Saturday, November 28, 2009

Telegraph Stamps

Rick Miller writes in a Linn's Refresher Course column, "Some people see the philatelic world as broadly divided into two camps: postage stamp collectors and revenue stamp collectors. There is a third category of stamps that often seems to get less respect than Rodney Dangerfield: telegraph stamps."

According to Rick, "The source of this lack of respect, or even acknowledgement, is hard to comprehend, because telegraph stamps have much more in common with postage stamps than revenue stamps do. Notwithstanding, revenue stamps have much greater esteem in the hobby than the lowly telegraph stamp."

He goes on to say, "Telegraph stamps are service fee stamps that prepay or show payment or exemption from payment for delivery of a telegraphic message. They are first cousins of postage stamps, which prepay a very similar service: delivery of a message through the postal system. The difference between telegraph and postage stamps is the medium of delivery."

Shown above, he world's first hexagonal stamp, a Belgian 1-franc green King Leopold I telegraph stamp, Hiscocks Belgium No. I.1.

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