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

Philosateleian Blog

Purgatory Post celebrates 50th anniversary of Abbey Road

On September 3, New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post issued two new stamps celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road. One of the stamps features the iconic photo of the band’s four members walking across Abbey Road in London, which was used for the album cover, while the second stamp features an alternate shot that was not used.

Purgatory Post 4-sola stamps picturing The Beatles
Purgatory Post Abbey Road stamps

The stamps are printed in miniature sheets of four using a slightly shiny silver-colored paper. The miniature sheet’s design means it is possible to identify singles as coming from the top pair or bottom pair of stamps based on slight differences in the colors of the corners of each of the four stamps, but as the differences are very minor and there are equal numbers of each variety, that is likely of interest only to specialists.

Purgatory Post miniature sheet containing four 4-sola stamps picturing The Beatles
Purgatory Post Abbey Road miniature sheet

Purgatory Post’s operator, Scott Abbot, notes that although Let It Be was the last album released by The Beatles, Abbey Road was actually the last recorded by the group before they disbanded.

Fall 2019 update for The Philosateleian

It’s Labor Day weekend here in the United States, and with an extra day off work, I’ve uploaded the Fall 2019 Supplement (73.1 KB, 1 file, 7 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album. It’s available as of today for you to download and print at your convenience.

The United States Postal Service has issued more than three dozen stamps in the past three months, so this is a fairly significant update. Based on the release schedule announced for the remainder of this year, at least to this point, I doubt The Philosateleian’s winter supplement will have to add quite so many spaces.

Thank you as always for your interest in my project, and happy collecting!

Latest Boys Town cinderellas for the birds

I received Boys Town’s latest fundraising mailing today, and in addition to a 2020 planner and a couple of other booklets, the packet contained a business reply envelope bearing another new cinderella stamp, this one picturing three birds.

Boys Town business reply envelope bearing cinderella stamp picturing three birds
Boys Town business reply envelope with birds cinderella stamp

At first glance, this looks like three individual stamp-sized labels, but closer inspection reveals that what we’re actually seeing is a single horizontal label with three separate stamp-sized designs printed on it.

Boys Town cinderella stamp picturing three birds
Boys Town birds cinderella stamp

This is the latest addition to my growing collection of cinderella stamps applied to the organization’s business reply envelopes this year, and I must say that the potential of finding something like this inside does make me look forward to opening envelopes bearing the Boys Town logo or return address.

(I ended up with a spare copy of this cover that is now listed on my shop if you’re interested.)

St. Joseph’s Indian School uses preprinted images on reply envelopes

I’ve written several times this year about Boys Town mailings containing business reply envelopes bearing cinderella stamps or even preprinted pictures of approximately the same size as United States definitive stamps. St. Joseph’s Indian School of Chamberlain, South Dakota, appears to be adopting similar tactics as the business reply envelope included in a mailing that I received from that organization this week shows.

St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope featuring preprinted bird images
St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope

This envelope has three identical copies of an image of a blue and yellow bird on a white background. (I’m no ornithologist, so I can’t comment on what type of bird is represented.) The design appears to be intended to mimic the size and positioning of real United States postage stamps if the envelope had such stamps attached.

When I inquired with Boys Town about their mailings, they indicated that applying a few low-denomination postage stamps to their business reply envelopes boosted response rates sufficiently to more than cover the expense of the stamps, and that cinderella stamps or labels placed appropriately did the same thing. Considering that the use of preprinted images on business reply envelopes appears to be spreading to other charities, I can only conclude that someone has decided that those are just effective as either real stamps or cinderellas.

Purgatory Post commemorates Melvin Bridge

Earlier today, I received a copy of Purgatory Post’s newest local post issue, a 3-sola stamp picturing New Hampshire’s Melvin Bridge. The covered bridge was built around 1860 and stood for over a century.

Purgatory Post 3-sola stamp picturing Melvin Bridge
Purgatory Post Melvin Bridge stamp

Although this is the latest of Scott Abbot’s covered bridge stamps, it actually fills a gap in between two previously issued Purgatory Post stamps. Scott tells me that the state’s official list includes only bridges that are still standing, and the Melvin Bridge was burned by arsonists in 1965, so it was not until he recently located an old book with a complete list that he knew which bridge was #3. A stamp for bridge #11, which was previously omitted for the same reason, should also be forthcoming at a future date.

As you may have noticed, the denomination of this stamp and others in the series match the bridge numbers, so in spite of being issued out of order, this stamp will be easy to insert into the correct position in the series.

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