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

Blog archives (August 2019)

Latest Boys Town cinderellas for the birds

I received Boys Town’s latest fundraising mailing today, and in addition to a 2020 planner and a couple of other booklets, the packet contained a business reply envelope bearing another new cinderella stamp, this one picturing three birds.

Boys Town business reply envelope bearing cinderella stamp picturing three birds
Boys Town business reply envelope with birds cinderella stamp

At first glance, this looks like three individual stamp-sized labels, but closer inspection reveals that what we’re actually seeing is a single horizontal label with three separate stamp-sized designs printed on it.

Boys Town cinderella stamp picturing three birds
Boys Town birds cinderella stamp

This is the latest addition to my growing collection of cinderella stamps applied to the organization’s business reply envelopes this year, and I must say that the potential of finding something like this inside does make me look forward to opening envelopes bearing the Boys Town logo or return address.

(I ended up with a spare copy of this cover that is now listed on my shop if you’re interested.)

St. Joseph’s Indian School uses preprinted images on reply envelopes

I’ve written several times this year about Boys Town mailings containing business reply envelopes bearing cinderella stamps or even preprinted pictures of approximately the same size as United States definitive stamps. St. Joseph’s Indian School of Chamberlain, South Dakota, appears to be adopting similar tactics as the business reply envelope included in a mailing that I received from that organization this week shows.

St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope featuring preprinted bird images
St. Joseph’s Indian School business reply envelope

This envelope has three identical copies of an image of a blue and yellow bird on a white background. (I’m no ornithologist, so I can’t comment on what type of bird is represented.) The design appears to be intended to mimic the size and positioning of real United States postage stamps if the envelope had such stamps attached.

When I inquired with Boys Town about their mailings, they indicated that applying a few low-denomination postage stamps to their business reply envelopes boosted response rates sufficiently to more than cover the expense of the stamps, and that cinderella stamps or labels placed appropriately did the same thing. Considering that the use of preprinted images on business reply envelopes appears to be spreading to other charities, I can only conclude that someone has decided that those are just effective as either real stamps or cinderellas.

Purgatory Post commemorates Melvin Bridge

Earlier today, I received a copy of Purgatory Post’s newest local post issue, a 3-sola stamp picturing New Hampshire’s Melvin Bridge. The covered bridge was built around 1860 and stood for over a century.

Purgatory Post 3-sola stamp picturing Melvin Bridge
Purgatory Post Melvin Bridge stamp

Although this is the latest of Scott Abbot’s covered bridge stamps, it actually fills a gap in between two previously issued Purgatory Post stamps. Scott tells me that the state’s official list includes only bridges that are still standing, and the Melvin Bridge was burned by arsonists in 1965, so it was not until he recently located an old book with a complete list that he knew which bridge was #3. A stamp for bridge #11, which was previously omitted for the same reason, should also be forthcoming at a future date.

As you may have noticed, the denomination of this stamp and others in the series match the bridge numbers, so in spite of being issued out of order, this stamp will be easy to insert into the correct position in the series.

Muskogee first day cover a highlight of my collection

For most of us stamp collectors, there are certain items that we never expect to be able to add to our collections. The vast majority of us, for example, will never own an Inverted Jenny, or even one of the imperforate Bugs Bunny panes. We admire such items from afar, but our collections are made up mainly of common material.

You may be aware that the 14¢ American Indian stamp is near and dear to my heart. While I keep an eye out for solo uses and plate varieties of that stamp, I thought my first day cover postmarked in Washington, D.C., was probably the most expensive 14¢ piece that I would ever own. The other items of particular note listed in Scott have catalogue values that are simply out of my league. They were for all practical purposes in the same category as the Inverted Jenny: nice to look at, but not something I would ever own.

Last month, however, I had the opportunity to purchase a 14¢ American Indian FDC used in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the other first day city. I had to think about it for a while because although the asking price was well below catalogue value, it was also a lot more than I had ever paid for any stamp or cover. Ultimately, though, I decided to take the plunge, and here is my new acquisition in all its delightful glory.

Front of first day cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian first day cover

This piece is without question a highlight of my collection, and one that is really only rivaled by the commercial solo usages of this stamp that I’ve acquired, and as you might imagine, I’m quite excited about it.