Saturday, October 31, 2009

Postal Service Goes Mobile

According to a USPS news release, "Customer convenience and product access are the focus of expanding the most popular online services onto web-enabled mobile devices."

The release goes on to say, "Some of the most popular functions currently available on are now available on cell phones and other mobile devices. The new features include Track & Confirm, Post Office locator, and the most popular application, ZIP Code lookup."

Robert Bernstock, president, Mailing and Shipping Services is quoted as saying, “Any mobile user with web access will be able to log on to the Postal Service mobile site no matter where they are, without having to use a personal computer."

The Postal Service is also designing applications for “smartphones” and other mobile devices like the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and iPod Touch which take advantage of additional capabilities, such as GPS.

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

Friday, October 30, 2009

New National Postal Museum Exhibits Go Online

The National Postal Museum has announced that two new online exhibits are now featured on their Arago website.

The story of the development, implementation, and growth of Rural Free Delivery (RFD), and its impact on rural America, is the topic of Bringing the World Home.

Click here to view.

And to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Stamp Magazine, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has collaborated with the editors and writers to create the online exhibit The Sun Never Sets on the Stamps of the British Empire.

The exhibit explores 19 different stories relating to the stamps of Great Britain and its Colonies between 1847 and 1965.

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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Postal Service's 'Get Well' Plan. Greeting cards!

Columnist Ed O'Keefe writes in the Washington Post, "Next time you visit the post office for stamps, you might also be able to buy (and send) your brother his belated birthday card."

Ed reports, "The U.S. Postal Service has started selling Hallmark greeting cards at some post offices, a one-year experiment that may lead the nation's 34,000 postal outlets to eventually sell other goods and services, including banking, insurance and cellphones."

About 1,500 postal branches started selling birthday and "get well soon" cards two weeks ago. District residents can buy cards only at the Postal Service's flagship location at L'Enfant Plaza, and another 29 spots in Maryland and Virginia also have them according to the report.

Unlike the mail, greeting cards remain a popular and profitable line of business, with 7 billion sold annually for more than $7.5 billion in sales, according to the Greeting Card Association. People receive more than 20 greeting cards each year, one-third of them for birthdays.

Shown above, A customer checks the greeting card options at the U.S. Postal Service's flagship post office at its L'Enfant Plaza headquarters in Washington. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Postal Service).

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Santa Fe Railway Post Office (RPO)

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First Philatelic Album and Oldest Stamp Collection

A never-before-revealed album — believed to be the first manufuactured philatelic album — is featured along with a sequel about the world's oldest stamp collection in the December issue of Scott Stamp Monthly.

Scott catalog editor James E. Kloetzel discloses the existence of the album in print for the first time. The album was produced in 1861, at the start of the Civil War, to display patriotic covers.
Also in the new issue, Ken Lawrence revisits the world's oldest stamp collection. Lawrence's story is accompanied by seldom-seen images of album pages that display the collection. He brings to light other early collections as well.
The December 2009 Scott Stamp Monthly will be posted to the digital library on Oct. 16.
Print subscribers to either Linn's or Scott Stamp Monthly can access the digital editions of both publications through a no-cost online registration.
An online subscription to both Linn's and Scott Stamp Monthly is only $9.99 a year. Subscribers can read the December 2009 Scott Stamp Monthly digital edition, along with four back issues.

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

Monday, October 26, 2009

American First Day Cover Society Gets New Website

Allison Bernard Gallaway reports on Facebook that the American First Day Cover Society has redesigned their website.

The new website features information about the society, a listing of local chapters, a group discussion board, tips on making and collecting first day covers, contests, auctions, links to related sites, a cover of the week and other useful items of interest.

The American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) is a volunteer non-profit and non-commerical organization serving the needs of First Day Cover collectors, cachetmakers, and dealers. Founded in 1955, the society has a membership of nearly 2,000 active first day cover collectors, including hundreds of collectors who design and manufacture their own cacheted FDCs.

Shown above, a copy of the society's magazine, First Days, which is published in full color eight times per year.

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

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blue Mauritius Rarity For Sale reports one of the famous Post Office stamps, which made Mauritius famous in the world of philately, is currently on sale at Baila, Rumania, for the sum of 2 million Euros.

