Thursday, June 30, 2011

China Home to One-Third of The World's Stamp Collectors

According to an article by Kam Patel on Britain's Proactive Investors website, China is home to one-third of the world's stamp collectors and "continuing to grow fast." 

Patel quotes Stanley Gibbons chief executive Michael Hall as saying, "...with stamp collecting having been illegal under former Chinese leader Mao Zedong, since his death in 1976 there has been an explosion in collecting. A lot of Chinese stamps went overseas during the period when collecting was illegal but there is great interest there in repatriation.”

Responding to concerns that the Chinese stamp market "bubble" may burst, Hall said, “I think the term 'bubble' is widely misused by financial commentators when referring to anything that represents a high growth market. There is validity in the concept though, that things can't go up at such high rates forever... My view is that, sure, the Chinese stamp market will become a bubble eventually but at the moment it is just a fast growing market supported by huge and rising demand against severe supply restrictions.”

Shown above, a 1950 Chinese stamp showing Joseph Stalin, premier of the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1953) and Mao Zedong held authoritarian control over the People's Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.

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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Twain Stamp Illustrator Says "Designing a Stamp Can Be Tricky"

"Never in Greg Manchess’ wildest dreams did he think he would one day be chosen as the artist for a stamp honoring one of his all-time favorite subjects: Mark Twain," writes Suet Lee on the Missourian website.

Lee goes on to say, "As a child, Manchess always enjoyed Twain’s books. His fascination with Twain grew in art school, where he painted portraits and did a sculpted head study of Twain."

With 34 years of experience as a professional artist and illustrator, Manchess’s distinct style of thick brush strokes with oil paint earned him national recognition. His has collaborated with Paramount Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Disney to create movie posters and conceptual work for "The Chronicles of Narnia" series.

Manchess (shown above)  is quoted as saying designing a stamp can be tricky.

According to the article, "The real challenge was to get four key elements in the finished product: Twain’s head, a riverboat, foliage and the typography. The original painting of the stamp is only 6 inches across, and it was inspired by a 1907 photograph of Twain. Jordan went through many photographs and pictures of the writer and picked those that were most recognizable and that would exude a classic sense of American illustration. Manchess got the last say on which photograph to use."

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

IRS Revokes El Paso Philatelic Society's Tax Exempt Status

The El Paso INC. website is reporting that the El Paso Philatelic Society has lost its nonprofit status as a result of not filing the required forms.

According to reporter Robert Gray, "The Internal Revenue Service has revoked the tax-exempt status of nearly 500 El Paso non-profits for failing to file their annual returns, thinning the number of registered non-profits in El Paso by nearly 36 percent, according to IRS records."

Gray goes on to say, "After offering several months of extensions, the IRS published a list June 8, automatically revoking the tax-exempt status of 275,000 non-profits nationwide. California had the most revoked organizations, 33,733, followed by Texas with 21,468."

"The 489 revocations in El Paso are part of the IRS’s efforts nationwide to purge its books of inactive and defunct non-profit organizations and ensure they comply with the yearly filing requirements," Gray says ."The IRS uses Form 990 to keep nonprofits accountable, disclosing revenue, expenditures and compensation of officers and directors."

Bob Ottenhoff, president of GuideStar, an organization based in Washington, D.C., that tracks non-profit filings and publishes them online, is quoted in the piece as saying, "“It is a reminder to non-profit organizations that there are certain rights and obligations that come with being a non-profit, and if you are going to ask for non-profit status, you need to do a few things – like file a simple report every year with the IRS."

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

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stolen Mail

"...When mail is stolen from a post office, a mail carrier or out of a Dumpster or mail box, people generally don't know they've been victimized. And while break-ins at a postal building or robbery of a carrier are not an everyday occurrence, the effects of the crime can be crippling," writes Lori Consalvo of the Contra Costa Times.

Claremont, Calif. police officer Lt. Mike Ciszek is quoted in the article a saying, "Stolen mail, if taken from a mail box, is sometimes found strewn throughout the neighborhood.. There have been times when police come across stolen mail during traffic stops or vehicle inventory searches."

Postal Inspector Tracy Putnam is also quoted in the article.

Inspector Putnam said, ""Sometimes the burglars throw it away. We have actually pulled it out of dumpsters. But a lot of the time they actually keep the mail and we collect it during search warrants."

Acording to the article, "Police officers have been known to directly deliver lost or stolen mail to the address on the envelopes or packages - if it is in their jurisdiction. They will also contact other law enforcement agencies if the mail made its way to another city. "

If mail is stolen, officials advise that victims pay close attention to their credit reports and even put a fraud alert on their credit.

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

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stanley Gibbons Accused of Misleading Marketing

Reporter Emma Simon writes on the U.K.'s Telegraph website, "Experts urged not to believe all of stamp dealer's Stanley Gibbons's marketing spiel."

According to the piece, Stanley Gibbons sends out 400,000 leaflets each year promoting its Capital Protected Plan, which offers a money-back guarantee.

"Here, investors deposit a minimum of £10,000 for a period of between five and 10 years. This buys a portfolio, typically of between five and seven rare stamps. They can keep it at home, or Gibbons will store and insure it at its Guernsey office for free," writes Emma.

Ian Lowes, the managing director of Lowes Financial Management, a firm of independent financial advisers is quoted as saying, "Reading the marketing material made me shiver. It highlights how careful investors have to be when buying unregulated products – like stamps and other collectables. If I tried to sell investments like this to my customers I'd be shut down by the regulator. Stanley Gibbons uses every trick in the book to make people part with their money. There is no attempt to explain the risks involved, or detail potential downsides, like early exit charges."

Emma sums up the article by saying, "Remember the two key tenets of investments: you don't get high returns without taking some risk. And if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is."

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

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hoarder's Stamp Collection Worth a Fortune

Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter, for U.K's Telegraph reports, "Sir Humphrey Cripps was one of life’s hoarders. When he died in 2000, his sons found an old shoebox in the back of his wardrobe containing thousands of train tickets – one for every rail journey he had ever made."

They also found his stamp collection which is expected to fetch £20 million when it goes under the auction hammer next week.

According to Gordon, "Sir Humphrey’s family have now decided to put all 80 of his stamp albums up for auction, in a sale that is expected to fetch £20 million, making it the most valuable stamp collection to go under the hammer. The sheer number of rare stamps inherited by Sir Humphrey’s family has forced the auctioneers, Spink’s of London, to spread the collection over nine separate auctions over the course of 18 months to avoid flooding the market."

Gordon says Sir Humphrey, the former chairman of Velcro ( the nylon fastenings maker) became interested in the hobby and started his collection after his son inherited a stamp album from an uncle in the 1950s.

Olivier Stocker, the chairman of Spink’s, is quoted as saying the collection was “one of the biggest ‘wow’ moments he has ever experienced.

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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mark Twain and The Pony Express

A stamp honoring Mark Twain is being released this weekend in Sacramento, Calif.  Twain wrote about a number of things including seeing a Pony Express rider while traveling aboard a stage coach.

In his book Roughing It (1873), Twain wrote...

"In a little while all interest was taken up in stretching our necks and watching for the 'pony-rider'--the fleet messenger who sped across the continent from St. Joe to Sacramento, carrying letters nineteen hundred miles in eight days! Think of that for perishable horse and human flesh and blood to do! The pony-rider was usually a little bit of a man, brimful of spirit and endurance. No matter what time of the day or night his watch came on, and no matter whether it was winter or summer, raining, snowing, hailing, or sleeting, or whether his 'beat' was a level straight road or a crazy trail over mountain cragsand precipices, or whether it led through peaceful regions or regions that swarmed with hostile Indians, he must bealways ready to leap into the saddle and be off like the wind!"

For more on Twain's sighting of a Pony Express rider, click here.

For more on the Pony Express, click here
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Intriguing and Quirky" Social Network Sites

Stuart Thomas writes about the world of social networks on the website.

In his article, Sex, Knitting and Ayn Rand: Our Favourite Offbeat Social Networks he selects eight examples based on their"surprising user numbers, intriguing content and quirky characters."

One of those selected was

Stuart writes, "My Philately is a social network for people who practice philately, or stamp collecting. The site is a place where enthusiasts can discuss stamps, upload images and meet other collectors. Set up [their] own or join collecting groups, participate in exchange programs … plus much more.

He goes on to say, "I’m a little disappointed this site doesn’t have a dating portal. Two people finding love over a Penny Black beats the heck out of “we hooked up a couple of times in a club and then decided we might as well make a go of this whole relationship thing”.

According to Stuart, "The site is tastefully maintained with plenty of pictures, and there’s no sign of hyper-competitive bidding over something from a rare, flawed run from 1963. MyPhilately actively encourages its members to go out and meet each other if they’re nearby and, at the very least, use the site to communicate. They’re doing everything to steer away from the stereotype of the kid who collects stamps being the one to get beaten up behind the bicycle shed every day. I applaud MyPhilately. Philologists of the world unite!"

Would someone please tell Stuart "philology" is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history and linguistics. I think he meant to say, "Philatelists of the world unite."

To find out what Stuart's other choices were for "intriguing and quirky" social network sites, click here

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3D Stamps from The Netherlands

The Netherlands  postal service (TNT) has come up with some truly cool 3D (aka "augmented reality") stamps.
Watch the video above and you'll see what I mean. 
If this doesn't get the kids interested in stamp collecting, nothing will!
For more this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stamp Collecting Mentioned in "Double Indemity"

In case you didn't know, Double Indemnity is a 1944 American film noir, directed by Billy Wilder.

According to an entry on Wikipedia, "The film stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman, Barbara Stanwyck as a provocative housewife who wishes her husband were dead, and Edward G. Robinson as a claims adjuster whose job is to find phony claims. The term 'double indemnity' refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in cases when death is caused by accidental means."

Writer Ezra Fox quotes some of the film's script on the Out Of The Storm News website which goes like this...

Phyllis: I hope you didn’t mind my changing the appointment. Last night wasn’t so convenient.

Neff: It’s all right. I was working on my stamp collection anyway.

EF: Do insurance agents all have stamp collections?

Insurance Man: I don’t have one but I was strongly advised to start one by the international insurance agents council. Of course, I am only kidding. No, we do not all have stamp collections.

As a footnote, Ezra pens, "A quick Internet scouring has confirmed the lack of a link between insurance agents and stamp collectors, although stamp collector’s insurance is real, and according to one policy has an exclusion for war and nuclear hazards. I have to think that after war and 'nuclear hazards' a destroyed stamp collection might be the least of the average philatelist’s problems, but I could be wrong."

To read Ezra entire article, click here.

To buy stamp insurance, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Never Too Late To Get A Stressed-Out Dad a Present

Reporter Desireee Tresa Gasper writes on the Malaysian Star website, "The common Father's Day gift is a shirt, tie, perfume, pen and souvenirs. But the trend has changed. Children are now encouraging their fathers to take up the traditional stamp collecting hobby in order to help these stressed-out men keep their worries away. To give them a head start the children have bought their fathers stamp collection kits which comprised stamps, an album, and tweezers, among others."

C.B. Cheah, owner of DS Philatelic, a stamp retail shop, says children buy the kits as gifts for their fathers. He's quoted as saying, "“After being introduced to stamp collecting, many of them are now addicted to it and find that it does help them to release stress."

Shown above, Cheah holding up an album filled with stamps sold at his shop.

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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Roll of Distinguished Philatelists and King George V

Three new signatories – Koichi Sato from Japan, Ray Todd from Australia and Gavin Fryer from the UK were added to Britain's the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists at the four-day 93rd Philatelic Congress of Great Britain.

 The Roll (actually three pieces of parchment) contains 360 signatures.  King George V was first to sign it in 1921.Only a handful of people are added to it each year.

"The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists records those who have achieved international recognition for their outstanding studies and research in the philatelic sphere, demonstrated through their own collections and in their writings. Invariably those who are invited to sign the Roll have benefited the philatelic community through their expertise, time and talents given in a voluntary capacity. The Roll is signed each year during a prestigious ceremony held as part of the annual Philatelic Congress of Great Britain," according to the UK Philately website.

Shown above, a set of stamps issued by Gibraltar honoring King George V including one showing him working on his stamp collection!

For more on The Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, click here. 

For more on George V - The King Stamp Collector, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Jersey's West Essex Philatelic Society

Verona, New Jersey's website features an article on the West Essex Philatelic Society (WEPS)by reporter Krysta Venturella. The 35-member group meets bi-weekly at a local public library. 

According to the piece, "WEPS, which is a member of the American Philatelic Society and the North New Jersey Federated Stamp Clubs, has an extensive philatelic library. Members are allowed to check books out between meetings. The club also owns a complete set of the 2011 Scott Catalogues, which are purchased every other year."

It goes on to say, "Ronald Gollhardt, immediate past president of WEPS, has been a member of the club since 1965. At the age of 8, Gollhardt began collecting stamps with his brother. 'My next door neighbor gave us some postage stamps, which were newer stamps she just bought at the post office,' recalled Gollhardt. 'She was keeping her son's collection up to date, because he had just gone off to college. From that day on, my brother and I would wait for the mailman, and grab every envelope that had a stamp on it, and started saving stamps."

Shown above, members of the West Essex Philatelic Society

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

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stamps Celebrate 'Year of Craft' in Ireland

Ireland's An Post is celebrating contemporary Irish craft by issuing five craft stamps to celebrate the Year of Craft in Ireland.  The stamps highlight the five craft disciplines - ceramics, glass, metal, textiles and wood.

The five 55c stamps were designed by Irish graphic designer Ger Garland. The work of five leading craft artists/makers illustrates each.

According to a write-up on the An Post website,"Irish craftspeople today produce innovative, contemporary work using traditional, sometimes ancient skills. Craft covers everything from woodturning and basket making to blacksmithing and stained glass making. It is estimated that almost 5000 people are employed in craft, making the sector a significant contributor to the Irish economy."

It goes on to say, "In recent years Ireland has achieved a reputation as a world-class source of contemporary fine craft. Irish craft makers have participated at international shows such as the biennial LOOT, held at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, SOFA (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art) in Chicago and more recently Collect in London, putting contemporary Irish craft on the international stage."

Shown above, crafts artists/makers with a blow-up of the new stamps featuring their creations.

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

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alaskan Bald Eagles Attack Post Office Patrons

Reuters is reporting a pair of bald eagles nesting near the Post Office in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, has taken to dive-bombing customers.

Alaska State Wildlife Troopers spokesman Sergeant Robin Morrisett is quoted as saying two people were attacked last week, and one of the eagles swooped down on a patron on Monday and drew blood.

According to reporter Yereth Rosen, "Authorities have posted signs and advised people to be careful about their surroundings, but there are no plans to move the nests or fight back against the eagles."

"Bald eagles have never been protected in Alaska under the Endangered Species Act because their populations here have been too healthy to warrant listing. But, as the national bird of the United States, they are protected under special federal laws," writes Yereth.

Shown above, 1991 $14 Soaring Eagle International Express Mail stamp (Scott 2542).

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thomas the Tank Engine Stamps Steam Ahead

The Lancashire Telegraph reports Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends are set to star on a special stamp collection to commemorate the centenary of their creator’s birth. Royal Mail issued the collection this week marking the Reverend Wilbert Awdry’s 100th birthday.

According to the article, "Awdry first created Thomas to entertain [his son] Christopher during a bout of measles he suffered as a child, before going on to write 26 volumes of The Railway Series between 1945 and 1972. A television spin-off was first broadcast on the ITV network in September 1984 and still continues."

Besides writing books about trains, Awdry was involved in railway preservation, and built model railways, which he took to exhibitions around the country.

Born in 1911, Awdry died in 1997.
To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Stamp Designer Focues on Humanitarian Projects

The Dubai Chronicle features a nice article about Christiane A. Weber which describes her as  "an artist who passionately believes that philately is an art that has much to offer even in the modern digital age."

"Christiane began to delve into philately and specifically stamp production in 2002, is one of the few women who has created a space for herself and her company in this rather challenging field. She has been commissioned to work for several organizations and governments, but is insistent that her contracts offer the scope to pursue the cherished goal of helping charitable causes in developing nations," according to the piece.

Christiane is quoted as saying, ".... wherever there is a possibility to combine a commemorative stamp issue with a humanitarian project - then I go for it."

One of her projects was a stamp for Afghanistan which was done on behalf of WHO Afghanistan. Proceeds from the sale of the stamp were used for the construction of a shelter home for TB (Tuberculosis) infected patients in the province of Badakshan, Afghanistan.

Christiane will be exhibiting part of her personal collection at the Coral Beach Resort – Sharjah from June 15 to 25. The exhibit will focus on the birth and growth of the Italian Republic from 1946 onwards when the country went through major changes to emerge as a nation.

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

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Roto-Gage

Currently listed on eBay for $500, the 1936 Imperial Roto-Gage Stamp Perforation Tool is similar to the one that President Franklin D. Roosevelt used to measure perforations, except his didn't have the attached magnifying glass.

According to the National Postal Museum's website, "This black plastic gauge, used by stamp collectors to measure the number of perforation holes in a two-centimeter length of stamp, was on FDR’s desk in the Oval Office from 1937 until 1945. A fifteen-year-old stamp collector from Illinois had given it to him."

This handy little item also had a watermark tray so, according to the instructions, "no time is lost searching for separate pieces of equipment you may have mislaid."

To see the eBay listing with additional close-up photos of the device, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kodak 'Baby Brownie' Designer Walter Dorwin Teague Honored on New Stamp

The Popular Photography magazine website reports, "A new line of stamps has been produced by the USPS honoring some of the country's early great industrial designers, and the man who designed the incredibly popular Kodak Baby Brownie is one of them. The 'Pioneers of American Industrial Design' stamps show some of the products of 12 powerhouses of the field, and Walter Dorwin Teague's famous bakelite art deco Baby Brownie is in the mix."

According to the post, "Kodak's Brownie line was revolutionary in how affordable it was, and with the innovation of bakelite, hard lasting plastic shells could be used instead of flimsy cardboard or expensive metal. Teague worked for Eastman Kodak for a number of years, bringing his art deco aesthetic not just to the petite and popular Baby Brownie, but also the likes of the Beau Brownie, Kodak Bullet, and Kodak Bantam. The Brownie line was sold between 1900 and 1967, but not many others retained the stylish looks that Teague imparted on them."

The stamps will be dedicated at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, 2 East 91st St. in New York City at 11 a.m. June 29 in a free public ceremony.

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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Become a "Cinema Philatelist"

Interesting little video about collecting movie star fan mail.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, June 10, 2011

What's Happening in the Rare Stamp Market?

In an article titled What are Top Investors Buying Right Now? that appears on the Proactive Investors website, Stanley Gibbons Investment Director, Keith Heddle pens, "The Royal Wedding put stamp collecting into the limelight again and although these are not primarily the sorts of stamps to make it into portfolios, it certainly galvanised certain sectors of the market."

Keith points out, "...both the Indian and Chinese stamp markets are booming, with Chinese stamps particularly continually breaking all sorts of records at auction; the emergence of 5 new (philatelic) auction houses in Hong Kong in the past year points irrefutably to the region becoming a new powerhouse in stamp trading circles."

According to Keith, "....if you have been undecided about taking out an investment in rare stamps, now is your time to act. Do bear in mind that although the rare stamp market continues to grow, the quantity of premium-grade stamps we have available to us to place in portfolios is tiny - it's just 0.01% of the 3 million stamps we deal with every year."

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

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Twenty Nations To Issue AIDS Stamps

Medical News Today reports, "Nearly 3 million individual stamps will circulate within and across borders this year to draw attention to 30 years of the AIDS epidemic and the importance of continuing to prevent new HIV infections. Since the start of the epidemic, 60 million people have become infected with HIV and nearly 30 million people have died of AIDS-related causes."

It goes on to say, "At least 20 Posts around the world have joined an initiative to issue stamps and other philatelic products to commemorate the landmark year. Participating Posts include: Belarus, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Croatia Post (Mostar), Fiji, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, New Caledonia, Malawi, Moldova, Pakistan, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Uruguay. The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) is also issuing three stamps that will be sold in UN Offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna. For more information, visit the display at the UNPA counter in the General Assembly building in New York.

"The philatelic initiative is part of the global HIV-campaign launched in 2009 by the Universal Postal Union, UNAIDS, the International Labour Organization and UNI Global. The campaign relies on the global postal network's vast outreach to draw attention to the importance of HIV prevention."

Shown above, AIDS stamp issued by the United States in 1993.

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

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pawlenty Calls for the End of the Postal Service

The Atlantic magazine's Wire website reports, "Republican presidential candidate Gov. Tim Pawlenty offered his economic plan in a speech at the University of Chicago Tuesday, calling for three flat income tax rates, cutting the corporate tax rate, and for programs like the Postal Service to be eliminated.

According to reporter Elspeth Reeve, the former Minnesota governor said government programs should be subjected to "The Google Test"--meaning if you can find a service online, the federal government shouldn't provide it. Programs failing that test, in Pawlenty's estimation, is a program like the postal service, since UPS and Fed Ex offer the same services.

In response NBC News' First Read website wonders, "Does Pawlenty realize that UPS and Fed Ex don't deliver to some rural parts of the country? How do you ensure mail for those folks? The real issue with the Postal Service is Congress' inability to allow it to make smart business decisions (like raising postage to a realistic level of say one whole dollar?!?!? Or shutting down some post offices)."

Shown above, Tim Pawlenty.

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

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Postal History Foundation

The Postal History Foundation is a privately funded nonprofit and an IRS designated 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Tucson, Arizona.

According to its website, "The Foundation is a hub of postal research and education in the southwest. While it maintains the largest and one of the finest facilities dedicated to postal history in the western United States, the Foundation is also the only philatelic museum that operates an extensive youth education program."

It goes on to say, "The Peggy J. Slusser Library houses a collection of more than 25,000 books, journals, US Post Office and United States Postal Service (USPS) publications. These provide scholars with a worldwide range of philatelic literature. The collection maintains a special emphasis on the United States, and is a rich source of Civil War literature, memorabilia and ephemera. The library is recognized as one of the top 42 libraries in the United States as best architecturally designed for users."

For more on the Postal History Foundation, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, June 06, 2011

'Closed Addresses' Created By British for D-Day

Today, June 6, marks the anniversary of the invasion of Nazi held Europe by Allied forces in 1944. 

In anticipation of the landings in Normandy, The British Army Postal Service developed the concept of "Closed Addresses" (e.g. No Rank Name, Unit, c/o APO England), which assisted in providing the necessary security to ensure the masking of troop movements during the build-up for D-Day and the subsequent success of Operation Overlord (D-Day landings).

An entry on the History of the British Forces Post Office website points out, "Field Post Offices were established on the beaches on D-Day. Although it was planned that mail be delivered to units on D+1, mail was delivered the following day because of confusion caused by the delay of the invasion. To ensure the safe recovery of mail for ships coming from Southampton, a Postal officer was given the job of patrolling the anchorages in an amphibious Jeep bawling through a megaphone at ship after ship “Are you carrying mail?”

 "Altogether more than 12,000 airplanes, 185,000 soldiers, and 5,336 vessels, among them 4,126 landing crafts with 50,000 men on board, participated in the invasion. The naval forces consisted of American, English, French, Dutch, Greek and Polish ships, altogether 7 battleships, 2 monitors, 23 cruisers, 105 destroyers, and 1,073 smaller warships. They secured and covered 4,126 landing crafts. The Allied air forces consisted of 5,112 bombers, 2,316 torpedo planes and 5,400 fighters, " according to the Maritime Topics on Stamps website.

‘D-Day’ stands for 'departure date'.

For more on D-Day and stamps, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Asian Film Star Turns Stamp Designer

Eunice Ang reports on the Asia One website, "He is better known as an actor who has starred in many Chinese drama serials and even in Hollywood movie Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li. Now, Edmund Chen Zhicai can add "stamp designer" to his credentials."

Chen has a large fan following in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam and has starred in numerous Asian television serials, feature films and theatrical productions

According to Eunice, "Chen, who has a flair for art, was approached by SingPost more than a year ago to design a stamp series featuring the Oriental Small-Clawed Otter, which is native to Singapore."

Patsie Tan, SingPost's assistant vice- president of corporate communications, said that the actor was commissioned to do the job because he "can help in the outreach to the young generation on the appreciation of the arts".

Chen is quoted as saying he started drawing when he was in primary school and contributed his works to a student magazine. He received more than one "prize" of $5 for his submissions and that helped him realise the "joy of drawing".

Shown above, Edmund Chen Zhicai and the stamps he designed on a first day cover.

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

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Bees Take Over New York City Mailbox

A mailbox on a New York street corner in Little Italy became a honey of a tourist attraction this week  when passersby found it covered by a giant swarm of bees according to the All News Headlines website                                                                                       

It goes on to say, "Curious onlookers witnessed thousands of bees attached to the side of a mailbox in front of the Italian-American Museum at 155 Mulberry Street at the corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets at midday.The mailbox was almost unidentifiable because of the bees.

"According to local reports, no one was hurt in the incident and the 15,000 bees were removed by an NYPD-sanctioned beekeeper and another local beekeeper."

Elie Miodownik of the New York City Beekeepers Association is quoted as saying that a nearby beehive probably became too crowded and the queen and her worker bees decided to relocate.

The sidewalk where the mailbox was located was closed for several hours as the bees were removed.

To watch a video of the bees being removed, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, June 03, 2011

Catholic Priest's Stamp Collection One of World's Best

The Catholic Review reports Josephite Father Edward J. Mullowney, shown here,  has a "remarkable and rare" Vatican stamp collection.

According to writer Christopher Gaul,  "His father, an avid U.S. stamp collector, encouraged his young son to begin collecting stamps from the Vatican."

Christopher goes on to note, "Father Mullowney is one of the few, and has amassed what is considered to be one of the finest such collections in the world. He noted that these 150-year-old stamps have been neglected for too long in this country and that they represent a brand new area of expansion for those interested in Vatican stamps or in religious themes."

Father Mullowney, who is a past president of the Baltimore Philatelic Society and serves on the expertizing committee for the American Philatelic Society is quoted as saying, “It’s been more than a life-long hobby, it’s been and still is a passion. You know, there has been more literature written about stamp collecting than any other hobby. That should tell you something.”

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

Thursday, June 02, 2011

James Aloysius Farley

According to Wikipedia, "James Aloysius Farley (May 30, 1888–June 9, 1976) was the first Irish Catholic politician in American history to achieve success on a national level, serving as Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and as Postmaster General simultaneously under the first two administrations of President Franklin D. Roosevelt."

 It goes on to say, "Farley is remembered among stamp collectors for two things. One is a series of souvenir sheets that were issued at commemorative events and which bore his name as the authorizer. The other are twenty stamps known as "Farley's Follies." These were reprints, mostly imperforated, of stamps of the period, that were given to President Roosevelt and Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, both collectors, as well to special friends of the Administration. (Farley himself did not collect stamps.)

"When ordinary stamp collectors learned of this, they complained, and in 1935 many more stamps were reprinted for them, and it was established that new stamps had to be made immediately available to the general public. Today the souvenir sheets and single cutout reprints are not scarce. The original sheets were autographed to distinguish them from the reprints, and fifteen of them were displayed in an exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in June 2009."

Shown above, FDC with James Farley photo and one of the "reprints."

For more on Farley, click here.

To view "Farley's Follies," click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Free Padded Flat Rate Priority Envelopes

The U.S. Postal Service has a free product a lot of people don't know about - Padded Flat Rate Priority Envelopes.

The reason most people don't know about them is because they're not available at the post office and can only be obtained through the website.

The 9 ½ by 12 ½ inche envelope is for domestic shipping only and come in packages of 5, 10 or 15 envelopes.

 As with other flat rate envelopes, “if it fits, it ships” anywhere in the country for $4.95.  As an added bonus, shipping labels printed with click-n-ship from receive free delivery confirmation service.

To order these and some other items that are not available at your local post office, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM