Monday, April 30, 2012

10 Best Postal Movies

Nancy Pope, National Postal Museum historian and curator, has come up with her favorite "10 Best Postal Movies" which she shares on the museum's Pushing The Envelope blog.

Here's her list...

#1    Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
#2   Charade (1963)
#3   Appointment with Danger (1951)
#4   Il Postino, i.e., The Postman (1994)
#5   Dear God (1996)
#6   Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
#7   The Aviator (1985)
#8   Air Mail (1932)
#9   Diva (1981)
#10 Overland Mail (1942)        

For plot summaries, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:33 AM

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Florida Postal Carriers Concerned About Safety

Josh Cascio of Tampa Bay, Florida's Fox 13 news reports two robberies in two weeks have Tampa postal carriers on edge.

Alan Peacock, President of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 599, is quoted as saying, "
"We're basically right now (driving) an armored car that's not armored."
According to Cascio, "That's probably not how you ever thought about your local mailman, but it seems criminals don't think like most of us -- they see an opportunity."
To learn more, click on video above.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:18 AM

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Garden Shed Transformed into a Mini Post Office

"Royal Mail enthusiast Steve Knight, who spent £15,000 transforming his garden hut into a fully functional 1950s post office, has been nominated in the annual Shed of the Year contest," writes reporter Mark Molloy on Britain's Metro website.

According to Molloy, "Stamp collector Mr Knight took his Royal Mail obsession to new heights after completely remodelling his garden shed.It features its own telephone line, which is connected to the national network through a vintage 1937 exchange. The 50-year-old Essex resident had been collecting postal memorabilia for over a decade when he ran out of space to keep his collection.He then decided to give his modern lean-to, which includes original signs, scales, stamps and uniforms from a traditional 1950s post office, a makeover."

Knight is quoted as saying, "I've always been a keen stamp collector since I was a young boy but I started collecting letter boxes around 14 years ago and it just grew from their - I now have 115 of them dotted around the garden. After years of collecting - and thanks to donations from people whose family worked in the postal service - I realised I had everything needed to create a replica of a 1950s post office. That's when I began restoring the items and opened my post office shed to the public.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 6:39 AM

Friday, April 27, 2012

Senate Approves Changes to the US Postal Service

News media around the country are reporting that the Senate has passed legislation designed to help the struggling U.S. Postal Service cut costs and raise revenue.

Nicole Gaudian, Gannet Washington Bureau, writes on, "The bill, co-authored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., passed 62-37. It would give the service access to $11 billion it overpaid into a pension fund. Postal officials would use the money to offer buyouts or retirement incentives with the goal of reducing their workforce by at least 100,000."

She goes on to say, "The Senate bill also would maintain, for three years, overnight delivery of first-class mail and periodicals going short distances, which would spare at least 100 processing facilities from closing. And it would prevent the Postal Service from eliminating Saturday mail for at least two years."

The bill would also allow USPS to sell non-postal products and to ship beer and wine.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 6:36 AM

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Baseball Mini-Album from the APS

The American Philatelic Society has released another of its downloadable mini albums that you may print for personal use or distribute free of charge.

Featuring color photos and write-ups about various baseball stamps, the new U.S. Baseball album is 21 pages in length.  Along with the APS staff, Norman Houser and Tina Scharf helped identify the stamps that are included which go from the 1939 Baseball centennial  stamp to the yet to be released Major League Baseball All-Stars block of four.

According to the APS website, "...other albums range from as few as four to more than 30 pages and include background information on the illustrated stamps. Albums are not necessarily comprehensive. They focus on face different stamps that the average collector has a reasonable chance to acquire often excluding expensive items and varieties. With the exception of U.S. annual pages most are licensed by Scott Publishing Company and include the Scott Catalog numbers."

To view and download albums, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:53 AM

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Postal Currency

Arlyn G. Sieber, Warman’s Coins and Paper Money, writes on the website about the history of U.S. paper money.

He notes, "During the Civil War, the public hoarded gold, silver, and even copper coins. In response to the resulting coin shortage, postage stamps were used for small change in everyday transactions. The stamps were placed in small envelopes printed with a value, but the envelopes deteriorated quickly and the stamps soon became a sticky mess."

According to Sieber, "The solution was to issue small, rectangular-shaped 'Postage Currency' in 1862. "

He goes on to say, "Depictions of postage stamps on the currency indicated their value; a 50-cent note depicted 50 cents in postage stamps, for example.They could not be used as postage on letters or packages (they had no adhesive), but they could be redeemed at any post office for the indicated amount of postage.

"In 1863, fractional currency replaced the postage currency. It was similar in size to the postage currency but did not contain any reference to postage stamps. Fractional notes were issued through 1876, by which time coinage production had caught up with demand and the hoarding of the Civil War era had ended."

Shown above, a 5-cent postage currency note.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:35 AM

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Are Too Many Stamps Hurting The Hobby?

Hunter Davies writes on Britain's Guardian website that the Royal Mail's desperation to sell stamps is killing off his "cheap and therapeutic" hobby.

Davies, who is the author of The Joy of Stamps, writes, "This will be a bumper year for commemorative stamps, with the Royal Mail shoving out loads of new issues for the Queen's jubilee, the Olympics, sheep, pigs, anything at all really. It has become the perfect definition of a licence to print money."

"The flood of commemorative stamps began in the 1960s when the Post Office got wise to the commercial possibilities. In recent years, we have had 14-15 new issues every year," according to Davies.

He goes on to pen, "People in the philatelic world are up in arms about it, realising it is doing their hobby no good. There are just so many new issues each year that children and new collectors will be priced out of the market, should they try to keep up with the output. Though in its defence the Royal Mail said this week that it has deliberately reduced the number of new commemorative issues this year, as a response to complaints."

"Which is a shame. Stamps are portable, easy to sort and arrange, and cheap to buy (in fact free, if you steam them off envelopes)," Davies says.

"They are terribly educational and informative – and also therapeutic. When I was in bed as a child, racked with asthma, I would turn over the pages of my stamp album – and in half an hour my wheezing would have stopped."

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 7:05 AM

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wet and Dry Printing - What's the difference?

In a recent "Refresher Course" column that appears regularly in Linn's Stamp News, Janet Klug writes about wet and dry printing of stamps.

Klug pens, "Wet printing and dry printing are terms used primarily in intaglio printing, which is also known as engraving, line engraving or recess printing. That is the method of production that involves a softened metal plate onto which a human engraver or a machine has carved a design."

According to Klug, in a effort to speed up the traditional printing process "paper was dampened prior to being run through the printing press up until the time of highly mechanized printing. There was good reason to do this. Dampening the paper softened it a bit and made the ink adhere better. But the added moisture made the stamp image not quite as crisp as it could have been. Additionally, a bigger problem was that as the stamps dried they would shrink. Sometimes the shrinking was negligible, other times it was significant."

"When mechanized printing came on to the scene," Klug writes, "the dampened paper caused problems. It was softer, and large rolls of paper used in mechanized printing would tear if wet. Wet paper took longer to dry, made less crisp images and shrank. Printing directly on dry paper solved many problems associated with wet printing. The image detail was improved, there was no shrinking and the machinery used for printing was not compromised."

Shown above, wet and dry printings of the United States ½¢ Benjamin Franklin stamp from the Liberty Issue series.

To learn more, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Fraudulent USPS Package Alerts Being Sent by E-mail

According to the Consumer Reports website, "Some postal customers are getting bogus e-mails about a package delivery or online postage charges that contain a link or attachment that, when opened, installs a virus that can steal personal information."

It goes on to say, "The fraudulent message claims to be from the U.S. Postal Service and misleadingly states that it has information about an attempted or intercepted package delivery or online postage charges. The scam e-mail instructs you to click on a link or open an attachment.

Part of the message says, "If the parcel isn't received within 30 working days our company will have the right to claim compensation from you for it's keeping in the amount of $14.73 for each day of keeping of it."

If this e-mail scam lands in your inbox do not reply or click on any links or attachments, and delete the message. On its website, the USPS writes that "The Postal Inspection Service is working hard to resolve the issue and shut down the malicious program."

For more on this story, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Post Office Debuts "gopost"

The website reports that the U.S. Postal Service has unveiled a self-service parcel locker program called "gopost" in an Arlington, Virginia shopping mall.

According to an article by Laura Dvorak, "A pilot program designed to expand service access to customers in locations they already frequent, the gopost parcel locker at the Arlington shopping center is one of 25 being rolled out in northern Virginia this year and the first at a non-Postal Service location."

She goes on to say, "To use the service, customers register at, where they select their own personal ID numbers to use with their gopost access cards. The cards are mailed to customers once registration is completed. Packages are delivered to gopost by Postal Service carriers. When a package arrives, the gopost customer is notified via email that the item is available for pickup."

Customers are not assigned specific lockers; rather, packages are placed in lockers that are available and accommodate the size of the package.

Shown above, USPS employee demonstrates gopost to a small business owner.

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

Saving Seniors' Junk Mail

Fox News is reporting that "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is making a top-to-bottom case for prompt passage of a Postal Service reform bill that if defeated, he says, would deny seniors their beloved junk mail."

The network quotes the Nevada Democrat as saying on the Senate floor, “I’ll come home tonight here to my home in Washington and there’ll be some mail there. A lot of it is what some people refer to as junk mail, but for the people who are sending that mail, it’s very important. And when talking about seniors, seniors love getting junk mail. It’s sometimes their only way of communicating or feeling like they’re part of the real world.”

According to the report, "Reid said 30,000 post offices across the country will close if the legislation fails, many in rural regions without Internet service and where many seniors still rely on the mail service to deliver their medicine. He is expected to attempt to get a vote on the issue within the next couple of weeks."

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

Thursday, April 19, 2012

“Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic” Exhibit at the National Postal Museum

Abigail Tucker writes in the May edition of Smithsonian magazine about an exhibit at the National Postal Museum.

Called "Fire & Ice," it deals with  the crash of the hydrogen-filled zeppelin Hindenburg that crashed on May 6, 1937 in New Jersey and the largest floating post office of its day the RMS Titanic that sank on the night of April 14, 1912

According to Tucker the Hindenburg, which crashed on May 6, 1937 in New Jersey, covered much of its operating costs by providing the first regular trans-Atlantic airmail service. Of the 17,000-odd pieces of Hindenburg correspondence, roughly 360 withstood the flames and are "are among the grandest prizes of philately."

She goes on to say, "The human stories tucked in with the mailbags have always fascinated Cheryl Ganz, a leading Hindenburg historian and co-curator of a new exhibition at the National Postal Museum. In addition to many letters and postcards, the exhibit includes other frail bits of paper that survived the inferno, some of which have never been displayed before, such as a receipt for two in-flight martinis. There’s also a reproduction of the only known final flight map, which has the route from Frankfurt, Germany, to Lakehurst, New Jersey, painstakingly traced in pencil."

Ganz is quoted as saying, "“We are bringing together these artifacts, these salvaged items, many of them reunited for the first time since they were picked out of the wreckage.We can piece together bits of the story that have never been told.”

Tucker says that no mail was recovered from the Titanic disaster although the postal clerks made a heroic effort to drag mailbags to higher decks. The exhibit includes a set of mail room keys and a watch recovered from their bodies.

To learn more, click here.

To visit the on-line "Fire & Ice" exhibit, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stamps of the Confederate States of America

According to a write-up on the Beyond The Perf website about the provisionals and stamps of the Confederate States of America, the first Confederate issue off the presses at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861 was a 5-cent stamp featuring a portrait of C.S.A. President Jefferson Davis.

It goes on to say, "In effect, Davis became the first living person to appear on a postage stamp — reflecting a break from how things were done in the U.S. postal system. (For comparison’s sake, even Abraham Lincoln wasn’t portrayed on a stamp until after his death, in 1866.)

