By Janet Klug
In the world of stamp collecting, cinderella is something quite different from the tale of the young woman who lost her glass slipper at the ball.
Cinderella is a broad category that includes bogus issues, revenue stamps, telegraph stamps, railway stamps, local post stamps, charity seals, advertising labels, poster stamps, propaganda and patriotic labels, airmail labels (etiquettes), campaign labels, trading stamps, and many other types of stamplike labels.
They can be used to promote an event or product, raise money for charity, support a position or candidate, or simply as a decoration on an envelope.
Trading stamps given by merchants to encourage repeat business, such as S&H green stamps, are also collected as cinderellas.
The field is huge. Just because most cinderellas are not listed in general stamp catalogs does not mean that they are not interesting and fun to collect.
The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers lists some kinds of cinderellas, such as U.S. revenue stamps,
Christmas seals, sanitary fair stamps, and some local and carrier stamps.
A local is a stamp or label used to pay for the delivery of letters and parcels within a limited area. If the mailpiece is to go outside the limited delivery area, it would require additional postage issued by the postal administration that will carry the mail beyond the local area.
Many collectors are unaware that the famous Pony Express stamps were privately issued and thus are considered local stamps.
The Pony Express $2 Horse and Rider stamp (Scott 143L1) illustrated in Figure 1 is a good example. Issued by Wells Fargo & Co. in April 1861, it paid the cost of carrying a ½-ounce letter on the transcontinental Pony Express service that ran between St. Joseph, Mo., and San Francisco, Calif.
Mail originating or terminating outside the Pony Express route required sufficient U.S. postage to carry it on the segment of its delivery undertaken by the U.S. Post Office Department.
The Pony Express is probably the most famous local post, but there have been thousands of others all over the world. Although the Scott catalog introduction states that "local stamps issued for local use only" are among the types of item that will not be listed, some local post stamps are listed in the Scott catalogs.
Shown in Figure 2, photographically cropped from a postcard sent from the Isle of Skye, is an example of a local stamp that is not listed in the Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue.
Skye is the largest of Scotland's Inner Hebrides islands and the Isle of Pabay is a tiny island that lies off the northeast tip of Skye. The Isle of Pabay/Skye Mail Service was operated in the converted lifeboat seen in the stamp design by the Whatley family of Pabay, which carried the postcard to the mainland, where Royal Mail took over.
In the United States and elsewhere, Christmas seals and Easter seals are well known fundraisers. Christmas seals are listed in the Scott U.S. specialized catalog, but Easter seals are not.
The first U.S. Christmas seals raised money for the American Red Cross. An American National Red Cross Christmas seal issued in 1908 (Scott WX3) is shown in Figure 3.
Later Christmas seals were issued by the National Tuberculosis Association, which eventually was renamed the American Lung Association.
Easter seals help support children and adults with disabilities.
Many other nations also issue similar seals, such as the Turkish seal shown in Figure 4, issued in 1961 to raise money for the tuberculosis society.
At one time, cinderellas were frequently used to promote fairs and events, but that practice has largely gone the way of the dodo bird. World's fairs were once strong users of cinderellas.
Figure 5 shows a label from a set of cinderellas issued for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. The cinderella shows the fair's administration building.
Not unexpectedly, stamp exhibitions have used cinderellas for publicity purposes. Figure 6 shows an Australian View of Melbourne cinderella for the 1950 National Philatelic Exhibition, photographically cropped from the back of a cover mailed from Sydney, Australia, to the United States on Sept. 18, 1950.
The cinderella shown in Figure 7 publicized the Washington 2006 World Philatelic Exhibition, the most recent international stamp show to be held in the United States.
Ironically, the 1-penny International Peace Campaign label shown in Figure 8 is photographically cropped from the back of a cover mailed in Melbourne, Australia, in October 1939, one month after the British Commonwealth of Nations declared war on Germany.
Cinderellas can be collected for their beauty, for the work that they do or for the topics they illustrate – for all the same reasons that we collect postage stamps. And there is no prohibition against staying up after midnight to work on them.
To find out more about cinderellas, visit www.cinderellastampclub.org.uk; or write to Cinderella Stamp Club, R. Hudson, Box 172, Coventry, CV6 6NF, United Kingdom.
August 01, 2015 07:37 PMIt didn’t take long for the doom-and-gloomers to weigh in with their prognostications following the July 24 announcement from the American Philatelic Society that it hired former political aide Scott English to be the next executive director of the nation’s largest stamp club. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 08:04 PMIn the Editor’s Insights columns in the July 20 Linn’s Stamp News monthly and the Aug. 10 weekly Linn’s, I mentioned Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board without giving too much detail. Linn’s goal is to engage its audience both in print and online and to grow this audience. The role of the newly formed Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board is to assist us achieving these goals by keeping us focused on the needs of our audience and helping us adapt to today’s market. Read More ›
July 30, 2015 09:01 AMAs in previous years, Rarities Week, the series of sales conducted June 22-26 by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York, included several name sales as well as an assortment of notable items from around the world. The week kicked off with something of a do-over: a sizable assortment of better United States stamps and covers that had appeared in four previous sales, but whose winning bidder then failed to pay for them. Read More ›
July 23, 2015 04:35 PMThe Tieton, Wash., post office is a simple 1935 cement block building with a slat wood facade. Townsfolk in the agricultural community of 1,200 in central Washington believe the post office could become a landmark, if only the United States Postal Service would allow them to cover the front with a stamp-like mosaic. Read More ›
Watch as Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty discusses the hiring of a new executive director of the American Philatelic Society, the new Linn’s Editorial Advisory Board and the upcoming APS Stampshow.
Watch as Scott catalog senior editor Marty Frankevicz discusses the largest souvenir card produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The card is one of three issued to honor the centenary of San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke discusses Canada’s recently recalled $1.20 Dinosaur Provincial Park stamps featuring inaccurately described Hoodoo rock formations.
Watch as Linn’s Stamp News editorial director Donna Houseman discusses the discovery of another pane of the intentionally created upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert stamp.
It is always a treat to get to see stamp dealers’ own collections.
In the recently concluded Linn’s United States Stamp Popularity Poll, the Circus Posters set of eight stamps was chosen as the overall favorite issue of 2014.
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.
The 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp, Great Britain's Penny Black, is May 6, but the stamp was placed on sale May 1, 1840, for mailers to use beginning on May 6, the designated issue date.