US Stamps

Inside Linn’s: The story behind author August Derleth’s cinderella

Jan 26, 2023, 10 AM
In 1939, author August Derleth, who was also a stamp collector, created a cinderella, or stamplike label, featuring himself that he used to promote sales of his Sac Prairie Saga book series. Wayne Youngblood has the details in The Odd Lot.

By Charles Snee

The Feb. 13 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Jan. 30. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Jan. 28. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick glimpses of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

The story behind author August Derleth’s cinderella

Wayne Youngblood opens his The Odd Lot column with a picture of a block of four labels picturing Wisconsin author August Derleth. “Derleth created the label to help promote sales of his new book series, Sac Prairie Saga, which he considered to be his most important work,” Youngblood writes. He goes on to share fascinating details regarding Derleth’s connection to author’s Sinclair Lewis and H.P. Lovecraft. “It was Derleth’s efforts that not only promoted H.P. Lovecraft’s works but also saved them from oblivion because they had previously only been published in pulp magazines,” Youngblood explains. There’s much more to this fascinating story, so be sure to read the whole column.

A tag for a 1989 surface M-Bag mailing

In Modern U.S. Mail, Tony Wawrukiewicz discusses an error that found its way into U.S. International Postal Rates, 1872-1996, the book he wrote with Henry Beecher. According to Wawrukiewicz, “Chapter 7 contains an incorrect late date (in 1985) for the introduction of M-Bag rates, which were special rates for certain types of printed matter. These special rates were for mailing printed matter to one addressee in a foreign country.” He learned of this mistake from fellow postal historian Peter Martin, who pointed out that the U.S. Postal Service introduced M-Bag rates in December 1980. Wawrukiewicz concludes by illustrating a 1989 M-Bag tag sent to Sweden and providing a rate analysis of the franking on the tag.

Collectors’ Forum: Freeland Islands label

The intent of the Collectors’ Forum column is the publication of letters and requests for the exchange of information within the hobby. Linn’s editors give answers or partial answers when known. This week a Linn’s reader seeks additional information about a stamplike label inscribed “Freeland Islands” across the top. “I recently purchased it in a lot of stamps that included quite a few other hidden gems,” the reader said. “I am just not quite sure if this one is gem, junk, or darned-if-I-know.”

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