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.
What It Means to be a Stamp Collector
The hobby has evolved since the first collectors began peeling stamps from covers
It is time to stop downgrading stamp collecting. Certainly, a seven-year old can be a collector of stamps without really having the least idea of its purpose; but, in the main, when we refer to stamp collectors, we refer to those who understand to some extent the complicated pattern into which our avocation has advanced.
We are no longer peculiar individuals peeling foreign stamps from wastebasket findings and gluing them into albums. In fact, we haven’t been doing that for close to a century. We are, if we fit the design of most philatelists and embryo philatelists, people who, through the study and classification of the rules, regulations, publications and emissions of the Postal Services of the world are adding to historic knowledge and understanding. We can and do arrive at concepts of worldly development and progress; economic, educational and otherwise, as a result of research into postal communications systems.
Gone forever are the days when we measure a stamp collection by its size. Gone should be the desire on the part of some of us to possess certain stamps just so we can gain applause for our display of wealth. Today is the day of utilizing philately as a method and in fact, as a motive to increase awareness, greater learning and a fuller understanding of the many nations and races of this fascinating world.