US Stamps

Cancellations on 1955 department store cover evoke memories

Feb 20, 2023, 8 AM
This 1955 cover combines three geographically separate cancellations to mimic the name of the store where the author of this article got his first exposure to philatelic retailing.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

As longtime readers of this column may know, I worked at the Minkus Stamp and Coin Department of Washington, D.C.’s Woodward & Lothrop Department Store, known as Woodie’s. It was my introduction to philatelic retailing and the curious psychology of stamp collectors considering adding to their collections.

That was in the early to mid-1960s, during summer breaks and Christmas holidays from college (the University of Virginia).

I was unaware that a decade earlier someone on staff there had conceived the idea of preparing covers that reflect the name of the store, as shown on the cover pictured here. It took a good deal of effort to get cancels from three geographically distant locations: Woody, Calif.; Stamps, Ark.; and Coin, Iowa.

The example shown here came to me from a collector in Illinois for the princely sum of $3. I wonder how many of these were made and how many survive.

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