Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

Prison Fellowship business reply envelope features artwork

This will be a quick post, but the most recent business reply envelope to show up in my family’s mailbox is this example included in a mailing from Prison Fellowship Ministries out of Virginia. The envelope features three preprinted stamp-sized designs featuring artwork; I presume those may have been created by inmates somewhere, but I don’t know that for certain.

Prison Fellowship business reply envelope with three preprinted stamp-sized designs depicting artwork
Prison Fellowship business reply envelope with stamp-sized designs picturing artwork

There’s not much more to say about this envelope except that it is a somewhat smaller size than the BREs often enclosed in nonprofit mailings. That could make it a bit easier to properly display in a collection.

Review of World Local Post Day 2024 FDCs

It has been a couple of weeks since World Local Post Day, and several first day covers have shown up in my post office box since then.

The first to arrive was, quite naturally, one I mailed to myself. It bears a copy of my 20 Years of Philosateleian Post stamp issued January 29.

Philosateleian Post 1-stamp 20 Years of Philosateleian Post stamp on first day cover
Philosateleian Post 20 Years of Philosateleian Post FDC

While I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate two decades of involvement in local posting, the official topic for World Local Post Day this year was dragons, and the other two covers I have to share with you both bear stamps sticking with that theme.

One of the covers is from New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post. The 24-sola stamp on it depicts a leftward-facing dragon along with the caption “Year of the Dragon.”

Purgatory Post 24-sola Year of the Dragon on first day cover
Purgatory Post 24-sola Year of the Dragon FDC
Purgatory Post 24-sola Year of the Dragon stamp on first day cover
Purgatory Post Year of the Dragon FDC

The final cover originated with Beverly Hills-based Bat’s Private Post. There are two stamps on the cover, one with a value of 78¢ and the other with a value of $1.65, both picturing dragons. The stamps are identical except for the face values and other wording.

Bat’s Private Post dragon stamps on first day cover
Bat’s Private Post World Local Post Day 2024 FDC
Bat’s Private Post 78¢ & $1.65 Dragons stamps
Bat’s Private Post World Local Post Day 2024 FDC

And that wraps up the World Local Post Day covers I’ve received up to this point. If any further examples show up, I’ll be sure to share them here.

Boston 2026 show label shows up on received cover

It’s neither a regular postage stamp nor a local post stamp, but the cinderella on the front of this cover I received last week might interest you. It’s one of the special labels produced to promote the upcoming Boston 2026 World Expo, a massive philatelic exhibition being held in Massachusetts a little over two years from now.

The Road to Boston 2026 label on cover
The Road to Boston 2026 label on cover

The label, which pictures Benjamin Franklin, the first United States flag, and other colonial-era imagery, was designed by Chris Calle.

It’s hard to imagine any way I could end up at Boston 2026—there’s always work and other commitments here in South Texas—but never say never, right? It should be an exciting time for any collectors who do get to attend.

Navigators business reply envelope uses cinderella label

2024 has certainly gotten off to a busy start. It feels like every day has been full—and so, at least a couple of times, has my mailbox!

One of the more interesting pieces I’ve pulled from the “junk mail” arrived a couple of weeks ago in a mailing sent to my wife by the nonprofit Navigators. It’s a business reply envelope bearing a self-adhesive label with three roughly stamp-sized designs picturing snowflakes.

Navigators business reply envelope bearing label with three snowflake designs
Navigators business reply envelope bearing cinderella label
Label bearing three stamp-sized designs picturing snowflakes
Label picturing snowflakes

BREs with preprinted designs are fairly common these days, but I’ve seen only a handful with cinderella stamps or labels affixed. The first was enclosed in a Boys Town mailing in February 2019, while the most recent prior to the pictured Navigators envelope was a National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund envelope sent to me by a friend in September 2020.

Parcel fragment shows unusual use of American Indian stamp

I recently had the opportunity to acquire an unusual example for my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover. It’s a solo use of the stamp on a parcel fragment mailed from Summerville, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida—coincidentally, my old stomping grounds—in 1937.

Parcel fragment bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and postmarked in Summerville, South Carolina
14¢ American Indian parcel fragment postmarked in Summerville, South Carolina

Although there was a 14¢ parcel post rate in effect in 1937, it was for items mailed over longer distances than the distance between Summerville and Jacksonville, so how do we explain the use of the American Indian stamp by itself here? The answer lies in the inverted “Insured” marking handstamped below the mailing address.

While the parcel post zone 3 rate—that is, the rate for a mailing traveling 150–300 miles—for a package weighing up to one pound was only 9¢ in 1937, the insurance fee for up to $5 in coverage was 5¢. Add those two numbers together, and you get exactly 14¢, the face value of the American Indian stamp.

(As an aside, the addressee may have had a very indirect connection to the motion picture industry. You can read more in my detailed write-up on the piece.)

This strikes me as an unlikely way to get to a solo use of the 14¢ American Indian, and I suspect I would be hard pressed to find another, so I’m very pleased to have added this to my collection.

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