Monday, October 31, 2005


2004 Halloween stamp from Belgium
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Sunday, October 30, 2005

More on 'Siamese' issues

Liechtenstein (Scott 1055) and Switzerland (Scott 960) issued in 1996.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

The other day I wrote that there were only two known examples of 'siamese' issues - stamps that were issued by two countries simultaneously with both their names on them.

I indicated I didn't know what they were but would be interested to find out.

Ralph Ambrose, a member of the Joint Issue Society, was nice enough to e-mail me with the answer. He said, as far as he knew, the following were the only two known examples...

1965: Romania (Scott 1846) and Yugoslavia (Scott 769)
1996: Liechtenstein (Scott 1055) and Switzerland (Scott 960)

For more information on joint issues from Romania, click here.

For more information on joint issues from Switzerland, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Virtual international stamp exhibition

Bret Janik of the Czech Republic has an interesting website that features non-competitive exhibits from around the world. It's called EXPONET and he's inviting collectors to send him an existing exhibit or put together a new one just for the site.

Janik says, "It is intended as a public display of high quality exhibits of all philatelic areas and time periods and all languages. The aim of the organizers of EXPONET is to provide a permanent presentation of high quality exhibits so as to facilitate on-line study for visitors throughout the world."

The virtual exhibits are displayed in the traditional 16 pages to a frame format. Many are in other languages besides English. Nonetheless it's interesting to see the stamps and how they are arranged.

If you always have wanted to try your hand at exhibiting, this may be just the thing to get you going. There's no pressure, you can display what interests you, and you're not competing against anyone else.

You can send your numbered pages in .tif or .jpg format on a CD to: Mr. Milan Cernik, P.O.Box 243, CZ - 160 41 Prague 6, Czech Republic.

For more information, you can contact Janik at

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

Friday, October 28, 2005

Joint, twin and siamese issues

The International Philatelic Society of Joint Stamp Issues Collectors has a wonderful website if you are interested in learning more about joint issues, twin issues or even Siamese issues.

Joint issues are stamps released by two or more postal administrations. Most often they mark a common event or anniversary and have either a common design or the same date of issue or both.

Twin issues are joint stamp issues whose design is identical and the release date is the same for all countries involved.

A siamese issue is a type of twin issue in which either the stamps from both countries are physically (se-tenant or within the same miniature sheet) linked together.

A siamese issue can also be one stamp is issued but this stamp bears the name of both countries. According to the The International Philatelic Society of Joint Stamp Issues Collectors there are only two known examples but they don't say what they are.

Anybody know? If you do, e-mail me at I'd like to know and I'm sure the rest of us would too.

You can visit the Joint Stamp Issues website by clicking here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 27, 2005

What's wrong with this picture?

Would someone please tell John Mowbray International, the largest stamp auction house in New Zealand, to use tongs!

Shown above are the penny and one shilling 1855 full-face Queen Victoria stamps which are being auctioned off on Saturday.

"These stamps were printed in London and were sent out here in February 1855. They were the very first stamps used in New Zealand, just 15 years after the first stamps in the world were sold in Britain,’’ stamp dealer John Mowbray said.

I hope he at least washed his hands.

For more on the upcoming New Zealand auction which is attracting a good deal of attention, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stamp Campus

The American Philatelic Society is currently offering (through their virtual 'stamp campus') four online and correspondence courses designed for both the beginning and the advanced collector.

These are...

Basic Stamp Collecting: An Introduction to the Hobby covers all the basic hobby how-to's: from where to get stamps, to how to store them, to figuring out what they're worth. You'll even get a beginner's kit -- with all the tools and materials you'll need to get started in the hobby.

Collecting First Day Covers covers an introduction to FDC's, history of FDC collecting, history and types of cancellations, types of cachets, techniques for identifying cachets, developing a specialized collection, more ways to collect FDCs, and care of your FDC collection.

Using the Internet to Collect Stamps covers communicating on the Internet, a guide to researching online, and buying and selling via the Net.

Keys to Exhibiting covers everything you've always wanted to know about exhibiting — from the nuts and bolts of a successful exhibit to understanding the new classes of exhibiting.

You don't have to be an APS member to take a class. Members do get priority and the tuition (which varies) is less.

Collectors can also register their interests in upcoming courses, like Intermediate Philately, Introduction to Printing and Stamp Technology, and Philatelic Research and Writing, by filling out an online survey .

For more information, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MAD magazine's "Stamps We'd Love to See"

Courtesy MAD Magazine, 1964

I recently came across a 'complete collection' of MAD Magazine's "Stamps We'd Love to See" at a local stamp show. There's about 30 of them including some blocks and se-tenants. I remember seeing them as a teenage stamp collector and thought they were funny.

For those of you who don't remember; back in 1964...

A 1st Class postage stamp cost $0.05
Bread was $0.21 a loaf
Milk was $1.06 a gallon
Eggs were $0.98 a dozen
Cars cost $2,350
Gas was $0.30 a gallon
House cost $20,500
Average income was $7,336 a year
Minimum wage was $1.25 a hour
DOW Average was 874

From time to time (particularly when it's a slow philatelic news day or I just get lazy and don't feel like doing a full-fledge post), I'll share some more of these "Stamps We'd Love to See" with you.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 24, 2005

Strange but true

Singapore Post (SingPost) plans to offer 24-hour automated post offices at condominiums around the country according to an announcement issued by MediaPost news .

The world's first such post office is now available at the Parc Oasis condominium in Jurong. The 4,000 residents living there can pickup their registered parcels or even their online grocery shopping.

24-hour lockers will allow residents to retrieve their items at their convenience. They will be informed of the pickup through their mobile phone, and given a pin number to access the locker.

Residents can also use the machine for other services like returning library books and paying bills. In the future, they can also book condominium facilities like tennis courts and barbeque pits.

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

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Mourning covers

1872 "Mourning Cover" from France
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

The Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal ran a nice story yesterday about postal historian Ernest Mosher.

Mosher is the author of "Mourning Covers: The Cultural and Postal History of Letters Edged in Black." The 353-page book is an illustrated story about the history and use of mourning covers as a cultural practice or custom in the United States and in many other countries.

"Mourning covers can be briefly defined as black-edged posted letters used in many countries, especially during the 19th and early 20th centuries, as harbingers of death and messengers of grief," Mosher said. "Mourning covers were as common in the past as wedding and birth announcements are today."

A collector of stamps since he was a boy, Mosher saw his first mourning cover when he received a letter with the signature of Jacqueline Kennedy in early 1964, posted a few months following the assassination of her husband President John F. Kennedy.

According to the write-up, Mosher at one point had the largest collection of U.S. and foreign mourning covers in the world - 5,000 covers from more than 180 countries.

To read the entire article, click here.

To order "Mourning Covers" and other philatetic books, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Post Office motto

Contrary to popular belief, the United States Postal Service's motto is not "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

The well-known slogan actually appears in the works of Herodotus and describes the expedition of the Greeks against the Persians under Cyrus, about 500 B.C. The Persians operated a system of mounted postal couriers, and the sentence describes the fidelity with which their work was done.

The inscription was supplied by William Mitchell Kendall of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, the architects who designed the New York General Post Office on which it appears. Located at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street, it was built in 1913.

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

Friday, October 21, 2005

Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee Chair retires

Dr. C. Douglas Lewis, chairman of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, will retire according to a USPS news release.

Postmaster General William F. Bolger appointed Lewis to the Committee in 1979. In 1985 Lewis was appointed Vice Chair and served as Design Subcommittee Chair for 20 years. He was appointed Chair of the full Committee in 2004.

Lewis was instrumental in recommending almost 2,500 postage stamp subjects from more than one million suggestions during his tenure with the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee.

Postmaster General John E. Potter said, “Dr. Lewis’ credentials as an authority on international art history, coupled with his distinguished career as Curator at the National Gallery of Art has made the U.S. Postal Service’s stamp program second to none.”

For more on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Stamp enthusiast buys 'Inverted Jenny' block

Photo courtesy Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries Inc.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:03 PM

The New York Times reports that the buyer of the "Inverted Jenny" block of four which was auctioned off on Wednesday was Charles Hack. The article quotes him as saying he was a real estate entrepreneur and stamp enthusiast, and not a dedicated collector.

"I collected as a child, and this was the stamp of my dreams," Mr. Hack said after the sale. He added that he viewed the stamp as a sound investment. "It's an icon of America."

The block went for $2,970,000, which is a new world's record. Forty bidders and observers who gathered for the sale at the Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries.

After the auction, the seller, Kerby Confer, a Southern radio executive, who had remained anonymous during the 16 years he owned the block, identified himself.

Confer said he had a lifelong passion for collecting stamps and coins and was proud to have been a part of the stamp's history.

For more on the history and background the "Inverted Jenny," click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 PM

The Mystery of the Marihauna Tax Stamps

I was rather surprised to get the December 2005 issue of Scott Stamp Monthly (shown above) with a featured article called, "The Mystery of the Marihauna Tax Stamps."

The rather lengthy piece says that, "The just released Scott U.S. specialized catalogue lists the marihuana tax stamps for the first time, but no values have been assigned." The mystery has to do with how the stamps were used.

Referring to the illegal substance as "the intoxicating herb," the article switches back and forth between 'marijuana' and the alternate spelling 'marihuana' which is overprinted on stamps.

Apparently at one time the stamps were quite rare with only a 6 known copies in private collections. However, in February of this year The National Postal Museum released a ton of them on the market and now they are not as valuable as they once were.

To see some of the stamps mentioned in the article, click here.

For more on the marihuana tax act of 1937, click here.

To subscribe to Scott Stamp Monthly, read a sample issue and/or learn more about the new on-line edition , click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Do you know what 'marcophily' is?

I sure didn't until I visited

'Marcophily' is the study of postmarks.

Some of the postmark societies and clubs that have links on the site's topical resources page include the Bullseye Cancel Collector's Club, The International Machine Cancel Society, Post Mark Collectors Club, The Railway Post Office Postmark Society and The US Cancellation Club.

Webmaster John Tollan of Melbourne, Australia says he's willing to put on the site information about postal history collections, covers, research, articles, etc. and add links about other postal history related websites.

For more information and to visit this interesting site, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Dough Boy and the Cookie Stamps

Real men also collect stamps!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

The Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN) reports that the U.S. Postal Service will launch its 'Holiday Cookies' set on Thursday together with Pillsbury officials at the General Mills' headquarters.

The article it goes on to say that the Pillsbury Doughboy along withVonzell Solomon, a former postal worker who was a finalist on the American Idol television show, and Sally Andersen-Bruce, the cookie stamp photographer will be together in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City as part of the promotion for the stamps.

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

Monday, October 17, 2005

Nice on-line story over the weekend from the Daily Nonpareil of Council Bluffs, Iowa about stamp collector - or should we say 'stamp historian' - Chuck Petterson.

Some of the historical stamp projects Petterson has put together includes a collection of penalty mail formats and designs. Penalty mail is official mail sent by U.S. government agencies and includes an engraved penalty stamp rather than a postage stamp.

"The penalty fee for private users has been $300 since 1871," he notes

His #1 exhibit is "The Role of the Mail in the Promotion of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915" and has won several medals.

His other exhibit, a crowd favorite at shows, is "What Happened to My Letter?" which contains mail pieces damaged by fire, airline crashes, flood and mailbox rats, among other fates

The self-employed technical writer says in the article, "I learned from my dad that the most valuable part is not the worth of the stamps but the enjoyment. It's the chase, the challenge and learning - that's what's important."

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

Iowa man sees himself as a 'stamp historian'

1908 cover showing the penalty mail stamp in the upper right hand corner.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Post Office recruiting substitute rural carriers and postmasters

The U.S. Postal Service is looking for substitute rural carriers and postmasters, a job perfectly suited for retirees, "empty nesters," and others who want to meet new people, get exercise, serve their community, make good money and still have time to do other things.

A substitute rural carrier (officially known as a Rural Carrier Associate, or RCA) is paid $16.24 per hour plus overtime and earns annual and sick leave benefits when serving on a vacant route for an extended period of time.

These workers deliver mail on back roads as well as heavily traveled main roads and highways using either their own vehicle or a Postal Service vehicle. If they use their own vehicle, they receive an equipment maintenance allowance in addition to their regular pay.

The substitute postmaster positions (known as Postmaster Relief/Leave Replacement) enable postmasters to have reliable and competent replacements on their scheduled days off or while taking leave. Pay is based on the size of the Post Office and there are opportunities for career development after one year of continuous service.

On-the-job training includes financial transactions, understanding mail classes and special mail services, retail operations and customer relations.

Interested applicants can inquire at any local Post Office with a vacancy and apply for the rural carrier associate exam online at Applicants for either position must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens and have basic English competence. TheU.S. Postal Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Ireland commemorates 50th anniversary of UN membership

(photos courtesy An Post)
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

There are an estimated 20,000 stamp collectors in Ireland according to an Ireland Online article about The Stampa International Stamp Exhibition which opened yesterday in Dublin.

The piece leads with, "The hobby of stamp collecting is often dismissed as boring but today thousands of enthusiasts will descend on Dublin for a major event."

The three-day event is being supported by An Post. At the show a special set of four stamps were released to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the United Nations.

The stamps were unveiled by Margaret McGinley, Chairwoman of An Post. An Post is Ireland's national postal service provider.

Ms McGinley said, "As well as marking the 50th anniversary, these four stamps underscore Ireland`s ongoing commitment to the United Nations and its many and varied spheres of activity and influence.

For more on Stampa 2005, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 14, 2005

Hungary Breast Cancer semipostal shares U.S. design

Hungarian Breast Cancer Research stamp
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

The United States Postal Service is promoting a Hungarian stamp that has the same basic design as the 1998 U.S. Breast Cancer Research semipostal.

In a USPS press release, U.S. Postal Service Postmaster General John E. Potter is quoted as saying, "The image of the U.S. Postal Service's Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp that has raised millions of dollars to fund breast cancer research is now appearing on Hungarian postage to fuel funding for breast cancer research in that country."

"Since its inception in 1998, customers have purchased more than 650 million U.S. Postal Service Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamps to raise nearly $44 million for breast cancer research," explained Potter.

As a "semipostal" stamp, the U.S. Postal Service's Breast Cancer Research stamp sells for 45-cents and is valid for postage in the amount of the prevailing 37-cent First-Class Mail letter rate.

It is interesting to note that 70 percent of the net difference is paid to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and 30 percent is paid to the Department of Defense (DoD). The NIH and DoD, which both conduct breast cancer research, were identified as recipients of the funds by the legislation enacted in 1997.

Hungarian postal officials commented in the release that the U.S. Postal Service was pleased to share its "successful and beautiful design" after receiving a request from Magyar Posta.

The stamp was designed by breast cancer survivor Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, MD, and illustrated by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore.

For more information about the Hungarian Breast Cancer semipostal stamp, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fellow blogger

Stamp dealer and equestrian Michael Dodd of Sydney, Australia has an interesting stamp blog you might enjoy.

Updated daily, Michael shares his thoughts about stamps, FDCs, stamp collecting and his love of horses. He also enjoys giving away free stamps on his other site,, where he has a Children's Corner.

All you have to do is to send him a letter saying "Send me free stamps" (don't for get to add your mailing address) to cddstamps, PO Box 3482, Dural, NSW 2158, Australia, and he will send you 25 used stamps. If you send him 25 stamps along with your request, he will send you 100.

So far he has sent over 115,000 stamps to over 900 people in 71 countries.

Michael writes on the site, "Self promotion maybe, but I'm pleased to be helping so many new, young and even old collectors."

Michael is a member Great Britain Philatelic Society and the Internet Philatelic Dealers Association.

To visit Michael's blog, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Sweden to release 'stamp-on-coin'

Austrian stamp-on-coin
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

The China Post reports that Sweden's central bank, the Riksbank, said Monday it will issue a commemorative coin to mark the 150th anniversary of Sweden's first postage stamp.

The coin will go on sale on Oct. 14 and will be issued in a limited edition of 100,000. It has a face value of 50 kronor (US$6.50, €5.40) and the sales price has been set at 60 kronor (US$7.80, €6.40).

One side of the coin, designed by Swedish artist Annie Winblad Jakubowski, shows a "4 skilling banco" postage stamp and the words "Sweden's first stamp 150 years."

The other side shows a winged letter flying over houses and a forest. On the letter is a French horn, the symbol of the Swedish Post Office.

Shown above is another stamp-on-coin that was released by Austria in 2000. The 20-schilling coin celebrates 150 years of Austrian postage. It bears the likeness of the Austrian 9-kreuzer imperforate (SC 5) issued in 1850 together with a Vienna cancellation.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The man who started John Lennon collecting stamps

(photo courtesy The Washington Post)
Stanley Parkes and John Lennon
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

The Washington Post reports that Stanley Parkes, 72, started his cousin John Lennon collecting stamps and gave the former Beatle his now famous stamp album.

Parkes is quoted in the article as saying, "Well, John, the great thing about collecting stamps is that it helps with your geography. You see, the stamps come from all different countries, and you see the people on the stamps, and you take an interest in why the country exists' "

Lennon's interest in stamps lasted only a few years but the now famous circa-1950 Mercury stamp album is now on display at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

In the article, Parkes is also quoted as saying, "What is this fuss over a stamp book, just because he owned it?"

Neither Parkes nor the Smithsonian knew where the album was until it appeared at an auction in June, when the museum purchased it for about $53,000.

Although this is not mentioned in the article, I've been told there is a scene in the film, "A Hard Day's Night" where Lennon is following a girl, and someone asks him, "Where are you going?"

His reply, "She's going to show me her stamp collection."

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

Monday, October 10, 2005

Happy Columbus Day!

1893 $5 Columbian (Scott # 245)
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

Last month a straight-to-DVD film was released that explores the world of 1893 through a cinematic visit to Chicago's Columbian Exposition.

Titled EXPO - Magic of the White City, it is narrated by Gene Wilder and was filmed in high-definition. The exposition was held in Chicago, Illinois, from May 1 to October 30, 1893. It marked the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World.

On the film's Web site they have pictures of the various stamps, covers, envelopes, and postal stationary that were issued for and about the fair. Unfortunately, there are no write-ups or other background information about the items except for the personal collection of Dr. Neil Jan Gale.

Nevertheless, the material is interesting to look at (especially when it is enlarged), so click here to take a look. Then go out and rent the video.

Happy Columbus Day!

PS - For an interesting article on the controversial Columbian Exposition stamps (which were the nation's first commemorative stamps), click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Post Offices not doing enough

"Post Office should initiate more promotional drives to encourage people to take up stamp collecting as a hobby. To me, they're not doing enough and not having the correct way of doing it."

So says Y. N. Loo of Kuala Lumpur who laments the indifference showed by Pos Malaysia in an article that appears on the Malaysian National News Agency Web site.

Loo also feels Pos Malaysia has been too profit-oriented and tends to neglect its social obligation.

Sounds like some American collectors I know.

A dealer friend of Loo's adds, "Having good stamps but not promoting them is like having a beautiful girl who knows how to put make up but does not go out socialising and ends up not having a boyfriend."

Mmmmmmmmmmm. Never thought about it that way before.

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

Saturday, October 08, 2005

"Sporty cars" illustrator Art Fitzpatrick

(photo courtesy San Diego Tribune)
Art Fitzpatrick (left) and art director Carl Herrman (right).
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

According to the San Diego Tribune, "America on the Move: '50s Sporty Cars" illustrator Art Fitzpatrick, 86, intended to make the viewer want to drive the car. Fitzpatrick placed the cars in settings conjured from his travels, and added a few faces of friends.

"His ads were very emotional," said Postal Service art director Carl Herrman. "You felt the scene was one you wanted to be in."
The title of the collection was changed from "sports" cars to "sporty" cars, because they couldn't find five that fit the definition: a two-door convertible that could be raced and driven around town.
Fitzpatrick replicated five cars and portrayed them in different settings – one of which he modeled after a sunset he saw from his porch overlooking Agua Hedionda Lagoon near San Diego. Most of the models were found in Southern California. The Nash-Healey took them to a Maryland barn, where a collector had 162 of the 500 vehicles originally released, Herrman said.

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

Friday, October 07, 2005

October is a time to celebrate.

Bobbie Siegle writes in her column, Laughing Matters on the News Times (Danbury , CT) Website that there is more than just stamp collecting to celebrate this month.

"It is the national month for many things, including country music, car care, stamp collecting, cosmetology, clocks, and book fairs, as well as awareness of AIDS, collegiate alcoholism, mental illness and breast cancer, among other things," writes Siegle.

According to Siegle there are also lots of things that have their own day this month besides Halloween.

Special days include...
  • Moldy Cheese Day (Oct. 9)
  • Be Bald and Free Day (Oct. 14)
  • Mother-in-Law Day (Oct. 23)
  • National Bologna Day (Oct. 24)
  • Denim Day (Oct 25th)
  • Plush Animal Lovers Day (Oct. 28)
Might make for an interesting topical collection and exhibit - October holidays.

To read Bobbie's entire article, click here
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 06, 2005

USPS commended for heoric actions

The Mailing Industry CEO Council has issued a press release commending the leadership and employees of the United States Postal Service for their heroic actions to restore mail services to businesses and citizens displaced by Hurricanes Katrina.

Amidst widespread destruction across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the U.S. Postal Service once again reaffirmed its universal mission to deliver the mail and....

- Took important steps to protect the mail before the storm hit, moving it away from coastal and low-lying areas where possible.

- Worked around the clock after the storm passed to ensure that Social Security checks -- a lifeline for older people -- were quickly delivered to more than 30,000 residents of Louisiana and Mississippi.

- Swiftly implemented emergency plans to reroute mail around affected areas, and then worked diligently to reopen damaged post offices. Within two weeks, 85% of the 500 shuttered post offices were providing full services to customers.

- Set up and staffed satellite offices and temporary ZIP codes at shelters, so that people could continue to receive their mail, even as they moved from one location to another every few days.

- Made it easy for displaced people to register a new address for themselves. Of the two million addresses affected by the storm, more than 1.7 million have already been successfully reestablished in a new location.

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

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Post Office testing new "Hold for Pickup" delivery option, Associated Press and others report that the Postal Service’s new "Hold For Pickup" delivery endorsement option will allow shippers to send bulky and high-value goods they don’t want left at the door.

Under "Hold For Pickup", customers are notified when items are delivered directly to a nearby Post Office. The shipper is responsible for notifying the customer that the package has arrived and is available for pickup at that location. The parcel would be held for 10 days.

The first test of Hold For Pickup involves Dell computers, the articles said, but other shippers have expressed interest in the service. Fruit shippers, concerned about having their holiday packages freeze in northern states, are especially interested, postal package manager Jim Cochran said.

“We expect that 'Hold For Pickup' will be expanded in the future to include all parcel products to further meet customer needs,” said USPS Product Development VP Nick Barranca.

United Parcel Service (UPS) offers a similiar service whereby packages are held at a UPS Customer Service Center.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

L'shana Tova! Happy New Year!

The 10-day period of the High Holy Days begins and ends with the two most important holidays of the Jewish faith - Rosh Hashana, the "New Year," and Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement."

Rosh Hashana began at sundown yesterday. The new year on the Jewish calendar will be 5766.

The period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur provides time for Jews to resolve conflicts with others before Yom Kippur, when they are expected to repent for sins against God.

The Hebrew holiday greeting, "L'shannah tovah tikatevu," or "May you be written down for a good year," has a universal message.

We wish all our Jewish friends and neighbors a sweet new year.

To learn more about the Jewish High Holy Days and stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 03, 2005

Cincinnati firm donates postal uniforms

WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, Ohio reports that a local firm is sending 1,000 shirts and pants to the postal service in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama.

Unions representing postal workers contacted Arslan Uniforms and its suppliers for help and the shipment went out by express mail earlier this month.

"Many of them have dispersed to other communities," said Steve Arslan, of Arslan Uniforms.

"They obviously want to get back to work. Get on with their lives. They can't really do it without a uniform, so we were fortunate enough to be able to help as much as possible."

To view the Arslan Uniforms on-line catalog of postal uniforms, shoes and other apparel, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Washington 2006 dealer space booked solid

Ken Martin, bourse chairman for Washington 2006, reports that all designated dealer and postal administration booths have now been committed. A waiting list for dealers interested in
participating in the exhibition has been established.

To date, more than 200 dealers have contracted for booth space, either taking their own or sharing with other dealers. In addition more than 100 postal administrations will be on the show floor with their own staffs or represented by agents.

For more on Washington 2006 International Stamp Exhibition scheduled for May 27-June 3 at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Canada celebrates 'Stamp Collecting Month'

(photo courtesy Canada Post)
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

October is celebrated around the globe as the month when collectors celebrate the fun of collecting stamps. Many postal administrations issue stamps with a youth-oriented theme.

This year Canada Post will issue four interesting unusual 50-cent stamps showcasing the youth sports of skateboarding, snowboarding, mountain biking and wall climbing.

Past Canada Post stamp collecting month issues have highlighted fun and educational themes such as astronauts, pets, cartoon superheroes and clowns.

For more interesting factoids about Canadian stamps and postal operations, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM