Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

St. Joseph’s Indian School uses preprinted images on reply envelopes

I’ve written several times this year about Boys Town mailings containing business reply envelopes bearing cinderella stamps or even preprinted pictures of approximately the same size as United States definitive stamps. St. Joseph’s Indian School of Chamberlain, South Dakota, appears to be adopting similar tactics as the business reply envelope included in a mailing that I received from that organization this week shows.

St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope featuring preprinted bird images
St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope

This envelope has three identical copies of an image of a blue and yellow bird on a white background. (I’m no ornithologist, so I can’t comment on what type of bird is represented.) The design appears to be intended to mimic the size and positioning of real United States postage stamps if the envelope had such stamps attached.

When I inquired with Boys Town about their mailings, they indicated that applying a few low-denomination postage stamps to their business reply envelopes boosted response rates sufficiently to more than cover the expense of the stamps, and that cinderella stamps or labels placed appropriately did the same thing. Considering that the use of preprinted images on business reply envelopes appears to be spreading to other charities, I can only conclude that someone has decided that those are just effective as either real stamps or cinderellas.

Purgatory Post commemorates Melvin Bridge

Earlier today, I received a copy of Purgatory Post’s newest local post issue, a 3-sola stamp picturing New Hampshire’s Melvin Bridge. The covered bridge was built around 1860 and stood for over a century.

Purgatory Post 3-sola stamp picturing Melvin Bridge
Purgatory Post Melvin Bridge stamp

Although this is the latest of Scott Abbot’s covered bridge stamps, it actually fills a gap in between two previously issued Purgatory Post stamps. Scott tells me that the state’s official list includes only bridges that are still standing, and the Melvin Bridge was burned by arsonists in 1965, so it was not until he recently located an old book with a complete list that he knew which bridge was #3. A stamp for bridge #11, which was previously omitted for the same reason, should also be forthcoming at a future date.

As you may have noticed, the denomination of this stamp and others in the series match the bridge numbers, so in spite of being issued out of order, this stamp will be easy to insert into the correct position in the series.

Muskogee first day cover a highlight of my collection

For most of us stamp collectors, there are certain items that we never expect to be able to add to our collections. The vast majority of us, for example, will never own an Inverted Jenny, or even one of the imperforate Bugs Bunny panes. We admire such items from afar, but our collections are made up mainly of common material.

You may be aware that the 14¢ American Indian stamp is near and dear to my heart. While I keep an eye out for solo uses and plate varieties of that stamp, I thought my first day cover postmarked in Washington, D.C., was probably the most expensive 14¢ piece that I would ever own. The other items of particular note listed in Scott have catalogue values that are simply out of my league. They were for all practical purposes in the same category as the Inverted Jenny: nice to look at, but not something I would ever own.

Last month, however, I had the opportunity to purchase a 14¢ American Indian FDC used in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the other first day city. I had to think about it for a while because although the asking price was well below catalogue value, it was also a lot more than I had ever paid for any stamp or cover. Ultimately, though, I decided to take the plunge, and here is my new acquisition in all its delightful glory.

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

This piece is without question a highlight of my collection, and one that is really only rivaled by the commercial solo usages of this stamp that I’ve acquired, and as you might imagine, I’m quite excited about it.

July Boys Town mailing features more hydrangea cinderella stamps

I wrote in March about receiving a nonprofit mailing from Boys Town that contained a business reply envelope bearing several copies of an interesting cinderella stamp picturing hydrangeas; in June, the envelope enclosed with another mailing had several stamp-sized designs printed on it.

This week, I received another Boys Town mailing, this one like the first having a business reply envelope with several self-adhesive cinderella stamps attached to it.

Boys Town business reply envelope bearing hydrangea cinderella stamps
Boys Town business reply envelope with hydrangea cinderella stamps

As you can see, the cinderellas or stickers on this envelope are different than the ones used on the first mailing in that the design is simpler, but there’s also something familiar about it. It appears to me that the newer labels use the same basic hydrangea artwork, but without having the appearance of a seed packet.

Boys Town cinderella stamp picturing hydrangea
Boys Town hydrangea cinderella stamp

I think that the cinderellas on the first envelope that I received earlier in the year are more attractive, but this is an interesting curio to tuck away in my collection. It’s not likely to ever have any particular value, but as I’ve observed previously, it seems like the sort of thing where not many are likely to be saved.

Louisiana seller offers Rosback perforator for 1¢

How would you like to own your very own antique Rosback pinhole perforator for just a penny? Someone could come away with just that with a seller in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering a full-size Rosback that appears to date from the 1930s with a starting bid of $0.01 or a buy-it-now price of $150.

That’s not to say that there wouldn’t be some additional costs involved even if you were the only bidder. For one thing, the seller is offering local pick-up only, so you would have to figure out a way to get the machine from Baton Rouge to wherever you are. In addition, this Rosback looks as though it has seen better days. At a minimum, you would have to build a new table, and to make use of the full width of the perforator, you would need to find some metal bars to hold down the pins along the right end. And I have no idea what condition the pins may be in.

I’m way too far from Baton Rouge to give this one any consideration, but I do hope someone puts in a bid with the idea of doing something creative with this machine, not just scrapping it for the metal value. It should be an interesting lot to watch.

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