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

Philosateleian Blog

Philosateleian Post to issue American flamingo stamp in June

Philosateleian Post next month will celebrate summer with a new stamp picturing an American flamingo. The very pink 1-stamp design is based on a photograph that Philosateleian Post’s proprietor, Kevin Blackston, took in July 2019, and the stamp is scheduled to be issued on June 22.

1-stamp Philosateleian Post stamp picturing American flamingo
Philosateleian Post American Flamingo stamp

Although Philosateleian Post has previously issued stamps picturing birds, the American flamingo stamp is a first for the San Antonio-based local post in two ways. First, the design is a non-rectangular trapezoid, with a narrow top gradually expanding to a wider base; all previous Philosateleian Post stamps including a single diamond-shaped stamp have been rectangular in format. Second, the stamp’s unusual format and resulting unusual sheet layout means that 22 tête-bêche pairs exist in each sheet printed.

“With COVID-19 and related world events, 2020 has already been a really weird year, so why not issue an odd-shaped stamp?” asked Blackston. “I was inspired by a picture of an old Monaco stamp that is also trapezoid-shaped.

“Although the design of Philosateleian Post’s new stamp is not complicated, this was a technically challenging issue to lay out and perforate, and I hope collectors will like it as much as I do.”

Technical Specifications

Format: sheets of 44. Design size: 36×28 mm. Separation method: perforated 12. Adhesive: water-activated dry gum. Printing method: inkjet.

Philatelic Services

To receive a mint single of Philosateleian Post’s American Flamingo 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

Purgatory Post celebrates 50th anniversary of Earth Day

As we close in on the end of this work week, I have one more philatelic item to share with you. The latest release from New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post, a souvenir sheet commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, was issued on May 4.

Purgatory Post souvenir sheet including four 4-sola Earth Day stamps and two labels
Purgatory Post Earth Day souvenir sheet

As is typically the case with Purgatory Post’s souvenir sheets, this sheet includes four stamps, in this case a 4-sola Earth Day design that I personally like more than the official USPS issue commemorating the same anniversary.

More out of the ordinary is the inclusion of two labels, one of which pictures United States Senator, Wisconsin Governor, and Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson (1916–2005), and the second of which pictures Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg. Neither of the labels bears a demonination.

The Minute Man graces high value Postal Savings stamp

When I announced late last month that a set of pages for United States savings stamps was available for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album, I had no such stamps in my own collection. Now, thanks to reader Steve R., I do have one, and it’s a beauty: a $5 United States Postal Savings stamp originally issued in 1941.

United States $5 Minute Man postal savings stamp
$5 Minute Man postal savings stamp

The stamp pictures Daniel Chester French’s The Minute Man, and although it’s not necessarily apparent from the scan above, it’s an impressive piece in terms of size alone. At roughly twice the width and twice the height of a standard United States definitive stamp of the same era, it covers an area roughly equivalent to a block of four definitive stamps!

In Postal and Treasury Savings Stamp Systems: The War Years, Dr. Harry K. Charles Jr. explains that this stamp and its standard definitive sized 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1 siblings could be saved up and redeemed for defense or war savings bonds. A booklet produced specifically for the $5 stamp contained spaces for 15 copies; for that total expense of $75, the buyer could purchase a $100 savings bond redeemable for its full value 10 years after purchase.

Will I ever own a complete collection of postal savings stamps? It doesn’t seem likely, but this is certainly a good place to start! I can’t thank Steve enough for so generously sharing a spare from his own collection with me.

An update for The Philosateleian’s savings stamps pages

It took only a week after I announced the launch of The Philosateleian’s new savings stamps album pages for someone to notice some mistakes.

Longtime user Steve R. reported that the spaces for the $5 Minute Man stamps were far too small, and he was right: the original pages I released had the spaces for those stamps sized the same as the spaces for lower-value Minute Man stamps even though the $5 values are much larger in size. This is hardly the first time Steve has spotted an error in The Philosateleian, and I appreciate him letting me know about it!

Anyway, an update to correct those mistakes is now available on The Philosateleian’s updates & supplements page. If you’ve already downloaded the savings stamps pages, I hope you’ll grab the update as well.

Savings stamps added to The Philosateleian

It has been a while since I added pages for anything other than the most recent United States commemorative and definitive stamps to The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album, but I’m pleased to announce a new addition. Volume IX (back of book) now includes pages for Postal Savings, Savings, War Savings, and Treasury Savings stamps produced from 1911–61, and you can download the pages from my individual stamp album pages page.

Savings stamps may seem like an odd choice, but a user of The Philosateleian requested pages for those stamps, and it’s a small enough grouping that I was able to knock out the pages without too much trouble. If you have any of those stamps in your collection, I hope you’ll find the pages to be useful.

I do welcome suggestions for other United States stamp album pages if there’s back of the book material that you collect. I’m not promising I’ll make them—with a job and a family to keep me busy, some things just don’t get done—but I’m open to ideas.

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