Monday, April 30, 2007

Keys from Titanic mail room auctioned

USPS Newslink reports, "The keys and chain to the mail room on board the RMS Titanic are now in the hands of a private collector who paid more than $200,000 for them during an auction in the U.K.

"The sale — a record for Titanic memorabilia — recalls the bravery of five postal clerks. Three of the clerks were from the U.S. Post Office and two from the Royal Mail. The ship’s Postmaster was Oscar Scott Woody, a 15-year postal veteran and a railroad mail clerk before he began his service aboard the Titanic.

"The 883-foot vessel was on its maiden voyage when it struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Woody and his crew, who were celebrating his birthday, rushed to the mail room in an ill-fated effort to move 400,000 letters to a higher deck. They were still hard at work when the ship slipped under the sea. None survived.

"The keys were recovered from Woody’s body and given to his widow.

“The Postmaster and his staff were the crème de la crème,” Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge told The Times of London. “To serve on a transatlantic steamer, you had to be in the top 1 percent of your profession because you had to sort through hundreds of letters per hour.”

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:32 PM

Columnist writes about his "stamp collection" columnist Bill Ervolino writes about his "stamp collection" that he keeps in a little drawer.

He says, "My stamp collection is colorful and diverse. It contains 32-cent stamps from 1995. It contains 33-cent stamps from 1999. And, it contains all of those 1-cent stamps that I bought to put next to my leftover 32-cent stamps to make them worth 33 cents.

"I have stamps with toys on them, stamps with famous people on them and, of course, stamps with American flags on them.

"Amusingly, these stamps have everything on them but PRICES."

He suggests that perhaps USPS might consider adding aromas to non-denominated stamps so you could just sniff them and be able to tell what they were.

"What does this stamp smell like to you?"

"Hmm .... I'm not sure. Smells like ... 37 cents."

Not a bad idea actually.

To read the entire article, click here.

To find out what your non-denominated stamps are valued at, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Letter carrier tell all

Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on Minneapolis mailman Vincent Wyckoff and his book,"Beware of Cat and Other Encounters of a Letter Carrier."

"On any given day, I probably talk to more dogs than people," writes Wyckoff, 54, but "most of what I've discovered has come from talking to people. ... Walk through someone's life once a day, year after year after year, and you're bound to learn a few things."

According to the paper, "Over a 15-year period, Wyckoff got to know all of his 500 householders, their birthdays, eccentricities, tastes in magazines, tax and domestic troubles, dogs and, yes, the attack cat of the title. He's pushed cars out of snowbanks, played Santa Claus to kids, gone to family celebrations and children's ballgames."

To read the entire, article, click here.

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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Some advice from William Gross

The London Telegraph features an article about bond dealer, multi-millionaire and well known stamp collector William Gross.

In it, Gross (shown at left) is quoted as saying, "In the 1940s, my mother would buy sheets of hundreds of commemorative stamps in the hope that they would appreciate in price so she could send me to college."

He goes on to say, "When I turned 18, she sent me to San Francisco with these stamps to sell them. It was like Jack and the Beanstalk. Unfortunately they offered me less than the face value and I had to take them home again."

"As soon as I had some money I thought I'd better set about doing this right."

According to the article, today Gross's personal fortune is calculated at upwards of $1 billion. He is reputed to be the first person to own one of every stamp ever issued by the United States.

Gross offered up the following tip for those interested in following his footsteps.

"Choose quality over quantity and do your research," keeping in mind "...that the value of a country's stamps tends to correlate pretty closely to the economic strength of the country as a whole."

He also advises collectors to consider stamps from countries such as China, India or Brazil, where recent economic advances could lead to a healthy philatelic market.

No doubt good advice from someone who knows what he's doing.

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

Friday, April 27, 2007

Rate hikes threaten philatelic publications

The Utne Reader raises concerns that the new postal rates in May will "disproportionately raise rates for small and independent publications -- many of which are barely scrapping by in the first place -- and leave large publications relatively unscathed."

The hike will no doubt adversely effect various philatelic publications (and may well drive subscription rates up) such as Linn's Stamp News, Scott Stamp Monthly, The American Philatelist, Global Stamp News and others.

A separate Web site has been established where individuals can send a message to Chairman James C. Miller III, Postal Board of Governors; members of Congress; the Postal Regulatory Commission; and Postmaster General John E. Potter that protests the hike.

The message reads in part, "This goes against more than 200 years of postal policy, which has promoted the spread of diverse periodicals in competitive markets as a means to foster a free press and inform and engage citizens."

Shown above is the now defunct Stamp Collector which went out of business in 2004.

To send an e-mail protesting the hike, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stamps for Vets

According to the Manteca Bulletin in Manteca,California the Veterans Administration Hospital in Livermore, CA wants to start a stamp club.

The effort is being spearheaded by Lee Almquist, who found there was a major problem with boredom when he visited the hospital in Northern California while visiting a friend's grandson who was wounded in Iraq.

According to the article, as a teen growing up,Almquist,was smitten with stamp collecting and the challenges it imposed and thought stamp collecting might do the same thing for the patients at the VA Hospital.

He goes on to say that stamp collecting sparked his interest in aviation. That in turn led him to become an aviator in World War II. According to the paper, he had an aircraft carrier shot out from under him.

Almquist is quoted in the article as saying,“Air mail stamps back then represented freedom, prestige, and power to collectors.”

Almquist is trying to get enough stamps and supplies to start the club. He can be reached at (209)239-2016 or e-mail him at

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mystic Stamp Co. offers video interviews and free booklets

The Mystic Stamp Company has four interesting videos and three free downloadable booklets available on their Web site.

Among the interviews are renowned philatelist Roger Brody discussing some of the fascinating, illuminating, and little-known stories about changes in the development and use of America’s postage stamps since 1847, Michael Sefi (Keeper of the Royal Philatelic Collection) speaking about the collection, author Scott Trepel talking about rarities from the legendary Miller Collection, and David Beech (President, Royal Philatelic Society London) speaking on the legendary Grinnell Missionaries.

The free booklets include The Grinnell Missionaries, The Case for the Grinnell Missionaries and Response to the 2004 Royal Philatelic Society Opinion On the Grinnell Missionaries Stamps by Patrick Culhane.

These and others are also offered on the National Postal Museum Web site and are part Maynard Sundman (shown above) Lecture Series which is funded through a donation to the Museum by his sons David and Donald Sundman. The lectures further philatelic scholarship and explore and interpret new philatelic research.

In 1974, the Sundman family purchased Mystic Stamp Company of Camden, New York. Maynard's son Donald is president. Maynard continues to work with his son David, President of Littleton Coin Company in Littleton, New Hampshire.

To visit the Mystic site, click here.

To visit the National Postal Museum site, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Maryland mother counterfeits metered postage

Matthew Dolan of the Baltimore Sun reports,"...a Maryland mother of two who offered businesses a cheap but illegal way to mail letters and packages was sentenced in federal court to serve 2 1/2 years in prison after admitting she counterfeited hundreds of thousands of dollars in metered postage."

According to the article, "In 2003, Hoffman began to counterfeit metered U.S. postage by printing a legitimate set of postage from and, and then making copies of this postage on her own adhesive backed labels, according to the statement of facts. Prosecutors said Hoffman provided her employees with this counterfeit postage to use in mailing packages and letters, but did not tell them that the postage was counterfeit."

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

Monday, April 23, 2007

'Dead Letter' office is no more

Nearly 100 million letters and packages get lost in the mail and wind up at what used to be known as the "dead letter office".

According to an article that appeared recently in the San Diego Union-Tribune, "In the mid-1990s, officials decided 'dead' sounded too negative and bestowed a more Martha Stewart-worthy makeover title: Mail Recovery Operations."

The paper reports, "Mail gets lost generally for two reasons: mechanical error when the postal machinery damages the envelope and addresses get mixed, or human error – wrong address, wrong postage, no return address."

In the article, Susan Tedrick of the Mail Recovery Program headquarters in Washington, D.C. is quoted as saying, "Postal recovery operations manage to return 68 percent of mail considered of obvious value. What doesn't get returned gets auctioned off to the public at the centers in a grab-bag style of huge lots, where the buyers generally take their chances on what is inside, raising some $8.2 million for postal operations."

According to the paper, lost mail deemed worth more than $10 gets shipped to a Mail Recovery Center, either in Atlanta, Georgia or St. Paul, Minn. and individuals can reclaim such items by calling (800) ASK-USPS.

Shown above in a Union Tribune photo is USPS employee Lori Ferguson-Costa as she attempts to find owners of undeliverable mail in San Diego County.

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

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Greetings from The History Channel

NewsBlaze of Folsom, California reports that yesterday The History Channel kicked off a 10-part, weekly series that chronicles the unique histories of each of the 50 states. Each state profile will be introduced using one of the "Greetings from America" stamps, a pane of 50 stamps celebrating each of the 50 states.

According to the article, "The stamps made Postal Service history when issued in 2002. It was the first time ceremonies were held in the capitol of every state on the same day."

The Greetings from America stamps were illustrated by Lonnie Busch of Franklin, N.C. Busch's art was inspired by the retro "large letter" postcards that were used in the 1930s and '40s to advertise cities, states or tourist attractions. Bearing the legend "Greetings from," these retro postcards featured depictions of local scenes inside big letters that spelled out the name of the place or attraction.

The stamps combine flora, fauna and objects with local points of interest into collages (the Georgia peach, the Colorado Rockies, the dairy farms of Wisconsin, Mississippi steamboats, the beaches of Delaware).

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

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Post Office returns home

The USPS NewsLink reports that the small town of Mountain Ranch, CA, (75 miles southeast of Sacramento ) "has reclaimed its first Post Office and along with it, a small piece of its history."

According to the report, "A half-century ago, the land where the postal facility had stood since 1869 was sold. The new owner moved the building to a neighboring community, where it remained — unused and unnoticed — until now."

Wally Motloch, a Mountain Ranch resident and president of the Calaveras County Historical Society is quoted as saying, ““Since the 1950s, we’ve been trying to get it back."

Shown above in a USPS photo, a workman unloads Mountain Ranch’s oldest — and smallest — off on the back of a truck.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, April 20, 2007

Indonesia/China joint issue

In a move designed to help mutual understanding, Maria Margaretta Vivijanti on the website reports Indonesia's postal service has issued a joint issue with China commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Indonesia and the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Vivijanti writes, "This issuance is important not only because of the record of the suspension of relations between the countries but also because of the significance of promoting Indonesian stamps to philatelists outside the country."

Reporter Vivijanti is also a stamp collector.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2007

French plan green postal service

BBC News reports the French postal service, La Poste, plans to order 10,000 electric delivery vehicles, which it says are far more economical than normal cars or vans.

According to the report, "La Poste has been testing eight French electric vehicles since 2005, made by SVE - a firm owned by the defence group Dassault and vehicle manufacturer Heuliez."

La Poste chairman Jean-Paul Bailly is quoted in the article as saying, "According to our tests, it is six times cheaper to run an electric vehicle than a diesel vehicle."

La Poste believes the change will also cut emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) by four tonnes per vehicle annually.

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rare map on new German stamp

Eux.TV of the Netherlands reports that yesterday Germany issued the stamp shown here which commemorates the German cartographer, Martin Waldseemüller, who unwittingly gave the Americas the wrong name in a map he drew 500 years ago.

The postage stamp depicts 12 sectional maps in the style of the Waldseemüller wood-block-printed map of the world.

Waldseemüller, unaware that Christopher Columbus was the first European sea-captain to reach the Americas, placed the landmass and its peoples on his map under a name inspired by Amerigo Vespucci (1471-1512), an Italian-born Spanish explorer.

Shown above is Waldseemüller's 1507 map which was purchased in 2003 for $10 million by the Library of Congress making it one of world's most valuable maps.

For more on Herr Waldseemüller, click here.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

London 2010 - Festival of Stamps

London will host a major international philatelic event - London: 2010 Festival of Stamps - which will be held May 8-15, 2010.

Why 2010?

According to the British Postal Museum and Archive it marks the centenary of the accession of King George V, the renowned 'Philatelist King' who is reputed to have spent three afternoons a week with his stamp collection when he was in London.

The Festival will be a year-long celebration of exhibitions and events to mark this centenary and will be part of the cultural and artistic lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics Games.

The British Postal Museum and Archive reports it will support the Festival by coordinating a series of events at museums, archives, libraries, and other venues across the capital.

"This will create a Festival in every sense of the word, that will re-generate an interest in stamps, especially among younger audiences," according to the British Postal Museum and Archive Web site.

For more information on the 2010 Festival of Stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 16, 2007

Faux postage stamps

Shown here is an example of 'faux postage' or 'artistamps' which are produced by many artists around the world.

Known as "Cinderellas" in the philatelic world, reveals, "There are a variety of ways to produce perforations including using a dressmaker's wheel, special scissors that cut in a "wave" pattern and, of course, there is nothing wrong with producing stamps sans perfs by just cutting them straight. However, if you are lucky enough to have an old Rosback perforator, then you have the real thing....perfect, round perforations in gummed stock."

The Olathe Poste has an original, 1916 vintage Rosback pinhole perforator and will perforate your stamps - be they real or fake. You can also buy pre-perforated stock from their sister company WPC-NM Online.

The site says, "They carry 4 types of bright white artistamp papers in stock at all times for immediate delivery. All papers are dry-gummed, to produce a finished piece of art like it's supposed to be... miniature and meant to be licked."

For more on faux stamps and links to the people who make them, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Jackie Robinson honored on three U.S. stamps

Sixty years ago today, baseball great Jackie Robinson made his major-league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the International News Service website that, "Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in the modern era, and a world of possibility opened for African-Americans...By breaking the color barrier in baseball, Robinson pioneered the integration of professional sports in America."

Robinson, the son of sharecroppers, was born in Cairo, Ga., in 1919. He was a tremendous athlete who became the first man to win letters in four sports (baseball, basketball, football and track)at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, is quoted in the article as saying, "Jackie Robinson changed American society. There's no question about it."

Shown here are three U.S. stamps that have been issued in honor of Jackie Robinson over the years. Most U.S. Presidents are lucky if they have one or two.

To find out more about Jackie Robinson, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Carrier Alert

The Associated Press reports that New York City letter carriers will be watching out for their elderly customers as part of the USPS revived Carrier Alert program.

The National Association of Letter Carriers supports the program and says "there have been hundreds of cases nationwide of homebound people being saved because their letter carriers noticed something amiss."

According to the AP, "The Carrier Alert program was created decades ago in New York and many other cities nationwide but fizzled out over the years. In some areas, it has experienced a recent resurgence, and now New York is rejoining the initiative, linking it with the city's 311 telephone information hot line so that carriers have one central place to call."

Robert Durek, USPS New York district manager and postmaster is quoted in the article as saying, "For seniors who feel isolated, or if they're homebound, our letter carriers are sometimes the only point of contact they have with the outside world. Our carriers are on the street six days a week and often provide the extra eyes and ears while they are delivering mail."

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

Friday, April 13, 2007


According to Larry T. Nix on his Library History Buff web site, the term "bibliophilately" was first used by George Eberhart in an article in American Libraries in June, 1982. Eberhart defined 'bibliophilately' as the study of books and libraries on postage stamps.

Larry says he got hooked on collecting library related postage stamps as the result of Eberhart's 1982 article and has since expanded his collecting interests to include library covers/envelopes, postal cards, and other items which he calls 'postal librariana.'

Larry (shown above) also created several library related philatelic exhibits to include; America's Libraries 1731-1920 (10 frames), America's Presidential Libraries (3 frames), the American Philatelic Research Library (1 frame), America's Libraries on First Day Covers (4 frames), and America's Libraries -The Stamp (5 frames).

To visit Larry's fascinating Library History Buff web site, click here.

To see some of Larry's 'postal librariana' , click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 12, 2007

'Forever' stamp goes on sale today

USPS says when the 'Forever' stamp goes on sale today at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA, "it will be an historic occasion on several levels."

"Not only will it always be good for First-Class Mail postage for a 1-ounce letter, but the stamp itself may prove to enjoy the longest print run of any stamp. Conceivably, our children’s children could still be using these stamps."

The task of printing more than five billion 'Forever' stamps was split among the security printing divisions of three printers. Shown above, in a USPS photo, 'Forever' stamps roll off the presses in Buffalo, NY.

Booklets of 20 stamps will be available at a variety of retail venues including vending machines and retail counters. Sheetlets of 18 will be available at automated postal centers and automated teller machines.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Britain's 'Travelling Post Office' reports, "The British Postal Museum begins a new exhibition this month which looks at the Travelling Post Office (TPO). The Royal Mail train was dropped in 2004 but a small reversal over this decision was made over the Christmas season that year, and it began operating some TPO trains with a competitor - GB Railfreight."

According to the site, "TPO's consisted of one or more rail carriages in which the manual sorting of letters take place. The first experimental TPO travelled on 6 January, 1838 between Birmingham and Liverpool and was made out of a converted horse box. After Uniform Penny Postage was introduced in 1840 and the volume of mail exploded, many more of these carriages were introduced to cope with the demand."

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Young philatelist has an eye on the future

At the age of 13, Nasser Bin Ahmad Alserkal is the youngest member of the Emirates Philatelic Association and already an award-winning collector reports Dubai’s XPRESS.

Nasser started collecting when he was eight years old when his father, also a collector, gave him an envelope with some stamps on it. The eldest of four brothers, Nasser is a eighth grade student with "an eye on the future."

He's quoted in the article as saying, “When I am 30 years old, I think I will stop collecting stamps. I want to teach my kids things about philately, just the way my father supported me.”

Shown above, Nasser with the bronze medal he won at the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition.

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

Monday, April 09, 2007

College and school stamps

The April 2007 edition of Scott Stamp Monthly has a nice review of James N. Drummond's new book, College and School Stamps.

The softbound publication, with color illustrations, catalogs stamps used by colleges and business schools in the mid-to-late 1800s when postage stamps were still a new idea.

According to SSM, "To teach students how to affix revenue stamps and regular postage stamps, business colleges created imitiation stamps to be used in classes."

"Two colleges in the United States used stamplike labels to denote prepayment of fees for transporting mail from the college to the local post office, and several colleges, primarily in Britain, used college 'stamps' for room-to-room mail in dormatories."

Cost of the 236-page publication is $60 plus $4 for shipping and handling. To order, write to James N. Drummond, 19335 Pauma Valley Drive, Porter Ranch, CA 91326.

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

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Stamps R Art

Here's a question for you...

If you expose a typical 19th century stamp for 8 hours a day under the lights of a typical room/office, how many years before the stamp will begin to show signs of fading?

Mark Wardas has got the answer to that and a lot more on his Stamps R Art Web site.

Devoted to the education of stamp collectors on issues of philatelic preservation and care, the site offers a lots of good information on the other 4 Ps in Philately -Paper, Plastic, Preciptiation, and Photons.

According to Mark, the answer to the above questions depends on how much previous exposure to UV and VISIBLE light the stamp has already experienced. In extreme cases the stamp could begin to fade with very little further illumination. If the stamp had never been exposed to UV or VISIBLE light, it probably would not begin to fade until it had been illuminated for about 10 years.

To check it out, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Anti-Israel stamps

Round-Up reader Michael Pitkowsky found an interesting article on the Web site. The piece by Charlotte Hall is about Israeli collector Lawrence Fisher and stamps that carry anti-Israel messages.

When Fisher learned that such stamps had been issued by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Yemen and others, he began began collecting them. Later on he put together a rather remarkable and unusal exhibit.

According to Fisher, stamp collecting is a hobby which provides much room for individual innovation.

"Just collecting stamps and putting them in an album doesn't do it for me," he says. "I like to try and create a story out of the stamps and postal covers, everything that answers the theme. It's an amazing way of telling history."

Shown above is an anti-Israel stamp(Scott 271) from Egypt issued in 1948. Egypt invaded Israel that year with the declared intent of destroying her and eventually occupied the Bethlehem area near Jerusalem.

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

Friday, April 06, 2007

Stamp collecting alive and thriving

Peter Katona of the Columbia News Service writes in the Chicago Tribune, "Stamp collecting isn't what it used to be. The hobby once rooted in collectors' homes and schools and in small stamp shops scattered around the country is now grounded on the Internet."

According to Katona,"These changes have led to countless rumors that philately, as the hobby is called, is dying."

He goes on to report, "But while many longtime collectors lament some of the changes their pastime is facing, there is no doubt that philately is thriving. Stamp values are on the rise, and the number of collectors is growing as novices increasingly use the Internet to try their hand at the 170-year-old pastime."

The U.S. Postal Service estimates that there are more than 4 million stamp savers nationwide, according to the piece.

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

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Price of a stamp also going up in New Zealand

The United States isn't the only country raising the price of mailing a letter.

The New Zealand Herald reports the price of a stamp for a standard domestic letter is to rise to 50c at the beginning of June. The increase is the first since April 2004 when the price rose from 40c to 45c.

The paper quotes NZ Post's mail chief Peter Fenton as saying growth in the number of addresses to which it delivers and higher labour costs had made the increases necessary.

Even at 50 cents it cost less to send a standard letter in New Zealand than in Australia, Britain, Canada and most of the other countries, Fenton said.

By comparison, Australia's standard postage rate was the equivalent of 56 cents in New Zealand currency, Britain's was 65 cents; Canada's 66 cents; Ireland's 89 cents; Germany's $1.02; and Norway's $1.49.

Coverted to US dollars, 50 cents in New Zealand currency equals approximately 36 cents. [Editor's Note: 1 NZD = 0.718345 USD according to the currency conversion Web site.]

The article also mentions that last month NZ Post chief executive John Allen said the volume of domestic letters handled by his company was falling at the fastest rate in six years.

They must have e-mail there too, huh?

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

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Unaccounted Movers

An article by Sharon Neuenfeldt on the Multichannel Merchant Web site says that the U.S. Postal Service reports that 14.2% of the public moves to a new address each year.

Of these movers, approximately 10 to 20% never report their new address to the USPS.

According to the Neuenfeldt, "Each year, companies that rely on direct mail campaigns lose millions of dollars on a seemingly uncontrollable problem: unaccounted for movers and inaccurate mailing lists."

"For example, for a mailing of 1 million pieces that cost a modest $0.55 each and net $2.50 in revenue per piece, the losses can total more than $365,000."

In a related Associated Press article, almost 4,000 ballots of more than 20,000 mailed this past week in Fairbanks, Alaska for a special election by post have been returned as undeliverable.

To learn what can be done about the problem, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Pitney Bowes has entered the personalized stamp/postage label market with StampExpressions.

Only this time you can create your own at home.

Unfortunately, they'll only be in black and white.

Right now, you can try it out for 30 days. Cost is $79 for the printer (plus shipping) and an annual subscription fee of $59.99 (postage and supplies are not included). Offer is limited to U.S. residents.

Although it looks like fun, I think I'll wait until they can print out in color.

My dog is tan.

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

Monday, April 02, 2007

Scott Stamp Monthly seeks helpful philatelic Web sites

Editor Michael Baadke of Scott Stamp Monthly writes about some of his favorite philaletic Web sites in this month's issue.

In an article, "Online Stamp Hobby Resources Are Everywhere," Baadke encourages collectors to go on-line because there are a great many "useful resources specifically designed for the stamp collectors."

Among those sites Baadke uses and enjoys are the American Philatelic Society (, Fabio's Stamp Resources (, Linns (, Scott Stamp Monthly (, and Zillions of Stamps (

One he didn't mention was The Round-Up.

However, he says he would like to know about other informational Web sites that are helpful to collectors. In the article, he encourages people to write him. [Hint, hint]

If you have any personal favorites you enjoy [Hint, hint], you can e-mail him [Hint, hint] at Use "The Editor's Forum" as your subject line.

He'll then share those received in a future issues.

Mmmmmmmmmmm...anyone know of a good informational philatelic Web site OR BLOG, perhaps, he should know about? [HINT, HINT!]
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Locations of R2D2 mailboxes

Shown here Postmaster Linda Wagner poses with an R2D2 mailbox in Lewiston, Maine. Wagner has been with the U.S. Postal Service for 18 years. R2D2 just a couple weeks.

By the way, several sites have popped up on the Internet showing where the R2D2 mailboxes are located.

Among these are which has an interactive map of the United States showing the locations along with photos. Because the map is limited to only 100 sites, additional sites are listed as well.

Have fun.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM