US Stamps

U.S. 1952 Newspaper Boys stamp and first-day cover

Apr 26, 2021, 11 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

A job that I held in days of yore is that of newspaper delivery boy to individual residential subscribers. The job was recognized on National Newspaperboy Day, Oct. 4, 1952, by the issuance of the United States 3¢ commemorative stamp (Scott 1015) shown in Figure 1.

When I was a newspaper boy some eight years later, my delivery vehicle was a wagon full of newspapers that I pulled from house to house.

Today, of course, many things have changed. I am sure that there are a lot more girls delivering papers now than back then, so the term paperboy has been replaced by newspaper delivery person or simply newspaper carrier.

The vehicles used also have changed. Parents often take the children around by car, and many times the adult driving the car is the newspaper carrier. Tossing newspapers from a car means they land in a driveway, while it was my task to make sure they were placed on the doorstep. Ah, the good old days.

Many news organizations sent Newspaper Boys stamp first-day covers to their carriers as a means of saying thank you. The challenge for FDC collectors is to find one of these covers, such as the example shown in Figure 2.

The letter that was enclosed in the Figure 2 FDC also is pictured.

The letter is signed by J. Ernest Walker, circulation manager for the Cleveland Press. The most important paragraph says: “On your Press route today, you are learning the lessons of free enterprise and the importance of service, dependability and thrift. You have shown that you have initiative and ambition. Take advantage of your opportunities. Only in America do boys have the privilege of serving their communities and adding a practical training in business fundamentals to their regular education.”

I certainly value my days in that occupation. The money wasn’t great, but the sense of responsibility involved was unmatched.

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