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Episode #197 – The Colombian Exposition, H. H. Holmes, USPS Supreme Court Patent Case, and Colombian Stamp Issue

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #197

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #197 – Today we are discussing the Colombian Exposition of 1893 including its link to H. H. Holmes, the nations first serial killer. Also the U.S. Supreme Court is going to hear a patent case involving the USPS, and the Colombian Issue of stamps that came out for the Exposition. We also discuss United Kingdom and Canada Christmas issues and upcoming shows, including the Black River Stamp Clubs Ohio show that is going to feature an airmail exhibit. Enjoy.

Hosts – Tom, Scott, Caj, Mark

Colombian Exposition of 1893

October 30th marks the last day of the 125th anniversary of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The fair celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ discovery of the Americas.

The fair was an amazing spectacle with over 23 million visitors and in at least one way changed the face of the world as we knew it.

The fair included many technological wonders including the first gasoline powered motor car in the United States, the Daimler quadricycle. It also housed an alternating current power plant, a 46 foot long cannon, a 1,500 lb Venus De Milo made of chocolate and Juicy Fruit Gum. The fair was also home to the world’s first ferris wheel. And brought us the Columbian Exposition stamps.

The transportation building contained the horse drawn carts, alongside bicycles and boats, which were all dwarfed by American manufactured steam locomotives. The expositions organizers believing the trains were the transportation of the future.

Only one vehicle in the entire display had an internal combustion engine and it was tucked away in the back of the hall. A wire wheeled quadricycle similar to that which Daimler had displayed in Paris at the 1889 World’s Fair. Even though most Americans had never seen one before the vehicle got almost no notice. It was so overlooked that the press barely covered it and it was not even mention in the exhibition catalog.

It was however noticed by two individuals. Bicycle mechanic Charles Duryea who ended up partnering with his brother to create the Duryea Motor Wagon Company in 1896 and produce a one cylinder Duryea Motor Wagon, the first mass production gas powered vehicle in the United States.

The other notable party to show interest in the Daimler Quadricycle was none other than Henry Ford. Ford returned to Dearborn, Michigan and created what he called the gasoline buggy. Ford drove the carca for the first time on July 4th, 1896 and later sold it for $200.00. Only a few years after that he incorporated the Ford Motor Company. The age of the automobile had officially begun.

Only a few items from the fair still exist today in Chicago. The Palace of Fine Arts is now home to the Museum of Science and Industry, and anand area called the Wooded Island was described as a place to get away from the noise of the fair had fallen into disrepair though in 2015 an $8.1 million dollar renovation was completed.

There was a 65 foot “Statue of the Republic” that served as a symbol of the fair. The original statue is gone, but there is a 24 foot bronze replica that sits in Jackson Park.

The Columbian Exposition also holds on other item of historical note. Close to the site of the Exposition was what many came to describe as the “The Murder Castle” a building owned by America’s first serial killer H. H. Holmes.

Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett in New Hampshire in 1861. In 1885 he abandoned his wife and young child fleeing accusations of fraud, poisoning and murder and moved to Illinois where he changed his name to Holmes in what many believe was an homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes took work at a pharmacy near Jackson Park which would become site of the fair 8 years later. Believed to be a masterful con artist and highly charismatic he is suspected of having swindled money from his pharmacy coworkers and used it to buy an empty plot of land in the Englewood neighborhood.

Holmes built a two story building on the lot and later added a third. During the construction Holmes is said to have hired and fired several workers in order to hide the true intentions of the building. The building which is said to have contained several false staircases and doorways as well as small interior rooms that were rigged with gas lines that Homes could control to suffocate guests and then put them in a chute that led to the basement where they would be subsequently killed and disposed of. The basement contained acid vats, quicklime pits and a crematorium. He sold skeletons to medical research facilities with connections he had made during a brief time spent in medical school.

Having become adept at insurance fraud during medical school by desecrating cadavers and saying they died in accidents Holmes was able to collect on insurance policies that he had taken out. It is believed that he used the same tactics on victims of what has been dubbed the murder castle.

Holmes was ultimately captured and convicted of murder of one of his “friends” Benjamin Pietzel. Holmes convinced Pietzel to fake his own death and have his wife collect the insurance money. Instead of finding a cadaver to use as the body however, Holmes actually murdered Pietzel and convinced his wife that he was still alive and in hiding in London. HolmesHolme was even able to convince Mrs. Pietzel to hand over custody of three of her children who he later killed as well.

It is said that Holmes killed anywhere from 20-200 people, but he was only ever directly tied to nine. He was found guilty and hung in Pennsylvania in 1896. It is reported that his neck did not snap and that he slowly strangled for almost twenty minutes.

Years later the Murder Castle was mysteriously burned down. A witness reported that two men had entered the building and a short time later were seen running away as the building started burning.

Can you take a guess a what stands on the site of the now infamous lot?

The Englewood Post Office.

And in true fashion of a con man it was rumored for a long time that Holmes had bribed his way out of the gallows and a cadaver was was buried instead of Holmes. As it was his wish that he be buried ten feet deep and covered in concrete, many people believed that the story was true. The rumors were finally put to rest in 2017 when the grave was opened and the body exhumed for DNA testing as part of a television series where one of Holmes descendants believed that he survived and moved to London to become Jack the Ripper. The tests however indeed proved the body to be that of Holmes.

Supreme Court to Hear Patent Case Involving USPS

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a dispute involving a small Alabama company that accused the U.S. Postal Service of infringing on its patented mail processing system and improperly convincing a federal tribunal to cancel the patent.

The justices will hear an appeal by Return Mail, Inc of a lower court ruling that upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal’s 2015 determination that the company’s patent covering a system for processing undeliverable mail was invalid.

Return Mail argued that since the Postal Service, a self-supporting independent federal agency, cannot be sued in the same way as private companies it should not be eligible to ask the patent office to review a patent’s validity like private companies can. The Trump administration, backing the Postal Service, asked the Supreme Court not to hear the case.

The case began in 2011 when Return Mail sued the U.S. government, accusing the Postal Service of stealing its technology after the company had tried to license its system but the agency instead developed its own.

The Postal Service challenged the patent’s validity at the patent office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The board’s patent review processes have become especially popular with high-technology companies that are frequent targets of patent lawsuits and have led to a high rate of patent cancellation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last year upheld the board’s decision to invalidate a key part of Return Mail’s patent.

Rulings by the board can prevent further challenges to a patent’s validity in a federal district court, where infringement lawsuits are typically resolved. But the same constraints are not applied to the federal government when it is accused. Return Mail argued that this means the government should not be allowed to launch challenges before the board.

Columbian Exposition stamps of 1893

The Columbian stamps were supplied by the American Banknote Company, which had a four-year contract for the production of United States postage stamps beginning December 1, 1889.

However, where previous contracts had required printing companies to provide designs and plates at their own expense for any new stamps required by the Post Office, the 1889 contract specified that the Post Office would pay those costs.

Indeed, Postmaster John Wanamaker (of department store fame) executed a new contract with American Banknote specifically for the Columbian stamps without any competitive bidding process, which allowed the company to charge 17¢ per thousand stamps, in contrast to the 7.45¢ per thousand it had been collecting for stamps of the 1890 definitive series.

This arrangement prompted considerable public criticism which was not allayed by American Banknote’s argument that the Columbians’ size (double that of normal stamps) warranted a higher price.

Fifteen denominations of the series were placed on sale by post offices on Monday, January 2, 1893. They were available nationwide, and were not restricted to the Exposition in any way. This was a larger number of stamps than the United States Post Office had ever offered in a definite series, thanks to the unprecedented inclusion of stamps denominated $1, $2, $3, $4 and $5: no U. S. postage stamp previously issued had cost more than 90¢.

A sixteenth stamp, the 8 cent, to provide for the newly lowered registered letter fee was added during March. As a result, the face value of the complete set was $16.34, a substantial sum of money during 1893. In 2018 dollars, the set would cost approximately $458.32.

As a result, of the most expensive stamps, especially the dollar values, only a small number were sold and unsold stamps were destroyed after the Columbian Issue was removed from sale on April 12, 1894. In all, the American Banknote Company printed more than 2 billion Columbian stamps with a total face value exceeding $40 million.

Opinion regarding the Columbian Issue at the time was mixed. The set sold well and did not have the sort of criticism that resulted in the withdrawal of the 1869 Pictorial Issue. However, approval was not universal. An organization known as the Society for the Suppression of Speculative Stamps, also called the Society for the Suppression of Spurious Stamps, was created in protest of the creation of this set, deeming the Exposition in Chicago insufficiently important to be honored by postage, and some collectors balked at the Post Office Department‘s willingness to profit from the growing hobby of philately.

Ridiculing the $5 stamp, the Chicago Tribune stated that it could be used for only one purpose: mailing a 62½-pound package of books at the book rate.

The Columbians did not immediately increase in value after being removed from sale, due partly to substantial speculation resulting in a glut of stamps on the secondary market. However, in 2018, in mint condition, a full set has a catalog value of $9,498.00. These prices go substantially higher for never hinged and well centered examples in high grades. Per Professional Stamp Experts Stamp Market Quarterly price guide the price for a never hinged set with a grade of 95 is in excess of $300,000.

It was not only in design and commemorative purpose that this issue proved a watershed in U. S. stamp history. The Columbians, like all previous U. S. stamps, had been produced by private security printers on limited-term contracts periodically presented for bidding. They proved, however, to be the last U. S. stamps printed by a private company for many years.

During early 1894, the American Bank Note Company failed to secure a renewal of its stamp contract because the U. S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing submitted a lower bid; and the Bureau then enjoyed a monopoly on U. S. stamp production for decades thereafter.

It was not until 1944 that a private company again produced U. S. stamps (the Overrun Countries series, which required special multicolor printing) and the Bureau subsequently resumed its exclusive role in production, only gradually relinquishing it over the next sixty years. U. S. stamp operations at the Bureau ceased entirely during 2005.

Scholars believe that the Bureau’s first task during 1894 was to finish some Columbian sheets printed by American Banknote; what makes this theory plausible is that, while many Columbian stamps are perfectly perforated, others are distinctly substandard in this regard, with partially punched chads and/or holes that are missing, ragged or misplaced – flaws that would also mar the stamps of the first Bureau definitive issue, released later during 1894.

New Issues

Canada post releasing Christmas Stamps November 2nd.

Send Christmas greetings to family, friends and loved ones with this booklet of 12 Permanent domestic stamps featuring a fresh and contemporary look at the Nativity.

At the centre, above baby Jesus, is the bright Christmas star. More stars spell out the words Christmas and Noël at the top and bottom of the image.

In a departure from past Christmas issues that have reproduced Old Master paintings, this year’s Christmas stamp tells the story of Christ’s birth through simple, colourful imagery and rich symbolism evocative of traditional folk art.

Ideal for holiday cards and letters, or for sending invitations to seasonal events and parties, these simple, elegant stamps add a warm dose of Christmas cheer to your festive mail.

Also the Royal Mail is releasing their Christmas stamp set on November 1st.

The stamps feature traditional Christmas scenes with people posting their Christmas mail at various styles of post boxes – in the countryside and towns.

The set features eight stamps including 1st, 2nd, 1st large, 2nd large, £1.25, £1.45, £1.55 and £2.25

Show Schedule

November 9-10

31st annual mid-cities stamp club Expo

Grapevine, Texas

Grapevine Convention Center, 1209 South Main Street

Website: mid-citiesstampclub.com/stampshow.htm

 

November 10

Rubber City Stamp Club 99th Annual Stamp Show

Akron, Ohio

Akron General Health and Wellness Center, 4125 Medina Rd

 

November 10-11

MSDA Fall Cincinnati Area Stamp Show

West Chester, Ohio

Four Points by Sheraton Cincinnati North, 7500 Tylers Place Boulevard

Website: http://www.msdastamp.com

 

November 10

2018 Johnstown Stamp Show

Johnstown, Pennsylvania

St. John Gualbert Activity Center, 110 Adams St.

Episode #190 – Mao Zedong, Missing Inverted Jenny Found and Plate Blocks

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #190

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #190 – Today we are discussing Mao Zedong and the recently discovered C3a “Inverted Jenny” discovered in a Chicago area bank vault. We will also discuss plate numbers and plate blocks and new issues including both the United States and Canada’s first responder stamps, and the final release of the United Kingdom’s World War I centenary issue. Enjoy 

Episode #189 Show Notes

Hosts – Tom, Caj, Scott, Dawn


September 9th, 1976 Mao Zedong Dies

Mao Zedong or Chairman Mao died of health complications on September 9th, 1976. He was the leader of China’s communist Government from 1949 until his death.

Born in 1893 Mao joined the Nationalist movement against what was deemed an ineffective royal government in the 1910’s. In the 1920’s he became disenchanted with the nationalist movement and believed that only a revolutionary change could bring China freedom from western domination.

In 1921 he became one of the founding members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Mao became the head of the CCP in 1935 claiming that the other leaders lacked military strategy and zeal. Mao’s forces throughout the 1930’s and World War II continued attacking the Chinese government and were ultimately victorious in 1949. Later in 1949 the communist People’s Republic of China was created.

Many stamps featuring Mao Zedong were issued during his life. The first stamp issued featuring him was PRC Scott number 10 issued February 1st 1950. There are some more notable and higher priced items including Thoughts of Mao PRC Scott numbers 938 – 948 and Mao writing poetry PRC Scott numbers 967 – 980. These stamps all range in price from a few hundred dollars to just over a thousand dollars.

In 1967 there was a stamp created for the 50th anniversary of the Autumn Harvest March which Featured Mao Zedong and Lin Piao against a blue sky. The stamp was never issued, but a few did manage to enter the marketplace. In a 2010 Hong Kong auction a cut stamp showing the right half of the design sold for 235,000 U.S. dollars. Imagine what a whole stamp might get at auction.


Inverted Jenny Missing Since 1918 Found

A Chicago area family has found the missing position 49 Scott C3a the “inverted Jenny”. The stamp which has been missing since shortly after it was discovered in 1918 has been in a safe deposit box unaffected by light and changing conditions.

The owner of the stamp who asked to remain anonymous did not want to risk damaging the stamp and a stamp expert from the Philatelic Fondation flew to Chicago to pick up the stamp in person.

The stamp brings the total of never hinged copies of the stamp to 6 and was graded a 90 by the foundation. Though many of the stamps have been sold to anonymous collectors and their whereabouts unknown, this is one of the only stamps that has been unaccounted for since the discovery of the sheet by William Robey. Only being reported as last sold in 1918. Two other never hinged copies have been certified by Professional Stamp Experts as sound with grades of 75 and 80.


Caj has his own Podcast

Our own Caj has started a side podcast called Relics in History based on his stamp exhibit. He has posted a the first few episodes at (Where). We have a short preview today of his first episode. So please enjoy.


What is a Plate Number and how many stamps do you need for a Plate Block?

First what is a plate number?

As printing plates were manufactured for creating stamps the plates had differing plate numbers that are essentially the serial number of a plate and could be used for quality control. If a problem were noticed on a sheet of stamps the printer could simply look at the plate number to determine where the problem lied.

Prior to 1894 when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began printing postage stamps, private companies were contracted for the work. These companies included Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson of New York and Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear and Company of Philadelphia. These two companies combined in 1879 to become the American Bank Note Company.

Plate numbers appeared in different locations on the sheet and the numbering systems varied by each printer. Rawdon who printed Scott numbers 1 and 2 did not use plate numbers. Toppan, however used a simple approach that had the first plate of each denomination as plate number 1, the second plate number 2 etc.

The National Bank Note Company which existed from 1861 – 1872 numbered their plate sequentially with no regard to denomination. They did start over in the numbering for the two color Pictorial stamps of 1869 – 1870  and again for the Bank Note issue of 1870 – 1871.

While the National Bank Note Company used the same plate number for both color plates future two color stamps used different numbers for each color. For instance the Bureau of Engraving and printing, for its 1901 Pan American issue, used two separate plate numbers; one for the frame and the other for the vignette.

In 1883 the American Bank Note Company started using letter prefixes in front of the plate number.

In 1980 Prefixes had a different purpose than just adding to the plate number. They were used to denote which private printer printed the stamps. Plate number preceded by “A” were printed by Ashton Potter, “V” was for Avery Denison and “G” for Guilford Gravure.

With the issuance of 150th anniversary of Missouri Statehood in 1971 multi colored stamps included a plate number for each printed color. This lasted until 1980 when the Postal Service announced in December that it would establish a plate block as consisting of four stamps with one plate number except in cases where a sheet consisted of more than four designs. U.S. stamps today now have one plate number that contains a single plate number that has each color represented by a number.

Some interesting forms of plate numbers include the early Penny red stamps of Great Britain which contain plate numbers within the stamps themselves. Also the 1943 United States Overrun Countries issues which commemorated countries under Axis control during World War II have the name of the country instead of a plate number.

So with all of these different forms of numbers and locations what exactly is a plate block and how do you collect it? A plate block is a block of stamps and its surrounding selvage that contains a plate number. You need to have all the stamps surrounding the plate number and all the selvage around them to properly collect a plate block.

If a plate number is located in one of the corners of the sheet you may only need to collect the four corner stamps called a plate block of four. Stamps that have the plate numbers located in the centers of a sheet usually require 6 stamps to complete a plate block. This can vary however once you add in stamps with multiple plate numbers. This can lead to blocks of eight, ten or even more.

The Scott catalog does a very good job at describing the number of stamps required for a plate block and the values for the blocks. If a collector wants to get even more involved in plate number collecting there is the Durland standard Plate Number Catalog which contains most of  the plate numbers used for each issue of United States Stamps.


New Issues

United States

Today September 13 the USPS released the first responders stamp. The stamp, celebrating the men and women who respond to critical situations with skill, dedication and uncommon bravery features a firefighter, paramedic, and police officer appearing to head into action in a haze of smoke.

The first day ceremony was held this morning at the Aerial Fire Depot and smokejumper center in Missoula, Montana.

The first responder stamp was designed by artist Brian Stauffer working with art director and designer Antonio Alcala and designer Ricky Altizer and is being issued in a sheet of 20.

Canada is also celebrating first responders this week with a series of releases each day. The stamps feature paramedics, armed forces, search and rescue, firefighters and police officers. Each stamp features a black and white foreground image of a man or woman of the profession with a color background action scene.

The Royal Mail is releasing the final set of World War I stamps honoring the centenary of the end of the war. The set of stamps released today September 13th is a set of six stamps featuring 100 Poppies, ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, Second Lieutenant Walter Tull, We are Making a New World, The Grave of the Unknown warrior, and Lieutenant Francis Hopgood’s Goggles. We will include a link in the show notes where you can find more information about these stamps.

Royal Mail WWI Stamp descriptions


Show Schedule

STAMPEX
September 12-18
London, England

On the Road Course
EFOs and You: How YOU Can Benefit From Postal Blunders
September 13, 2018
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

SEAPEX
September 14-16, 2018
Tukwila, Washington
Website: http://seapexshow.org

MILCOPEX
September 14-16, 2018
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Website: http://www.milcopex.org

AWPEX 2018
September 15-16, 2018

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Episode #189 – National Neither Rain Nor Snow Day, Secret Stamp Society, and Younger Collectors

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today epiosode #189

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #189 – Today we will be discussing National Neither Rain nor Shine Day, A secret stamp society that got some steel from the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and younger collectors. We also discuss starting a stamp collection at low cost and upcoming shows. Enjoy.

Episode #189 Show Notes

Hosts – Tom, Caj, Scott, Greg, Dawn

September 7th Celebrates National Neither Rain nor Snow Day

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds ~ Inscription found over the entrance of the central post office in New York City

National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day commemorates the opening of the New York Post Office on September 7, 1914.

The James A. Farley Post Office Building is the main post office in New York City.  Built in 1912 and opened for postal business in 1914, it is famous for the inscription.  In 1982, the post office was officially designated The James A Farley Building as a monument and testament to the political career of the nation’s 53rd Postmaster General.

While the inscription is prominently featured on the building, the United States Postal Service does not actually have an official motto.  However, in 2011 the United States Post Office advertised with the song “Let the River Run” by Carly Simon. The words of the inscription ran across inspirational images of postal workers carrying out their daily duties. Other advertising campaigns have also hinted at the inscriptions motivation. The “Watch Us Deliver” campaign featured carriers delivering precious packages in harsh or awkward conditions. The narrator promises they will deliver the mail “…faster, sleeker, earlier, fresher, harder, farther, quicker, and yeah…even on Sundays.”

The inscription, which was carved by Ira Schnapp, was provided by the designing architects. It is a paraphrase of a motto from the Herodotus’ Histories which describes a Persian system of mounted messengers under Xerxes I of Persia.

Bay Bridge Steel and the Secret Stamp Society that Came Away with Some

At an event in San Francisco stands a small podium which bears an insignia. The Elsewhere Philatelic Society.

In 2015 the East span of the Bay Bridge was torn down with the steel donated to local artists throughout the bay area. The Elsewhere Philatelic Society applied for and was awarded five rivets from the bridge. One of these rivets is now fastened to the podium standing in the park.

The Elsewhere Philatelic Society is a group of folks, many of them artists, that travel around to events in San Francisco. It’s a bit of a treasure hunt where stamps are collected to commemorate your attendance, just as the post office releases stamps that commemorate events.

The stamp designs come from artists and are affixed into passports, though it is with glue and not hinges. No they are not postage stamps, but they are indeed collecting stamps.

So if you ever happen to find yourself in San Francisco then by all means look them up at stamps from elsewhere dot com. You can get yourself a map, become a member, obtain a passport and start a new stamp collection, all the while exploring the art and events of the city.

Low Cost Stamp Collecting

For the beginning collector there are several ways to start a collection on a budget.

Although mailed items are becoming more infrequent the easiest and the cheapest way to start a collection is by collecting the used postage that comes in your mailbox. This can be your own mail or a friend or relative that may be willing to save items for you. Even your job could be a source for stamps if your company receives mail.

Another way is through more advanced collectors that may be willing to help you start by providing duplicate stamps that they may have received.

A beginner collector could attend a show or join a local stamp club. There are many dealers that have bargain stamps that are good for a beginner and clubs offer a way to meet more collectors that might be willing to give you some items in order to start you off on the right foot.

These items and more are covered in more detail in the American Philatelic Society’s brochure 10 Low Cost Ways to Start Collecting Stamps, which can be found on their website stamps.org.

Younger Collectors

The recent APS Columbus show saw an effort to gain popularity with young collectors by having a topical theme of dragons in conjunction with the USPS dragon stamp release.

There were inflatable dragons on some of the dealer’s tables and medieval garbed characters to greet people as they entered. Visitors could have their photos taken with Perf the Magic Dragon who served as the show mascot.

There was also the youth area where you could learn about stamps, as well as receive free stamps to start a collection.

Several dealers also had smiley face signs on their tables advertising “beginners welcome”.

So what else can get a younger person do to start collecting stamps, or anything else for that matter these days? With this question in mind we will discuss what other shows are doing as well as some ideas that may help attract younger collectors.

I recently viewed a video put up by David Hall of Collectors Universe promoting the upcoming Long Beach Expo which features coins, cards, and a few stamp dealers.

Some of the youth activities that are included are a treasure hunt for kids with prizes such as graded Pokemon cards.

There is an America the Beautiful quarter trivia area where kids can win quarters by answering questions about the designs on them.

A currency matching area where kids can match currency to the correct country where it was issued for a chance to win the bills and a currency collection starter kit.

A prize wheel kids can spin for a chance to win anything from a ball or t-shirt to pirate sword, all the way to a half dollar coin or even a rarer item, and a youth Set Registry booth where kids can learn how to start an online registry of coins or cards that they have won at this and past events.

The Long Beach stamp club will be in attendance and has giveaway prizes that include stamp books with two countries with descriptions of those countries, and a stamp drawer with free stamps for kids 6-17.

With these two shows trying to make stamp collecting more interesting to kids what else can be done to attract a more youthful audience to these types of shows?

Scrapbooking has become a popular hobby for many and if combined with stamp collecting, I believe that you could create an album that is very out of the ordinary for what you are used to seeing. Imagine a kid’s album page adorned with stickers, designs, and rubber stamps of dinosaurs alongside hingeless mounted dinosaur stamps. Continue this over several pages of topics and you have an album that many kids would probably start showing off to their friends. Most of the items for scrapbooking are designed around the mounting of photos and as such should be safe for stamps as well.

What can the individual dealers do at their booths to be more inviting to younger collectors and kids? I know that many dealers have a stock of items that they can give to kids for free, but what about a small stock book or album that is just for kids. What if show organizers could provide this if dealers didn’t already have them? My daughters, at shows, have been given bags of 100 stamps at the sign in table or a particular area, but that does not help relieve the boredom once an adult starts looking at items for themselves. If these items were available, a dealer could have a youth or beginner sign at their table in order to signify participation.

With the Columbus show the emphasis put on the topical aspect could be a great way to get new collectors involved in the hobby. Many kids have different interests and there is almost guaranteed to be a topic that that they can relate to in stamps.

Many of the larger show contain auctions held during the show. How about having a kid’s auction? The kids could be given play money to purchase actual stamp that they could keep. They could get a souvenir to bring home and possibly learn about auctions and money management at the same time.

If these types of activities became a way of life at stamp shows, perhaps it might encourage the older generation to bring their grandkids with them to shows. With a potential to learn about history and geography while kids and grandparents share a hobby together.

It has long been said that stamp collecting is a dying hobby. Is it possible that the coin industry is beginning to face the same fears? With the continued rise of credit card usage and cryptocurrency such as Bit Coin cash transactions are becoming fewer and fewer. Could the use of currency in the modern technology driven world be dwindling just as we have seen the reduction of stamp usage due to e-mail and social media?

Show Schedule

41st Annual Stamp and Coin show
September 7th and 8th
Mountain Home, Arkansas

MSDA Fall Show West
September 8th and 9th
Oak Brook Terrace, Illinois
Website: www.msdastamp.com

Long Beach Expo
September 6-8 Thurs – Fri 10AM – 7PM Sat 10AM – 5PM
Long Beach Convention Center Hall A
Long Beach, California
Website: http://www.longbeachexpo.com/

The Fall Stamp Show
September 8th
Waterford, Michigan

The Omaha Stamp Show
September 8th and 9th
Omaha, Nebraska
Website: www.omahaphilatelicsociety.org

Outapex Stamp Show
September 8th
Appleton, Wisconsin

The Fall 2018 Capex Show
September 9th
Middletown, Pennsylvania


Episode #188 – President Wilson Picketed at the White House, Franking, and President Trump takes on the UPU

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #188

Today we are discussing the history of women’s right to vote and women’s equality day, Franking, and President Trump taking on the UPU. We also have an update on the Canada E-commerce awards, postal news, new issues; including an update on the Hot wheels stamps release date, and upcoming shows. Enjoy.

Episode #188 Show Notes

Hosts – Tom, Caj, Scott, Mark, Greg, Dawn

This Week in History – Woodrow Wilson was picketed by suffragists outside the White House

The suffragists were demanding Wilson support an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote.

Although Wilson had paid lip service to suffragists during campaign races, he was only luke warm to the idea after the election, despite being a former teacher at a women’s college and having two daughters who both were suffragettes.

On this day however the suffragists, who Wilson tipped his hat to as he left the White House, had become increasingly disruptive and even started carrying signs protesting World War I. This lead to a clash with some angered spectators and many of the women were arrested and jailed.

Some of the women that were arrested started a hunger strike and had to be force fed by their captors. Wilson; distraught by the hunger strikes ultimately agreed to an amendment in 1918 and two years later the 19th amendment was passed by Congress giving women the right to vote.
So on August 26, 1920 the 19th amendment to the constitution was passed by Congress, and on this same day in 1971 Congress, by joint resolution, declared August 26 to be Women’s Equality Day.

The women’s rights movement has its roots all the way back in 1840, when women were denied access to the convention floor of the London World Anti-Slavery Convention.

In time this led to the first woman’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, NY which drew 200 women and presented 12 resolutions that women should be equal in status to men socially, economically, legally and representatively.

All but the 9th resolution were passed unanimously. The 9th resolution which stated “that it is the duty of the women of this country to secure themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.” was of concern as many thought it would cause a large number of their backers to withdraw their support.

The 9th amendment, after much deliberation and the support of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, was eventually passed.

There are many stamps throughout the world celebrating both women’s equality and the right to vote, some of which are:

U.S. 1970’s Celebrate the Century Sheet – Women’s rights – Scott number 3189j
U.S. 1920’s Celebrate the Century Sheet – 19th amendment – Scott Number 3184e.
1995 32c commemorative – Scott number 2980 – called the Woman Suffrage issue but does not mention the terms and is a truly awful stamp.
U.S. Susan B Anthony Suffrage for women – Scott number 784
U.S. Alice Paul Suffragist – Scott number 2943
U.S. Women’s Suffrage Issue – Scott number 1406.
New Zealand Universal Suffrage – Scott number 412
Ireland Votes for Women and Women’s Equality – Scott Number XXX

News and Notes

So, following up on the Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Awards.
The Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards recognize Canadian companies that are disruptive, innovative, passionate and brave. Whether you are just starting out or are well-established, we are looking for retailers that are pushing the boundaries of the e-commerce landscape. If you are one of these companies, this is your chance to be part of something big.

The Awards give retailers big and small the opportunity to stand out and showcase their unique business. Game-changing prizes can help your business move to another level – up to $100,000 in parcel shipping credits, up to $50,000 in Canada Post Smartmail Marketing packages and marketing opportunities on the Canada Post fleet.

A Fairhope, Alabama postal carrier pleaded guilty last week in Federal Court for not delivering the mail. According to court documents filed last Monday the carrier was hired in March 2017 for a rural mail route.

In September the carrier’s wife called authorities stating that she believed her husband had undelivered mail in his truck. According to a plea agreement the carrier was interviewed by postal officials and admitted he did not want to be fired for poor performance so he kept the undelivered mail in his truck.

He had planned to deliver the backlog, which he said started accumulating between August and September, at night but had fallen too far behind.

A search of his truck yielded 1,582 pieces of mail which have been turned over to the postal service for delivery. The man faces up to six months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

What is Franking?

A frank or franking is a mark or notation on the face of an envelope that indicates that either the postage was paid, or that the letter is to be carried and delivered for free. Free franking was mostly used by early postmasters and presidents, but now is more common for members of the military in armed conflict.
There are many different types of franking from early notations on covers stating that the postage was paid, to most commonly now, stamps.
Aside from postage stamps there is metered mail, official mail, and business reply mail.

President Seeks Changes to International Postal Rate System

President Trump, following complaints from manufacturers about shipments from China stated that the United States needs to seek changes to the international postal rate system to ensure “fair and nondiscriminatory rates for goods that promotes unrestricted and undistorted competition”.

The President has issued an order to the United States Postmaster General, and the secretaries of Treasury, State, and Homeland Security calling for a modernization of the monetary reimbursement model for the delivery of goods through the international postal system.

The companints from manufacturers states that Chinese counterfeiters are taking advantage of the below cost terminal dues used to deliver small packages under 4.4 pounds. The rates for these payments which are set by the UPU are allowing Chinese e-commerce to deliver packages of cheap imitation goods at a cost lower than domestic shipping rates, which Bloomberg Government reported on in April.

If negotiations at the upcoming UPU summit next month in Ethiopia fails to produce satisfactory changes, the President stated that the United States “will consider taking any appropriate actions to ensure that rates for the delivery of inbound foreign packages satisfy those criteria, consistent with applicable law.”
The order calls for terminal dues rates that fully reimburse the U.S. Postal Service for costs to the same extent as domestic rates for comparable services; avoid preference for inbound foreign small packages containing goods that favors foreign mailers over domestic mailers; and avoid preference for inbound foreign small packages containing goods that favors postal operators over private-sector entities providing transportation services.
The president says he wants to hear from administration officials no later than Nov. 1 on the steps being taken to implement the goals. If it is determined that sufficient progress is not being achieved, he asked for suggestions “for future action, including the possibility of adopting self‑declared rates,” according to memo.
The UPU, which was established in 1874 and is the world’s second-oldest treaty organization is responsible for setting terminal dues. Robert Taub, chairman of the Postal Regulatory Commission, which oversees the U.S. Postal Service, told Bloomberg Government earlier this year that the problems with the terminal dues structure were well known to regulators and have been festering for decades.
According to Taub, the system worked well when international mail was mostly flat letters, and is only now gaining attention because of the rise in e-commerce, he said.
Regulators did not catch on to the problem until the 1990’s when the commision began reporting the costs incurred along with rates charged by the U.S. Postal Service.

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana said that he has been working with the administration for months “because American companies are being run out of business by foreign competitors making cheap knockoff products they can ship to Louisiana for less than it costs an American company to mail the genuine product.

There are several UPU stamps
Great Britain – Scott numbers 276-279
There are also sets for Nayasaland, Tonga and Bermuda
United States – Scott Number C42-C44
all of these celebrating 75 years of the UPU

New Issues

Sept. 7, John Lennon
A stamp honoring John Lennon, the legendary singer and songwriter will be the latest addition to the Music Icons stamps. The stamp features a photograph of John Lennon taken by famed music photographer Bob Gruen. The stamp pane of 16 resembles a 45 rpm record sleeve and features a picture of Lennon at his white piano on the back of the pane in a picture taken by Peter Fordham.

The first day ceremony will be held at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park New York at 11:00 AM Eastern time. The location is near East 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

Hot Wheels Update
The Hot Wheels stamps we discussed in episode 187 will be released during the Goodguys 26th Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals on September 29th at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth Texas at 10:00 AM Central Time.

Stamp Shows

September 1st -10-4
Arcadia stamp show
Arcadia Lodge on Duarte Avenue.


September 2nd – 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Van Nuys Sunday Stamp Show
Masonic Hall
14750 Sherman Way, Van Nuys, CA
Website: http://www.stampshowsteve.com/


September 6-8
Thurs – Fri 10AM – 7PM Sat 10AM – 5PM
Long Beach Expo
Long Beach Convention Center Hall A
Website: http://www.longbeachexpo.com/

Episode #187 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, UK Regional Issues, and 22 Karat Gold Stamps

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #187

Today we are discussing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which opened August 19th 1909, the USPS announcement of Hot Wheels Stamps, 22 karat gold stamps, and United Kingdom Regional Issues. We also discuss some new issues being released as well as upcoming stamp shows for the weekend of August 24th – 26th. Images of the stamps we discuss during the podcast will be available on stampshowheretoday.com where you can also listen to and download episodes. Enjoy.

Episode #187 Show Notes

Hosts – Scott, Mark, Caj, Tom

This Week in History – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

August 19th 1909 saw the first race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which is now home of the world’s most famous motor racing event the Indianapolis 500.

The speedway was started as testing facility for Indianapolis’ growing automobile industry and was built on 328 acres of farmland. It was the idea of local business men that occasional races would be held at the track and after the race attendees would visit the various showrooms of the manufacturers.

The track, which is 440 yards from start to finish consisted of two long and two short straightaways connected by four turns. The first race on August 19th 1909 was five miles in length and was won by Austrian Engineer Louis Schwitzer with an astonishing, at least by 1909 standards, average speed of 57.4 miles per hour.  

The event, which was attended by 12,000 people, was run on a track surface of crushed rock and tar. This proved a disastrous idea with the track breaking down in several locations and causing the deaths of two drivers, two mechanics, and two spectators.

The surface was replaced with 3.2 million paving bricks laid in a bed of sand and fixed with mortar. Now dubbed the brickyard it was reopened in December 1909. Due to low attendance the track owners decided in 1911 to switch to one long race event per year with a larger prize.

May 30th 1911 marked the debut of the 500 mile race we know as the Indianapolis 500. The grueling race drew media attention from around the country and was a hit with audiences. Ray Haroun was the winner in a time of 6 hours and 42 minutes and an average speed of 74.59 miles per hour. He won a prize of 14,250 dollars.

The race has since been run every year with the exception of 1917 – 1918 and 1942 – 1945 due to world wars one and two. Now with an average attendance exceeding 400,000 it is the best attended event in United States Sports.

The track has since been repaired and paved until the last of the original bricks were covered in 1961. With the exception of a 3 foot section at the start finish line which serves a nostalgic reminder of the tracks history.

On September 25th 1987 as part of the transportation issue, the racing car 1911 stamp was issued. This stamp, Scott number 2262, features Ray Haroun’s number 32 Marmon Wasp the winning car of the first Indianapolis 500. The stamp was designed by Tom Broad and accommodated the growing number of mailers who were utilizing the zip+ 4 Presort requirements.

The stamp was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and was engraved via the Intaglio process. It was issued in unused coils of 100 and precanceled coils of 500 and 3,000.

The stamp features two listed varieties. An untagged variety Scott Number 2262a with a red bureau precancel “zip + 4 presort” and an Imperforate pair Scott Number 2262b.

On May 20th 2011, the Indianapolis 500 Centenary stamp Scott Number 4530 was issued as a 44c forever stamp. This stamp also featured Ray Haroun driving the Marmon Wasp.

News and Notes

Canada Post announced nominees for E-Commerce Innovation Awards. Winner will receive up to $100,000 in free shipping, along with valuable marketing packages, and will be named one of Canada’s top retailers. With categories such as Social Impact Award, Most Disruptive Startup and Pure Play of the Year among others. The winners will be announced September 20th during an event at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Downtown Toronto. I want to know more about what this contest is for.

U.S. Postal Service to Release Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Forever Stamps

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Hot Wheels, The USPS has announced a set of 20 stamps featuring 10 images of Hot Wheels cars showcasing the photography of Len Rizzi.

Each design will feature one of the ten cars on the iconic orange Hot Wheel track. The name of the vehicle will appear in one of the top corners and USA and Forever will appear in one of the bottom corners.

The Hot wheel logo will appear in the top right corner of the pane and the back of the pane will have the Hot Wheel 50th Anniversary logo.

The cars will be – The 1990 Purple Passion, the 1971 Rocket-Bye-Baby, the 1994 Rigor Motor, the 1974 Rodger Dodger, the 2018 Mach Speeder, the 1969 Twin Mill, the 2006 Bone Shaker, the 2008 HW40, the 1968 surfboard toting Deora, and the 1987 Sharkruiser

The art director for the stamps is William Gicker and the designer and typographer is Greg Breeding

The first day ceremony date and location are to be announced soon.

How Much Are 22 Karat Gold Stamps Worth?

These are not actual postage stamps, but are replicas. Most stamp collectors are not interested in collections of the gold replicas and therefore hey do not currently hold much value. As far as value in gold these replicas have only microscopic amounts of gold and therefore do not have any significant gold value. On ebay you may be able to find some that sell for between one to five dollars, but this depends on whether there are currently collectors for them and the subject matter of the particular issue.

United Kingdom Regional Stamps

First regional Stamps started in 1958 due to public demand. The stamps were issued for the various Regions or Countries of the United Kingdom.

The first Regional stamps included Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. The stamps bore the Wilding portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and various heraldic symbols or emblems of the regions they represented. The stamps were only sold in the specific region they represented, but were valid for use throughout the UK.

The Wilding design was replaced in 1971 with the Machin head design which contained a single symbol in the upper left corner. These stamps were issued for 30 years, though in 1973 the Isle of Man became postally independent and started issuing their own stamps.

In 1999 with the decentralization of power from Parliament to regional legislative bodies new designs were issued for Scotland and Wales. This was followed in 2001 with issues for Northern Ireland and England. Each region has four designs which all pay a specific rate and remain in use today.

The designs, although being definitives, are very diverse with many catalogs not keeping up with the changes. The traditional Queens head in the upper right has changed from silver to white to gray and the values of the stamps have had many changes of Serif and non-serif fonts that have undergone changes with font size over the various issues.  

The most recent designs in use today started as borderless stamps with the color running all the way to the edge of each stamp. This was changed in 2003 to white bordered stamps due to the lack of effectiveness of the vertical tagging bands on some of the darker colored stamps.

With the changes in both major design and the minor tweaks they have undergone, along with many catalogs not giving new numbers despite these changes, I think anyone can have a very rewarding time discovering all of the interesting variety these stamps have to offer.

New Issues

United States – Aug. 26, Poinsettia. One ($1.15) global forever stamp, pane of 10; BCA; Kansas City, MO 64108; Linn’s, Aug. 13, page 1; USPS item No. 565904 (pane of 10).

One we missed last week.

United Kingdom – Aug. 16 Captain Cook and The Endeavour –
Marking the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook setting sail in one of the greatest voyages of discovery of all time aboard HM Bark Endeavour – with nearly 100 men including astronomers, artists and scientists. 

Stamp Shows

August 24-25, 2018
Greater Kansas City Stamp Show
Gladstone, Missouri
Sponsored by: Gladstone Stamp Club
Event Location: Gladstone COmmunity Center, 6901 N. Holmes, Gladstone Missouri 64118
Contact: Perry Kilpatrick – kilpatrick61@gmail.com
Phone: 816-490-2624

August 24-25, 2018
AIRPEX 2018
Dayton, Ohio
Sponsored by: Dayton Stamp Club
Event Location: IBEW Union Hall, 6550 Poe Avenue (at Space Dr.), Dayton, Ohio 45414
Contact: Mike Komiensky – info@daytonstampclub.com
Phone: 937-299-9297
Website: www.daytonstampclub.co

August 26, 2018  
Fourth Sunday Collectibles Show
New Haven, Connecticut
Sponsored by: New Haven Philatelic Society
Event Location: Annex YMA, 554 Woodward Ave., New Haven, Connecticut 06512
Contact: Brian McGrath – hukeda@comcast.net
Phone: 203-627-6874
Website: www.nhps1914.org

August 26, 2018
Las Vegas Sunday Stamps Show
Las Vegas, Nevada
Event Location: Hilton Garden Inn, 7830 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 89123
Contact: Jim Forte
Phone: 702-772-4623
Website: www.thelasvegasstampshow.com

Episode #186 – The APS convention wrap-up and BEES, Magic, Movie Stars and other topicals on stamps.

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #186

Today we do a wrap-up of the APS convention in Columbus Georgia which ended last Sunday.  Scott and Mark were there, and they share their observations about the first day ceremony for the Dragon stamps as well as the market place and other tidbits.

Caj and Mark went to, and will discuss, the first day ceremony for the Magic stamps.

We discuss the new issue coming from the Royal Mail for the “Old Vic” which is a 200-year-old theater in London and the subjects are many movie stars – who also were theater stars – GREAT for a topical collector. We then discuss another topical of BEES on stamps.

Lastly, we discuss how to mail your stamps.

Episode #182 – We are here with President Trump and President Putin in Helsinki Finland so our conversation today is about Finnish Perforations

Welcome to Stamp Show Here Today Episode #182

Today we are here with President Trump and President Putin in Helsinki Finland so obviously our conversation today is going to be about Finnish Perforations.  After all, what else could we discuss?

We also discuss some FNR’s that you can see on our Facebook page – the stamps show Monte Python, Dragons and many other topics.