US Stamps

Hal Vogel to discuss polar philately in Nov. 1 online Sundman lecture

Oct 14, 2022, 12 PM

By Linn’s Staff

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will host the 19th Maynard Sundman lecture Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 4 p.m. via the Zoom online platform.

Admission to the lecture is free, but registration is required on the museum’s website (click on the Nov. 1 date).

The museum will welcome Hal Vogel, winner of this year’s American Philatelic Society’s Luff award for distinguished philatelic research, for a talk titled “Polar Philately and the Wilkes Antarctic Expedition.”

In his talk, Vogel, a leading polar philatelist, will use the postal history of the 1838-42 U.S. Exploring Expedition, known as the Wilkes Antarctic Expedition, as an example to introduce the geographic scope, categories and periods within the field of polar philately.

The mail created during the expedition is referred to as “archival mail,” which the National Postal Museum website defines as “ordinary mail that serves as written testimony to aspects and personalities of an historical event.”

“Unfortunately, although discoveries of this type of mail from polar expeditions do still occur, (archival) mail still is unknown from a number of the earliest expeditions,” the website said.

The talk will further explain how mail from this polar expedition helps to document the historic events that occurred.

Vogel began collecting polar materials and studying polar history in the 1950s and later pursued his doctorate in polar studies in the department of history and geography at Antioch University.

He has written a column for every issue of Ice Cap News, the publication of the American Society of Polar Philatelists, since 1974. He also has published more than 300 articles in philatelic journals.

Vogel has two books to his credit. Essence of Polar Philately was published in 2008. Ahead of the Pack: Postal History Sampling of Heroic Age Polar Expeditions, written with Serge Kahn, was published in 2015.

A former president of the American Society of Polar Philatelists, Vogel has also served on the boards of the Universal Ship Cancellation Society, the Military Postal History Society and the Alaska Collectors Club.

Vogel has been a philatelic and literature judge since 1978. He also enters exhibits; one of which received the first grand award presented to a polar exhibit at a major competition.

Vogel is a retired U.S. Army special operations and intelligence officer and also a professor emeritus and former department chair at Rowan University in New Jersey.

The National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE, Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information about the museum, call 202-633-1000 or visit the museum’s website.

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