US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Scrutinizing the ‘IAM HN’ fancy cancellation

Aug 24, 2023, 8 AM

By Charles Snee

The Sept. 11 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Aug. 28. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Aug. 26. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

A closer look at the ‘IAM HN’ fancy cancellation

“The beauty of fancy cancels,” opines Wayne Youngblood in his The Odd Lot column, “is that most are reasonably affordable and accessible to those with modest means, and new discoveries are always possible.” One such discovery, courtesy of what Youngblood describes as “a chance encounter with a small run of correspondence from the 1880s, concerns an enigmatic fancy cancel from Ann Arbor, Mich., that reads “IAM HN.” Youngblood reveals the source of those initials, the backstory of the cancel and the most important factor that determines the value of any fancy cancel.

Tony Wawrukiewicz’s final Modern U.S. Mail column

Esteemed U.S. postal historian Tony Wawrukiewicz died July 11 at the age of 79; an obituary was published in the Aug. 7 Linn’s. His last Modern U.S. Mail column focuses on a penalty on first-class mail sent more than one rate short-paid that did not apply to airmail. He illustrates two covers, one sent via first-class mail in January 1932 and an airmail special delivery letter sent in March 1931. Both covers were assessed postage due upon receipt at their respective destinations, and Wawrukiewicz methodically explains the rate breakdown for both letters.

Crossword puzzle: translating philatelic Portuguese into English

Linn’s regularly publishes three games to entertain readers: Trickies, a word scramble puzzle by Joe Kennedy; a word search puzzle by D.E. Rubin; and Philatelic Lexicon, a crossword puzzle by David Saks. In this week’s issue, Saks serves up part 2 of translating philatelic Portuguese into English. Enjoy!

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