US Stamps

Put yourself in the doctor’s seat for July cartoon caption contest

Jun 28, 2020, 9 AM
The cartoon caption contest image for July is the 1947 3¢ commemorative honoring the physicians of America and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Medical Association. Entries must be received by July 24 for a chance to win a prize. The

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Doctors and other health care workers are in the limelight these days. We are rightly celebrating them for showing up for work and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that burst upon us a few months ago. This despite the risks associated with being on the front line.

While the subject is serious, my daily email brings a lighter side, proving that Americans can find humor in even dark hours. With that in mind, the stamp for this month’s cartoon caption contest is the 1947 3¢ Doctors issue (Scott 949) honoring physicians of America.

While you can use it to comment on COVID-19, any medical-related issue is fair game, as is the stamp itself.

The source for the stamp design was the 1891 painting The Doctor by English artist Samuel Luke Fildes (1843-1927).

The painting shows a doctor observing the critical stage in a child’s illness in a rural setting, with the anxious parents in the background. Some say that the doctor was based on James Clark, the physician to the royal family.

The image requires a magnifier to appreciate as the color chosen for the stamp emphasizes the fact that the portrayal is dark, both in content and in terms of lighting of the scene. And yet, it puts across the human dimension of medical practice, and the fact that it can do just so much with the rest being up to God or nature depending on the viewer’s beliefs.

So, I would like you to put yourself in the doctor’s seat and tell me what you think he might be thinking or saying about the circumstances at the time or issues we face today, whether medical or regarding stamp collecting, postal policy, politics or anything else that appeals to you.

Entries with a touch of humor or irony stand the best chance of winning the contest.

There will be two prizes given to the winners: one for the best philatelic line and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125; or email it to If you send an email, it is essential that you include your postal mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). Entries must reach me no later than July 24.

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