US Stamps

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

July 08, 2016 02:55 PM

  • The American Philatelic Society Writers Unit No. 30 will induct three new members into its hall of fame at the APS Stampshow in Portland, Ore.

The American Philatelic Society Writers Unit No. 30 will induct Cheryl Ganz, Arthur Groten, the late John K. Tiffany and the late Hiram E. Deats to its hall of fame at the APS Stampshow in Portland, Ore. The show will take place Aug. 4-7 at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Cheryl Ganz

Ganz is chief curator emerita of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, where she wrote numerous books about its exhibitions. 

She was editor of the Zeppelin Collector for 35 years and also has edited the Chicago Philatelic Society’s newsletter. Among the publications Ganz has written articles for are the American Philatelist, Jack Knight Air Log, German Postal Specialist, Airpost Journal, Collectors Club Philatelist, Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues, Philatelic Exhibitor, and many others.

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Ganz is a member of the United States Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. At the APS Stampshow in Portland, she will receive an APS Luff award.

Ganz previously has received several of philately’s highest awards, including all of the American Air Mail Society’s major awards, the Federation Internationale des Societes Aerophilateliques (FISA) gold medal, Saul Newbury award for service to Chicago philately, Royal Philatelic Society London’s Lee medal, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society’s distinguished philatelist, Philatelic Foundation’s Neinken medal, Elizabeth C. Pope award for lifetime contributions to philately, Briefmarkenfreunde Dusseldorf’s Carlrichard Bruhl medal, and the Collectors Club of New York’s Alfred F. Lichtenstein’s award. She also is a member of the Wisconsin philatelic hall of fame.

She was president of the American Air Mail Society (1992-93) and the Chicago Air Mail Society (1984-85), and board member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (1986-90), among many other local, national and international society offices. 

Ganz holds a doctorate in U.S. history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Arthur Groten

Dr. Arthur Groten has been researching and writing philatelic literature for almost 40 years. 

A retired radiologist from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Groten has owned his own firm, Postilion Publications, specializing in publishing new research and reprinting out-of-print research. 

Among the books and pamphlets he has written are The Flying Camel, The Levant Fairs of Mandate Palestine; Plating Canada’s 2¢ Stamp of 1864; and The Postal History of St. Helena during the Napoleonic Exile

Innovations he has brought to the stamp hobby include “paraphilately,” a hybrid of philately and ephemera collecting; and writing auction catalogs designed to be handbooks. 

Groten has written extensively for the Airpost Journal, for which he won the L.B. Gatchell literature award; and American Stamp Dealer & Collector magazine. His articles also have been published in American Philatelic Congress books, American Philatelist, BNA Topics, Collectors Club Philatelist, Journal of the Poster Stamp Collectors Club, Meter Stamp Society Bulletin, Philatelic Exhibitor, Postal Label Collectors Club Bulletin, Scott Topical Time. 

He has served as president of the Poster Stamp Collectors Club, Postal Label Study Group, and Ephemera Society of America, and has held additional offices in other philatelic groups.

Groten received the 2013 Luff award for distinguished philatelic research.

Hiram E. Deats was born May 20, 1870, in Flemington Junction, N.J. He started collecting stamps as a child, and at age 16 in 1886 he joined the APS as a founding member. 

His first passion was U.S. and Confederate stamps, of which he had one of the best collections at the time. 

Deats also started forming a philatelic library that was second only to John K. Tiffany’s, much of which he donated to the Free Library of Pennsylvania in 1952.

Deats served as president in 1904-05. He also was a founding member and first librarian of the Collectors Club of New York in 1896. 

Around 1895, Deats and business partner E.B. Sterling paid the equivalent of more than $40,000 in today’s money for 10 railroad boxcars of “waste paper” from the U.S. Treasury Department. The haul included thousands of stamps, proofs, essays and covers, plus important correspondence related to revenues. 

With G.L. Toppan and A. Holland, he authored An Historical Reference List of the Revenue Stamps of the United States Including the Private Die Proprietary Stamps, published in 1899 and reprinted in 1979.

He also wrote the introduction to Some Notes on the New York Postmaster’s Provisional Five Cents, Black, 1845, by O.S. Hart

He was the publisher of the Index to The Quaker City Philatelist [for 1886-94] and editor of the Collector’s Ledger journal in 1888. He also wrote articles for the American Philatelist and the Daily Stamp Item

Deats signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1933, was made an honorary life fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London in 1943, and an honorary member of the American Revenue Association in 1953.

Deats was inducted into the APS hall of fame in 1963. He died March 16, 1963, at age 92.

John K. Tiffany

John Kerr Tiffany was born in St. Louis on Feb. 9, 1842. He started collecting stamps as a child living in Paris, where his parents took him to learn French. 

He graduated from Harvard University in 1865, and began studying law, passing the bar exam in November 1868. He then returned to St. Louis to practice law. 

Already collecting philatelic literature, Tiffany published The Philatelical Library: A Catalogue of Stamp Publications in 1874, and Les Timbres des Etats-Unis d’Amerique in 1883. The later work was revised and expanded as History of the Postage Stamps of the United States of America in 1887.

His other works include The Stamp Collector’s Library Companion, Part I (1889) and Addenda (1890); “Proofs and Essays” sections of the American Journal of Philately (1889); “The Stamps of Peru” in the Metropolitan Philatelist (1891); and with R.R. Bogert and Joseph Rechert The Stamped Envelopes, Wrappers, and Sheets of the United States (1892). 

He published his results of the plating of the St. Louis postmaster’s provisionals in the monograph A St. Louis Symposium (1894).

In 1886, he was member No. 1 of the American Philatelic Society (called the American Philatelic Association at the time), and served as president from 1886 to 1896. 

Tiffany died March 3, 1897. In 1901, Charles J. Phillips purchased Tiffany’s philatelic library for James Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford. Later, Lord Crawford’s library, still including Tiffany’s, was donated to the British Museum in London, where it remains today.

Tiffany was named a “Father of Philately” by the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists on its 1921 launch. He was inducted into the APS hall of fame in the first group of inductees in 1941, and today the APS’s endowment fund is named in Tiffany’s honor.

“This year’s inductees are all extremely important leaders and innovators in the history of U.S. philately and all philately,” said Dane S. Claussen, chair of the 2016 APS Writers Unit hall of fame committee. 

“Inducting these four individuals into our Hall of Fame is long, long overdue, by several decades in the cases of Tiffany and Deats,” he said.

The other members of this year’s committee are Ken Trettin and Alan Warren.

All three committee members are APS Writers Unit hall of fame inductees and former presidents of the Writers Unit.

Keep reading about the American Philatelic Society: 

American Philatelic Society show Aug. 4-7 in Portland

Monday Morning Brief | American Philatelic Society election results

American Philatelic Society seeks input on revised judging manual