US Stamps

Did stamp dealer Al Butzen create the first philatelic billboard?

Apr 28, 2021, 7 PM
Is this the first philatelic billboard in the world? Its creator, stamp dealer Albert Butzen, said so on this postcard mailed in May 1934.

By John M. Hotchner

You just never know what stamp dealers will come up with. One fascinating area is memorabilia related to the development of the stamp sellers’ trade in the United States. A fine example has just come to hand, thanks to Linn’s reader Steve Capone.

On May 14, 1934, dealer Albert C. Butzen in Detroit, Mich., sent a postcard showing himself with a large sign, presumably outside his shop.

On the mailing side (not shown), Butzen wrote: “This is a picture of the first stamp Billboard in the world.”

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One has to admire his creativity in linking stamp collecting to the new and hugely popular president in such a public way.