US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: The excitement of collecting covers by Space Craft Covers

Mar 23, 2023, 10 AM
This cacheted Space Craft Covers envelope celebrates the Jan. 22, 1968, launch of Apollo 5. Charles J. Vukotich Jr. takes a close look at Space Craft Covers in Exploring Astrophilately in the April 10 issue of Linn’s.

By Charles Snee

The April 10 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, March 27. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, March 25. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

The excitement of collecting covers by Space Craft Covers

“In 1964, I started collecting cacheted space covers, including those produced by Space Craft Covers,” writes Charles J. Vukotich Jr. in Exploring Astrophilately. “Many astrophilatelists collect SCC covers or have them in their collections. They are as collectible today as they were in 1964 when I started.” Vukotich takes readers on an exploration of Space Craft Covers, beginning with its first space covers produced in 1961 and continuing through the last Apollo lunar mission in 1972. He also provides some useful tips for collecting SCC covers and mentions the bible for SCC cover collectors: Space Craft Covers: A Monograph and Catalog, which can be ordered from Vukotich. Details are near the end of the column.

An 1873 April fool card that seems too good to be true

In The Odd Lot, Wayne L. Youngblood examines a United States 1873 1¢ brown Liberty postal card (Scott UX3) that at first glance appears to be an earliest-documented use. The April 4, 1873, postmark on the card predates the July 6, 1873, EDU by slightly more than three months. However, as Youngblood methodically explains, that is not the case. “Among other things, common sense tells us that a release date of more than three months earlier than the generally accepted issue date is highly unlikely,” Youngblood explains. He then reviews other sources of evidence, including contemporaneous newspaper accounts, that definitively prove that the card is not an EDU. This is a detective story you won’t want to miss.

Philatelic impact of the massive 1937 Ohio River flood

A remarkable letter mailed unpaid on Feb. 8, 1937, from Louisville, Ky., to Lexington, Ky., in the aftermath of the January 1937 Ohio River flood is the centerpiece of Tony Wawrukiewicz’s Modern U.S. Mail column. Wawrukiewicz puts forward a trio of what he calls extraordinary factors that give the cover significance. For example, he writes that “at the time of mailing, an unpaid letter reaching its delivery office normally would be due double the 3¢ first-class rate, or 6¢. However, I believe that because of the dire circumstances only 3¢ was collected, as shown by the postage due handstamp and the affixed 3¢ postage due stamp.” The other two factors are just as fascinating, so be sure to read until the end.

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