World Stamps

Personalized postage stories

May 27, 2020, 10 AM
A close-up of an Australian stamp with a personalized tab created during World Stamp Expo 2000 in California.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

In the June 1 issue of Linn’s, Bill McAllister reported on the looming mid-June end to personalized postage in the United States. However that decision by the U.S. Postal Service is being contested by Stamps.com, the last remaining producer of such stamps, and McAllister’s report on that challenge appears online here.

Those stories reminded me of personalized stamps I have created from around the world.

For United States personalized postage, I believe I have used each of the different vendors over the years. My designs ranged from the Linn’s logo, to family photos, to favorite trip photos.

However my first memory of a personalized stamp was with Australia’s post office at its booth at World Stamp Expo 2000 in Anaheim, Calif. I had brought my high school senior photo from that year to be scanned for use on a personalized tab (label) that was attached to an Australian stamp. Pictured nearby is a close-up of the pane of 10 showing both the 45¢ stamps and the personalized tabs.

Another interesting moment was about five years ago during a trip to Vienna, Austria. While visiting the United Nations post office there, my friends and I posed for a photograph for personalized sheets of stamps. We waited the hour or so for processing and then send postcards to friends using those personalized stamps.

Not only are these good philatelic memories, but I also have postal history to go with them.

I wonder what creative things other collectors have done over the years with personalized postage. Perhaps I will highlight a few examples in a future column. You can email scans to me at jbigalke@amosmedia.com or write to my attention, Linn’s Stamp News, Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365-4129.

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