I recently received a small packet of stamps from Como Park Post in the mail, and wanted to share them here.
The mailing from the Minnesota-based private post contained little in the way of details, but includes a 1¢ design in red, a 3¢ design in what appears to me to be green or copper, and what looks to be a 1¢ overprint on an earlier 5¢ stamp. It could be a 2¢ overprint, but I’m going to decline to make a definitive statement either way.
The stamps were mailed to me in an envelope with an example of the red 1¢ stamp tied by a January 23, 2021, Como Park Post handstamp. I suspect January 23 may have been the first day of issue, but again, in the absence of specific information, I can only speculate.
Como Park Post’s operator, Tom B., has long produced local post stamps from delightfully hand-carved blocks, and although the style is very different than that of my own Philosateleian Post stamps, I can certainly appreciate the time and effort that he puts into his creations.
Bat’s Private Post issues set of four for WLPD 2021
While I’ve previously mentioned this year’s World Local Post Day stamps issued by Philosateleian Post and Purgatory Post, those are not the only private local posts to prepare stamps celebrating the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. Bat’s Private Post on January 25 also released four different designs for World Local Post Day 2021.
The $5 Thai eggplant, $8 mangosteen, $35 horned melon, and $45 prickly pear cactus stamps shown in the above photo are actually cutouts from freightsheets prepared by Bat’s Private Post. According to a press release, “freightsheets are used by the local post to deliver unsealed articles in BPP’s designated delivery area and adjacent areas.“
The press release goes on to state that usage of the postage on regular envelopes like the one shown in the image above is perfectly acceptable. “Unlike postal stationery issued by the USPS, BPP permits the use of cut squares to pay postage on letters and parcels.”
Besides postage, each of the four freightsheets includes space for the sender’s and recipient’s addresses, plus a description of the fruit or vegetable pictured thereon. An example of the $8 Mangosteen freightsheet postmarked on January 25 is pictured here.
Commercial usages of modern private local post stamps are extremely difficult to find on cover. Can you imagine trying to track down examples of these lettersheets used in the normal course of business? I have to say, they are a very interesting concept, and something that I haven’t seen from any other local post.
As a general rule, I’m not all that into first day covers. That’s not to say they’re unattractive—some cachets are very nice indeed—it’s just not an area in which I have a great deal of interest.
The foregoing does not, however, mean that I don’t appreciate a nicely prepared FDC when it shows up in my post office box. The August Wilson FDC shown here was serviced in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on January 28, 2021, and sent my way by a generous reader.
I wasn’t familiar with August Wilson (1945–2005)—I’ll freely admit I’m not the popular culture expert in my household—but a quick search revealed that he was a successful American playwright whose works have been performed by actors ranging from James Earl Jones to Samuel L. Jackson. That sounds like a pretty good legacy!
The most recent addition to my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover is a cover fragment mailed from Ohio to Denmark in August 1938. The 14¢ postage covered the then recently-introduced 5¢ for first ounce international surface mail plus 3¢ per ounce surcharge for air mail within the United States, plus 3¢ per half ounce for air mail within Europe.
The cover was at some point in the presumably distant past cut down to probably about half of its original size, probably to make it fit more nicely on an album page. I bought it because it’s a difficult solo usage that fits into my collection, but it’s definitely not the nicest example I own.
I can remember a stamp or two that I wish I had left alone, and perhaps you can think of a stamp or cover that you didn’t treat quite as well as you wish you had. Still, I would like to think that in today’s collecting world, a cover such as this would have been preserved intact as a piece of postal history. The visual impact of a full cover instead of a fragment like this is indisputable.
Update (2021-09-12): a previous version of this post identified the cover as being postmarked in 1932 with the 14¢ American Indian stamp paying a different rate, but closer inspection revealed that the date in the postmark could not be 1932. I’m sorry about the error.
Purgatory Post issues 2021 World Local Post Day stamp
World Local Post Day 2021 is coming up this Monday, January 25, and participants like me will be issuing stamps celebrating the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post got a bit of a jump on the rest of us, however, by issuing its World Local Post Day stamp on January 5. The 21-sola stamp pictures a strawberry.
Scott A. printed the stamp on a glossy-surfaced paper, and to paraphrase my non-collecting wife’s reaction, it looks like the real deal.
Scott says his stamp’s design is inspired by Mexico’s Exporta series of the 1970s through the 1990s, and I have to hand it to him: his design makes that of my upcoming Philosateleian Post stamp look like a poor cousin in comparison. Not every local post stamp is a home run just like not every United States stamp is a home run, but Purgatory Post’s new stamp is the sort of result we local post operators aim for even if we don’t always achieve it.