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

Philosateleian Blog

Human Rights Watch joins faux postage movement

Several months have passed since I last wrote about a business reply envelope with preprinted stamp-sized designs being included in a mailing from a nonprofit organization, but in February I received a fundraising mailing from Human Rights Watch that included just such an item.

The designs inclue a flower, a fist, hearts, and a globe with a dove.

Human Rights Watch business reply envelope with preprinted stamp-sized artwork
Human Rights Watch business reply envelope

I think other BREs that I’ve seen with actual stamp-sized labels affixed to them are more appealing in general, but the trend seems to be for nonprofits to use the appracoh of having the designs printed directly on their envelopes.

(As this envelope doesn’t really fit into any of my collections, it’s now for sale in my online shop.)

Philosateleia’s supporters start 2021 generously

It has been a while since I’ve made a “thank you” post here, but after receiving several contributions from supporters over the first couple of months of this year, I feel like it’s time to recognize a few folks.

First, long-time contributers James F. and Suzanne M. each sent some cash my way to help pay Philosateleia’s bills. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I maintain The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album and Philosateleia for personal fulfillment and, I hope, as a way to give back a bit to the hobby that I’ve enjoyed so much, but I really do appreciate gifts from people like James and Suzanne since they help cover the costs of keeping this site online.

Second, Philosateleian Post Horn subscriber Steve R. last month sent a small Priority Mail box full of stamps as a gift. Some of those will be going into my own albums, but there are some nice items that will also be featured in upcoming Post Horn giveaways. You’ll get to benefit from Steve’s generosity, too!

Finally, reader David K. knows that I’m a big 14¢ American Indian enthusiast, and sent a nice plate number single that he found in a lot of stamps to me. This will fit right into my collection.

14¢ American Indian stamp with plate number 14526
14¢ American Indian plate number single

Once again, thank you to everyone who has contributed both with monetary gifts to help keep Philosateleia going and stamps for my own collection. I really appreciate the generosity of my fellow collectors!

Fundraising cover’s use of braille feels effective

Following a week of what was for San Antonio miserably wintry weather, I was able on Friday afternoon to venture over to the post office to check my box there, and was quite interested to find a fundraising mailing from the International Eye Foundation.

Nonprofit mailings in general are not all that noteworthy from a philatelic point of view, but this particular cover caught my attention because of the braille embossed on the cover’s front below the space reserved for the patriotic star stamp.

International Eye Foundation cover with braille on front
International Eye Foundation braille cover

I can’t argue that this isn’t something of a gimmick, but it’s a neat gimmick, and I think an effective way of drawing attention to what might otherwise be immediately tossed into the waste bin as junk mail.

Whether or not the embossing has a positive effect on the IEF’s response rate, I have no idea, but kudos to the marketing person who came up with the idea.

Purgatory Post commemorates Apollo 14 with pair of new stamps

Purgatory Post this month continued its series of stamps celebrating the 50th anniversaries of America’s space missions with a pair of 14-sola stamps commemorating Apollo 14. The stamps were issued on February 3.

Pair of 14-sola Purgatory Post stamps commemorating Apollo 14
Purgatory Post Apollo 14 stamps

One of the stamps pictures Apollo 14 crew members Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, along with the mission’s launch. The second stamp depicts Shepard with an American flag on the surface of the moon, plus the Apollo 14 mission patch.

Scott A., Purgatory Post’s operator, points that this is a special issue for the New Hampshire-based local post because Shepard himself was a New Hampshire native.

Como Park Post issues new stamps in 2021

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.

Three Como Park Post stamps
1¢, 3¢, and 1¢ on 5¢ Como Park Post stamps

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.

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