news

Online voting open for 2015 U.S. stamp popularity poll

February 24, 2016 08:00 AM

Online voting is available for Linn's 2015 U.S. stamp popularity poll. In 2015, the United States Postal Service issued 100 face-different stamps and postal stationery items. It was the smallest annual total since the 60 produced by the USPS in 1990. However, the year’s count rises to 162 when it includes imperforates — stamps without die cuts — from uncut press sheets of conventionally issued stamps, which the USPS offers for sale on a limited basis at face value.

blog

Marijuana tax stamp escapes fate of going up in puff of smoke

February 03, 2016 01:25 PM

Matthew Healey’s January Auction Roundup column reported that a $100 federal marijuana tax stamp of 1937 was brought to auction in the Nov. 21-22 sale conducted by Regency-Superior at the Chicagopex show. The marijuana tax stamps were produced by overprinting United States documentary stamps of 1917 and were intended to enforce regulation of cannabis.

news

Expertizing something that doesn’t exist

February 02, 2016 08:00 AM

Over the years, expertization certificates have been issued for color shades and paper varieties that later were deemed never to have really existed and were delisted by catalogs.

news

Born Jan. 31: Franz Schubert

January 31, 2016 03:30 AM

Born Jan. 31, 1797, Austrian composer Franz Schubert was prolific during his short life, which ended in 1828. His fame grew monumentally after his death.

news

First Bureau Issues on cover can be collected in many ways

January 30, 2016 02:00 PM

In 1894, the government decided to have the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing print U.S. postage stamps. The first issue of stamps from the BEP came to be called the First Bureau Issue.

news

Howard Koslow, prolific artist of U.S. Lighthouse series, dead at 91

January 30, 2016 07:00 AM

Howard Koslow, one of the United States Postal Service’s most prolific stamp artists and painter of its 30 classic Lighthouse stamps, died Jan. 25 at his home in Toms River, N.J.

news

Born Jan. 30: Franklin D. Roosevelt

January 30, 2016 03:30 AM

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four terms as president of the United States. He was a dedicated stamp collector, and has been featured on many stamps since his death in 1945.

news

ArtCraft FDCs discontinued, U.S. stamp eclipses $20 denomination: Week's Most Read

January 29, 2016 09:31 AM

Also popular this week were a post about the APS election in May that features multiple candidates in every race, a tribute to the late Paul Newman on his birthday, and the news that the USPS abandoned its attempt to end Saturday delivery.

news

Born Jan. 29: W.C. Fields

January 29, 2016 03:30 AM

W.C. Fields kept movie audiences laughing for years with his classic films My Little Chickadee and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break.

news

$5 Alexander Hamilton is top stamp of Liberty series

January 28, 2016 04:50 PM

On March 19, 1956, the top denomination of the Liberty definitive series, a $5 stamp depicting Alexander Hamilton, was issued. Commercial $5 Hamilton covers are scarce and highly prized.

news

Born Jan. 28: Elijah Wood

January 28, 2016 03:30 AM

Actor Elijah Wood is best known for his starring role as Frodo Baggins in the three Lord of the Rings movies from 2001, 2002 and 2003.

news

50¢ Thaddeus Lowe letter sheet tough to find used

January 27, 2016 03:54 PM

Air letter sheets are one of the less well-known types of postal stationery. They differ from postal stationery envelopes in that the letter or message is written on the sheet, which is then folded up in the shape of an envelope for mailing.

news

Born Jan. 27: Samuel Gompers

January 27, 2016 03:30 AM

Samuel Gompers was a 19th century cigar maker turned labor leader, an instrumental voice in the founding of the American Federation of Labor.

news

Born Jan. 26: Paul Newman

January 26, 2016 03:30 AM

Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, on Jan. 26, 1925, Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman starred in many acclaimed films while establishing and funding a number of charitable organizations.

news

What postal rule forbade remailing in an undeliverable envelope?

January 25, 2016 12:00 AM

Because I ask, or am asked, numerous questions about the functions of the United States Post Office Department, I am fortunate to have available a number of official publications that somehow or other relate to those functions.

news

Born Jan. 25: William Whipple Jr.

January 25, 2016 03:30 AM

William Whipple Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, also took part in the Battle of Saratoga the following year. He is depicted on stamps commemorating those events.

news

Born Jan. 24: Edith Wharton

January 24, 2016 03:30 AM

Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1920 novel The Age of Innocence. She also authored Ethan Frome in 1911 and numerous other works.

news

2016 U.S. combo first-day covers previewed, suspicious stamp errors analyzed: Week's Most Read

January 23, 2016 06:30 AM

Also among this week's biggest stories on Linns.com are ones analyzing suspicious errors on a 1979 Christmas stamp, and the USPS plan for financial stability.

news

Born Jan. 23: George McManus

January 23, 2016 03:30 AM

For decades, Maggie and Jiggs tickled the funny bones of Sunday comic strip readers. They were created by an Irish-American named George McManus, who was raised in St. Louis, but found his fame in New York City.

news

New definitive series begins with 10¢ Red Pears coil

January 22, 2016 03:27 PM

A new United States definitive stamp series is underway, with fruit as its principal theme. A 10¢ Red Pears self-adhesive coil stamp was issued Jan. 17 in Washington, D.C., with no first-day ceremony.

news

New and improved Linns.com keeps getting better

January 22, 2016 02:27 PM

Linn’s Stamp News is excited to debut this week a new site with a fresh look and a more user-friendly approach to delivering our breaking news, expert insights and collector resources.

news

Are you planning to attend WSS-NY 2016? Share your show experiences with Linn’s

January 22, 2016 02:07 PM

We invite readers to be our eyes and ears at the show. Our editors will be on the show floor throughout the eight-day event, but we can’t be everywhere at once.

news

Columbia River Gorge stamp eclipses $20 denomination mark

January 22, 2016 09:00 AM

The United States Postal Service has produced its first postage stamp to exceed a $20 denomination: the $22.95 Columbia River Gorge Priority Express Mail stamp was issued Jan. 17. It is also the first U.S. stamp printed by Banknote Corporation of America using a plate number beginning with the letter B. A second stamp intended for Priority Mail use, printed by Ashton Potter USA Ltd., was issued at the same time: a $6.45 La Cueva del Indio stamp.

news

Born Jan. 22: George Balanchine

January 22, 2016 03:30 AM

Russian-born choreographer George Balanchine was instrumental in the founding of the New York City Ballet. Balanchine became an American citizen in 1939.

news

New Lunar New Year stamp features peonies with cut-paper monkey

January 21, 2016 04:55 PM

The United States Postal Service will welcome in the Year of the Monkey with a new nondenominated (49¢) forever stamp that features red-orange peonies from artist Kam Mak, and a small cut-paper image of a monkey based on a previously used design by artist Clarence Lee. The Lunar New Year stamp for the Year of the Monkey has an issue date of Feb. 5.

news

February cartoon caption contest: Charlie Brown

January 21, 2016 04:25 PM

An empty mailbox is a disappointment at any time of year, but especially at holiday time, be it Christmas or Valentine’s Day. Charlie Brown on this forever stamp from the Oct. 1, 2015, A Charlie Brown Christmas booklet is hoping to get a card from the Little Red-Haired Girl, but seems doomed to frustration (Scott 5026).

news

Tip of the week: U.S. embossed revenue stamps on document

January 21, 2016 04:09 PM

Embossed revenue stamps were required on documents such as bills of exchange, promissory notes, powers of attorney, bills of lading, bonds, letters patent, leases and mortgages, and were used throughout the colonies and in the 13 original states. Not a few of these embossed revenue stamps on document are valued at $20 or less.

news

Candidates for every position in APS election in May

January 21, 2016 12:49 AM

Along with two candidates each for the positions of president, secretary and treasurer, there are also two competing slates of three candidates to serve as the board of vice presidents, and six announced candidates for four director-at-large positions. Earlier reports published in the Linn’s Stamp News issues of Oct. 5 and Oct. 26, 2015, provided background for candidates announced up to that point: Ken Nilsestuen for the office of president; John Barwis, Alex Haimann and Yamil Kouri for the board of vice presidents; Mark Butterline and Stephen Schumann competing for the secretary position; Bruce Marsden as treasurer; and director candidates Michael Bloom, Rich Drews, Gordon Eubanks, David McNamee, and Mark Schwartz.

news

Washington Stamp Exchange discontinues ArtCraft FDCs

January 21, 2016 08:53 AM

After more than 76 years, Washington Stamp Exchange has discontinued producing its ArtCraft first-day covers. According to a statement, the company “concluded that the decreasing volume of sales could no longer sustain the high costs of production.”

news

Born Jan. 21: Ethan Allen

January 21, 2016 03:30 AM

Born on Jan. 21, 1738, Ethan Allen was a key figure in the history of Vermont, and an important factor in an early Revolutionary War victory for the colonies.

news

An address for the ages

January 20, 2016 08:48 PM

If you want to make sure you have gotten your rant to the right people to hear it, here is the perfect address, from the May 2, 1941, envelope shown nearby: “Senator Stimson Hull & Congressmen/White House/Washington, D.C.” I bet that the letter contained in the envelope (unfortunately no longer there) was from a person weighing in on the subject of involvement in Europe’s war.

news

A love Marconigram for Valentine’s Day

January 20, 2016 05:01 PM

February 14 is the day to receive something special in the mail, and the “Love’s Marconigram” shown nearby would certainly get the recipient’s heart beating a little faster. The envelope is franked with a 2¢ Washington Shield stamp (Scott 319) canceled Feb. 11, 1904, in Austin, Texas. Opening this envelope reveals the beautiful enclosure. It is a take-off on a Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. telegram form, and guaranteed to make a great impression.

blog

Do you want access to great libraries? Search the APRL’s Philatelic Union Catalog

January 19, 2016 08:15 AM

In 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.

news

Born Jan. 17: Benjamin Franklin

January 17, 2016 02:30 AM

Benjamin Franklin was a senior statesman by the time he signed the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, but throughout his life he contributed much to the cause of American liberty.

news

Born Jan. 16: Ethel Merman

January 16, 2016 02:30 AM

A Broadway star and an entertainment icon, Ethel Merman won four Tony Awards and had a string of popular hit songs.

news

Richard Allen, A.M.E. church founder, on new Black Heritage stamp

January 15, 2016 03:45 PM

A forever stamp will be issued Feb. 2 to commemorate Richard Allen (1760-1831), an important figure in the United States abolitionist movement and the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal church. The stamp will be issued with a first-day ceremony scheduled for noon at the Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church, 419 S. Sixth St. (at Lombard) in Philadelphia, Pa., the site of the first A.M.E. church established by Allen.

news

Born Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Jr.

January 15, 2016 02:30 AM

American civil rights leader and Nobel laureate Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against injustice and led peaceful protests in an effort to transform the nation and the world.

news

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Paul Newman, Celebrate stamps receive Scott numbers

January 15, 2016 12:00 AM

The Scott catalog editors assigned No. 5020 to the United States Paul Newman commemorative forever stamp Nov. 3. Other recently issued U.S. stamps to receive Scott numbers are the A Charlie Brown Christmas stamps and the Celebrate stamp with a "2015" year date.

insights

Multiples of Christmas seals, stamps are unusual on cover

January 14, 2016 02:53 PM

If one Christmas seal is attractive on an envelope or postcard, multiples should be even more so. In my own collection, the best example I have is a 1937 reminder card with 10 seals in two rows. The message on the cards encourages a donation to the 1937 seal campaign. Every year there is pressure to improve over the previous year’s level of contributions, and reminders after Christmas were an effective way to help recipients recall what might have been forgotten in the pre-Christmas rush.

news

Hummingbird, flowers, more on Ameristamp Expo cancels

January 14, 2016 09:31 AM

Three show cancels are commemorating activities at the American Philatelic Society’s Ameristamp Expo, the winter stamp show and national exhibition taking place Jan. 29-31 in Atlanta, Ga., at the Hilton Atlanta. Admission is free.

news

Born Jan. 14: R.F. Outcault

January 14, 2016 02:30 AM

R.F. Outcault was an Ohio-born cartoonist whose pioneering newspaper feature in New York World, Hogan's Alley, introduced the character The Yellow Kid.

news

1881 Empire City Dispatch Co. local post stamp rising in value

January 13, 2016 02:58 PM

In 1881, J. Bevan & Son set up shop as the Empire City Dispatch Co. at 23 Dey St. in New York City for the purpose of local delivery of mail. The company produced a nondenominated stamp printed in black on green laid paper perforated gauge 12 (Scott 64L1). The government stepped in almost immediately and shut the firm down because it was in violation of the U.S. Post Office Department’s monopoly on the delivery of letter mail.

insights

Is this 1979 Christmas stamp an error or printer's waste?

January 13, 2016 01:15 PM

There has been suspicion ever since color-omitted errors were found on the 15¢ Santa Claus, Christmas Tree Ornament stamp of 1979 (Scott 1800) that some of these errors came from printers’ waste. Printers’ waste is incomplete or misprinted, misperforated and misgummed product that was somehow improperly taken from the printer’s facility, rather than being sold over a post office counter.

news

Born Jan. 13: Horatio Alger

January 13, 2016 03:30 AM

Author Horatio Alger was a popular writer in the late 19th century. His "rags to riches" stories include the Ragged Dick series depicted on the 20¢ stamp honoring him.

insights

2016 U.S. stamp program: great potential for combo first-day covers

January 12, 2016 03:00 PM

This year’s United States stamp program is rife with possibilities for combination first-day covers: that is, FDCs with additional stamps related to the new issue. This article will address only some topical combinations; less popular but still doable are combinations by date or city of issue or even stamp-design artist.

news

Born Jan. 12: Jack London

January 12, 2016 03:30 AM

The author of the popular novels The Call of the Wild and White Fang, Jack London was born in San Francisco on Jan. 12, 1876. He is honored on two 25¢ stamps in the Great Americans series.

news

Born Jan. 11: Alexander Hamilton

January 11, 2016 03:30 AM

A Founding Father of the United States, Alexander Hamilton became an important voice in the creation of the Constitution, and served as Treasury Secretary under President George Washington.

news

Born Jan. 10: Robinson Jeffers

January 10, 2016 03:30 AM

A complex poet with narrative themes that evoke the classics, Robinson Jeffers was commemorated on an 8¢ stamp that was issued in 1973.

news

Botanical Art stamps to debut at Ameristamp Expo

January 09, 2016 08:00 AM

Century-old paintings of flowers are prominently featured on 10 new United States Botanical Art stamps that will be issued Jan. 29 in panes of 10 and in double-sided panes of 20. The Postal Service identifies these formats as booklets. The stamps will be introduced with a first-day ceremony at the American Philatelic Society’s annual winter stamp show, Ameristamp Expo 2016.

news

Born Jan. 9: Richard Nixon

January 09, 2016 03:30 AM

Richard Nixon was elected as a Congressman and Senator before becoming vice president of the United States in 1952. Elected U.S. president in 1968, his term ended with his resignation six years later following the Watergate scandal.
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