From the Archives:

Looking back at classic posts from Earl Apfelbaum's original Apfelbaum's Corner column, which ran in Linn's Stamp News from the 1960s to the 1980s. Earl's regular contributions ranged from personal stories and views, to profiles of classic U.S. and world stamps, to insights on the wider philatelic hobby. 


Collecting the Stamps of Your Ancestors

Many collectors feel a special attachment to the places their family came from

Who is John Apfelbaum?

John is the owner of stamp dealer and auction house Apfelbaum, Inc. An insightful take on the vastness of stamp collecting, John's blog provides hours of enjoyment. Read over 1,000 articles about stamp collecting and stamp history.

One of my grandmothers came to the United States from Holland in 1853 when she was only two months of age. She was a very patriotic American. She proudly flew the flag on every occasion and she showed off Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell to every out-of-town visitor.


Every American achievement was her pride and joy. Yet she never ceased to be concerned with what happened to her Dutch homeland. She feared for it in times of flood. During World War I she feared the Kaiser’s invasion and the awesome blockades that made life so difficult.


Almost everyone feels a special attachment to the land of his or her ancestry. This sort of attachment has frequently resulted in stamp collectors’ restricting their philatelic interests to the countries of their ancestors. Sometimes there is a familiarity with the language or customs that proves to be especially helpful to specialization.


It is most appropriate when a Greek collects stamps from Greece or a Swede collects stamps from Sweden, etc. Not only is it appropriate, but the results are often an outstanding specialized collection that is a real credit to its maker. There are many reasons for choosing a subject in which to specialize, but none is more worthy than ties of ancestry.


Read all 127 of Earl's original Apfelbaum's Corner posts.