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

Philosateleian Blog

Magical world of mailboxes

Several months ago, I made mention of seeing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Roto-Gage accessory during a visit to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, with my wife. It was a pleasant surprise to find this piece of philatelic lore on display.

I was also impressed by the number and variety of mailboxes on the two Disney properties we visited. Leave it to a stamp collector to find such things interesting, I suppose. Here are the highlights.

Magic Kingdom

Disney’s Magic Kingdom is so full of colors and sounds that I wasn’t necessarily even looking for mailboxes, but this one on Main Street was too cool to pass up.

Green antique mailbox on Disney World's Magic Kingdom's Main Street
Mailbox on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street

According to the placard pictured below, Disney staff collect any mail deposited in the box, which is on loan from the U.S. Postal Service, and make sure it reaches the regular mailstream.

Label indicating Disney staff collect any mail deposited in mailbox
“It’s not just for show…”

Unfortunately, I had no stamps with me—an oversight that I’ll have to ensure doesn’t happen again—so I couldn’t test the service.

Hollywood Studios

During our visit to Hollywood Studios the next day, mailboxes seemed to be in even greater supply. We spotted a deep blue example with the old U.S. Mail logo on the side, and a two-tone red and blue piece that also said U.S. Mail in sans-serif font without any logo at all.

Blue mailbox at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Blue mailbox at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Red & blue mailbox at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Red & blue mailbox at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

Both of these mailboxes were in an area designed to look like a movie set. Given that the “buildings” along this street were fake with non-opening doors, it only makes sense that the boxes would be, too.

Finally, we saw this drab olive beauty.

Olive mailbox at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Olive mailbox at Disney World’s Hollywood Studios

This box with “U.S. Mail” and “Relay Mail” on the side is not a mailbox you would put a letter in even if it was functional. As noted by Karina Chapman in her blog post titled “Relay Mail boxes: US postal history found on a walk in town,” mail carriers in the city use drab-colored relay mailboxes like these to temporarily store letters and packages, either so they don’t have to lug around everything on their route, or so another carrier who’s coming along can help distribute it. These boxes are apparently becoming less and less common, which made seeing one a special treat.


I was not expecting to see such a wide sampling of mailboxes at Disney World, and who knows—I may have missed a few. Still, it was definitely a philatelic treat in an unexpected location.

George Washington letter sells for nearly $1.5 million

It’s not often that the sale of an old letter makes the mainstream news. An exception was made for a letter sold last week, however.

According to reports, Christie’s sold the letter written by George Washington in 1788 for almost $1.5 million. In the letter, the first U.S. President explained to the addressee his support for the then unratified Constitution.

This news blurb was not stamp-related per se, and the only reason the sale was noted at all by a major media outlet was because of the letter’s connection to George Washington. Nevertheless, there is a philatelic tie-in in that there would be no stamps, and no stamp collecting, without letters.

Summer 2013 update for The Philosateleian

I have some great news this morning for users of The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album. The Summer 2013 Supplement (103 KB, 2 files, 8 pages) is now ready for you to download, print, and add to your stamp album!

This new supplement includes spaces for the newest United States postage stamps, and as always, it is absolutely free; all you need is a printer and a few pieces of paper. Download the supplement now, and happy collecting!

Reasons for a theme

In the May issue of the Philosateleian Post Horn, I asked, “What topical collections do you have? And what are your reasons for collecting those themes?”

Longtime reader Marion R. quickly responded with her thoughts:

My interests range from animal rights to mental health on stamps, cinderellas, slogan postmarks, and covers. The topics I collect relate both to my profession as a licensed psychologist as well as to my work as an animal rights activist.

Other topics I collect are naval covers from ships my father-in-law served on, Titanic, tall ships, holidays, local post covers, New Jersey, dogs, cats, parrots (I live with a large flock of birds), and more.

Topical or thematic collecting is a great way to bring together non-philatelic interests with philately.

I certainly agree with that statement. As I mentioned in the Post Horn, I collect landscape stamps because I enjoy seeing different natural sites from around the world that I don’t necessarily have the opportunity to visit in person.

How about you? What drives you to collect a particular topic or themes?

APS gets chance to raise extra cash

According to an e-mail message distributed by the American Culinary Federation this morning, the philatelic organization has a chance to raise some extra cash today and tomorrow.

The Centre Foundation, which provides assistance to charities in the county in which the APS headquarters is located, is offering to match donations made by 6 p.m. ET on Thursday.

To qualify for matching funds, donations must be at least $25. If you are interested in giving, see the Centre Foundation’s APS donation page.

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