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

Blog archives (July 2020)

Adanaland miniature sheet inspired by Night Mail

I’ve mentioned Adanaland stamps here in the past, but not, apparently, in over four years, my last write-up being on Adanaland’s souvenir sheet produced for the British Printing Society’s 2016 annual convention. It is therefore with great pleasure that I’m able to share scans of Adanaland originator Alan B.’s latest creations.

The first of these is a miniature sheet that Alan reports is based on Night Mail, a 1936 documentary about the postal train that then ran between London, England, and Glasgow, Scotland, on a nightly basis, as well as the postal staff who worked aboard the train. The sheet contains four stamps picturing a mail carrier, a pair of 2-pence stamps and a pair of 3-pence stamps, with each value appearing in two different colors.

Adanaland miniature sheet containing four 2-pence or 3-pence Night Train stamps
Adanaland Night Train miniature sheet

The 2-pence stamps bear the text, “Letters of thanks / Letters from banks / Letters of joy / From the girl / and the boy”; the 3-pence stamps, “And none will hear the postman’s knock / Without a quickening of the heart.”

The design “was set completely with [6-point] moveable type,” writes Alan. “The color scheme was evolved rather than planned but I like the effect.”

The second of Alan’s new creations is a label picturing a postboy on horseback with the numeral “3.” This label bears no indication of its place of origin, but Alan confirms that it is one of his productions.

Adanaland postboy label
Adanaland postboy label

Adanaland stamps are very interesting in that Alan prints them on a letterpress, whereas most modern stamps are created using a computer. (I use my computer to design my own Philosateleian Post stamps.) An argument might be made that they’re fantasy stamps rather than local post stamps since Alan does not generally use them on his outgoing mail, but I prefer to think of them as locals, and am always pleased to add such high-quality work to my collection.

Philosateleian Post postmark format revised

Today, June 20, 2020, Philosateleian Post began using a new format for the postmark used on outgoing mail.

The old format included the date in two-digit year/month/day format with the word words “PHILOSATELEIAN” and “POST” above and below the date, respectively. In contrast, the new format wraps “PHILOSATELEIAN POST” around the top of the postmark with the word “LOCAL” in the middle, and the full date in four-digit year/month/day format at the bottom.

Philosateleian Post postmark with “PHILOSATELEIAN POST” at top of postmark, “LOCAL” at center, and full date at bottom
Updated Philosateleian Post postmark

I have been wanting to go this route for several years, but was not able to find a date stamp manufacturer who could supply this particular format. The center portion of the round stamper in the do-it-yourself rubber stamp kit that I used to create my Philosateleian Post postmark is not quite wide enough for the full date as shown here, so I had been using a two-digit year, but that left some postmark dates ambiguous to recipients not familiar with my convention.

With the date moved from the center, I had some space available, and chose to insert “LOCAL” to clarify the nature of Philosateleian Post. Overall, I’m satisified with the result.

Purgatory Post issues Falcon 9/Crew Dragon local post stamp

Purgatory Post, a private local post based in New Hampshire, earlier this month issued a stamp commemorating the first manned flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 spacecraft and its associated Crew Dragon capsule. The 9-sola stamp was released on July 6.

Purgatory Post 9-sola stamp picturing Falcon 9 & Crew Dragon
Purgatory Post 9-sola Falcon 9/Crew Dragon stamp

NASA and SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon, which flew to the International Space Station, in May of this year. It was the first manned spaceflight originating from United States soil since the final mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2011.

The design of the new stamp is based on an artist’s rendition of the spacecraft in flight. As is generally the case with Purgatory Post issues, the Falcon 9/Crew Dragon stamp was released in miniature sheets of four.

Philatelic solo usages of 14¢ American Indian stamp

As I continue to work my way through writing up a backlog of 14¢ American Indian covers that I had acquired over the past two or three years, I’ve added two new articles to my online exhibit 14 Cents: the American Indian Stamp. Both are examples of solo usages of the stamp, but both are also very much philatelic in nature.

The first of the two covers has a cachet celebrating the Oklahoma Silver Jubilee held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1932. The second, from 1934, notes the 130th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, specifically commemorating Sacagawea.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and Oklahoma Silver Jubilee cachet
14¢ American Indian cover with Oklahoma Silver Jubilee cachet
Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and Lewis & Clark Expedition/Sacagawea cachet
14¢ American Indian cover with Lewis & Clark Expedition/Sacagawea cachet

In today’s world, the use of the 14¢ American Indian stamp with its picture of Hollow Horn Bear, a Brule Sioux, on covers having absolutely no connection to his tribe might be frowned upon. In the 1930s, however, the stamp seems to have been a popular choice for paying postage on any cover even remotely connected to Native Americans, probably because of the generic “American Indian” caption beneath Hollow Horn Bear’s portrait.

Writing up 14¢ American Indian stamps & covers once again

As I mentioned in a prior blog post, I recently discovered tucked away in my binder of 14¢ American Indian stamps no fewer than eight covers and parcel fragments that I had acquired over the past two or three years but never gotten around to researching. I filed those away, and at long last, I’ve finally begun writing up that material for my online exhibit, 14 Cents: the American Indian Stamp.

The first two items that I’ve added are parcel fragments addressed to the Navy Department’s Bureau of Navigation. One was mailed from on board the USS Marblehead; the other, from the USS Maryland.

Front of parcel fragment bearing 1-cent Benjamin Franklin stamp and 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian parcel fragment mailed from USS Marblehead
Front of parcel fragment bearing 1-cent Benjamin Franklin stamp and 14-cent American Indian stamp
14¢ American Indian parcel fragment mailed from USS Maryland

In both cases, the 14¢ American Indian stamp appears to have paid the majority of the 15¢ registration fee, which was not part of the “free” mailing privileges indicated by the handstamped or typewritten penalty statements.

I presume both packages would have contained navigational records or research of some sort, but if you have specifics on what might have been enclosed, I would certainly like to know more!