Born July 31: John Ericsson

July 31, 2016 03:30 AM

A 5¢ stamp for engineer John Ericsson was issued in 1926 on the same day that a statue honoring him was dedicated in Washington, D.C.


What shows are coming up in August and September?: Editor’s Insights

July 29, 2016 07:00 PM

As summer winds down and Labor Day rolls around, collectors are lured back to their beloved hobby and ready to open their albums.


Wonder Woman to appear on USPS set, lick-and-stick Pink Floyd stamps available: Week’s Most Read

July 29, 2016 10:07 AM

Also this week, Denise McCarty discussed world-record-setting stamps, a new three-currency UN souvenir sheet was announced, and we asked you to do your best trucker impression for our cartoon caption contest.


The 1868 5¢ King Kamehameha III stamp that is seriously undervalued: Stamp Market Tips

July 29, 2016 08:00 AM

Probably fewer than 1,000 examples of the stamp with original gum still exist. They sell for considerably more than Scott catalog value when offered. It is a good buy at up to double catalog value.


Born July 29: Theda Bara

July 29, 2016 03:30 AM

Cincinnati-born actress Theda Bara was honored on a stamp included in the 1994 set depicting stars of silent films. Bara was born July 29, 1885.


Are you allowed to use those stamps for postage?

July 28, 2016 05:00 PM

Many collectors have sheets or smaller quantities of unused stamps issued years ago, and if they have no premium value, the collector might use them for postage on letters and parcels. Is that usage legitimate? The answer is, “It depends.”


Jack Davis, designer of 1989 U.S. Letter Carriers stamp, dead at 91

July 28, 2016 02:56 PM

Prolific illustrator and cartoonist Jack Davis, who died July 27 at age 91, designed the 1989 25¢ Letter Carriers stamp for the United States Postal Service.


The challenges of sending POW mail during the Civil War

July 28, 2016 08:00 AM

The prisoners on both sides were given a means of both sending and receiving letters. The letters were examined and then forwarded through a designated point of mail exchange by flag of truce, which provided safe passage across the lines to their final destinations.


Is expertizing required? 10 situations when the answer is no

July 27, 2016 08:00 PM

All that is required to know when expertization is needed is a list of what to look for and a few elementary collecting tools.


Born July 27: Geoffrey de Havilland

July 27, 2016 03:30 AM

British aircraft designer Geoffrey de Havilland established his London aircraft company in 1920 and remained at its head for some 35 years.


Neyhart wins Helbock Prize for three-peat

July 26, 2016 12:00 AM

Neyhart won the 2015 Helbock Prize for, “‘A Knife in the Back’ The 1915 San Diego Panama California Exposition.” He won the 2014 Helbock Prize for “The 1905 Portland, Oregon, Lewis & Clark Exposition Postal Stations.”


Born July 26: Gracie Allen

July 26, 2016 03:30 AM

Gracie Allen's longtime comedic partnership with her husband George Burns included regular weekly programs on radio and television.


FDR and his fellow stamp collectors helped ducks’ survival luck in 1930s: Stamp Hobby Views

July 25, 2016 05:00 PM

The president turned his love for the hobby into public policy that protected waterfowl by outlawing duck annihilation.


Holiday Window Views stamp designs revealed

July 25, 2016 04:40 PM

Four stamps showing a burning candle, a star ornament, a Christmas tree, and a wreath will be issued in October by the United States Postal Service.


Born July 25: Henry Knox

July 25, 2016 03:30 AM

Fort Knox in Kentucky is named after Revolutionary War military leader Henry Knox, who was honored on a Great Americans definitive stamp in 1985.


Born July 24: Simon Bolivar

July 24, 2016 03:30 AM

As part of a commemorative stamp series honoring world leaders, the United States Post Office Department issued two stamp for Simon Bolivar in 1958.


International airmail return receipt rules changed over time: Modern U.S. Mail

July 23, 2016 01:00 PM

Before June 23, 1953, international return receipts could be returned only by surface mail. That is no longer the case.


What is the truck driver thinking about on this stamp?: U.S. Stamp Notes

July 22, 2016 09:00 AM

This is one of a long line of U.S. stamps that were based on living models. The original photo shows Ben Winterberger behind the wheel, though by the time the final design was approved, his image had been modified into that of an anonymous truck driver.


Songbirds in Snow forever stamps: Breaking down the four portraits

July 21, 2016 03:31 PM

The United States Postal Service is issuing a set of four Songbirds in Snow forever stamps Aug. 4 with a 1 p.m. first-day ceremony at the American Philatelic Society’s annual Stampshow.


Seven authors collaborate to create Eastern independent mail reference work: Editor’s Insights

July 21, 2016 03:14 PM

The book’s objective is to provide the history of each of the Eastern independent mail and express mail companies and to document the stamps, letters and markings associated with these companies.


Four U.S. stamps for Wonder Woman Oct. 7

July 21, 2016 03:00 PM

The United States Postal Service will issue four Wonder Woman stamps Oct. 7, with a first-day ceremony at the New York Comic Con at the Javits Center in Manhattan.


Postal card sent after deadly tornadoes makes history come alive: U.S. Stamp Notes

July 21, 2016 01:00 PM

From birth to death, the lives of ordinary Americans in the 1870s to 1950s can be read on the back of penny postal cards. The 1¢ postal card rate lasted from May 1, 1873, to Jan. 1, 1952, although it was increased to 2¢ from Nov. 2, 1917, to July 1, 1919, to raise revenue to help pay for the United States’ participation in World War I.


When your U.S. collection stalls, look for Canal Zone stamps: Tip of the week

July 21, 2016 09:00 AM

The Canal Zone was a strip of territory about 552 square miles in area roughly paralleling the Panama Canal. The canal across the Isthmus of Panama was engineered, constructed and operated by the United States.


Thurston Twigg-Smith (1921-2016)

July 19, 2016 05:20 PM

Hawaiian-born newspaper publisher Thurston Twigg-Smith assembled the world's greatest collection of Hawaiian stamps and postal history. Mr. Twigg-Smith died July 16 at age 94.


The stamp that flew past Pluto is entering the Guinness Book of World Records

July 18, 2016 03:44 PM

A 1991 Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp has been credited with setting a Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled by one stamp and will take its place in Guinness Book history during a ceremony Tuesday morning that anyone with a Facebook account can watch live.


New ceremony time for Songbirds in Snow

July 18, 2016 11:33 AM

The United States Postal Service will introduce its Songbirds in Snow forever stamps with a first-day ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. on Aug. 4 in Portland, Ore. The stamps are being issued in conjunction with APS Stampshow 2016.


The American Philatelic Society gets mentioned on TNT’s ‘Rizzoli & Isles’: Linn’s Buzz

July 18, 2016 10:45 AM

The fictional crime drama aired an episode in which a postal worker was murdered. This led them to an eccentric postal investigator to help solve the crime, and provided some nice mainstream publicity for the stamp hobby.


Born July 16: Ida B. Wells

July 16, 2016 03:30 AM

An early civil rights leader and a crusading journalist, Ida B. Wells was born July 16, 1862.


New USPS Pets stamps: When and how you can get them

July 15, 2016 05:00 PM

The 20 stamps are being issued together in a double-sided pane of 20, described as a booklet by the Postal Service. Each stamp shows a photograph of one pet: puppy, betta fish, iguana, hamster, goldfish, kitten, rabbit, tortoise, guinea pig, parrot, corn snake, mouse, hermit crab, chinchilla, gerbil, gecko, cat, horse, parakeet, and dog.


Watch the trailer for the duck-stamp documentary, ‘The Million Dollar Duck’

July 15, 2016 09:00 AM

The film follows wildlife artists on their paths towards the Federal Duck Stamp Contest — the Super Bowl of duck stamp art.


Born July 15: Dorothy Fields

July 15, 2016 03:30 AM

Lyricist Dorothy Fields, born July 15, 1905, wrote the words to many well known songs including On the Sunny Side of the Street and If My Friends Could See Me Now.


Born July 14: Woody Guthrie

July 14, 2016 03:30 AM

Songwriter and folk musician Woody Guthrie documented America during the Great Depression. Many of his songs, including This Land is Your Land, have become American music classics.


Emotions run high at ceremony for stamp honoring math teacher Jaime Escalante

July 13, 2016 04:38 PM

Jaime Escalante, honored on a new stamp issued July 13, became renowned for teaching mathematics to students some regarded as “unteachable.”


If you want to collect test stamps, start with this issue: Stamp Market Tips

July 13, 2016 11:12 AM

Also known as dummy stamps, test stamps have been used since the 19th century for a number of reasons: to test stamp production equipment, in the development of stamp vending equipment, and in the development of stamp affixing equipment.


Born July 13: Father Flanagan

July 13, 2016 03:30 AM

Father Edward J. Flanagan was born in Ireland in 1886. After moving to the United States, he founded the Boys Town facility near Omaha, Neb.


Born July 12: R. Buckminster Fuller

July 12, 2016 03:30 AM

R. Buckminster Fuller, known for his development of the geodesic dome, was born July 12, 1895. He was granted a patent for his dome in 1954.


National Parks, Classics Forever stamps now have Scott numbers

July 11, 2016 08:00 PM

New Scott catalog numbers have been assigned to United States stamps issued at WSS-NY 2016, including the popular National Parks stamps and the Classics Forever pane of six.


Born July 11: George W. Norris

July 11, 2016 03:30 AM

A 4¢ stamp honoring Sen. George W. Norris of Nebraska was issued July 11, 1961, on the Senator's birth centenary.


First-day cover devotees to gather at Americover show: When and where it’s happening

July 10, 2016 09:00 AM

The Washington, D.C., area is a hotbed of stamp collecting, with one of the most active chapters of the American First Day Cover Society, so it is not a surprise that the AFDCS often holds its annual Americover show there.


Born July 9: Minor White

July 09, 2016 03:30 AM

Minor White, born July 9, 1908, was described as "a major figure in the expressive movement in art photography" by the United States Postal Service.


1940s August Tiger poster stamps tout benefits of stamp collecting

July 08, 2016 07:00 PM

A. August Tiger poster stamps from the 1940s celebrated the joys and benefits of stamp collecting.


Tickets limited for Pickup Trucks ceremony

July 08, 2016 05:30 PM

The U.S. Postal Service is offering a limited number of free tickets to attend the Classic Pickup Trucks first-day ceremony in Syracuse, N.Y.


Stamp for Henry James added to U.S. Literary Arts series

July 08, 2016 04:38 PM

The 31st stamp in the United States Postal Service’s Literary Arts series will honor writer Henry James (1843-1916).


Who is being inducted into the prestigious APS writers’ hall of fame?

July 08, 2016 01:55 PM

The American Philatelic Society Writers Unit No. 30 will induct three philatelists to its hall of fame at APS Stampshow. Let's meet them.


U.S. overprints for Guam postal service worth looking out for: Tip of the week

July 08, 2016 07:00 AM

With the exception of the 1¢ Franklin and 2¢ Washington stamps, the stamps overprinted for Guam in 1899 are not plentiful.


Born July 8: Louis Jordan

July 08, 2016 03:30 AM

Often cited as an early rock 'n' roll influence, saxophonist Louis Jordan had a string of hits that included Caldonia Boogie. He was born July 8, 1908.


2016 election a popular subject for clown-themed cartoon contest entries: U.S. Stamp Notes

July 07, 2016 04:42 PM

Half of the caption submissions were so partisan—and negative—that they would be inappropriate for Linn’s Stamp News. The other half had some good ones.


What airplane crash covers can and can’t tell us about a disaster: U.S. Stamp Notes

July 07, 2016 04:21 PM

Air crash covers by themselves tell us only the bare details of the event. For example, the illustrated advertising cover shown with this column was sent from Memphis, Tenn., to San Jose, Calif., in January 1936. The explanatory handstamp at lower left on the cover reads, “Damage due to air mail interruption near Goodwin, Ark. Jan. 14, 1936.”


Two people who sparked a journey into philately: Essays and Proofs

July 07, 2016 08:54 AM

James E. Lee tells the story of two very special people who influenced his life in such a way that I followed them into the stamp business.


Born July 6: John Paul Jones

July 06, 2016 03:30 AM

Scottish-born naval leader John Paul Jones commanded forces of the Continental Navy during the American Revolution.
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