The two stamps form part of the collection of a Rumanian philatelist, Ion Ivan, president of the Danube Philatelic Society.

In an interview to the press agency 'Agerpres' Ion Ivan says that he is thinking of selling the stamp, given to him by his father, in 1977.

The stamp was issued in Mauritius in 1847 in the reign of Queen Victoria.

The stamps became famous following an error made by the engraver, Joseph Barnard. When he engraved the tablets for the production of the stamps in 1847, he put “Post Office” instead of “ Post Paid.”

Mauritius was the 5th country in the world to produce postal stamps in 1847.

The two famous “Blue Penny” and “Red Penny” of the Post Office series are the most famous stamps in the world and also the most expensive.

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

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Florida Residents Send Message to U.S. Postal Service -- On Coconuts

Lona O'Connor writes in the The Palm Beach Post, that hundreds of coconuts with polite messages asking U.S. Postmaster John Potter to reconsider the proposed closing of Florida post office have been sent to USPS headquarters in Washington.

Because the Lantana, Florida post office is on the chopping block for the fiscally challenged Postal Service, residents decided to send coconuts (using $4 in postage) to the Postmaster General that underline the theme, "We're nuts about our Lantana post office - please don't close it."

In addition to mailing several hundred coconuts, residents have collected more than 500 signatures on petitions and filled out the public-comment forms left in the post office.

According to the paper, 371 post offices are being considered for closing, although postal officials have said the final number could be around 200.

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

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Accidental Stamp Series reports USPS illustrator Nancy Stahl fondly remembers the first time she saw one of her designs — in a neighbor's garbage can.

Nancy is quoted in an article titled An Accidental Series as saying,"I hadn't seen it printed yet. And there it was, sitting in the trash on the corner of my block. It might have been dripping with mayonnaise and I still picked it up."

As a stamp artist, Nancy is best known for her illustrations of animals, starting with the Snowy Egret stamp in 2003. So far, she has produced six such stamps in what has become an "accidental" series.

Terry McCaffrey, manager of stamp development for the Postal Service is also quoted in the piece. He points out, "We kept going back to the well more and more, because everything she produced was just as good as the last one, if not better. All of a sudden, the collecting public defined the stamps as a series."

Shown above, Nancy's de facto wildlife series.

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

Thursday, October 22, 2009

India Post Office Selling Gold Coins

The website reports the Indian Post Office has been selling specially minted gold coins under a contract with one of India's largest financial services companies.

According to reporter Lawrence Williams, "In an information document submitted to postmasters in the Post Offices selected to sell the gold coins it says that the coins are being sold in popular denominations - namely 0.5 g, 1g, 5g and 8g of 24 ct.,99.99% pure gold."

India Post is quoted as saying that the Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. Apparently India Post is competing with the Indian banks, many of which also sell their own specially minted gold coinage

Reports suggest that the selling of gold through India Post has been very successful.

In a separate article appearing on the website, it is reported that post offices will be selling gold coins with India Post logo at some point in the future.

Shown above, one of the 24-carat gold coins that are currently on sale.

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Price Increase For Stamps Next Year

Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post reports, "Americans will continue to pay 44 cents for first-class stamps in 2010, and the price to mail catalogues and magazines will also stay the same, according to an internal Postal Service memo."

Postmaster General John E. Potter is quoted as saying in a memo he sent to postal staff members and some customer groups late last week, "Simply stated, there will not be a price increase for market dominant products including First-Class Mail, Standard Mail, periodicals and single-piece Parcel Post."

Ed goes on to say, "The memo leaves open the door to a price jump for Priority Mail, Express Mail, Parcel Select and some international services. A final decision will be announced next month."

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Garry Shandling and His Stamp Collection

Elaine Raines writes on her blog, Tales from the Morgue, that comedian Gary Shandling was once a stamp collector.

According to Elaine, "But, just as some kids were collecting baseball cards, Shandling was collecting the routines of his favorite comedians, including George Carlin, Don Rickles, Joey Bishop and Shecky Green."

Elaine says while Shandling was growing up in Arizona he was also collecting postage stamps and that he shared that interest with a Japanese pen pal named Hiroki Shioji.

"The two corresponded for several years and in 1964, Hiroki came to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. The Shandlings were very instrumental in helping get him through a variety of financial and paperwork issues," writes Elaine.

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

Monday, October 19, 2009

Maryland Artist Wins Duck Stamp Contest

Robert Bealle an artist from Waldorf, Maryland, took top honors at the 2009 Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest. Bealle’s painting of an American wigeon (shown here) will be made into the 2010-2011 Federal Duck Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2010 according to Tennessee's Chattanoogan .

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service produces the Federal Duck Stamp, which sells for $15 and raises about $25 million each year to fund wetland habitat acquisition for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The paper reports, "Of the 224 entries in this year's contest, eight entries made it through to the final round of judging in the two-day art contest, the oldest and most prestigious wildlife art competition in America. Scot Storm of Freeport, Minn., placed second with his acrylic painting of a pair of wood ducks, and Jeffrey Mobley, of Tulsa, Okla., took third place with an acrylic painting of a gadwall."
The term duck stamp is a shortened term for the message "Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp," which appears on the face of the federal duck stamp.
According to Wikipedia, "The use of the word 'duck' is inaccurate, since all waterfowl, including geese, swans, brant, and more are intended to benefit from the sale of duck stamps."
To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Wikipedia reports, "Formerly considered damaged and not worth collecting, perforated postage stamps are now highly sought after by specialist collectors."

According to The Perfin Club's website, "Perfins is an acronym derived from PERForated INSignia or INitialS on stamps. Originating in England in 1868, perfins have been punched into stamps by large commercial organizations such as manufacturers, retailers, railroads, banks, insurance companies, and governments to discourage stamp theft."

It goes on to say, "Since then, in over 300 countries and stamp issuing areas, perfins have been utilized expressly for that purpose. In the United States over 6500 different patters of initials or designs have been perforated into U.S. postage, revenue, and special service stamps."

Shown above, a 1955 Canadian stamp with a CPR (Canadian Pacific Railway) perfin.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Canada Post Loses Rare Book, Offers Stamps in Return

When Canadian psychologist Daniel Bentley, 61, purchased a rare 18th-century book of poetry for 107Euros (about $170) online late last year from a bookstore in France, it was to be shipped to him by La Poste.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, Bentley believed it would only a matter of days before the book, which he had been searching for for nearly 40 years, would arrive and complete a six-volume set.

"But two months went by, and still it didn’t arrive," writes reporter Andrew Duffy.

Duffy goes on to pen, "When he contacted Canada Post in search of his overdue parcel, he was told it had already been delivered. Post office records showed it had cleared customs in Montreal and had arrived in Ottawa days later. On Dec. 10, 2008, an unknown person signed for the parcel."

Bentley complained and his case was turned over to a Canada Post investigator who confirmed the book was sent to the wrong address and signed for by an unidentified person. But he couldn't’t identify the letter carrier who had delivered it or the address to which it was sent.

The investigator suggested Bentley submit a compensation claim.

After several attempts, he was told that the sender of the parcel — not the recipient — must file the claim under the rules that govern international mail delivery. However, French bookstore where he purchased it wanted nothing to do with it. Bentley suspected that it may have been stolen and went the Ottawa police. They indicated they had no leads in the case and to basically forget it.

He then contacted a Member of Parliament (MP) to see if he could help. The MP pursued the matter with the post office, and Bentley finally received a letter from Canada Post president and CEO, Moya Greene.

“I certainly do understand your concern with respect to the non-delivery of the rare book you ordered from France,” Greene wrote, “and I sincerely apologize for the disappointment caused.”

According to the article, "[Greene] noted that Canada Post rarely loses mail even though it handles 45 million items every business day; that an internal investigation had concluded the parcel was 'misdelivered;' that Canada Post will co-operate with any police investigation; and that regulations require the sender in France to initiate the claims process."

Greene concluded: “While I know that nothing can replace the rare book, I am enclosing two booklets of stamps for your future use.”

Bentley didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at the postage stamps.

Shown above, Daniel Bentley with his incomplete set of Alexander Pope’s collected works.

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

Friday, October 16, 2009

To Be or Not to Be a Mailman, That is the Question

Sean Pearson writes on Alaska's Homer Tribune website that he often wonders if he should have become a mailman.

"It’s not so much the glory of wearing the spiffy blue uniform or the excitement at becoming an avid philatelist that gets me thinking about my career choices," says Sean.

Apparently all three of his grandfathers were postmen – and he feels somewhat obligated to carry on that "postal torch." From all accounts, each grandpa had a lengthy and enjoyable career as a mailman.

Sean thinks he’d be good at the "whole mail thing."

"I was pretty speedy when it came to sorting those little plastic blocks that you had to push through the different-shaped holes in kindergarten. And I remember doing a pretty darn good job as class messenger in the fourth grade," he writes.

Still Sean's not sure if he's emotionally mature enough to deal with jokes about “going postal.” And wonders just what it was that caused so many postal workers to snap back in the ‘80s and ‘90s that someone felt it necessary to coin a phrase.

Sean points out, "You never hear of any drill-wielders going “dental” or overworked and underpaid teachers going “educational.”

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

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Pied Piper of Stamp Collecting.

The Suburban Journals in St. Louis calls Ken Lucas "The Pied Piper of Stamp Collecting."

Reporter Kevin Carbery writes, "[Lucas],82, can only guess at the number of youngsters he has introduced to the hobby of philately in the more than 60 years he has volunteered to teach about stamps in various schools."

Ken is quoted as saying, "I have no idea how many kids I've turned into stamp collectors. Periodically, I'll hear from them. I just heard from a freshman at Northwest High School who is still collecting stamps."

Ken has been holding stamp collecting sessions in schools since 1948 with the exception of the two years he was in the Army.

Teacher Kim Anderson said she has welcomed Lucas into her 5th grade classroom for more than 20 years and sees the value of what the stamp collecting guru has to share with her students.

"He provides them with everything," she said. "Each time he comes, they'll get 50 stamps, 25 U.S. and 25 foreign. They learn everything. Every time he comes, it lasts about 45 minutes."

As part of his visit, Ken provides the students with a short 25-minute philatelic "show and tell" such the basic tools and techniques involved with the hobby or some topical subject on stamps such as presidents, sports,

Ken, a retired accountant, supplies the stamps and other materials he brings to his stamp collecting sessions out of his own pocket.

Ken says "I plan to keep doing this as long as I can. As long as my legs hold out and I can drive."

To donate to Ken's stamp collecting program or for more information, contact Kim Anderson at (636) 671-3382.

Shown above, Ken and one of his students.

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Swedish Tiger

You'd never know it from its name but Roger Kirby's The Swedish Tiger website has high definition pictures, prices and more on just about any classic U.S. stamp you can think of.

On the site you will find images of all US postage stamps up to 1952. Along with updated market prices. Included are US revenues, officials, Hawaii, Confederate Stamps and more back of the book.

Roger tracks prices realized on eBay and at major New York auction houses. These include Matthew Bennett, Shreves, Cherrystone and Robert Seigel. Where possible, he indicates the grade the stamp was awarded by a recognized an expertiser such as the PSE.

Even if you don't know anything about stamps, all you have to do is click on an image and you will be given the information on it. This often includes information on the series, printing information, what to look for, the source of the design, etc.

According to Roger, prices are updated twice yearly. Some issues, such as the 1869 Pictorial Inverts have a record of each sale. Other issues have specialized articles attached to them.

The site is offered free so there no commercial bias in the opinions offered. There is a section on ebay stamp dealers which has been put together based on the comments he's recieved from readers.

Roger is a member of the Royal Philatelic Society. He also heads up Blue Water Productions which does some incredible work in the area of photgraphy and website design

Click here to visit Roger's website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stamps Have a Greater Purpose Than Just Mailing a Letter

The Observer & Eccentric Newspapers and Hometown Weeklies website reports, "Postage stamps serve a greater purpose than the mere mailing of a letter. They live on for years beyond that initial thank-you letter or birthday card, and as a whole, serve as an indication of a country's history, culture and ideology, making stamp collecting almost more of a history lesson than a pastime or hobby."

It goes on to say, "Don't be fooled by the stereotypes that have been attributed to stamp collecting; it can be a valuable tool for all ages. The process of sifting through the changing artwork and various formats can hone observation skills and attention to detail in children while at the same time displaying the changing interests of a particular nation or country."

While the author is anonymous, I suspect the article was penned by a librarian based on the following comment, "So if you happen to come across a stamp from decades or even a century ago and it piques your interest, stop by the library and we'll show you where you can find more information!"

The article suggests a couple stamp related books that might be found in a library. It also encourages people to bring selections from their stamp collection to the library and spend an afternoon checking out what their stamps are worth using the Scott Catalogues in the reference section.

Shown above, the cover of the first Scott Catalogue which was published in 1868.

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

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Columbus Day!

According to the Wikipedia website, today is "...celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in many countries in Latin America, as Día de las Culturas (Day of the Cultures) in Costa Rica, as Discovery Day in The Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay and as Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) in Venezuela."

It goes on to say, "Columbus Day first became an official state holiday in Colorado in 1905, and became a federal holiday in 1934. But people have celebrated Columbus' voyage since the colonial period. In 1792, New York City and other eastern U.S. cities celebrated the 300th anniversary of his landing in the New World. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the 400-year anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used Columbus Day rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These patriotic rituals were framed around themes such as support for war, citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and celebrating social progress."

Many nations have issued stamps honoring Columbus including the United States. In 1893 the U.S. issued a series of 16 stamps marking the 400th anniversary of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. They are widely considered to be the first commemorative stamps ever issued by any country.

Shown above, the $5 value of that series.

To learn more about Columbus and his voyages, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Watch the Shows on the Early TV Memories Stamps

Linn's Stamp News reports the website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC)in Chicago is showing original episodes from the 20 44-cent Early Television Memories stamps which were released Aug. 11.

The mission of the MBC is to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform, and entertain the public through its archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to its resources.

The MBC is an Illinois non-profit corporation that owns and manages two subsidiaries, Museum.TV and the National Radio Hall of Fame (NRHOF) and its website

Click here to view the stamps, then click on the one you want to watch.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Suddenly Stamp Collecting Seems Interesting

Have a great weekend!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sending Children by Parcel Post

According to the National Postal Museum, "After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the service. With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination."

Jennifer Rosenberg, Guide to 20th Century History writes on the website, "Sending packages via the U.S. Parcel Post Service began on January 1, 1913. Regulations stated that packages could not weigh more than 50 pounds but did not necessarily preclude the sending of children. On February 19, 1914, the parents of four-year-old May Pierstorff mailed her from Grangeville, Idaho to her grandparents in Lewiston, Idaho. Mailing May apparently was cheaper than buying her a train ticket. The little girl wore her 53-cents worth of postal stamps on her jacket as she traveled in the train's mail compartment."

The practice was eventually stopped by Frank Harris Hitchcock, who was Postmaster General under President William Howard Taft. Hitchcock is credited with establishing the parcel post as well as creating the postal savings bank system and urged the initiation of an airmail system. He also made prosecution of mail fraud a top priority, and led a major crackdown on people using the mails to sell shares in worthless companies.

Shown above, city letter carrier posed for a light-hearted photo with a young boy in his mailbag.

Click here to read a 1918 newspaper article on children being sent by parcel post.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Two-Million Stamps in Postal Worker's Collection

According to the Popular Fidelity website, "Alan Roy, a postal worker from Dorset, England, had a pretty normal hobby. Like a lot of folks around the world, Alan was into stamp collecting. Being a postal worker, he had access to some pretty cool stamps, and most folks have no problem with you peeling off the stamp after the mail is delivered. However, Roy took things a bit farther than your average stamp enthusiast, amassing a serious 2-million-piece stamp collection before he passed on at age 76."

Posted by Ron Hogan, he writes, "No one actually knows the value of Alan’s collection, because no one is quite sure what’s in it. After all, he’d been collecting stamps for 70 years and picked up an average of 30,000 stamps a year. The collection breaks down as a million stamps from Britain; half-a-million from Ireland; 400,000 from the rest of the world; and an impressive 50,000 Christmas stamps."

"Auctioneer David Elliott estimates that the time it would take one person to sort all those stamps and assign a value to them is, roughly, 70 years. Considering how long it took one person to gather all the stamps, that’s not an exaggeration" says Ron.

Shown above, part of Alan's massive accumulation.

Who has the world's largest stamp collection? Click here to find out.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

SESCAL 2009 -- October 9-11 in Los Angeles

Collectors are invited to attend SESCAL 2009, an American Philatelic Society World Series of Philately show sponsored by the Federated Philatelic Clubs of Southern California. This 65th annual exhibition will be held from October 9-11, 2009 at the Radisson at Los Angeles Airport Hotel, 6225 West Century Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90045.

Show hours are 10-6 on Friday and Saturday, and 10-4 on Sunday. Admission is free and reduced-fee validated parking is available (be sure to check the SESCAL website for location of validated parking).

Featuring more than 35 dealers, over 40 exhibits (218 frames), two postal administrations and nine Societies, the show will also host the national conventions of the Universal Ship Cancellation Society and the Sports Philatelists International. The two hosted societies are holding several meetings and have provided a significant number of interesting exhibits.

There will be regional meetings for the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, the American First Day Cover Society, the Plate Number Coil Collectors Club, the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, the Postal History Foundation, the China Stamp Society and the Federated Philatelic Clubs of Southern California. Overall the show schedule includes nearly 25 meetings. There will be two Regency Superior auctions on Saturday and Sunday with viewing of lots startiing Friday at 10 am.

This year we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the 1984 Summer Olympics Games held in Los Angeles. The Sports Philatelists International has arranged a Court of Honor exhibit of Olympics Memorabilia by the Los Angeles Olympics Committee. Philatelic artist and USPS Art Director Carl T. Herrman speaks on “Sports Illustrated” at 1 p.m., Saturday. He has designed over 400 postal stamps including 1996 Olympic series, Beijing Olympics, Extreme sports, and many more.

The show cachet was created by noted cachet designer Bernard Goldberg who will be autographing covers on Sunday afternoon. Details for ordering cacheted show covers are on the SESCAL Website.

On Sunday, the Claude C. Ries Chapter of the American First Day Cover Society will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary. A special cacheted cover honoring Claude C. Ries, the founder of the chapter, is available at the show and by mail.

For the first time, the American Philatelic Society will be offering an educational course in Southern California. This two-day course, Exhibiting for the Prize, will be taught by Richard Drews on Wednesday and Thursday (Oct. 7-8) at the show hotel.

A Youth Activities area will be open for youth and adult beginners all three days of the show. A large selection of stamps for these collectors will be available free of charge.

For additional information, click here for meetings schedules, dealers list, floor plan, a list of exhibits and awards, banquet information and much more.

See ya there!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The New Face of Stamp Collecting

Canada's Times Colonist reports, "These days, collectors often look for stamps that fit certain themes or topics and have expanded their collections to include envelopes and postcards that shed light on how and when the stamps were used."

Bill Bartlett, who's been collecting stamps since he was eight and a former Canadian postmaster, is quoted in the article by reporter Matthew Pearson as saying, "'s no longer just about collecting one of everything."

Pearson writes, "Among the thousands of postage stamps Bill Bartlett has collected over the years, some of his favourites were issued by the Japanese government after a 1923 earthquake destroyed the country's existing stock. The tiny replacement stamps featuring chrysanthemum flowers were only used until 1924. Finding them today, 85 years later, isn't easy."

When asked, "So just how much is an entire stamp collection worth anyway?," another one of the attendees at a stamp show in held Victoria this past weekend said, ""The value of a collection is really the energy you put into it, the value you get out of it and the friendships you've made along the way.".

Shown above in a Times Colonist photograph by Debra Brash, Bill looking over some old covers at a dealer's table at the show.

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

Monday, October 05, 2009

U.N. Releases $1 Gandhi Stamp

India's Hindu reports, "Marking the International Day of Non-Violence, the United Nations released a Mahatma Gandhi stamp on the occasion of his 140th birth anniversary."

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born October 2, 1869. However, he is known around the world as "Mahatma" which in Sanskrit translates as "Great Soul."

According to the paper, "All over New York City, small and big events were organised to mark the birthday of the Father of the Nation."

United States Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice is quoted as saying, “Gandhi had influenced millions of Americans. Gandhi believed that physical force could be turned aside by moral forces.”

Rice spoke about Gandhi’s influence on U.S. history and quoted Martin Luther King Jr. as saying, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. That is true of people, but it is also true of nations.”

In a separate article that appeared on the Press Trust of India website, India's ambassador to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said, "In many ways, Mahatma Gandhi previsioned the UN. Much of the work that we do in the area of human rights owes its genesis in the struggle against racial discrimination, which he focused on."

Shown above, United Nations General Assembly president Ali Abdussalam Treki unveils the Mahatma Gandhi stamp at the United Nations in New York. The $1 stamp was designed by Miami-based artist Ferdie Pacheco.

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

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Deadlines for Overeas Holiday Packages for Troops Approaching

Illinois' Belleville News Democrat says, "It's not too soon to start thinking about shipping holiday packages, cards and letters overseas to deployed troops."

Holiday packages must be mailed by Nov. 13 to reach troops stationed at APO or FPO ZIP codes for the holidays. Priority mail and first class letters or cards mailed to APO/FPO ZIPS 090-092,094-098, 340 and 962-966 must be mailed by Dec. 11. Priority mail and first class letters and cards to APO/FPO ZIP 093 must be mailed by Dec. 4 to reach the overseas destination in time for the holidays.

All packages and mail must be addressed to individual service members, as required by U.S. Department of Defense regulations.

The Postal Service places APO/FPO mail on special charter flights, commercial airlines and military service aircraft to reach armed services members overseas as quickly as possible.

Loretta Tolliver, manager of customer relations for the U.S. Postal Service, is quoted as saying, "There may be no bigger morale booster than mail for our soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guardsmen during the holidays. Packages and letters bring them closer to family and to the comforts of home."

More information about shipping to APO/FPO destinations can be found at
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Rural Residents Apply Personal Stamp to Mailboxes

California's Evansville Courier and Press reports, "Rural free delivery seems to have spawned rural freestyle mailbox art."

Especially in parts of Sacramento.

Sandy Schmidt, rural coordinator for the U.S. Postal Service's Sacramento District, is quoted as saying in most cases the owners simply embellish standard boxes.

According to Sandy, "One fairly common variation consists of one regular mailbox and another at the top of a tall pole ... marked Air Mail."

The paper says curbside boxes are supposed to be 41-45 inches above the road surface and 6-8 inches back from the front face of the curb.

"The standards allow rural carriers, delivering up to 1,000 addresses per day, to efficiently make their rounds."

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

Friday, October 02, 2009

Stamp Societies Exist for Many Specialties

According to one estimate there are over 110 countries worldwide have some sort of society for philatelists.
Michael Baadke, senior editor of Linn's Stamp News, writes in one of his Refresher Course articles titled Stamp Societies Exist for Many Specialties, "Something many collectors don't realize is that there are also a tremendous number of specialty groups that accept members from just about everywhere. While many of these groups hold meetings from time to time at different locations, most of their members never attend those meetings. Instead, they learn about the group's activities through regular journals or newsletters. These journals provide news and articles that specifically appeal to collectors with a specific area of interest."

Michael points out, "Different groups offer their members different benefits, and as a result, the membership dues can vary considerably, from just a few dollars annually, to $25 or more. Stamp society dues are a very worthwhile investment for collectors who are serious about their hobby. The information that comes from belonging to a specialty society can more than make up for the money spent."

Often club or society members find information that helps them save money and can get some great deals through auctions, outright purchases or trades.

To find various clubs and societies, here's a a good website that lists many of them them -

You might also try

Shown above, American Philatelic Society circuit books which are sent to members' homes on approval.

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

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Stamps and Stamp Collectors - Endangered Species?

Oliver Good writes on the website, "Stamp collecting is a pursuit that combines elements of history, art and investment, all of which are quite respectable on their own. So why is the image of a hobbyist clutching a magnifying glass, painstakingly placing his latest purchase into an album a slightly depressing one?"

He goes on to pen,"For most of us, stamps are like batteries or petrol: an expense that all must endure but few actually enjoy. And if enthusiasm for government-issue stationery isn’t baffling enough, what about the multimillion-dirham price tags that rare stamps can command?"

"And in an age of e-mail, prepaid postage stickers and same-day courier services, could the common stamp, and by extension the philatelist, become endangered species?," he asks.

Shown above, 1995 Endangered Species sheet.

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