Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

USPS previews planned stamp issues for 2022

The United States Postal Service earlier this month released a preview of some of the new stamps scheduled for release in 2022.

The most appealing of the designs to me is the set of 16 featuring various National Marine Sanctuaries. Those stamps feature everything from landscapes to close-ups of various marine animals, and they’re quite attractive. Oddly, the preview artwork suggests that none of the stamps bear any text identifying which sanctuaries are pictured, which seems a bit of a lost opportunity.

Also catching my eye was the design for the newest entry in the current series of low-value definitives, a 4¢ stamp picturing blueberries. I think those fruit stamps look very nice.

For the most part, I’m not crazy about the other designs. The Mountain Flora stamps picturing various flowers are fine, but do we really need new flower stamps every year? Of the 62 different designs pictured in the USPS press release, no fewer than eight (nearly 13%) picture flowers. Maybe, in today’s politically charged climate, flowers are a “safe” subject not likely to inspire controversy, but yawn.

One positive note on the flower stamps: two of them are intended for use by nonprofit organizations and will presumably supplant the Patriotic Nonprofit design released in 2017. Could this be an initial foray into larger sets of nonprofit stamps? I, for one, would like to see the USPS issue a coil of nonprofit stamps featuring 10, 25, or even 50 different designs—not necessarily flowers, but presidents or landmarks from each of the 50 states or something like that. It sure would make receiving junk mail more interesting!

What do you think of next year’s announced stamps? Take a look at the press release, then leave a comment below.

Purgatory Post commemorates 19th-century steamship Belknap

Purgatory Post this month launched a new series of stamps picturing steamboats that have sailed on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire with the November 2 release of a 1-sola stamp picturing the Belknap.

1-sola Purgatory Post stamp picturing Belknap
Purgatory Post Belknap stamp

The Belknap carried passengers and cargo between villages on the lake from 1833 until 1841. The ship met its end in October of that year when storm winds blew the Belknap and a raft of logs that it was towing into rocks near what is now known as Steamboat Island, where it sank in shallow water. Purgatory Post operator Scott A. tells me the wreck site is popular with divers today.

I really like seeing local post stamps that commemorate local subjects, topics that are relevant to the geographical area in which they operate. This certainly qualifies, and I doubt too many people outside New Hampshire have ever even heard of the Belknap before now, but I’m happy to feature it here.

14¢ American Indian travels solo on parcel tag

The newest addition to my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover is closing in on 100 years old. Mailed from the James Manufacturing Company of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, to Grand Rapids, Michigan, this parcel tag bears a single copy of my favorite stamp.

Front of parcel tag bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian parcel tag mailed from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Reverse of pracel tag bearing mailing address
14¢ American Indian parcel tag mailed from Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin (reverse)

This falls into a rather interesting area of postal history. Since the stamp in this case was precanceled and there are no dated markings of any sort, we can’t say with any great specificity when the parcel tag was mailed. That doesn’t make it any less significant a solo use of the 14¢ American Indian, in my opinion, but a dated cancellation would arguably add some visual appeal.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what rate the stamp paid, it was for a four (or possibly five) pound fourth class or parcel post item sent to a destination between 150 and 300 miles from its place of mailing. I provide a more thorough breakdown in my complete write-up.

Purgatory Post issues McDermott Bridge stamp

The newest stamp from New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post was issued on October 8, 2021, and it follows up on the local post’s September issue by picturing another of the Granite State’s covered bridges, McDermott Bridge in Langdon, New Hampshire.

18-sola Purgatory Post stamp picturing McDermott Bridge
Purgatory Post McDermott Bridge stamp

McDermott Bridge was built in 1869 at a cost of $450, and was used by vehicular traffic until a modern bridge was built next to it in 1964. According to state archives, the 81′ structure is one of a series of bridges that have spanned the Cold River at that site since the first was built back in 1790.

Purgatory Post’s bicolored 18-sola stamp depicts the bridge in black, while the stamp’s frame is printed in what to my eyes appears to be a dark fuschia. It’s a very bold color combination and very striking on cover.

Bat’s Private Post issues 15th anniversary bat stamps

Bat’s Private Post out of Beverly Hills, California, on September 30 issued two new stamps picturing bats in celebration of the operation’s 15th anniversary.

The 5¢ local fee stamp pictures a large-eared bat, while the $1.35 stamp for international letters and postcards pictures a bat with its wings outspread. The illustrations on both stamps are taken from Ernst Haeckel’s 1904 work Kunstformen der Natur.

5¢ Bat’s Private Post stamp picturing a bat
5¢ Bat’s Private Post stamp picturing a bat
$1.35 Bat’s Private Post stamp picturing a bat
$1.35 Bat’s Private Post stamp picturing a bat

My seven-year-old loves to ask what my favorite animal is, and I can say with confidence that the bat is not at the top of my list. Nevertheless, I can’t help but admire how nicely the illustrations used on these stamps reproduced at stamp size. The designs are not engraved, but I almost expected to feel the raised lines of intaglio printing when I touched the stamps. They really are very nicely done.

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