Saturday, September 29, 2007

OK for carriers to cross lawn

Apparenting there's a big flap in Monroe, Wisconsin over a mail carrier leaving his foot print on a recently seal-coated driveway.

According to the Monroe Times, "Lawn crossing is one of the core agreements governed by the national contract between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the national letter carriers union. "

"...letter carriers are expected to cross lawns while making deliveries if the customers do not object and there are no particular hazards to the carrier. In most cases, delivery can be made more quickly when carriers are permitted to cross lawns, especially in suburban development."

However, Monroe Postmaster Dawn Obermann is quoted as saying the agreement doesn't include cutting across newly seeded lawns or newly coated driveways.

The mail carrier apologized but the homeowners are still ticked-off.

The article reports, "There are three ways customers can prevent a mail carrier from cutting across a lawn: by submitting a signed letter to the post office, putting a note in the mailbox or calling the USPS at (800) 275-8777. "

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 6:29 PM

Free booklet on history of Postal Service

Bill McAllister, the Washington correspondent for Linn's Stamp News reports the Postal Service's official 84-page publication, The United States Postal Service: and American History 1775-2006 is just off the press.

McAllister says, "It's an excellent compendium of the nation’s mail service, prepared and updated by Megaera Ausman, the Postal Service historian.

He goes on to say, "The new edition is enriched by more historic photographs. Noteworthy is a two-page spread of New Deal postal art from the lobbies of post offices in Arkansas, New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa.”

For a free copy write to Ms. Megaera Ausman at USPS Headquarters, 475 L'Efant PLaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20260-0012.

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Stamp shoes

If you love shoes, are cramped for space and are a stamp enthusiast, Onesole has a deal for you or the perfect Christmas present for the female philatelist in your life.

The company sells a comfortable, casual sandal with interchangeable tops featuring images from stamps, including the Greetings from America state stamp series.

USPS has licensed the images to Onesole. “The tops are selling phenomenally,” says Onesole President and Creator Dominique Barteet in a USPS announcement.“We can’t believe how loyal people are to their states.”

Onesole shoes are available at more than 1,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Polar Lights

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a pane of 20 Polar Lights 41-cent commemorative postage stamps in two designs(often known as auroras) on Oct. 1.

According to a USPS press release, "As part of the International Polar Year 2007-2008, the call is to bring attention to the role of polar research in global processes of these fascinating phenomena -- polar lights. The 'southern lights or aurora australis' and 'northern lights or aurora borealis' are brilliant emissions of light."

The polar lights are a luminous glow seen in the night sky at high latitudes surrounding the north and south magnetic poles. Throughout history the polar lights have inspired a colorful folklore; today they are the focus of many nations.

The two First-Class stamps on this pane of 20 were also featured on the International Polar Year 2007-2008 souvenir sheet issued this past February.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ruben Salazar honored on stamp

The Los Angeles Times reports that, "In honor of trailblazing newsman Ruben Salazar's relentless efforts to chronicle the complexity of race relations in Los Angeles, the U.S. Postal Service in 2008 will issue a commemorative stamp of the former Los Angeles Times reporter and columnist.

Postmaster Gen. John E. Potter is quoted as saying, "He was a groundbreaker for Latinos in this country, but his work spoke to all Americans. By giving voice to those who didn't have one, Ruben Salazar worked to improve life for everybody. His reporting of the Latino experience in this country set a standard that's rarely met even today."

According to the paper, "Some Mexican Americans called him "la voz de la Raza", the voice of the people, and his often blunt columns spoke to the desires and frustrations of a community."

Salazar was one of three people killed during a bloody Vietnam War protest held in East Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 1970. He was 42.

In an interview, Lisa Salazar Johnson, 46, one of Salazar's three children, said, "When the Postal Service sent me a copy of the color image they planned to use, I cried. To see the '41 cents' on a real live U.S. stamp with Dad's picture on it made me utterly proud of his accomplishments."

The Salazar commemorative will be among five stamps honoring U.S. journalists to be officially unveiled in Washington on Oct. 5.

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

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Postal Service pulls plug on lobby TVs

The Fayetteville Observer reports the plug has been pulled on TVs in Post Offices according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Several years ago, the agency had wall-mounted TVs installed at many post offices around the country in order to play videos about new Postal Service products and services.

They weren’t supposed to be used to show movies or TV shows.

According to the paper, "Now the TVs aren’t supposed to be used at all. The Postal Service now uses countertop and lobby displays, not broadcasts, to market its products and services. A few months ago, the agency started trying to get the word out to all of its offices to either remove the TVs or, if that was expensive, to simply leave them off."

To read the short write-up, click here

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 24, 2007

Postage stamp give-away

Ohio elections officials suspect that Akron Councilman Bruce Kilby has been buying votes - one postage stamp at a time. According to the Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, Kilby has been giving away $1 postage stamps to absentee voters.

While he considers the practice no more illegal than the emery boards, calendars or free rides to the polls offered by other candidates, the County Board of Elections members will decide this week whether to refer his campaign techniques to the county prosecutor and the sheriff for investigation.

Kilby sent the postage stamps to absentee voters because he wanted to make sure that no one failed to vote because they could not afford the 97-cent postage required. Kilby said his postage bill for absentee ballots during this year's primary was $382 - $1 for the absentee envelopes and the 41-cent cost of mailing the $1 stamp to them.

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

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Shops

According to, there's a new opera called The Shops being performed in and around London.

Its central character, Christoph Schmalhans, is an obsessive stamp collector who manages to steal prize examples from museums with the aid of his girlfriend, who distracts attention by causing scenes.

Christoph lives alone with his mother and keeps his collection secretly in his bedroom.

His activities eventually attract the interest a stamp-collecting policeman.

Ironically all the stamps are flushed down the toilet by his mother. In between, there’s a running commentary on the phenomenon of shopaholics, with testimony from members of a mutual support group.

Pictured above, Darren Abrahams as Christoph Schmalhans.

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

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) celebrates its 50th Anniversary

USPS's NewsLink reports the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) was created
in 1957 by then Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield in an effort "to encourage citizen involvement in postal policy."

Since then the CSAC has been tasked with evaluating the merits of all stamp proposals. Approximately 50,000 suggestions are received each year.

According to the USPS, the committee provides a "breadth of judgment and depth of experience in various areas that influence subject matter, character and beauty of postage stamps." Committee members are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Postmaster General and is composed of a maximum of 15 members.

Over the years, its members have included such well-known Americans as artist Andrew Wyeth, novelist James Michener, actor Karl Malden and sports commentator Richard “Digger” Phelps.

CSAC Chairman Ronald Robinson is quoted as saying, “More than 3,000 stamps reflecting the diversity, history and culture of this great nation have been developed under CSAC’s guidance, resulting in a stamp program that’s considered one of the world’s greatest.”

Shown above, in a USPS photo, are current CSAC members [from left] Chairman Ron Robinson, Donna de Varona, Sylvia Harris, David Eynon, Michael Heyman, Jessica Helfand, Jean Firstenberg, Martin Pedersen, Joan Mondale, Benjamin Bailar and Cary Brick. Other members, not pictured, include John Hotchner, James Mih and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

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

Friday, September 21, 2007

Major league postage

The USPS News Link reports Postmaster Sue Gerber of Camp Lake, WI, won the Lakeland Postal District’s Grand Slam Employee Design-a-Stamp contest, where employees create baseball-themed postage.

Gerber and the next two vote-getters each won a sheet of stamps of their designs and a trip onto the field of Brewers’ Miller Park before the start of a recent home game.

Milwaukee Brewers Manager Ned Yost [shown above] unveiled Gerber’s stamp — an elegant pencil drawing — before a crowd of 43,751 fans. The stamp unveiling highlighted several activities celebrating the Lakeland District’s Employee Appreciation Day at Miller Park.

The Milwaukee Postmaster threw out the game’s first pitch. A rural carrier drove onto the field to deliver the game ball. A retail associate designed a special postmark, available for purchase at the game, to commemorate the event.

Click here to view the top 10 stamp designs and the special postmark.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Postage stamps: a teacher's aid

The Jamaica Gleaner reports that teachers have an additional resource that they may not have been aware of - the postage stamp.

The paper says, "Increased interest can be generated by using the postage stamp as a teaching aid, and this applies across the age group spectrum from kindergarten to the secondary level."

"Postage stamps actually provide a glimpse into life within any country. Situations that may be familiar to us may be experienced by someone else in another land far away. Details in each postage stamp's design allow a teacher to explore ideas related to the lesson, thus creating an effective method for enhancing the learning experience while focusing on the topic at hand."

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Swiss stamps honor British writers

Swiss Post has released four stamps with an English literary connection as part of its series portraying Switzerland through the eyes of foreign artists.

According to, "British artist James Peel viewed Switzerland as a location that inspired some of the great works of English Romantic literature and composed four photographs that also reflected the unique seasonal passage of alpine water."

Peel, who now lives in New York but was resident artist at the Laurenz House Foundation in Basel in 2006, says there are two concepts behind the photographs, which he shot in black and white "because I wanted a sense of history".

"The first idea was of water flowing. Switzerland is a very fluid, liquid place; there's always a sense of a cycle. I wanted to get that idea across with snow in the mountains going down into a waterfall, then a river, then a lake and then obviously evaporating.

"A lot of my work is around ideas about Romanticism and places, history and memory," Peel told Swiss Info, explaining why he had focused on four 19th-century authors: Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Lord Byron.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 7:22 PM

Happy 60th to the U.S. Air Force

According to, as a child, Maj. Todd Copley had two favorite hobbies, stamp collecting and aviation.

Looking ahead to today's 60th anniversary of the Air Force celebration, the C-130 flight navigator figured out a way to combine the two.

Shown here, Maj. Copley, who is stationed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., displays a pictorial cancel and cachet he designed.

David Parks, an employee at the Marietta Post Office, worked hand-in-hand with the major in creating the postmark. He said that even though the post office hasn't officially advertised the cancellation it is already a popular item.

Although the article doesn't mention it, the cover also features the recent James Stewart commemorative. Stewart, who served in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War, retired as a Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve.

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

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sweatbox - great for soaking hologram stamps! defines a "Sweatbox" as a closed box containing dampened spongelike material, over which stuck-together unused stamps are placed on a grill. Humidity softens the gum, allowing separation of stamps. In some cases, the sweatbox may be used to help remove a postally used stamp from envelope paper.

According to Janet Klug, past president of the American Philatelic Society, in an article about working a mixture says, "You can buy or make your own sweatbox for removing paper from those stamps that should not be placed in a water bath, such as hologram stamps."

Klug says to make your own sweatbox get plastic container with a tight fitting lid and a sponge. Then put a half-inch of water in the bottom of the container. Place the sponge in the water and allow it to draw up some of the moisture. Then put the stamp on top of the sponge and put the lid on the container.

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

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The postmen of Baghdad reports, "Carved over the entrance to the General Post Office in New York City is this inscription: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

"The postmen of Baghdad, however, braving war-scarred streets in their boxy yellow vans, live by another unofficial motto; come bullets, bombs or blast walls, the mail must get through. "

The head of the Iraq Post and Savings Directorate, Safaadine Badr is quoted in the article as saying, "I consider the postmen to be mujahideen (holy warriors). I call them that because they defy the bad security situation, like explosions, to deliver mail throughout Baghdad."

According to Reuters, "Four of the city's 72 post offices have been destroyed in violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Only one postman in Baghdad is known to have been killed.

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

Saturday, September 15, 2007

1926 International Collection of Postage Stamps

Round Up reader Nick Blackburn sends along an interesting archived article that appears on the Time magazine website about the "International Collection of Postage Stamps" that was held in 1926 in New York City.

According to Time, one of the attendees felt the exhibition had, "Hundreds of thousands of silly little pieces of paper, oblong, square, three-cornered, printed in faded colors, smudged with ink marks, none of them bigger than a square inch or so, none of them very beautiful, and none of them the least use in the world."

"Such rubbish", said the woman, eyeing disdainfully a red and black oblong all by itself in a glass case ten times too large for it. She thought it all might as well be burned."

"If, in answer to the woman's thought, all the assembled stamps had been thrown into a fire, the conflagration would not have been great, but the resultant damage would have been in excess of 20 million dollars."

Oh, by the way, the stamp (which is shown above) that woman was referring to was the "British Guiana 1856," the world's rarest and most valuable stamp at that time!

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

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mendez v. Westminster

According to the USPS, today many of the students who attended desegregated schools for the first time in 1947 will be on hand when the U.S. Postal Service dedicates a stamp to honor the case that made it possible, Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al.
Thurgood Marshall, Jr., member, U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors, and stamp dedicating official is in the release as saying, “This stamp captures the vision and inspiration of a group of parents who fought the odds to make a difference for all Americans."
Marshall’s father, Thurgood Marshall, represented the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as a friend of the court in the case. Seven years later, Marshall drew upon key legal points from Mendez et al. v. Westminster School District et al. in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which abolished segregation in schools nationwide.

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

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Philatelic female firsts

The National Association of Letter Carriers, which represents 300,000 active and retired U.S. Postal Service city delivery carriers, has officially endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president.

While she may become the first female President of the United States, she won't be the first woman on a U.S. postage stamp.

Surprisingly, that honor goes to Queen Isabella of Spain who was featured on a $4 stamp issued in 1893 which commemorated the 400th anniversary of Columbus's discovery of the new world. The stamp (shown above) pictured her and Christopher Columbus as part of set that has become known as the Columbians.

The first American woman to be commemorated on a stamp of her very own was the first First Lady -- Martha Washington in 1902.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Jury Duty" stamp released

A new stamp hopes to call attention to the importance of jury duty will be released today at the Manhattan State Supreme Court in New York City. The first-day-of-issue ceremony will be the highlight of the Juror Appreciation Day celebration, an annual event that salutes New York jurors.

Mary Anne Gibbons, senior vice president, general counsel of the Postal Service will co-host the ceremony along with Chief Judge Judith Kaye of New York. Both will speak about the importance of jury service. A group of nationally known celebrities who have performed jury service in New York will also participate in the event.
Gibbons is quoted in a USPS news release as saying, "Serving on a jury is an important part of public service to ourcommunities. It is a role that should be taken most seriously. This stamp is an excellent way to highlight its significance."

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Heroes of 2001

"We ask every American to use the "Heroes of 2001" stamp on every letter and package they send. Because by doing this, we are also sending a message to our friends and a stark reminder to our enemies: We are Americans.

We do not shirk our duty. We do not flee from danger. And we do not forget our heroes. Much has changed since that day in September. Some of us may be tempted to trust a little less. Don't. Rather, I encourage you to look to the example of the heroes of 2001, and instead to trust a little more.

And I promise you today, we will not allow the mail-a basic service provided by our government to its people-to be taken hostage by shadowy enemies.

We will continue to do everything possible to protect this vital symbol of American commerce and freedom. And we will continue to do everything possible to protect our employees and all the American people."

- John E. Potter, Postmaster General of the United States, in remarks at the first day of issue ceremony in 2002.

Click here for a 9-11 tribute honoring the New York City firefighters who died on September 11th, 2001.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 10, 2007

125-year-old post office finally gets air conditioning

The Orlando Sentinel asks, "Since 1882, Wood & Swink Old Store and Post Office in Evinston, Florida has weathered shootings, hurricanes and ill-mannered Yankees...but can it survive air conditioning?"

"As Florida's oldest post office delivers its 125th year, the town hopes to preserve the timeworn shop by modernizing it. Plans call for adding central air and heat, a fire-sprinkler system, and ramps and bathrooms for the disabled in stages during the next two years -- but with great care because the structure is on the National Register of Historic Places."

An interesting factoid appears in the article by Wes Smith, "In 1900, there were 76,688 post offices in the United States. With urbanization and consolidation, that number has dwindled to 27,385."

To read the entire article, click here.

For more pictures of the Evinston Post Office, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Grave delay in the mail

The website reports that a letter that stamp collector Chris Rauch arranged to be sent from Switzerland has finally arrived - 26 years after his death.

According to the site, "Chris wrote to the post office in the ski resort of Arosa in 1973 asking them to send the letter to him because he wanted the stamps franked with the town's postmark."

He was still waiting for it in 1981 when he died aged 57.

Widow Janet, 76, who has finally received the letter in Great Baddow, Essex, said, "It's like a message from the grave."
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posted by Don Schilling at 9:34 PM

Someone's a gardener

Joan Morris writes in Northern California's Contra Costa Times, "Someone with the U.S. Postal Service must be a gardener. Earlier this year, the Post Office issued a series of stamps celebrating four native flowers and four important pollinators -- the bee, butterfly, hummingbird and bat."

"And in August, the service issued a set of 10 "Beautiful Blooms" stamps that are photographs of some garden favorites: the coneflower, dahlia, chrysanthemum, gerbera daisy, tulip, poppy, water lily, magnolia and iris. The flowers were photographed by Mark Laita. "

"Not only were we pleased to see the florals, but were also thrilled to see that they came not just in books of 20, but in rolls of 100. "

"The flowers are almost enough to make us enjoy mailing out those monthly payments. But if that's not enough, the Postal Service also has a floral silk screen-printed zippered canvas tote with colored handles featuring the "Beautiful Blooms" stamps. The bag is 18 inches by 11 inches, with a 4-inch gusset. It sells for $24.99."

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

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend stamp show in Montana gets some good press

Collectors in Great Falls, Montana are featured in a article in the Great Falls Tribune written by Stacy Byrne.

At this weekend's Stamp Show and Paper Collectibles, presented by the Great Falls Stamp Club, members are giving away packets to youngsters that include about 500 stamps, stamp hinges, a postage stamp album and some tongs.

Past club president Jerry Woodward, retired from the Army Corps of Engineers; Adam Wenz, a chemistry professor at Montana State University-Great Falls College of Technology; and Jacque Stingley, who's in customer relations at the Great Falls Post Office are quoted.

Woodward says he's unsure how many stamps he has but he boasts several albums with collections, such as Christmas seals, duck hunting stamps and even a few rare stamps, which draw gasps and comments like "they're beautiful" from fellow members of the Great Falls Stamp Club.

In addition to various exhibits, the show will feature stamp dealers from around Montana as well as Idaho and Washington, plus dealers of paper collectibles — old magazine advertisements, documents, calendars, etc.

The Great Falls Post Office will also have a special pictorial postmark and cachet envelope.

Shown above are a page of "fancy cancels" which one of the club members will have on display.

To read the entire, article click here.

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

Friday, September 07, 2007

"Celtic Cats" - a first for Ireland

Ireland issued four 'Celtic Cats' stamps this week. Apparently, these are the first Irish stamps to feature felines.

According to An Post press release, "World-renowned political cartoonist Martyn Turner, has drawn each of the four cat characters in a comic style and as slightly irreverent reflections of familiar aspects of contemporary Irish society. "

The press release goes on to say, "These purrfectly comical 55c and 78c stamps feature the artist’s interpretation of a Fat Cat, a Celtic Tigress, a couple of Cool Cats and a Kilkenny Cat, who looks suitably satisfied with life!"

The new stamps are available online from

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

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Princess Diana and Mother Teresa on stamp together

The UK's reports that, "Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Diana, Princess of Wales, two of the most iconic figures of the late 20th century, are depicted together on a special postage stamp issued to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their deaths in 1997. "

"The death of Mother Teresa in Calcutta on Sept. 5, at the age of 87, was overshadowed by that of Princess Diana who was tragically killed in a car accident in Paris a week earlier on August 31, aged 36. "

The 50p stamp was released on Aug. 31 by Ascension Island, a United Kingdom Overseas Territory in the mid South Atlantic.

"Produced in sheetlets of eight, the stamp depicts a photograph of Mother Teresa and Princess Diana taken when they first met in February 1992, at Mother Teresa's convent in Rome. Their final meeting took place in June 1997, when they met privately as Princess Diana left the Missionaries of Charity house in the Bronx," writes Peter Jennings of The Times.

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

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Stamps celebrate Queen's 60th wedding anniversary

New Zealand is marking the 60th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip with a set of stamps along with gold and silver commemorative coins.

As shown above, the 50 cent stamp portrays the couple today while the newlyweds are featured on the $2.00 stamp.

Married in 1947, reports, "The royal wedding was just the tonic for a battle weary Britain and its dominion. The marriage of the beautiful young Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, eldest daughter of King George VI to the tall aristocratic Prince Phillip thrilled the Commonwealth. They were the original royal celebrities."

Beginning today, the stamps and coins can be purchased at all New Zealand Postshops and online at

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

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Humanitarian mail

Later this week, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) will issue commemorative stamps on the theme “Humanitarian Mail”.

UNPA will issue three stamps (in a mini-sheet format) and UPU will issue a stamp in Swiss denomination. A special joint silk cover will also be released on the same day.

According to the United Nations Postal Administration, "This is the first time that this type of mail has been recognized and given acknowledgement by having postage stamps issued to commemorate the topic by UPU with support from the Swiss Post and from the UNPA offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna."

For more on the UN/UPU "Humanitarian Mail" stamps and/or to order, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, September 03, 2007

Omnibus issues

MSN's Encarta says, "An omnibus issue is any group of stamps, generally with the same design, released by a number of stamp-issuing authorities to mark the same occasion. The British Commonwealth has by far produced the greatest number of omnibus issues, the first being the George V Silver Jubilee series of 1935, another being the series released on July 29, 1981, to commemorate the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Frances Spencer."

Rick Miller writes on the Linn's website, "The basis of an omnibus issue is that it is planned and that there is an overseeing authority: Portugal in 1898, Crown Agents in 1935. For Europa issues, the authorities are the joint postal conferences of the European national postal administrations."

This year the centennial of Scouting is being marked with special stamps and souvenir sheets
throughout the world.

Shown above, a Timorese Vasco da Gama stamp from the world's first omnibus issue produced for Portugal and its colonies.

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

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Black Hardings

According to the National Postal Museum's website, "On August 2, 1923, during the return leg of a voyage to Alaska and the American west, Warren Gamaliel Harding suffered a heart attack and became the sixth U.S. president to die in office."

"Harding had been popular despite the charges of corruption and cronyism that tarnished his brief administration, and The Post Office Department (POD) rushed a 2¢ black mourning stamp into production."

"The first printing of 300,000,000 stamps was released on Saturday, September 1 at Marion, Ohio (Harding’s home town) and Washington, D.C. A dizzying array of varieties soon became available to collectors: the original, perf. 11 flat-plate stamps issued on September 1 (Scott #610); the perf. 10 rotary press printing released September 12 (Scott #612); and the flat-plate imperforate variety issued on November 15 (Scott #611)."

The National Postal Museum owns a specialized collection of this stamp that was assembled and exhibited in the 1940s by Howard A. Lederer of New York City. Lederer’s collection documents the stamp’s hurried production and chronicles the two philatelic crazes it spawned: first day covers and precancels.

Shown above is a Harding first day cover on White House mourning stationery.

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

Saturday, September 01, 2007

US Post Office index available

On his Web site, postal historian and cover dealer, Jim Forte publishes a list of all the post offices that are have ever operated in the United States .

According to Forte, "Most of the information is available some place. There are dozens of books recording the data for each state. There are some books which accumulate the data for several states. There is a fairly good list available of all the operating post offices. "

"My goal here is to present the best available list for the entire country. I currently have over 187,000 listings. This is still far from complete. A far better representation of both Alabama and Georgia are now online. Most of Illinois after 1930 has not been fully researched. The quality of the Virginia listings is below par. Only a small percentage of stations and branches are listed. Many offices are listed with a / meaning that the office had multiple opening and closings. These need to be expanded. And of course there are the usual errors like spelling and county attribution which cannot be avoided in a list like this."

If you know of an office that is not listed, he'd like to know about it.

Shown above is the postal service running pony logo used before 1970. It was not inspired by the Pony Express as many believe.

Click here to access the list.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM