As we reach the end of 2009, I want to say “thank you” for reading along over the past few months. Making regular blog posts has proved to be more of a challenge than I anticipated, but I look forward to sharing more interesting items and answering your questions in the future.
I also want to thank Philosateleia’s supporters who have contributed stamps, postcards, and words of encouragement this year.
The USPS is still looking at closing post offices, but there’s a good chance yours is no longer on the list.
Back in August I wrote that nearly 700 post offices across the U.S. could be shut down to save money. Officials later shortened that list to just 241, and this week they announced less than 170 branches are still potentially on the chopping block.
California and Ohio could each lose as many as 25 post offices, according to the latest list [PDF]. Smaller numbers of offices remain under review in other states.
There’s still no word when a final decision will be made on which post offices will close their doors.
One of the most exciting aspects of this update is the addition of pages for the popular hunting permit or “duck” stamps. If you don’t collect those stamps, there’s no need to print the pages for them, but the pages are there if you need them.
USPS still considering shuttering dozens of offices
A few months ago I wrote about the United States Postal Service’s study of more than 700 post offices that could be closed in an effort to cut costs. That number has now been pruned to 241, and further changes to the list of offices under review [PDF] are not out of the question.
Closing a post office branch is tricky business since there will invariably be people who regularly use that branch who don’t want to have to go elsewhere. You have to figure some of the offices on the original list are not on the updated list because someone complained to their representative in Congress.
At the same time, the USPS ended fiscal year 2009 with a $3.8 billion loss. The really scary part? Officials are predicting a $7.8 billion loss next year. The USPS recently explained the reasons for all the red ink.
With its financial problems, the USPS might seem like a prime candidate for bankruptcy. The agency does have close ties to the federal government, however, and employs 650,000 Americans. With that sort of impact on the economy, is it possible the feds might consider it “too big to fail”?
Last month I made a trip to Wisconsin, and while browsing in a thrift store I found an old stamp album. All the stamps had been removed, but the album did contain a folded sheet of 48 poster stamps, or cinderellas as they’re known in the stamp collecting world, honoring U.S. states.
These were apparently produced before 1959 since that’s the year Alaska and Hawaii achieved statehood. Based on the population figures printed on the stamps, and historical census data, I think 1930s or 1940s is a reasonable guess.
The stamps are printed in four different colors: green, brown, blue, and red. On the back of each stamp is printed the phrase, “Compliments of The House of Seagram.” The front of each stamp includes the phrase “America’s Finest,” a state’s name and a picture of its capitol building, and the state’s population.
I don’t know what the story is behind these poster stamps, but they’re a nice looking set!
What are they worth?
I saw a sheet of these sold last year for the equivalent of about US$40. Unfortunately the sheet I found has some creases and wrinkles and lacks selvage (the paper around the edges of a sheet of stamps) and probably wouldn’t be worth quite that much, but it’s still an interesting piece.
Have you seen these poster stamps before? Can you add any details about when or why they were produced?