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

Philosateleian Blog

USPS issues stamp, forgets design

On April 1, the United States Postal Service issued its “From Me to You” stamp to celebrate National Card & Letter Writing Month. Due to an unexplained decision made during the design approval process, however, the stamp was issued with no design.

United States Forever stamp bearing the text 'From Me to You'
From Me to You stamp

Okay, okay, I’m probably being too harsh. I mean, the four words that make up the “design” of this stamp are in different sizes and colors. The 1991 “F” rate makeup stamp, stuck with a single font size and color, was arguably even less visually interesting.

Non-denominated United States stamp bearing text indicating the stamp, along with a 25-cent stamp, pays the 'F' rate
“F” Stamp Rate makeup stamp

On the other hand, that “F” rate stamp did have a border, so maybe it wasn't so terrible after all.

Granted, my negative opinion of the “From Me to You” stamp is hardly universal. When the Letter Writers Alliance blog covered the release of the stamp, comments were very positive overall. And my sister likes the stamp, too, so maybe my dislike of it is just my curmudgeonly old man side showing its face.

What do you think of the “From Me to You” stamp?

Penny Black anniversary cover a nice surprise

Sometimes you know what to expect in your mailbox. At other times, you get a nice surprise.

Today was one of the nice surprises!

Penny Black anniversary first day cover
175th Anniversary of the Penny Black FDC

I certainly was expecting neither this first day cover bearing a copy of Britain’s Penny Black anniversary souvenir sheet nor the informational card included with it, both of which arrived in an envelope from Royal Mail.

When I initially saw images of the stamps online, I disliked how the outline of Queen Elizabeth’s profile is superimposed on the upper right corner of the anniversary stamps, but after seeing the stamps in person…well, they’re not horrible. I’m not saying there was no way to take a more inventive approach to the subject, but really, the stamps could be worse. It is the Penny Black, after all.

Why was receiving the FDC a nice surprise? Because I didn’t order it. That means either a) someone at Royal Mail decided to send it to me gratis, or b) one of my readers sent it to me. The latter seems more likely, but with no indication of who’s responsible, all I can say to the unknown benefactor is, “Thank you.”

Have you received any nice surprises in your mailbox recently?

Red-shouldered hawk stamp press release

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a sneak preview of Philosateleian Post’s new red-shouldered hawk stamp. Now, finally, the “official” press release about the stamp is available.

Red-shouldered hawk stamp
Red-shouldered hawk

I plan to begin using this stamp on July 1. If you want a copy, see the press release for instructions on how to request one.

The red-shouldered hawk stamp is Philosateleian Post’s 25th different stamp design. I’m a little surprised I’ve made that many different stamps, especially considering that I’ve never produced more than three different designs in a single year. Although 25 is just a number, it does feel like a bit of a milestone.

Sneak preview: red-shouldered hawk local post stamp

The details are still being finalized, but I thought you might like to see Philosateleian Post’s newest stamp, which pictures a red-shouldered hawk.

Red-shouldered Hawk stamp
Red-shouldered Hawk stamp

Planned date of issue for this stamp is July 1. I’ll post more here soon.

Purgatory Post turns to pounce wheel

New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post recently issued the latest in its series of stamps picturing covered bridges in the Granite State. The new 25¢ stamp pictures the Carleton bridge, which is located in Swanzey, New Hampshire. Scott A., who operates Purgatory Post, was kind enough to send some samples of his new stamp to me.

Purgatory Post Carleton cover
Purgatory Post Carleton cover
Purgatory Post Carleton stamp
Purgatory Post Carleton stamp

The stamp is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, it's the 160th issue produced by Purgatory Post. Congratulations, Scott! Second, this is the first stamp that Scott has perforated with a pounce wheel or tracing wheel. The tool, which is more commonly used in sewing, produces a neat row of tiny holes; the results are most obvious along the left edge of the stamp pictured above.

Scott's solution looks to be on par with paper cutters that have so-called “perforating wheels” that produce a roulette-like separation. The results may not be perfect, but they are still attractive and quite sufficient.

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