go to their new website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 10, 2009

40th Anniversary of the First Man on Moon Stamp

The website reports that it was 40 years ago this week on Sept. 9 that the United States issued the 10-cent First Man on the Moon airmail stamp.

According to the site, the stamp was produced using an engraved die which was carried on-board the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969.

The stamp's designer, Paul Calle, had previously created the art for the 1967 U.S. stamp that honored the Gemini program.

CollectSPACE spoke with Calle and his son Chris, who designed the 1989 $2.40 Apollo 11 20th Anniversary Priority Mail stamp and jointly with his father, the $9.95 and 29 cent Express Mail stamps for the 1994 25th anniversary of the mission.

One of the questions they asked was, "It has been nearly a decade since the U.S. has issued a space exploration themed stamp. Why do you think this is?"

Their response...

"Like the collectors interested in space stamps, we are amazed that no recent stamps with a space theme have been issued. Space has always been a wonderful and popular topical to collect in philately and we would like to think the Postal Service would understand that fact and issue stamps with space themes on a regular basis."

To read the entire piece, click here.

Shown above, a First Man on the Moon First Day Cover with an original cachet signed by Paul Calle.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Have You Seen Me? Postal Service Helps Find Missing Children

Since 1985, U.S. Postal Service letter carriers have delivered special mail once a week that often represents the last hope for families searching for their missing children.

"The America's Looking For Its Missing Children program has won widespread recognition as one of the nation's most effective public service initiatives," pens Debra Mitchell on the website.

According to Debra, who works for the Postal Service, postal carriers will be delivering a newly designed direct mail piece called RedPlum, which features larger color photos of America's missing children with the tagline "Have You Seen Me?"

She goes on to write, "The Postal Service also publishes photos and information in the Postal Bulletin, which is distributed to all postal facilities and subscribers. This adds 700,000 postal employees to the list of people looking for America's missing children.

To date, thanks to the dedication of letter carriers and a strong partnership with ADVO, now Valassis, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), 148 missing children have been safely returned to their homes.

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

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Montana Artist Creates Envelope Art

The Billings Gazette features an article about local artist David Dube who, according to the paper, is "one of an obscure group of artists whose work embellishes the envelopes of newly issued stamps."

Reporter Donna Healy writes, "His fascination with envelope art began in 1953, when his parents took him to the opening of the C.M. Russell Museum. Dube's folks encouraged him to illustrate his letters the way the famed cowboy artist had done."

Almost by accident, David found he could make money off his envelope art according to Donna.

During Montana's centennial in 1989, the post office issued a commemorative stamp of a Charlie Russell painting. David created 20 envelopes as keepsakes for his family, then stood in line to buy the stamps on their first day of issue.

He's quoted as saying, "By the time I had gotten a chance to buy my stamps, I had sold all of those 20 envelopes."

Today David is one of the top cachet makers in the country and gets upwards of $95 for each envelope he creates.

Shown above, Dube with an envelope he did with Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly stamps. Cooper's stamp will be released later this week on Sept. 10.

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

Monday, September 07, 2009

Philatelist Wins "Silent Samaritan of Bengal" Award

India's Telegraph reports unsung heroes who have contributed silently to society in various fields have been recognized in India with the "Silent Samaritan of Bengal" Award.

The awards were given in four categories — bravery, education, medicine and sports — to four persons from the city.

Octogenarian Mohini Lal Majumdar received the education award for his book Postal History of Zamindari Dak.

The postal systems of more than 650 princely States, the district postal systems and Zamindari Dak were merged with the main British postal system in 1854 according to Quami Ekta News Service.

For more on the postal history of India, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Stamp Club Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

The Contra Costa Times reports that the Diablo Valley Stamp Club near San Francisco will celebrate its 50th anniversary this month.

Retired elementary school teacher Dave McDonald is quoted in the article by Jennifer K. Rumple as saying, "Our club is basically a trading club. Members exchange their stamps with each other. Many of us also purchase and sell stamps on eBay, through dealers, through the American Philatelic Society and through auction houses."

The Diablo Valley Stamp Club currently has about 60 members, both men and women sharing a passion for stamp collecting from countries all over the world.

According to club member Richard Vohs, 69, "Stamp collecting can be a solitary hobby, but is much more enjoyable when you belong to a club. It is a very relaxing pastime where the cares of the world can drift away. However, when you belong to a club, you associate with people who are helpful and can answer questions as they come up."

Shown above, club member Charles Cameron searches through a box of stamps at a recent club meeting.

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

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Post Office to Sell Greeting Cards

Bill McAllister, Linn's Stamp News Washington correspondent reports in the Sept. 7 edition, "Your local post office might be having a sale on many of the non-postage items on display in the lobby, to make way for new merchandise."

According to Bill, USPS is seeking to strike a deal with Hallmark Cards for a selection of their greeting cards to be offered for sale in post office lobbies.

Bill writes, "Postal officials hope the greeting cards will sell faster and generate more cash than some of the other trinkets being offered, which includes framed stamp designed art and books with stamp themes."

In the meantime, click here to go to my Send Out Cards webpage and send an FREE old fashioned snail-mail greeting card with my compliments.

There's over 12,000 to choose from (8000 more than the typical Hallmark store carries). Note cards can only be sent from one US address to another. Limit one to a customer.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 04, 2009

Kennedy Family's Postage Stamp Legacy

Alexander Haimann posts on the National Postal Museum's new blog, "The passing of Senator Edward Kennedy on August 25, 2009, the third longest serving Senator in U.S. history, marked the death of the last of Joseph and Rose Kennedy’s sons.

"The first U.S. postage stamp to depict a Kennedy son featured the second oldest on May 29, 1964, the birthday of President John F. Kennedy in the year following his assassination. President Kennedy’s widow Jacqueline Kennedy made the final design selection. Another stamp was issued with a more joyful image of President Kennedy three years later."

Alexander goes on to say, "On January 12, 1979, one day before the first U.S. stamp to honor Dr. Martin Luther King was issued; the third oldest Kennedy son was depicted on a U.S. postage stamp. The release of the Robert F. Kennedy Issue marked the first time that two brothers had been honored on separate U.S. postage stamps."

To view other Kennedy related stamps and stories, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A Visit to the Canadian Postal Museum

Alison Hobbs writes on her blog, Juxtapositions, about visiting the Canadian Postal Museum with her mother.

She posts, "We saw pictures of Canada's first mail men in 1874, of trams and of mail trains where the clerks who were banished from the ships must have worked. (Mum said she remembered Darlington's tramlines in England, dangerous if you got your bicycle wheel stuck in them.) In the 1920s a primitive airmail service was established."

Something else she found out, "In Canada, they didn't have an official postal system until 1763 and mail was still being delivered by sleigh in 1919 which made sense, given the Canadian winters. When the mail had to be delivered on foot, the postmen needed spikes issued for their shoes, but this wasn't thought of until the 1970s."

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

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Firefighters Honored with New Stamps

With the hillsides ablaze not far from where I live in Glendale, California, it seems fitting that Great Britain should be honoring firefighters with the release of a new set of stamps this week.

According to the BBC website, "The six stamps are intended to show the range of situations faced by the UK's fire and rescue services. The images include firefighters tackling flames, dealing with a flood and chemical incident, and rescuing people trapped in cars and buildings."

Two courageous Los Angeles fire fighters lost their lives here in California battling the fires. The stamps underline how dangerous an occupation it can be.

Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail is quoted in the article as saying, "It's sometimes easy to forget that behind the familiar sight and sound of a fire engine is the serious business of saving lives."

Shown above, Royal Mail postie Dean Heneghan who also serves as a volunteer fireman in Wales. Look carefully and you will see him holding his red mailbag along with his yellow helmet. Picture courtesy The South Wales Argus.

To read more about the new stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

First Officially Sanctioned U.S. Airmail Flight.

The National Post Museum reports that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the first officially sanctioned airmail flight.

According to the museum's website, "On August 17, 1859, the balloon Jupiter, piloted by professional balloonist John Wise, attempted a ‘transcontinental voyage’ from Lafayette, Indiana, to New York City."

It goes on to say, "Although his flight was cut short by unfavorable weather conditions, Wise earned a place in history by having arranged with Lafayette postmaster Thomas Wood to carry a mail bag containing 123 letters. Previous attempts to carry mail by balloon had not been sanctioned by the Post Office Department."

Shown here, a Jupiter cover postmarked "Lafayette Ind. Aug 16, 1859" which was carried on the flight.

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