"Not only did the Confederates have a new country and a blank rule book to play by; they also had a new leader they needed to establish. At the time, putting his portrait on a postage stamp was the most effective, expedient way to do so.

"The rate on the stamp reveals the economic desperation of the Confederacy. For the 1- and 3-cent rates in circulation across the North, the South issued 2- and 5-cent rates — and the 5-cent rate quickly escalated to 10 cents. Mail crossing the Mississippi River cost a steep 40 cents."

It is interesting to note that the U.S. Post Office Department ordered that all pre-war stamps be demonetized, for fear that the Confederate postmasters would take them, sell them, and put the profits in their coffers.

Shown here, a 1861 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 5¢ Confederate provisional. This was the first government-issued, bi-colored adhesive stamps to appear anywhere in the Western Hemisphere according to the National Postal Museum.

For more on the stamps of the Confederacy, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Postmaster General Asked to Take a Pay Cut

TV Station KXLH in Helena, Montana reports that U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has criticized the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe for accepting an $800,000 compensation package while many rural post offices face closure.

A USPS spokesperson responded by saying CEO's at other companies, which provide similar services, are paid upward of one million dollars. However, Tester says comparing the private sector to the public sector isn't fair. He points out that the Secretaries of Defense and Treasury both make far less than they would in the private sector and make about four times less than the Postmaster General.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe is apparently standing by his salary, despite ongoing hardships for the U.S. Postal Service.

In response to the accusation, Donahue is quoted as saying, ""People can have opinions on that. From a stand point of my salary, I make about four times what a letter carrier would make. If you would compare that to any other organization in this United States: CEO paid to the front line, very few places is it anywhere near four to one."

Shown above, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

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

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fake Propaganda Stamps

The Stampselector blog features an interesting post about the propaganda forgeries of World War II.

According to the blog (which is written by a Washington/Baltimore stamp dealer Alex Rogolsky)," During World War II, both the Allies and the Axis powers produced forgeries of their enemies' postage stamps. Among these were postal forgeries, which were intended to cause economic disruption by defrauding the adversaries' postal services, and propaganda forgeries, clandestinely distributed to increase dissent and weaken the morale of the enemy population. Many of these forgeries are listed in the Michel Germany Specialized Catalogue."

Besides the well-known "Operation Cornflakes" and "This War is a Jewish War" stamps, Alex points out, "The Nazis also issued a set with overprints proclaiming the liquidation of the British Empire. As Germany had come late to the colonial game and wished to replace Great Britain as the world's leading colonial power, this set may be seen as an invidious expression of "colony envy."

Alex also writes about a couple more lesser known forgeries...

"The British produced a counterfeit portraying Heinrich Himmler, the head of the S.S. and as top policeman in a police state, perhaps the least popular Nazi leader. Another propaganda forgery featuring Himmler shows him leading a manacled civilian man, who represents Germany in the chain of fascism."

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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rhode Island Philatelic Society Stamp Show Spans Generations

Last month the Rhode Island Philatelic Society held its annual stamp show which has been in existence for more than a decade according to a write-up on the Cranston Herald website.

T"he show is the largest of its kind, hosting collections, displays and items for sale, and has been in existence for more than a decade," pens reporter Jen Cowort.

President Chester Browning is quoted in the piece as saying,"The American Philatelic Society recognizes us as the oldest continuously running society in the country. The New York society started in the 1890s but it started and stopped. Ours has been running continuously."

Browning has been working with some of the Cranston Girl Scout troops over the past few years, teaching them the basics of stamp collecting and cataloging according to the article.

The show reflected a variety of interests and stamp collectors from several generations including Viola Gianetti whose walking cane was decorated with lots of colorful stamps.

"I am not a knitter and I couldn't play Bingo but I could collect stamps," Gianetti said. "I've made my own birthday cards with my stamps, over 160 cards a year, all my life. I never went to school for it.”

