Sunday, September 30, 2012

Miniature Models of International Postal Vehicles Displayed

The Gulf Times reports, "An exhibition of over 400 miniature models of vehicles used by global major logistics, parcel and postal firms has become a major attraction at the ongoing Universal Postal Union (UPU) Congress at the Qatar National Convention Centre."

The collection belongs to Daniel Le Goff, a senior UPU official and the director of world postal body’s logistics department who began the collection in the mid-1980s.

Le Goff is quoted in the piece as saying, "I have gathered more than 400 miniature models of around 40 companies across the world and all of them are displayed at the exhibition...Not many visitors here, including those from even the postal industry, were aware that some of the postal and logistical companies had also been involved in public transport operations until they saw the bus models of Postbus of Austria and Swiss Post."

According to the article by Ramesh Mathew, "The miniature models of cars used for carrying mails by Royal Mail of Britain in its initial years of operations are among the exhibits. A large number of vehicles were supplied by agencies like Russia Post, and their counterparts in Japan and Korea. But not a single miniature model from China and India, which account for the largest number of post offices in the world, are seen among the exhibits."

Shown above, Le Goff at one of the three stands featuring his miniature models.

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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Why Does A Stamp Appreciate In Value?

Stamps editor Gary Eggleston writes on the BellaOnline website, "A stamp will appreciate in value when the demand for it exceeds the supply. The stamp collecting community realizes this fact and makes adjustments accordingly. This process happens for some stamps that are traded regularly. Of the approximately 750,000 different postage stamps issued since 1840, most of these stamps have a value close to where they started. In other words, their value has not gone up significantly."

He goes on to say, "Within each country, key items drive the overall value of that country’s stamps. In other words, the key items set the tone for that country’s stamps from a particular period or era. For example, if a stamp dealer examines at a collection that your are offering him, that dealer will evaluate your material pretty much on the basis of the grade and condition of those items that he is looking for."

According to Eggleston, "Upon examination he may add a little more for the remainder of the material. Of course, this is not a process etched in stone, as some dealers will look for different items than other dealers are looking for. The items the stamp dealer is looking for are those that he knows he will be able to sell for a profit quickly. This approach to evaluating a stamp collection offered for sale is a major reason why a dealer is able to come up with an offer so quickly. He is not evaluating each and every stamp in the collection, but only the stamps he is interesting in getting his hands on."

To read the entire article, click here.

For more information on investing in stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 28, 2012

How It's Made - Postage Stamps

A tip of the tongs to the Wilton Stamp Company that features this British video on its website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New York Magazine Circumventing Postal Delivery

Nat Ives on the Ad Age website reports, "New York magazine is trying to remedy rising postal costs and slower postal deliveries by distributing many subscriber copies by hand -- at least for Manhattan subscribers with doormen."

 He goes on to say, "After a test than began in May, sparked by concerns that post-office cutbacks would only continue to worsen, New York is now rolling out hand delivery to doorman buildings and commercial addresses in Manhattan."

According to Ives, "The cost is competitive with the post office or cheaper, a New York spokeswoman said in an email. 'It also gives us experience in this arena, in preparation for future USPS changes that may be more onerous."

"Another weekly, Bloomberg Businessweek, has been using newspaper carriers to deliver many subscriber copies in major urban markets,"  Ives writes.

To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Police Impound Canada Post Van for Speeding

Canada's Vancouver Sun reports, "No longer will Canada Post be known as snail mail to police in West Vancouver. The department says it impounded a postal van for seven days after catching the driver allegedly going 135 kilometres per hour in a 90-kilometre zone on Monday. The contents of the van were transferred to a second postal truck before it was towed away."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"The Stamp Collector" by Jennifer Lanthier

A new children's book, The Stamp Collector by Jennifer Lanthier and illustrated by Francois Thisdale, tells the story of "...a city boy who loves stamps and a country boy who loves to read and write. Their lives come together when the book lover is imprisoned for a simple story, guarded by the stamp collector. But bars and rules can’t prevent their friendship and together they break down a multitude of barriers to defend their freedom of speech."

According to a write-up on Canada's website, "Lanthier’s inspiration came from writers Nurmuhemmet Yasin and Jiang Weiping, who were imprisoned in China for things they wrote. A portion of the proceeds from this book (for ages nine through 12) will support PEN Canada in its work to bring hope to imprisoned writers around the world."

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

Monday, September 24, 2012

Ohio Museum Delivers Postal History

The Museum of Postal History, Inc located in Delphos,Ohio is a non-profit historical and educational repository and museum whose mission is to educate the public about the development of America, its technology and its culture through the influences of the US Mail. 

According to an 2011 article that appears on the Midwest Guest website,  "Museum Director Gary Levitt began collecting postal artifacts in 1993, shortly after becoming the Delphos postmaster. By 1995, the Museum of Postal History opened in the Delphos Post Office." 

The piece goes on to say, "Levitt retired from the postal service in 2007 as the museum outgrew its quarters in the post office, and museum officials purchased an 11,000-square-foot building in 2008. The building, originally built as a livery in 1902, allowed the museum to expand its exhibits." 

Levitt is quoted as saying, "The horses were kept upstairs, and there was a ramp built up the back of the building so they could get the horses up there.It was an implements dealership, and for many years, the city's recreation center. It was an Eagles lodge for several years, a restaurant, a fun house, a bar, and a dance hall."  

"There is something to interest everyone. We are not just stamps, but we do have hundreds of thousands of them," says Levitt, who enjoys the surprised reactions of visitors when they discover the museum includes many other items like antique postal vehicles, unique mailboxes, photographs, and a library."

To learn more, click here  To take a video tour, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, September 23, 2012

USPS Recycles Customers' Old Electronics

"If you purchased a new iPhone 5 yesterday and are wondering what to do with your old mobile phone, then a trip to the post office is in order. Yes, the post office. The United States Postal Service (USPS) expanded its recycling program and now allows customers to trade in their old electronics for cash, including cell phones, at one of 3,100 retail locations nationwide," according to Melissa Hincha-Ownby on the Mother Nature Network website.

Hincha-Ownby goes on to say, "Customers interested in trading in an old cell phone, digital camera, PDA or other small electronic device should first visit the Recycle Through USPS website. The USPS has partnered with MaxBack and customers will be routed to a new website where they will first search for the specific electronic device that they want to trade in.

"Once the device has been located in the USPS/MaxBack database, an instant quote is provided and the customer can then accept the quote. The next step is to mail in the device, at no charge, using USPS Priority Mail. Upon receipt of the device, MaxBack will inspect the item and mail the cash to the customer."

To get started, click here.

Shown above, 2000 Israel International Communications Day stamp.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Free Tote at Office Depot

Next time you're in a Office Depot be sure to buy some stamps and receive this free tote. Otherwise it's $2.99.

Perfect for carrying your catalogs and other stamp show stuff!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 21, 2012

First Olympic QR-code Stamp

Laura Walden reports on the website, "The Sochi 2014 organizing committee has launched the first Olympic QR-code stamp for the Games. The innovative stamp was coordinated with the Publishing and Trading Center 'Marka', the Russian Post Office and was supported by TOP Sponsor Samsung Electronics and features the Sochi logo as well as a matrix code linking viewers back to the Games’ website."
Dmitry Chernyshenko, head of Sochi 2014, is quoted as saying, "Today we have taken a step into the future with the launch of Sochi 2014 stamp with QR code incorporated, which is the first of its kind both in the history of Russia and the Olympic Movement. The new stamp will really add some sparkle to the Sochi 2014 Philatelic Program and build on a range of distinctive and innovative Sochi 2014 souvenirs, such as 3D credit cards, coins and the Games Mascots!"

The 2014 Winter Olympics, officially the XXII Olympic Winter Games, will be celebrated February 7- 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. 

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

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What’s In A Name?

William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910), known by his pen name 'O. Henry' was a much loved American short story writer.

Last week Porter/O.Henry got his own stamp as part of the Literary Arts series.

No one quite knows why Porter took 'O. Henry' as his nom de plume.

However, after Porter was found guilty of bank embezzlement in February 1898, sentenced to five years in prison, and imprisoned on March 25, 1898, he began writing stories in prison under the name of 'O. Henry.'

