Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Owney The Railway Mail Dog on Facebook

Owney The Railway Mail Dog recently posted this picture of one of his canine cousins in a backpack on his Facebook page.

Owney says, "I visited a lot of post offices by Railway Mail Service in my day, stopping by to say hi to the clerks (and eat their lunches). I'd like to clarify that I was NOT in a doggy backpack at the time, like this little guy in line at the post office. I'm pretty lucky these weren't invented back in the1890s. I wonder if this dog would like to collect tags with me and travel the country, sans backpack?"

To see what else Owney has been up to, click here
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, January 30, 2012

How To Become a Virtual Philatelist

Bruce Kilgour aka The Virtual Stamp Man writes, "Virtual stamp collecting has become a favourite pastime on social media platforms such as FaceBook, Flickr and Twitter/Twitpic. This is a short introduction with all you need to know to get started as well as directions to the main virtual stamp websites. Start your virtual stamp album online today. Its the most fun you can have with your computer on! "

Click here to check out his Facebook page.

Click here to check out The Virtual Stamp Club
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Philpex 2012

Reporter Jeannette I. Andrade of the Philippine Daily Inquirer pens, "The Philippine Philatelic Exhibition (Philpex) 2012 is out to prove that stamp collecting still has a place in the hearts of the young who have become so obsessed with instant communication that writing letters in longhand has become almost like a dying art."

Philpex 2012 is a festival of international exhibits and entries from member clubs of the Philippine Philatelic Federation (PPF) with the theme “Knowledge and fun through stamp collecting."

Lawrence Chan is quoted in the piece as saying philatelic judges used international standards and rules governing philatelic competitions set by the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie, a network of philatelists worldwide.

"Knowledge, study and research on the theme of the collection," he pointed out, "accounted for 35 percent of the rating. The condition and rarity of the postage stamps are 20 percent each, while the condition and importance make up 10 percent of the total score. Presentation accounts for only 5 percent of the total rating."

Shown above, Robert Tan, president of the Philippine Philatelic Federation

Click here to read the entire article.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Holocaust History Lesson Includes Stamps

Michele Morgan Bolton, a correspondent for the Boston Globe, writes on the paper's website about a project at Foxborough Regional Charter School that includes collecting stamps to represent victims of the Holocaust and creating mosaics.

She writes, "The Holocaust Stamp Project is now in its third year at the school, where students are trying to collect 11 million stamps, one to represent each victim of the one of the darkest chapters in world history."

According to Charlotte Sheer, who teaches the school’s fifth-grade community service class, the number represents 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, and 5 million others in 21 European countries who were annihilated by Hitler’s ruthless regime in Nazi Germany.

The Foxborough students will use some of the stamps they collect to create 18 mosaics. The first, called “With Liberty and Peace for All,’’ already hangs in a school hallway. The mosaics will symbolize the Holocaust’s Jewish victims, 18 being the numerical translation of chai, the Hebrew word for life.

Sheer is quoted in the piece as saying, "Each stamp collected symbolizes one life “thrown away’’ as having no value, much like an envelope bearing a canceled postage stamp is tossed in the trash."

Shown above, one of the stamp mosaics created by the students at the Foxborough Regional Charter School.

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

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ode to Snail Mail

The Forbes website reports, "In the same week first-class postage rose a penny to 45 cents, the debt-ridden United States Postal Service re-circulated its ode to snail mail, the 'Hacker' commercial. If you haven’t seen it, the spot opens with women putting notices they presumably received via mail on their refrigerators and cork board. 'A refrigerator has never been hacked,' the narrator says. 'An online virus has never attacked a cork board.'"

Contributor Mickey Meece goes on to say that the ad, targeting businesses, implores them to: “Give your customers the added feeling of security a printed statement or receipt provides – with mail. It’s good for business, and even better for your customers. For safe and secure ways to stay connected, visit USPS.com/mail.”
Mark Finkelstein of the Newsbusters.org blog wrote: “The Post Office was trying to make the argument that snail mail is safer and more appealing to people in general and customers in particular. You might call it trying to sweep back the Internet age with a soggy envelope.

To read the entire article, click here.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rural Carriers

Historian Nancy Pope writes on the National Postal Museum's Pushing The Envelope blog about rural carriers. This is the first in a series of blogs spotlighting items and stories from America’s postal workers.

Nancy pens, "Rural Free Delivery (RFD) service began in 1896 and continues today. Rural carriers function a little differently from city letter carriers. For one thing, rural carriers are required to use their own vehicles to make their daily rounds. For another, rural carriers have, from the beginning, provided their patrons with more than just the day’s mail. They carry stamps, stamped envelopes, money orders, and other items that are more commonly found in a post office. This has led rural carriers’ vehicles to be nicknamed 'post offices on wheels.'” 

She goes on to say, "Carriers often purchased metal cash boxes to keep money and other valuables safe and secure during their daily rounds. Many RFD cash boxes had storage compartments and shelves. All could be secured with a padlock, also to be purchased by the carrier."

Shown above, a rural carrier cash box.

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bonsai Stamps Carefully Researched by Hawaiian Artist

USPS's Beyond The Perf points out, "To create an arboreal masterpiece requires great patience, skill, and attention to detail. So when art director Ethel Kessler was tasked with featuring the art form of bonsai on a stamp, she knew that the assignment would require the same commendable traits."

Turns out she knew just the person for the project - John D. Dawson, with whom she worked on the 12-year Nature of America series.

According to the article, "Dawson lives in Hawaiʻi, a central location for the horticultural hobby of bonsai. But despite his interest in art and nature, Dawson was unfamiliar with the elaborate processes of the art form."

Dawson is quoted as saying, “It was a big learning curve. The first thing I did was buy a good number of books, and read about the history and principles of bonsai. I also attended a bonsai show in Hilo and talked to the members of the society here.”

"Consultants carefully examined the artwork, ensuring that each style of bonsai was realistically represented — and also checking for any cultural nuances. One needed revision was changing the number of azalea trunks from four to three, as four is considered unlucky in Asian cultures,"according to the article.

Click here for additional pictures and information.

In a separate article that appears on the Big Island News Center website, reporter Sherry Bracken says,  "Dawson’s first stamps for the postal service were in the 1980s, the American Cats stamp series. Since then he has created the Idaho statehood stamp, a flowering trees series, and the Nature of America series.  The final set in that series featured a Hawaiian rain forest, and was introduced at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last December."

Click here to read Bracken's article and listen a radio interview she did with him.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jazz Great Miles Davis to Get Stamp in 2012

The Alton, Illinois Telegraph reports, "The great jazz musician Miles Davis has received the official stamp of approval from the U.S. Post Office."

According to Linn's Stamp News, Davis will get a stamp later this year.

Lee Barham, chairman of the steering committee for the Miles Davis Jazz Celebration is quoted in the piece by reporter Kathie Bassett as saying,"This is a fitting honor, Miles Davis was one of the greatest jazz musicians and trumpet players in the world. Before Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, there was Miles Davis."

Miles Davis was born in Alton in 1926. He lived in the city for a year before his family moved to East St. Louis. According to Barham, Davis always mentioned Alton as his hometown in interviews.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Davis died in 1991 in Santa Monica, Calif., at the age of 65.

Shown above, 2001 souvenir sheet from Guine-Bassau honoring Davis.

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

Monday, January 23, 2012

The World of Penquins on Stamps

Facebook friend Aimee Poitevin Devine writes to let everyone know about a new periodic feature that will be appearing on the American Topical Association (ATA) website.

It's called Topical Tidbits and in each issue there'll be a "specific topic of interest to philatelists with information, fun facts, games, puzzles, activities, and of course, loads of stamp images."

In the first issue of Topical Tidbits, (ATA) explores the world of penguins on stamps.  It's free, downloadable and loaded with pictures, activities, puzzles about penguins.

It's perfect to pass on to young people and others who love animals and may be interested in starting a topical collection.

Click here to view.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:21 AM

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Royal Mail Customers Told to Stock-Pile Stamps

A British consumer watchdog is telling people to start stock-piling stamps now ahead of an expected steep price rise in April according to an article that appears on UK's Telegraph website.

Reporter Christopher Hope writes, "Royal Mail has asked its regulator Ofcom to increase second class stamps by 53 per cent from 36p to 55p - the biggest annual increase since 1975. There would be no limit on the price of a first class stamp, which currently costs 46p. The rises could be pushed through as early as April. "

Hope goes on to say, "The increase would see a book of 12 second class stamps increase from £4.32 to £6.60 over night, as Royal Mail could push through the increase in one go. The price of stamps would then increase every year by inflation, under the proposals."

