Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The American Philatelic Society (APS) reports, "Ghosts and goblins will be invading your neighborhood on October 31, so you might want to be prepared to avoid their mischief by making up some packets of duplicate stamps and putting them into their Trick or Treat bags."

The APS also says, "While you are at it, put some Halloween fun in your stamp collection. This Halloween souvenir sheet can haunt your album if someone hasn’t snatched it already! Simply visit and key in the word “halloween” in the keyword search box, then click the search button. If it is gone? See what spooky surprises you can find for yourself."

As a special 'treat' for members the APS is offering $5 off any $25 purchase or more from the Stamp Store when you use coupon code "stamps12." Limit one per customer. Boo!!!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricaine Sandy Impacts Mail Delivery

NBC4 in Washington, D.C. and other media outlets around the country are reporting, "The U.S. Postal Service worked under regular operations Monday - but advised customers of potential lobby closures due to Sandy and advised letter carriers to use their discretion as to where and when it was unsafe to deliver mail."

According to the reports "Letter carriers were authorized to return to their offices when they determined it was unsafe to stay on their routes."

USPS Capital District Manager Kelvin Williams is quoted as saying, "“We give every consideration to safety. We will make sure that our postal employees are not in harm’s way while performing their duties and we will ensure that each post office is safe for our customers."

For more on this story, click here.

For the latest information on USPS service updates, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 29, 2012

Herman "Pat'" Herst Jr - A Philatelic Icon

Breck Pegram writes on Kentucky's State Journal website, "In my opinion, Herman 'Pat' Herst Jr., from Portland, Oregon was easily the most interesting and the most energetic stamp dealer in the 1930s and 1940s and in Pat’s case probably beyond that time.

"Today, some 13 years after his death, he is very much an icon of stamp collecting. His enthusiasm for stamp collecting was boundless and he was very intolerant of those in the stamp business who couldn’t see what a great hobby it is."

According to Pegram, who is the president of the Kentuck Stamp Club, "After some short jobs in the city, he obtained a full time job in an investment bond office and he did very well even in those tough financial times. As time went on stamps played a bigger and bigger role in his life. Finally, after some five years during which stamp dealing became more and more the vocation that he loved, he resigned his Wall Street job and went into stamp dealing full time.

"As you might well imagine, his mother was horrified when he came home and told her that he had resigned a good paying job to go into stamp dealing full time. Shortly however, he persuaded her that it was the right move. He fit into stamp dealing like a hand in a glove and it showed.

"His timing couldn’t have been better. Even though the country was in financial shambles, the stamp hobby was booming. People were noticing that the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was a very active stamp collector along with some members of his cabinet. Stamps were being issued with the promotion of the stamp-collecting hobby in mind. New stamp publications were coming out and the hobby was very much front and center. It was in this atmosphere that Pat Herst thrived."

An interesting side note... Herst was born on St. Patrick's day in 1909 which is why he got the nickname "Pat" according to an obituary that appeared at the time of his death in 1999.
To read the entire article, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 28, 2012

MItt Romney - Philatelist?

Jerry Pattengale, Christian Post guest contributor, claims that Mitt Romney was a philatelist while in school.

In a article posted on the Christian Post website, Pattengale, who says he went to school with Romney, pens, "He claimed to be a philatelist and collected stamps."

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

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spellman Museum Holding Halloween Family Day

The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History on the Regis College campus in Weston, Massachusetts will be holding its annual Halloween Family Day today from noon to 4 p.m.

Activities will include decorating trick-or-treat bags and pumpkins with stamps, a Halloween stamp designing contest, Halloween stamp hunts, stamp-related games and puzzles for prizes, and arts and crafts activities using stamps.

Children can make Halloween envelopes to send Halloween greetings to friends, with the museum providing the postage.

Prizes will be given to children who wear their Halloween costumes. All children can also have their picture created into a stamp and will receive a free packet of stamps. Tips about how to start a stamp collection will be offered. Free refreshments.

To learn more, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 26, 2012

"Movember" Cancellation Promotes British Charity

Britain's Royal Mail is promoting Prostate Cancer UK with a special nationwide cancellation marking "Movember."

According to the Movember website,  "Once registered at, men start Movember 1st clean shaven. For the rest of the month, these selfless and generous men, known as Mo Bros, groom, trim and wax their way into the annals of fine moustachery. Supported by the women in their lives, Mo Sistas, Movember Mo Bros raise funds by seeking out sponsorship for their Mo-growing efforts."

It goes on to say, "Since its humble beginnings in Melbourne, Australia, Movember has grown to become a truly global movement inspiring more than 1.9 Million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas to participate with formal campaigns in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, the UK, South Africa, Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and the Czech Republic. In addition, Movember is aware of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas supporting the campaign and men’s health cause across the globe, from Russia to Dubai, Hong Kong to Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro to Mumbai, and everywhere in between."

Shown above, Royal mail employees and special cancellation featuring a Movember moustache.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Collecter Thinks He's Found Another 'Z' grill

Reporter Allan Hall writes on Britain's Daily Mail website that a German pensioner thinks he's hit the jackpot after finding an old album that contained a bunch of stamps including one which he believes is an 1868  'Z' grill.

Reinhold Hoffman, [shown above] is quoted in the article as saying, "When I laid them out on the table and saw the one cent stamp I stopped breathing. Since then I have shown it to experts and consulted all the literature I can find about it. There is only one other example known about, in a New York museum, and dealers have told me it is worth at least three million US dollars."

But Reinhold, who lives on a $750 a month pension, doesn't have the money to fly to America to have it certified according to the article.

So he is offering anyone who sponsors him on his trip the money in full plus interest - and has put down another album of not-so-rare stamps in his possession valued at $25,000 as security.

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

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

To Stamp or Not to Stamp, That is the Question

Maryland Community News Online reports there may a case for voter suppression involving postage stamps.

According to a write-up by Bill and Rochelle Banta, it is not clear whether or not postage is required on the Maryland absentee voter envelope.

They write...

 "The envelope of the official ballot reads, 'postage may be required,' The official instructions do not say if postage is required in the U.S., but that embassy voters or servicemen overseas do not need postage at all. We reasoned that we don’t need a stamp because we’ll mail our ballots in the U.S. To be sure, we called the Montgomery County Board of Elections and spoke to the person who answered, and then to her supervisor.

"They told us that postage is indeed required, but they were uncertain how many first class stamps were required.

"We should go to the post office to have the package weighed. 'It might need three stamps,' the supervisor said, 'if the voter put in the instructions in along with the ballot.' The ballots returned to us all have two stamps.

"This looks like a calculated example of voter suppression, intended to disqualify absentee voters. The instructions should make it clear that postage is required and how much that postage should be for each voting district. "

For more on absentee ballot postage, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Million Dollar Month for Post Office Greeting Cards

The USPS NewsLink website reports, "Total greeting card revenue for the 2,001 participating Post Offices surpassed more than $1.1 million during the 5-week campaign."

Retail Products Manager Steven Mills is quoted as saying, “This was the second million-dollar month in greeting card sales — August 2011 was the first — in what has historically been the Postal Service’s slowest sales month."

More than 1,000 offices were at 100 percent or greater than their sales goals, with 186 offices at 250 percent or greater and 22 offices at 500 percent or greater. The national average percent-to-sales goal was 119 percent.

USPS recognized several Post Offices during the campaign, including the Lake Oswego, OR, Post Office which sold a contest-high 302 cards in a single day.

The first, second and third place offices with the highest percent over their sales in each of the 20 groups — as well as others that exceeded goals — also were recognized.

To view the first place winners in each group, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lady Bird Johnson Souvenir Sheet

The U.S. Postal Service is marking Lady Bird Johnson's centennial with the release of a commemorative souvenir sheet featuring her 1968 White House portrait and adaptations of five stamps issued in the 1960s that encouraged participation in the "Plant for a More Beautiful America" campaign.

Also included is a quote from Mrs. Johnson reflecting her belief that the environment is our common ground and a black-and-white image of the First Lady taken from a family photograph shot in 1963.

According to the Texas Tribune the November 30 release will make her one of only five first ladies to be featured on a postage stamp.

Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Taylor Johnson (December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007) was First Lady of the United States (1963–69) during the presidency of her husband Lyndon B. Johnson. 

The sheet may not be available at all post offices according to the U.S.P.S. 

For more information, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Great Texas Stamp Collection

Founder and first president of the Texas Postal History Society Charles W. Deaton has written "The Great Texas Stamp Collection" (University of Texas Press, $27.95 hardcover, 152 pages) about rare and highly coveted Confederate stamps that later became prized possessions.

According to Glenn Dromgoole of the Abilene Reporter News the full subtitle of the book pretty well describes it: "How some stubborn Texas Confederate postmasters, a handful of determined Texas stamp collectors, and a few of the world's greatest philatelists created, discovered, and preserved some of the world's most valuable postage stamps."

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

Saturday, October 20, 2012

British Stamp Collector Wins Lottery

Britain's Newbury and Thatcham Chronicle website reports, "A keen philatelist from Thatcham has given the National Lottery his stamp of approval after scooping more than £60,000 with five winning numbers."

Brian May [shown above] won close to £61,354 which at the current rate of exchange equals $98,240.

May is quoted in the piece as saying, ""I have been collecting postage stamps since I was a little boy and have a specialist interest in Austrian stamps. The Lotto windfall will definitely see me sourcing a few choice stamps to be added to the collection."

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

Friday, October 19, 2012

"Dangerous" Chihuahua Bites Mail Carrier

A three-pound teacup chihuahua named Molly has been designated as a "Dangerous Dog" after nipping at a mail carrier in Windsor, Ontario. The carrier who was not seriously injured,  refused a bandage and went continued on her rounds after the incident.

According to an article by reporter Barbara Kay that appears on Canada's National Post website, the designation that has several stipulations for her owners.

Kay pens, "A 'dangerous dog' designation has…er…teeth. It means the Scotts must obtain one million dollars’ liability insurance and must henceforth have the microscopic canine leashed and muzzled at all times in public, even though it is unlikely they will find a muzzle small enough to fit Molly. They must also post “conspicuous” signs on their property reading “WARNING: Dangerous dogs on premises.” And furthermore, Molly must be microchiped to identify her dangerous-dog status."

Molly's guardian, Mitzie Scott (shown above with Molly) says she is concerned she may not be able to find a muzzle small enough.

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

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dad's Stamp Collection Up For Auction

"Since a boy, I have been fascinated by the development of Australian stamps and what they tell the world about Australia’s history," says Hugh Morgan (shown above), one of Australia’s most well-known collectors.

Morgan's dad collected stamps and got him started. But now no one in the family wants to carry on the tradition so the collection is being auctioned off in London according to an article that appears on Australia's Financial Review website.

Morgan is quoted as saying, “I will not be attending the sale. It would be hard to watch it go, especially thinking of how my father too was so involved in it. But none of my children has an interest, it isn’t a family asset that lends itself easily to subdivision and putting the collection up for sale will give other collectors the opportunity to fill in some gaps. A collection is like a jigsaw puzzle, you’re always looking for pieces. And this is a collection that could still acquire, over the years, additional rare items.”

According to reporters Andrew Cornell and Terry Ingram, "As Morgan built on his father’s collection, he developed an interest in flawed issues and essays, proposed stamp designs submitted to the authorities. He’s animated by a kangaroo with a broken leg or a map of Australia without Tasmania."

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Santa and Sleigh Stamps

The Beyond The Perf website reports, "Finding just the right style became particularly challenging for [Paul] Rogers when art director Howard Paine asked him to design a Santa stamp. The public has seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of images of Santa Claus — including many on past Holiday stamps — and Rogers wanted to make this one distinctive."

Rogers is quoted as saying, "“I kept thinking about those books I had when I was a kid. My mom even had some that she would get out only at Christmas.”

According to the write-up, "Taking their artwork as a model, Rogers made pencil sketches, trying to capture the period feel of the books. He faced the additional challenge of creating an illustration that worked both as a whole and as four individual stamps. At one point, he considered a close-up of Santa’s head, divided into four sections. Even when he settled on Santa and his sleigh, Rogers still had to place each set of reindeer on its own stamp."

Shown above, preliminary sketch for the new Santa and Sleigh stamps.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

No Complaints About New Holiday Stamp

"When the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new Christmas stamp Oct. 10 featuring an image of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt, there was no uproar about religion in the public square, or in this case, rectangle," Carol Zimmermann reports on the Catholic News Service website.

Zimmerman quotes Roy Betts, a spokesman for the Postal Service, as saying, ""We didn't get a single phone call or email from anyone who took exception to the stamp. "And with the speed with which people can respond today, they would have if they wanted to."

Betts went on to say, " year the Postal Service inadvertently left out the image of its Eid stamp -- commemorating the Muslim festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha -- from a poster about its holiday stamps. The Postal Service heard about it, and then some, and within 24 hours, new posters were displayed that included all the holiday stamps."

The design of one of this year's holiday stamps (shown above) is a change from the portrayal of Madonna and child which have been featured on Christmas stamps for close to 50 years according to Zimmerman.

Zimmerman also points out an interesting side note... "In 1995, a Postal Service advisory committee voted to replace the traditional Madonna and Child stamp with a Victorian-era angel. This vote stirred such negative reaction that even then-President Bill Clinton got into the fray, prompting an immediate reversal."

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

Monday, October 15, 2012

Republic of China Inverts Set New World Record

A pair of rare stamps bearing a picture of Chinese nationalist leader Sun Yat-sen have sold for more than $700,000 at auction in Hong Kong according to a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

They are rare because the picture was accidentally inverted. The stamps came from an original sheet of 50 stamps that had the error.

Zurich Asia says the price has set a new "world record for any Republic of China stamp", referring to the period of 1912 to 1949 in China, after the last imperial dynasty lost power and before the communists took over.

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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Postage Rates Going Up Again in 2013

Bob Holt writes on the website, "In an effort to stop its financial bleeding, the USPS has announced another increase in postal rates."

Beginning on January 27, 2013, "Forever" stamps will increase one penny in price to 46 cents, according to a Reuters report.

There will also be a new, global Forever stamp offered in January, which allows customers to send letters anywhere in the world for the set price of $1.10.

Postcards will increase in price to 33 cents, and according to, new prices for Priority Mail will be $5.80 for a small box, $12.35 for a medium, and $16.85 for a large. A large APO/FPO box will cost $14.85. A regular envelope will now be $5.60, a legal envelope $5.75, and a padded envelope is $5.95.

Holt says, "The good news? Confirmation of package delivery will now be free."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Canadian Light Infantry Pushes the Envelope

"The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (RHLI) is pushing the envelope for their 150th anniversary celebrations," writes Kaleigh Rogers on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Hamilton website.

Lieutenant-Colonel Dan Stepaniuk, commanding officer for the RHLI is quoted as saying,  "The RHLI, as a member of the Canadian Army Reserves, serve as “part-time soldiers. While most of the militia work full-time jobs and only dedicate a few hours a week to the group, they’re trained to be called upon should disaster strike the area. Occasionally, they’re even called into duty."

“We’ve sent more than 65 soldiers to Afghanistan,” Stepaniuk said. “In fact, one of them is on the stamp: Major J.P. Hoekstra.”  who appears as the most modern dress soldier on the stamp—a slightly altered version of a photograph from his tour in Afghanistan.

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

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Dear Doctor" Postcards

Tom Fortunato writes on, "Back in the mid-1950's, doctors in the United States began receiving colorful postcards from exotic locations around the world advertising a popular anesthetic drug known as Pentothal Sodium. Its manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories of Illinois, developed a scheme to mail a postcard every couple of weeks to hundreds of thousands of doctors and health facilities on its giant mailing list, first to US addresses and then others abroad."

Fortunato says, "Each card starts with the salutation, 'Dear Doctor,' hence the nickname of these collectibles sometimes referred to as 'Dear Doctor' cards, followed by a message regarding the virtues of the drug. By the way, you probably know the drug by its more common name, truth serum, made popular in movies and TV shows during the spy era! This was 'junk mail' at its finest."

"There has been rather little written about these cards by either or deltiologists (postcard collectors) or philatelists (stamp collectors). But each group will find them interesting, as did their lucky recipients, " according to Fortunato.

He goes on to say, "The cards all bear native scenes depicting the people, places, or culture of the country it was mailed from. They came from every corner of the globe, including such locales as Antarctica, French Polynesia, Panama, and Spanish Sahara. Each was mailed the cheapest way by surface (boat) mail using colorful stamps of the period. Some were mailed in bulk and postmarked all on the same day. Others were spread out over several months and can be found with different stamps and postmark types on them. They were even sent on the first day of issue for some stamps."

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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Insuring Your Stamp Collection Properly

Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley writes on the website about insuring your stamp collection the right way.

She says, "Even a novice philatelist knows that the time, effort and money that goes into accumulating a valuable stamp collection makes it extremely important to protect it in the event of a burglary, home fire or other unforeseen event.Some homeowners insurance policies will provide limited coverage for a stamp collection, however, oftentimes the amount of limited coverage provided is not enough."

She offers some good tips regarding...
  • Estimating Value 
  • Assessing Your Needs 
  • Shopping Your Options 
  • Inventorying Your Collection 
  • Revisiting Your Coverage 
  • Protecting Your Collection 
To read her entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ATA Halloween Checklist and Crossword Puzzle

The American Topical Association (ATA) has a free Halloween checklist and  Halloween crossword puzzle on the organization's website in both Excel and .pdf format through October 31.

According to a press release from the ATA, "The new Halloween checklist comprises 285 philatelic items relating to such themes as black cats, bats, owls, witches, spiders, monsters, ghosts, and horror stories. Combining these various topics into a single Halloween-themed checklist is a 'first.' The checklist has been made possible through the combined work of several ATA members, notably ATA Board Member Jean Stout of Pearl, Miss."

It goes on to say, "The first section of the ATA checklist includes stamps issued by postal authorities and listed in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. The second section lists stamps and 'cinderellas' that are not listed in the catalog. The third section lists other philatelic items not usually listed in the general Scott Catalogue, including cancellations, air letter sheets, booklet covers, meter stamps, postal cards, postmarks, stamped envelopes and wrappers."

The Halloween crossword puzzle offered on the ATA website is courtesy of Australian member Will Cochrane, whose popular website is found at A large variety of philatelic material related to popular topics/themes is always found on the website. Other interactive crossword puzzles using topical themes (including one with ATA as the subject) are also available on the site.

To learn more and see some of the Halloween stamps listed, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Stamp Auctions: Read The Fine Print

Janet Klug in one of her Refresher Course articles that appeared in Linn's Stamp News says bidding in auctions is a fun way to add new material to your collection. Whether it's bidding on eBay or at one of the stamp auctions held thoughout the year at major stamp shows, Janet cautions collectors to be careful.

"If you do not know anything about auction bidding, here is the first and best piece of advice I can give you: Read the terms of sale," Klug suggests.

She goes on to pen, "The auction terms of sale contain all the pertinent information you will need to know about the date the auction closes, acceptable methods of payment, how much time you will be allowed to settle your account, the buyer's fee, the return policy, the extension policy, the raises over next highest bids, the amount of taxes, costs you will incur for postage and insurance, and other terms that might be unique to the particular auction firm."

"Do not assume that all auction firms have the same terms of sale. They do not," Klug reminds us.

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

Monday, October 08, 2012

Happy Columbians Day!

John Finch, stamp guide writes about "Columbian Stamps for Columbus Day."

Finch pens, "The Columbian set of 1893 were the first U.S. commemoratives and remain one of the keys to a collection of United States stamps.Interest in them as philatelic items of note has never flagged and their art is such that when they were reprinted in 1992 by the USPS in the Voyages of Columbus souvenir sheets they still had the power to stun modern collectors with their beauty."

Finch goes on to link to a slide show of the U.S. 1893 Columbian Exposition Stamps which was put together by Michael Breen who points out, "Filling the Columbian spaces in a stamp album is a major accomplishments for the U.S. collector, one that is getting more difficult as their values rise."

Shown above, 30¢ Columbian from a Painting by Felipe Maso titled “Columbus at La Rabida” which was the first U.S. stamp to have a dog in its design.

To view, the slide show with background information about the stamps and Columbian Exposition for which they were issued, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 07, 2012

SESCAL Scouts Earn Stamp Collecting Merit Badge

Nine scouts from around Los Angeles earned their Stamp Collecting Merit Badge at SESCAL 2012 yesterday thanks to the support and genorosity of the American Philatelic Society, American Topical Association, The Los Angeles Philatelic Society and the National Stamp Dealers Association.

Scouts received tongs, stamps, hinges, mounts and a 3-ring binder full of information on a variety of philatelic topics such as removing adhesive stamps from paper. They also visited several dealers tables at the bourse, learned about stamp auctions and spent time at the exhibit area.

Shown with the scouts is Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor Don Schilling who is the publisher and editor of The Roundup.

SESCAL 2012 continues today at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Texas Postal Worker Is A Hermes Scarf Artist

Robert Frank writes on the Inside Wealth website, "We tend to think of Hermes scarves as being designed by European masters – the giants of Old World painting whose works have been resurrected from the 19th century and splashed onto three-foot slivers of silk. But many of those scarves, in turns out, are designed by a postal worker near Waco, Tex."

Frank goes on to pen, "According to a fascinating profile in Texas Monthly by Jason Sheeler, the only American designer of Hermes scarves is a man named Kermit Oliver. For the past 30 years he has sorted mail on the night shift of the Waco post office."

"He spends six months to a year deisgning the scarves, paints them on a 90-by-90 centimeter square (the size of the scarf) and FedEx’s them to Paris. He said the money and fame doesn’t interest him, which is why his main job is sorting mail," writes Frank.

Shown above, Hermes "Pony Express"scarf designed by postal worker Kermit Oliver whose works have sold for five figures at Houston galleries.

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

Friday, October 05, 2012

Philatelists Study U.S. Bank Notes

Earlier this week the American Philatelic Society and The Philatelic Society of Los Angeles hosted a two-day course on the U.S. Bank Note Company Issues of 1870-1890. The course was held at the Los Angeles Hilton prior to the start of SESCAL 2012 this weekend.

Respected stamp dealer and educator Clark Frazier taught the course which was attended by two dozen philatelists from around the country.

The course dealt with various U.S. stamps which were printed by three different printing companies over a 20-year period during the late 1800s. Also discussed were major changes in paper production technology that occurred during that period which has been a source of major confusion among catalog producers and collectors.

Students learned how to identify different design changes including secret marks and re-engraving, paper types from hard to soft, grills and special printings.

Shown above Clark Frazier (holding stamp) and students examine a U.S. Bank Note paper type.

For more information on the American Philatelic Society's education courses and services, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Memphis Stamp and Postcard Show

Memphis, Tennessee's Commercial Appeal reports, "Since the Penny Post was first issued in 1860 in Great Britain, a niche of people have been drawn to stamps. Irrespective of national boundaries or cultural differences. This fraternity includes about 20 million Americans."

Dick Scott, who is president of the Memphis Stamp Collectors Society and chairman of the Memphis Stamp and Postcard Show being held this weekend at Agricenter International Expo Center is quoted by writer Jim Coleman as saying,""The heyday of stamp collecting was the 1930s through the 1960s"

Coleman points out, "In that period, the issuance of stamps around the world flourished. As American soldiers returned from around the globe following the World Wars, so did stamps from far-off places that most people had never heard of. Stamp collections became as common as baseball card collections."

Darrell Mack, who is an executive committee member with the Memphis Stamp Collector Society, is also quoted and believes, "The show gives collectors the ability to find stamps they don't have. You can also negotiate with dealers instead of just paying the price on eBay."

Shown above, former president of the Memphis Stamp Collectors Society Ron Williams (left) and current president Dick Scott. This weekend's show will also include competitive stamp exhibits and award trophies. 

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

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Earthscape Stamps Debut

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

Stephen Kearney, USPS Director of Stamp Services and Jay Bigalke of Linn's Stamp News are interviewed at the Earthscapes stamp 1st Day of Issue event in Washington, D.C. in this video that aired on WTTG FOX news on Monday.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Postmarked Baseball Envelopes More of a Novelty Item

Redding, Calif., Record Searchlight columnist Babe Waxpak got the following letter from one of his readers recently...
 Dear Babe: I have a set of 20 envelopes with stamps of baseball stars. Each one has a 2000 postmark that is tied to the player's name or nickname. The envelopes (with postmarks) include: Roberto Clemente, Robert, La.; Mickey Cochrane, Cochrane, Wis.; Ty Cobb, Cobb, Ga.; Eddie Collins, Collin, Iowa; Dizzy Dean, Deanville, Texas; Jimmie Foxx, Fox, Okla.; Lou Gehrig, Iron, Minn.; Josh Gibson, Gibson, Pa.; Lefty Grove, Left Hand, W.Va.; Rogers Hornsby, Hornsby, Tenn.; Walter Johnson, Walterville, Ore.; Christy Mathewson, Christopher, Ill.; Satchel Paige, Paige, Texas; Jackie Robinson, Robinson, Pa.; Babe Ruth, Ruth, Nev.; George Sisler, George, Iowa; Tris Speaker, Centerfield, Utah; Pie Traynor, Pie Town, Minn.; Honus Wagner, Wagner, S.D., and Cy Young, Young, Ariz.— L.W., ReddingBabe: Someone went to a lot of trouble to create these, but it appears they are more of a novelty rather than a stamp or sports collectible.
In response, John Dunn, Publisher of Stamp News Magazines ( noted that these are not First Day Covers. "The stamps were issued on July 6, 2000. Collecting covers canceled on the First Day of Issue is popular, but even then the FDCs do not have much value unless they are among a few hand-painted covers that have a following."

Babe also quotes one stamp dealer who said, "As a dealer, I would not want to have these in my purchases for resale, as they would sit and sit until one of the very few who might be interested in it think about buying it."

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

Monday, October 01, 2012

October is Stamp Collecting Month

According to a news release that appears on the PRWeb website, "The American Philatelic Society and millions of stamp collectors across the nation and around the world are celebrating 'the hobby of a lifetime' in October. Stamp collecting is one of the most popular and enduring hobbies — almost everyone has collected stamps sometime!"

It goes on to say, "Stamp collecting in the 21st century is not the same hobby it was in our grandfather’s day. No longer is the focus simply on trying to fill in the little squares in a stamp album. Today, the possibilities are limited only by individual’s interests and imagination. A stamp collector can spend time exploring outer space, travel around the world or across the United States, follow their favorite sport, immerse themselves in the travels of ancient or modern mail, or just spend some quiet time arranging flowers (on stamps, of course!).

"Stamp collecting can be, and often is, combined with other hobbies to the enrichment of both. Genealogists have long known the value of letters and postcards when studying family history, but don’t forget the fun side. A family vacation can be made more memorable by sending letters or postcards home with postmarks from special places along the way.

"Technology has opened the album and allowed the collector to experience more of the many possibilities the hobby has to offer. Computers and the Internet are now important components in the collector’s tool box along with the traditional tongs and album pages. And the American Philatelic Society can open a doorway to make this technology easier and more fun."

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