Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christmas Island Christmas stamps

According to Santa Claus can be seen lazing on the beach in Australia Post's latest issue of stamps from Christmas Island.

In a Christmas tradition which began in 1993, Australia Post produces stamps featuring Christmas Island every second year. This year's 45 cent stamp shows Santa arriving at Christmas Island in a tiny yacht piled high with presents, while the 90 cent stamp shows a crane lifting the presents onto the island's jetty.

The $1.10 stamp has Santa resting on the beach, surrounded by presents and overrun by the island's crabs. The stamps are illustrated by Sydney-based artist Lloyd Foye, whose work often explores Australian beach culture.

Australia Post also is celebrating a significant milestone with the release of the 50th issue of Christmas stamps in Australia. Five classic Christmas stamp designs have been selected for the occasion, with each portraying the artistic style, social mood and cultural values of the time.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 7:01 PM

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

National Postal Museum Receives $1 Million Gift

According to, the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum (shown here) has announced that it has received a $1 million gift from the Motorola Foundation to support the museum's upcoming "Systems At Work" exhibition gallery.

Museum director Allen Kane is quoted as saying, "To process, transport and deliver almost half the world's mail, the U.S. Postal Service has built an infrastructure based on cutting-edge technology. Now, with this very generous gift from the Motorola Foundation, National Postal Museum visitors can discover the fascinating technology behind their mail."

The "Systems At Work" exhibit will unlock the mystery of the mail by explaining what happens after a letter is dropped into a mailbox. The exhibit will showcase technological advances from the colonial past to the present day and explain the workings of a complex network of mail processing and distribution.

To read the entire article, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 10:31 PM

Youth stamp design contest features lighthouses

Reporter Abby Slutsky of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Journal Gazette reports lighthouses were the theme of a stamp design contest which was sponsored by the Anthony Wayne Stamp Society and the Fort Wayne Post Office.

More than 400 entries were submitted.

Six winners were chosen and each received a framed lighthouse stamp art, a certificate and the opportunity to have their stamp design submitted to the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for consideration.

Katie Jeffrey, 16, was the first place winner in the senior division with her painting of a lighthouse at sunset which is shown above.

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

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday collections and Royal Mail security lapse

The BBC is reporting that the Royal Mail has ended Sunday postal collections after 17 years in what it calls an effort to improve efficiency.

According to the report, accounting for 1% of all mail posted, items collected on Sundays cost four times as much to process as those collected on other days.

In other postal news from Britain, the Sunday Mail reports the following security lapse... "Our reporter was given work inside Scotland’s biggest sorting office after saying he was agency staff. No one asked him for ID. Incredibly, he spent an hour-and-a-half handling thousands of letters and parcels – some with credit cards, sensitive NHS papers and voter registration documents. No one asked him for ID, no one vetted him, no one asked if he had any experience – and his health and safety training lasted seven seconds."
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Stamp hobby blossoms in home-based business

Peter and Michael Gutter were featured in a article that appeared recently in the Reno, NV, Gazette-Journal.

The couple has been in business as Gutter Pairs Etc. for more than 20 years as stamp dealers.

The husband-and-wife team does business in the Reno-Sparks area, with people who have inherited stamp collections from relatives, or schools or charities that have received a donation of stamps.

According to the article by Marian Bond, "When the Gutters started their business, the idea was to specialize in stamps from countries they were particularly interested in. Michael (she goes by Mike) Gutter collected Russian stamps, and stamps from countries that developed after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Peter collected stamps from China and the Far East."

Shown above is Peter as he sorts through a collection of stamps to sell at an upcoming show in Portland, Ore.

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

Saturday, October 27, 2007

U.S. Postage and Fractional Currency.

According to miniature pieces of paper money replaced small change during the Civil War.

When inflation drove hard money from the marketplace, the U.S. Congress monetized postage stamps to replace coins, which had been withdrawn from circulation.

In July 17, 1862, a law directed the Treasury secretary to "furnish to the assistant treasurers, and such designated depositaries of the United States as may be by him selected postage and other stamps of the United States, to be exchanged by them, on application for United States Notes." It became effective Aug. 1, 1862.

However, the Post Office Department was not keen on the plan. Runs on post offices depleted stamp supplies, and Postmaster General Montgomery Blair shut the stamp windows on July 22, 1863.

He wired his postmasters: "This department is not to furnish postage stamps for currency."

To placate the irate Blair an accommodation was reached by issuing small notes in lieu of stamps. The first issues became known as Postage Stamp Currency because they bore facsimiles of the then current 5 and 10 cent postage stamps.

Shown above is Postmaster Blair on a 1963 U.S. airmail stamp.

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

Friday, October 26, 2007

USPS campaign offers new theme

Tanya Irwin reports in Media Post's Marketing Daily that a campaign breaking this week from the U.S. Postal Service includes the theme "Today's Mail" as a way to refer to the post office.

The phrase, accompanied by the Postal Service's familiar stylized eagle logo, appears as the closing signature in print, online and direct mail in place of the words "United States Postal Service."

The ads, from Campbell-Ewald in Warren, Mich., feature actual USPS customers from the New York City area in lieu of actors, according to The New York Times.

It is the first time in about a decade that the USPS has used a theme in its ads., according to Media Post.

Previous themes included "We deliver"--which later became "We deliver for you"--and "Fly like an eagle," which used the song of the same name by the Steve Miller Band as the soundtrack of commercials.

In addition to print and online ads, the Postal Service will announce the new theme in postcards that it will send to 146 million addresses. The Postal Service spends an estimated $30 million each year on advertising.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 25, 2007

USPS copes with Southern California fires.

With hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands of people displaced throughout Southern California, mail delivery has been interrupted or curtailed as wild fires swept throughout the region. According to the USPS more than 60 post offices have been evacuated.

Smokey Bear is a fictional character whose job is to protect America's forests.

Since its inception, Smokey's forest fire prevention campaign has reduced the area lost annually from 22 million to 4 million acres (89,000 to 16,000 km)

Smokey Bear's message "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires" was created in 1944. In April 2001, Smokey's message was updated to "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires."

In 1984, Smokey Bear' s 40th birthday was commemorated with the special stamp shown above. He was the first individual animal to ever be honored on a United States postage stamp.

To learn more on how you can prevent forest and wild fires, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stamps Pay Off for Collector

The New York Times reports that a stamp collector who spent a decade hunting through more than 100,000 virtually identical little black stamps, looking for the one that would pay off, sold a strip of three of them last Saturday for $172,500.
According to reporter Matthew Healy, "The seller, Lawrence Cohen of Plymouth, N.H., is a graphic artist who works in printing and packaging. He has devoted his collecting energies to the Harding memorial stamp because his color blindness makes it hard for him to specialize in more colorful issues. His collection exceeds 200 volumes, all related to the Harding stamp and its varieties."
Since the 1930s, fewer than 50 of the rare stamp variety have been certified as genuine by philatelic experts, and many are in poor condition. Mr. Cohen’s specimen is considered to be in excellent shape, and the largest known multiple of the rare stamp, Healy reports.
Healy goes on to write, "Cohen said his wife and two sons 'always thought I was a little crazy,' but they have appreciated that he gets 'a lot of enjoyment' from studying stamps. He said 'their opinion hasn’t changed much' as a result of his big find."
Shown above is a New Youk Times graphic that shows the strip of three.
To read the entire article, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Youth stamp fair

The Ventura County Star reports the Ventura County Philatelic Society held its 17th annual Youth Stamp Fair in Ventura, Calif.

"Children received a stamp passport as they walked in the door, then wandered to booths where they learned how to identify stamps, how to properly remove them from paper and how to store and mount them. At each booth, they received a stamp on their passport — in the form of a cork cutout like those used to cancel stamps in the 1800s, " writes Anna Chang-Yen.

She goes on to say, "At one table, Jason Jacobs, 9, of Ventura, scanned a pile of stamps and found four different ones adorned with birds, then arranged them on a strip of paper to make a bookmark. Adults at the table used a laminating machine to finalize his project."

Children also sifted through boxes of free stamps arranged on a table and at another they took a quiz to see if they could identy the country of origin for 12 stamps.

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

Monday, October 22, 2007

Photos of troops removed from post office

San Luis is reporting that dozens of photos of U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, on display for years behind the counter at Paso Robles, CA post office, were removed Friday, drawing protests from customers and a congressman.

The photos were taken down after a customer complained that the display was pro-war. When the issue came to the attention of the regional postal center, it asked that Paso Robles Postmaster Mike Milby and his staff remove the display because it violated a regulation against displays of nonpostal business material at any U.S. post office.

Two signs posted at the postal counter Friday said “We are being forced to remove the pictures from our wall of our boys and girls in the military. Please ask for your pictures back.”

Clerks were barraged with questions about why the display had gone down, with most people expressing dismay that the photos had been removed.

The post office staff was upset about the change but had been told to refer all media inquiries to Maher’s office.

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

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Earhart’s Airstamp collection

The Centre County Times reports Amelia Earhart's personal collection of stamps and postmarks from her historic flights around the world have been brought to The American Philatelic Center Headquarter and will be shown to the public for the first time in almost 40 years.

"The envelopes and photographs that once belonged to the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean are on loan from the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., and will be shown along with 200 other private collections at a unique three-day event devoted to airmail stamp collecting and history," writes Gail Franklin.

The collection includes one of the 59 souvenir covers, or envelopes, carried by Earhart on her historic flight in 1932 across the Atlantic Ocean. The brown paper envelope bears a purple ink stamp with the words, “Trans-Atlantic Non-stop Solo-flight. First aviatrix. Amelia Earhart flight,” along with American and British postal stamps.

Shown above is a 1963 stamp issued by the United States in her honor.

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

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Win money at USPS kiosks

According to editor Patrick Avery of, "It’s not a casino in Las Vegas. But if you walk into your local post office and take a gamble by using the U.S. Postal Service’s automated kiosk, you could come away with some extra cash. "

Avery reports that at post office locations nationwide, customers are eligible to win $250 daily in cash prizes and a grand prize of $10,000 when they use the Automatic Postal Center kiosks instead of standing in line.

The USPS contest, which ends Oct. 31, was designed to draw attention to a product that is very convenient and easy-to-use, says USPS spokeswoman Joanne Veto.

“This is just another way to remind people there is a convenient way to use the post office 24 hours a day,” Veto said.

Four years into the deployment, however, one kiosk industry expert says she wonders if the contest means that the USPS kiosks are hurting for revenue.

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

Friday, October 19, 2007

6-year-old wins UN stamp design contest

The Jakarta Post reports a 6-year-old Indonesian boy was presented with the United Nations stamp design award at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday.

Bryan Jevoncia was one of six children whose designs were selected for a 2008 series of UN stamps in a design contest titled "We Can Overcome Poverty", which was held in conjunction with International Poverty Eradication Day. Around 12,000 children aged 6 to 15 from 124 countries took part in the contest.

Bryan's design shows children returning from school to help their mothers earn enough money to support the family.

The awards were presented during a ceremony in a park near the UN building and was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Indonesian special representative to the UN Marty Natalegawa and several other foreign representatives.

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

Thursday, October 18, 2007

R2-D2 mailboxes being removed

Jay Bigalke in the Oct. 22 edition of Linn's Stamp News writes that the unique and unusual R2-D2 mailboxes will be removed nationwide starting Oct. 25 and shipped to US military bases overseas.

This is the same day that USPS will issue a pane of 20 Yoda 41-cent commemorative postage stamps at the American Stamp Dealers Association Postage Stamp Mega-Event in New York, NY.

According to Bigalke the mailboxes were a publicity stunt to promote interest in the 41 cent Star Wars stamps issued last May. Approximately 400 of the mailboxes went into service March 16 in major U.S. cities.
The mailboxes featured the now defunct web site address as a place for people to vote for their favorite of the 15 Star War stamp designs of which Yoda was the winner.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stamp in a box of cereal

Guy DeWolf , owner of owner of Williamsburg Coin and Stamp in Williamsburg, VA is featured in an article by Victor Reklaitis that appeared on the website.

The 76-year-old Marine veteran has worked in collectibles for more than 40 years, starting in 1959 in Los Angeles and moving in 1970 to Williamsburg. DeWolf said he's loved collectibles since he was a small child.

His favorite story from the Great Depression involves him cajoling his mom into buying a huge box of cereal for 29 cents because it contained a free stamp. When his dad found out about the purchase, he angrily told the young collector to eat every bit of the cereal.

"I didn't even like it, but it had a free stamp inside," DeWolf recalls telling his dad, chuckling about it decades later.

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Missouri post office goes pink

The Joplin, MO Globe reports, "If you have an aversion to the color pink, you might want to avoid the Pierce City post office this month."

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month so postal employees decorated the post office lobby with pink ribbons, pink teddy bears, and pink and white balloons. You can also get pink bagels, pink pins and pink emery boards according to an article by staff writer Wally Kennedy.

They're also selling lots of Breast Cancer Awareness stamps.

Postmaster Sharon Clark is quoted as saying, “If I sell $5,000 worth of stamps by the end of the month, I’m dyeing my hair pink.” Clark is a brunette and she’s a bit apprehensive about the possibility of a new do.

Shown above postal worker Eva Holland (left) and Postmaster Clark handing out goodies that they give away with the sale of breast cancer stamps.

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

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stamp collecting has come a long way

New Mexico's Rio Rancho Observer reports stamp collecting has come a long way since Albuquerque collector Mickey Smith was a kid.

"Back then, stamp collecting was a cheap hobby for a kid. Mom and dad would hand you an envelope, you could soak it in water to free the stamp from the envelope, then use a hinge that could be licked to hold the stamp on the appropriate page in an album. The whole world could be yours for the collecting, " writes Gary Herron, Observer staff writer.

The article goes on to say, "Nowadays, stamp collecting can become quite costly, especially with all the commemorative stamps the U.S. government is cranking out. What hurts young hobbyists even more, though, is the fact that people just don't mail letters as they once did."

Smith was commissioned to produce some special first-day covers for NewMexPex 2007, which takes place next weekend. Three of his covers have an alien theme; the fourth depicts Gov. Bill Richardson and his spaceport project.

Shown above, Smith with his collection of stamps and cachets. Smith, a former graphic designer and editor for the University of Michigan, has been designing first-day cachets since the mid-90s.

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

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Joan Collins in Post Office ad

The UK's Guardian online reports the British Post Office is aiming to spruce up its tarnished image with a star-studded TV campaign featuring celebrities including Joan Collins and the message "The people's Post Office".

According to the paper, the ad campaign, which starts today, aims to reposition the Post Office as offering "more than just stamps".

In the ad sub-postmaster Ken, played by Early Doors actor John Henshaw, gives a rousing speech to his staff about how important the service is for local communities. Joan Collins plays a customer.

Replacing their long-running series of ads featuring a family of animated ants, the new campaign also comes amid negative publicity about government plans to close 2,500 branches by 2009.

Wildcat strikes by postal workers also continue to disrupt mail delivery across the country.

To read the entire article, click here. To view the ad, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Charles Waddell Chesnutt

USPS paid tribute to — Charles Waddell Chesnutt - the 2008 Black Heritage stamp honoree — by previewing his stamp during the 92nd convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) recently held at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Charlotte.

Essayist, folklorist and novelist Chesnutt is the 31st honoree in the popular commemorative stamp series. He was the first African-American fiction writer to earn national acclaim and is best known for his depictions of the African-American experience before and after the Civil War.

Chesnutt was born in Cleveland, OH, in 1858. The son of free blacks, he was raised in Fayetteville, NC, which became a major setting of Chesnutt’s fiction. The pioneering writer is recognized as a major innovator and singular voice among turn-of-century literary realists who probed the color line in American life.

Shown above, ASALH National President Dr. John Fleming, UNC Charlotte Professor Sandra Govan, USPS Community Relations Manager Roy Betts and UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois preview the 2008 Black Heritage Stamp.

The stamp goes on sale in January.

For more on Chesnutt, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 12, 2007

Mendez v. Westminster

The Washington Post reports, "Of all the little pictures for sale at the postage stamp counter -- American flags, Purple Hearts, Dumbo the Elephant, the Incredible Hulk -- one of the newest ones is not so familiar. "

Two young people with tan skin study an open book, facing an orange sun. "Mendez v. Westminster 1947," says the stamp.

Rafael Lopez, the Mexican-born San Diego artist who designed the stamp is quoted in the piece by staff writer David Montgomery as saying, "I had never heard of the Mendez case..."

According to the Post, Lopez took inspiration from the great Mexican muralists Diego Rivera and Jose Clemente Orozco, and he set about condensing their monumentalism onto a postage stamp.

Montgomery writes, "He [Lopez] simplified the figures to resolute, representative types and told the story in part through color. From left to right, the palette moves from dark to light, as the two young readers bend like plants toward the orange sun."

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

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lost and found

Kelly McCann of the West County Journal in St. Louis, MO reports that six decades after losing sight of his treasured stamp collection, Dr. Ben Birenbaum received a call from a woman in California.

"Are you Ben Birenbaum that lived at 4628 Vernon Ave.?" the woman asked. "Yes," he replied. "Did you attend Soldan High School?" she said. "Yes," Birenbaum answered. "Well, I think I have the right Ben. I have your stamp book."
Birenbaum was stunned and elated to find the collection he had started in grade school. He wondered, however, how it ended up in Huntington Beach, Calif., from St. Louis.
The California woman who found Birenbaum's stamp album (shown above) used an address on the front page of the album to locate him.
Birenbaum, now 90, had written a message on the inside cover of the book:"If this book is lost, kindly return it to Ben Birenbaum, 4628 Vernon Ave., St. Louis, Mo., or Soldan High School Room 103. We have on November 14, 1932, 1,285 different stamps".
"I was overjoyed after 61 years," Birenbaum said. "It took that long to get it back. Not that it had great value, it was just in my memory that I had lost something that I valued as a child."
Birenbaum said his album was his pride and joy, filled with an assortment of stamps of all shapes and sizes from around the world.
The album was among his belongings stored in the basement of his father and stepmother's house while Birenbaum served in the Army during World War II.
To read the entire article, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

James Bond stamps

Royal Mail will pay tribute to James Bond as part of the Ian Fleming Centenary celebrations next year when it releases a series of stamps commemorating the famous secret agent.

According to Philately Club, a series of six stamps will be released on January 8 2008, each featuring four different covers of one of Ian Fleming’s novels.
The six books to be featured are:

1st - Casino Royale
1st - Dr. No
54p - Goldfinger
54p - Diamonds Are Forever
78p - For Your Eyes Only
78p - From Russia With Love

The site reports that six stamps, a miniature sheet, prestige stamp book, presentation pack and first day covers will all be issued to celebrate the centenary of Fleming’s birth.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

World Post Day

Today is World Post Day and is the anniversary of the establishment of the Universal Postal Union in 1874 in the Swiss capital, Bern.
In many countries, stamp exhibitions are organized and special stamps are issued. In the United States, October is designated as "Stamp Collecting" month.
According to an article in the Jamaica Gleaner, World Post Day is "...celebrated annually on October 9 to ensure that the role of the postal service in the global economy is recognised. The postal service continues to make a tremendous impact on people's lives all across the world. "
Michael Gentles, Jamaica's Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer is quoted in the article as saying, "Based on a global network of more than 660,000 post offices and approximately five million employees, it is a public service which continues to grow. Over time, the quality of service improvements adds tremendous value to both the business community and individual. Each year, postal services all over the world handle and deliver nearly 436 billion letter-post items in their domestic and international services, and six billion parcels."
Shown above is Sri Lanka's World Post Day stamp from 2006.
To read the entire piece, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 08, 2007

Children design New Zealand Christmas stamps

New Zealand's Howick and Pakuranga Times reports NZ Post’s Christmas stamps this year feature art works of children from around the country, including one designed by a six-year-old boy.

The works are the winning results of the NZ Post Design a Stamp competition.

Children were asked to design a stamp based on the symbols of Christmas. The winner beat stiff competition from 17,000 entries to take out the supreme award.

“These children are now artistic ambassadors for our country," said NZ Post stamps general manager Ivor Masters in the article.

He is also quoted as saying, “While some images are very relevant to the Kiwi Christmas experience, such as scenes of cricket on the beach, fantails and pohutukawa flowers (the New Zealand Christmas tree), others are more traditional. Baby Jesus and a red-hatted robin are also included in the stamps.”

Five winners were chosen with each of them receiving a $1000 Kiwibank account and $3000 for their school.

To read the entire story, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trick or Treat

If you answer your doorbell on Halloween night and find one or more unusually small letter carriers standing on your doorstep, chances are they’re not dropping off mail. But they will ask for candy.

This year, some kids may be trick or treating in their new USPS-licensed letter carrier uniforms from California Costumes.

Costume includes shirt with USPS embroidered logo, pants with side stripe, foam hat and mailbag with metallic stripe and USPS Logo. Costume is 70/30 poly/cotton and machine washable. Available in sizes 2-4 toddler.

According to an USPS announcement, postal employees who want to get their youngsters off on the right foot can save 10 percent on their total order — on any items — until Oct. 15.
There are also adult versions available.
To order, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Linn's to get new look and size

Michael Schreiber reports that beginning with the November 19 issue, Linn’s Stamp News will be printed in full color on premium paper. The new Linn’s will also be smaller in format and mailed out several days earlier.

According to Schreiber, who is the editor of Linn’s, “The new Linn’s will also have a new look, with an updated front page and exciting inside graphics.”

He goes to say that the new Linn’s will be printed, bound and mailed from the Quebecor World plant near Cincinnati, Ohio. Quebecor World also prints Scott Stamp Monthly as well as 14 other Amos press magazines for coins, paper money, automobiles, and crafts.

George W. Linn created and fostered the successful stamp-hobby publication called Linn's Stamp News, begun in 1928 as Linn's Weekly Stamp News.

General James O. Amos founded Amos Publishing in 1876 with the purchase of the Shelby County Democrat in Ohio, which later became the Sidney Daily News.

For more than 120 years the Amos family produced the Sidney Daily News, until a portion of the family sold its interest in the newspaper holdings in 1999. John Amos and his son Rick are now the fifth generation to continue the 130-year family history in publishing.

Amos Publishing acquired Linn's in 1969. In 1984 Amos Publishing became the world's largest philatelic publisher with the purchase of Scott Publishing Company.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, October 05, 2007

David Beech and The Legendary Grinnel Missionaries

David Beech, Head of Philatelic Collections of the British Library has a streaming video, The Legendary Grinnel Missionaries, available on the National Postal Museum website.

Produced in 2003, it is somewhat old and outdated in light of new information and authetication techniques. But it does provide some interesting background on these Hawaiian rarities.

Stanley Gibbons Magazine has written, ..."storied Grinnells will always exist in limbo. Though the provenance appears to lack a clear and undisputable chain of title, this tale, no matter how it turns out, is a great fireside yarn, bearing the essential themes of great philately."

David joined the British Library Philatelic Collections as a Curator in 1983 and became Head of the Philatelic Collections in 1991. He is a Fellow and the President of The Royal Philatelic Society London and joint founder of the International Philatelic Libraries Association. David is a member of The Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand, The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, the Collectors Club New York, the American Philatelic Research Library and Académie Europeénne de Philatélie. He is a Trustee of the Revenue Philately Trust and Trustee and Chairman of the Stuart Rossiter Trust Fund.

To see the Beech video, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, October 04, 2007

USPS launches mail scam campaign

ABC News in San Francisco is reporting that the U.S. Postal Service has launched a new campaign to stop a mail scam that's preyed on thousands of Americans including those doing business on eBay and Craigslist.

According to the report, "This is an old scam but these crooks are getting very sophisticated. Basically what they do is someone you have never heard of contacts you and they need to get a hold of your money. They say for example: 'I'll send you a check for $10,000 dollars all you have to do is send me a check for $1,000 dollars and we'll be in business.'
While your check is good, their check bounces and you're left holding the bag.
Jeff Fitch, U.S. Postal Service Inspector is quoted as saying, "Suspects buy merchandise online and they claim they have mailed the wrong amount by mistake. The victim is told to go ahead and deposit the wrong checks into their account and return the excess amount. The check or money order is counterfeit and the victim is sending their own money back to the suspect.
Postal Inspectors have arrested 77 people internationally in the last eight months alone.
To read more, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Topsy-turvy stamps

New Zealand's Dominion Post reports on-line that a local woman bought a $44 sheet of stamps stands to make $40,000.

Three years ago, the woman bouught a sheet of $2 stamps, part of an Olympic Games edition, that featured a hologram of triple gold medallist Peter Snell running.

But when she got home she noticed that Snell was upside down. She planned to take them back to the post office, but after a week she put the stamps in the drawer of a table and promptly forgot about them.

The stamps re-emerged when the woman tried to sell them on a on-line auction site. A prospective buyer saw the stamps and told her that they were probably worth a lot of money.

Stamp dealer, John Mowbray (shown above) expects the sheet to sell for between $30,000 and $40,000 at the auction, which begins in Wellington on Friday.

To read the entire article, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 7:50 PM

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Scout renovates post office as Eagle project

According to the Neosho Daily News in Neosho, MO a local Post Office has a new look, thanks to Shad W. Scheppert and some other scouts. Scheppert, a Life scout in Troop 34, is going for his Eagle rank so he decided to spruce up it up a bit as part of his community service requirement.

Scheppert is quoted as saying, “It was run down, the windows were cracked and it needed a porch. We created a porch on the side so that the postal ladies didn't get wet when they go to their car.”

Scheppert asked the owner of the post office building if he could clean up the area. The scouts also cleaned up the garden in front, made two new signs, to replace those damaged by storms and put in some guttering.

To read the entire story, click here.

Shown above is an interesting Boy Scouts first day maximum card cancelled on June 30, 1950 at Valley Forge, PA.
To see some other unusual Scouting covers and cachets from the collection of Sheldon S. Levy, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, October 01, 2007

Collectors cash in big on perfection

Peter Rexford writes in the Bradenton-Herald in Bradenton, Fl., that given the current market, it's surely worth a look in any old albums you may have lying around to see if you have the 1934,9-cent Glacier National Park stamp which was part of the National Parks set.

While listed in Scott's with catalog value of only $2.25, last month one of those common 9-cent stamps was auctioned for more than 1,000 times its catalog value - a staggering $2,900.

According to Rexford, "The reason for the stratospheric price is a relatively new certified grading standard for stamps. Previously, the only certification available for stamp collectors was for authentication and opinions as to whether they had been altered. Now, a numeric grading system similar to that of collectible coins rates the attractiveness of a stamp based on its centering, printing and color."

He goes on to say, "Similar to the dot-com bubble, baseball cards in the 1980s or, my personal favorite, the outlandish prices for Beanie Babies a dozen or so years ago, enormous prices for top-grade common stamps may well prove to be short-lived. Sure, they'll always bring a premium over less well-centered examples. But 1,000 times more? I can't see that in the long term."

To read his entire article, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM