The International Maritime Museum of Hamburg, Germany, reports the recent discovery of what it calls the oldest message in a bottle ever found.
It was written on a stamped postal card of one country, and accompanied by a pair of postage stamps from another.
Konrad Fischer, who appropriately enough is a fisherman in the Baltic Sea, was working off the German coast in March, about two nautical miles east of the Kiel lighthouse, when he snagged the century-old brown beer bottle in his nets.
He was about to toss the bottle back into the sea when he realized there was something inside.
The bottle contained a Danish postal card with a 5-ore green imprinted stamp depicting King Frederick VIII, who ruled the country from 1906 to 1912. The card was issued in 1910.
A handwritten message on the card was dated May 17, 1913, according to The Local, a German website that reports news of Germany in English.
The card was accompanied by a horizontal pair of German stamps, the 5-pfennig Germania issue of 1902-05 (Scott 67 or 82).
The message, written by Richard Platz, asked the finder to return the postal card to him at his address in Berlin, according to The Local.
The enclosed stamps were apparently intended to serve as return postage.
Hearing of the find, the head of the International Maritime Museum, Peter Tamm, met with Fischer on board his cutter at Heikendorf, Germany, and arranged for the museum to temporarily exhibit the bottle and its contents.
Researchers tracked down Platz’s granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, who said her grandfather died in 1946 at age 54, according to The Guardian.
That means Platz was about 20 when he tossed the bottle into the Baltic.
Erdmann recently viewed the bottle and the postal card at the museum.
The oldest message in a bottle currently recorded by Guinness World Records is 97 years and 309 days at sea, or about three years less than the most recent fisherman’s catch.
blogIn this column in the Aug. 24 issue of Linn’s, I referred to the American Philatelic Research Library in Bellefonte, Pa., as a “gift to stamp collectors.” The BNAPS library and the APRL are two of many libraries available to stamp collectors, and some philatelic libraries are available online. Read More ›
blogIt’s often been said that one of the salutary benefits of collecting stamps is the friendships made along one’s philatelic journey. If I were asked to place a value on the bonds thus forged with collectors in locales near and far, I would be rich beyond measure. A few of these hobby friends I have never met in person. Read More ›
blogToday, Nov. 11, 2015, is Veterans Day. Over the years, a number of United States stamps honoring those who have served in our nation’s armed forces have been issued. Read More ›
blogMy previous blog post focused on a mystery: the apparent indentations of paper clips on United States Purple Heart forever stamps that were used to mail payments to the circulation department of my employer, Amos Media in Sidney, Ohio. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke reports on a new Charlie Brown computer-vended postage stamp that is sold only through post office self-service kiosks.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News senior editor Denise McCarty discusses Great Britain’s final stamp issue for 2015, a Star Wars prestige booklet, and reveals what is included in its stamp program for 2016.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News managing editor Chad Snee discusses a registered 1967 cover from Qatar that recently sold for almost $1,200 and the latest discovery of an Upright Jenny Invert pane.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman announces that Linn’s has been named official daily publisher of World Stamp Show-NY 2016 and provides an update on the reorganization of the Scott catalogs.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
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Dispersal of the splendid Daniel B. Curtis collection continued March 25, with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries gaveling items from United States back-of-the-book and possessions.
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