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

Philosateleian Blog

Purgatory Post commemorates Apollo 7’s 50th anniversary

Purgatory Post has been commemorating the anniversaries of the various United States space flights for a while. This month marks the 50th anniversary of the flight of Apollo 7, and the New Hampshire-based private local post operated by Scott Abbot, another Local Post Collectors Society member, has released a pair of stamps commemorating that mission. Both stamps have face values of 7 sola.

Purgatory Post 7-sola Apollo 7 stamps
Purgatory Post Apollo 7 stamps

The first stamp in this pair pitctures crew members Wally Schirra, Donn Eisele, and Walt Cunningham, along with Apollo 7 just after liftoff. The second stamp depicts one stage of the Saturn rocket used to propel the crew into space.

I understand from Scott that he plans to continue this series to commemorate the rest of the Apollo missions, so we should see plenty more stamps along these lines over the next year or so.

TSDA in San Antonio this weekend for fall bourse

Several members of the Texas Stamp Dealers Association will be in town this weekend for the TSDA’s second San Antonio show of the year. The event is being held at Norris Conference Center at 618 Northwest Loop 410, and is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

According to an email reminder I received, the following dealers are scheduled to be on hand:

  • Tom Cunningham
  • James Garrett
  • Ken Scheller
  • George Watkins

Although this is a bourse with no exhibits, I’ve been to a couple of previous editions of the show and have always enjoyed myself. I missed the TSDA’s San Antonio show earlier this year due to preexisting commitments, but am looking forward to attending on Sunday. Hope to see you there!

Identifying rounded and square corners on the 2001 Statue of Liberty stamps

Gene H., a longtime user of the The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album, recently wrote asking what the difference is between a couple of self-adhesive die-cut varieties of the 34¢ Statue of Liberty stamps issued in 2001: those with rounded corners, and those with square corners. It’s a good question, and one best answered with a picture.

In this image, the stamp on the left (Scott 3466) has rounded corners, while the stamp on the right (Scott 3477) has square corners.

United States 34¢ Statue of Liberty stamps with rounded and square corners
Statue of Liberty stamps with rounded (left) and square (right) corners

That’s really all there is to it, and it’s a little surprising that the editors of the Scott catalogues decided that such a minor variation justified the two stamps being listed under separate major catalogue numbers. Nevertheless, I hope this helps you to tell the difference.

Purgatory Post commemorates Bement Bridge on latest stamp

Purgatory Post earlier this month released the latest in its series of stamps picturing New Hampshire’s covered bridges. The newest installment in this series pictures Bement Bridge over the Warner River in Bradford, New Hampshire.

Purgatory Post 14-sola Bement Bridge stamp
Bement Bridge

The 14-sola stamp features a rich blue frame borrowed from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition issue.

Bement Bridge was originally built in 1854 at a cost of only $500.1 By the time the bridge needed a second round of repairs in the late 1960s, however, just that maintenance cost nearly 50 times as much as the original cost of construction! The bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


  1. Marshall, Richard. Bement Bridge. Accessed 9 Sept. 2018.

APC flag error labels surface on mail from New York

I’ve written in the past about Automated Postal Center or Self-Service Kiosk labels, a form of print-on-demand postage that can be purchased from kiosks at USPS locations here in the United States. Errors with designs printed on the wrong paper or even with no design at all are far from unheard of, but it had probably been a couple of years since I’d run across any.

A couple of years, that is, until last week, when I received a note mailed from New York, New York, using one of the preprinted U.S. flag labels with the USPS logo printed on top!

Cover bearing APC U.S. Flag label with USPS logo printed on top
APC U.S. Flag label with USPS logo printed on top on cover

This is obviously an example of the sort of label produced by a machine that has had preprinted paper stock loaded in it, but that has not been reprogrammed by a post office employee to properly print only the barcode and related information.

Interestingly, my correspondent included a SASE bearing another label presumably printed at the same time and location. Whereas the example on the cover mailed to me was a Forever stamp, this one is a $1.15 label intended to pay international postage. It has a full-size barcode with other information printed over the flag.

APC U.S. Flag label with barcode and text printed on top
APC U.S. Flag label with barcode and text printed on top

As I’ve written previously, the market for this sort of material is pretty thin even though the basic labels are listed in the Computer Vended Postage section of the Scott Specialized Catalogue. Nevertheless, these “error” labels are fun items to have when you run across them.

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