Nominations Sought for Prestigious Crawford Medal

The prestigious Crawford Medal of The Royal Philatelic Society London will be awarded in 2018 “for the most valuable and original contribution to the study and knowledge of philately published in book form during the relevant period.”

It is open to all authors, whether members of the society or not.

Crawford MedalThe medal, in silver-gilt, features a portrait of the Earl of Crawford, bibliophile extraordinaire, and was instituted in 1914 but not awarded until 1920 owing to World War I.

Nominations are invited of books published in 2016 or 2017 to be considered by the selection committee, who will make a recommendation to Council. Nominations close on February 1.

Brief details should be submitted by e-mail to: secretary@rpsl.org.uk or by letter to the Society, 41 Devonshire Place, London WS1G 6JY, in every case using the subject “Crawford Nomination” or marking the envelope in the same way.

The society solicits nominations from as wide a selection of books as possible and would expect to have a copy in the society’s library. If the book is not in the library the nominator will be requested to supply a copy for the committee to consider.

The medal is open to worldwide competition. In the case of joint authorship the Council of the Royal may award a medal to each author, but in the case of books compiled as a result of collaboration on the part of more than two authors, the Council may award a medal to the sponsors or editors of the work instead of to the authors.

Chicagopex Features Three Book Signings, Two Convening Societies

The blockbuster Chicagopex 2017 show will feature nearly 300 frames of competitive exhibits, 75 dealers, a literature competition, two convening societies, book presentations and signings, and more when it meets November 17 to 19 at the Westin Chicago Northwest.

Here is a glimpse of the highlights, submitted by Melanie Rogers, publicity chair.

The annual philatelic exhibition celebrates 131 years of the Chicago Philatelic Society (www.chicagopex.org).

Columbian Expo TicketThis year’s show theme is “Celebrating the 525th Anniversary of Columbus’ Sailing.” Special souvenir show cachets and cancellation will be available for all three days of the show. There also will be an exhibit of material from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which took place in Chicago.

There will be 290 frames of philatelic material on display with something of interest for all attendees. This year marks the 51st anniversary of the philatelic literature competition with the books and other materials on display. Chicagopex judges also evaluate electronic literature such as websites, blogs and online articles.

The show bourse will feature 75 dealers from the United States and Europe. They will offer an array of material to interest everyone from the beginning collector to the advanced collector and exhibitor. The U.S. Postal Service and the U.N. Postal Administration will attend.

Two societies will convene: the Society of Israel Philatelists and the British Caribbean Philatelic Study Group. These groups will present special exhibits of stamps and postal history as well as hold meetings open to the public.

The following groups also will meet at the show (all are open to the public):
Chicago Philatelic Society (Saturday)
Germany Philatelic Society Chapter No. 5 (Saturday)
Illinois Postal History Society (Sunday)
• North Shore Philatelic Society (Sunday)

Many of these groups feature expert guest speakers giving talks open to the public. The full schedule will appear in the show program, which will be available at the hospitality desk in the hotel’s atrium. It’s also available at the show website.

There is one book signing each day:

• 1 p.m. November 17 – The Pictorial History of Walt Disney’s First Superstar: Mickey Mouse, Volume One, by Edward Bergen
• 2 p.m. November 18 – U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad (1832-1875), by Hugh V. Feldman
• 11 a.m. November 19 – Holocaust Postal History, by Justin Gordon

Facebook PageCopies of the books will be available for sale. Visit the Chicago Philatelic Society’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chicagopex) to find specific events and the show program, including specific conference rooms.

The show includes a youth booth with free stamps and supplies.

Attendees are asked to contact the hotel to make reservations and to mention Chicagopex for the special room rate. Admission and parking are free. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Saturday night will feature a catered awards banquet. Tickets must be purchased in advance ($60 each) and dress is business casual. Please see the Chicagopex website for the reservation form. Special diets can be accommodated upon request.

Three-Day SESCAL Show in Southern California Opens Friday

SESCAL MedallionThe 73rd annual Stamp Exhibition of Southern California, a three-day show popularly known as SESCAL, opens Friday at a new venue.

The show – presenting dealers, exhibits, and presentations – will be held at the Ontario Convention Center, 2000 E. Convention Center Way in Ontario. World War I is the show theme.

The U.S. Postal Service and United Nations Postal Administration will be on hand offering their latest products. Thirty-four dealers will have booths, along with the Rossica (Russian) Society, the United States Cancellation Club, and the American Philatelic Society, which will be represented by Executive Director Scott English.

Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions is the official auctioneer and will have auctions every day.

Meetings or presentations are planned from members of the Éire Philatelic Association, Mexico Philatelic Society, Hawaiian Philatelic Society, U.S. Cancellation Society, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, American First Day Cover Society, Rossica Society, the Plate Number Coil Club, and Iran and Japanese study groups. John Hotchner, of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, will lead a forum on exhibiting. Anyone interested in these groups is invited to attend.

Forty-one exhibitors have submitted 200 frames of material for the show, which is part of the World Series of Philately. The titles include “The Coronation Year of King George V,” “The First Modern U.S. Postage Stamp,” “Liberia Ship Letters and Stampless Mail, 1830-1880” and “California Express Companies, 1849-1895.” The grand award exhibit winner will be eligible to compete in the APS’s Champion of Champions competition.

Youth activities are scheduled every day.Facebook Page

Admission every day is free, though there is an $8 daily charge for parking at the convention center.

For more information, visit the show website at www.sescal.org.

U.S. and Canada Reveal Designs of Joint Hockey Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service and Canada Post today revealed the designs for their upcoming History of Hockey joint issue.

The stamps will be formally issued October 20 at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena Belfor Training Center. U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan will be joined by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra at the ceremony.

The stamp format is tête-bêche – a joined pair of similar images in which one is upside down – and the design is strong on nostalgia. On an open pond, a player in modern equipment reflects, literally, on the past. Mirrored in the ice beneath him is a player in vintage gear. The imaginative imagery gives a visual sense of looking back through time. The paired images also depict the game’s evolution and its continuing presence in the lives of players and fans alike.

Each country uses the same basic design with just the country indicator and denomination being different. The U.S. stamps have “USA FOREVER” across their tops; the Canadian stamps have the red permanent stamp maple leaf logo in the upper left corner and “CANADA” in the upper right corner.

The Postal Service is honored to partner with Canada Post to produce The History of Hockey stamps,” said Brennan in a news release. “This sport exemplifies a wonderful tradition of competition and camaraderie between our nations, and these commemorative stamps are a special way to celebrate the game that transcends borders.

A souvenir sheet, which will be revealed during the Oct. 20 dedication ceremony, features a scene that illustrates the evolution of the sport across generations. The selvage — or area outside of the stamps on the souvenir sheet — depicts a father teaching his daughter how to play hockey on a pond.

The stamps were designed by Subplot Design Inc., for Canada Post, the artwork is intended to celebrate and reflect on the history of hockey. KC Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, shot the photographs. Susan Gilson was the art director of the Canadian version of the stamps. William J. Gicker was the art director of the American version of the stamps.

Professional hockey is celebrating the centennial of the National Hockey League, which formally began competition in 1917. Also, hockey fans are acknowledging the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, today emblematic of the annual NHL champion.

Canada Post on September 28 issued its final set of stamps in a five-year series celebrating the NHL’s 100th anniversary.

This is the sixth joint issue for Canada Post and the USPS dating back to 1959, and the first in more than a decade. It’s also their first celebrating a sport.

The first joint issue released by the two postal administrations marked the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since then, they have jointly commemorated the United States Bicentennial (1976), the 50th anniversary of the Peace Bridge (1977), the St Lawrence Seaway’s 25th anniversary (1984) and the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the East Coast of North America (2006).

USPS Announces Two New Semipostal Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service announced today that in November it will issue the first of five semipostal stamps. Previous semipostal stamps included the Saving Vanishing Species stamp and the Breast Cancer Research stamp.

Under the program, the Postal Service will issue five stamps over a 10-year period, with each stamp to be sold for no more than two years.

The first stamp issued will be an Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp, followed by a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Semipostal Stamp in 2019. The next three discretionary semipostal stamps have not yet been determined.

The Alzheimer’s Semipostal Stamp will be issued during National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. Net proceeds will be distributed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Details on issuance date and location will be provided at a later date.

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983. At the time, fewer than two million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s; today, that number has soared to nearly 5.4 million.

Semipostal stamps, currently sold for 60-cents, are First-Class Mail (FCM) postage stamps that are issued and sold by the Postal Service at a price above the FCM single-piece one-ounce stamp rate (FCM rate) to raise funds for designated causes.

The difference between the FCM rate in effect at the time of purchase and the 60 cent purchase price, minus an amount to offset costs incurred by the Postal Service, if any, is contributed to the specific cause by law.

Under the Semipostal Authorization Act, the Postal Service will consider proposals for future semipostals until seven years after May 20, 2016. The Federal Register notice outlining this program can be found at the following url:  https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-04-20/pdf/2016-09081.pdf.

Proposals will only be considered if they meet all submission requirements and selection criteria. They may be submitted by mail to the following address:

Office of Stamp Services
Attn: Semipostal Discretionary Program
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW., Room 3300
Washington, DC 20260–3501

Suggestions may also be submitted in a single Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file sent by email to semipostal@usps.govIndicate in the Subject Line: Semipostal Discretionary Program.

All postage stamps are available for purchase at Post Offices, online at usps.com, and by toll-free phone order at 1-800 STAMP-24.