Thursday, September 30, 2010

National Stamp Collecting Month

National Stamp Collecting Month starts tomorrow so here's something you or your club can do to celebrate - donate a book or two on stamp collecting to your local library!

The Glendale/LaCrescenta (California) Stamp Club did just that and got some nice publicity. Shown here is a picture that ran in their local newspaper, the Glendale News-Press.

Most libraries these days are strapped for cash and would no doubt be happy to get such an in-kind donation. You could also donate a subscription to Linn's. American Philatelic Society Chapters can have their subscription to the The American Philatelist send to a library of their choice.

Check with the librarian to see what they might need or want. The Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting (Rodney A. Juell & Steven J. Rod, editors)  and/or Janet Klug's Guide to Stamp Collecting are two excellent choices.

Shown in the picture from left to right, club President Don Schilling, La Crescenta Librarian Marta Wiggins, and club members Harvey Hirsch and Bob Thompson.

For more on National Stamp Collecting Month, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Missing $5 Columbian Cover

John Finch, stamps guide, writes on his blog, "A reward can be yours if you find a lost cover with the $5 value of the Columbian stamp of 1893. There is a wanted ad in a recent issue of Linn's Weekly Stamp News soliciting information leading to the valuable philatelic item's whereabouts."

According to John, "The cover went missing after it changed hands at the Westpex Stamp Show in Burlingame, CA. The cover has a value of $15,000, making it an item of postal history with quite a pedigree."

Contact dealer William Langs at if you have any information that might reunite him with the classic cover.

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kansas Club Hosts 'Stamps in The Attic' Event

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that at its next meeting the Lawrence [Kansas] Stamp Club will be having its first walk-in stamp consultation event which they are calling 'Stamps in the Attic'.

Club President Devin Zell is quoted as saying, “We’re not offering appraisals, we’re just going to be here to field questions and see if it’s worth pursuing.”

According to the article, "Zell, of Lawrence, says he gets at least one e-mail a week from a community member asking if he can come over and appraise a stamp collection. He’s hoping this event will help."

Reporter Anne Kealing pens, "Zell has seen many stamp collections... and most are fairly common and not worth much. He uses stamp catalogs to estimate values most of the time."

Shown above, Zell (left) and fellow club member Brian Kuehl at the club's September meeting.

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

Monday, September 27, 2010


According to a write-up on Britain's Sunday Times website,  the Stampopedia website, "is developed around a somewhat unique premise – that stamps reflect the morals, values and concerns of a country – and that they can be used to study not only moments of historical significance, but to explore the shifting kaleidoscope of values and concerns that inspired their creation."

The site was created by Christie Alwis, a telecommunications engineer at Sri Lanka Telecom and Imtiaz Muhsin,the former principal of Crescent Schools International.

Reporter Smriti Daniel pens, "Together, the two have envisioned an interactive site that provides a space for stamp collectors and general knowledge buffs...With a collection of 1,500 exclusively Sri Lankan stamps, the site is still in its infancy, but the information that accompanies each stamp is detailed...As for the exploring the stamps themselves, you have several options. You could try by date of issue, by category or even in alphabetic order. Here, it’s the category mode that most justifies the concept of stampopedia as an encyclopaedia. A fourth option, that of the timeline mode can produce fascinating results."

Mushin is quoted as saying there’s room for everyone and a lot of room to expand. He welcomes developers as volunteers.

The article goes on to say, "He’d like to make the space a collaborative one and is open to design input and suggestions for additional features. (Use the ‘contact’ option on the site to tell him your ideas.) As for the less technically inclined, he invites you to add your collection of stamps, take responsibility for maintaining updates for a country or a topic and submit articles and essays."

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

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How Bill Gross Got Started Collecting Stamps

Bill Gross (shown here) was interviewed by Keren Blankfeld of about how he became a stamp collector.

Gross told her, "My mom started [collecting] in the late 1930s . . . in anticipation of her three kids going to college . . . and bought . . . newly issued commemoratives, [paying] $3 for a sheet of 100. . . . She . . . hid them away . . . for 20 years or so, and by the time I was 17 . . . she presented them to me like . . . magic beans and said take these into San Francisco and sell them and whatever you get is going to pay for your college education."

He went on to say, "They must have weighed a hundred pounds. There were hundreds of them. So I hopped the train [to] San Francisco. . . . I took them with high hopes to . . . four [stamp dealers], and none offered me more than what my mother had paid . . . 20 years ago. . . . I knew that wouldn't pay for my college education. . . . The magic beans weren't worth anything. The look on my mother's face was total depression. Fortunately I got a scholarship to Duke. Otherwise, I was going to junior college. . ."

In an effort to prove that his mother's intentions were good (if not her philatelic expertise), he began studying stamps to learn which ones were good investments and which ones were not.

With some help and advice from Charles Shreve, he became the third person (after Robert Zoellner in the 1990s and Benjamin K Miller pre-1925) to form a complete collection of 19th century United States postage stamps according to Wikipedia.

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

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Postal Workers Hit It Big

The Boston Herald and other papers are running an Associated Press story about eight New Hampshire post office workers who played the lottery together for 15 years and finally hit it big this week with a $200,000 winning Powerball ticket.

According to the article,  the workers contributed $2 per week to the pool and bought eight tickets for each of the biweekly drawings. Each will take home $25,000, before taxes.

They were one digit off from hitting the $79 million jackpot, which no one won.

According to another report which appeared in the Manchester, NH, Union Leader,  the postmaster has barred the media from taking photos of the winners. He said he wasn't sure if, "as postal workers, they were allowed to be playing the lottery."

The group noted that they bought and paid for the tickets on personal time, and not on the post office's time.

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

Friday, September 24, 2010

Phony Philatelists

The website posts an interesting article, Phony Philatelists: Four Stories of Stamp Forgers, by Rob Lammle.

Rob writes,"Ever since the first postage stamp was issued by Great Britain in 1840, there have been stamp collectors. And for almost as long, there have been stamp forgers. Some create counterfeit stamps to get around paying the fee for mail delivery, while others sell their replicas to unsuspecting collectors for quite a bit of cash. Here are the stories of four forgers who were surprisingly adept at faking their way through the world of postage stamps."

The "four forgers" in the article are Jean de Sperati, Madame Joseph, François Fournier, and the U.S. Government.

According to the article, "...the U.S. Military, the Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.), kicked off a propaganda campaign in 1941 that it called Operation Cornflakes. The plan was to print thousands of anti-Nazi pamphlets, put them in envelopes addressed to German citizens, and then bomb German mail trains. Along with the munitions, the Allied planes would also drop mailbags filled with these envelopes. When the debris of the destroyed train was cleaned up, the Germans would gather up any intact mailbags and deliver the letters, unknowingly delivering the propaganda mail as well."

It goes on to say, "But of course to get the mail delivered, it had to have valid, German postage. Secretly buying thousands of German stamps would not only be difficult, but would also contribute to the efficiency and economy of the German government, something the Allies were obviously not interested in doing. So they made fake stamps, most famously one nicknamed the Hitler Skull Stamp."

Shown above, one of the forged stamps printed by the U.S. Government.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on Operation Cornflakes and the Hitler Skull Stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stamp Artists and Photographers

Have you ever wondered who painted or took the photo that appears on recent U.S. stamps or postal stationary?

Well, the Postal Service's Beyond The Perf website lists 35 artists and photographers they've used to illustrate philatelic items.

Some, like Tom Engeman, have illustrated many stamps and pieces of postal stationary. Others, like Matt Groening (of Simpsons fame), just a few

Alphabetically, they range from photographer Sally Andersen-Bruce whose designs for the Postal Service include Classic American Dolls (1997), Neuter or Spay (2002), Holiday Cookies (2005), Holiday Nutcrackers (2008), and Animal Rescue: adopt a shelter pet (2010) to Ira Wexler who created the image that appears on the current Hanukkah stamp (first Issued in 2009). Wexler provided the photographs for two other stamps: the Purple Heart stamp first issued in 2003 and the 1998 Teddy Bear stamp.

Each artist and photographer has an extensive write-up on the site that tells about their background and training as well as listing stamps and postal stationary they've illustrated.

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

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Famous Stamp Collectors

The 2-Clicks Stamps website posts a list of famous stamp collectors.

While some are well known - Franklin D. Roosevelt, George Linn, John Lennon, Freddie Mercury and Prince Rainer III of Monaco - many are not.

Among those listed...

Ad Indusophon - This lady is a well-known philatelist from Siam. She built a foundation in Thailand to promote youth philately. Her Cape of Good Hope Triangular stamp collection won the International Grand Prix in Toronto in 1996.

Pichai Buranasombati - One of Britain’s top postage stamp collectors. His famous philatelic collection of the Malayan Straits Settlement stamps won the Singapore National Grand Prix in 1995. His notable Burmese stamps collection was hailed in the Indepex National Grand Prix in 1997.

Philip Ward Jr. - World-famous philatelist celebrated for buying stamps that were rare and classic specimens. Ward was also highly acclaimed for his collection of US revenue stamps, matchbox labels, and medicine stamps with inverted centers.  Ward was also the key person who advocated the importance of first day covers. This achievement highlighted Ward as one of the world's popular philatelists.

William Woodbury Hicks - Renowned American philatelist. He founded the Three cent 1851-1857 Unit of the American Philatelic Society. He held the largest and most complete collection of U.S railroad stamp cancels from the 1830s to 1861.

Shown above, President Franklin D. Roosevelt working on his stamp collection.

To read about some other famous stamp collectors and philatelists, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

USPS Board of Governors Takes Some Heat

According to an entry on the Association for Postal Commerce website, the Postalnews Blog has reported that, "The Senate last week confirmed the appointment of Dennis J. Toner, of Delaware, to be a Governor of the United States Postal Service for the remainder of the term expiring December 8, 2012. Toner’s main qualification for the job of overseeing the USPS is apparently his former job as deputy chief of staff for Joe Biden."

It goes on to say, "Toner won’t be the only Governor with no obvious postal or business expertise- he joins fellow governors Mickey Barnett and Ellen Williams, both GOP lobbyists, and James H. Bilbray, a former Nevada Congressman and associate of Harry Reid."

One of the editors at the Association writes as a postscript, "There are days you've just got to wonder . . . . Why in blazes do we have a Board of Governors anyway? They never learn anything about postal. They fail to hold postal management accountable. Their policies, if the exigent case is an example, are off-base. And they know little about how the Postal Service could better market and grow its business. They can't seem to master opening up their public meetings via webcasting. They never open up themselves at public meetings to public input. So, why are we paying them $30,000 a year?"

It should be noted that each Governor receives $300 per day for not more than 42 days of meetings each year and travel expenses, in addition to an annual salary of $30,000 according to the USPS.

Shown above, USPS Board of Governors. Standing form left: Mickey D. Barnett, James C. Miller III, Alan C. Kessler, Louis J. Giuliano, Carolyn Lewis Gallagher. Seated from left: James H. Bilbray, Katherine C. Tobin, Ellen C. Williams.

For more on the USPS Board of Governors, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 20, 2010

100-Year-Old Janitor Still Working At Maryland Post Office

A janitor at a post office in Maryland celebrated his 100th birthday this past week with the help of his co-workers according to KMBC-TV.

The ABC affiliate reports, "Mazerine Wingate started his job at the Lexington Park Post Office at age 60, when most people are settling into retirement. Forty years later, he's still at it -- at least five hours a day, six days a week."

Wingate is quoted as saying he started working at age 10 plowing farm fields. Born in 1910, he's lived to see both world wars from start to finish, along with 18 presidents.

At age 100, he still drives himself to work and has had no major health issues.

His secret to longevity? He doesn't smoke or drink and attends church every Sunday. But most important, he said, is eating good food like peas, cornbread and sweet potatoes.

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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Critical Mail" Product Under Consideration by U.S. Postal Service

Direct Marketing News reports, "The US Postal Service is considering a letter and flat-sized product that would offer customers sending time-sensitive documents the speed and consistency of Priority Mail with delivery confirmation, but at a lower price than the flagship product."

According to an article by Kate Muth, "Tentatively called 'Critical Mail,' the product would offer delivery in one to three days, and give consumers the ability to track the piece in progress. It would likely have two price points, one for a letter and a higher price for a flat mail piece."

An internal USPS presentation, posted by the Association for Postal Commerce, indicated the letter would cost $3.50 and a Critical Mail flat $4.25. Delivery confirmation would be included in the price.

Dave Lewin, Postal Service PR representative, confirmed Critical Mail is a product in development, but said details are under review.

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

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mike The Mailman

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 17, 2010

American Astrophilately

David S. Ball of Charleston, South Carolina writes to let Roundup readers know about his new book, American Astrophilately.

David says, "At the national APS show in Richmond last month I gave a lecture on our collecting specialty. Astrophilatelists tell the story of the exploration of space with postal envelopes cancelled on the date and at the place key events where aerospace history occurs. Sometimes that means a post office near a launch pad, on a recovery ship, or carried into space. The presentation was well received and in a field of more than 60 entrants the book was awarded the Gold Medal for Literature."

Reviewed in the September 2010 issue of the American Philatelist, Bonny Farmer called American Astrophilately a, "must have". The June edition of the European astrophilatelic journal Orbit had similar praise. The review was reprinted in the American Air Mail Society journal Airpost.

According Dave, "Sales of the book are going well. Boggs Spacebooks just placed a reorder. Subway stamps carries it as do the European websites and The Smithsonian sells it in both the Air & Space Museum and the National Postal Museum. The gift shop at the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum also carries it. Orders have been received from collectors in 12 nations so far."

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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Philatelic Prankster W. Reginald Bray

The New Yorker Magazine posts a piece in its Book Bench section about John Tingey's “The Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects,” about the turn of the twentieth-century eccentric and philatelist W. Reginald Bray.

Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn writes, "Bray (1879-1939) was an avid collector who amassed stamps, postmarks, train tickets, and girlfriends, and who, after reading the entire British Post Office Guide, impishly determined to take the rules as challenges. He tried posting an unimaginable array of things, to see whether the post office would deliver them.

"Apparently, at the time, the smallest item that could be posted was a bee, and the largest an elephant. Bray seems to have tried most things in between. At one point or another, he mailed a bowler hat, a rabbit skull (the address spelled out on the nasal bone, and the stamps pasted to the back), a purse, a slipper, a clothes brush, seaweed, shirt collars, a penny, a turnip (address and message carved into the durable tuber), an Irish Terrier, and a pipe, among other curios."

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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rapid City Collectors Share Thrill of the Hunt

Members of the Black Hills Coin and Stamp Club are featured in an article titled "Collectors Share Thrill of the Hunt" that appeared in Iowa's Rapid City Journal.

Correspondent Danie Koskan says the club boasts about 30 or so members who "get a thrill out of finding and acquiring unique and obscure coins or stamps."

Club president Gene Myers has a few coins, but postage is his passion according to Danie.

Myers, 67, while in the Air Force, once bought a series of Luxembourg stamps in Germany. Later he discovered one was absent from the set and set out to find the missing stamp. Years later, he found the missing stamp at a show in Denver.

"Today, Myers considers the stamp, which is valued at no more than 50 cents, one of his most valuable possessions," pens Danie.

“It’s not worth anything, but I had so much fun looking for that stamp that, to me, that stamp is priceless,” he said.

The Black Hills Coin and Stamp Club meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month at General Beadle Elementary School. Each meeting features a demonstration or discussion on some facet of coin or stamp collecting.

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

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Philatelic Genealogy

"Postal history vendors and collectors are sharing photographs from their collections with, and are cataloged with key genealogical data and auction catalog references, when available. From the initial 3,000 items seen, 261 were legible, non-commercial, postmarked envelopes and postcards, sent either from Europe to the U.S. or from the U.S. to Europe, from approximately 1850 to 1930," according to an article that appears in American Ancsetors and appears on the Philatelic Genealogy website.

The site has a searchable database of old envelopes and postcards gathered from private collections.

According to the site, "All American genealogists face the question of where an immigrant ancestor lived before coming to America. An old envelope may provide a clue. Old envelopes and postcards can reveal an immigrant ancestor's place of origin, a family's migration after their arrival, or the location of siblings."

Shown above, 1908 envelope from Clinton, Iowa to Obergeis, Germany. Finding a European immigrant's birthplace can be difficult. A return address or a postmark can provide a clue, especially when the sender and addressee have the same family name as seen here.

To visit the Philatelic Genealogy website and database, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 13, 2010

Britain's New "Post and Go" Stamps

Garden birds will be featured on the new Post and Go pictorial stamps to being issue September 17 at a small number of British post offices.

The stamps, which were illustrated by Robert Gillmor, will be the first in a Birds of Britain series planned for Post and Go postage stamp dispensing machines.

Using the linocut method to add layers of color, Gillmor used a printing machine that is over 160 years old to print the illustrations on the stamps which shown above.

Gillmor is quoted in an article that appears on the website as saying,   “It is exciting to have my work on British stamps. It is very interesting that my stamps will appear on people's letters and parcels using the latest technology, especially as my artwork was created using a 161-year-old printing press.”

The first Post and Go machine was installed for trial at The Galleries Post Office, Bristol during 2007 and more than 170 terminals have since been installed in branches across the UK.

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

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eggs by Mail

According to the National Postal Museum, "The specially shaped egg cartons we see every day are based on an old design—that of the parcel post mailing egg crate, like the one seen here. Despite the many changes and advances in transportation technology, eggs have travelled in much the same way for nearly 100 years."

It goes on to say, "For much of the early history of the Post Office Department (POD), patrons were required to pick up their mail from the local post office. Many rural families lived miles from the closest town. They were not able to receive free mail deliveries, and were thus fairly isolated from current events and technological innovations. With the introduction of Rural Free Delivery (RFD), an official part of the postal system, by 1902 and parcel post in 1913, rural families were no longer so isolated. With parcel post, even small family farms could afford to sell their fresh produce, such as eggs, to consumers in nearby cities."

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

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The ABCs of Stamp Collecting Workshop with Janet Klug

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 10, 2010

Since When Was Frida Kahlo an American?

Massachusetts' reports as part of its celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History is displaying stamps that honor the achievements of Hispanic Americans and the contributions the Hispanic community has made to the culture of America.

"Over the years such famous Hispanic Americans as Cesar Chavez, Roberto Clemente, Frida Kahlo* and Richie Valens have appeared on U.S. postage stamps" according to a press release put out by the Gatehouse News Service on behalf of the museum.

Hispanic Heritage Month was first celebrated in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week. In 1988, the celebration was extended to one month. These dates were chosen since seven nations commemorate their independence from Spain during the month.

Click here for more information on the exhibit which will open on Thursday, Sept. 16 and run through Oct. 17.

[*It should be noted Frida Kahlo was not an American citizen. According to Wikipedia, she was Mexican as well as a Communist. The latter caused a bit of a stir when the stamp was released and questions arose as to why she was selected to be on a U.S. postage stamp.]
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Stamp Fulfillment Center Stores $400 million to $600 Million Worth of Stamps

Kansas City's KCUR-FM radio reports, "You might think of caves as a natural habitat for bats. But it turns out that the environment inside the caves at the industrial complex Hunt Midwest SubTropolis is also perfect for postage stamps."

It goes on to say, "Since 1982, the United States Postal Service's Stamp Fulfillment Center has stored postage stamps for the entire country inside of these caves just north of the river near the Ameristar Casino. 10,000 postage orders a day are filled here - from businesses, individuals, and even collectors."

According to the report, $400 million to $600 million worth of stamps are stored there.

Khalid Hussein, who runs the USPS Stamp Fulfillment Center and is a collector himself, is quoted as saying that stamp collectors in general are a patriotic bunch and have "a very keen interest in the history of the nation and a very deep attachment to the art."

Click here to listen to KCUR's audio interview and report.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"Nature of America" Sheetlet Illustrator John Dawson Finishes Up Series

Big Island Video News reports the 12th and final of the 2010 Nature of America series, Hawaiian Rain Forest, was released earlier this week.

According to the report, stamp illustrator John Dawson, a resident of Hilo, commented at the first-day-of-issue ceremony in Hawaii, “For my wife Kathie and me, researching and illustrating the series over the last 14 years has been one of the most fantastic experiences in our careers. I was creating art from subjects I love and along the way we’ve forged wonderful friendships with this dream assignment.”

Dawson spent close to a year in the field researching, photographing, and sketching virtually all of the Hawaiian Rain Forest subjects prior to committing six months to creating the artwork.

The Nature of America series that featured John's illustrations include; the Sonoran Desert (1999), Pacific Coast Rain Forest (2000), Great Plains Prairie (2001), Longleaf Pine Forest (2002), Arctic Tundra (2003), Pacific Coral Reef (2004), Northeast Deciduous Forest (2005), Southern Florida Wetland (2006), Alpine Tundra (2007), Great Lakes Dunes (2008) and Kelp Forest (2009).

Dawson’s artwork has been featured in the pages of National Geographic magazine and wildlife books, as well as in national parks nationwide and a touring exhibition.

According to another article on the Hawai'i Magazine com website, his artwork is prominently featured at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park visitor center in a series of educational panels (pictured, above, with Dawson) depicting the nine ecosystems found within the Big Island park.

For more on the sheetlet and to watch a video of John speaking at the ceremony, click here.

To visit John's Facebook page, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Stamps on Paper Towels

A "tip of the tongs" to Ellen Peachey who reports via Facebook that ‎Brawny® paper towels has a postage stamp design in its 6 big roll package. Ellen points out, however, "Not all the rolls in the package have the stamp design." To see the other designs and to find a store near you that has them, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy Labor Day!

Shown here is the best cachet for the year 1934 as voted on by the readers of Stamps.

In an article that appears on the Philatelic Database website, John J. Haag, P.J.A., Cachet Editor of that publication pens, "Each Labor Day sees many cachets issued. However, this year collectors selected the cachet sponsored by Russell R. Sheets, U.S.C.S. member 456, as the best cachet for the year 1934. The cachet was applied to 550 covers in red, green and blue."

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

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Pay Your Price for Your Stamps, Not the Dealer's

John Finch, Stamp Collecting Guide, asks,"What's the difference between dealers and collectors?

Give up?

"A 200 percent markup."

John also offers some other insights for collectors who are trying to get the stamps they want, at a price they can afford.

These are....

- Haggle
- Buy More Stamps
- Get Personal
- Trade Your Stamps
- Go Late To a Stamp Show
- Buy on The Internet
- Consolidate Your Search
- Be Nice

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

Saturday, September 04, 2010

World's First 'Intelligent' Stamp Goes on Sale

BBC News reports the Royal Mail has launched what it claims is the world's first "intelligent" stamp.

According to the piece, "Those viewing the stamp part of the Royal Mail's latest Great British Railways edition, [on a smartphone] via the Junaio app will be directed to a short film showing Bernard Cribbins reading Auden's famous poem The Night Mail.

Cribbins points out, "WH Auden wrote the Night Mail poem in 1936 for the Post Office's own blockbuster film of the same name, which has for years remained in the hearts and minds of many."

The Royal Mail's Philip Parker is also quoted as saying,  "This is the first time a national postal service has used this kind of technology on their stamps and we're very excited to be bringing intelligent stamps to the nation's post.

"Through intelligent stamp technology, our stamps will open up to a whole new world of information, interest and fun to collectors and the millions of people who will receive them on letters in the coming months alike."

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

Friday, September 03, 2010

'Horse and Dragons' Set Chinese Stamp Record

The Wall Street Journal reports, "A sheet of 25 green horse-and-dragon stamps, along with a sheet of a similar design but in red, sold for $1.3 million at auction Saturday in Hong Kong, setting a new record for a set of Chinese stamps."

According to reporter Jason Chow, "The horse-and-dragon stamps were originally commissioned by the Chinese Empress Dowager in 1886 for Taiwan when the island first established its postal service. But the stamps were never put to use in the mail because the island was sparsely populated at the time and the postal service had so little business. Instead, they were used as railway tickets (the railway company would stamp their own logo and information on the stamp). Many of the stamps used as tickets are considered collectibles today."

He goes on to pen, "What made the green set so interesting to collectors is that they're a full, unmarked sheet in mint condition—the only one known to exist. The red set, also rare, is one of only two known to collectors. The last time the green stamps came to light was in the early 1980s, when a Taiwanese collector bought them at an auction."

Shown here, "Horse-and-Dragon" stamps.

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

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Simon Wiesenthal Exhibit Online

According to an entry on its blog, the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has launched a new online exhibit, “Hunting for Wiesenthals: Postmarks from the Simon Wiesenthal Collection.”

It goes on to say, "This unique online exhibit explores postmarks from towns in Austria-Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany. The postmarks are a part of Wiesenthal’s larger stamp collection, which he started in the late 1940s to occupy himself at night when he couldn’t sleep. The exhibit also features Wiesenthal’s own collecting tools, which were donated to the Postal Museum by his family.

"The memory of Wiesenthal’s lasting enthusiasm for stamp collecting is also a legacy for philatelists, as his interest in stamp collecting was well known during his lifetime and was a peaceful pursuit to contrast the violence he documented during the day."

On June 14, 2010, Isreal and Austria jointly issued a stamp issue honoring Simon Wiesenthal (shown above). Wiesenthal is portrayed in a frame in the form of the Star of David with text in both German and Hebrew.

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

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

SESCAL One Month Away

The Federated Philatelic Clubs of Southern California (FPCSC), a consortium of 27 clubs, societies and chapters from throughout the southern California region, a 51-year member of the American Philatelic Society, will present the SESCAL 2010 (Stamp Exhibition of Southern California) stamp show October 1-3 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel.

An APS class on the “Philatelic Marketplace” will be presented September 29-30, 2010 (Wednesday and Thursday prior to SESCAL) by Clark Frazier.

An online registration form is available at

Thanks to the sponsorship of the course by the Philatelic Society of Los Angeles, the fee for the 2-day course has been substantially reduced and is just $20 for APS members and $35 for non-members.

The bourse (sales area) will include 40 dealers from across the United States with a wide variety of philatelic material for sale. The United States Postal Service and the United Nations Postal Administration will have booths at the show. The SESCAL exhibition will also include more than 150 frames of philatelic material.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and reduced $7.00 self-parking is available with validation.

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