By Donna Houseman
Collectors of modern United States (from 1950 on) will be pleased with the first of what likely will be a series of books on U.S. commemorative stamps published by the American Philatelic Society.
The book, titled Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950, by Charles Posner, thoroughly examines every commemorative stamp issued by the U.S. Post Office Department in 1950.
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The objective of this series is to fill the void between The United States Postage Stamps of the Twentieth Century by Beverly S. King and Max G. Johl, Johl’s U.S. Commemorative Stamps of the Twentieth Century, Sol Glass’ U.S. Postage Stamps 1945-1952; and Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks, which covered the years from 1983 through 2010.
Linn’s U.S. Stamp Yearbooks are a series of books that offer collectors everything they need to know about the stamps issued during the year, including commemoratives, definitives, special stamps, and postal stationery.
The Yearbooks tell the story behind each stamp and include artists’ sketches and essays considered by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee before approval of the final design.
The series began with the stamps of 1983 under the authorship of Fred Boughner. George Amick took over as author with the 1988 Yearbook and continued to tell the stories of subsequent stamp issues for more than two decades until the final Yearbook was published for the stamps issued in 2010.
Although Posner’s book covers only commemorative stamps, it is a significant contribution to the U.S. stamp hobby.
Much like C. Belmont Faries (who wrote about new issues in SPA Journal, the publication of the now-defunct Society of Philatelic Americans), Boughner and Amick, Posner covers in detail the development of the stamp subject, the design, the history of the subject, photographs used for the design, essays, first-day ceremony information, and the all-important technical details.
The 116-page hardbound book includes the following commemorative stamps issued in 1950: American Bankers Association, Samuel Gompers, National Capitol Sesquicentennial, Railroad Engineers of America, Centenary of Kansas City, Boy Scouts of America, Indiana Territory Sesquicentennial, and California Statehood Centennial. Each is denominated 3¢.
Posner also includes an introduction to the 1950s and to stamp collecting in those years.
Readers of the American Philatelist, the journal of the APS, will be familiar with Posner’s accounts of these issues. They are reprinted from the monthly magazine.
The book is sold through the APS specialty store, and costs $24.99, $19.99 for APS members, with an additional $4 for shipping. Readers also may contact the APS at 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823.