Stamp club meeting cancelled as Hurricane Harvey approaches
As you may have seen on the news, Hurricane Harvey is headed toward Texas. The forecast calls for lots of rain and some wind in the San Antonio area over the weekend.
Although it’s still unclear when bad weather may arrive, the San Antonio Philatelic Association is cancelling its scheduled club meeting for this week. “As much as we may love our hobby, there is no reason to tempt Mother Nature as to the arrival time of this storm,” wrote SAPA Treasurer Fred Groth earlier today. “The bourse scheduled for this Friday is cancelled.”
In addition, next Friday is part of a holiday weekend, so no meeting is scheduled for that day, either. That means the next SAPA meeting will be held on September 8.
Cvrsvs Pvblicvs fantasy stamps for the Roman Empire
During the Roman Empire’s glory days, the government maintained an official courier system known as the cvrsvs pvblicvs. The cvrsvs pvblicvs could be used by those who had the emperor’s special permission to transport messages and goods between locations.
Although the cvrsvs pvblicvs was not a postal system in the modern sense of the term, I thought it would be fun to imagine what the Romans’ stamps would have looked like if they had used stamps, so I created these fantasy stamps.
The stamps are inscribed “solvm officialis” to indicate that they were valid for official use only. There is a less common variant that anachronistically uses “lorem ipsvm” placeholder text—an obvious error that no doubt would have greatly displeased the emperor.
During last week’s San Antonio Philatelic Association meeting, I got to purchase a stock page of various cinderellas during the club’s silent auction. One of the items that really caught my eye was this blue and yellow poster stamp promoting Wisconsin Creamery Butter.
The label depicts a slab of butter on a plate and identifies Wisconsin butter as “the nation’s natural source of vitamins.” The text at the bottom indicates that it was commissioned by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture and Markets.
According to Wikipedia, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Markets were separate agencies until 1929; the combined agency operated under the name of the Department of Agriculture and Markets from that point until 1939, when its name was shortened to Department of Agriculture. Based on this information, we can conclude that the label could date to as early as 1929, but it was most likely produced in the 1930s.
Despite its visual appeal, this item doesn’t really fit into any of my collecting areas of interest. I’ve listed it on eBay in case it’s something you would like to have.
On Sunday, I stopped to check my post office box, and although it contained only a single envelope, it was a very interesting envelope indeed.
The cover contained neither note nor letter, but within was a delightful array of artistamps, at least some of them possibly local post stamps. In addition to the French stamp, the envelope bears a Postes de la Rivière Matouche Express Mail Service stamp tied with a Matouche Postes cancellation. A Google search turned up only a single reference to the existence of such items, but that was it.
Happily, the back of the cover did have a return address in Switzerland, so I’ve written a thank you note and mailed it off along with a sampling of my own philatelic creations. Hopefully the sender will respond and tell us more about his interesting stamps!