US Stamps

Frederick H. Dietz National Poster Stamp Society souvenir sheets

May 27, 2014, 3 AM

Several years ago, in Linn’s U.S. Notes of Nov. 7, 2005, I pictured and described two Frederick H. Dietz National Poster Stamp Society souvenir sheets similar to the two different examples shown here in Figure 1.

Dietz is identified on most of these sheets as the publisher of the series.

One of the sheets in the earlier column was marked No. 105, and the other was No. 147. I asked readers if they could help fill in the subjects of the other 145 sheets.

I began a folder with the immediate responses, but none of them were comprehensive, and here it is nearly nine years later, and I still don’t have a complete answer.

But I do have more information. And in the course of what I like to call bourse crawling — visiting dealers’ tables at stamp shows — I have found several more examples.

Here is what I can report: I have, or have reports of, 22 sheets. The first is No. 96, for the Great Britain stamp centennial, and it is dated 1940. The last, dated May 24, 1944, is No. 172, honoring the 100th anniversary of the first telegraph message.

In between are sheets for statehood anniversaries, war and victory themes, events and anniversaries having to do with transportation, and two that mark the stamps honoring the occupied nations of Europe.

No. 161 is shown in Figure 2. No. 162 is the largest of the sheets, with 12 separate seals showing the flags of the 12 occupied nations of Europe.

An unnumbered sheet, dated April 16, 1945, marks the 13th anniversary of the organizing of the Bronx County Stamp Club and is shown in Figure 3.

Most of the sheets indicate that they were designed by L.W.S., who is Ludwig Staehle, famous as a designer of cachets for first-day covers. Indeed, some of the sheet designs were also used on covers.

Sheet numbers accounted for as of this date are 96, 97, 98, 101, 102, 105, 114, 121, 122, 123, 144, 146, 147, 148, 149, 153, 157, 161, 162, 170, 171 and 172. My thanks to the following readers who responded to the earlier article: John Bloor, Greg Ciesielski, Wally Ebright, Ellen Peachey, Roger and Bonnie Riga, and David Semsrott.

If any Linn’s readers can report additional sheets, I would appreciate notification, along with a scan or photocopy, to me; or at Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041.

Cartoon contest

The cartoon caption contests usually feature a person to whom witty lines can be attributed, but this month, the speakers might prefer anonymity.

The scene is the hospital depicted on the 1986 22¢ Public Hospitals commemorative shown in Figure 4.

Probably the dominant theme of public policy over the last five years has been the legislation known as the Affordable [Health] Care Act (ACA) which created the controversial system sometimes identified as Obamacare. I don’t propose to get into the merits or problems of it, but what has been put on the public record ranges from deadly serious to laugh-out-loud hilarious.

I would like you to focus on the latter if you wish to address the ACA. But there is a world of other subjects that might be talked about in hospital corridors.

Picture yourself as a patient in the hospital, or one of the medical staff, or as a hospital administrator. And then deliver a thought that relates medicine to stamp collecting, how hospitals are run, illness, politics or whatever else strikes your fancy.

Consider what you might be thinking or feeling about medical science today, and write your line down on a postcard or send me an e-mail.

Two prizes will be given: one each for the best philatelic and nonphilatelic lines.

The important thing is to use your sense of humor, because entries with a humorous twist have the best chance of winning a prize.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, care of Linn’s Editor, Box 29, Sidney, OH 45365; or e-mail it to Be sure to include your mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be the book Linn’s Stamp Identifier, published by Linn’s (a retail value of $12.99), or a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). To be considered for a prize, entries must reach Linn’s no later than June 23.

Why not enter now while you’re thinking about it?