Thursday, July 31, 2008

Better Late Than Never

According to the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota, Capt. Charles W. Fenton of the 13th Cavalry hasn't had a mailbox at Fort Meade in 107 years. So when his captain's commission from 1901 arrived at the Fort Meade Post Office, Postmaster Kathy Wacker didn't quite know what to do with it and decided to forward it to the Director of the Fort Meade Museum.

Kathy suspects somebody may have dropped it back into the mail recently, but she and the museum's director, Charles Rambow, agree that the whole thing is a mystery to them and are trying to figure out where it came from. In the meantime, they are also searching for any descendents of Capt. Fenton.

The parchment scroll, printed in calligraphy and bearing the signatures of both President William McKinley and Secretary of War Elijah Root, arrived at Fort Meade safely rolled in a mailing tube in March.

The parchment is in nearly perfect condition. The cardboard tube, addressed to Fenton in the perfect penmanship of the past and bearing a military mail designation in lieu of postage, looks like it has survived 107 years in the U.S. postal system.

Shown above, Charles Rambow, director of the Fort Meade Museum,outside the museum with Capt. Charles W. Fenton's commission.

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Autographs and Authors at APS StampShow 2008

Donald J. Sundman,one of the nation’s most successful stamp dealers and president of the Mystic Stamp Co; Lawrence Block, a mystery author whose works have won awards on three continents; and Janet Klug,immediate past president of American Philatelic Society, an accomplished exhibitor, and philatelic writer will be autographing copies of their books at the upcoming APS StampShow 2008 August 14-17 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

In addition, Chris Calle, well known designer of U.S. and foreign stamps, will be available periodically at the APS Booth throughout the four-day show to sign stamps, covers, and/or his new U.S. Stamps of Chris Calle album.

The album has places for all of Chris’s U.S. stamps plus a blank page for his autograph, covers, and other memorabilia.

The nine-page album available free in downloadable pdf format by clicking here.

For more information about autographs and authors at APS StampShow 2008, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

USPS-Branded Items Bring in the Bucks

The USPS NewsLink asks, "What do $3 puzzles and $5,000 prints of stamp artwork have in common?"

Answer - They’re both USPS-licensed products.

According to USPS, "Last year, consumers bought $89 million worth of products licensed by the Postal Service. Typically, USPS receives a royalty on all sales of licensed products — and that money goes straight to the Postal Service’s bottom line."

Now one of the top 100 licensors in the world, the Postal Service’s Licensing department promotes the “USPS brand” to consumers around the globe. In addition to stamp art, licensees pay to use USPS logos, Post Office murals, trademarks, vintage photographs and postmarks.

Licensing Manager Gary Thuro is quoted as saying, “We see licensing as a way to generate revenue while we advertise our company. In particular, it’s a great way to introduce USPS messages to new audiences, especially young people.”

What USPS-themed products can you expect down the road?

Everything from watches to dog carriers and treats, to bicycles sold in Japan. Not to mention upscale clothing and a cosmetic line currently in development.

Shown above, the USPS booth at the recent Licensing International Expo.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 28, 2008

Philatelic Course for Government Officials in Thailand

"To keep the standard of stamp designs, enhance the designs and marketing, the Head of Philatelic Unit, Borneo Postal Service Department, Hjh Hammah bte Puasa (shown here) will be attending a 21-day Philatelic Course at the Asian Pacific College in Thailand," reports the Borneo Bulletin.

The objectives of the course are to provide participants with key information on philatelic activities and to introduce participants to the current best practices in the region in marketing and development of philately.

According to article, "The course is an interesting venue where participants can appreciate the unique place philately has in post office activities, its historical evolution, its business prospects and associated marketing, the usefulness of new computer programmes to design postage stamps and to get more information on philatelic activities in countries of the Asia-Pacific region."

To read a letter to attendees that outlines the course, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Little League Helps Unveil Stamp

The Herald-Mail reports members of the Sharpsburg, MD, Little League gathered yesterday at a local post office for an unveiling of the “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” stamp.

USPS representative Shannon Snyder (shown above in red) talked about the history of the song and the Pitch in for Baseball organization, a group that helps underprivileged children have the chance to own baseball equipment writes reporter Angelica Roberts.

Richard Sheaf, who lives in Scottsdale, AZ., designed the stamp, which was issued July 16. Sheaf, who was not present, is quoted as saying in a telephone interview, “I just took the design from the 1870s trade card.”

Sheaf has been designing stamps since 1983 and has created between 400 and 500 of them.

Following the ceremony, Ellie Connelly, 8, noted how great the new stamp looks.

“It’s cool, and I think it’s really cool that baseball is on a stamp now,” Connelly said.

To read the entire article, click here.

To see more baseball stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Philately Extends Life

Stamp collectors won't live for ever.. but they can extend their social life and world view and make money all at the same time according to Armand Rousso (shown here).

Armand, the owner and chairman of the International Stamp Exchange Corporation of Miami Beach believes he can revive interest in philately with a combination of publicity and the lure of profit.

“There is not doubt that collecting stamps is not seen today as a modern, fashionable hobby” he writes on his blog - Armand Rousso Stamp Collecting.

“We are trying to dust it off and show, especially to young people, that it can be great fun and, what is more important, very profitable."

He says, "Philately is also a way to learn more about the outside world and ourselves, and as we learn, we also grow."

He feels, "For the elderly, when the time of retirement approaches there is often an emptiness that philately can fulfill. Philately also provides a way to keep abreast of current events, as well as friends and a reason to socialize, allowing us to keep in touch with the world. To be passionate with something new can be converted to positive energy which strengthens the soul and builds resistance against physical diseases, melancholy or depression."

To read his entire article,Philately Extends Life click here.

To view an interview with Armand, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, July 25, 2008

Artist Clarence Lee Honors His Parents with Stamps

Voice of America reports the new United States stamp being issued for 2008 Olympic Games was designed by a graphic artist from Hawaii - Clarence Lee (shown here).

Reporter Heidi Chang says, "Clarence Lee may not be a household name, but his stamps are recognized around the world."

"This isn't the first time Lee has created a stamp. In 1992, the U.S. Postal Service asked him to design a New Year stamp to honor Chinese Americans. Looking ahead to the Year of the Rooster, Lee knew what he wanted to do. His rooster stamp was very popular, bringing in more than $5-million in sales, not just in the U.S., but also in China, " according to Heidi.

Lee, now in his 70s, is quoted as saying there are some 20 million stamp collectors in China.

The article goes on to say, "Over the years, Clarence Lee has spoken to stamp collectors in major U.S. cities and in China. He often shares how the stamps have given him a chance to honor his parents."

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

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Vintage RFD Mail Wagon To Be Displayed

A late 19th-century U.S. Mail wagon will be on display at the American Philatelic Society StampShow 2008 being held August 14-17 in Hartford, Connecticut.

According to an APS press release, the wagon dates from approximately 1896 and is the same design of a one-horse wagon that was pictured in 1996 on a 32-cent stamp commemorating the centennial of Rural Free Delivery service in the United States.

Rural Free Delivery service began in 1896 as an experiment in West Virginia, extending the home mail delivery that had become common in cities and towns for the first time to farmers and others living in the countryside. Prior to RFD, those living in rural areas would travel, perhaps once a week and often several miles over abysmal roads, to their local post office to send and receive their mail.

To read the entire press release, click here.

To find out more about StampShow 2008 August 14-17 in Hartford, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How To Wreck Your Stamp Collection

In an old Refresher Course column by Janet Klug that appeared in Linn's, she writes about 12 ways you can "wreck" your stamp collection.

No. 1. Keep your collection in your basement.
No. 2. Keep your collection in the attic.
No. 3. Cram as many stamps as possible in your albums and stock books.
No. 4. Pick your stamps up with your fingers.
No. 5. Leave your stamps where they will be in direct sunlight.
No. 6. If you use hinges to mount your stamps, slobber all over the hinges before sticking them to the stamp and album page.
No. 7. Store your albums horizontally rather than vertically.
No. 8. If you use mounts, use the wrong size.
No. 9. Use your stamp albums as filing cabinets.
No. 10. Write on the backs of your stamps and covers (see above).
No. 11. Children love to draw and color in books with their crayons and markers, so be sure to leave your stamp albums where your kids and grandkids can get to them.
No. 12. If you leave your collection where the youngsters can get to it, presumably any household pet can play with it too.

To read the entire article, click here.

BTW - Be sure to check out Janet's new book, "Guide to Stamp Collecting." Amazon calls it, "...the definitive guide to becoming a smart and savvy stamp collector, with information on everything from the history of stamps to surprising celebrity philatelists to the best way to remove stamps from envelopes."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Handler and Dog on Australian Stamp

Melbourne Airport quarantine officer Sean Holman and beagle Boof (shown here) are featured on a new stamp celebrating 100 years of quarantine in Australia according to an article posted on the Hume Leader newspaper website.

The commemorative 50c stamp marks the centenary of the Quarantine Act. Passed in 1908, it protects Australia from diseases, pest and destructive animals.

Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) detector dogs are trained to detect food, plants, animals and their products in passengers’ bags.

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

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lavish Coronation Robes Pictured on Stamps

Reporter Michael Field of Fairfax Media reports that the lavish robes to be used in Friday's coronation of Tonga's King George Tupou V are pictured on new postage stamps designed by a Wellington, New Zealand illustrator.

According to Michael, "Tonga is spending T$5 million (NZ$3 million) on the coronation of the aging bachelor, including NZ$570,000, for tailored robes from Gieves & Hawkes at 1 Savile Row in London's Mayfair."

He goes on to say, "By tradition such robes are trimmed with ermine which comes from winter stoats and is used as a symbol of purity or virginity."

Wellington designer Denise Durkin has produced designs for three stamps to be released on Friday.

"The king is unmarried, and has no legal children. However, he has an illegitimate daughter, ʻIlima Lei Tohi, and through her, he is already a grandfather," according to Wikipedia.

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

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Philatelic Tribute to Nelson Mandela

British teacher Peter Mason,64, spent eight working days and used more than 3,000 stamps to create a 3 ft. by 3 ft. pixellated portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela according to an article that appears on the Birmingham Mail website.

Mason, who wants to sell the portrait to aid the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, is quoted as saying, “I usually use British stamps, but in this case I used a dealer to get South African ones.”

Mandela's shirt is made out of the South African stamps and his prison number, 46664, is hidden in the background.

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

Saturday, July 19, 2008

VFW Sends Treats to Dogs in Afghanistan

Reporter Marty Touchette of the Daily Review Atlas in Monmouth, Ill. writes that 120 pounds of dog biscuits will be sent to military and civilian dogs serving in Afghanistan thanks to a local VFW.

The dogs help guard bases and encampments, search for explosives, guard prisoners and perform many other vital functions.

Marty reports, "In addition, there are strays that live near the bases that occasionally get a treat. They also help perform a service for the troops by keeping vermin down in and near the bases."

"But most importantly, all of these four-legged friends serve as additional early warning systems to protect the troops against enemies. It can be hard to sneak up on one dog, but it’s even harder to sneak up on two — stray dogs barking in the distance can provide an early warning," according to Marty.

Many of the soldiers also are comforted by the dogs and find their loneliness eased a bit by their companionship.

It was Jim Zeilstra (currently deployed as a chief warrant officer in Afghanistan) who informed his wife, Lyn, of the need for treats. The collection effort was then spearheaded by Nancy Lovett, VFW Auxiliary senior vice president, who collected the treats. The auxiliary, along with the local Postmaster Annette Manthei and Lyn Zeilstra prepared them for shipment.

Anyone interested in helping can contact Postmaster Manthe at (309) 768-2106 or Sharon Ishmael at (309) 734-7769.

Shown above,Postmaster Manthe(left) and Lyn Zeilstra sit with Zeilstra’s dog Smokey.

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

Friday, July 18, 2008

Barr's Post Card News

For over 33 years, Barr's Post Card News has provided post card and ephemera collectors with valuable information on buying and selling through mail Auctions, Internet Sales, post card shows and classified Advertisements.

Published twice monthly in Vinton, Iowa, experts in the field of deltiology (post card collecting) offer collectors tips and interesting articles about various aspects of the hobby. A calendar of shows and events is also provided.

According to Wikipedia, "Worldwide, deltiology is the third largest hobby after stamp collecting and money collecting."

For advice on getting started collecting post cards and subscription information, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Students' Artwork To Be Used As Postmarks reports that for the past several years the Chincoteague, Virginia Post Office has had pictorial postmarks to commemorate the annual Pony Penning and Pony Auction held there.

This year's postmark design contest winners are first-grader Matthew Albertson and sixth-grader Jessica Stanfield, who attend school on Chincoteague Island.

For those who can't attend the event and want a pictorial postmark can send an envelope or post card of their choice with postage applied, addressed to themselves, and place it in a larger envelope addressed to: Pony Penning, Postmaster, PO Box 9998, Chincoteague, VA 23336-9998.

Be sure to specify the pictorial postmark date to be applied to each envelope or card. All mail-in requests for a cancellation must be submitted by Aug. 30.

Shown above, Jessica Stanfield, left, Postmaster Christine Dore and Matthew Albertson with their drawings to be used as pictorial postmarks.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on the Ponies of Chincoteague and Pony Penning ,click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Josephine Baker Stamp Recalls Controversy

AFP reports, "The US Postal Service (USPS), which last year lost a legal battle after refusing to mail postcards with a topless image of US-born chanteuse Josephine Baker, is honoring the late African-American with a stamp of her own..."

According to the report, "The stamp reproduces a poster from the 1935 French film Princess Tam-Tam that featured the sultry star -- this time with her bosom covered -- who emigrated to France where she took much of Europe by storm after encountering racism in her home country."

It goes on to say, "After a protracted but eventually triumphant free-speech battle supported by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), her adopted son Jean-Claude Baker was allowed in May 2007 to mail 15,000 postcards to patrons of "Chez Josephine," his New York restaurant opened 22 years ago in honor of his adopted mother.

"The USPS had refused to accept and mail the cards, which featured a 1926 watercolor by Henry Fournier depicting Baker as a topless Follies-Bergere dancer, on the basis that they were "pornographic", according to the NYCLU.

"But the Baker son held firm and eventually prevailed in his case, earning his right to send the cards and an apology from the USPS."

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Remember When You Could Mail a Child?

After parcel post service was introduced in 1913, at least two children were sent by the Postal Service.

According to the Smithsonian's Photography Initiative website, "With stamps attached to their clothing, the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination. The Postmaster General quickly issued a regulation forbidding the sending of children in the mail after hearing of those examples."

According to an unidentified post on the BoingBoing website, "At the beginning of US Air Mail you could fly with the pilot in the second seat (2-seat biplane) for your postage weight in airmail stamps."

They go on to say, "Today there are Rural Star Routes where you can ride along with the post carrier in the truck or car to your destination (if it's on the route). This takes a long time, but it's faster than walking."

Shown above, city letter carrier posed for a National Postal Museum photograph circa 1920 with a young boy in his mailbag.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, July 14, 2008

75th Anniversary of Federal Duck Stamps

"This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first federal duck stamp, and a big part of the celebration was a set of brothers whose art again graces the stamp this year," writes Dennis Anderson of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune.

Brothers Bob, Jim and Joe Hautman (shown above) have all won the federal duck stamp contest. Joe most recently won the 2008-09 contest.

According to Anderson, Jay (Ding) Darling, an Iowa newspaper cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner was the painter of the first federal duck stamp.

Darling was appointed chief of the federal Bureau of Biological Survey by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1934, and it was his idea to require waterfowl hunters age 16 and older to buy a stamp to raise funds for duck habitat.

To read the entire article,click here

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

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Postal museum to chronicle Iran's history

Iran's Press TV reports, "The building housing Iran's Postal Museum in Tehran will be home to the largest postal and telecom museum in the Middle East to chronicle the 2,500-year history of Iran's postal system."

Among the displays to be featured at the new 18,000 square-meter compound are stamp collections which date back to the Qajar dynasty as well as more contemporary collections from the Pahlavi era.

The museum will also include collections from the Islamic Republic of Iran, which made special use of the postage stamp as a medium to deliver its political, religious and social message after the Islamic Revolution.

Alireza Berangi, the head of public relations at Iran's Post Museum, is quoted as saying the ambitious venture will eventually also help to bring the country's postal system to international standards.

Shown above, the building housing Iran's Postal Museum.

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

Saturday, July 12, 2008

USPS cutting staff

The Federal Times website reports, "The U.S. Postal Service is preparing to offer voluntary early retirements to up to 20,000 clerks and mail handlers as part of a nationwide reorganization of its delivery network.

"But in a statement issued to Federal Times July 8, the Postal Service said it will not offer buyouts to anyone taking early retirement. The Postal Service said further details on the early retirement offer will be released later this week," according to Federal Times reporter Stephen Losey.

Losey says, "The Postal Service released a reorganization plan in June that calls for closing airport mail facilities and consolidating bulk mail centers, along with streamlining the computer software that maps postal routes. The closings are expected to lead to staff reductions and more outsourcing."

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

Friday, July 11, 2008

Free Australian Stamps

Peter Elias writes to say
he has received a large number of used Australian commemorative stamps from the American Philatelic Society (APS) that are to be given away free of charge for "recreational & educational" purposes.

He's shown here putting together a 100 or so packets containing 55 stamps each.

If you would like one of these, send a 42¢ self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to: Peter Elias, attn: Free Australian Stamps set#3, PO Box 940427, Plano, TX 75094-0427.

To see more pictures of Pete sorting out the well over 80,000 stamps he's giving away, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stay Away From the Truck

An eagle named Franklin, and his sidekick bird friend Benny, are featured in a public service announcement (PSA) being sent to more than 500 television stations nationwide to help prevent injuries and deaths caused when children get too close to delivery vehicles according to a USPS news release.

The 30-second PSA features fast-paced humorous action to make children and parents aware of how important it is to always “stay away from the truck.” It is part of a broader child awareness safety program from the Postal Service and two of its unions, the National Association of Letter Carriers and the National Rural Letter Carrier’s Association.

The safety campaign targets pre-kindergarten through second-grade school children and includes a longer animated video and other materials to use in a school setting. Additional information on the school materials will be available in August.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Australian Stamp-Coin

An Australian coin shaped as a postage stamp has been created to commemorate the Beijing Olympic Games.

Produced by the Perth Mint, one side of the 50 cent "stamp-coin" features the mythical Chinese dragon and the Australian Olympic Committee logo.

The other side reproduces the usual image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Only 8,000 of the coins will be released across the country in a tribute to the Chinese belief in the lucky number eight, Australia Post said.

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

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Postal Chief Sees Freight Returning to Rail and Sea

The head of Australia Post predicts the global postal industry will face increasing pressure to cut back on air transporatation and revert to sea and rail deliveries according to an article that appears on the Business Day website.

Australia Post's managing director, Graeme John, is quoted as saying the problem of global warming would have an increasing influence on the way the global postal industry is run.

John was speaking at a meeting this week in Queensland of the Kahala Post Group, a consortium created five years ago to help them compete with private freight companies. Australia, the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, Spain, France and Britain are members.

The group was named after a resort the members stayed at during their founding meeting in Hawaii

In the article by Jesse Hogan of the The Sydney Morning Herald, it was reported that The Kahala partnership is also moving beyond postage, with Australia Post, China Post and the US Postal Service preparing to launch a group-owned money transfer service to compete against Western Union.

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

Monday, July 07, 2008

Pony Express Mail Delivery

The website reports that the newly formed Southeast New Mexico Oldtimers Association organized a Pony Express ride this past weekend "to bring their local communities together and relive a piece of history."

Post Master Valarie Watson is quoted in the article by Karl Terry as saying, "287 pieces of official USPS mail arrived on horseback." She pointed out, "...there was a good bit of red tape involved in getting the USPS to allow the mail to be carried in the old-fashioned mode..."

The USPS also authorized a special Pony Express cancellation. T-shirts with a map of the various routes were also available.

"For the sake of their horses, riders took a much more leisurely gait than a traditional Express rider, who went at full gallop and changed horses frequently," according to the report.

Shown above, Marvin Roberts, mounted, hands the mail to Postmaster Valarie Watson.

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

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Confessions of a Collector

Hunter Davies in the UK's Guardian asks, "So why do collectors collect?"

He believes there are 8 reasons why people collect things.

1. Gathering
2. Arranging
3. Knowledge
4. Escape
5. Therapy
6. Identity
7. Social life
8. Excitement

To read the entire article, click here.

Shown above, Charles Spencelay's "The Stamp Collector."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Vancouver 2010 Winter Games Stamps

The Canadian Press website reports, "More than half a billion stamps and related products will be produced for the Games under the terms of a $3-million supplier agreement the carrier has signed with Olympic organizers."

According to the site, it is the first time Canada Post has been an official sponsor of the Olympics in Canada, though they have produced Olympic-related stamps in the past.

The report goes on to say, "Design of the 2010 stamps will be done in conjunction with Vancouver organizers and will likely feature images of the Olympic mascots, as well as sports imagery."

Dennis Kim, director of licensing and merchandising for the committee is quoted as saying the Olympics Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, has a room full of Olympic stamps from previous Games.

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

Friday, July 04, 2008

Patriotic Covers

Patriotic covers are envelopes used during periods of national conflict with pre-printed or hand-drawn slogans or illustrations.

According to L.B. Rothchilde,during the Civil War, "Families and friends wrote to their soldiers and the mail was delivered to them in the field whenever it was possible. Their deep rooted patriotism was made known through what we now refer to as 'patriotic covers,' envelopes with patriotic themes and phrases that were printed on the front. This idea originated in the North and soon became very popular."

The U.S. Postal History Blog says, "95% or more of the patriotic covers that exist today were printed between 1861-65. It is believed that no fewer than 7,500 and perhaps as many as 10,000 designs exist."

To learn more about patriotic covers, click here.

Happy 4th of July!
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Stamps of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair

Seventy-five years ago, the city of Chicago staged its second world’s fair, A Century of Progress, to celebrate its centennial.

The U.S. Post Office Department issued three stamp designs with a total of seven varieties according to the National Postal Museum.

On May 25, 1933, a 1-cent stamp for the postcard rate and a 3-cent stamp for the letter rate promoted the fair just days before it opened. It depicted Fort Dearborn. A replica of the fort was a popular attraction at the fair.

The violet 3-cent stamp’s vignette featured the fair’s Federal Building and had Roman numerals for its value. It the first U.S. stamp since the 1847 10-cent George Washington to feature that element.

For the American Philatelic Society convention, held August 21 to 26 in Chicago’s central business district, the post office issued the same two stamp designs but in a different format - souvenir sheets of twenty-five stamps.

Two more varieties appeared March 15, 1935, after collector protests following the discovery that complete sheets had been presented as gifts to government officials.

On October 2, 1933, another stamp was issued.

The 50-cent green Graf Zeppelin stamp (Scott C18) depicted the famous German airship over the Atlantic Ocean with the Federal Building of A Century of Progress in the lower left. If you look closely you can see fairgoers on the steps.

For more on the stamps of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Postal employees reunite owner and lost memento

The USPS News Link reports, a Concord, MA, customer was pretty upset when his mother’s WWII civilian military badge (shown here) was not received in the the mail.

When he reported the item missing, Retail Associate Lisa Dente sprung into action.

According to the News Link, "Dente contacted mail recovery centers, but came up empty. Undaunted, she reported the missing badge to Massachusetts District Consumer Affairs Clerk Wanda Sanchez, who sent e-mails to her counterparts across the country. Connie Snyder, a senior business service network specialist in Salt Lake City, saw the message and sent it to Claims and Inquiry Clerk Joanne Matragos."
Matragos found the badge and shipped it to Concord by Express Mail the same day.

Shipped from Salt Lake City, the family heirloom was apparently lost when the envelope carrying it was torn open during mail processing.
For more on mail recovery centers (MRC), click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Postal Service Pushes the Envelope

The Postal Service’s Customized MarketMail (CMM) lets mailers send mailpieces of any shape or design.

Since its launch in 2003, advertisers have mailed images of puppy dogs, doughnuts, drink bottles, race cars and other memorable shapes.

"Customized MarketMailTM (CMM), advertisers can communicate their products and services visually by sending literally-outside-the-box-shaped pieces of mail..." according to Robert Longley, on the website.

According to Direct Marketing magazine, "The Postal Service allows you to mail almost any item that doesn't present a hazard, or isn't impractical. Some items that have gone through the mail include dollar bills with a stamp and address pasted over George Washington's face; a mylar balloon filled with air; plastic bottles with a message inside; empty beer cans; and cinder blocks.

The blocks, by the way, must weigh less than 70 pounds and can be refused if they have sharp or extra rough edges.

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