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

Blog archives (May 2021)

American flags grace DAV business reply cover

I admit it. When visiting my local post office to check my box there, I will glance into the blue recycling bins into which customers can discard their junk mail, and occasionally engage in a bit of “dumpster diving” if something catches my eye. Such was the case today when I spotted this Disabled American Veterans business reply envelope with three identical American flag “stamps” printed on it.

Disabled American Veterans business reply envelope with three pre-printed American flag “stamp” designs
Disabled American Veteransl business reply envelope

These pre-printed faux “stamps” have no wording or denominations, but each has a border of simulated “perforations” printed around it. If they were actual labels, that would be even better, but it’s still interesting and still the first one of these envelopes I’ve seen in a number of weeks.

I imagine most of these probably end up discarded with a few returned to DAV and other organizations that make use of such business reply envelopes, but how many are being saved for stamp collections? I would guess not many, and although I wouldn’t necessarily call this cover a “treasure,” I think it’s something more than trash.

Purgatory Post celebrates 20th anniversary

New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post earlier this month celebrated its 20th anniversary of operation with the issuance of a single stamp picturing a small waterfall on Tucker Brook in Milford, New Hampshire. The 20-sola design was released on May 4.

20-sola Purgatory Post stamp picturing Tucker Brook in Milford, New Hampshire
Purgatory Post Tucker Brook stamp

This stamp will, of course, fit nicely into my landscapes collection. I just need to find the time to make a page for it so I can add it to my albums!

As indicated by the number inscribed at the bottom center of the stamp, this is Purgatory Post’s 233rd stamp issue. As a point of comparison, my own Philosateleian Post, which I started in 2004, has issued only 40 stamps during its history.

While there have been many private local posts operated in the United States since the middle of the twentieth century, few have been as long-lasting or prolific as Purgatory Post, and I extend hearty congratulations to operator Scott A. for keeping his operation going for two decades.

14¢ American Indian cover features Indian River postmark

The newest addition to my collection of covers bearing the 14¢ American Indian stamp is just as philatelic as they come. It’s an event cover commemorating the dedication of the Calvin Campbell Airport in Michigan, and it was postmarked in Indian River, Michigan, on August 24, 1936.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and postmarked in Indian River, Michigan
14¢ American Indian cover postmarked in Indian River, Michigan

While the 14¢ American Indian saw plenty of legitimate commercial use while in service, albeit relatively little solo usage, the stamp seems to have been a popular choice for collectors preparing covers with even the most remote connections to Native Americans.

The Indian River postmark with this stamp, although entirely philatelic, is nice enough in and of itself, but also of note is that the stamp on this cover shows what I think could be evidence of a double transfer.

Note the presence of a faint apparent curve through the tops of the “ATES” in “STATES,” as well as an extraneous curve or scratch near the bottom of the “D” in “UNITED.” When I first noticed this, I thought I might be seeing visual artifacts in my scan, but I went back and checked the stamp using a 10× magnifier, and the extra marks are actually present.

Detail of 14¢ American Indian stamp showing traces of possible double transfer in “UNITED STATES” lettering
Detail of possible 14¢ American Indian double transfer

This is the first time I’ve personally seen this variety, but now that I know it exists, I’ll be on the lookout for potential additional examples.