World Stamps

Inside Linn’s: Redesigned ATA website offers many resources

Oct 16, 2020, 8 AM
In Computers and Stamps in the Nov. 2 issue of Linn’s Stamp News, William F. Sharpe takes readers on a guided tour of the American Topical Association’s redesigned website. Shown is the top part of the home page.

By Charles Snee

The Nov. 2 issue of Linn’s Stamp News just landed on the presses and goes in the mail to subscribers Monday, Oct. 19. And if you subscribe to Linn’s digital edition, you’re at the head of the line with early access Saturday, Oct. 17. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three brief reviews of exclusive content available only to subscribers. 

Redesigned ATA website offers many resources

In Computers and Stamps, William F. Sharpe highlights some of the myriad improvements that have been made to the website of the American Topical Association. Sharpe guides readers through the various menus that are listed across the top of the home page, beginning with the ATA store that “features first- day and event covers, handbooks and publications, ATA gifts, Taste of Topicals and a Kid’s Corner.” If you’re interested in starting a topical collection, be sure to visit Taste of Topicals. There you will find starter kits that are available for purchase. The kits include 30 stamps, a five-page album, stamp hinges and helpful information for launching a topical collection. Be sure to explore the Resources menu. Under the Youth tab, for example, you can find more than 200 blank album pages for different topics that may be downloaded for free. Keep Sharpe’s column close at hand as you explore the other resources available on the ATA website.

Church mailing cards document use of fourth-class mail rate

A pair of mailing cards with ties to the Seventh-day Adventist Church are the focal point of Charles Snee’s Dollar-Sign Stamps column this month. Snee begins with a review of the origins of the fourth-class rate for mailing books from libraries, which the United States Post Office Department established July 1, 1928. Over time the rate was revised to include items other than books, and the list of eligible senders was expanded “to include nonprofit religious, educational, scientific, philanthropic and other organizations,” Snee writes. To learn more about the mailing cards, Snee reached out to a hobby friend who is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The information his friend provides sheds light on some of the markings on the cards, one of which is connected to the church’s “Mission Spotlight” program that ran for 37 years beginning in 1970. And, of course, Snee provides a rate breakdown for the frankings on the cards, both of which were mailed in the 1990s.

Kitchen Table Philately: small mix yields high catalog values

In each weekly issue of Linn’s, either E. Rawolik VI or E. Rawolik VII dissects the contents of a stamp mixture offered to collectors. E. Rawolik is a pseudonym that is also the word “kiloware” (a stamp mixture) spelled backward. This week, E. Rawolik VI sifts through a desirable selection of mostly older worldwide stamps with Scott catalog values of $1 and up. In a note included with the mixture, the dealer explained that he is selling off his duplicate stamps. “If these stamps were from Knight’s duplicates, I would love to see his collection,” Rawolik wryly observes. Of the 42 stamps received, just two were valued at less than $1. An Italian commemorative issued for the 400th anniversary of the death of Francesco Ferrucci came in with the highest catalog value. Read the column to discover what that double-digit value is.

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