US Stamps

The APS Stampshow at Hartford was a fantastic display of our amazing hobby

Sep 5, 2014, 9 AM

The American Philatelic Society Stampshow is the biggest annual stamp show in the country, and it puts on a wonderful display of our hobby for all who attend.

This year, APS Stampshow was held Aug. 21-24 in Hartford, Conn.

As I made my rounds on Thursday and Friday, it was pleasing to see that activity at many of the participating dealers’ tables was brisk.

Among the dealers I spoke to, almost all reported very good to excellent sales. A couple were on track to have their best Stampshow ever.

Lines for the APS’ Stamps In Your Attic evaluation service snaked out of the main entrance to the show floor almost every time I walked by.

Clearly the APS’ pre-show advertising and publicity brought in many folks who wondered about the value of the stamp collection they just inherited.

Various societies also had a presence at the show, and members provided a wide range of lectures and presentations during the four-day event.

Not to be missed was the incredible array of exhibits on display, including the 32 that vied for the coveted Champion of Champions award.

Gordon Eubanks’ “The United States Imperforate Issues of 1851-1856” was declared the 2014 Champion of Champions at the awards banquet Saturday evening.

Linn’s and Scott Publishing shared a booth at the show. We were in a great location: right on the main aisle, directly across from the APS’ court of honor exhibit of the 1918 24¢ Jenny Invert airmail error stamp, perhaps the most recognizable stamp in the world.

We had copies of the August Linn’s Stamp News monthly magazine to give away, and our promotional giveaway of a 2014 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 enticed more than 100 people to enter.

Such high visibility ensured regular foot traffic by the booth, and many show attendees stopped to chat with us.

Many of these folks were Linn’s subscribers, but a good number were not.

To make it easier to subscribe, we offered discounts on our annual rates, courtesy of a removable sticky note affixed to the front cover of each Linn’s issue given away.

I spent a fair amount of time at the booth, and it was gratifying to interact with our customers.

A number of folks new to the hobby also stopped to ask questions and seek advice. For some, it was their first time at a stamp show.

Positive comments about Linn’s and the Scott catalogs were appreciated, of course, but we also took note of criticisms and suggestions for improvement.

A hot topic of conversation was our recently released e-book versions of the Scott catalogs.

Yes, there have been some technical issues with the Scott Online Catalogue Bookstore ( and with certain features of the e-books. A number of these problems have been corrected, and those that remain are being addressed as quickly as possible.

Thanks to the efforts of Linn’s senior editor Jay Bigalke, we also had daily video highlights of the show. You can view his reports on the Linn’s YouTube page at

APS Stampshow 2015 will take place in Grand Rapids, Mich. We hope to see you there.