Born Dec. 31: George C. Marshall

December 31, 2016 03:30 AM

Famous for the Marshall Plan that assisted with European recovery after World War II, George C. Marshall was also a prominent military leader and Nobel laureate.


Recent U.S. Official envelopes likely to rise in value

December 30, 2016 08:00 PM

Postal stationery is a collecting specialty with many followers in the United States. Official Mail postal stationery is a subset of the larger specialty. The first Official Mail postal stationery envelopes were issued in 1873. Since then, fewer than 100 Scott-listed major-number Official Mail postal stationery envelopes have been issued. The last three United States Official Mail postal stationery envelopes were issued at the domestic first-class rates of 39¢, 41¢ and 42¢, respectively, all of which were short-lived.


Liberty series $1 Patrick Henry comes ‘wet’ and ‘dry’

December 30, 2016 10:00 AM

The United States Liberty series of definitive (regular-issue) stamps debuted in 1954. During its 26-year run, collectors discovered a bewildering array of varieties, including the so-called “wet” and “dry” printings. My focus this month is on the $1 stamp, which was first issued Oct. 7, 1955 (Scott 1052). This first printing is known as a “wet” printing, because the paper was slightly moist when the stamps were printed. This made the inked impression on the paper appear somewhat indistinct or soft.


USPS reveals new stamp subjects, designs for 2016

December 30, 2016 08:30 AM

More than 20 different upcoming U.S. stamp subjects were revealed Dec. 29, including a tribute to Star Trek and a Legends of Hollywood issue for Shirley Temple.


BEP should consider loaning items to the National Postal Museum

December 30, 2016 08:02 AM

Linn’s Washington correspondent Bill McAllister reveals one of Washington’s greatest secrets in the cover feature in the Jan. 18 issue of Linn’s. Specifically, McAllister presents a look inside the vault at the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing.


Treasure trove of U.S. stamp dies lies behind vault at Bureau of Engraving and Printing

December 30, 2016 07:27 AM

One of Washington’s secret stamp treasures lies not at the National Postal Museum nor at the headquarters of the United States Postal Service in L’Enfant Plaza.


Born Dec. 30: Alfred E. Smith

December 30, 2016 03:30 AM

A fixture for many years in New York politics, Al Smith became the Democratic candidate for president in 1928, but he lost to the incumbent, Herbert Hoover.


Color misregistrations can produce startling visual results

December 29, 2016 05:45 PM

What should be expertized? For starters, any item that is being suggested as a possible new addition to the catalog should be expertized. Over the last few years, I’ve had two questions come up where the finder thought that a new listing might be in order. In each case, though, the item turned out to be a collectible variety, not a new listing, and the finder was disappointed.


Changes coming to Linn's newsletter in 2016

December 29, 2016 09:02 AM

In an effort to improve user experience by limiting the number of emails we send our readers each day, Linn’s Stamp News is making a slight change to its free newsletter send schedule in 2016. Effective Jan. 1, our Auction House Planner, which currently goes out on Wednesday afternoons, will be sent out on Sunday morning.


Born Dec. 29: Billy Mitchell

December 29, 2016 03:30 AM

Billy Mitchell fought in the Spanish-American War and in World War I, and became a leading proponent for the establishment of an independent United States Air Force.


Born Dec. 28: Woodrow Wilson

December 28, 2016 03:30 AM

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States, has been featured on several U.S. stamps. the first was issued in 1925, the year following his death.


Born Dec. 27: Howdy Doody

December 27, 2016 03:30 AM

Howdy Doody was the star of a television program named for him. The boy marionette and his friend Buffalo Bob Smith interacted with children in an entertaining program that ran for 13 years.


Tip of the week: United States Vintage Seed Packets block of 10

December 26, 2015 06:00 AM

On April 5, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a set of 10 nondenominated (46¢) Vintage Seed Packets forever stamps (Scott 4754-4763). The stamp designs feature garden flowers as they were depicted on vintage seed packets. The stamps were issued in double-sided booklets of 20 (Scott 4763b), with eight stamps on one side and 12 on the other. They are generally collected as a mint block of 10 (Scott 4763a).


Born Dec. 26: Steve Allen

December 26, 2015 03:30 AM

Famous for his wide-ranging comedic style, Steve Allen was also an author, songwriter and musician. He was married to actress Jayne Meadows for 46 years.


Born Dec. 25: Humphrey Bogart

December 25, 2015 03:30 AM

One of America's best known film stars, Humphrey Bogart, won an Academy Award for his role in the 1951 film The African Queen.


Born Dec. 24: Franz Waxman

December 24, 2015 03:30 AM

European-born Franz Waxman moved to the United States in the 1930s and became an important force in the film music industry, winning two Oscars for his work.


No new U.S. Christmas seal earliest-known uses to report this past year

December 23, 2015 07:45 AM

Normally the earliest-known use (EKU) of a Christmas seal has to be tied to a card or envelope by a cancellation to qualify for a listing, but in the case of the postal card shown nearby, we can allow a little leeway. The 1911 seal is not tied to the card, but because of the message typed on the reverse, dated Nov. 24, 1911, there is no doubt that it belongs.


Born Dec. 23: Madam C.J. Walker

December 23, 2015 03:30 AM

Madam C.J. Walker was commemorated as an entrepreneur who achieved success and economic independence in the hair care industry, and provided opportunities for others.


January cartoon caption contest: 1993 29¢ Christmas Snowman

December 22, 2015 08:00 PM

In expectation that the meteorologists have predicted correctly, and we will have many opportunities to shovel snow, clear off cars, go sledding, and build snowmen, I have selected the snowman on the 1993 29¢ Christmas stamp (Scott 2793) for the January cartoon caption contest.


Post Office form, letter shed light on ‘Request for Better Address’ process

December 22, 2015 04:00 PM

For years I have studied and exhibited the return of unmailable and undeliverable mail. A year or so ago, I was able to buy the “REQUEST FOR BETTER ADDRESS” Form B-22 shown nearby. This request form was sent to the writer of a letter or postcard when the office of delivery recognized that the letter’s address was inadequate and the item, therefore, was undeliverable.


Born Dec. 22: Lady Bird Johnson

December 22, 2015 03:30 AM

Lady Bird Johnson was commemorated in 2012 for her efforts in preserving the environment, and to celebrate her birth centenary.


Born Dec. 21: Josh Gibson

December 21, 2015 03:00 AM

Josh Gibson was a powerful home run hitter and a strong defensive catcher during his 17 years in the Negro Leagues. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972.


Cost to collect stamps drops dramatically, new section for world stamp collectors introduced: Week's Most Read

December 20, 2015 09:00 AM

Also this week, Linn's Stamp News released its top headlines of 2015, the U.S. Mint floated the idea of ending mail orders in 2016, and online voting for the Linn's 2015 U.S. stamp popularity poll opened.


Born Dec. 20: Hazel Wightman

December 20, 2015 03:30 AM

Hazel Wightman was born in California and became one of the earliest American stars of women's tennis. She competed in the 1924 Olympic Summer Games, winning two gold medals.


Born Dec. 19: Edith Piaf

December 19, 2015 03:30 AM

Diminutive French cabaret singer Edith Piaf was honored on a United States forever stamp in 2012. The joint issue with France also included a stamp for jazz musician Miles Davis.


Motor City Stamp & Cover Club fetes members with awards, honors

December 18, 2015 07:45 AM

The Detroit-based Motor City Stamp & Cover Club has a good grasp on the holiday spirit. At its recent club-wide Christmas party, members received awards and recognition for their work within the hobby, as well contributions to various events that the club has put together throughout the year.


Born Dec. 18: Ty Cobb

December 18, 2015 03:30 AM

Hall of Fame baseball star Ty Cobb played in the Major Leagues for 24 years, winning nine American League batting titles and baseball's Triple Crown.


1951 Santa Claus cinderella proof signed by Arthur Engler

December 17, 2015 03:45 PM

Over the years, stamp collectors have commissioned or created stamplike images for use on Christmas cards. The design of this proposed Santa Claus cinderella stamp is dated 1951 in the lower corners. The proof is signed in pencil by Arthur Engler. Handstamped on the reverse is “Arthur Engler, 6340 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland 9, California.”


Greetings sent via British Wireless Marine Service telegram on Christmas Eve

December 17, 2015 03:15 PM

What would you do if you were aboard a ship as Christmas was rapidly approaching, and you had not yet sent your Christmas cards? In 1934, you could have taken advantage of the British Wireless Marine Service, which allowed for “Season’s Greetings by Wireless.”


More than just sales data found on websites of stamp auction firms

December 17, 2015 12:00 AM

I recently visited the websites of two stamp auction firms, Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries and Daniel F. Kelleher Auctions, and discovered that they offer a lot of information in addition to listing their auctions and prices realized online.


Geometric Snowflakes stamps receive Scott catalog numbers

December 17, 2015 11:24 AM

In early December, the Scott editors assigned new catalog numbers to the four Geometric Snowflakes stamps issued Oct. 23 in New York City. Imperforate Geometric Snowflakes stamps from uncut press sheets without die cuts also received Scott numbers.


Ameristamp Expo headed for downtown Atlanta Jan. 29-31

December 17, 2015 11:23 AM

Ameristamp Expo, the nation’s second-largest annual postage stamp event, will take place in Atlanta in the Hilton Atlanta Downtown at 255 Courtland St. NE, Jan. 29-31. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Ameristamp Expo, co-located with the Southeastern Stamp Expo, is hosted jointly by the American Philatelic Society and the Southeastern Federation of Stamp Clubs.


U.S. Ferns forever coil plate-number C1111 strips in demand

December 17, 2015 09:45 AM

The 2016 Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the plate-number strip of five at $10 in mint never-hinged condition. The plate-number strip of 11 is valued at $16.50.


Born Dec. 17: Arthur Fiedler

December 17, 2015 03:30 AM

Arthur Fiedler was known to the American public as the conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra for almost 50 years. The orchestra’s many radio and television broadcasts and Fiedler’s genial nature made him a familiar figure to many around the world.


U.S. Year of the Monkey stamp coming Feb. 5

December 16, 2015 02:40 PM

The Year of the Monkey forever stamp continues the Lunar New Year series with images by artist Kam Mak.


Revelations of who bought rare stamps among Linn’s top headlines for 2015

December 16, 2015 11:27 AM

Revelations of who purchased the world’s most famous stamp, the British Guiana 1856 1¢ Magenta, and the elusive United States upright $2 Jenny Invert pane were among the top stories in 2015 for stamp collecting. These stories and other philatelic reports in 2015 not only made headlines in Linn’s Stamp News, but also captured worldwide media attention, providing much positive exposure for the hobby.


November cartoon contest winner: 'What happened to my better half?'

December 16, 2015 11:24 AM

Lack of oxygen and weightlessness in space were the two most popular themes for the November cartoon caption contest, which featured the astronaut half of the pair of 1967 5¢ stamps honoring accomplishments in space (Scott 1331).


Born Dec. 16: Margaret Mead

December 16, 2015 03:30 AM

One of the leading figures in anthropology — and one of the most controversial — Margaret Mead studied the effect of culture on human behavior.


Collectors Club of Chicago takes top CG award at Monacophil 2015

December 15, 2015 09:55 AM

Two of the top three prizes in the 2015 CG award ceremony were claimed by American organizations. The American Philatelic Research Library was also recognized.


New example of 1¢ Magic Letter Express stamp reported

December 15, 2015 09:40 AM

The 1¢ stamp from the Richmond, Va., firm was formerly known only as a single example on cover. This new discovery is uprated to 2¢ with a manuscript addition.


Born Dec. 15: A.P. Carter

December 15, 2015 03:30 AM

A pioneer of American country music, Alvin Pleasant ("A.P.") Carter began the Carter Family with his wife Sara and her sister-in-law Maybelle.


Born Dec. 14: Margaret Chase Smith

December 14, 2015 03:30 AM

Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman elected to both houses of the United States Congress. In 1964, Smith's name was entered into nomination as a presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention.


Bloomington Stamp Club doing its part to help hobby thrive

December 13, 2015 08:00 AM

The Indiana Daily Student recently profiled the Bloomington Stamp Club, a group of philatelic enthusiasts has roots that date back to World War II.


Born Dec. 13: Larry Doby

December 13, 2015 03:30 AM

A baseball All-Star and a World Series hero, Larry Doby became the first black player in the American Leagues when he was signed to the Cleveland Indians in 1947.


Born Dec. 12: Frank Sinatra

December 12, 2015 03:30 AM

One of the world's best known entertainers, singer and actor Frank Sinatra, was born 100 years ago on Dec. 12, 1915.


Cost to collect U.S. stamps drops dramatically in 2015

December 11, 2015 04:49 PM

The cost to collect one each of all of the mint United States postage stamps and postal stationery items issued in 2015 dropped to its lowest level in a dozen years, reaching a dollar value that is nearly half of the cost tabulated for collecting last year.


Born Dec. 11: George Mason

December 11, 2015 03:30 AM

American patriot George Mason was a prominent landowner who argued for greater respect of individual rights in the United States Constitution. His ideas led to the Bill of Rights in 1791.


Tip of the week: United States 1896 Indian Maiden newspaper stamp

December 10, 2015 08:00 AM

The highest face-value stamps issued by the United States to pay a postage fee are the 1895 and 1896 $100 purple Indian Maiden newspaper stamps (Scott PR113 and PR125). The stamp designs are identical, but the stamp issued in 1895 is on unwatermarked paper, while the stamp issued Jan. 23, 1896, is on paper watermarked with a double-line “USPS.”


Born Dec. 10: Emily Dickinson

December 10, 2015 03:30 AM

American poet Emily Dickinson created nearly 1,800 poems, but few knew of her writings, and only a handful of her verses were published during her lifetime.


Sports card honors Richard Graham as hometown hero

December 09, 2015 11:27 AM

Longtime Linn's Stamp News columnist and postal history expert Richard B. Graham has been honored on a sports card distributed in Columbus, Ohio, where Graham, lived, studied and worked. The card is one of 24 recognizing Columbus-area veterans in a 2015 promotion sponsored by the Columbus Clippers AAA baseball team and other local businesses. Graham died in 2012 at age 89. Fans attending the July 4 Clippers game against the Toledo Mud Hens received a set of the cards.
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