Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Rarity Revealed

Yesterday I made a pilgrimage to go see the The New York Public Library's Benjamin K. Miller Collection exhibit at the National Postal Museum.

The Miller collection has an interesting connection to Washington 2006 because it contains the only other known example of the 1c "Z" Grill.

One is on display at Washington 2006 as part of the William H. Gross exhibit and the other is at the National Postal Museum.

The National Postal Museum's Philatelic Curator Wilson Hulme has put together a guide book of his personal favorites in the Rarity Revealed: Benjamin K. Miller Collection exhibit.

Among his favorites is a complete set of imperforate Columbians. Believe me, to see them in person was a quite thrill .

To download the Rarity Revealed curator's tour guidebook, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


The National Postal Museum has launched its new online research site called Arago.

Arago allows browsing through the museum's collection database and provides details of the history of stamps and the role of the post office.

According to the museum's web site, the system is named for 19th century scientist Dominique Francois Jean Arago, a friend of James Smithson, the founding benefactor of the Smithsonian. Arago advocated using the most advanced technology available to educate people.

At the site you can build your own collection of digital images of rare stamps from the museum's collection.

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

Monday, May 29, 2006

William H. Gross

An article in yesterday's New York Times features William H. Gross (shown at left), whose collection is the only one to contain every United States stamp issued in the 19th century.

The Times reports, "At first, Mr. Gross pursued collecting out of the public eye, exhibiting his stamps under the pseudonym Monte Carlo at national philatelic gatherings. He later went public and continued to develop his collection under his own name. In a highly publicized auction last fall, Mr. Gross bought a block of four rare misprinted airmail stamps for nearly $3 million and traded them for the Z-grill, completing his 19th-century collection."

According to the Times, organizers are expecting as many as 100,000 people to attend Washington 2006 before the show closes next Saturday, and they say the total value of the stamps on display exceeds $200 million.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 2:31 PM

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Virtual Stamp Club

Want up-to-the minute news information and discussion about stamps and stamp collecting?

Then check out The Virtual Stamp Club (VSC)!

Here at Washington 2006, the Internet-based group has computers for collectors to use to check their e-mail and what's happening philatelically on-line.

While there, they can also try out some demos of collecting software such as EZStamp, AlbumGen,
and EZGrader.

On the VSC website, there are photos of various activities and the latest Washington 2006 news.

Shown above is Lloyd de Vries, VSC forum manager, at the Virtual Stamp Club's Computers in Philately booth.

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

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Washington 2006 catalog

I picked up my copy of the Washington 2006 show catalog at the D.C. Covention Center yesterday. The show doesn't open until today but I was there to help set up and work in the Press Room.

The 336-page catalog is not only loaded with information about the show, its organizers, and exhibits; but comes with three souvenir sheets (shown on the left) from the Marshall Islands, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

One of the things I especially liked about the $20 catalog (besides the souvenir sheets) is the 20-page inside spread that traces the history of written communication. It's illustrated with some great photos of selected items from the "Historical Archive" of the Bolaffi Company.

It starts with the world's first cover from 2100 - 2000 B.C. and ends with a 2002 cover carried by pilot Steve Fossett on his around the world balloon flight.

Besides 'philately', Bollaffi also deals in 'philography.'

If you're not quite sure what 'philography' is, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Friday, May 26, 2006

Alexandria Blue Boy

The Washington Post had an interesting story in yesterday's edition about how a little philatelic detective work matched a letter to the "Alexandria Blue Boy."

The "Alexandria Blue Boy" (shown in the photo) is of the rarest stamps in the world. It got its name from its city of origin and the fact that it is printed on blue paper.

The article says, "Still, many wondered why this stamp -- an Alexandria postmaster provisional printed on blue paper before U.S. government stamps were commonplace -- survived when all others like it were lost or destroyed. If the envelope had been saved for sentimental reasons, did the letter also exist? If so, what did it say?"

To find out, click here.

For more on the Alexandria Blue Boy, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Branded stamps

According to the Washington Post, as part of an effort to reverse the decline in first-class mailings, USPS is allowing companies to create their own branded stamps for first-class mail.

"Instead of flags, you can expect to see a company logo; instead of photos of famous Americans, you might see pictures of your local real estate agent,"reports the newspaper.

"The first company to buy in is Hewlett- Packard, which is using its corporate logo and pictures from its early days -- including founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard (shown above)-- on mail sent to customers and partners."

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

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Dead letter offices and auctions

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, the U.S. Postal Service opened the first dead letter office in 1825 to deal with undeliverable mail.

"Approximately 57 million items end up in this office every year, where enclosed items of value are removed and the correspondence is destroyed."

"When enclosed items are deemed to be of obviously exceptional value, efforts may be made to return them to the sender. Items of value that cannot be returned are sold at auction. Except for pornography and firearms, everything that can be lost in the mail is included at auction. The auctions also occasionally include items seized by postal inspectors and property being retired from postal service."

"These facilities are now known as mail recovery centers (MRC). Other former names include dead letter branch and dead parcel branch. These facilities are not unique to the US Postal Service, and go by different names in other countries. The USPS mail recovery centers are located in Atlanta, GA and St. Paul, Minn."

"However, since 2004, the postal auctions have been held only in Atlanta. These auctions include not only material lost in the US but also material from other national postal authorities who consign them to the USPS for auction."

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sammy Stamp

According to, hundreds of people collect stamps for the Sammy Stamp project in Australia. Reporter Sharon Gray goes behind the scenes and finds out that "the usefulness of stamps doesn’t end at the mailbox."

Begun in 1977 and it has raised over $4 million dollars in profits which have been distributed to a wide range of good causes. These include a water project in New Guinea, emergency relief for the homeless and unemployed in Mildura, and a new aircraft engine in the outback.

Send your used stamps to Sammy Stamp, 130 Little Collins Street, Melbourne 3000.

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

Monday, May 22, 2006

National Dog Bite Prevention Week

Shown at the left is a "wanted poster" at the La Canada-Flintridge, Calif., post office as part of the promotion for National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 21 - 28).

It says "IS THIS YOUR DOG? Even the sweetest dogs can pose a threat if their owners don't take the proper precautions. Help stop dog bites by being a responsible owner. Protect your community by protecting your dog."

The Hopkinton Crier of Framingham, Mass. quotes Hopkinton Postmaster Frank J. Viscardi, Jr. as saying, "The Postal Service is not anti-dog, but pro-responsibility."

"You can help protect your letter carrier, meter reader or newspaper delivery person by making sure your pet is properly restrained or confined," he said.

"Don't think a fence is the only answer, especially if a letter carrier or delivery person has to enter your yard. Please make sure your pet is properly restrained so we can safely deliver your mail."

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

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Columnist sings the praises of stamp collecting

Columnist Bob Baird of the The Journal News in Westchester, NY wrote in his Sunday column earlier this month about his childhood and how stamp collecting helped him in geography and history.

Bob writes, "I knew where Bosnia was long before Yugoslavia came apart at its ethnic seams. I knew a king of England gave up the crown for the woman he loved. I met less-than-famous Americans like Ralph Bunche and Robert Taft. I learned how the Depression followed World War I and how we drifted back to war."

"My collection of stamps from the Gold Coast and Togoland ended when they became Ghana. I watched the Belgian Congo become Zaire. I knew the faces of inventors, presidents and patriots, not because I had seen them on TV, but because I had their stamps in my albums."

He also mentions how trips to the stamp stores on Nassau Street in lower Manhattan helped him learn how to save and spend wisely.

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

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Stamp designer autograph sessions

The U.S. Postal Service has invited several of its stamp designers to attend Washington 2006 and participate in autograph sessions.

They include: Sally Andersen-Bruce, Serigo Baradat, Steve Buchanan, Lonnie Busch, John Dawson, Carl Herrman, Phil Jordan, Ethel Kessler, Terry McCaffrey, Sherrie Russell Meline (2007 Duck stamp), Derry Noyes, Tim O'Brien, Michael Osbourne, Howard Paine, David Pacheco, and Dick Sheaff.

Chris Calle, another popular stamp artist especially of space-related designs, can be found at the American Philatelic Society booth most days of the exhibition.

For a schedule of the stamp designer autograph sessions and the stamps they've designed, click here.

For a good overview of what is calling the "United States International," click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Friday, May 19, 2006

Former CSAC president featured in AP story

Jack Rosenthal, 75, former president of the U.S. Postal Service's Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee, was featured in an Associated Press story, Casper Man Puts Stamp on History, which appeared in the Billings [Wyoming] Gazette on Wednesday.

According to the article, "Rosenthal served on the stamp advisory committee from 1985-92, he designed and pushed through three Wyoming stamps: the 15-cent Buffalo Bill Cody stamp in 1988, the Wyoming Statehood Centennial 25-cent stamp in 1990, and the 29-cent Oregon Trail Commemorative stamp of 1993."

"Rosenthal's scrapbooks detail every aspect of the selection process, including several rejected designs, variations of the print style on the stamp, full sheets of the finished stamps, photographs of the issuing ceremony, transcripts from Rosenthal's speeches he made at the ceremonies, letters from congressmen, and envelopes with special cancellations commemorating the first day of issue."

Shown above, Rosenthal and his new book, "Wyoming on Stamps."

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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Katherine Anne Porter

The first-day-of-issue ceremony for the new Katherine Anne Porter stamp was held this week in Kyle, Texas, where Porter grew up.

Shown unveiling the stamp in a USPS photo are (from left): Texas State University-San Marcos President Dr. Denise Trauth, Porter’s nephew Paul Porter, USPS Governor Carolyn Gallagher and recently retired USPS Vice President George Lopez.

Artist Michael Deas of Brooklyn Heights, NY, did the portrait of Porter which was based on a 1936 photograph made by George Platt Lynes. Deas has done a number of other U.S. stamps including Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant in the Legends of Hollywood series.

According to a USPS press release, "By including a ship in the design, Deas links Porter’s portrait to the sea voyage that inspired her best-selling novel Ship of Fools and to her assessment of life, which she called “this brave voyage.”

Porter received the 1966 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter. Porter died in 1980.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Burt Kerr Todd

It is just being reported by Seattle Times that Burt Kerr Todd has died. Todd, 81, passed away April 28 at his home in Pennsylvania.

Todd's claim to philatelic fame was that he introduced the postage stamp to the tiny kingdom of Bhutan.

According to the paper,"Retained as an adviser by the Bhutanese royal family, Mr. Todd was asked to help expand the country's economic base. He suggested stamps, and Bhutan issued its first regular postage stamps in 1962."

"Some were printed on silk, others on plastic. Most famous were the 'talking stamps,' small rounds of grooved rubber that could be spun on a turntable. One played the Bhutanese national anthem; another had Mr. Todd giving a history of Bhutan. Perhaps in tribute to his Pittsburgh roots, Mr. Todd also had Bhutanese stamps printed on steel. They had a tendency to rust."

"He once tried to found a small kingdom himself, on a deserted coral reef in the South Pacific. Its entire infrastructure was to be built on postage stamps. His dream was dashed, he later said, after Tongan gunboats blew his island paradise to ruins."

To read the entire article, click here.

For more about Bhutan and its stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kaaterskill (N.Y) Post Card Club

The Kaaterskill (N.Y) Post Card Club got a nice write-up and photo in the Kingston Daily Freeman - Kingston,N.Y. yesterday. Shown at the left are Club Secretary John Duda, left, and President Frank Almquist looking over a handful of post cards.

When asked by the reporter, "What makes a postcard collectible?" Almquist said, "The condition of the card and its subject matter."

"You're looking for cards with nice clean edges, not worn down, and a sharp, crisp image."

Of particular value are so-called "topical" cards. " Those are very special. Before they had greeting cards, there were these postcards, for Halloween, Easter, other holidays. Cards like that are worth quite a bit. I prefer the historical cards."

Anything with a pumpkin on it is valuable, Almquist said, or a Santa, or Easter lilies.

"People can get anywhere from $15 or $20 up to more than a $100 for one of those."

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

Monday, May 15, 2006

Coming Unstuck

Over the weekend, the U.K.'s Telegraph published the following editorial, Coming Unstuck, about the collapse of Escala (see post 5/10/2006).

"The philatelic scandal in Spain is shocking news for small boys. A special investment fund whose value was built on rare stamps has turned out to be a fraud, and countless Spaniards have lost their shirts. "

"This wrecks the idea of the innocent hobby so many of us grew up with. We all know that some stamps - the Mauritian blue, the penny black, and various others coveted by King George V - were extremely valuable, but that was not really their point. They taught us about geography: how else would we ever have looked up Bechuanaland, or Basutoland, on a map? "

"We learnt history and current affairs from them, spotting the heads of kings, queens and dictators. We learnt an appreciation of art, for to have a stamp collection of even modest proportions is to have your own art gallery in an album. We learnt how to develop specialisms within a hobby, searching for inverted watermarks, or noting the 24 different shades of the tuppenny-ha'penny blue."

"On wet afternoons they would transport us not merely to far-flung corners of the globe, but back to happier times: who now can look at the majestic "Seahorse" high values of the 1910s and 1920s without feeling the resonance of the powerful nation that issued them?"

"Stamp collecting also served another purpose. It taught small boys the difference between buying and selling. No doubt one such small boy saw the profits that could be made, and started his own investment fund. Such, we fear, is the hinge of fate."

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

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mailbox Improvement Week

USPS is asking its customers to inspect and repair their mailboxes during Mailbox Improvement Week, May 15 to 21.

According to the Postal Service, "Repairing suburban and rural mailboxes improves the appearance of the community and makes delivering and receiving mails safer for carriers and customers."

A few years ago, Alfred Meyer wrote a fun little article, Raising the Red Flag, in Mother Earth News about getting and installing a mailbox for his new home in the country.

He writes the following about Mailbox Improvement Week, " I envisioned an entourage of beribboned postal inspectors cruising up the county road in an open stretch limo. Then I heard the chief thunder to his underlings, on a megaphone and while pointing to my box, "Now, there, you clods, is a rural receptacle the service can be proud of. Stop the car. Get its address, Smithers. I intend to see it receives the Neither Rain Nor Shine Award at once."

To read the entire piece, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 8:32 PM

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sir Gawaine Baillie

Yesterday, I reported that a rather unique sheet of proof stamps featuring the likeness of Charles Connell had been auctioned off. What I didn't mention was, according to McLeans, they were part of the collection of British engineer Sir Gawaine Baillie.

Supposedly Baillie's philatelic holdings were "second only to Queen Elizabeth's collection."

Lots of Stamps by Susan Adams on Forbes. com. takes a look at Baillie and his collection.

"For forty years, Baillie, who led a colorful and privileged life before dying in 2003 at the age of 69, amassed what many experts believe is one of the greatest collections of stamps of the former British Empire, all unused and in perfect condition," writes Adams.

"Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the Baillie collection is the fact that he collected almost entirely in secret. While many of the estimated 30 million stamp collectors world-wide enter contests staged by local philatelic clubs and societies that dole out rewards for the most impressive specimens, Baillie was in a more rarified group that keeps their hobby private."

To read the article (and see a slide showthat goes along with it), click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, May 12, 2006

Connell proof sheet sold at auction

McLeans (Canada) reports that a sheet of proofs with the likeness of Charles Connell sold for $12,650 at a Sotheby's auction.

The five-cent stamps (New Brunswick, SC #5, ) were printed in 1860 as part of the New Brunswick first postage stamp series under the American decimal currency system.

What makes them unusual is that Connell, who was then postmaster general of the region, ordered the stamps and risked treason charges when he put his face on one of them.

"It was unheard of that a commoner, so to speak, would have their image on a stamp - it was always royalty," Jaye Hargrove of the Carlton County Historical Society and Archives said from Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada.

"In that issue in 1860, there were images of a train and a steamship, but to have a postmaster general in the colony ... have the audacity to put his image on, was unheard of."

Apparently, the stamp with Connell's portrait was never issued. The article says, "Connell offered to buy up all the stamps but decided to burn them on the grounds of his Woodstock home instead after he was forced to resign as postmaster general. "

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

Thursday, May 11, 2006

World's largest food drive

According to a USPS annuouncement, national and local media across the country report the 14th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive — sponsored by National Association of Letter Carriers, USPS and Campbell’s Soup — will take place this Saturday, May 13.

Letter carriers and other postal employees in more than 10,000 cities and towns across America will collect non-perishable food items donated by customers and deliver them to local community food banks, pantries and shelters.

According to various sources, this is reputed to be the largest annual one-day food drive in the world.

“The Postal Service is proud to support our nation’s letter carriers and the generosity of customers to enable the collection of millions of pounds of food to replenish community food banks and feed the needy,” said Postmaster General Jack Potter.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Escala stamp scheme collapses, Times UK and others are reporting that shares of Escala, formerly known as Greg Manning Auctions, lost 62% of their value after Spanish police raided their Madrid offices and arrested at least eight people. The company has been under investigation for some time for allegedly defrauding investors in philatelic material by using unrealistic values.

"The stamps underpinned investment contracts that guaranteed a return of 6% to 10% over a fixed period, with a money-back guarantee when the contracts expire. Many of the estimated 350,000 investors, mostly in Spain and Portugal, were retirees buying contracts worth a few hundred dollars. Critics have dubbed the guaranteed-return program a Ponzi scheme that depends on pulling in more participants to continue funding the returns. "

James Kloetzel, editor of Scott's stamp catalogs is quoted as saying buying stamps should be more of a labor of love than an investment strategy.

He says the domestic stamp market was flooded with investors in the late 1970s and burst in 1981, and has since been more the province of philatelists than profit-obsessed investors.

"The market in general is just fine, but it is a collector-driven market, not an investor-driven market," he says.

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

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Viet Nam and E.U. stamp design contest announced

The Viet Nam News Agency announced today that Viet Nam and the European Union (EU) on have launched a postage stamp design competition with the aim of commemorating the "increasingly fruitful liberal relations between the two sides."

With the theme "Viet Nam - European Union Cooperation", the competition was organized by the Viet Nam Post and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT) and the EC Mission to Viet Nam.

At the end of the competition, the best stamp design will be submitted to the Vietnamese Ministry of Post and Telematics (MPT) for official publication in early October.The postage stamp will be the first ever issued to commemorate Viet Nam-EU ties.

The stamp design competition is part of the cultural activities held to commemorate "European Day" in May and the "European Year in Viet Nam in 2006."

For more on the relationship between Viet Nam and the European Union, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 PM

Monday, May 08, 2006

Plan ahead for stamp shows

Janet Klug writing in Linn's says, "In just a few short weeks stamp collectors from all over the world will gather in Washington, D.C., for the eight-day world philatelic exhibition... If you have never attended a stamp show of this size, you need to prepare yourself, to avoid becoming completely overwhelmed."

How true! Having attended several of these in the past I know from personal experience the importance of planning ahead.

"There is so much to see and do, so many miles to cover, and so many dealers to shop that you could easily go into a sort of philatelic overload and short out," says Klug.

She offers some really good tips not only about attending Washington 2006 but stamp shows in general.

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

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Holocaust postcards

Optometrist Dr. Justin R. Gordon spoke to a Jewish youth group last week in Chicago about “The Holocaust Journey.” While not a Holocaust survivor, he is a postal historian.

According to The DePaulia, his talk focused on the postal history of the Holocaust and included a slideshow of postcards some of which were written by concentration camp victims, while others were written by Jews outside the camps.

"Gordon highlighted one postcard that was written from a sub camp in Auschwitz, called Theresienstadt, which was set up as a ghetto for six months and called the “family camp.” The community was set up as a showcase for the International Red Cross. "

"In September of 1943, the prisoners were told to make a mock city with schools and a government. The one condition was that they were required to have a post office from which they were to write periodically to family and friends and tell them that life was good. Six months after the creation of the family camp, the prisoners were ordered to write 10-12 postcards. The following day, every person at the camp was taken to the gas chamber."

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

Saturday, May 06, 2006

New rates based on shape

Besides increasing the First Class rate and the creation of a "Forever" stamp, the Postal Service is proposing new pricing incentives which combines weight with shape to allow them to better align prices with processing costs.

Current pricing relies primarily on a weight based system. The new plan – sent to the Postal Rate Commission (PRC) as part of a 2007 price adjustment proposal makes a distinction between some letters, flats, and parcels.

For example, in First-Class Mail, the current single-piece price is 63 cents to mail a 2-ounce letter, a 2-ounce flat, and a 2-ounce parcel. The new plan recognizes that each of these shapes has substantially different processing costs and should have different prices.

Click here for the full press release, Postal Service Proposes New Approach to Shape a More Efficient Future.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, May 05, 2006

Forever stamp

The USPS Governors have approved filing an omnibus rate case with the Postal Rate Commission to adjust rates in spring 2007 to cover increasing operational costs.

The proposal calls for a 3-cent increase in the price of a First-Class stamp and a new “forever stamp” that would be good for any future 1-ounce single-piece First-Class Mail letter, no matter how prices may change beyond 2007.

USA Today reports more than two dozen countries have used this type of stamp.

The forever stamp would let people hedge against future rate increases. But its price would rise along with that of the first-class stamp. So people who wait for a subsequent price increase to buy the forever stamp would have to pay a higher rate for it.

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

Thursday, May 04, 2006

APS Stamp Talk

Just received a short note from Nancy Clark, host of APS Stamp Talk regarding next week's show.

Nancy says, "It looks as though we'll have Wade Saadi, head of the search committee for a new Executive Director, followed by the ED to be. I'm hoping I will have Ken Martin on for the last slot, to catch us up to date with Washington 2006 and his new position as Deputy Director."

"This will be the last APS Stamp Talk before Washington 2006. There we will have two live broadcasts, at 4 PM on the Wednesday and Friday of the show."

APS Stamp Talk airs live the second and 4th Wednesday of th month from 1:00- 2:00 PM Pacific Time (4:00-5:00 Eastern). You can e-mail Nancy at with any questions or comments.
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posted by Don Schilling at 10:04 AM

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Hungarian post office screens for cancer

United Press International is reporting that Hungary's national post office, Magyar Posta, has begun checking women for cervical cancer for free in a specially designed mobile laboratory in a truck.

Now on a 2-month trial run in the south of the country, the unusual postal service is screening as many 50 women per day, the MTI news agency reported Tuesday.

The report did not indicate how the decision was made for the state agency to enter into the medical field, but said funding was made possible for the $240,000 lab truck based on a decision last year not to send Christmas presents to postal business partners.

Around 400-600 women die in Hungary every year from cervical cancer, a much higher rate than in the rest of Europe, said Medical Officer Ferenc Kovacs. Currently only around 3-5 percent of potential sufferers are screened, he said.

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

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Older Americans Month

May is Older Americans Month. According to the latest demographics for Linn's, their average reader is 66-years-old. The American Philatelic Society says the average age of their members is around 65.

So I think it's safe to say most stamp collectors are definitely older americans.

Older Americans Month originated with a presidential proclamation in May 1963 and has been proclaimed by presidents each year since. Last year, President Bush stated, “Older Americans teach us the timeless lessons of courage, sacrifice and love. By sharing their wisdom and experience, they serve as role models for future generations. During Older Americans Month, we pay tribute to our senior citizens and their contributions to our nation.”

For more about Older Americans from the U.S. Census Bureau, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mountain of mail in the Cayman Islands

With more than 14,000 pieces of undeliverable mail, the Cayman Islands’ central sorting office in Grand Cayman is literally being buried in undeliverable mail according to Cayman Island Net News.

Part of the problem is that mail is not delivered in the Cayman Islands. In the past residents have a post office box and pick up their mail there. If the sender uses a street address and leaves off the post office box number, the mail is undeliverable even though it has a name on.

Shown above is Anthony Williams, acting postmaster general, standing among just some of the letters and parcels that have been accumulating for the past two weeks.

Williams said that mail sent to defunct companies also add to the mail mountain.

“We get a lot of letters for companies that no longer exist and we have to sort these out and send them back as undelivered,” he said.

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