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

Blog archives (December 2020)

By sea, by air, by sea, by air: a 14¢ American Indian solo usage

One of the most recent additions to my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover is a cover mailed from Hawaii to Germany in 1935. The envelope was postmarked in Honolulu on April 16, 1935, and dispatched from there to Berlin.

Front of cover mailed from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Berlin, Germany, with 14¢ American Indian stamp paying postage
14¢ American Indian cover mailed from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Berlin, Germany

As I imagine you’re aware, examples of the 14¢ American Indian stamp used by itself are few and far between. 14¢ simply wasn’t a common postage rate during the time the stamp was in use, and it took me a bit of time to track down exactly why that particular rate applied in this case. I did, however, eventually find the answer in U.S. International Postal Rates, 1872–1996 by Harry Beecher and Anthony Wawrukiewicz.

Beginning in 1934, the rate for a one-ounce leetter by air within the continental United States plus surface transportation to international destinations was 8¢. That amount paid for surface transportation from Hawaii, which was still a territory at that time, to the mainland; airmail across the United States to New York City; and then surface transportation again from New York to Europe.

From there, a 3¢ per half ounce surcharge was in effect for letters carried by air from France to other points within Europe. Multiply that by two for a letter weighing between a half ounce and one ounce, and you get 6¢, the remaining amount of postage paid.

In summary, 8¢ postage paid for transportation by ship from Hawaii to the mainland United States, by airplane across the country, and by ship from New York to France, and 6¢ paid for transportation by airplane from France to Germany. This is really an exceptional usage of the stamp.

Purgatory Post issues Crew-1 stamps

On December 1, New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post issued a pair of 1-sola stamps commemorating the successful launch of Crew-1, SpaceX’s first crewed non-test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft. Resilience lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on November 15, and the four astronauts safely reached the International Space Station, where they are scheduled to remain for several months.

The first of the stamps pictures astronauts Michael Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover along with a photo of their spacecraft’s launch. The second stamp features a photo of Resilience along with the mission patch.

1-sola stamps picturing Crew-1 astronauts and spacecraft
Purgatory Post Crew-1 stamps

Purgatory Post operator Scott A. has a keen interest in spaceflight and has issued numerous stamps commemorating significant anniversaries and events in the space program. With two Apollo anniversaries coming up next year and other missions also planned for 2021, we can expect to see more space-related Purgatory Post stamps in the near future.

Winter 2020 update for The Philosateleian

We’re into the final month of 2020, and I’m happy to report that the Winter 2020 Supplement (403 KB, 1 file, 2 pages) for The Philosateleian U.S. Stamp Album is now online and ready for you to download and print at your convenience. The United States Postal Service has not issued a huge number of new stamps since the beginning of September, so this is a small update that adds only two pages.

If you’re using The Philosateleian’s annual update track instead of the standard quarterly update track, I intend to have a set of pages containing spaces for all stamps issued in 2020 (including those from any series started prior to 2020) available in early January 2021.

Thank you for your support!