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

Blog archives (April 2010)

New Philosateleian Post stamp pictures Georgia lake

As the proprietor of Philosateleian Post, I’m pleased to announce the upcoming release of my newest local post stamp.

Local post stamp picturing Carters Lake
Carters Lake, Georgia

Carters Lake is nestled amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia, and the new stamp’s design is based on an early-morning photo of that body of water. The design measures 1 square inch in size, and like all other Philosateleian Post stamps is issued in the 1 stamp denomination.

The Carters Lake stamp’s scheduled issue date is May 3.

You can obtain a copy of the stamp for your own collection at no charge by sending a self-addressed envelope or postcard with correct U.S. postage affixed to:

Kevin Blackston
Philosateleian Post
PO Box 57622
Jacksonville FL 32241-7622

I’ll affix one of the new stamps to the cover and mail it to you.

If you’re interested in local post stamps, you might wish to join the Local Post Collectors Society, of which I am a member. Dues are a very reasonable $20/year for U.S. members and $25/year for those living outside the U.S.

Have you ever made your own “stamps”? What subject(s) did you feature?

Making The Philosateleian your own

Here’s a quick tip if you use The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album: you can add pages to it to give it your own twist. Here’s how.

The easiest way is to download my blank page templates. These pages use the same border as my prepared pages, but otherwise they’re totally blank, giving you complete freedom to add any blocks, covers, or related ephemera you like to your album.

Another option is to download the ODT files and fire up You can modify my files, or use them as templates to create your own completely new pages.

I’m considering preparing additional pages to house various back of book items, and I’m open to ideas. What BOB areas would you most like to see covered?

Chinatown stamps preceded modern personalized postage

It was only a few years ago that the USPS granted companies permission to begin selling “personalized” postage, stamps bearing photos of the buyer, his or her family, or a beloved pet. Precursors to those personalized postage stamps date back to the 19th century, however, and examples of such early cinderellas, stamp-like labels with no postal value, turn up even today.

Here we have a sheetlet of 16 labels picturing Chinatown in San Francisco. They are approximately perf. 14.

Sheetlet of 16 stamps depicting Chinatown
Chinatown Photo Stamps

Each label bears one of these captions:

  • Statue of Sun-Yat-Sen
  • Sing Chong Co., San Francisco
  • Bulletin of latest news
  • Chinese Phone Exch., San Francisco
  • Chinese roses
  • Latest news, Chinatown
  • Chinese Phone Exch., San Francisco
  • Chinese children, San Francisco
  • Chinese professor
  • Street scene at night
  • Chinatown, San Francisco
  • Strolling in Chinatown
  • Interior, Tin How Temple
  • A prospective citizen
  • Chinatown, Grant Ave.
  • Chinatown, San Francisco, Calif.

The exact date of issue is unclear, but since automobiles are depicted on no less than five of the stamps, I presume they were probably produced in the 1920s or 1930s, perhaps a bit later than that. If you’re familiar with automobiles from that time period and care to hazard a guess, please feel free.

This set of labels was apparently sold for a dime. The envelope in which they came bears the imprint “Gumling Importing Co., San Francisco, Calif.” My Internet searches indicate this company was in existence at least as late as 1940, but I haven’t found any current references to it.

Envelope in which photo stamps were sold
Chinatown Photo Stamps Envelope

The envelope is boldly labeled “18 photographs…gummed and perforated,” which would make one think a couple are missing. An insert in the envelope, however, says it contains “a series of 16 Photo-Stamps,” so perhaps the two affixed to the envelope were counted among the 18, or perhaps they were originally enclosed in the envelope along with the others.

The insert has room for an address, and the wording makes it clear the whole assembly was designed to be mailed to a friend.

Front of insert accompanying photo stamps
Front of Insert from Envelope

The back of the insert offers 100 ¾×1 inch gummed and perforated stamps—“photographic copies of the picture you give us”—for $1. The copyright imprint reads “Apeda Studio, Inc., New York.” That company was apparently better known for its images of actors and actresses on Broadway, along with other photography-related endeavors.

Back of insert accompanying photo stamps
Reverse of Insert from Envelope

The front of the slip of paper seems to suggest similar “stamps” were available for other cities. Have you seen these before, or do you have similar examples picturing other scenes?