Four covers help tell the narrative of immigration through Ellis Island

June 24, 2017 09:00 AM

Over the years, John Hotchner has gathered covers related to Ellis Island, and, though small in number, they help to tell the story. Four covers are pictured with this column.


Surplus of $2 Jenny Inverts available, APS donates 500,000 stamps: Week’s Most Read

June 23, 2017 04:00 PM

Also this week, 10 Disney villains will appear on 10 new forever stamps on July 15.


USPS discretionary semipostal plan inches ahead as bill threatens rule reversal

June 23, 2017 01:00 PM

So where does this leave the U.S. semipostal program? Six years have passed since the last new U.S. semipostal stamp was issued, and the Postal Service now appears to be taking a cautious approach to inaugurating the new discretionary semipostal program.


Another upright Jenny find; USPS says 32 reported

June 23, 2017 10:10 AM

A stamp collector reports buying a pane of six of the upright variety of the $2 Jenny Invert stamp in a post office in Marcy, N.Y.


Federal duck stamp art contest scheduled for Sept. 15-16 in Wisconsin

June 22, 2017 01:50 PM

Artists this year can choose to paint one of the following five species: mallard, gadwall, cinnamon teal, blue-winged teal, or harlequin duck.


Philatelic writers hall of fame adds Houseman, Kaufmann, Markovits, Woodward

June 22, 2017 01:50 PM

The American Philatelic Society's specialty group for philatelic writers has named four prominent writers to its hall of fame for 2017.


Same sheet, different issue: Try your luck at captioning this 24¢ Bicentennial stamp

June 22, 2017 01:00 PM

The challenge for this month’s cartoon caption contest is to put yourself in their rags, and to tell John Hotchner what you might be saying or thinking about the task at hand, the war effort, or the plight of the military grunt.


Ten of Disney’s finest villains on new U.S. set

June 21, 2017 11:50 AM

A new set of 10 Disney forever stamps featuring villains from animated films will be issued in a pane of 20 July 15 in Anaheim, Calif.


Ticket required for Sharks stamp ceremony

June 19, 2017 08:15 PM

A ticket is required to attend the July 26 first-day ceremony for the Sharks stamps. The Postal Service is offering a limited number of free tickets.


‘Sweet 16’ group of authors educate, entertain in new volume about American postal history

June 19, 2017 07:00 PM

A new book, Aspects of American Postal History, gathers together a select group of authors, dubbed the “Sweet 16” by La Posta editor Peter Martin.


The United States Postal Service’s presence is evident on this U.N. souvenir card

June 19, 2017 09:00 AM

The United Nations apparently asked the U.S. Postal Service to use the design on these cards as a means of fund-raising for UNICEF.


Check out these clever look-alike U.S. stamps of an earlier era

June 18, 2017 09:00 AM

These days instead of imitations, we see actual counterfeits, which lack the creativity of the older imitations, but are equally likely to make it though the mail.


Memorable works of artist Andrew Wyeth grace set of 12 United States stamps

June 17, 2017 08:00 AM

The 12 nondenominated (49¢) forever stamps, which will be issued July 12, each show a different detail from one of Wyeth’s paintings. The issue date is 100 years to the day after Wyeth was born July 12, 1917, in Chadds Ford, Pa.


Looking for $2 Jenny Invert panes? A post office in Los Angeles has several hundred

June 16, 2017 09:30 PM

Brenda Coronado, retail manager at the main Los Angeles post office, said via a post on that she had more than 300 sealed panes in stock.


Printing $5 John Bassett Moore stamps, a website devoted to math, and the 280 stamps of Venda: Inside Linn’s Stamp News

June 16, 2017 03:00 PM

Also in the July 3 issue, Charles Snee, in Dollar-Sign Stamps, explores a key change made by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing when it began printing the $5 John Bassett Moore stamp issued Dec. 3, 1966.


Wild textures and tagging on Sports Balls stamps

June 15, 2017 09:45 AM

Each of the eight new Have a Ball! stamps issued June 14 has a distinct coating that adds surface texture, and tagging applied in a circular shape.


Canada Geese federal duck stamps to be issued June 23 in Little Rock, Ark.

June 12, 2017 07:00 PM

The stamps are sold by the U.S. Postal Service, through an online vendor, and from sporting goods stores and similar outlets.


American Philatelic Society selects Markovits, Mueller, Weinberg as 2017 hall of fame class

June 12, 2017 10:30 AM

The APS announced June 12 the selection of Robert Markovits, Barbara Mueller, and Irwin Wienberg as the 2017 inductees into the society’s hall of fame.


Winner of May cartoon caption contest looks ‘under water’ for humorous inspiration

June 10, 2017 05:00 PM

A major focus of the entries was what the captain sees when he first puts the periscope up. Several entries posited that some wag had sabotaged the view.


Sometimes it is what is inside the cover that makes the difference

June 09, 2017 07:00 PM

The cover was sent from and is addressed to Buffalo, N.Y., but according to the note at lower left, it was sent by airmail “Via Cleveland and New York”.


Fraudulent 1¢ Franklin stamp, Switzerland’s history told on stamps: Week’s Most Read

June 09, 2017 06:45 AM

Also this week, the oldest-known letter posted through mails from Florida headlines a recent Siegel auction.


James Lee tapped as first APS dealer of the year

June 08, 2017 09:00 PM

The American Philatelic Society announced June 8 its selection of James E. Lee as the first APS dealer of the year.


Postal Service leaves collectors in the dark regarding imperforate uncut press sheets

June 08, 2017 07:00 PM

Preorders for the sheets were accepted by Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo., but the orders all too frequently were canceled, resulting in disappointment for collectors.


Delicioso booklet stamps among dozens to receive Scott catalog numbers

June 07, 2017 09:00 AM

For June, six United States stamps celebrating prepared dishes from south of the border and the Caribbean highlight the dozens of U.S. and United Nations stamps that are now listed in the Scott catalog.


Try putting away a pane or two of the Amur Tiger Cub semipostal stamp

June 03, 2017 07:00 PM

On Sept. 20, 2011, the U.S. Postal Service issued a nondenominated (44¢+11¢) Amur Tiger Cub semipostal stamp (Scott B4) titled Save Vanishing Species.


The expectation of hope over reality: hope dashed

June 02, 2017 01:00 PM

This postcard is unremarkable, until you notice that the straight edge on the right of the 1¢ Franklin stamp is matched by a straight edge on the left.


$2 Jenny Invert still available, Ashbrook files open to the public: Week’s Most Read

June 02, 2017 11:15 AM

Also this week, a winter-themed cartoon caption contest featuring President George Washington grabbed the attention of Linn’s readers.


Issue dates announced for Sharks and Flowers

June 01, 2017 09:15 AM

Two U.S. stamp sets with great topical appeal will be issued this summer: the Sharks set of five, and the Flowers from the Garden set of four.


For free: Philatelic Foundation serves up digitized Stanley Ashbrook files

May 29, 2017 09:00 AM

The Philatelic Foundation has digitized Ashbrook’s files and made them available free on its website. The digitization was made possible through a grant from the David T. Beals III Charitable Trust. Ashbrook’s archive comes in the form of scrapbooks, index cards, and color photographic slides.


It’s all about keeping cool for the June cartoon caption contest

May 27, 2017 09:00 AM

Trying to stay cool? For the June cartoon caption contest, we promote this preoccupation by using a George Washington stamp with a winter theme.


In the path of totality: where and when the Total Solar Eclipse stamp will debut

May 27, 2017 07:00 AM

Part of the new nondenominated (49¢) Total Solar Eclipse forever stamp is printed with a thermochromic material that will normally appear as a black disk on the stamp, representing the moon blocking the sun, as viewed from Earth.


U.S. Postal Service retracts incorrect report: $2 Jenny Invert pane to remain on sale

May 26, 2017 12:15 AM

The $2 Jenny Invert stamp will remain on sale at U.S. post offices despite an erroneous report that the six-stamp pane will be withdrawn June 30.


Rocky Run and New Atlantis produced local post cinderella stamps

May 25, 2017 07:00 PM

Among the rather large field of cinderellas, there are examples that are frequently seen, and others that are more unusual. Let’s look at one of each type.


Choose your sport on new Have a Ball! round forever stamps to be issued at U.S. Open

May 22, 2017 09:00 AM

Mike Ryan designed the new stamps using illustrations by artist Daniel Nyari. USPS art director Greg Breeding also selected the typography for these stamps.


As WWI anniversary nears, expect this 3¢ violet Victory and Flags of the Allies stamp to surge

May 20, 2017 08:00 AM

Now is a good time to look for a very fine or better example of the 3¢ violet Victory and Flags of the Allies stamp issued March 3, 1919.


Covers from cherished philatelic friends stir warm, pleasant memories

May 19, 2017 07:00 PM

The covers Charles Snee cherishs the most are those received from his many philatelic colleagues and friends.


Was humorist Will Rogers a member of Congress?

May 19, 2017 07:00 PM

It turns out that the cover that started me on this trail is not related to the well-known Will Rogers, father or son. It relates to Will Rogers, representative from Oklahoma from 1933 until 1942.


The 1883 Garfield mourning cover representing the ‘perfect philatelic storm’

May 15, 2017 07:00 PM

This free franked cover by the widow of our 20th President, James A. Garfield, sheds light on all the interesting elements of mourning covers.


Looking for a new challenge? Try collecting taxpaid revenue stamps

May 13, 2017 07:00 PM

You can often find them in cinderella stamp accumulations and lots for a dollar or less each. If you find them cheap, they are generally worth picking up. And you might get lucky.


Colorful American Letter Mail reprints closely mimic the 1844 original

May 13, 2017 09:00 AM

John Hotchner has seen the colorful American Letter Mail Company labels picturing an eagle for years, and figured there must be a story behind them.


Layout, not ‘distortion,’ likely cause of poor Classics Forever centering

May 12, 2017 01:00 PM

An observant Linn's reader discovered some subtle features that likely resulted in the poor centering of United States Classics Forever stamps.


Robert Weisz, the original ‘Stamp King’ of Chicago, dead at 95

May 11, 2017 07:00 PM

After selling his store in 1990 (the business continues today, owned by Charles Berg), Mr. Weisz became a mail-order dealer and participated at stamp shows.


SOLD: APRL’s recovered Jenny Invert

May 11, 2017 02:20 PM

The Position 76 stamp from the McCoy block, stolen from an exhibition in 1955 and recovered in 2016, sold May 11 in a Robert A. Siegel auction for $295,000.


The challenges facing U.S. first-day cover collectors during 2017

May 10, 2017 07:00 PM

Here it is, five months into the year, and U.S. new-issue collectors (and that includes FDC collectors) still don’t know most of this year’s stamps.


‘On a Postage Stamp’ category highlights ‘Jeopardy!’ episode

May 10, 2017 10:40 AM

The May 9 episode of the TV game show included five clues about recent U.S. postage stamps, and contestants correctly answered them all.


Quad City club’s annual Stamp Out Cancer auction raises more than $9,200

May 09, 2017 09:00 AM

Worldwide material is offered on one side of the room, while U.S. items are auctioned on the other side. Some bidders sit in the middle so they can participate on both sides, often with great success.


Here’s a hot tip: the 79¢ Scenic American Landscapes stamp featuring Zion National Park

May 06, 2017 07:00 PM

All of the stamps in the series were issued in panes of 20, and the full mint pane is the format preferred by many collectors.


How the 1952 Commercial Railroading stamp annoyed a trucking company

May 06, 2017 08:00 AM

Atlantic Freight Lines Inc., a trucking firm in Uniontown, Pa., filed for an injunction to cancel the planned issuance of the Commercial Railroading stamp.


Linn’s 2016 U.S. Stamp Popularity Poll results, scarce Islamic revolution cover echoes political changes: Week’s Most Read

May 05, 2017 09:30 AM

Also this week, we tip a revenue stamp featuring a mythical creature, and the U.S. Postal Service's first forever stamp marks a significant anniversary.


The affordable ways to collect essays and trial color proofs

May 05, 2017 09:00 AM

Several readers asked for a sequel to my last column that would discuss affordable essays. The two other topics were Departmental proofs and an in-depth article on the various aspects of plate proofs. As a result, you have before you an introduction to collecting essays and trial color proofs on a budget.
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