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

Philosateleian Blog

Purgatory Post commemorates Perseverance Mars rover

New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post on March 2 commemorated Perseverance, the Mars 2020 rover that landed on the Red Planet on February 18, with the issuance of a new 4-sola stamp picturing the rover.

The 4-sola stamp was issued in miniature sheets of four.

Purgatory Post 4-sola stamp picturing Mars 2020 mission’s Perseverance rover
Purgatory Post Mars 2020 Perseverance stamp

Perseverance has several tasks including checking for evidence of past life on Mars, running tests in preparation for potential future crewed missions to Mars, and collecting rock and soil samples.

I think Purgatory Post operator Scott A. did a very nice job with this stamp. The color certainly evokes thoughts of Mars, and the font selection fits well on the stamp, too.

Scott tells me that with various spaceflight anniversaries plus other planned missions this year, collectors can expect additional space-themed stamps from Purgatory Post in 2021.

Spring 2021 update for The Philosateleian

The United States Postal Service has not released an exceptionally large number of stamps so far in 2021, but there are a few new issues that you might be starting to see showing up on your incoming mail. With that in mind, I’m happy to announce that the Spring 2021 Supplement (1.42 MB, 21 files, 58 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is now available to print and download.

If you think 58 pages is a big large for a regular supplement, you’re right. This update includes album pages for stock transfer and future delivery revenue stamps. All of those files are prefaced with “r_” to make them easy to identify; if you don’t collect fiscals, you can skip printing those files.

I welcome your feedback on the new and updated pages. Thank you for your continued interest in The Philosateleian!

Human Rights Watch joins faux postage movement

Several months have passed since I last wrote about a business reply envelope with preprinted stamp-sized designs being included in a mailing from a nonprofit organization, but in February I received a fundraising mailing from Human Rights Watch that included just such an item.

The designs inclue a flower, a fist, hearts, and a globe with a dove.

Human Rights Watch business reply envelope with preprinted stamp-sized artwork
Human Rights Watch business reply envelope

I think other BREs that I’ve seen with actual stamp-sized labels affixed to them are more appealing in general, but the trend seems to be for nonprofits to use the appracoh of having the designs printed directly on their envelopes.

(As this envelope doesn’t really fit into any of my collections, it’s now for sale in my online shop.)

Philosateleia’s supporters start 2021 generously

It has been a while since I’ve made a “thank you” post here, but after receiving several contributions from supporters over the first couple of months of this year, I feel like it’s time to recognize a few folks.

First, long-time contributers James F. and Suzanne M. each sent some cash my way to help pay Philosateleia’s bills. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I maintain The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album and Philosateleia for personal fulfillment and, I hope, as a way to give back a bit to the hobby that I’ve enjoyed so much, but I really do appreciate gifts from people like James and Suzanne since they help cover the costs of keeping this site online.

Second, Philosateleian Post Horn subscriber Steve R. last month sent a small Priority Mail box full of stamps as a gift. Some of those will be going into my own albums, but there are some nice items that will also be featured in upcoming Post Horn giveaways. You’ll get to benefit from Steve’s generosity, too!

Finally, reader David K. knows that I’m a big 14¢ American Indian enthusiast, and sent a nice plate number single that he found in a lot of stamps to me. This will fit right into my collection.

14¢ American Indian stamp with plate number 14526
14¢ American Indian plate number single

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed both with monetary gifts to help keep Philosateleia going and stamps for my own collection. I really appreciate the generosity of my fellow collectors!

Fundraising cover’s use of braille feels effective

Following a week of what was for San Antonio miserably wintry weather, I was able on Friday afternoon to venture over to the post office to check my box there, and was quite interested to find a fundraising mailing from the International Eye Foundation.

Nonprofit mailings in general are not all that noteworthy from a philatelic point of view, but this particular cover caught my attention because of the braille embossed on the cover’s front below the space reserved for the patriotic star stamp.

International Eye Foundation cover with braille on front
International Eye Foundation braille cover

I can’t argue that this isn’t something of a gimmick, but it’s a neat gimmick, and I think an effective way of drawing attention to what might otherwise be immediately tossed into the waste bin as junk mail.

Whether or not the embossing has a positive effect on the IEF’s response rate, I have no idea, but kudos to the marketing person who came up with the idea.

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