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

Blog archives (July 2022)

Purgatory Post commemorates Lady of the Lake

New Hampshire-based Purgatory Post on July 7 issued the second in a series of stamps picturing steamboats that have traversed the Granite State’s Lake Winnipesaukee. The stamp featuring a red frame with black vignette pictures Lady of the Lake, which began transporting travelers in 1849.

Purgatory Post 2-sola stamp picturing Lady of the Lake
Purgatory Post 2-sola Lady of the Lake stamp

Lady of the Lake succeeded the short-lived Belknap and was the main mode of transportation around Lake Winnipesaukee until 1872 when a larger and faster ship, the Mount Washington, began operating.1 After another two decades, Lady of the Lake was mothballed in 1893 and eventually intentionally sunk in 1895.

According to Purgatory Post operator Scott Abbot, the remains of Lady of the Lake are remarkably well preserved and are a popular dive site, just like the wreck of the earlier Belknap.


  1. Strahan, Derek. SS Lady of the Lake. Lost New England. 14 July 2015. Accessed 31 July 2022.

Helen Keller returns to nonprofit’s business reply envelopes

Almost exactly one year ago, I wrote about a business reply envelope that I’d received from Helen Keller International. The envelope had two preprinted stamp-sized designs picturing the nonprofit’s eponym.

Earlier this week, I received another mailing from the organization, and it contained another BRE that reuses the imagery from last year’s mailing.

Helen Keller International business reply envelope with two preprinted stamp-sized images of Helen Keller
Helen Keller International business reply envelope

The images on this year’s business reply envelope are not exactly the same as those on last year’s envelope, however. Last year, one of the images bore the text “Happy Birthday,” and the other read “Helen Keller.” In contrast, the images on the envelope I received this week include no text at all.

Bermagui Local Post issues bird stamps

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the March 1 launch of a new local post in New South Wales, Australia: Bermagui Local Post, operated by one Miro J. New local posts don’t pop up every day, so I’m always happy to welcome a new entrant in that quarter of our hobby.

On June 15, Bermagui Local Post issued its second set of stamps, a strip of three designs picturing birds. The stamps were issued in 20¢, 40¢, and 80¢ values.

Bermagui Local Post 20¢, 40¢, and 80¢ bird stamps
Bermagui Local Post bird stamps

The cancellations used on this postcard appear to be based on the design of the new 80¢ stamp.

I’m no ornithologist, so I can’t tell you what each of the birds pictured is. Perhaps one of my faithful readers can help us out?

American Indian rides along with Buffalo Bill Cody

It was only a month ago that I posted my writeup of a commercial solo use of the 14¢ American Indian stamp on a “souvenir cocoanut” mailing label from the 1920s. Interestingly enough, I just acquired another example of the stamp doing solo duty, this one on an entirely philatelic cover.

The envelope postmarked in Golden, Colorado, in February 1935 features a cachet commemorating the 90th anniversary of Buffalo Bill Cody’s birth.

Front of cover bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and Buffalo Bill Cody cachet
14¢ American Indian cover with Buffalo Bill Cody cachet

While the subjects of most contrived covers bearing the 14¢ American Indian stamp have little to no relation to the subject of the stamp, Hollow Horn Bear, there is an indirect connection between Hollow Horn Bear and Buffalo Bill Cody, and you’ve probably heard of that connection: George Armstrong Custer. I explain in greater detail in my writeup on the Buffalo Bill cover.

My 14¢ American Indian collection now contains nearly 20 solo use examples of the stamp on cover, parcel tag, or label, with roughly half of them being commercial in nature and the other half (including first day covers) being philatelic in nature. We’ll see how many more I can track down!

Bat’s Private Post celebrates Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee

Queen Elizabeth II this year is celebrating her platinum jubilee, and Bat’s Private Post in Beverly Hills, California, is honoring the British monarch with a set of five commemorative local post stamps issued May 2, 2022.

The 5¢, 63¢, and $1.35 stamps picture Queen Elizabeth at different stages of her life. The 10¢ stamp pictures the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, and the $5 stamp pictures the flag of the state of California with a miniaturized version of Queen Elizabeth’s personal standard near the upper right corner of the flag.

Bat’s Private Post Platinum Jubilee stamps
Bat’s Private Post Platinum Jubilee stamps

All five stamps were released both perforated and imperforate (with printed pseudo-perforations).

For more information about the Platinum Jubilee stamps, you can write to:

Bat’s Private Post
PO Box 11175
Beverly Hills CA 90213-4175
United States of America