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

Philosateleian Blog

Faux bird stamps on business reply envelope look familiar

Last year, it seemed like I was receiving a business reply envelope with cinderella stamps or preprinted stamp-sized images on it from Boys Town just about every other week. Similar envelopes from a couple of other organizations turned up in the mail, too, but I haven’t seen much in the way of that sort of material in recent months. Maybe that has something to do with the general impact of COVID-19, maybe not.

At any rate, a mailing from the American Lung Association that was waiting in my PO box on Monday did contain an envelope with five preprinted stamp-sized images picturing various birds. The containing envelope took a beating in transit, so the BRE has some dents, but it was nice treat to receive in junk mail.

American Lung Association business reply envelope with five preprinted stamp-sized designs picturing birds
American Lung Association business reply envelope with faux bird stamp designs

The bird images did seem vaguely familiar, so I did a bit of looking around and—surprise!—four of the five were used on the BRE enclosed in a November 2019 Boys Town mailing! It’s almost like a not-quite-cinderella joint issue of sorts.

This has to be more than coincidence, and I can only assume that Boys Town and the American Lung Association are using the same marketing outfit. I’m curious to see if these same birds turn up in any other mailings in the future.

Caught up on writing up 14¢ American Indian covers

At long last, I’ve finally finished writing up the various 14¢ American Indian covers that I had accumulated over the past few years! I’d been chipping away at that little project since early last month, and I’m happy to be able to share the last three covers with you here.

The first item is a 2¢ John Adams “Prexie” first day cover that had a 14¢ American Indian stamp added to it. Completely and totally philatelic, and a bit of an oddball item, but finding this example was a nice surprise.

Front of 2-cent John Adams first day cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian first day cover

Next up is a 1942 air mail cover sent from the Canal Zone to Pennsylvania that bears a copy of the American Indian stamp. Although this is arguably a late usage of the 14¢ value, this stamp was surprisingly difficult to find on cover, and I remember being pretty excited to pick it up at a TSDA bourse here in San Antonio some time ago, back when we were still able to attend such things.

Front of 1¢ Canal Zone stamped envelope with 14¢ American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Canal Zone to Pennsylvania

And finally, we have an event cover marking the splashdown of Gemini 7 in the Atlantic Ocean in 1965. Yes, this is an example of the rotary press-printed American Indian stamp with Canal Zone overprint used over three decades after it was issued, but what a neat item commemorating one of the United States space missions.

Front of Gemini 7 cover with 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian Gemini 7 cover

I’m still on the lookout for American Indian stamps on cover, particularly solo usages of the stamp, but for now, at least, I’ve finished writing up the covers in my collection.

14¢ American Indian covers sent to casket, tire companies

As part of my continuing efforts to get my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps properly sorted and written up, I’ve added a couple of items to my online exhibit over the past week and a half.

The first of these is an air mail special delivery envelope mailed to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1937. The cover made it from Los Angeles to Akron, Ohio, the next day. Priority Express Mail today could hardly do better!

Front of envelope bearing 14¢ American Indian and 2¢ George Washington stamps
14¢ American Indian Fibreboard Products cover

The second item is a solo use of the 14¢ American Indian stamp on a cover mailed to the St. Paul Casket Company of Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1938. In my opinion, this cover despite the address is probably philatelic in nature, or at least philatelically-inspired, but what do you think?

Front of St. Paul Casket Company cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and pronghorn antelope poster stamp
14¢ American Indian St. Paul Casket Company cover

I still have a few more covers to write up as time permits, after which I would like to properly sort out the loose copies of this stamp that I have. We’ll see how things go.

Como Park Post releases overprinted postal card

My workload has been absolutely brutal over the past few weeks, and as a result I haven’t posted a great deal here on my website, but I did want to share an image of a postal card that I received in the mail recently from Tom B. of Como Park Post.

Tom previously operated Falcon Heights Local Post, and recently decided to overprint remainders of a Falcon Heights Local Post postal card that he previously prepared. The brown “reply card“ design bears the overprint “COMO PK POST” in three lines. Tom tells me that 37 copies of the card were overprinted.

Falcon Heights Local Post postal card with Como Park Post overprint
Falcon Heights Local Post postal card with Como Park Post overprint

Postal stationery from a private local post is highly unusual, and overprinted postal stationery from a private local post is virtually unheard of; in fact, I can’t recall ever running across anything quite like this in the past.

The Philosateleian adds revenue stamp album pages

The 15th anniversary of the launch of The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is coming up next year. I can hardly belive that I’ve been creating stamp album pages for that long, but I’m pleased to announce a significant expansion to my project: beginning today, The Philosateleian now includes free pages for United States revenue stamps!

While it’s true that I’ve offered pages for hunting permit or “duck” stamps for the past decade, this is the first time I’ve tackled pages for any other revenue or fiscal stamps. You can download and print Volume RI at your convenience, but I also wanted to go into a bit more detail on my approach to creating these pages.

What they are

This initial release includes pages for general revenues of 1862–1963, plus revamped pages for hunting permit stamps, which I’m relocating from Volume IX (back of book) to Volume RI. I think it’s fair to say that my general revenue album pages will be most useful for casual or intermediate United States revenue stamp collectors. Advanced collectors may find the pages lacking for reasons I will detail shortly.

My hope is to add pages for revenue stamps in other categories as time permits, but considering the many different categories of revenues, I didn’t want to hold back this initial batch until I had reached some arbitrary point of completion.

On that note, if there are revenue categories for which you would be particularly interested in seeing album pages, please let me know. I’m not making any promises, but I’m certainly willing to take your suggestions into consideration.

What they are not

As I mentioned earlier, advanced collectors may find my general revenue album pages to be unsatisfactory due to a couple of decisions I made during the design process.

First, the revenue stamps of 1861–71 were issued in several different formats: fully perforated, part perforate, and imperforate, the latter two formats resulting from the need to get stamps out the door as quickly as possible. In most cases, the part perforate and imperforate stamps are valued at significantly more than their fully perforated counterparts, and for this particular series, I’ve opted to include spaces only for each face- and color-different variety, not for perforation varieties.

That does not mean I won’t consider creating pages for the part perforate and imperforate varieties if there is sufficient demand, so again, if this is something you would like to see, please contact me.

Second, I’ve chosen to omit spaces for varieties with handstamped overprints. Although many of these have been assigned major catalogue numbers, they are also arguably particularly subject to being forged. Those varieties are generally moderately to very expensive stamps so I doubt this will cause consternation, but I am of course open to changing my mind if there is sufficient demand.

Summary

The Philosateleian’s new revenue stamp album pages are probably most appropriate for casual and intermediate collectors of U.S. revenue stamps. God willing, I’ll be able to add pages for more revenue categories moving forward. I hope you will enjoy these new pages, and welcome your feedback on what I’m doing.

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