Monday, July 23, 2012

Discovering New Worlds, One Postage Stamp at a Time

Barb Valentin writes on the Chicago Tribune website, "In a world dominated by electronic communications, the only postage stamp likely to cross a child's line of vision these days might be affixed to a birthday card from a relative. And usually, the stamp goes unnoticed. Yet these tiny bits of sticky-backed art are so much more than charming relics of a bygone era."

Janet Houser, program and youth coordinator with the American Philatelic Society is quoted in the article as saying stamps have the potential to teach everything from geography and history to world culture.

Houser points out, ""Imagine a child seeing a stamp with a depiction of the Louisiana Purchase on it, (which) might spark an interest in that event, the era or the countries involved."  That same child, she added, could be inspired to collect stamps of the same issue year, other commemorative stamps or different stamps from each of the countries involved in the transaction."

Also quoted is Jim O'Donnell, museum specialist at the National Postal Museum.

O'Donnell points out, ""Casual collectors might concentrate on acquiring stamps from certain time periods, or focus on particular subject matters such as birds or trains. Serious collectors, or philatelists, study stamps, including history and usage, ink and paper varieties, and printing techniques."

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