Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

2020 second busiest year on record for Philosateleian Post

Philosateleian Post set a new record in 2019 for pieces of mail transported in a single year. Although the numbers dropped by about 10% in 2020, the 441 envelopes, letters, and packages I transported still accounted for the second-highest total in Philosateleian Post’s history.

While it would be easy to blame COVID-19 for the drop in volume, I don’t think that’s all there is to it. I sent 20% more letters and cards in 2019 than in 2020, many of which were responses to sympathy notes that I received following my mom’s death. I think it’s safe to say I didn’t receive nearly as many personal notes last year, which means I didn’t reply to as much mail.

Regardless, 2020 was Philosateleian Post’s second consecutive year with more than 400 pieces of mail carried, the first time that has ever happened, and I hope I can at least keep up that rate this year!

By sea, by air, by sea, by air: a 14¢ American Indian solo usage

One of the most recent additions to my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover is a cover mailed from Hawaii to Germany in 1935. The envelope was postmarked in Honolulu on April 16, 1935, and dispatched from there to Berlin.

Front of cover mailed from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Berlin, Germany, with 14¢ American Indian stamp paying postage
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Berlin, Germany

As I imagine you’re aware, examples of the 14¢ American Indian stamp used by itself are few and far between. 14¢ simply wasn’t a common postage rate during the time the stamp was in use, and it took me a bit of time to track down exactly why that particular rate applied in this case. I did, however, eventually find the answer in U.S. International Postal Rates, 1872–1996 by Harry Beecher and Anthony Wawrukiewicz.

Beginning in 1934, the rate for a one-ounce leetter by air within the continental United States plus surface transportation to international destinations was 8¢. That amount paid for surface transportation from Hawaii, which was still a territory at that time, to the mainland; airmail across the United States to New York City; and then surface transportation again from New York to Europe.

From there, a 3¢ per half ounce surcharge was in effect for letters carried by air from France to other points within Europe. Multiply that by two for a letter weighing between a half ounce and one ounce, and you get 6¢, the remaining amount of postage paid.

In summary, 8¢ postage paid for transportation by ship from Hawaii to the mainland United States, by airplane across the country, and by ship from New York to France, and 6¢ paid for transportation by airplane from France to Germany. This is really an exceptional usage of the stamp.

Purgatory Post issues Crew-1 stamps

On December 1, New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post issued a pair of 1-sola stamps commemorating the successful launch of Crew-1, SpaceX’s first crewed non-test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft. Resilience lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on November 15, and the four astronauts safely reached the International Space Station, where they are scheduled to remain for several months.

The first of the stamps pictures astronauts Michael Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover along with a photo of their spacecraft’s launch. The second stamp features a photo of Resilience along with the mission patch.

1-sola stamps picturing Crew-1 astronauts and spacecraft
Purgatory Post Crew-1 stamps

Purgatory Post operator Scott A. has a keen interest in spaceflight and has issued numerous stamps commemorating significant anniversaries and events in the space program. With two Apollo anniversaries coming up next year and other missions also planned for 2021, we can expect to see more space-related Purgatory Post stamps in the near future.

Winter 2020 update for The Philosateleian

We’re into the final month of 2020, and I’m happy to report that the Winter 2020 Supplement (403 KB, 1 file, 2 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is now online and ready for you to download and print at your convenience. The United States Postal Service has not issued a huge number of new stamps since the beginning of September, so this is a small update that adds only two pages.

If you’re using The Philosateleian’s annual update track instead of the standard quarterly update track, I intend to have a set of pages containing spaces for all stamps issued in 2020 (including those from any series started prior to 2020) available in early January 2021.

Thank you for your support!

Philosateleian Post to issue fruits & vegetables stamp

On January 25, 2021, Philosateleian Post will issue a special stamp for World Local Post Day. The 1-stamp stamp depicting a cross section of a stylized orange promotes the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables.

1-stamp Philosateleian Post stamp picturing cross section of a stylized orange
Philosateleian Post International Year of Fruits and Vegetables stamp

The United Nations declared 2021 the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables to emphasize among other things the importance of healthy diets that include fruits and vegetables, and to raise awareness about high levels of fruit and vegetable loss and waste in supply chains.

“I’m a big fan of fruits and veggies,” said Kevin Blackston, proprietor of Philosateleian Post, which is based in San Antonio, Texas. “I hope this new stamp will encourage people to eat more fresh produce, and I am excited about participating in World Local Post Day by issuing it.”

World Local Post Day is sponsored by the Local Post Collectors Society. Participating local post operators each year issue special stamps focused on a specific topic or theme, with the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables being selected as the topic for 2021.

Technical Specifications

Format: sheets of 48. Design size: 28×28 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: inkjet.

Philatelic Services

To receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s International Year of Fruits and Vegetables stamp, or for first day cover service, send either $2 or a self-addressed stamped envelope and your request to:

Kevin Blackston
Philosateleian Post
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

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