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

Philosateleian Blog

Unofficial use of official stamps

In over 15 years of collecting stamps, I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of official mail stamps I’ve seen used on commercial mail. This example was delivered to my place of employment earlier this week.

Cover bearing a pair of 41-cent official mail stamps
Official Mail Stamps on Cover

The USPS sells official mail stamps directly to collectors, so they’re easy to come by in mint condition. On cover, however, they are far from common. I doubt most that are used ever reach the philatelic market.

As shown in the scan, this pair of stamps was canceled with a marker instead of a postmark, which would have made the piece far more desirable. Nevertheless, I strongly suspect this would qualify as an improper use of official mail stamps, as one would be hard pressed to argue the contents of the envelope involved government business.

Do you collect official mail stamps? If so, how do you acquire them?

Thanksgiving treat

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and soon those of us here in the U.S. will be enjoying turkey and all the fixin’s—and, of course, giving thanks to God for the wonderful blessings He provides us.

I presume you’ll be spending time with family, so I wanted to present a Thanksgiving treat a couple of days early. It’s a late usage of the 14¢ American Indian stamp on cover.

This is the last of my flat plate printed American Indian stamps on cover. After Thanksgiving, I’ll tackle examples of the rotary press stamps, then move on to the Canal Zone issues.

Happy Thanksgiving!

A pair of pairs on cover

Thanks to the support and encouragement of my loving wife, I’ve been able to make quite a bit of headway on the 14 Cents: the American Indian Stamp exhibit. I have two more covers to share with you from that collection.

First is a cover flown on FAM 9’s first flight from the Canal Zone to Peru in 1929. The cover technically flew from Miami to the Canal Zone before being carried on to Peru.

Second is a cover flown on the Hindenburg in 1936, less than a year before the Hindenburg’s spectacular destruction in a fire in New Jersey. It was mailed from Virginia to Sweden in 1936.

One interesting thing is that each of these covers bear two American Indian stamps. The FAM 9 cover has a vertical pair, while the Hindenburg cover has two singles. In my experience, finding multiples of the 14¢ on cover is not common.

I still have to write up one more example of the flat plate printed American Indian stamp, and then I’ll be moving on to the rotary press printing. Any suggestions on how I can make the exhibit better? Leave me a note.

Paulovian postage

If you collect modern local post stamps—or if you’re just looking for something a little outside the mainstream—you might find it worthwhile to visit the Paulovia Philatelic Bureau. Paulovia is a so-called micronation, and its philatelic bureau sells “stamps” its creator has prepared.

Paulovia’s first stamp was apparently issued in 2006, and if the bureau’s website is complete, the entity appears to have a reasonably conservative stamp issuing policy at least to this point.

It’s always fun for me to see what other local posters have done. Don’t forget that Philosateleian Post recently announced its 2011 stamp program; you can add those new issues to your own collection.

Have you produced any local post stamps?

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