Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Stamp Gatherer

For the past 20 years Neal Matti, 82, has been gathering stamps from local businesses in the small Wyoming community of Gillette.

According to the Gillette News-Record, workers at dozens of offices gather up old envelopes each week and leave them behind them for the dedicated senior who believes in helping others.

Matti isn’t trying to fill up his own stamp album but rather gathers up the stamps for a Norwegian nonprofit, Tubfrim, which sells used stamps in bulk to other collectors. Money raised goes towards eradicating tuberculosis and helping handicapped children in Norway according to the article by Jeremy Goldmeier.

Matti is quoted as saying he sends out an 18-pound box of stamps three times each year. He estimates that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 stamps in each pound.

Shown above, Neal Matti collecting a large bag of envelopes from the Gillette City Hall.

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lost and Found - New Deal Post Office Murals

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, "In 1939, two renowned New York artists, Raphael and Moses Soyer, received federal commissions to paint murals for the Kingsessing branch post office under the heralded New Deal post office art program.

"Their artwork - two 15-foot-long murals made up of three panels each - depicted iconic scenes of Philadelphia from both the Colonial period and the 20th century: Independence Hall, the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the skyline from the Delaware River, and the Ben Franklin Bridge.

"For decades, the murals decorated the lobby of the post office at 52d Street and Whitby Avenue, but they disappeared from public view years ago. Until recently, art historians believed they had vanished for good.

"In fact, the murals were safe. They had been divided into six panels and hung in the hallways of the 15th-floor regional corporate offices of the U.S. Postal Service at 615 Chestnut St. But they were accessible only to postal employees and guests.

"News of the murals' whereabouts came to light last month after an Inquirer article on an exhibit at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg that highlighted the legacy of New Deal post office art in the state."

The article by Amy Worden goes on to talk about a controversy surrounding depression era Post Office murals and the public's right to see them without copyright restrictions. See the Round Up post for March 3, 2009.

Shown above, one of the murals the Soyer brothers painted which now hang in Postal Service offices in downtown Philadelphia.

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

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Little Pieces of Home

The Air Force Link Web site reports, "One of the nice things about deploying is the outpouring of support given by family, friends and even strangers from back home through care packages and letters. However, without the people who run the post offices on base, none of those well-wishes would get through to boost morale."

Tech. Sgt. Greg Sartain, the 379th Expeditionary Communications Squadron postmaster, stationed in Iraq is quoted in the article by Senior Airman Brok McCarthy as saying, "It's all about morale. We provide that home link that you can't get any other way. You can get e-mail, but there's something much more gratifying about receiving a box of goodies or something else from home that you can't get from an e-mail. It's crucial to the morale around here. You see it every day when people come in to pick up their mail or you see people walking around base with a package they got. You know it's putting a smile on their face."

Shown above, postal clerk Staff Sgt. Cassandra Casul prepares a meter label for a customer.

To read the entire article, click here.


To learn more about how YOU can send letters and packages to soldiers, sailors, airmen and/or Marines, click here to visit the Any Soldier Web site which displays this warning, "Contents of this site are addictive. Persons using this site may be overcome with tears of sympathy or tears of joy. May also cause a sense of pride in our great nation and the fighting men and women who defend our freedom."
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 27, 2009

Philippine Philatelic Walking Tour

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports, "The postal heritage walking tour around Manila hopes to resurrect the dying art of stamp collecting in an age of e-mail and instant messaging through leisurely strolls around historic sites around the country’s capital."

Reporter Jeannette Andrade writes, "What’s magical about the tour is the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club’s (FSCC) ability to uncover hidden gems of history around Manila using postage stamps as its guide."

The FSCC was first organized by stamp collectors in October 1994 as the Manila Stamp Collectors’ Club aimed at beginners and intermediates. It was later renamed as the FSCC in January 2000 and has some 70 active members to date according to the article.

Lawrence Chan, FSCC vice president and tour guide, is quoted in the piece as saying, "The Philippines was the first country in Asia to issue stamps, printing and releasing them on Feb. 1, 1854."

Shown above, a 1954 stamp marking the 100th anniversary of the first Philippine stamps. Manila's main post office (which is one of the stops on the walking tour) is shown on the right of the stamp.

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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Naked Maja" Postcards Cause a Fuss in 1959

An interesting item appeared in the International Herald Tribune fifty years ago this week.

According to the New York Times, which reprinted it, "The Post Office Department has reserved decision following a hearing on the mailability of colored postcards bearing a reproduction of Francisco Goya’s painting 'The Naked Maja,' used in advertising a motion picture."

It goes on to say, "William Duvall, hearing examiner, who presided at the one-day hearing in the General Post Office, gave both sides until Monday [April 27] to submit briefs. At issue were 2,268 postcards sent out by United Artists Corp. to advertise its film 'The Naked Maja,' starring Ava Gardner and Anthony Franciosa.

"The New York Post Office stopped the mailing, holding that it violated Sections 1461 and 1463 of Title 18, United States Code, forbidding the sending of 'lewd, lascivious or indecent' matter through the mails. United Artists protested the ruling.

"The original painting by Goya, which now hangs in the Prado Museum in Madrid, was said to have the Duchess of Alba as its model. She posed as a reclining nude. Robert M. Ague Jr., of the Post Office general counsel’s office, argued that the painting in the museum is not obscene, but that its use of a postcard to advertise a motion picture is 'sexy-pandering to a lewd and lascivious interest on the part of the average man.'”

As a footnote, a stamp depicting Goya's "Naked Maja" (shown here) was privately produced in 1930, and later approved by the Spanish Postal Authority. That same year, the United States government barred and returned any mail bearing the stamps.*

*If anyone has one of these covers (or something similiar), please contact me at The National Postal Museum is interested in obtaining an example of a card or letter that was returned due to the subject of the stamp used - be it obscenity or proproganda.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Australia Post - 200 Years

Australia is celebrating 200 years of postal service this year.

Ten stamps have been released as part of Australia Post’s bicentenary celebrations. The stamps highlight the contribution the postal service has made to the lives of Australians.

The stamps, designed by Lynette Traynor of the Australia Post Design Studio, feature key historic moments including an illustration of the appointment of Australia’s first postmaster, archival photographs of early regional post offices, early air mail services to regional communities and the importance of the postie.

Australian postal services began in 1809 when former convict Isaac Nichols was appointed the nation’s first Post Master, establishing the first official post office from his home in Sydney.

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

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hybrid Mail

Sarah Sharpe of reports Pitney Bowes has joined the hybrid mail market in the United Kingdom with the launch of 'Click&Mail', an online service that enables businesses to send post directly from their computer desktop.

Once the document or letter has been prepared, users simply click ‘print’ for their document to be remotely printed folded, inserted and despatched.

Two versions of Click&Mail are available:

* One-to-One - specifically geared to help businesses keep in touch with their most important contacts on a one–to-one basis, providing a simple and effortless route to professional looking mail.

* One-to-Many - designed for sending out the same message by post to multiple contacts and represents a fast and convenient means of reaching groups of customers or new prospects. Again, One-to-Many is simple to use - users log-in, upload a distribution list and letter – along with a pdf attachment if required – and click to print.

Available online, Click&Mail works on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no minimum volume required and can be used as little or often as needed. Both document and data are encrypted until printed, safeguarding data protection.

For more on Click&Mail, click here.

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

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day

In case you missed it, yesterday was Earth Day.

Jeevan Jyoti, editor of the Rainbow Stamp News and moderator of the Rainbow Stamp Club Web site, reminds us all that 22 April is globally celebrated each year as Earth Day.

He writes, "It is is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year...Earth Day helps celebrate Earth’s unique place in the universe. It is the only planet in our solar system teeming with incredible biodiversity. Learning about and protecting this biodiversity is what Earth Day is all about."

Jeevan urges us to make our earth- Cleaner, Greener & Beautiful!

To learn more about Earth Day and Earth Day related stamps, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Stamps In Your Closet" at Michigan Show

This weekend the West Suburban Stamp Club of Plymouth, Michigan will host its 40th annual stamp show according to an article by Julie Brown that appears on the Web site.

The show will feature 2,400 pages of exhibits, 40 dealers from the U.S. and Canada, U.S., U.N. and Nordica Post Offices, seminars and society meetings. The show will draw 600-800 people, especially from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. The event is the only Michigan-qualified American Philatelic Society national show in the 30-show “World Series of Philately” circuit.

Ed Dubin, publicity chair, said the “Stamps in Your Closet” table is extremely popular because experienced collectors and dealers help visitors, usually non- collectors, evaluate collections and accumulations that they inherited, or have rediscovered from their own past.

According to the club's Web site, "Our team of experts provide a non-threatening atmosphere where visitors could be sure they were receiving sound advice. No appointment is necessary and there is no charge for this service."

Dublin is quoted as saying,“They get all these stamp albums and they don't know what to do with them."

Shown above, Club members Andrew Mazzara and Bill Chase at last year's “Stamps in Your Closet” table.

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

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Learn About Stamps

The American Philatelic Society reports a new philatelic Web site, Learn About Stamps, has been launched. The site was designed to help newcomers to the hobby get information about stamp collecting and provides answers to questions such as:

What is stamp collecting?
What is postmark and cover collecting?
How can I begin stamp collecting?
How can I obtain stamps for my collection?
How do I find out more about stamp collecting
What do I need to know when it comes time to dispose of my collection?
How can I get more involved in stamp collecting?

Learn About Stamps is a collaborative effort of the American Philatelic Society, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, the Philatelic Foundation, and the United States Postal Service, in cooperation with the American Stamp Dealers Association and many individuals in the philatelic community.

Click here to check it out.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 20, 2009

Perforated Propaganda

On Thursday, April 23 at 8 PM, Daniel Piazza (shown here) will be speaking at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif. Dan, an assistant Smithsonian National Postal Museum curator, will be dicussing American, German and Italian postage during World War II, and the messages they were intended to project at home and aboard.

His talk is titled, "Perforated Propaganda." There is no admission charge and parking is free.

According to the Caltech Web site, "As a stamp collector, Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood that the common postage stamp's ubiquitousness made it a perfect medium for projecting political messages at home and abroad. During his twelve years as president, Roosevelt and his Postmasters General actively used the nation's stamps to sell New Deal projects, reinforce his role and authority as president, promote his personal interests and affiliations, and encourage optimism and hope during the Great Depression and World War II. In short, he harnessed their propaganda potential in a way that no administration before or since has matched."

Dan's talk will be illustrated with material from the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's collections and the upcoming exhibit Delivering Hope: FDR and the Stamps of the Great Depression.

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

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stamps Can Give Stocks a Licking

In an article that appeared in Canada's Star Phoenix, Financial Post reporter Rick Morrison asked Geoff Anandappa, Stanley Gibbons' investment portfolio manager, "Are stamps a good investment?"

Geoff responded, "Stamp prices don't fluctuate like stocks because 99% of stamps are bought by collectors, not investors, and collectors have a tendency to hold on to their items for 10, 20, 30 years or more."

He then went to say, ""Collectors do not rush to sell their stamp collections when the economy is stalling. As a collector myself, I know that my stamp collection is one of the last things I'd sell. Collectors are driven by passion, whereas investors are driven by fear and greed. All these factors make stamps a very stable investment."

"As large and well established as Stanley Gibbons is, the company is a relative newcomer compared to Dallas, Tex.-based Spink Shreves Galleries ( whose logo says it was founded in 1666," according to the report.

Other auction houses mentioned in the piece; Heritage Auctions, also of Dallas (, R. Maresch & Son Auctions Ltd. ( of Toronto, Vance Auctions ( of Smithville, Ont., Eastern Auctions of Bathurst, N.B. (, New York-based Cherrystone Philatelic Auctioneers ( and Charles G. Firby of Detroit (

The article recommends that unless you know what you're doing, buy only from reputable dealers and established auction houses who know how to identify counterfeit items. Buying high priced items (at a low price) on the Internet is not recommended because of the many forgeries that exist.

Shown above, mint block 1869 Lincoln Pictorial (Scott #122) that was auctioned by Shreves last week. The block is only one of two known examples and was part of The William J. Ainsworth Collection Of Lincoln Stamps. It sold for $130,000.

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

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wine, Food and Corkscrews on Stamps at Spellman Museum

The Weston Town Crier reports the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History in Weston, Massachusetts is spotlighting "Wine and Food on Stamps" and "Antique Corkscrews" as their latest exhibit.

According to the paper, "The show features about 1,000 stamps from all parts of the world. Africa is represented by stamps from Ghana commemorating the Cocoa Research Institute; Japanese stamps show fruits from various regions; Bosnia weighs in with a stamp depicting both grapes and corkscrews (shown here); New Zealand highlights each wine-making region of the country; Switzerland contributes a scratch and sniff stamp that smells like chocolate; the Bahamas highlights lobsters; Tonga features a pineapple; Fiji an eggplant; Qatar and Bahrain cornucopias; and the U.S. puts Johnny Appleseed, a boy from Leominster, front and center."

The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History was built in 1962 on land donated by Regis College, mainly for the extensive philately collection of Francis Cardinal Spellman. One of only two museums in the country devoted solely to stamps and postal history, it now houses a comprehensive worldwide collection of postal history and more than 2 million stamps, exhibit galleries, a 15,000-volume library, a store and post office, program and activity areas, and meeting rooms.

Shown above, 1972 wine stamp from Hungary.

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

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Stamp of Disapproval (Stamp Collecting’s Fate in the Internet Age)

Robert McHenry writes on the Encyclopedia Britannica Blog, "One of the innocent victims of our Brave New Electronic Age has been, I suspect, the hobby of stamp collecting."

"I’d give odds that there are a great many young people who are only dimly aware of the existence of the institution known as the Post Office. Who needs the Post Office when there is email and texting and tweeting and heaven only knows what else, for I don’t?" according to Robert.

He goes on to say, "It’s a pity. Stamp collecting was once one of those phases every boy (and many girls) went through, along with a passion for dinosaurs (or horses) or an interest in space flight (I’m not sure what the feminine equivalent might have been for that)."

Adrian Keppel commenting on the post pens,"I know that it is a favourite complaint of collectors and all too easily made, but I’m not sure whether it is really true. Sure, things are different now from when we grew up but there’s still a lot of youth activities and school activities here in Britain centred around kids. The ways of collecting may have changed but seeing that there are umpteen swap clubs on the internet, who also have a youthful membership, I think it’s more a question of changes in collecting habits rather than that we’re dealing with a dying hobby. I’m sure old-fashioned dealers will complain of less custom but indeed, this is offset by lots of traffic on various on-line auction houses and eBay. so there’s hope for us all yet, I would say!"

Shown above, the Boy Scout merit badge for stamp collecting.

To read Robert's entire post and leave your own comment, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Senior Collector Gives Stamps To College Students

The Central Michagan University Web site,, reports a senior stamp collector is sparking students' imaginations by giving them stamps.

Brian Wood,95, shown above, gives a local coffee shop thousands of stamps from his personal collection with the goal of inspiring young people and making them happy according to an article by Caitlin M. Foyt.

Brian is quoted as saying, "My main purpose is not for the kids to be stamp collectors but to stimulate their's not the rarity or age of the stamps that makes them valuable, it's the anecdotes that come with each. There's a story with every stamp, even if you might not know it."

The coffee shop's barista, Meghan Borland, says, "It's cool when people come in and say the different things they do with the stamps. Some people frame them, some people make altered books, some people collage. One girl made a bracelet out of them."

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

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Stamps

According to Wikipedia, "A revenue stamp, tax stamp or fiscal stamp is a type of adhesive label used to collect taxes or fees on various items. Many countries of the world have used them, for documents (often called stamp duty), tobacco products, liquor, drugs, playing cards, hunting licenses and other kinds of things."

It goes on to say, "While revenue stamps often resemble postage stamps, they were not normally intended for use on mail and therefore did not receive a postal cancellation. (Some countries did issue stamps valid for both postage and revenue, but this practice is rare now). Revenue stamps can display cancellation markings, three types being by manuscript signature of the person canceling the stamp (usually with date), by hand stamp identifying the canceling agent (also usually with date), or by punch; otherwise, they may be simply affixed to a product in such a way so as to be invalidated or destroyed upon its unpackaging."

"The use of revenue stamps goes back further than that of postage stamps; the stamps of the Stamp Act of the 18th century were revenues. Their use became widespread in the 19th century, partly inspired by the success of the postage stamp, and partly motivated by the desire to streamline government operations, the presence of a revenue stamp being an indication that the item in question had already paid the necessary fees. Revenue stamps have become less commonly seen in the 21st century, with the rise of computerization and the ability to use numbers to track payments accurately."

Shown above, an 1862 US Internal Revenue stamp.

For more on revenue and tax stamps from around the world, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Linn's 2008 U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll

The vote totals are in for the Linn's Stamp News 2008 U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll which closed in early March reports Jay Bigalke, Linn’s online editor and Postmark Pursuit columnist.

According to Jay, Linn's readers shared their opinions about stamp design and subject choice by voting in three stamp categories: commemorative stamps, definitive and special stamps, and postal stationery.

Within each category, voters could choose which stamps had the best design and worst design, and also which stamps were the most important and the least necessary.

The United States 42¢ Flags of Our Nation stamps were voted the overall favorite stamp issue.

The 94¢ St. John U.S. Virgin Islands stamp, shown above, in the Scenic American Landscapes series was chosen as the favorite definitive stamp design of 2008. Stamps from this series, which started in 1999, have scored highly in past polls.

The 42¢ Alzheimer's Awareness stamp was the overwhelming favorite for the most important commemorative issue of 2008.

Jay says, "Linn's U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll, which began in 1948, is intended as a way for readers to voice their opinions about the U.S. stamp program. The poll is neither scientific nor statistically valid, but it provides a fun look at all the United States stamps and postal stationery items issued during the previous year."

Complete results of the 2008 U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll will be published in the April 20 issue of Linn's Stamp News.

Click here for subscription information
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, April 13, 2009

National Library Week

Round-Up reader Larry T. Nix of Middleton, WI writes to remind everyone that this is National Library Week.

National Library Week is an annual celebration of the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate.

National Library Week 2009 will be celebrated with the theme, "Worlds connect @ your library."

As shown above, The American Library Association is using a
postmark/cancellation and stamp design and to illustrate and promote the theme.

Larry says he has added a new page on his Library History Buff Web site that provides information on philatelic libraries. According to Larry it supplements a "Library News" column he does for Philatelic Literature Review.

Larry is also running for Trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library. Click here to check out his candidate statement.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Island Stamps

The Web site reports that on April 5, 1722, a small fleet of three Dutch vessels discovered a small volcanic island in the middle of Pacific Ocean. Since it was Easter Sunday, the captain of the fleet baptized his discovery with the name that is universally known, Easter Island.

It goes on to say, "Although Easter Island has no Postal Authority to issue its own postage stamps (like some French dependencies as French Polynesia or St. Pierre et Miquelon), Chile Postal Authority has issued, over the years, many stamps and souvenir sheets related to Easter Island history and culture."

Rapa Nui Central is an on going project about Easter Island. It features a number of stamps, souvenir sheets, and first day covers related to Easter Island's history and culture

Shown above, imperforate souvenir sheet issued by Chile in 1988 to commemorate 100 years of Easter Island as Chilean territory. Below the group of four stamps, there is a view of Easter Island as seen from sea level. Symbols of Easter Island lost writing (Rongo Rongo) are all around the border of the sheet.

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

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Public Invited to Simpsons First Day Ceremonies, a community Weblog, has a write-up on the new Simpson stamps which are shown above.

It reports, "The Simpsons creator and executive producer, Matt Groening, who created the original artwork for the stamps, is scheduled to participate in the dedication ceremony, along with executive producer James L. Brooks and several of the actors, at Fox Studios in Los Angeles at 11:15 a.m. PT on Thursday, May 7."

It goes on to say, "A limited number of seats are available to the public on a first-call, first-reserved basis. Those interested in attending can call 1-866-268-3243 beginning Friday, April 10 between noon and 5 p.m. ET, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday thereafter. Due to the expected demand, only one reservation will be accepted per requester per call. When calling, speak slowly and spell your name. Be sure to leave a phone number to receive a callback confirmation. There is a fee for parking. Calls made prior to noon ET on April 10 will not be accepted. Individuals attending the event are asked to provide a driver’s license or another form of government photo identification."

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

Friday, April 10, 2009

Stamp Collector Day At The Pasadena Playhouse

California's Pasadena Playhouse will host Stamp Collectors Day: A Celebration of the Stamp tomorrow, Saturday, April 11 from 12 noon to 3 P.M. in honor of their current production Mauritius.

Mauritius is a tale of two half-sisters who vie for the rights to a recently inherited valuable stamp collection. As they fight each other for possession, the women also come face-to-face with three con artists who have their own ideas involving the stamps.

A pictorial postmark (designed by graphic artist Eric Pargac) will be available to the public at the theatre.

Synthia Saint James, international award-winning artist and designer of the first Kwanzaa stamp will give a presention. I will also be speaking about stamps and stamp collecting as well as giving away a bunch of stamps that were provided by the American Philatelic Society.

Jana Monji, the theatre reviewer for, did a nice article on me to help promote the event. You can read it by clicking here.

Jana also did a nice piece on Synthia. Click here to read.

Collectors who call the Pasadena Playhouse box office at at 626-356-7529 are eligible to receive two for one tickets to the show by mentioning code AD87. The offer is good only through April 20.

- Don Schilling
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 09, 2009

APS YouTube Video Competition

American Philatelic Society (APS) member Omar Rodriguez writes in an e-mail to APS members that APS President Wade Saadi and APS Past President Janet Klug have each put together a 2-minute video about a personal topic they feel passionate about - illustrated with stamps.

Wade’s video is about toy trains, Janet’s is about cats. According to Omar, "The results were amazing and have gathered hundreds of viewers in YouTube. The best part is neither spent money nor much time in making them."

Omar says neither of whom had prior YouTube experience.

Omar is asking for the email addresses of people in who may be interested in putting together similiar videos.

Omar says, "We will send them an email with more details and help them with ideas on how to do this. APS has also set up a YouTube competition. The winner will win a $250gift certificate redeemable for APS products or services. The video must be uploaded before June 30. More importantly your member’s contributions to the hobby would be immense and rewarding. Short, simply told themes of any type are perfect for this objective. Any topical or history of a specific theme has the potential to attract a lot of internet visitors."

You need not be an internet expert. "We just need enthusiastic folks with computers who are willing to take a few hours of their time to create a home made video and upload it in YouTube," says Omar.

If interested, you can contact Omar at

To view Wayne's, Janet's and other videos, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Newspaper and Periodical Stamps

The Web site has an interesting article about "back of the book" newspaper and periodical stamps.

According to author Craig Whitford in the early 1860s most newspapers were sent in bundles on trains and by steamboat for local distribution by dealers.

Craig writes, "...newspapers moved so slowly through the mail that the publishers and news dealers found it faster and cheaper to send their papers by other methods, and avoid the red tape of the postal system."

In 1865,the Post Office Department attempted to gain back some of the newspaper business from private companies and introduced newspaper and periodical stamps as an accounting tool to preclude unscrupulous agents from pocketing the fees.

The use of newspaper and periodical stamps was discontinued in 1898. At that time the stamps were devalued and those in the hands of postmasters were ordered returned for credit according to Craig.

Many of the issues are quite common in "Mint, Post Office Fresh" condition, while finding stamps which have been canceled and are attached to their receipt stubs are quite scarce if not rare.

Shown above, some early newspaper and periodical stamps including the twenty-five cent "Giant Red" which was the first U.S. postal issue to depict President Abraham Lincoln.

To read the entire article, click here.

For more on newspaper and periodical stamps along with closeup photos, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

College Stamp Collectors "Come Out of The Closet"

The Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges in Pennsylvana posted the following faux news item for April Fool's on the "The Bi-College News" Web site.

"Thanks to Haverford’s newest club, dozens of students have been able to publicly admit a passion they have harbored for years."

Archie Carter,class of 2010 is quoted as saying, “It’s time to come out in the open with it. I’m a philatelist.”

“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and I’m glad we’re all finally uniting,” adds Kelly McTangenbruner, class of 2011, “Some people think our hobby is strange, but I think you just have to embrace what you’re interested in. Luckily, Haverford is a place where we have the freedom to do that.”

McTangenbruner recalls her high school years as the subject of ridicule for her philatelic tendencies. “Teenagers can be cruel,” she says.

Haverford’s Philately Club gives students like Carter and McTangenbruner an opportunity to explore their hobby and hone their skills. Each week, the club focuses on a particular aspect of philately.

Shown above, 1950 stamp from Austria promoting Stamp Day.

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

Monday, April 06, 2009

First Class Alaskan Postmaster Retires

Alaska's Peninsula Clarion reports local postmaster, Carol Joyce, shown here, is retiring after more than 2 decades of service. She's been at the Kasilof, Alaska Post Office for 22 of the 32 years she has been a postal employee.

Before Kasilof, Joyce initially worked for 11 years in the Clam Gulch Post office, or "the tiny shack that served as one for many years" writes reporter Joseph Robertia.

Joyce is quoted as saying, "I'm a trainer for the post office, so I've worked in darn near every village in the state." She went on to say one of her fondest memories from her many years of work was being part of a project to help postal employees in remote areas of Alaska.

"The pinnacle of my whole career was working on a diversity project with other postmasters from the Yukon-Kuskokwim River Delta. It dealt with cross-cultural understanding and postmasters helping each other. The project won a national award from more than 1,000 other projects," she said.

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

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Putting A Stamp on Collecting

The Daily Star of Oneonta, New York ran a nice feature recently on collecting stamps and Dorothy Scott Fielder, shown here.

Contributing Writer Brian Kamsoke writes, "People collect stamps for a variety of reasons: commemorate a time in history, for the aesthetic and artistic value of the stamp, because of an emotional attachment or bond, or maybe just for the shear enjoyment of collecting and sharing that enjoyment with a grandchild, son or daughter, or friend.

He says Fielder began collecting stamps when she worked for the U.S. Postal Service in 1978. Her boss at the time was a stamp collector, and her husband's uncle was a postal inspector and had collected stamps for many years. The uncle got her husband's father started in the hobby. Eventually, Fielder was given her father-in-law's stamp collection.

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

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Girls Brigade Learns Stamp Collecting

The CaymanNetNews web site reports that the George Town Girls Brigade responded enthusiastically to a lesson in stamp collecting given by the Cayman Islands Postal Service (CIPS).

CIPS class instructors Ivan Burges and CIP’s Philatelic Manager, Karen McField gave practical instructions on how to soak used stamps and where to get stamps for their collections. They also gave a brief history of stamps and why stamps are collected and cancelled.

The postal service said that the group of 55 Girl Brigadiers, ranging in age from eight to 17 years, received 35 stamp kits to build on their stamp collecting hobby. The stamp kits are equipped with an album, 200 new stamps, tweezers, and a magnifying glass.

Shown above, class instructor Ivan Burges explains the symbolism of a stamp to a member of the George Town Girls Brigade.

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

Friday, April 03, 2009

Executive Director Mastrangelo to Leave APS

The American Philatelic Society (APS) has announced that Executive Director Peter Mastrangelo, shown here, would be leaving the Society at the end of April.

Peter was hired by the APS in the spring of 2006. He directed the affairs of the American Philatelic Society and the American Philatelic Research Library, with a staff of 37 and an annual combined budget of over $4 million. Previously, Peter served in the United Way system in Texas.

Peter is quoted in a APS press release as saying, “It has been my pleasure to serve the Boards of the APS and APRL. The Society is in good hands with dedicated staff that serve the interests of the hobby and the Society with great skill, talent and care.”

APS President Wade Saadi has stated that current financial concerns are compounded by the state of the national economy. Saadi indicated, “Peter’s departure releases financial resources that can be utilized to maintain program services to APS members.”

Saadi praised Peter’s professionalism and integrity in working with the Boards and the Long Range Planning Committee in their efforts to assess and evaluate the programs and services of the Society and Library.

“I wish Peter the best in the future with his next endeavor,” Saadi said. “He will be missed at the APS.”

No word on Peter's replacement... if there is one. Deputy Executive Director Ken Martin will no doubt fill in for the time being.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Simpsons Stamps

Like some bad April Fool's joke, USPS announced yesterday that The Simpsons characters Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie will be on five 44-cent (the first class postage rate beginning May, 11) stamps later this year.

Artwork for the images was done by the cartoon's creator Matt Groening and will be available for preview April 9 on the USPS website, according to the report.

The stamps also will mark the longest-running primetime comedy's 20th anniversary this year. The Simpsons was first shown in December 1989. Since then more than 400 episodes have been broadcast.

An episode in September 2005 revolved around the construction of a stamp museum next to the Simpsons home. After much protest ("We'll be at the mercy of weekend philatelists...."), the museum is built elsewhere. Apparently daughter Lisa (she's the 'brainy' one) is a stamp collector or was least interested in seeing the newly relocated museum' s current exhibit and lecture on the upcoming "The Wild Beasts" stamp.

In another epispode, son Bart decides to try stamp collecting. Homer responds: "Son, stamp collecting is like life. It stopped being fun a long time ago."

The United States is not the first country to honor the Simpsons with their own stamps. Shown above, a 2005 souvenir sheet from Australia.

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

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

China's Stamp Museum Provides Glimpse into History

Reporter Julianne Page recently visited the China National Post and Postage Stamp Museum in Beijing.

The stamp museum was first opened in 1985 and in 2007 it was expanded to include a postal museum. It now covers four floors and contains over 1,000,000 stamps. The museum has a main stamp gallery, a special stamp gallery, a primitive communications section, an ancient and modern postal service gallery, and a treasure gallery.

Page writes, "The other thing worth noting about stamps in China is the beautiful and varied way they are presented, particularly the more modern examples. Some come in different shapes and sizes, some are set within pictures and others are joined together by perforation to form mural scenes. Many stamps are presented as part of a book in which they serve to illustrate a wider story. "

Shown above, China's stamps which were issued in in 1878. The green issue was worth 1 fen, the red worth 3 and the yellow worth 5. These are symbolic colors in China; green was the color used by high ranking officials, red is the long standing symbolic color of China and yellow was the color reserved for the emperor.

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