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

Philosateleian Blog

Stamps on trains

At first glance, you might think the title of this post is wrong. This is, after all, a blog about stamps and stamp collecting, so surely I mean trains on stamps?

That is a reasonable guess. And it’s wrong. Let me explain.

My family and I last month visited the Texas Transportation Museum here in San Antonio. In addition to having a couple of old diesel locomotives and a few pieces of rolling stock, the museum has a large building full of old cars, posters, and model trains, including a nicely done HO scale layout running the length of one wall. It was there that I saw my very first stamp on a train since one of the boxcars in the layout bears an image of the 34¢ Greetings from New York stamp from the 2002 Greetings from America sheet.

HO scale boxcar with design of 34¢ Greetings from New York stamp on side
Greetings from New York stamp boxcar

Although it’s not something I’ve ever pursued, model railroading is a hobby that has always held a certain amount of attraction for me. That’s more than likely because my granddad would take me down to his basement when I was a kid and show me his model train setup. It’s a nostalgia thing, and something that I connect with him.

Add stamps to the mix, and I feel a sudden urge to put on a conductor’s cap and start laying track. It may be a good thing that I don’t have room to do so! Anyway, this just goes to show that you can find stamps in unexpected places.

A phoenix, lions, and a king

If you’ve been reading my blog for very long at all, you know my main philatelic interests: the 14¢ American Indian stamp, natural landscapes, and United States postage stamps in general. For the most part, my collecting activities are focused in one of those three areas.

Every once in a while, however, I run across an item that does not fit into any of my collections but still grabs my attention. Such is one of my acquisitions from the Texas Stamp Dealers Association’s San Antonio bourse last month: a 30¢ bicolored stamp issued by Hong Kong on August 29, 1946. This stamp and a $1 companion using the same design were the first postage stamps issued in Hong Kong following World War II.

30¢ Hong Kong stamp picturing King George VI with a pair of lions and a phoenix
Hong Kong 30¢ Peace stamp

We’ve got royalty (in the form of King George VI)! We’ve got lions! We’ve got a phoenix rising from the flames! I get the feeling that if there had been room for a dragon, the designers probably would have included that, too. It’s all rendered in a delightful blue and red that are in my opinion more visually appealing than the colors used for the stamp’s higher value sibling.

This is one beautiful stamp, wouldn’t you agree? And am I alone here, or do you also find yourself occasionally straying from your normal collecting areas if something really catches your eye?

Summer 2019 update for The Philosateleian

I’m happy to announce today that the Summer 2019 Supplement (81.2 KB, 1 file, 8 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is now available for your to download and print.

This is a fairly straightforward update containing only a single file that itself contains only eight pages. They provide spaces for all of the United States stamps issued from March–May. Some of those stamps are showing up on incoming mail, so unless you’re on the annual update track, you’ll want to be sure to print this update for your album.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions about the pages, and happy collecting!

Purgatory Post commemorates Apollo 10 anniversary

Purgatory Post earlier this month commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 10 mission with a pair of 10-sola stamps, the latest in its long-running series honoring major spaceflight anniversaries.

The first of the two stamps from the New Hampshire-based local post pictures crew members Thomas Stafford, John Young, and Gene Cernan along with the mission’s launch. The second stamp includes a picture of the lunar module Snoopy and the Apollo 10 mission patch.

Pair of 10-sola Purgatory Post Apollo 10 stamps picturing crew, spacecraft, lunar module, and mission patch
Purgatory Post Apollo 10 stamps

The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the first moon landing is coming up in July, and we can expect Purgatory Post to commemorate that then.

Philosateleian Post Grand Canyon FDC arrives

I admit it: I’ve been frightfully bad about posting new content here over the past couple of months. As I think I’ve probably written previously, life has a way of getting in the way of stamp collecting, but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things here.

This evening, I figured I would show you an image of a Philosateleian Post Grand Canyon National Park Centennial first day cover that I sent to myself earlier this month:

First day cover bearing copy of Philosateleian Post Grand Canyon National Park Centennial local post stamp
Grand Canyon National Park Centennial FDC

The cover got the usual blurry inkjet cancellation, but except for a couple of small scrapes—one across the sky near the top left of the stamp, and the other across the denomination at lower right—my stamp survived unscathed. I’ve seen a lot worse, believe me.

I have plenty more to write about, and a stamp album update to prepare, so stay tuned!

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