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