National Postal Museum's PostSecret exhibition now open

August 03, 2015 03:48 PM

Remember all those anonymous, secret-filled postcards that were sent to Frank Warren and showcased on his PostSecret website? Well, they're now being showcased at the Smithsonian's National Postal Musuem in its new exhibition, "PostSecret: The Power of a Postcard."


New Scott numbers for United Nations

August 03, 2015 09:45 AM

New Scott catalog numbers have been assigned to recent issues from the United Nations. The most recent United States federal duck stamps also received Scott numbers.


Born Aug. 3: Ernie Pyle

August 03, 2015 03:30 AM

Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaperman Ernie Pyle kept America informed during World War II with his reports from the front lines. Pyle was honored on a U.S. definitive stamp in 1971.


Born Aug. 2: James Baldwin

August 02, 2015 03:30 AM

A prominent author whose groundbreaking novel Go Tell it on the Mountain was published in 1953, James Baldwin was born in Harlem on Aug. 2, 1924.


Paul Newman stamp ceremony announced

August 01, 2015 03:15 PM

The Sept. 18 first-day ceremony for the Paul Newman commemorative forever stamp will take place at 10:30 a.m. in Cleveland, Ohio.


Harmer-Schau auction at APS Stampshow Aug. 20-22

August 01, 2015 12:58 AM

The Harmer-Schau auction at the American Philatelic Society Stampshow in Grand Rapids, Mich., offers a broad array of United States and worldwide stamps and covers, as well as collections that highlight selected material from a number of specialist collectors. The auction is taking place in three sessions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 20-22.


Born Aug. 1: Francis Scott Key

August 01, 2015 03:30 AM

The national anthem of the United States, The Star-Spangled Banner, was composed by Francis Scott Key while detained on a British vessel during the 1814 attack on Fort McHenry.


By Topic - August 2015

July 31, 2015 04:30 PM

The new stamp-issue listings from the Scott New Issues Update in the August 17 Linn's Stamp News Monthly Edition fall into the following popular topical collecting areas.


2016 Scott Vol. 5 features more than 7,000 value changes

July 31, 2015 01:08 PM

Vol. 5 of the 2016 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue yields more than 7,000 value changes among the listings for the countries of the world, N-Samoa. Countries that garnered significant attention from the editors this year include Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania and Russia.


2012 Scenic Landscapes booklet a good buy, Ingrid Bergman getting stamp: Week's Most Read

July 31, 2015 06:48 AM

Also this week, a town fights the U.S. Postal Service over a stamplike mosaic design at its local post office, and a stamp collector's interest in the hobby is "reawakened by eBay."


What once was stamp printing is now stamp production

August 03, 2015 02:56 PM

For a century and a half, forests have been leveled to provide the paper for philatelic publications to describe the various printing methods for stamps. This is crucial information. Printing techniques can be used to tell the genuine from a forgery, to distinguish high-quality initial printings from subsequent inferior ones, and to determine which look-alike stamps were printed at different times, using similar but distinct technologies.


A magnifier and stamp friends can save you money

August 03, 2015 01:08 PM

In the previous column in this series on expertization (Linn’s July monthly), we looked at examples of when expertizing is needed. There were three takeaways from that column: Expertizing is needed when a cover seems to be too good to be true, when an unlisted error is “discovered” for an old stamp, and when that stamp issue has a history of being subjected to a lot of fakery.


Look for 1983 Germany Beer Pureness Law stamp

August 03, 2015 11:50 AM

Quite a few beer stamps have been issued by countries around the world, especially those countries noted for brewing. In 1983, Germany issued an 80-pfennig stamp (Scott 1396) to commemorate the 450th anniversary of its brewing purity laws. The design shows brewers from a 1677 engraving.


Toys on Europa stamps represent many topics

August 02, 2015 02:49 PM

Even if you don’t collect Europa as a topic, you may want to take a look at these stamps for the many other topics found on them. Starting in 1974, each participating country selected its own Europa stamp designs based on a common theme for the year, including famous people, the arts, history, local landmarks and much more. The theme for 2015 is old toys, and, as with the Europa topic, you can find many more topics other than toys in the designs.


A brief history of U.S. stampless covers

July 31, 2015 12:47 AM

On July 1, 1847, the United States Post Office Department issued its first postage stamps: a 5¢ and a 10¢ stamp. Before that time and for many years thereafter, written communications between individuals were sent without stamps. These are called stampless covers, and either were carried privately by individuals, express companies and carriers, steamboats and ships, or by the post office.


Postal tax stamps paid postage while raising funds

July 31, 2015 12:27 AM

Over time, some nations have instituted mandatory taxes on letters and packages. The amount of the tax has been small, but considering the volume of mail within the nations that collect postal taxes, the result could be a tidy sum. The taxes on mail were often (but not always) paid through the purchase of a postal tax stamp, which was required to be affixed to the letter or parcel being mailed.


U.S. mail across the Atlantic by land-based aircraft, Part 1, 1941 and 1942

July 31, 2015 10:17 AM

In the summer and fall of 1941, the United States Army Air Corps Ferrying Command (ACFC) inaugurated two air transport routes across the Atlantic Ocean that carried mail. The previously established Foreign Air Mail route No. 18 (FAM 18) commercial trans-Atlantic service operated by Pan American Airways between New York City and points in Europe employed Boeing B-314 flying boats called Clippers, with luxurious accommodations for passengers. ACFC flew austere land-based aircraft — Consolidated B-24 Liberator long-range bombers that had been refitted as transport planes.


As Liberia grew to nationhood, it needed stamps

July 30, 2015 08:37 PM

Liberia’s battles with Ebola virus disease have claimed worldwide media attention since early 2014. It may seem frivolous to focus on the unfortunate country’s stamps, but the EVD epidemic seems to have abated, and you might find yourself curious about this remote country and its philatelic history.


Benjamin Bailar collection sold: 1867 New York-China-Japan cover brings $143,750

July 30, 2015 01:33 PM

Former U.S. Postmaster General Benjamin Franklin Bailar’s collection of Benjamin Franklin-related autographs, letters, covers and postal history was sold by Siegel on June 25. Bailar, who was appointed by President Gerald R. Ford in 1975 — exactly 200 years after his namesake was commissioned by the Second Continental Congress — is believed to be the only postmaster general in our history who is also a serious collector of stamps and postal history.


Siegel sale brings handsome prices for Lyons 'All Roads Lead to San Francisco' collection

July 30, 2015 11:40 AM

June 24 at Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries saw the sale of Larry Lyons’ “All Roads Lead to San Francisco” collection, which documented private and local couriers operating west of the Rockies. Lyons, like Gordon Stimmell an editor of The Penny Post and also an executive director of the Philatelic Foundation, has published dozens of articles and won numerous high awards in this and other collecting areas.