Saturday, January 31, 2009

Email Doesn't Worry Avid Stamp Collector

In an article that appears on Canada's Waterloo Record Web site, John Kneitl of the Grand Valley Philatelic Association is quoted as saying, "The growth of email and decline in mailing letters may turn into a boon for stamp collectors. A century ago, tens of millions of the same stamp were printed. Today, only a few million are printed."

Not exactly correct but according to the article, Kneitl is busy buying up whatever he can. I think the new stuff, if I look back in 15 years, will be even more rare than the old stuff."

Don't hold your breath, John

To read the entire article, click here.

Click here for a related stamp collecting story about Rod Adkin (shown above) that also appears on the paper's Web site.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mail Delivered 7-Days a Week Prior to 1912

The Washington Post reports, "In testimony before a Senate subcommittee Wednesday, Postmaster General John 'Jack' Potter said the post office may be forced to cut back to five-day delivery for the first time in the agency's history, citing rising costs and an ongoing decline in mail made worse by the global recession. The potential move, which would have to be approved by Congress and postal officials, could mean the elimination of mail on either Saturdays or Tuesdays, the system's slowest days, postal officials said."

Washington Post reporter Dan Eggen writes, "For much of its early history, the post office delivered mail seven days a week, including twice-a-day stops in some cities. The switch to six-day service came in 1912, when the agency eliminated Sunday delivery due to objections from Christian groups."

Shown above, 1912 Parcel Post stamp showing delivery vehicle.

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Unshoveled Sidewalks and Driveways Can Suspend Mail Delivery

Reporter Shannon Murphy of Michigan's Flint Journal says, "Forget about the unofficial post office motto that neither snow nor rain nor sleet will stop your mail carrier from delivering the mail. If you have too much snow or ice around your mailbox, they're not coming to your house."

According to Shannon, letter carriers from the U.S. Postal Service can stop mail delivery to any area that they deem unsafe, for reasons such as an icy sidewalk, snow barriers or dangerous dogs. Any carrier who delivers to a potentially dangerous area could face discipline.

In order to prevent mail delivery being stopped, Flint residents have received postcards with their mail stating that if they don't shovel the walk, mail will not be delivered.

Shown here, letter carrier Doug Seville walks over uncleared sidewalks on his route.

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

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Free Australian Stamp Offer

Peter Elias reports, "I have just put together another 100packages of 55 FREE Australian stamps (Set # 5) to be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis."

According to Peter, "These stamps are postally used Australian commemorative stamps that were donated to the American Philatelic Society (APS) and I have received these in order to be given away to beginning collectors or children (according to the APS, these stamps are for educational & recreational purposes). This set contains many nice topical stamps!"

The stamps are free, but Peter is asking help to cover the return postage.

Shown above, the Australian stamps that are being given away.

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stamp With a Story Returns Home

Canada's Bugle-Observer reports a stamp with a checkered past " is coming home and generating renewed interest in stamp collecting."

The five-cent stamp is rare and controversial because it was ordered in 1860 by Charles Connell, who was then New Brunswick's postmaster general. It caused a scandal when it arrived in the province because the image on the stamp was of Connell's face.

Connell had to resign due to public protest and most the 500,000 stamps printed were burned on the front lawn of his home.

But a few survived and have become valuable.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Click here to learn more about the Connell stamp.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stamp Camp USA

Cheryl Edgcomb writes on the American Profile Web site, "Watching a kid enthusiastically take to stamp collecting is a heartening sight for all of us. It not only reminds us of our beginning years, but also shows us the future faces of our hobby. With so many activities and choices for kids today, it is not enough to simply hand them a packet of stamps. Novice collectors need to be encouraged in the ways of our hobby. Stamp Camp USA, one of the most successful programs for nurturing young collectors, provides youth programs that do just this."

According to Cheryl, retired Postmaster of Nelson, Pennsylvania and creator of Stamp Camp USA, "The diversity of its partners is an important strength for Stamp Camp USA. In addition to traditional philatelic groups, Stamp Camp also partners with a multitude of community, civic, and educational groups to promote stamp collecting as a family activity - 4-H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, YWCA, public libraries, Head Start, and home school networks. This work is made possible because a "village" of collectors, dealers, and youth-oriented volunteers support the program with their time, dollars, and resources."

To learn more about the program, to host a Stamp Camp in your community, to become a trained adult leader, to contribute time, money, or philatelic material contact Cheryl Edgcomb, Executive Director Stamp Camp USA, 117 Court Street, Suite A, Elkland, PA 16920-1477; or call the Stamp Camp USA field office at 814-258-5601; or by email to

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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Linn's U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll

Linn's Stamp News is holding its annual stamp popularity poll where you can vote for your favorites — and your least favorites.

Jay Bigalke, Linn's online editor and Postmark Pursuit columnist, writes, "The ballot pages include pictures of the 2008 stamps from each of three categories: commemorative stamps, definitive and special stamps, and postal stationery."

He goes on to say, "Within each of the three categories, you can select the stamps or issues you think have the best design and worst design, and also those you consider the most important and the least necessary."

According to Jay, "Linn's annual U.S. stamp popularity poll, which began in 1948, is intended as a fun way for readers to voice their opinions about the U.S. stamp program. The poll is neither scientific nor statistically valid."

To cast your vote, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Controversy Over New Russell Crowe Stamp

Four of Australia's most celebrated actors, Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, and Geoffrey Rush appear on a set of eight 55-cent "Australian Legends" stamps due out Jan. 26.

Shown here, the stamps features photos of the actors in and out of character, including Kidman from Moulin Rouge, Blanchett from Elizabeth, Crowe from Gladiator, and Rush from Shine.

The decision by Australia Post to include Crowe the series has rubbed some New Zealanders the wrong way according to the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC). Crowe, who was born in New Zealand in 1964, did not become an Australian citizen until 2006.

The Daily Telegraph also points out it has been 11 years since Crowe made a film on Australian soil.

For more on this story, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:04 AM

Friday, January 23, 2009

Canada's Lakehead Stamp Club

Canada's Lakehead Stamp Club is featured in an article that appears on the Thunderbay Chronicle Journal Web site.

Club President Margaret Looney is quoted as saying, “People have quit collecting because of postage going up.”

Canada Post raised the cost of mailing a letter in Canada by two cents, to 54 cents, this week. Sending letters to the U.S. also went up two cents to 98 cents, while postage for a letter going to all other foreign countries went up by a nickel to $1.65.

She points out,"... the hobby can get pricey for enthusiasts who collect mint, or never-used stamps and corner blocks of sheets. And when stamp prices go up, it doesn‘t necessarily mean collections will be worth more."

The club, which was established in 1947, has about 30 members who regularly attend twice-monthly meetings.

"It is a place where philatelists can go to compare collections, learn more about their hobby, buy and sell stamps, and engage in friendly conversation," according to reporter Lindsay LaFraugh.

For many, the club serves as a good place to check out stamps being sold by the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada. The society sends a box of stamps once a month for club members to pick and choose from.

To read the entire article, click here.

Shown above, searchable back issues of The Canadian Philatelist which are available for viewing on-line. Click here for more information.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, January 22, 2009

British Postal Museum Records Go Online reports, "The British Postal Museum & Archive (BPMA) is to make available over 3,000 searchable postal history records via its website from 2 March 2009."

According to reporter David Lynch, "The three listings: Penny Posts (including 5th Clause Posts); Mileage Marks and Missent Marks, consist of listings of all covers held in the philatelic collection of the BPMA. All of the listings have introductions illustrated with specific types. There are also a few examples of complete covers; however, the listings do not provide illustrations of all covers."

Subsequent listings will include Shipped Letters, London Markings and Railway Letters.

Lynch writes, "The listings have been compiled by volunteers over a period of 15 years. For these sections, most listings and descriptions have been compiled by Mike Bament, the well-known postal historian."

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Black History Month Stamp Design Lesson Plan

On the Web site there is an easy-to-folow lesson plan for designing a stamp in honor of Black History Month coming up in February.

According to the site, "Creating commemorative postage stamp designs is a good way for students to celebrate Black History Month and the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th president. In 1940, the first stamp issued in honor of a black American was released. The image was of educator Booker T. Washington."

Created by by Marilyn J. Brackney, there is a very cool postage stamp template that can be downloaded.

Also listed are the official USPS Criteria for Stamp Subject Selection guidelines although it is not necessary for the children to follow them in creating a stamp.

Shown above, a previous child's stamp design which is particularly timely.

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama Election and Inauguration Day Covers

Washington Press is offering Barrack Obama envelopes and stamps with today's date along with other envelopes and stamps that mark this historic occasion.

Shown above is their "Barack Obama Life in Stamps" cover.

The six stamps tell the story of President Barack Obama's Life. Born in Honolulu Hawaii; graduate of Columbia University; practicing attorney and professor of law; elected to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate; elected President of the United States. All six stamps are canceled with the January 20, 2009 Inauguration Day postmark.

Also available are...

Barack Obama cachet with 42c Flag stamp affixed and canceled with special Washington, DC Inauguration Day pictorial postmark.

Barack Obama & Joe Biden cachet with 42c Flag stamp canceled with 1/20/09 Inauguration Day Washington, DC pictorial postmark.

President Obama & First Lady Michelle Obama cachet with 42c Flag stamp canceled 1/20/09 with Inauguration Day Washington, DC pictorial postmark.

Barack Obama Election Day Cover which was canceled on November 4, 2008 in Washington, DC, the day Barack Obama was elected 44th President of the United States.

Barack Obama Victory Speech Cover which was canceled on November 4, 2008, in Chicago, IL where Barack Obama gave his victory speech in Grant Park after being elected President of the United States.

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

Monday, January 19, 2009

Presidential Stamp Collector Awaits Inauguration

Television station KVBC in Las Vegas reports, "The excitement is mounting for many as Barack Obama prepares to become the nation's 44th president," including one man who collects stamps that commemorate the Inaugurations of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, JFK and others.

George Coleman, whose stamp collection once belonged to his mother-in-law, is quoted as saying, "I've got about every president we ever had."

Shown above, 2005 USPS Bush Inaugural envelope.

To read the entire article and to watch a video, click here.

For more on U.S. presidents on stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:02 AM

Little Pieces of Art and History

Canada's Brantford Expositor reports, "Every stamp tells a story."
In an article about the annual Brantford Stamp Show, show chairman Dan Coates is quoted as saying stamps are little pieces of art and history.

Reporter Heather Ibbotson writes, "Used stamps have always fascinated Coates, who said he enjoys the flights of fancy created by examining stamps from far off places."

Dan looks at them and says, "I wonder where this stamp has been," according to Ibbotson.

Club president Bob Anderson is also quoted.

"You always learn something, no matter what you collect," he said. "It's an interesting hobby that grows."

On its Web site, the Brantford Stamp Club, which began in 1938, lists the following objectives.

• To promote the hobby of philately
• To assist members in increasing their collections through sales, auctions, dealer contacts
• To promote common interests
• To encourage members to show their collections at shows and exhibitions

Shown above, the club's promotion piece for its show held Jan. 10.

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

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Poe's Last Picture on Stamp

The Web site asks, "What do Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Meriwether Lewis, Tennessee Williams and Audrey Hepburn have in common?"

The answer...their portraits have all been displayed on postage stamps designed and painted by artist Michael Deas.

Deas' latest effort is that of Edgar Allan Poe. The stamp was released Jan.16th and is his 21st.

According to the article by Tom Kazas, "The picture on which Deas modeled the portrait is called the "Thompson" daguerreotype, after an early owner of the picture, John R. Thompson. It was taken in September 1849 by Richmond photographer William A. Pratt."

Deas is quoted as saying, "You can tell it was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Pratt spotted Poe on the street and took him upstairs for a picture. In the photo, Poe is a little unkempt. His hair it tousled; his clothes are rumpled."

Kazas reports, "The Thompson daguerreotype is the last known picture of Poe. The author died in Baltimore [Maryland] about three weeks after it was taken."

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

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stamps Business is Booming

UK's Oxford Times reports, " these gloomy economic times, experts are suggesting stamps could be the answer and the stamps business is booming."

According to reporter Andrew Smith, the staff at Universal Philatelic Auctions (UPA) have never been busier. UPA was set up nine years ago by Andrew McGavin [shown here] who, like many children of his generation, was a keen stamp collector.

McGavin, 54, is quoted as saying “I have never seen the market this firm. While I would not say stay it is recession-proof, there are some good returns.”

He believes there are three things that are keeping stamps popular as the economy suffers.

“Firstly, many stamp collectors tend to be aged over 60, meaning they are less likely to have a mortgage and be affected by day-to-day rises in the cost of living.

“Secondly, stamps tend to hold their value over the long-term. At the moment they are seen by collectors as an enjoyable hobby with profit potential.

“Finally, the Internet has been kind to stamp-collecting. Demand is truly international and valuable stamps can be easily shipped worldwide.”

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

Friday, January 16, 2009

Stamp Illustrator Daniel Cosgrove

Chicago's Doings website features local artist and U.S. stamp illustrator Daniel Cosgrove.

Daniel's latest stamp designs are the upcoming $17.50 Old Faithful and the $4.95Redwood Forest stamps being released Jan. 16.

Last June, USPS issued his designs featuring Mount Rushmore ($4.80) and the Hoover Dam ($16.50).

According to the site, "Cosgrove was recruited for the assignment by Carl Herrman, art director for the postal service. Herrman was familiar with Cosgrove's work and thought his style of art would look good on a postage stamp."

Herrman is quoted in the article by Rob Siebert as saying, "What I like most about Dan is that he has the ability to do a subject that is very overused and worn out and still make it fresh and special."

Herrman referred to him as one of the best illustrators he's ever worked with.

Shown above, Daniel works on one of the U.S. stamps he recently designed in Adobe Illustrator on his Apple Mac.

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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making Your Correspondence Stylish

The Associated Press reports a new set of postage stamps celebrates a century of British design icons — from the Mini car to the miniskirt.

The Royal Mail stamps feature 10 different 20th-century design classics. They include the red double-decker bus, the Concorde supersonic jet, the orange-and-white Penguin paperback and the compact Mini car.

Another shows the miniskirt designed by Mary Quant (shown above holding a blow-up of the stamp) that revolutionized fashion in the 1960s. Quant helped launch the stamps praising the Royal Mail for their selection.

UK's Liverpool Daily Post says, "Now even your correspondence can be stylish."

"Sending a letter has never been so chic," reports the PopSugar website.

For more on this story and to watch a video, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Philatelic New Year's Resolutions

Janet Klug writes about her philatelic New Year's resolutions in Linn's.

They are...

- Make time for your stamp collection
- Start a new collection
- Join a specialty society
- Share your hobby with others
- Curl up with a good book

To read the entire article, click here.

If you have a philatelic New Year's resolution you'd like to share, send it to the Stamp Collecting Roundup at
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Where Have All the Pint-Sized Collectors Gone?

Staff writer Marilyn Gardner of the Christian Science Monitor reports, "Angela Watson remembers the pleasure of childhood stamp collecting. Whenever friends and family gave her stamps, especially from foreign countries, she would study them. Then she would turn to the Encyclopedia Britannica for more information."

Angela is quoted in an article titled Where Have All the Pint-Sized Collectors Gone? as saying, "Stamps provided a large part of my education in history, geography, science, and nature."

According to the paper, "Today far fewer youngsters are involved in the traditional 'big three'of children's collecting – stamps, coins, and sports cards."

Will Seippel, a father of five and CEO of WorthPoint, a database for collectibles is also quoted...

"Kids used to collect stamps because it was a glimpse into a world you couldn't see just by turning on a computer [as they can today]. If you were growing up in Baltimore, a stamp was a way to see Cameroon. Today there's not the primary lure of the distant land."

Gary Sohmers of Framingham, Mass., who appraises collectibles for the Antiques Roadshow on PBS points out in the piece "that collecting teaches children about maintaining objects and sharing their collections with friends and family. It also offers lessons in fair trading."

Shown above, a 1955 semi-postal (SC B296) from Austria picturing a young collector. Funds from the sale of the stamp went to promote philately in Austria.

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

Monday, January 12, 2009

Stamp Collecting - An Old School Hobby

Reporter Christopher Hall of the Louisville, Kentucky, Courier Journal writes that, "Stamp collecting is an old-school hobby, but it could be making a comeback as people start to return to older, simpler hobbies."

Stamp show organizer Steve Schinbeckler thinks stamp collecting is a growing hobby.

Steve puts on 15 shows a year and is quoted in the article as saying, "...there are absolutely more people coming to the shows now." He and his wife put out a registry for shoppers to sign -- and 12 percent to 20 percent have been new faces, which is higher than normal.

"People are staying home now. They're not traveling like they used to, and old hobbies are coming back out to the kitchen table. There's more young people coming into it than I think anybody realizes," according to Steve.

Show above, Pete Tropoulos of Frankfort, Kentucky going through material at The Stamp Collectors Marketplace which was held over the weekend in Clarksville, Tennessee and organized by Steve Schinbeckler.

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

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Postal Worker Celebrates 50 Years on the Job

According to the Beaver Dam, Wisconsin Daily Citizen, Norman Grahn,75, has worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Beaver Dam for 50 years... "with no end in sight."

Grahn is quoted in the article by Dan Baulch as saying, "I became interested in this kind of work in the Navy. I was in communications, and part of my job was the post office. Yeah, we sold a few stamps, but I was the first to go to shore to get the mail and bring it back. I thought to myself, 'Why not try this on the outside?'"

Baulch goes on to write, "According to some online sources, the average person entering today's job market can expect to change jobs between nine and 13 times. That concept is lost on Norman Grahn."

Grahn served in the Navy from 1953 to 1957, and received his first postal experience on board a destroyer escort.

Shown above, Norman Grahn sorts the mail before hitting the streets for his postal route.

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

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Auction House Re-enters Philatelic Market

Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas, the world’s third largest auction company, is re-entering the philatelic market after 15 years with its Inaugural Signature® Stamp Auction to be held in Dallas and online, Feb. 5-7, 2009 according to the website.

Among the items to be auctioned off; 1847 Franklin 5-cent (Scott #1a), $3 Columbian Exposition (Scott #243), a “Inverted Jenny, (#C3a),” a pair of 1840 Great Britain 2p Blue (S.G. #5/Scott #2) and the largest known multiple of the un-issued, non-denominated H “Yellow Hat” variety.

Shown above, 1847 Franklin five-cent dark brown (Scott #1a), original gum, graded PSE Mint 98J, Mint. This is the highest graded Mint #1 in any shade, known to date and has a spectacular corner sheet margin from position 100R. This stamp is estimated to exceed six figures when the hammer drops.

For additional information, to receive a catalog or to register online, go to or call 866-835-3243, and mention reference #DM15076.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, January 09, 2009

Post Office Going Out of Business?

Time Magazine reports, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep your mail carrier from making the daily rounds, promises the U.S. Postal Service's unofficial motto — but the economy might."

According to an article by reporter Laura Fitzpatrick, "With 9.5 billion fewer letters and packages delivered in the 2008 fiscal year compared with 2007, the biggest mail volume decline in history has contributed to the agency's $2.8 billion loss for the year. That partly explains why shipping prices will rise 5% this month (a bigger hike than all shipping increases in 2008), with a stamp price jump to follow in May."

In a related story, Bill McAllister reports in the January 19 edition of Linn's that the Post Office is looking at cutting back to three, four, and/or five day deliveries as a way of reducing costs.

The Time article goes on to say, "The decline could also put your local letter carrier out of a job, and it has even stoked fears that the centuries-old Postal Service could one day go the way of the telegraph."

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

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Top 10 Extraordinary Stamps of 2008

StampNews.Com has come up with a list of the "Top 10 Extraordinary Stamps of 2008."

These are;

#1. Embroidered stamp of Austria.

#2. UEFA EURO 2008 Ball Stamp.

#3. Imagine Peace Tower on New Icelandic Stamp.

#4. Rally Driver Shows his View of Aland.

#5. Lithuania's drop-shaped stamp.

#6. Living images on Alpine Skiing stamps.

#7. Experience a movie on Australian stamp.

#8. Hong Kong stamps feature glow-in-the-dark jellyfish.

#9. 'Abstract Guernsey' stamps.

#10. Austria: The Willendorf Venus.

For more information, photos and details on each, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

APS Alaska Album Available for Download

The American Philatelic Society is offering a free 15-page Stamps of Alaska album.

The mini-album showcases United States stamps that are related to the Alaska’s history and geography, its people, plants and animals. Created in cooperation with the Scott Publishing Co., it has spaces for 59 stamps including a 10-stamp Nature of America pane.

Facing pages of text describe how the issues relate to Alaska, from the arrival of the earliest peoples to the state’s modern prosperity.

Pages include “Alaska Prehistory and Early History,” “The Alaska Purchase & Gold Rush Days,” “Alaska from U.S. Territory to 49th State,” “More Alaskan History and Geography,” “Alaska Flora and Fauna,” and “More Alaskan Wildlife.”

A blank “Alaska” page with a matching border is also available at the end of the album, which collectors may use as they choose, including printing multiple copies they can use to mount First Day Covers or Alaska postmarks.

The Stamps of Alaska album is number five in a series. Previous albums included North Carolina, Connecticut, Texas, and Arizona. All of these along with other APS albums are available to be viewed or downloaded and printed.

Future albums are planned in conjunction with 2009–2011 APS shows in Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, South Carolina, and Ohio.

To download the Alaska album, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Free Screening of Stamp Related Films at National Postal Museum

The National Postal Museum is having a free screening of the following stamp related films this Saturday, Jan. 10, in Washington, D.C.

Jezebel (1938) stars Bette Davis as a headstrong, independent southern belle who shocks her New Orleans community with her spitfire behavior and a certain red dress.

Also starring Henry Fonda, Jezebel won Davis an Academy Award. Often playing complex characters, Davis set the standard for women in the film industry.

Davis was honored with a 2008 Legends of Hollywood stamp as was Henry Fonda in 2005.

Hallelujah 1929)- was recently featured on the Vintage Black Cinema stamp shown here. It was one of the first major-studio films to feature an all-black cast.

Hallelujah is director King Vidor's first talkie. Hallelujah was honored with a 2008 stamp along with four other films: Black and Tan (1929), The Sport of the Gods (1921), Princess Tam-Tam (1935), and Caldonia (1945).

For details on this and other events at the National Postal Museum, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, January 05, 2009

1957 Gaza First Day Covers ran a story last month about the history of investing in Israeli stamps in the 1940s and 50s.

One of the examples reporter Lior Friedman gave in the piece was about the 1957 "Bulei Bitahon" (Security Stamps).

Lior writes, "This is when a new concept, familiar to almost any philatelist, initially caught on in Israel: the 'First Day' envelope. This is the envelope prepared by the service on the day of issue, postmarked with the date, with stamps affixed to it."

He goes on, "It was decided that the First Day envelope for the Security Stamps would be postmarked Gaza, which had been captured from Egypt a few months before in the Sinai Campaign. It's not clear whether people thought that an eventual withdrawal from that area would make these envelopes especially desirable, or whether the number of envelopes was just small to begin with, considering the burgeoning philately market. In any event, within a short time, the value of a Gaza envelope had soared from the original price of a few hundred prutot (the pruta was equal to 1,000th of an Israel pound, or lira) to a high of 40 pounds. This was equivalent to an average week's salary at the time. Serious investors in the field were trading hundreds and thousands of these envelopes."

To read the entire article titled A Lick and a Promise, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Alaska governor and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin attended first-day-of-issue ceremonies for the 50th Anniversary of Alaska Statehood stamp held in Anchorage, AK yesterday.

Palin is quoted in a USPS press release as saying,"We are so pleased to work with the United States Postal Service in presenting a design that most certainly displays what Alaska is all about."

According to the release, "The stamp features Jeff Schultz's photograph of a dog musher taken during the 2000 Iditarod. Fifteen degrees above zero, Schultz was 75 miles from the nearest town following the trail along the Rainey Pass just as the dog sled team raced across the foreground."

It goes on to say, "Unlike any other race in the world, Iditarod competitors traverse more than 1,150 miles of the most extreme and beautiful terrain known to man to include mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forests, desolate tundra and windswept coastline."

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, usually just called the "Iditarod", is an annual sled dog race in Alaska. The name of the state derives from an Aleut word meaning "great land.

According to, Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe and her team are pictured on the stamp.

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

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Finnish Youngsters Show Feelings at Postal Museum

Franz Groter of reports the Finnish Postal Museum is arranging an interactive exhibition experience for children starting Jan. 14 through Mar. 22, 2009 called "We Share The Emotion."

According to Franz, "The exhibition, which explores four basic emotions: happiness, anger, fear and joy, strives to convey the idea of how important it is to share one's emotions with others, and to display emotions, too. Another objective is to provoke discussion and debate both at school, in daycare centres and homes."

He goes on to write, "Children can communicate their feelings at the children's post office by drawing and writing postcards and sending them on. Furthermore, children can sort mail and spin the roulette of emotions. The exhibition reminds visitors that mail carriers not only deliver mail but act as messengers of deep feelings."

Shown above, a set of six puzzles showing children's emotions which are made by Willis Toys in the UK. The puzzles help children talk about their feelings and would actually make a great set of stamps.

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

Friday, January 02, 2009

ATA Announces 'Celebrate America' Contest

Linn's reports that the American Topical Association (ATA) is sponsoring a new contest for young collectors.

Called "Celebrate America", young persons need to create a one-page mini-exhibit on some aspect of the United States.

First, second and third place prizes will be awarded in each of the following age groups: 8 and younger, 9 and 10, 11 and 12, and 13 and older. Special prizes will be awarded for the most unusual topic and the most informative text.

The contest is open to young collectors in any country, but only U.S. can be used. Entries, who need to be photocopied (color preferred but not required). Each entry must include the following information on the back of the exhibit page; the full name, mailing address (either home or school) and age of the participant.

Deadline for receiving the contest entries is May 15.

For more information call 817-274-1181 or e-mail
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM