Computers and Stamps – By William F. Sharpe
You can learn a lot from Don Denman’s StampSmarter website.
The site includes several tools that you can access to identify stamps, find postage rates, and identify ZIP codes, to name a few.
To display the various tools, click on the word “Features” at the top of the home page.
The first choice on the resulting features page is called “1847USA.” Clicking on the launch button reveals even more tools, including one called “Annual Finder.” This tool allows you to search for United States stamps issued from 1847 through 1970 by year.
Not only will you see a list of the U.S. stamps issued each year, you will also find the postage rate and the name of the president and postmaster at the time.
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Also, you can listen to a song from that period. Most years include stamp illustrations.
The Washington-Franklin stamp identifier provides a four-step online process to identify the stamps in this U.S. definitive series issued between 1908 and 1922. The site includes a brief video explaining how to use this tool.
The “US stamp popup” tool allows you to search for U.S. stamps. Various categories of stamps are shown at the top of this screen. There also are choices to find stamps by Scott catalog number, year of issue, or description.
Click on the date of issue to discover the postal rate in effect when that stamp was issued.
Click on “eBay sold values” to find eBay listings for that stamp. You also can click on the stamp image to see an enlarged image.
Topical collectors can enter search terms under “Find by Description,” although my searches for “Internet” and “trolley” came up empty. I did find several stamps for “butterfly” and “trains.”
The illustrated stamp glossary pop-up is an alphabetical listing of many philatelic terms.
The “Library” list contains a varied assortment of items, including how-to articles, file downloads, collections of Christmas seals, airmail stamps, and hunting/fishing stamps.
Among the file downloads are two older multivolume books: Lester Brookman’s United States Stamps of the 19th Century and Max Johl’s United States Stamps of the 20th Century (it contains stamps up to 1937). These are large files and will take some time to download unless you have a fast Internet connection.
You can view any of the videos on the site in a pop-up screen. Also, you can click on the YouTube text near the bottom right of this screen to view the video on YouTube, where you can expand the window to full-screen size.
The latest addition to the site is a listing of stamp mounts. Enter the height of your stamp in millimeters, and the chart will show available precut and strip mounts with prices from Showgard, Lighthouse, UniSafe and Hawid.
The site is free of advertisements. You can join the group at no charge if you wish to participate in the monthly stamp contest or contribute to online projects.
Scroll down on the home page to see a membership application box. You can fill this out online and submit it directly or send an email to join.