According to the USPS Stamp of Approval blog, "... Porter gave different answers when people asked where the name came from. One scholar has suggested that it stems from Porter’s fascination with codes, and may be composed of three pairs of letters from the words 'Ohio State Penitentiary.'”

To learn more about O. Henry on the USPS Stamp of Approval blog, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harry Potter's American Cousin?

Despite the name, Ashton Potter is not one of Harry Potter's American cousins.

Located in Williamsville, New York,  the company was founded in 1925 by the Ashton and Potter families and works with some of the world's largest postal authorities in manufacturing their postage stamp products.

According to the company website, "We can provide all stamp products in all formats and sizes through manufacturing and service agreements tailored specifically to individual Postal Authority requirements. Our manufacturing capabilities and capacities enable us to offer high quality, specialized stamp products in cost effective solutions. With over 35 years experience we are one of the world's largest producers of postage stamp products."

The company also makes cigarette tax stamps, liquor and spirits excise stamps and tax revenue stamps.

Shown above Barry Switzer, president and CEO of Ashton Potter USA, displays a press approval sheet for the postage stamps honoring abstract expressionists in 2010.

For more information about Ashton Potter, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dixon, Graue & Rod 2012 Luff Honorees

The Luff Awards are the highest awards given by the American Philatelic Society. Established in 1940 in honor of prominent American philatelist John N. Luff, APS President from 1907 to 1909, the awards are presented each year at APS StampShow for meritorious contributions by living philatelists.

Michael Dixon, James Graue, and Steven Rod have been chosen to receive the 2012 John N. Luff Awards. The recipients were honored at the 2012 StampShow Awards Banquet on Saturday, August 18, in Sacramento, California.

Nominations for deserving candidates may be made to the Luff Awards Committee, which submits its recommendations to the Society’s Board of Directors during the APS Spring Meeting. Awards are conferred each summer at StampShow, the Society’s annual convention and exhibition.

All nominations must be submitted to the Luff Award Committee in writing using an official nomination form. Nominations are active for five years. Nomination forms are available online in downloadable pdf format. You also may obtain a form by writing to: Luff Award Committee, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823.

Shown above, Michael Dixon, James Graue, and Steven Rod at APS StampShow 2012.

To learn more about the background of this year's recipients, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 17, 2012

Confessions of an Ex-Mailman

Neal Simon of Hornell, New York's The Evening Tribune writes about his time as a mail carrier.

Simon pens, "There is something that has to be said right off the bat. I was a lousy mailman, no ifs, ands or buts about it. My sorting was slow. My delivery inconsistent. My paperwork slipshod. My system for cataloging packages unworkable. I started my day when the sun rose, and had barely finished by the time the street lights came on."

He goes on to say, "What was the most difficult part of the job? The route was not easy. It was approximately 90 miles long, with about 300 to 350 stops. The route took me into the backwoods of Allegany County, N.Y. These motor vehicle paths had limited shoulders, big craters and overgrowth that obscured many a box. I may have done better on a horse. And keep in mind, I never did get to experience the route in real crazy weather. Rain and overpowering wind, yes. Snow and sleet, no.

Simon says, "... co-workers could not have been more helpful. The same goes for the people and animals on my route. Yes, I heard plenty of barking dogs, but I never heard a cross word from a mail customer or felt the bite of an angry canine.

"So in conclusion, to all my customers whose mail I mangled, lost or delivered three days late, I'm sincerely sorry. Of course, none of this would have happened if you had a post office box."

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

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Confederate Stamp Alliance

The Confederate Stamp Alliance is a philatelic organization dedicated to the collection and study of postage stamps and postal history of the Confederate States of America (CSA). It is an affiliate (No. 73) of the American Philatelic Society. 

According to their website, "Much of the history of that short-lived political experiment, the Confederate States of America, was reflected in its stamps, covers, and other postal mementos. The bitter Civil War spanned the entire life of the Confederacy -- the four years from 1861 to 1865 -- and the marks and record of that great struggle are nowhere found more clearly than in the postal history of the 'Lost Cause.' All collectors of Confederate stamps come to realize this very early in their pursuit, and this fact has much to do with the fascination that the Confederate collector invariably experiences."

The website goes on to say, "There are hundreds of varieties of stampless, Handstamp Paid and Manuscript covers as well as Provisional adhesive stamps and envelopes used before the Confederate government could issue regular stamps. There are 17 major varieties of regular issue Confederate States stamps -- also minor varieties and endless shades.

"There are Prisoner-of-War and Flag-of-Truce covers, Express Company markings, Blockade-Run covers to and from Europe, College covers, Official and Semi-Official envelopes, Packet and Steamboat covers, Patriotic covers with their war mottos, covers showing use of United States stamps in the Confederacy, and many interesting letters.

"Nowhere else in philately can one find such strange usages, makeshifts and evidences of desperate shortages. There are envelopes made of wallpaper, envelopes used twice over, and United States stamped envelopes seized and overprinted for the use of the Confederacy."

Among the benefits of being a member of the Confederate Stamp Alliance is their quarterly The Confederate Philatelist as well as an authentication service for examining and rendering Certificates of Authentication on Confederate Stamps and Covers.

Shown above, Jefferson Davis Medallion Patriotic Cover from Confederate occupied Columbus, Kentucky in January 1862.

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

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saving the Post Office - One Letter at a Time

Dick Peterson writes on Illinois' Northwest Herald website, "Commemorative stamps make a statement. They decorate your envelope. They are a teaching tool. I don’t want the common stamp of the flag or the Statue of Liberty on my envelopes, nor do I want horrid black-and-white, computer-generated postal marks befouling my envelopes."

However, Peterson thinks what's really important is what's inside the envelope – a letter.

"What I recommend is that we all go to the post office, select some beautiful commemorative stamps, find a pen and paper, and surprise someone with a letter that is hand-carried by another human being hundreds or thousands of miles away from you," Peterson says.

" I can almost guarantee that the recipient will enjoy that day’s mail more than any other day, although I cannot be held accountable for the tone of your letter.If enough of us write letters regularly, maybe we can save the postal service."

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

Friday, September 14, 2012

We Don’t Have Stamps

According to an article on the Kuwait Times website, "During the past one month, Kuwait’s post office has run out of stamps that need to be affixed on larger parcels, and people looking to send packages abroad are met with the same response offered by postal officials: 'We don’t have stamps.'”

The article goes on to say, "A Friday Times investigation indicates that the stamp shortage has been caused by the absence of an employee, who is responsible for the distribution of stamps across post offices in Kuwait.

"According to an official at the Ministry of Communication, which is responsible for the smooth functioning of all post offices in Kuwait, the person who is in charge of supplying stamps to the post offices was on holiday. 

"Only a few large post offices in Kuwait provide the facilities for sending parcels. These include the postal centers in Kaifan, Salmiya, Hawally, as well as the main post office in Kuwait City, an employee working at the Shamiya post office pointed out."

Shown above, the Kaifan post office in Kuwait.

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

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nominations Sought for ATA Distinguished Topical Philatelist

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 American Topical Association Distinguished Topical Philatelist (DTP) Award.

The DTP Award is the highest honor given by the ATA and will be presented at the Awards Banquet of the 2013 National Topical Stamp Show in Rochester, N.Y. NTSS will be a joint show with Ropex on May 17-19, 2013.

The Distinguished Topical Philatelist designation is awarded for notable service to topical philately in general and to the ATA in particular. It was established in 1952 by ATA Founder Jerome (Jerry) Husak and has been presented to 115 individuals since its inception. Recipients have included residents of the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Italy. The DTP is the most prestigious award given by the ATA.

Topical stamp collectors have the opportunity to nominate members of their Study Units, ATA Chapter or friends who have promoted thematic collecting and the ATA. Nominating letters should include the candidate’s accomplishments in philately, and particularly in topical philately.

Deadline for the receipt of nominations is December 31, 2012. Letters of nomination should be sent to: Donald W. Smith, PO Box 576, Johnstown PA 15907-0576.

The American Topical Association (ATA) was founded in 1949 and is now the largest philatelic society devoted specifically to topical stamp collecting.

Membership in the ATA includes many benefits like our bi-monthly Topical Time journal, handbooks published on popular collecting topics and checklists useful for those who have started a topical collection, or wishing to start a new collection.

Click here to visit the ATA website.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Portrait of a Stamp Artist

The Indian Express website features a story about Chitta Ranjan Pakrashi, 91, who has been designing postage stamps for more than five decades.

Reporter Priyanka Kotamraju writes, "In two big frames, 54 stamp originals are arranged chronologically, from 1956 to 2008. His originals would fetch a pretty sum. His first stamp, issued in 1956 for the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti, is trading at Rs 525 on the Philsensex, the price having quadrupled in just as many years. Pakrashi though, is dismissive; his time occupied by more pressing concerns — his art exhibition in the capital in November, editorial work with a privately circulated Bengali quarterly Hindol, his account of the Bengalis in Delhi which is being serialised in another magazine, and taking his memoir A Stamp is Born to publishers."

According to the article, "In 1955, a government advertisement calling for design entries on the occasion of the 2,500th anniversary of Buddha Jayanti caught his eye. He had never worked on stamps before, the proportions and requirements were lost on him. And he knew little of the religion. Despite these obvious handicaps, he won the nationwide competition (and Rs 1,000 in cash). His design was issued on a two-anna stamp, 'at that time widely circulated', he says. The design was a nod to a frequently recurring and revered motif in the Buddhist lore — the Bodhi tree."

Shown above, Pakrashi's winning design that got him started.

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shanksville Post Office Offering Flight 93 Cancellation

News media around the country are reporting the post office near the site where hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in southwestern Pennsylvania is again offering a special commemorative stamp cancellation.

According to an Associated Press report, "The postmark from the Shanksville post office will include the image of the Flight 93 Memorial Chapel and was designed by its director, Bishop Alphonse Mascherino.

"The Shanksville post office gets a few thousand requests for the special cancellation each year.

"Customers can have their letters canceled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the post office on Tuesday, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks which included the hijacked flight on which 40 passengers and crew were killed.

"Others can request the special cancellation by mailing requests to the post office within 30 days."

Be sure to enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient postage for return of the cancelled covers.

The address is...

Flight 93 Cancellation Request
442 Stutzmantown Rd,
Shanksville, PA 15560

Read more here:
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 10, 2012

SESCAL 2012 Coming Up Next Month

The 68th annual Stamp Exhibition of Southern California (SESCAL) will be held October 5-7, 2012 at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel.

 Admission is free with a reduced parking rate of $8.00 with validation.

The theme of SESCAL 2012 is "The Graf Zeppelin - 1929 Round-The-World Flight." A show cachet and special cancels will be available.

There will be a large dealers bourse, exhibits, USPS substation, award banquets, club and society meetings, and philatelic auction.

SESCAL is one of the American Philatelic Society's World Series of Philately exhibitions and will offer a 2-day educational course, "U.S. Bank Note Company Issues: 1870-1890," taught by Clark Frazier on October 3-4, prior to the beginning of the show on October 5. To sign up, contact Gretchen Moody, APS Education Director at (814)933-3803, ext.239.

A Boy Scout Stamp Collecting Merit Badge Workshop will also be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 from noon to 4 PM. Seats are limited so please register early by calling (818) 903-4451.

For more information about SESCAL, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, September 09, 2012

How Well Do You Know Your Postage Stamps?

According to India's website "In today's age of emails and SMS, receiving letters (snail mail) from loved ones has an amazing charm. Isn't it? That's probably why philately or stamp collection is considered a rare hobby as well."

It goes on to say, "Nonetheless, one can't deny that it is an interesting hobby. If you've been thinking about starting a new hobby, try giving stamp collection a thought. You never know, you could be on the edge of becoming a famous philatelist or stamp collector.

"So, take this quiz to find out if this a hobby for you. If you are already into stamp collection, find out how well you know your postage stamps."

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

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Philatelist vs. Stamp Collector

David H. Aeschliman writes on the Stamp Collecting World website, "A stamp 'collector' is one who collects postage stamps, without regards to their technical aspects, origin, or usage, usually arranged for display in a stock book or a stamp album. Collecting can be very rewarding, in that one can assemble a beautiful display of stamp issues, to cherish for a lifetime, without having to worry about the technical aspects of each of the stamps."

Aeschliman goes on to say, "A 'philatelist' is one that embarks on the study of stamps and related items, such as postmarks, covers (postal history), proofs, essays, postal stationery, errors etc. It is actually possible to be a philatelist, without owning a single stamp. For instance, the stamps being studied may be very rare or exist only in philatelic museums.

"In a philatelic sense, the examination of a group of stamps, all appearing to be the same, may reveal different printings, different kinds of paper, different watermarks, variations in shades, different perforations, possible errors etc."

To visit the Stamp Collecting World website, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, September 07, 2012

Hollywood Producer Finalizes Purchase of Former Venice, Calif. Post Office

Movie producer Joel Silver's purchase of the former U.S. post office in Venice has created a bit of a cliffhanger for local residents: How often, if ever, will they be able to view the beloved "Story of Venice" mural that has graced the building's interior since 1941? writes Los Angeles Times reporter Martha Groves.

Silver, producer of such blockbuster movie franchises as “The Matrix,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Sherlock Holmes,” plans to refashion the longtime post office as the new home of his Silver Pictures.

According to Groves, "The red-tile-roofed 1939 Works Progress Administration building on Windward Circle has been a fixture in Venice. The interior mural [shown above], painted by Edward Biberman, features the coastal community’s visionary developer Abbot Kinney at its center, surrounded by beachgoers, men in overalls and once-ubiquitous oil derricks."

Silver is quoted in the piece as saying in a statement, “While we are still in the very early stages of the process, I am committed to the rehabilitation of the building and its unique WPA features. I am also committed to being a good neighbor in the Venice community, whether through providing public access to the space or in developing programs for the community related to film, art and architecture.”

Residents voiced their objections last year when the federal government first hinted that it would close the post office as part of a massive budget-cutting plan writes Groves.
According to a separate article on the Save The [Venice] Post Office website, "Aside from implementing cuts and closures that can only diminish revenue, the USPS has been intentionally suppressing revenue at the Venice branch.  For example, on January 22, when the price of stamps increased from 44 to 45 cents, the Venice post office did not have one cent stamps for sale.  It consistently has had only a limited selection of stamps, which is a major deterrent to stamp collectors and picky customers.

"Furthermore, for the past two years only two of the five windows have been open for customer service regardless of the length of the line or the waiting time.  The USPS’s own provision to provide service in less than 20 minutes has been ignored on a daily, hourly basis.  Overworked clerks have to constantly deal with frustrated customers, which only contributes to their poor morale."

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

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Honoring Everyday Heroes

Debra Mitchell writes on Florida's Lehigh Acres Citizen website, "Would you like to support and thank local and everyday heroes? You can by purchasing and using 'Everyday Cards for Everyday Heroes,' which are being offered at the post office."

Mitchell goes on to say, "At $2.95 each, the six cards provide an affordable way to recognize the people who go above and beyond to serve the community. Also, until Sept. 16, all post offices have a 50 percent off coupon.

"The National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11 and Veterans Day, Nov. 11, give Americans the opportunity to express their gratitude to the everyday heroes in their lives by sending them these cards.

"In addition to active and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces and first responders - firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians - everyday heroes also can be medical professionals, public servants, teachers, volunteers, parents and even letter carriers."

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

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Democratic Convention Causes Postal Concerns

Mark Price of the Charlotte Observer reports, "A week after temporarily closing nearly 40 uptown mail collection sites for the Democratic National Convention, the Postal Service has opened a hotline for customers with concerns over the changes."

According to Price, "Postal officials said the 'added layer of accessibility' was necessary in light of security restrictions, street closures and traffic concerns associated with the convention this week."

Price goes on to say, "Uptown streets have been cleansed of unnecessary obstacles to accommodate the convention and it’s 35,000 visitors, including the removal of blue mail boxes and covering of mail chutes, which security experts feared could hide explosive devices. Free standing newspaper racks and even 100 concrete garbage containers were also removed, officials said."

To read the entire article, click here.

Read more here:

Read more here:

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Western Cattle in a Scottish Storm

"Western Cattle in Storm is a $1 stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Office as part of the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Issue. Western Cattle in Storm is one of nine commemorative postage stamps in the series, which marked the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition held in Omaha, Nebraska. While the entire Trans-Mississippi Issue set has been praised for its quality, the $1 stamp, also called the Black Bull, stands out from the rest," according to an entry on Wikipedia.

The entry then goes on to say...

"The breed of cattle used in the issue were meant to represent the ruggedness of the American West, but actually derive from the Highlands of Scotland. That’s because the design replicated a John MacWhirter painting depicting cattle in a winter storm in central Scotland. This painting was copied, without the permission of the owner, Lord Blythswood, by an American cattle company as a trademark of sorts.

“MacWhirter, however, was a Scot, and his painting, entitled The Vanguard, was soon discovered to have been a depiction of Scottish cattle in a storm in Scotland,” according to a company called Chicago Stamps. ”It was actually painted in a small farmhouse near the Scottish highland town of Calendar. The scene did not depict an event west of the Mississippi, but it might have been, and few really cared about this detail, for cattle were an important part of the western U.S. economy.” (Note: the correct spelling of the town is Callander.)

"This image caught the attention of the Post Office Department and Raymond Ostrander Smith, the staff designer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at the time, and it was adopted for the $1 design. Little did the designer know that the scene depicted was in Scotland, not the Western U.S., as was supposed. A full apology was later issued to the owner of the painting."

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

Monday, September 03, 2012

Paul Ryan's Wife Lobbied Against Post Office

The New Hampshire Labor News website reports, "Paul Ryan’s wife, Janna Little Ryan, is not exactly the typical stay at home mom that is portrayed by Mr. Ryan . Until their marriage she was a successful tax attorney and by the time she was 30 a high-priced lobbyist. Mrs. Ryan worked for Big Pharmaceuticals, Big Oil, and health care  corporations. Interestingly she was also a key lobbyist for UPS.  Her lobbying team was paid $220,000 in 1998 to lobby against the interests of the US  Postal Service."

According to the article by Bill Brickly, "UPS spent over $5 million lobbying against its main competitor. Janna Little Ryan lobbied congress to not allow the Postal Service to expand the services it offers. UPS at this time initiated a smear campaign against the Postal Service by among other things sending every member of congress a box filled with anti Postal Service editorials."

He goes on to say, "Considering Ryan’s  privatization zeal and his wife’s UPS  lobbyist connection it’s clear he will not act in a way that’s in the best interest of the Postal Service. The GOP Platform calls for a partial privatization. That would be the first step toward selling the Postal Service off. The combination of Congressman Ryan and Governor Romney looks to be a fatal combination for the US Postal Service."

Shown above, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and his wife, Janna Little Ryan.

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

Sunday, September 02, 2012

People in Libraries on Stamps

My friend Larry Nix is a collector of libraries and librarians on postage stamps which is sometimes called bibliophilately.

Nix writes on his Library History Buff Blog, "Of the hundreds of thousands of postage stamps that have been issued by the countries of the world, less than a thousand fall into this category. Of that group only 30 to 40 depict people inside of a library (this does not include images of celebrities in a library)."

He goes on to say, "I'm an advocate for a United States postage stamp or group of postage stamps honoring public libraries. Stamps showing people using public libraries would be a great way to do this."

 Click here to view some other stamps showing people using libraries.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Jewish Ghetto Stamps

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is reporting that some rare Jewish ghetto stamps have been sold at auction.

According to the write-up on the ABC News website, "Three rare stamps produced in a Jewish ghetto during World War II have sold at auction in Melbourne for $1,020."

Charles Leski of Leski Auctions is quoted as saying the stamps were produced at the Lodz ghetto in German-occupied Poland in 1944 and were created using scrap paper.

"They were souvenired by the German soldiers who found them after the ghetto had been emptied," according to Leski.

To read the entire article, click here.

To learn more about Lodz, which was the only ghetto that had its own stamps, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM