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

Blog archives (January 2024)

Parcel fragment shows unusual use of American Indian stamp

I recently had the opportunity to acquire an unusual example for my collection of 14¢ American Indian stamps on cover. It’s a solo use of the stamp on a parcel fragment mailed from Summerville, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida—coincidentally, my old stomping grounds—in 1937.

Parcel fragment bearing 14-cent American Indian stamp and postmarked in Summerville, South Carolina
14¢ American Indian parcel fragment postmarked in Summerville, South Carolina

Although there was a 14¢ parcel post rate in effect in 1937, it was for items mailed over longer distances than the distance between Summerville and Jacksonville, so how do we explain the use of the American Indian stamp by itself here? The answer lies in the inverted “Insured” marking handstamped below the mailing address.

While the parcel post zone 3 rate—that is, the rate for a mailing traveling 150–300 miles—for a package weighing up to one pound was only 9¢ in 1937, the insurance fee for up to $5 in coverage was 5¢. Add those two numbers together, and you get exactly 14¢, the face value of the American Indian stamp.

(As an aside, the addressee may have had a very indirect connection to the motion picture industry. You can read more in my detailed write-up on the piece.)

This strikes me as an unlikely way to get to a solo use of the 14¢ American Indian, and I suspect I would be hard pressed to find another, so I’m very pleased to have added this to my collection.

Como Park Post issues embossed 3¢ local post stamp

The first local post stamps of 2024 are already arriving in my mailbox, and the first of those I have to share with you is a new 3¢ stamp from Minnesota’s Como Park Post. The stamp was issued January 3.

A progressive proof shows the three stages of production required for this stamp. First, a frame bearing the letters “CPP” is printed; second, a solid purple oval is printed to serve as the vignette; and finally, a “3” is embossed in the center of the vignette.

3¢ Como Park Post stamps
Como Park Post 3¢ stamp proofs

Since the Saint Paul-based local post’s operator, Tom B., carves his own printing blocks, I can only assume those three steps have to be carried out for each and every stamp. That would be quite an involved process, and it demonstrates Tom’s dedication to his craft.

Hollywood Sign featured on pair of California local post stamps

I thought the Rocking Horse Farm Local Post stamp I mentioned last week might have been the last local post stamp issued in 2023, but I recently received a new claimant to that throne. Two of them, actually: a pair of stamps from Bat’s Private Post celebrating the centennial of the famous Hollywood Sign. The stamps were issued December 29, 2023.

10¢ & 78¢ Bat’s Private Post Hollywood Sign stamps
Bat’s Private Post Hollywood Sign stamps

The Hollywood Sign was erected in December 1923 to publicize a real estate project known as Hollywoodland. Roughly a quarter century later, the “land” was lopped off the end to make the sign match the name of the nearby community of Hollywood.

Both stamps are die cut. The 10¢ value pays Bat’s Private Post’s fee to transport a letter to the United States Postal Service, while the 78¢ value pays for the Beverly Hills-based local post’s transport fee plus United States postage.

American Heart Association envelope reuses heart design

My first significant nonprofit mailing of 2024 comes from the American Heart Association, and it features the reuse of imagery first seen on the business reply envelope included in a February 2023 mailing.

The envelope I received last week bears three stamp-sized copies of a preprinted heart-on-heart design.

American Heart Association cover with three stamp-sized designs picturing hearts
American Heart Association cover with stamp-sized designs picturing hearts

And the business reply envelope enclosed in the outer cover has five copies of the same image printed on it.

American Heart Association business reply envelope with five stamp-sized designs picturing hearts
American Heart Association business reply envelope with stamp-sized designs picturing hearts

As I mentioned, I first saw the heart-on-heart design last year. The only difference I can see in what I received in the mail this month is that the designs on both the cover and the business reply envelope have a bold black border; on last year’s BRE, the designs had a pale border.

Minnesota-based local post issues $1 Christmas stamp

The latest local post stamp issue of 2023 of which I’m aware comes from a local post of which I was not previously aware. It’s a $1 Christmas stamp picturing the Madonna and Child issued by Rocking Horse Farm Local Post of Saint Cloud, Minnesota.

The copies of this stamp I received arrived in a cover with a handwritten first day cover notation and a Saint Paul, Minnesota, machine cancellation dated December 28.

$1 Rocking Horse Farm Local Post Christmas 2023 stamp
Rocking Horse Farm Local Post Christmas 2023 stamp

Based on what I’ve been able to find online, Rocking Horse Farm appears to be a Saint Cloud knit shop and textile studio. I’m not sure exactly how that ties in with a local post, but I’m sending a request for additional information and will let you know if I learn more.

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