Editor's note: The following is a sponsored article brought to you by Vidiforms.
As the official publication of World Stamp Show-NY 2016, Linn’s Stamp News is putting together a series of posts profiling some of the stamp dealers who will be on hand at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center—located on 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets in Manhattan—from May 28 to June 4.
Let’s learn a little bit about Vidiforms Company, a stamp-collecting supplies seller that was founded more than 55 years ago.
Company: Vidiforms Company
World Stamp Show Booth: 764
Address: 115 N. Route 9W; Congers, NY 10920-1722
Phone Number: 877-507-5758
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owner: James Michalek
Most business success stories begin with a tale of invention and innovation and Vidiforms Company of Congers, NY, is no exception. Now located in the rolling hills of Rockland County on the west bank of the Hudson River 25 miles north of New York City, Vidiforms was founded in 1958 in Brooklyn by Dr. Robert Weisberg, an optometrist by profession who enjoyed stamp collecting. He had purchased a Schaubek album for a collection of German stamps he had started with his daughter and had discovered a sample of a mount. Having tried many of the different mounts on the market and being unsatisfied with the results, he tried the sample of the twin seam, split back clear mount and was immediately won over. He set out to buy some but was unable to find them anywhere. He finally wrote directly to Schaubek who referred him to Hans Widmaier of Hawid mounts, their supplier. Hawid was producing this mount only for Schaubek for use in their hinge-less album.
Widmaier supplied the requested mounts and Dr. Weisberg was so pleased with the results that he decided to promote and sell them to collectors.
The initial reaction from collectors was favorable. The mounts were a higher quality and safer product than others on the market in the U.S. One collector wrote and suggested it be supplied with a black background. Dr. Weisberg liked the idea but Widmaier needed a sizable order commitment to proceed. In exchange for a large order, Dr. Weisberg requested and received an exclusive agency for sales to the United States and English-speaking countries.
The first shipment of Showgard mounts with a black background arrived in America in January 1960. Collector reception was favorable, so favorable that production was barely able to keep up with demand. Since then, Showgard mounts have been the most popular, most widely used, and most respected stamp mounts in the U.S. market. The Showgard product line has expanded to include first-day cover albums, stamp tongs, and other philatelic accessories.
The close association with Hawid continues to this day. Vidiforms also distributes Hawid mounts in the U.S.
A new generation now runs the enterprise. James Michalek, Dr. Weisberg’s son-in-law, bought Vidiforms in 1986. In 1994, Vidiforms Company purchased the product lines of La Mor Corporation with stamp and coin products under the Supersafe banner and the U.S. distributorship for Hagner Pages.
Showgard mounts are still the company’s best selling products and the line is constantly updated to keep up with the latest stamp issues. The Supersafe line has expanded offerings of stamp, coin, and currency collecting supplies and accessories. With the wider range of products the company offers, the name Vidiforms has become synonymous with archival quality protection for paper collectibles.
Are you a World Stamp Show-NY 2016 dealer who would like to be featured? Email associate publisher Stephanie Campana.