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is trying to push through the privatisation of Royal Mail, is quoted as saying, “It is not the Government's role to tell people when to buy stamps.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Virtual Magnifying Glass

Jack writes on his Plate Faults Germany blog that while searching for stamps on the Internet, particularly Internet auctions, he wanted the pictures of the stamps to have more detail. A useful tool he often uses is "Virtual Magnifying Glass".  

The software is a free and legal download at Source Force.

Jack says, "If you have installed the software you get the bottom right of your taskbar an icon. Right-click on the icon to set the magnification, etc., and then left-click on the icon to start your magnifying glass."

Also on Jack's blog (and shown above) is a picture of a Deutsche Post self-adhesive stamp dispenser. Interesting idea that USPS might consider for their next commemorative coil series such as the "Flags of Our Nation."

To visit Plate Faluts Germany, click here. Use Google translate for English and other languages.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Friday, January 20, 2012

Canada Post Celebrates Queen's 'Diamond Jubilee'

The Winnipeg Free Press reports, "Monarchists in Canada are licking their lips in anticipation of new stamps celebrating the Queen."

According to the article by Kevin Rollason, "Canada Post announced on Monday it has issued a booklet of 10 self-adhesive stamps featuring a cameo of Queen Elizabeth II wearing a tiara and royal robes while waving from the window of a carriage in honour of her Diamond Jubilee."

It goes on to say other stamps featuring the Queen will be released in the months ahead. These include a mini-pane of four stamps which will feature stamps with the Queen portrait  during her reign.

Shown above, one of the proposed designs celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Postage Rates Going Up on Sunday

The Gazette Virginian reports, "It’s going to cost a little bit more to mail that letter, bill or greeting card next week. On Sunday, the price of a first class postage stamp is going up a penny from 44 to 45-cents. This is the first increase in the price of a first-class mail stamp since May 2009, according to postal officials."

Here are some of the other changes...
  • Letters additional ounces – unchanged at 20 cents
  • Postcards – 3-cent increase to 32 cents
  • Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 oz.) – 5-cent increase to 85 cents.
  • Letters to other international destinations – 7-cent increase to $1.05 
Forever stamps purchased before Sunday will still be valid and are always equal in value to the current first–class mail one ounce rate.

For more on the new rates and changes, click here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ireland To Issue 50th Anniversary Kennedy Stamps

Ireland will commemorate the 50th anniversary of  John F. Kennedy's presidency and his visit to Ireland with two stamps in 2013.

According to the New Ross Standard, "An Post has received government approval for its stamp collection for 2013, which includes these two commemorative stamps to mark the historic occasion."

The article quotes Councillor Michael Sheehan who said, "...when these stamps are issued, souvenir collections, commemorative envelopes and programmes will also be launched. The Fianna Fáil councillor said he has also spoken to representatives of the United States Congress to launch a joint issue in conjunction with the An Post Stamp."

Shown above, 1988 stamp was issued by Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the death President Kennedy.

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Contract Post Offices Fill a Need

North Carolina's News Observer reports, "Yogesh Manocha wanted to increase foot traffic in his Citgo station convenience store. So between the cash register and the drink cooler, he recently opened a post office."

Reporter Catlin Baker pens, "Manocha is the latest Triangle business owner to open a Contract Postal Unit, miniature post offices owned and operated by private businesses. CPUs, as they are called, offer all the services of traditional post offices, except P.O. boxes, and allow the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to extend its reach with minimal investment."

Manocha (shown above) is quoted as saying, ""The convenience that we're providing to the neighboring community is great, because of the longer hours and because we're open on weekends."

According to the article, "Store owners purchase CPUs from the Postal Service and receive a portion of the revenue they generate...Each supplier must demonstrate to the Postal Service that the CPU will be able to make enough money to sustain itself. Most are found in busy areas that do not have another post office nearby. Postal Service also does not have to staff CPUs since they are run by store employees. "

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

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (ESPER)

The Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections was organized in 1988 and is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the collecting of African Americans on stamps and the collecting of stamps by African Americans.

The Society currently has close to 300 members throughout the United States and in other countries. Its quarterly newsletter, Reflections contains information and commentary about people of the African Diaspora on philatelic material from around the world.

According to its website, "Reflections not only is an educational source of information but also provides an avenue for networking and stamp trading. Many members spend time visiting schools to share their knowledge with children. Others give presentations at stamp shows, local libraries, and civic centers to spread the hobby of philately and the history of African Americans."

Shown above, is a First Clyde Bowman Cachet of the 1978 Martin Luther King, Jr. Black Heritage Issue. This is a combination cover with stamps for Paul Dunbar, Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, W.C. Handy, and Frederick Douglass.

Had he not been assassinated in 1968, Dr. King would have been 83-years-old yesterday.

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

100-Year-Old Stamp Show Goes on Despite Earthquakes

Christchurch Philatelic Society,  the second oldest stamp club in New Zealand, said they were determined to go ahead with the exhibition after so many cancellations of sporting and cultural events due to the earthquakes according to an article that appears on the Press.Co.NZ website.

The two-day show marks the centenary of the Society.  More than 6500 pages of stamps and postcards sent from around New Zealand and Australia were on display.

A series of earthquakes right before Christmas shook the New Zealand city of Christchurch, sending residents rushing from buildings and causing minor damage. These came 10 months after swathes of the city were destroyed by another quake.

According to the Washington Post and Bloomberg Business News, devastating earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand made 2011 the costliest year yet for the insurance industry in terms of natural disaster losses.

Shown above, dealer and her customers at the Christchurch Philatelic Society stamp show.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Political Controversy Erupts Over Israeli Stamp

Israel's Haaretz.com website reports, "A postage stamp is at the heart of a conflict between Israel and Gibraltar, a tiny British overseas territory on the straits connecting the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean. The stamp slated to be released by both the postal services of Israel and Gibraltar, will apparently never find its way to any envelopes, after the Gibraltar’s postal service refused to approve its design for apparent political reasons"

According to the piece, "A year ago, Israeli philatelists were informed on the upcoming release of the Israel- Gibraltar stamp. In June, its design was made public. It was half adorned by a picture of a Gibraltar cliff and half with a picture of the King David Citadel in Jerusalem."

It goes on to say, "Gibraltar’s postal service was dismayed with Israel’s choice, since the Jerusalem landmark is located beyond the Green Line. In response they froze the joint project, and Israeli attempts at replacing the picture with pictures of other landmarks were futile."

 Moshe Rimmer, one of the leading stamp collectors in Israel is quoted in the article as saying, “As far as I know, the stamp hasn’t been released to the market, neither in Israel nor in Gibraltar. If you find one, you could become very rich.”

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

Friday, January 13, 2012

Go 'Wild' - Collect Animals on Stamps

Biologist Scott Shalaway writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the only form of wildlife art he could afford while in graduate school was postage stamps.

He pens, "The U.S. Postal Service gets well-deserved criticism for closing small post offices and running deficits. But it is also a great source of outstanding art that anyone, even children, can afford to collect. Wildlife watchers are sure to enjoy some of the new stamps scheduled to appear this year."

He goes on to say, "I limit my stamp collecting to wildlife and outdoor themes. My oldest stamps date back to 1956, gifts from relatives. That 3-cent wildlife conservation series featured wild turkeys, pronghorn antelope and king salmon. Thereafter, wildlife appeared on stamps at least every few years."
"Do yourself and your children a favor," Scott says, "-- start a wildlife stamp collection with the birds of prey series this month."

On Jan. 20, the new series (shown above) will feature five birds of prey: northern goshawk, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, osprey and northern harrier.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2012

APS Mystery Stamps of the Month

Can you identify the American Philatelic Society "Mystery Stamps" shown above?

If so, e-mail the Stamp Collecting Round-Up at donschilling@att.net with the name of the country and Scott Catalogue number.

The first and 11th person to correctly identify the stamp will win a recent commemorative "presentation pack" provided courtesy of Royal Mail.

Congratulations to our November "Mystery Stamp" winners Barry Dootoff of Fernie, B.C. and Joel Boland of Hillsborough, NJ. They were the 1st and 11th readers to correctly identify the stamp shown here as being from White Russia (Belarsus).

Barry writes, "The stamp was a legitimate printing of Belarus in about 1920. The stamps were never used as postage as the then government was absorbed by Russia while the stamps were in transit to the post office and never released for use. My Scott Catalogue recognizes these series of five stamps as legitimate postage stamps but does not give them a identification number."

Your prizes are on their way!
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 8:10 AM

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Letter Writing Improves Happiness

According to an article that appears on the Kent State University website, "Steve Toepfer, associate professor in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University at Salem, says he has always been interested in the power of writing. In 2007, he created an assignment in his Building Family Strength class intended to show his students that being kind to others has psychological benefits. He decided to measure these benefits in a pilot study where participants wrote letters of gratitude to determine if there are benefits in terms of well-being for the authors of the letters."

His research shows shows writing letters of gratitude increases happiness and life satisfaction, decreases depressive symptoms.

Toepfer is quoted as saying, “The letter writers were instructed to write a letter of gratitude to anyone they wanted, however, the letter couldn’t be trivial and it couldn’t be a ‘thank you’ note for a gift or ‘thanks for saying hello to me this morning.' The participants had to write about something that was important to them."

“As they wrote, up to three letters, results showed increasing benefits,” Toepfer continued. “The more letter writing people did, the more they improved significantly on happiness and life satisfaction. The new and potentially important finding is that depressive symptoms decreased. By writing these letters – 15 to 20 minutes each, once a week for three weeks to different people – well-being increased significantly.”

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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

British Children's Author Roald Dahl Celebrated with New Stamps

A set of Royal Mail stamps celebrating the work of children's author, Roald Dahl, is being released today.

Dahl, who died in 1990, was published in almost 50 languages, and his books have sold over 50 million copies in the UK alone according to Britain's Guardian.  

The Daily Mail reports Dahl, who was a fighter Ace in World War II, also wrote the screenplays for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Bond movie You Only Live Twice. He and American actress Patricia Neal were married for 30 years and had five children.

Dahl's daughter, Ophelia Dahl, is quoted as saying her father would have been "thrilled" about the stamps. "My dad wrote thousands of letters home throughout his life and never dreamed that one day one of his own characters would grace a stamp," she said.

Reporter Alison Flood mentions that Quentin Blake's illustrations of The Twits, Matilda and Fantastic Mr. Fox appear on the new stamps which are shown above.

According to a Wikipedia entry,  Blake has participated in the writing and/or illustrating of 323 books (of which he wrote 35 himself, and 18 were by Dahl).

For more on Quentin Blake, click here.

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

Monday, January 09, 2012

Danny Thomas Stamp Announced

USA Today reports, "Danny Thomas, the versatile entertainer who spent seven decades on radio, TV and film, will make a posthumous appearance on a "forever" postage stamp in honor of the 50th anniversary of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which he founded in 1962."

Reporter Donna Leinwand Leger pens, "The U.S. Postal Service unveiled the stamp Saturday night in Los Angeles at a star-studded gala for St. Jude to celebrate what would have been Thomas' 100th birthday. The party, hosted by his son-in-law Phil Donahue, included performances by Tony Bennett and Ray Romano."

As shown above, Thomas is shown in the foreground of the stamp wearing a lapel pin representing the St. Jude Police League, which supports Chicago police officers. The hospital is in the background. Thomas and his wife are buried on the hospital grounds.

The stamp goes on sale Feb. 16 and costs 45 cents, the new first-class rate.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The Secret Language of Stamps.

Round-Up reader and friend Larry T. Nix sends along an interesting piece about postcards and the "language of stamps."

The article says, "On philatelic and auction sites you sometimes find postcards which illustrate with small pictures, similar to naval flag signals, what it means if the stamp was stuck in this or that position on the card. The custom is probably as old as the greeting card itself, which started its world conquering tour from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1869."

It goes on to say, "The new fashion spread rapidly, and after the turn of the century the rules of the language of stamps received their particular chapter in the etiquette books along with the languages of flowers, handkerchiefs and fans. Moreover, in many countries the acquisition of this language was assisted by particular manuals, such as George Bury’s Cupid’s code for the transmission of secret messages by means of the language of postage stamps (Ashford, Middlesex, 1899)..."

Besides the usual "I love you" and "I miss you," the positioning of the stamp sometimes"conveyed more subtle messages, from hesitation through desire to rejection, and even specific instructions such as 'tomorrow at the usual place!' or “he has discovered everything!”

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

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Mailboxes I Like To See

Facebook friend Adriana Hangai posts this picture of a mailbox she saw at the Ueno zoo in downtown Tokyo.

Established in 1882, Ueno Zoo is the oldest zoo in Japan.

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

Friday, January 06, 2012

'Support Our Soldiers' Appeal Gets Surprise Stamp Donation

Britain's Leicester Mercury reports, "A Leicester girl collecting stamps for a military charity was stunned when a donor brought her more than one million. Alex Windram, 10, was amazed to be given 24 bags of used stamps for her Support Our Soldiers appeal."

Alex (shown above) is quoted as saying, "I couldn't believe it when I saw how many there were. There were massive Royal Mail sacks everywhere which were full of stamps. It's the biggest collection I've ever seen and I would like to thank Mrs. Brown so much. I really can't believe how many stamps she has given us."

According to the article, "Due to the predicted age of some of the stamps Amy is set to donate from Dr Beeby's collection, their sale could fetch £1,000...The stamp appeal is one of several aiding Support Our Soldiers, which helps members of the British armed forces serving overseas and their families...The funds raised will help fill parcels of shower gels, sweets, biscuits and other items for soldiers."

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

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Chinese Dragon Stamp Accused of 'Scaring' the World

U.K's Telegraph reports, "Chinese have reacted angrily to a special edition stamp to celebrate the Year of the Dragon that depicts the iconic creature as a fearsome creature."

According to Peter Simpson in Beijing, "Scores of collectors and social commentators have complained about the ferocious-looking 2012 dragon. Some have sarcastically claimed it should be adopted as the motto of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, which has recently been accused of bullying China's neighbours and unnerving the wider international community."

He goes on to say, "Officials from China Post and the artist commissioned to design the stamp, Chen Shaohua, rebuffed the criticism, telling the state media the threatening, attacking pose of the mythical dragon should be interpreted as China's new found confidence."

The president of the Chinese Philatelic Research Society, Zhou Zhihua, is quoted as saying the Chinese are used to seeing "milder animals" on their annual New Zodiac Year postage stamps.

"However, sellers at a philatelic market in Beijing were reporting bumper pre-sale orders, with eager collectors paying up to £18 for a commemorative pack of the 12 penny stamps which go on sale on Thursday," writes Simpson.

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Lindsay Lohan a Stamp Collector? Huh?

Timothy Mangan of California's Orange County Register reports, "Catching up on her sorely neglected stamp collection on a quiet Sunday evening in her Venice Beach flat, Lindsay Lohan was suddenly aroused from her philatelic ruminations by a knock on the front door."

Lindsay Lohan - a stamp collector? Tramp stamps, maybe, but not postage stamps.

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

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Kimmswick Post Office Restoration Project

Round Up reader Michael Erbschloe writes to say, "I work for the the City of Kimmswick, Missouri as the volunteer director of Economic Development. Kimmswick was founded in 1859 and now has a population of 152 people. Among our most treasured assets is a really old Post Office. I have been raising funds through various means to help restore the building."

He goes on to say, "Last summer at our annual Strawberry Festival we had a commemorative pictorial cancellation stamp provided by the USPS. In the fall we had a junk sale and for Christmas a raffle. I am considering starting a canceled postage stamp drive and working that into this year's Strawberry Festival as well.

"I need some advice.What if I did collect bunches, thousands, or even millions of stamps?Then what, sort them by groups, sell them by the pound on eBay? Any insights would be appreciated."

Mike would really appreciate any thoughts or ideas Round Up readers might have on this and any other fundraising suggestions. He can be reached at michaelerbschloe@att.net.

Shown above, the Kimmswick Post Office.

For more on the town of Kimmswick, Missouri and the Kimmswick Post Office Restoration Project, click here.

Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM

Monday, January 02, 2012

Greeting Cards Evoke Memories of a Bygone Era

The Times of India reports with a new generation is totally dependent on e-cards and SMS greetings, the sale of greeting cards has hit an all-time low during this past holiday season. 

However, N. Hariharan, a popular postmaster who retired in 1992, has a rare collection of paper greeting cards which evoke memories of a bygone era in which people lined up before post offices to buy stamps and covers to send their greetings.

According to the piece, Hariharan, who is also a stamp collector, is "one of the few people who still delights in writing letters and sending greeting cards."

He's quoted as saying, "There is nothing to beat the feel of seeing a letter written by hand. You feel the person is talking to you in person. That is why we like to preserve letters and read them again and again. Even if I get messages and e-mails, I usually send greeting cards and letters. Many call me to tell me how much they appreciate my gesture." 

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

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all our readers! Here's wishing you the best in 2012!

Shown above, New Year stamps from Thailand that uses a "glitter ink" technique which makes the fireworks sparkle.

Available for purchase on eBay by clicking here.
Bookmark and Share
posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM