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

Philosateleian Blog

New stamps for Purgatory Post, Vermont Republic

It has been a while since I shared any Purgatory Post stamps, but as I seem to have a bit of a backlog of new material from Scott A., now seems as good a time as any.

First up is the latest addition to Scott’s series of covered bridges of New Hampshire. The stamp on this cover I received in April pictures Rowell’s Bridge in West Hopkinton, New Hampshire.

Cover bearing a copy of Purgatory Post's Rowell's Bridge stamp
Purgatory Post Rowell’s Bridge cover

Scott also recently celebrated Purgatory Post’s 15th anniversary with a groovy design depicting Upper Purgatory Falls, which fits right in with my landscapes collection. (Scott’s very first stamp pictured Lower Purgatory Falls.)

Cover bearing a copy of Purgatory Post's Upper Purgatory Falls stamp
Purgatory Post Upper Purgatory Falls cover

Finally, here’s the really good stuff. Scott recently branched out from Purgatory Post and created several fantasy stamps for the Vermont Republic. The 1-, 3-, and 6-copper designs are printed in single colors, while the 9-, 12-, and 18-copper stamps all depict early Vermont leaders; included are the first two governors, Thomas Chittenden and Moses Robinson, and the famous Ethan Allen.

1-, 3-, 6-, 9-, 12-, and 18-copper Vermont Republic fantasy stamps
Vermont Republic fantasy stamps

Cinderella stamps win prize for best keepsake

I recently received a letter from Alan B. of Adanaland fame, and as usual he included a special surprise. This time, it was a souvenir sheet he produced for the British Printing Society’s annual convention.

Souvenir sheet containing one label and three cinderella stamps
BPS Convention 2016 souvenir sheet

The souvenir sheet includes a label picturing Bill Brace, the founder of the Amateur Printers’ Association, along with cinderella stamps picturing the logos of the APA, the International Small Printers’ Association, and the BPS.

Alan says that this latest production of his received a special prize denoting it as the best keepsake from this year’s convention. In my opinion, that’s quite an honor considering the other candidates for the award were not necessarily even stamp related—and an honor that’s well deserved considering the quality of Alan’s work.

United States landscape stamps abound in 2016

If you, like me, are a fan of stamps picturing landscapes, then 2016 is shaping up to be a year to remember.

The United States kicked off the year with new Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express stamps issued in January. The $6.45 Priority Mail stamp pictures La Cueva del Indio in Puerto Rico; I recently snagged one from an envelope mailed to my workplace.

$6.45 U.S. postage stamp picturing La Cueva del Indio
La Cueva del Indio

The $22.95 Columbia River Gorge Priority Express Mail stamp has a higher face value than any other regular postage stamp the United States has ever issued, and it’s not one you’re likely to see used much. The high value also makes it prohibitively expensive for me to purchase a mint single for my collection right now, much as I would like to do so.

More landscapes are coming our way with a pair of noteworthy new issues in June. First, a set of 16 stamps celebrating the National Park Service’s centennial includes several landscape designs will go on sale during the World Stamp Show in New York City. Just a few days later, an Indiana statehood bicentennial stamp picturing the sun setting over a peaceful corn field will be released.

Finally, if you need even more landscapes to satisfy your hunger, you can expand your collection to include Purgatory Post’s Acadia National Park local post stamp released earlier this year and Philosateleian Post’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park commemorative scheduled to be issued next week!

National Park Service Centennial stamp
National Park Service Centennial stamp

Philosateleian Post postmark and cancellation changes

As you may have noticed if you’ve received any mail from me this year, some of Philosateleian Post’s postal markings have changed.

First, the familiar five-barred cancel with a “P” in a circle is no more. The rubber handstamp, which I commissioned during my senior year of college, began to show signs of its age when a piece of the circle broke loose, and the rubber eventually crumbled more or less completely. I carved a couple of different cork cancels which I’ve begun using. Long term, I would like to get a couple of pieces of solid cork since it would give a more distinct impression, but first things first.

Philosateleian Post stamp with cork cancel
Cork cancel on Philosateleian Post stamp

Second, at some point in December I began using a different format for Philosateleian Post’s date stamp. It now follows a year-month-day order rather than month-day-year; e.g., 16/04/18 instead of 4/18/16. I suppose there are probably historical reasons for the use of month-day-year in the United States, but as a computer tech, year-month-day appeals to me because computer files so named are automatically in the right order when sorted alphabetically. At any rate, if you’ve been trying to figure out the new date format, that’s it in a nutshell.

Philosateleian Post postmark
Philosateleian Post postmark

Great Smoky Mountains National Park post card

I’m continuing to receive requests for Philosateleian Post’s upcoming National Park Service centennial stamp, which pictures a scene from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One collector, Don M., included a little something extra with his request.

That something extra is a post card from the 1930s which depicts Mount Le Conte, the third highest peak in the park.

Post card depicting Mount Le Conte in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Mount Le Conte post card

Don notes that my new stamp and the post card have “a very similar view,” and although the scenes may not be identical, I think they do both illustrate what a pretty part of the country that area really is. Thank you, Don, for sharing!

Update (5/8/2016): reader Lew B. writes that this post card is a Curt Teich production, and notes that the code in the lower right corner of the card (9A-H2499) identifies the card as one that was produced in 1939. (“A” codes were used in the 1930s, “B” codes in the 1940s, and so forth.) My thanks to Lew for the additional information!

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