newsA brief celebration of covers postmarked on Leap Day, Feb. 29
February 29, 2016 08:00 AMIn anticipation of this day that usually comes around once every four years, I pulled my Leap Day folder from my filing cabinet of modern U.S. postal history. Inside were about a dozen or so covers, with Leap Day postmarks spanning roughly 120 years.
newsLook for United States 1938 50¢ Howard Taft stamp
February 26, 2016 11:44 AMThe only man in the history of the United States to serve both as president and as a justice on the Supreme Court was William Howard Taft (1857-1930). Taft was the 27th president of the United States (1909-1913) and the 10th chief justice of the Supreme Court (1921-1930).
newsUnderstanding pressure-sensitive package labels on presorted mail, part 1
February 26, 2016 08:24 AMIn my last column, I mentioned the new book I am researching and writing. One of the topics in the book is the history of the process of presorting mail to enable more efficient delivery. Starting Aug. 1, 1974, a series of pressure-sensitive package labels (PSPL) was introduced that made this sorting more effective.
newsObscene mail warning and the Flag Over Supreme Court counterfeit
February 25, 2016 11:38 AMToday’s mail lacks the character of the olden days, when an array of slogan cancellations graced each day’s incoming mail. Now it’s computer-printed facts about the origin and date of the mail. An example of the old-style cancellation is shown nearby: “Report Obscene Mail to Your Postmaster.” This cancellation is graphically cropped from a letter to a female college student in 1950.
newsPut yourself in George Washington's cloak: March cartoon caption contest
February 25, 2016 11:24 AM“Washington at Prayer” is how the Scott catalog describes the design of the 1928 2¢ stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of Washington’s encampment at Valley Forge, Pa. (Scott 645). I would posit that such an image would likely be ineligible for picturing on a U.S. stamp today; unless the U.S. Postal Service was willing to risk lawsuits.
newsAPS, APRL boards approve donor policy, strategic plan
February 24, 2016 07:30 AMDuring a Feb. 23 telephone meeting, the board of the American Philatelic Research Library approved a new policy regarding the distribution of financial gifts, and also approved the five-year strategic plan recently accepted by the American Philatelic Society board.
newsItem numbers assigned for 2016 Flag stamps in booklet, panes, and coils
February 23, 2016 07:00 AMThe United States Postal Service has created individual item numbers for ordering each of the five varieties of the Flag forever stamp issued Jan. 29. The stamp is offered in two different coils of 100 stamps, two different double-sided panes (foldable booklets) of 20 stamps, and one booklet of 10 stamps in a single pane.
newsUSPS promises the moon with global forever stamp
February 20, 2016 05:00 AMThe newest round global forever stamp from the United States Postal Service pictures Earth’s moon. Features of the lunar surface are easily seen in the detailed image created from an existing photograph by Beth Swanson. The stamp and pane selvage were designed by Greg Breeding. William J. Gicker was the USPS art director for this issue.
newsU.S. 5¢ Grapes coil issued with just one day’s notice
February 19, 2016 01:36 PMUnited States Postal Service representatives mentioned last August that a new 5¢ Grapes stamp would be issued in 2016. However, it wasn’t until Feb. 18 that the issue date was revealed: Feb. 19. No first-day ceremony is planned. Kansas City, Mo., is designated as the official city of issue.
newsLinns.com gets a new face-lift
February 19, 2016 12:13 AMIf you are a frequent visitor to Linn’s website Linns.com, you might have noticed improvements in early February. We’ve given the website an updated, user-friendly look to make content more accessible to you, our readers. We start out with a fresh, modern color scheme with a pleasing-to-the-eyes font, or typeface, for the text and headlines.
newsTip of the week: Dalley’s Magical Pain Extractor revenue stamp
February 19, 2016 10:35 AMMatch and medicine revenue stamps (known formally as private die proprietary stamps) remain one of the most active segments of the U.S. stamp market. The Revenue Act of 1862 was enacted to help pay for the cost of fighting the Civil War. It levied taxes on the sale of matches, patent medicines, perfumes, playing cards, and other items.
newsA philatelic puzzle: who remembers S-D Day?
February 18, 2016 10:10 AMA label affixed to the postcard shown nearby reads “Remember S-D Day December 1.” Nothing on the card indicates what S-D Day is. It was sent from Melbourne, Fla., to Owega, N.Y., franked with a 2¢ Jefferson stamp. It is postmarked Nov. 15, 1955.
newsBorn Feb. 18: Octave Chanute
February 18, 2016 03:30 AMFrench-born aviation pioneer Octave Chanute designed and built early gliders for manned flight, and was a friend and advisor to the Wright Brothers during their successful efforts to achieve controlled and powered human flight in an airplane.
newsTrade cards picture 19th-century U.S. stamps
February 17, 2016 08:00 AMAs a fan of 19th-century trade cards that depict United States stamps, I’m pleased to share two examples of what appear at first glance to be the same card. The cards have the same margin design and show the same four stamps from the definitive series of 1870-71. However, they are not the same.
newsBotanical Art no-die-cut press sheet bringing multiples of face value
February 15, 2016 07:45 AMOn Jan. 29, the United States Postal Service issued 10 nondenominated (49¢) Botanical Art stamps in panes of 10 and double-sided panes of 20. It also produced uncut press sheets of this issue, both with and without die cuts, which sold at face value for $78.40.
newsLoveland’s Valentine remailing program celebrates 70 years: Linn’s Buzz
February 14, 2016 08:45 PMAccording to a United States Postal Service press release, more than 150,000 cards and letters were handled last year by the Valentines. Those items came from senders who wanted their mail to carry the signuture Valentine's Day themed stamp of Loveland.
newsGuidebook pulls together 2012-15 U.S. stamps from imperforate press sheets
February 12, 2016 06:45 AMIn 2012, the United States Postal Service began selling uncut press sheets of selected commemorative and definitive stamps that had no die cuts between the stamps. Imperforate stamps from these press sheets were initially footnoted (along with values) in the Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers.
newsMode of transport for 1934 ‘OWL Mail’ cover revealed
February 11, 2016 03:32 PMThanks to the many Linn’s readers who wrote in with answers to the meaning of “OWL Mail” on the 1934 cover shown in the U.S. Stamp Notes column in the Sept. 14, 2015, issue of Linn’s. I had requested help from readers in decoding the meaning of the term.
newsYorba Linda postmark commemorates Richard Nixon, marks $1 coin release
February 11, 2016 01:27 PMA March 1 postmark from Yorba Linda, Calif., commemorates Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States. The Richard Nixon postmark is being offered almost one month after the release of the Richard Nixon $1 coin, which was issued by the U.S. Mint on Feb. 3.
newsAPS board nominates Stephen Reinhard to fill FIP vacancy
February 11, 2016 01:08 PMStephen Reinhard, the president of the American Philatelic Society, has been nominated by the APS board of directors to fill an upcoming vacancy on the board of directors of the International Federation of Philately (FIP).
newsLion dance at Year of the Monkey first-day ceremony in Queens, N.Y.
February 11, 2016 12:30 AMOn a snowy morning in early February, I attended the United States Postal Service’s first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Year of the Monkey stamp in Queens, N.Y. This stamp is the ninth Lunar New Year issue in the second series (2008-2019) beautifully designed by Ethel Kessler featuring original art by Kam Mak.