Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stamp Dealer Convicted of Embezzling Money from Churches

UK's Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reports stamp dealer Derek Klein, 54, has been ordered to sell his stamp collection to repay nearly £70,000 that he stole from two churches.

The former church treasurer took the money to fund an internet gambling habit. He was given a 16-month jail sentence after stealing the cash over more than two decades.

Klein, shown above, raised £25,000 from the sales since being convicted of theft in September 2007.

According to the article, "Klein is understood to be one of the country's leading stamp dealers. His collection is thought to contain tens of thousands of first-day covers, including stamps marking England's 1966 soccer World Cup win, the Silver Jubilee of George V and the silver wedding of George VI."

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

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Pleasures of Stamp Collecting

An article that originally appeared in the New Zealand Stamp Collector, the official journal of the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand, was posted on the Philatelic Database Web site.

It deals with the pleasures of stamp collecting.

According to the author, D. J. Jarvis, "The Royal Philatelic Society was privileged recently to hear an interesting talk on stamp collecting as an investment. The speaker made the point that the acquisition of rare stamps, necessarily in perfect condition, solely for investment as a hedge against inflation is a joyless occupation from a collecting point of view - this notwithstanding its soundness as a financial policy.

"For most collectors the pleasures of seeing their treasures increase in value is tinged with chagrin as they see others which they covet being priced beyond their means."

To read the entire article, click here.

Shown above, The 1856 one-cent "Black on Magenta" of British Guiana which is regarded by many as the rarest stamp in the world.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Postmaster Wants to Starts Stamp Club

An local postmaster is looking to start a stamp-collecting club according to the Statesman Journal in Salem,Oregon.

Though not currently a stamp collector himself, Raymond Berg collected stamps as a child and is a board member of the Salem Stamp Society.

Berg is quoted in the article by Denise Ruttan as saying,"People have brought it to my attention that they would like to learn about stamps. For a stamp club, what I would like to do is to start out with people swapping stamps with other collectors."

Berg goes on to say,"There are so many stamps out there, it's exciting. In stamp collecting, you can collect whatever you want. In topical collecting, you pick a topic. Some people want to collect horses, airplanes, flags, cartoons or angels. There's hundreds of thousands of stamps."

Shown above, Aumsville,Oregeon, Postmaster Raymond Berg in his office.

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

French President Forms Stamp Club

UK's Telegraph is reporting French President Nicolas Sarkozy is sponsoring the newly formed Elysée Philatelist Club.

According to the article by Peter Allen in Paris, "Paris-based Gala magazine revealed the existence of the stamp-collecting club, describing it as 'an independent association based at the presidential residence."

Sarkozy is said to pursue his hobby during the evenings, regularly allowing his wife Carla to inspect his albums.

Last year, when the Sarkozys stayed at Windsor Castle on a state visit he was given a stamps for his collection by Queen Elizabeth who has had an interest in stamps since she was a child. Sarkozy was also given a leather album full of stamps by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"Mr. Sarkozy's collection is slowly growing into one of the most impressive in the world because of all the international leaders he is in regular contact with,' said a club source. "Being French president is a perfect job for a keen philatelist.'

Shown above, President Sarkozy and Queen Elizabeth.

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

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trashing the Hobby

Joe Klobusicky of Carnegie Mellon's The Tartan Online has a student Q & A column.

Yesterday he posted this question, "Don’t laugh at me, but I have a stamp collection. Even for being a Carnegie Mellon student, I get harassed every day for searching through catalogs and the Internet to find that perfect stamp. Why is everyone so hostile toward stamps?"

This was his response, "If you were five years old, I would say that everyone is just jealous of your totally awesome stamp collection. The fact of the matter is: stamp collecting is dorky, even at Carnegie Mellon. Your activity falls into the “classical nerd” category. These are tasks considered “cool” to nerds 40 years ago, but now have given way to blogging, Internet gaming, and hygiene. Examples of classical nerd activities include wearing suspenders, bug or stamp collecting, cartography, and pen pals. Unfortunately, these activities are feverishly fun, which means they’re hard to get rid of when you realize that Eisenhower’s not in power.

"Does this mean that you should give up your passion? Absolutely not, Posted. Fight the good fight and defend your quirky and somewhat antiquated hobbies. It’s people like you who tell the world how everything is sorted or what kind of glue goes best with balsa wood for that perfect model plane. Maybe the newer nerds aren’t impressed with your toys, but so be it. At least collecting stamps doesn’t result in repetitive stress injury."

You can write Joe at Send me a copy as well will ya?
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tamper-proof Stamps

The UK's Mirror reports, "Tamper-proof stamps are to be issued to thwart fraudsters who peel off or soak old ones to reuse them."

According to an article by David Collins, "The new security Machin stamps have two sticky panels that tear if they're peeled off, and are printed on special paper with the words Royal Mail repeated - similar to security features used on bank notes to stop forgeries."

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

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Behind Every Stamp There is a Story

Reporter Joe Kovac Jr. of the Macon, Georgia Telegraph.
writes, "Berdia Felder collects stamps the way a lot of kids collect baseball cards. She stashes them by the thousands in boxes under her bed and in her attic. She has no organized albums or fancy display cases for them."

He goes on to pen, "On a recent afternoon in her Forsyth Road living room, Felder, a retired school counselor, sat on a couch with a plastic bin of stamps in her lap. Most of the stamps, full sheets of them, are related to black heritage. One, with the botanist George Washington Carver on it, dates back to 1948 when stamps were 3 cents.

"But some of the other figures in black history on the stamps aren’t necessarily as well known.

"As she picked through what was but a fraction of her collection, every few minutes she held up a stamp and asked, “You heard of Charles R. Drew? ... You heard of Dinah Washington? ... Benjamin Banneker? ... Paul Laurence Dunbar?”

Berdia, shown above, first took an interest in stamps four decades ago when a principal at a school where she worked in Florida talked her into heading up a student stamp club according to Kovac.

He quotes her as saying, “Stamps really tell an interesting story, not only about history, but about different personalities, different countries and regions."

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

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vera Felts Named ATA Executive Director

Last month Vera Felts of Carterville, IL was named to the position of executive director of the American Topical Association (ATA).

She offically takes office March 1st according to an ATA press release.

Vera has previously served as the ATA Checklist Coordinator for three years.

According to the release, Vera was chosen primarily for her background in computers, recruiting, and public relations along with her publishing, advertising and organizational backgrounds

The American Topical Association serves members in 65 countries. It is the largest philatelic society devoted to this specific area of stamp collecting. Organized in 1949, the ATA has over 56 years of service to its members.

Shown above, Vera working on her collection.

To read the entire press release, click here.

Vera was also featured in an article that appeared on Website by reporter Codell Rodriguez. Click here to read that article.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, February 20, 2009

Round-Up Makes The Collectors Weekly Hall of Fame

Dave Margulius, editor of The Collectors Weekly Web site, writes to say the Round-Up has been chosen as "one of the best collector sites for our Hall of Fame."

The description on the Website reads, "Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all the latest stamp-related news, from dozens of publications, so you don't have to. His posts (no pun intended) cover topics ranging from early stamp issues to the latest current commemoratives, and from philatelic events to new equipment being placed in service by the U.S. postal system. This blog also has great links to a host of other useful stamp collecting resources."

Thanks Dave!

Click here to check out Dave's site which is very well done. It is loaded with lots of good information and useful tools about all sorts of collectibles not just stamps.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Obituary for Stamp Vending Machines

Will Atkins recently wrote this "obituary" for stamp vending machines in the Austin, Texas, Oak Hill Gazette....

"The stamp vending machines were first introduced back in 1908, and were touted as vendors of 'sanitary stamps. In the late 1800's it was believed that most diseases could be spread easily by germs through casual contact.

"The Washington Post warned stamp lickers in 1896 to beware 'THE DEADLY STAMP!' And told its readers: 'Postage Stamp Tongue is a new disease.' Symptoms of the disease included a sore tongue covered with red spots.

"The article advised: 'Never lick a postage stamp with your tongue…it shows a great lack of cleanliness and hygienic knowledge.' The worst place to buy a stamp was believed to be the corner drug store, where stamps were often kept in a drawer with loose change (another source of deadly germs).

"Stamps bought directly from postal clerks might be a little safer, but were still believed to harbor whole colonies of deadly tuberculosis, diphtheria and typhoid germs. Enter the stamp vending machines, the silent salesman of sanitary stamps.

"And now exit the stamp vending machine, never to return."

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mail is a Bargain Compared to Yesterday

TV Channel 10 News in Central New York reports mail today is a bargain compared to yesteryear.

So says stamp collector Ed Bailey in an article A History of Stamps by reporter Joleene Des Rosiers.

In the piece Ed points out, "The first stamp printed for the U.S. was 1847. A five cent and a 10 cent. The five cent was for less than 300 miles and the 10 cent was for over three hundred miles and more depending on how far it was.

"It was an additional ten cents for every 300 miles. Case in point: a letter traveling from Albany, New York to Portland Oregon would have cost the author roughly $2.95. According to Google maps, it's a 2, 951 mile trip. Divide that by 10 cents and you get your $2.95. Today, a mere 42 cents!"

Maureen Marion, spokesperson of the Syracuse Post Office, is quoted in the article as saying," "For quite a length of time, we were doing things like every several years and instead of a penny or two it would be more like three or four cents.For the average person, it was still a couple of dollars a year change in postage. It wasn't prohibitive."

Shown above, an 1850 Railway cover dated Feb. 22 sent from Massachusetts to Stockbridge, N.Y. currently available on eBay for $800.

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Zumbox - The Alternative Postal System

Hank Green on the EcoGeek Website asks, "Why on earth do we still have snail mail? For packages? OK. But everything else, really? All the paper, all the transportation, all the man-hours delivering to you thousands of little pieces of paper every year."

He says a new company called Zumbox wants to change that.

According to the company's Web site, using Zumbox as simple as 1, 2, 3.

- Type in your street address on the home page to view your mail
- See your mail as envelopes on your computer screen (as shwon above)
- Click an envelope to view your mail exactly as you would expect to see it on paper.

Zumbox delivers mail electronically based on the same street addresses as the traditional physical postal systems and enables consumers to easily access their mail from anywhere at anytime via the Internet, with no need for an intermediary to sort, scan or forward paper mail.

Charging 2-cents to send letters, postcards, bills, and junk mail; the company is temporarily offering free delivery for all qualified businesses, governments, non-profits and other organizations sending standard regular mail.

I think I've seen the future.

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

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eliot Laudau's "Lincoln, Slavery and the Civil War" Exhibit

Art Daily reports Eliot Landau (shown here) will discuss his award-winning philatelic exhibition “Lincoln, Slavery and the Civil War” at this year’s Maynard Sundman Lecture at Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum Saturday, March 7, at 1 p.m.

In addition, the collection will be on display in the museum’s Franklin Foyer from Friday, March 6, to Sunday, March 8. The exhibit combines stamps, mail, ephemera and artifacts in an engaging exploration of Lincoln’s presidency, the Civil War and black history.

The collection of visual materials tells the story from a unique perspective using everyday objects, such as a letter, an abolitionist newspaper, photographs and actual shackles worn by a slave. In addition, Landau has prepared a special exhibit, “Collect Lincoln for Yourself.”

Landau is an attorney, an accredited American Philatelic Society national chief judge and noted Lincoln author, exhibitor and lecturer. He was a civil rights worker for voter registration and desegregation efforts and served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall. He is the co-author and chief editor of “Linn’s U.S. Stamp Facts: Nineteenth Century,” and wrote chapters for the “Encyclopedia of U.S. Stamps and Stamp Collecting.” He is a former president of the Chicago Philatelic Society.

The National Postal Museum’s Maynard Sundman Lecture Series was established in 2002 through a donation by his sons, David and Donald. The Sundman lectures feature talks by authors and expert philatelists on stamps and stamp collecting.

To hear Landau interview on Nancy Clark's APS Stamp Talk, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tom Hanks Spends a Fortune on Postage

The Times of India reports that, "Tom Hanks is so obsessed with his secret collection of typewriters that he doesn’t mind giving up a fortune to ship them from all corners of the world."

According to the paper, the Oscar winning actor has more than 100 manual, portable typewriters from the 1930s until they stopped making them.

Apparently Hanks’ hobby has also cost him a small fortune in postage. In the article Hanks is qouted as saying, "I bought a 5 dollars typewriter from Australia that cost me 85 dollar to ship."

No word if he uses stamps to mail the packages.

Shown above, a 2001 miniature sheet from Kyrgyzstan featuring Tom Hanks.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Forty-Nine Years as a Stamp Dealer

The Malaysia Star reports Steven Tan became a stamp dealer in 1960 because he had a fascination for stamps and to help finance the arrival of his first child.

Reporter Grace Chen writes, "Tan revealed that he had started with almost zero capital as his early collection of stamps had been salvaged from rubbish bins which he sold on consignment to bookstores and via mail order."

In the article, Tan recalled how having pen pals also helped to encourage stamp collecting among his friends.

He's quoted as saying, “Those days I would send 50 stamps to an overseas pen pal in exchange for other stamps. There was a great deal of trust back then as I have never lost anything."

His advice to people wanting to invest in stamps, " all boils down to scarcity. The harder the stamp or the currency is to find, the higher the price."

Shown above, Steven Tan looking over his inventory.

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

Friday, February 13, 2009

More on the New Lincoln Stamps...

According to the Springfield, Illinois, State Journal-Register,first-day sales of the new set of postage stamps commemorating Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial birthday drew a big crowd Monday at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, where the stamps were officially unveiled.

Numerous public officials were present at the unveiling, including U.S. Postmaster General John Potter, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Mayor Tim Davlin.

Potter and the other presenters noted that Lincoln’s first government job was as a postmaster in New Salem, a position he held from 1833 to 1836.

State Historian Tom Schwartz is quoted in the article as saying, "It was an interesting appointment,not least because Lincoln at the time was a member of the Whig Party, and his appointment had to be approved by President Andrew Jackson’s Democratic administration."

To read the entire article, click here.

To watch a CNN video of Lincoln buying a set of his new stamps,click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:14 AM

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Charity Auction for Australian Fire Victims

Melbourne auctioneers, Prestige Philately, have announced that they will be conducting a charity auction to raise funds for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Relief Fund, at their Belgrave office on Friday, March 13th.

According to a press release received from Prestige Philately, "Some one thousand homes have been lost and more than 180 people are known to have perished, while dozens are in hospital. Several substantial settlements have been wiped off the map. Many other towns have been grievously affected."

The release goes on to say, "Among the deceased and the dislocated are a number of people well known in the philatelic community. One collector lost not just his home but also the three parish churches at which he ministered. A prominent philatelist and his wife have had to endure the immeasurable loss of their son and daughter-in-law, and three young grandchildren."

Because the auction must be pulled together quickly, donations of material have to be received by Prestige Philately by the end of February. Items can be sent by registered mail to PO Box 126, Belgrave 3160 or delivered to the firm's premises at Unit 2, 1630 Burwood Highway, Belgrave.

Anyone wishing to donate material or to obtain further information about Prestige Philately's Bushfire Relief Special Charity Auction is encouraged to phone (03) 9754 7666 and speak to Matt Hancock, Nick Anning, Daniel Brown or Gary Watson.

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lincoln's Arizona Connection

The Arizona Daily Star reports Alex Lutgendorf, 81, a volunteer at the Postal History Foundation in Tucson, Arizona and the curator of the Western State Postmarks for the museum,has been busy cancelling envelopes with a special cancellation in honor of Abraham Lincoln's historical connection to Arizona.

According to the article, Lincoln signed the Arizona Organic Act on Feb. 24, 1863which created the Arizona Territory by dividing the New Mexico Territory.
Lincoln's 200th birthday is tomorrow. A set of four U.S. postage stamps were released Monday commemorating his life and career.

Shown above, Alex and Lena Rodgers inside a post office which was used in the Arizona Territory and which is on display at the Postal History Foundation.

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

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

APS Summer Seminar on Philately 2009

The American Philatelic Society will be holding its 30th Annual APS Summer Seminar on Philately June 21-26.

Held in the education wing of the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, Summer Seminar begins with a Sunday evening reception.

The remainder of the seminar week, Monday to Thursday, features 4½ hours daily of class time, plus a wide array of afternoon elective workshops, a student auction, a Buy/Sell/Trade Night, and two dinners.

Friday finishes off with a morning session with the staff of the American Philatelic Center, and one last opportunity to use the library, sales division, expertizing reference library, and other resources at the Center.

Each year, the staff of the American Philatelic Center selects a Distinguished Philatelist to share his or her unique insights and perspectives with Summer Seminar participants. This year, Cheryl Ganz, Chief Curator of Philately for the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and a renowned Zeppelin mail scholar and exhibitor, has agreed to join us and share stories of interest.

To read more about the APS Summer Seminar and the APS "On The Road" Courses, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, February 09, 2009

Valentine Postmarks

More than a dozen Post Offices in communities with loved-themed names are offering special postmarks for Valentine’s Day according to a USPS press release.

Often these same towns are sent wedding invitations to be remailed.

MSNBC reports, "Romance, Arkansas Postmaster Angie Davis and Postmaster Relief June Sullivan postmark about 7,500 valentines and wedding invitations annually from as far away as Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Japan."

According to the Arkansas MSNBC affiliate, "A local preacher is on stand-by Valentines Day to renew vows. There also is a justice of the peace available within a two-hour notice to perform the nuptials.On Valentines Day 2008, two weddings took place; one in the Post Office Box section and the second out front by the flag pole."

Davis daughter, Megan, designed this years postmark (shown above).

Click here to see Post Offices offering customized postmarks
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Post Office Comes Out #1 in Trust Survey

Federal Times reports that, according to a new survey by the Ponemon Institute, USPS was the #1 federal agency Americans most trusted to protect their private information from leaks and security breaches.

In the 2009 Privacy Trust Study of the United States Government survey, the Post Office came out on top for the fifth year in a row.

Other high-ranking agencies included the Federal Trade Commission, IRS and the Social Security Administration. Low-ranking agencies will be named in a few weeks, after chief privacy officers have a chance to respond.

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

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Investing in Stamps

On the Personal Money Store's blog the question is asked "Do you need a payday loan because you invested in stamp collecting?"

The anonymous "Payday Loan Writer at Large Writer" says, "I certainly could use a Payday Loan at this moment. Collecting stamps was the rage all those years ago. There were articles in the newspapers and every city had stamp dealers. Most of the collectors did it for the hobby while others thought about future values. Stamp values always increased.

"40 years later I’m sitting with a cupboard full of stamp albums. Stamp collecting went out of fashion when countries began issuing huge numbers of stamps. The hobby also faded against the competition of electronic games and computers."

He (or possibly she) goes on to lament how his/her stamp collection is now worthless along with his/her stock market investments citing "Phil, a well-known philatelist" who told them “It’s all gone down the drain. Very few stamps have any value. The whole market just collapsed."

Obviously the writer and the "well-known", unknown philatelist don't know what they are talking about. But it's kind of a fun read and you can leave a comment telling them what you think.

To read the entire article, click here.

For some helpful information about investing in stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, February 06, 2009

First African American on U.S. Stamp

For Black History Month, the National Postal Museum has selected the 1940 Booker T, Washington stamp as its "Object of the Month."

The 10-cent stamp was the first stamp to honor an African-American. As part of the Famous Americans Series, Booker T. Washington(1856-1915)was honored as an educator.

In 1888, Washington was appointed as the first leader of the Tuskegee Institute, a teachers' college for blacks. By the time died in November, 1915, the Tuskegee Institute had an endowment of $1,945,000, a staff of almost 200, and a student population of 2000.

According to the museum's Web site, "In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, responding to numerous petitions from African-American supporters, recognized the timeliness of such a stamp and directed that Washington be considered for this important stamp series."

It goes on to say, "Enthusiasm for the Booker T. Washington stamp and its momentous significance for the African-American population prompted two official second day of issue ceremonies, events unprecedented in philatelic history—one in New York City and the other in Philadelphia."

Critics of the stamp said that the stamp should have been the regular first class rate of 3-cents so that more people would have seen it.

Booker T. Washington honored once again in 1956, the centennial of his birth, with first class rate stamp. Shown here, the stamp’s vignette features an image of a cabin similar to the one in which he was born.

To learn more about the Booker T. Washington stamp, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Postal Service Seeks to Weather Economic Storm

"The Postal Service has withstood challenges from the telegraph and telephone. It has adapted to stagecoaches, railroads, airplanes and other innovations that quickened the pace of American life. Now, it's facing a range of modern problems that could cause it to run out of cash this year or early next," writes USA Today Reporter Jay LaPrete.

Jay points out, "The Postal Service's biggest challenge: the cost of providing health care to current and future retirees. Its $53 billion obligation is greater than those of the Big Three automakers. The service owes its retiree health fund $7.4 billion this year."

On a little different note...William Burrus, who started work at the Postal Service in 1954 and is now president of the 225,000-member American Postal Workers Union is quoted in the article as saying, ""Every day, a government official goes to your door. That's pretty amazing and valuable when you think about it."

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

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Denmark and Sweden Merge Postal Services

Denmark and Sweden have signed an agreement to merge their national postal services according to the Copenhagen Post Web site.

The site reports an agreement formalizing the merger of the Danish postal service Post Danmark with its Swedish neighbor, Posten Sverige, has been signed.

The head office will be located in Sweden and the CEO will be Swedish. 60% of the company will be owned by Sweden, and 40 % by Denmark, but the influence will be 50-50. The unions are reported to be pleased with the arrangements.

The deal has been in the works for nearly a year. The two states signed letters of intent April 1. The merger is still subject to formal approval by the Danish Parliament and by European Union competition authorities according to Joel Sherwood of Dow Jones Newswires.

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

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Post Office Pushes the Envelope

Postal officials, seeking savings to reduce losses that totaled $2.8 billion last year, proposed moving the transparent window on business envelopes a fraction of an inch higher and to the right to improve mail handling.

They also said Jan. 22 that they were considering requiring commercial mailers to reduce static cling so letters won’t stick together. The agency separately revealed that it was in such bad financial shape that mail deliveries may have to be reduced to five days a week from six.

The outrage was immediate -- about the envelopes and static cling.

Printers, envelope makers, mailers, paper companies and big mail users such as banks and insurance companies, which generate much of the 212 billion pieces of mail the post office delivers each year, called the changes badly timed, unnecessary and too expensive.

To read her entire column, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 4:40 PM

Who Would You Like to See on Stamps Honoring Stamp Collecting?

In the Feb. 7 edition of Linn's Stamp News, John Hotchner asks in the U.S. Notes column, "Who would be shown on U.S. stamps honoring stamp collectors?"

John writes, "I would nominate not the big money collectors who achieved fame by writing large checks to put together fabulous collections, but people who in the first 150 years built a national and indeed international infrastructure to support collectors."

His choices include...

John Walter Scott (1842-1919)
Jacques Minkus (1901-1996)
George W. Linn (1884 -1996)
George W. Brett (1912 -2005)

Now wouldn't those folks make a nice block of four?

As a footnote to the Minkus nomination, John reveals he worked for the Minkus operation at the Woodward and Lothrop department store in Washington, D.C. during the summers and college when he was in college.

I too have a connection with Mr. Minkus. Besides writing articles for The Minkus Stamp Journal in the 70s, I was once flown to New York for a job interview as his assistant in New York. It would have been nice working with him but I didn't get the job.

Shown above, Jacques Minkus.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, February 02, 2009

National Postal Museum Collection Plan

According to the National Postal Museum's Web site, "Since 1886 individual donors have been the source for many of the Museum's most important acquisitions. As the Museum continues to build the national collection, quality, historical value and research potential are key factors in the acquisition of new objects. The Museum wants to create an intellectually rich collection of great depth for the public good. Therefore, we invite individual donors to continue to help us fill the gaps in the existing collection."

Currently the National Postal Museum has an extensive collection plan that includes:

  • A comprehensive specialized collection of 19th Century carrier and local stamps

  • A comprehensive specialized collection of Confederate stamps (1861-1865) and Confederate Postmaster Provisional stamps

  • Colonial postal road maps, tax stamps and handstamps

  • Female letter carrier uniforms

  • Pony Express saddle and Bible

  • Sea Post service mailbags (1845-1915) and letterboxes (1900-1915)

  • If you have any of the above or related material and would like to donate it, click here for more information.

    Shown above, Wells Fargo Virginia City Pony Express Cover acquired in 2002.
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    posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

    Sunday, February 01, 2009

    Mail by Mule at the Grand Canyon

    CBS News reports Charlie Chamberlain is still delivering mail by mule train, three hours one-way, every day, to a small Indian reservation 3,000 feet down on the floor of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

    "For 21 years, Charlie has been going where UPS and FedEx fear to tread," writes CBS reporter Bill Geist.

    Charlie is quoted in the article as saying, "The mule train will take almost anything you can stick a stamp on. We got milk, we got eggs, we got all kinds of frozen food, plus the first class mail."

    According to Charlie,whose only competition are helicopters, "This is the most reliable way to get the mail and these supplies down there. And we can do it for less money. And also, we can go in all types of weather."

    Shown above, mail and mules at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

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