Shown above, Caroline Cowart stands by the presentation board put together by her Cadette Girl Scout Troop 276. Troop 276 has been working with President Chester Browning for three years. This is the first year the troop has had a board on display in the show.

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

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Royal Mail Rations Stamps

Rush: People are stockpiling before the price hike 
Britain's Daily Mirror website reports, "If you're planning on stocking up on stamps before the 30% price rise at the end of this month then you had better be quick!"

According to the paper, "The Royal Mail has imposed a cap on the number of stamps every shop can buy to ensure it benefits from price rises later this month.It means that once a shop's supply has gone they may not be given anymore to sell."

Some retailers are already reporting little or no stock left.

 Michael Deacon, assistant postmaster of Shere, in Surrey, admitted in the article that his post office had run out of first-class stamps and was running low on second-class stamps.

He's quoted as saying, "We have sold thousands of stamps. I would say it is panic buying, definitely, and many are telling me that they are stockpiling."

The price of first-class stamps will increase from 46p to 60p and second class from 36p to 50p from April 30.

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

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cherry Blossoms Become a Money Tree for USPS

The Washington Post's Timothy R. Smith pens, "The U.S. Postal Service has a money tree and it sprouts a cherry blossom.USPS’s commemorative cherry blossom series is selling nearly 1 million stamps a day, far above last year’s popular Pixar issue. It has been so popular that post offices frequently sell out. Some have to place emergency orders to get overnight delivery to restock."

Stephen Kearney, executive director of USPS stamp services is quoted as saying, "Unveiled on March 24 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Tokyo’s donation of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, USPS initially ordered 100 million stamps printed. It has ordered a reprint of 50 million, with the possibility of 50 million more."

According to Mark Saunders, a USPS spokesman, this is the third reprint for a commemorative stamp in recent memory, said . In 1997, the post office reprinted its Bugs Bunny series and then its Adopt a Shelter animal series in 2010.

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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

New Stamps Express National Pride

Piggybacking on to yesterday's post about latest group of A to Z stamps from Royal Mail,  columnist Simon Kelner writes, "Philately has never got me anywhere, although my early interest in stamp-collecting means I still take an interest in matters relating to postage stamps. As a boy, I loved everything about stamps: they were like miniature works of art (the good ones, anyway), and I found them a much more interesting and engaging way to learn about geography."

He goes on to say, "Stamps were a way of expressing national pride, from victory in football's World Cup to the completion of the Forth Road Bridge to the glory of the Post Office Tower. This celebration of the best of Britain is what's behind the issue of Royal Mail's latest collection, the A-Z of our national landmarks. The 26 first-class stamps – yes, you'd better start saving up for them now – have been designed to depict some of our great visitor attractions, from the Angel of the North to London Zoo, and have obviously been selected in a politically correct fashion, ensuring a fair representation of all regions of the United Kingdom."

According to Kelner, "Royal Mail gets a lot of stick these days – particularly over charging the equivalent of a second-hand car for a first-class stamp – but, in terms of promoting British tourism, their new stamps will be more effective than any number of TV ads with Twiggy or Jamie Oliver."

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

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

X Marks The Spot

Britain's Daily Mail reports, "When compiling an alphabetical series of stamps celebrating famous British landmarks, the letter X was always going to be a problem. But the Royal Mail has delivered an intriguing solution — by using a picture of Bletchley Park, the top secret intelligence centre where the Nazi Enigma code was cracked during World War II."

The article goes on to say, "The Buckinghamshire mansion contained a secret radio room under the water tanks in a turreted tower known as Station X, used to maintain contact with British embassies in Occupied Europe."

A Royal Mail spokesperson is quoted in the piece as saying, "I’m not aware of anywhere beginning with an X in the UK, so we had to be a bit more creative. Some suggested King’s Cross station. But Station X is more appropriate because of its rich heritage in the war effort."

The first 12 stamps in the series, featuring places beginning with letters A to L, were issued last year and the final 14 (M-Z) came out this week.

Shown above, Station X Bletchley Park..

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Siegfried & Roy Help Promote Stamp

John Katsilometes reports on the Las Vegas Weekly website that world famous magicians Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn took some time yesterday to help promote the Save The Vanishing Species semi-postal that benefits the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Without Borders Multinational Species Conservation Fund.

The fund provides financial assistance to programs that help protect endangered species such as tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses, great apes and marine turtles.

According to the article, "For nearly 30 years, Siegfried & Roy have been dedicated to preserving white tigers around the world. Once nearly extinct, white tigers are relatively plentiful today, with more than 200 in existence globally. Having embarked on their crusade to save the species in 1983, Siegfried & Roy authorized the use of one of their big cats, Svengali (actually a heterozygous golden tiger), to be used as the subject of the stamp."

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

Monday, April 09, 2012

Norwegian Engraver Practices His Art in China

Reporter Tang Yingxian writes about a Scandinavian engraver has produced almost 670 stamps for more than 15 countries on the China Daily website.

Martin Morck, shown here, is a freelance master engraver whose recent series of stamps have been jointly issued by China Post and Post Denmark.

According to the article, "Morck has engraved several stamps for China since 2010, including a set of portraits on European musicians. The bridge between Morck and China is Post Denmark, for which Morck is a master engraver."

It goes on to say, "Morck's work has also created a lot of buzz among China's 20 million stamp collectors. Many of them send stamps to Denmark for Morck to sign."

Morck has been instructing 10 Chinese students on engraving through a one-year training program jointly organized by the China Postage Printing Bureau and Post Denmark. The goal is to continue the art in China and throughout the world.

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

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Mike Wallace (May 9, 1918 – April 7, 2012)

For more on Mike, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Have a Happy Easter and Joyous Passover!

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Selling Your Stamps at Auction

On his website, Michael E. Aldrich writes,"Selling stamps at auction is one of the most popular ways for collectors to dispose of their stamps. There are a few different types of auctions that a collector may use."

Aldrich points out, "Auction houses charge a fee for selling your stamps. This fee usually ranges in the 5-20% range depending on the collection and the selling costs. Also, many auction houses charge a buyers fee to the buyers of the stamps in their auctions. This fee usually ranges in the 5-15% range. The national standard for the most part is 10 and 10, that is to say, 10% to the seller and 10% to the buyer. These fees are what the auction houses use to cover the expenses of catalog production, mailing costs, advertising, and overhead costs."

Some of the advantages of selling at auction include....
  • You will usually get higher prices for your stamps.
  • The competitive atmosphere of auctions helps to yield higher prices.
  • More people have an opportunity to buy your stamps.
  • The market determines the value.
  • Professional describes and evaluators handle your stamps.
To learn more, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, April 06, 2012

Part Time Stamp Dealing

A recent post on John Apfelbaum's blog on philately, Apfelbaum's Corner, talks about part time stamp dealing.

John writes, "Having a small business going into retirement can be a very nice part time activity. Using your collection duplicates and carefully adding to your stock can help you build an inventory that is salable and desireable."

He goes on to offer a a couple ground rules...

"First, stick to selling the stamps of one country or topic. Success in stamp dealing depends on repeat business and, since most collectors collect one or two countries, by only selling one country you maximize your chances of establishing a continuing business relationship with each customer.

"Second, have a presence on EBay. It's hard to overemphasize what a boon EBay has been to the casual and newer dealer. In the years before the Internet it could take decades to have the market penetration in stamp dealing that new dealers have instantaneously because of EBay. I would stick to the EBay store rather than auctions as the store lets you offer lower priced items more advantageously and allows more leisurely perusal by prospective buyers."

Finally, John believes, "There are very few of us that will be able to completely retire without some additional income. A stamp business, however small, creates additional income while at the same time allowing tax favored deductions such as providing Medicare supplementary insurance."

For more of John's interesting insights on buying and selling stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:24 AM

Thursday, April 05, 2012

April Mystery Stamp Contest

Can you identify the American Philatelic Society "Mystery Stamp" shown above?

If so, e-mail the Stamp Collecting Roundup at with the name of  the country and Scott Catalogue number.

The first and 101st persons to correctly identify the stamp will win a beautiful commemorative "presentation pack" provided courtesy of Royal Mail.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Need I Say More?

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Philatelic Research Partnership Announced

The American Philatelic Research Library has announced that it has "joined forces with preeminent philatelic libraries around the world to provide a centralized gateway to the greatest philatelic research in existence."

According to an e-mail announcement, "Founding partners in the initiative include the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum ( and Smithsonian Libraries (, Washington, DC, the Royal Philatelic Society London (, United Kingdom, and the American Philatelic Research Library (, Bellefonte, PA."

Other partners participating in the project include: Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library, Denver, CO; Slusser Memorial Library, Postal History Foundation, Tucson, AZ; The Collectors Club Library, New York; Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library, Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, Toronto, Canada; and Western Philatelic Library, Sunnyvale, CA.

The announcement goes on to say, "The goal of the project is to establish a single destination on the web where philatelists around the world can search, locate, and access philatelic research from partner libraries in real-time, from any computer. Searchable listings of books and publications, as well as resource locations and access, will soon be one click away, providing an invaluable resource to those doing philatelic research. Major pre-1923 publications, including The Stamp-Collector’s Magazine, Illustrated, London, from 1865–1874, have been digitized and will be made available at no charge. Other resources considered proprietary by partner libraries may also be accessed through membership programs and other avenues via the portal, which is planned to launch in June."

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

Monday, April 02, 2012

New Zeppelin Crash Mail Book

Author/researcher Dieter Leder writes to let Round-Up readers know about his new book, LZ-129 Hindenburg Zeppelin Crash Mail.

According to Dieter, "75 years ago, on May 6, 1937, airship LZ-129 Hindenburg crashed at Lakehurst, NJ. The cause of the crash is not yet finally determined. And many questions are still unanswered in connection with the mail onboard: Of the 17,500 mail articles onboard, only 357 were officially recovered."

He goes on to say, "The first two chapters are dealing with the pre-crash mail dispatch at Frankfurt Auslandsstelle (foreign section) and Luftpoststelle (airmail section). Chapter three is dealing with the operation of the onboard post office. Chapter four is dealing with the American eastbound mail dispatch. And then comes the crash....The following ten chapters are dealing with the nine mail findings in the wreckage. Chapter 16 is dealing with the forwarding of the eastbound mail which should have made the Hindenburg return flight."

The hardbound book has 300 illustrations (many in full color) and will be available end of April 2012/early May 2012 depending on the delivery from the printer. Round-Up readers can pre-order the book at a special discounted price.

For cost and shipping information, contact Dieter at
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Post Office to Issue Edible Stamps

In an effort to prevent financial disaster, USPS has come up with a revolutionary new idea that will change stamp collecting forever.

In a write-up on the Huffington Post it is being reported that Addie Hassef, head of USPS Special Projects and famed Chef Homaro Cantu have collaborated on a set of soon-to-be-available commemorative stamps (shown here) that not only smell like the fruit depicted on the face of the stamp, they taste like it as well.

Reporter John Malik writes, "That's correct: Chicago's famed menu-munching chef has helped the USPS put together a stamp for each state that depicts that state's commemorative fruit. Now licking stamps has become a lot more challenging, but for a new reason. Very soon postal customers in Maine will be licking wild blueberry stamps by the sheet, Alabamans will be enjoying books of blackberries, those of you in Oregon will have your pear stamps and for my friends in North Dakota, try not to choke on those chokecherries."

According to the article, the stated goal of this innovative and tasty experiment is that "postal customers [will] see these new stamps as more than stamps, we want them to be seen as party favors, gifts to budding foodies, cake decoration or garnish for a bowl of Cheerios when your bananas are way past their prime."

For more on this story, click here...oh, and by the way, April's Fool!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM