Helen Keller featured on BRE’s simulated cinderellas
The latest addition to my accumulation of business reply envelopes bearing cinderellas or preprinted stamp-sized images arrived last week in a mailing from Helen Keller International. Besides the organization’s address and typical BRE markings, the envelope bears two black-and-white images with photographs of Helen Keller with simulated printed perforations or die cuts, one with Keller’s name and the other reading “Happy Birthday.”
As I’ve commented before, I think BREs with labels affixed are far more interesting from a philatelic standpoint. When it comes to envelopes with preprinted images, however, this is about the best I’ve seen. The subject matter is not just the usual flowers and birds, but an actual historical figure and the mailing organization’s eponym.
To the unknown designer who created this, well done.
Earlier this week, I created half-size album pages for a couple of landscape stamps that have been awaiting attention for a while now. I’m very well pleased with how the page for Hainan Island, China, turned out, and wanted to share it here.
It appears that the last time I created any album pages for my landscapes collection prior to this week was in August 2019! I know life has been busy, but that’s a long, long dry spell. At that rate, I would need centuries to get through all the landscape stamps I’ve acquired but never got around to adding to my albums, but at least the pages I designed this week are a start.
Years ago—at this point, I’m not certain exactly when it was, but I’m pretty sure that more than a decade has passed—my sister gave me a stamp-themed puzzle. I had never put it together, but over the past week and a half worked on it as time permitted, and finally finished assembling it.
The 550-piece puzzle features hundreds of tiny images of stamps overlaid on an American flag background.
I started by assembling the border, then the blue portion of the flag (since there were were far fewer pieces in that section). After that, I worked on pieces where the background was exclusively red or exclusively white. Finally, I filled in the gaps.
The most challenging aspect of this puzzle is that some of the stamps are reproduced multiple times. I would see part of a stamp on a puzzle piece and think to myself, hey, I saw the other part of that stamp a few seconds ago—but then discover that although I’d seen the same design, it was a different instance of the design, and the two puzzle pieces didn’t go together. Completing it was satisfying.
So, what’s next for this puzzle? My plan is to give it away in the next issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn so that another collector can have a go at putting it together.
I’m excited to announce today that I recently bought another antique Rosback tabletop pinhole perforator, and after dusting it off, I’m ready to find it a new home!
A quick summary
This machine, which I think probably dates to the 1930’s or so, comes complete with its original wooden table and metal alignment guides. The larger guide on the rear of the machine appears to be missing one nut and a bolt or two, but it’s a remarkably complete piece. With table, the perforator weighs in the neighborhood of 85 pounds, and it has a footprint of approximately 26″×20″.
There is some wear and tear. That’s probably to be expected with a piece of equipment that’s close to 90 years old, but let me provide details:
When I acquired the machine, the perforating pins didn’t go quite all the way through a sheet of paper. Inserting small strips of metal (one of which you can see in the photo below) between the camshaft and each end of the perforating head resolved that issue; I have not attached those strips to the machine, but the future owner may wish to do so.
During shipping to me, one of the perforators metal legs was snapped off. It may be possible to repair this break, but it does not affect the perforator’s functionality in any way, so I’m leaving that for the next owner.
There are various cosmetic issues such as nicks and scrapes in the paint that do not impact the machine’s operation in any way.
Now, with those disclaimers out of the way, here’s the big question: does it perforate, and perforate cleanly? Why, yes it does!
Despite its flaws, this perforator has a full set of pins, and following the aforementioned adjustment using small strips of metal, it perforates cleanly. This particular model, like the majority of tabletop perforators in existence, can perforate a line of holes approximately 10 inches long.
In short, even though there are a few flaws, this machine works.
I’m asking just $650 plus shipping for this machine. If you’re interested in it, send a message to me, and I’ll be happy to provide an estimate for shipping cost. In addition, if you have any specific questions, I’ll be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
Update (2021-10-01): this machine has been sold. Thank you for your interest!
The Glaucoma Foundation joins reply envelope movement
Continuing what has become something of a series on nonprofit business reply envelopes, today I’m bringing to your attention a BRE included in a mailing that I received last week from The Glaucoma Foundation.
Although the envelope does not have any actual cinderella stamps attached to it, there are three pre-printed stamp-sized images: one picturing a flower and a butterfly, the second picturing a bird, and the third picturing a different flower.
As I think I’ve observed in the past, this sort of thing is far more interesting if cindrella stamps or labels are attached, but this is still an attractive envelope, and a definite step up from the undecorated BRE’s more often included in mailings from nonprofit organizations.