March 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

The March issue of The American Philatelist is online for APS members to view. Here are some of the highlights:

The Old Man of the Mountains (Scott 1068) by Charles Posner. Before the gigantic rock outcropping known as the Old Man of the Mountains collapsed, it was the centerpiece in 1955 for a stamp honoring New Hampshire.

David Pearce Cover by Paul Goodwin. A 19th-century cover holds correspondence between 18th-century privateers detailing encounters during times of war and peace.

The Boston Negative Cancels by Bob Grosch. A 19th-century experiment with canceling devices resulted in some interesting postal history from New England known as the Boston Negative Cancels.

Stamp Classics. The Belgian Congo Series of 1894 by Joseph Iredale. As a private citizen, the king of Belgium seized control and ran roughshod over the Belgian Congo, the huge interior of Africa. Despite the calamity, some interesting stamps were produced.

Collecting Coast to Coast. Is a Postal Marking Ever Truly Obsolete? by Wayne L. Youngblood. Evidence shows that old and outdated canceling devices and auxiliary marking handstamps sometimes take on a new life.

Visiting the British Empire. Barbados by Noel Davenhill. Different pigments, perforation devices, modifications, and watermarked paper all caused complexities among early stamps from the Caribbean island of Barbados.

Worldwide in a Nutshell. Nagorno-Karabakh by Bob Lamb. This mountainous enclave about the size of Delaware in the southern Caucasus has close ties to Armenia. One major catalog lists its stamps; another doesn’t.

APS 2017 Stamp Madness Contest

What historic postage stamp is the best of the best? Can a classic Canadian farm sow more votes than beautiful French irises? Can an Olympics stamp from Mexico run the table or will a 1962 U.S. space stamp rise to the top? Does the entry from tiny Chad have a legitimate chance? What about India, Great Britain and the others?

Welcome to our bracket-style head-to-head 2017 Stamp Madness contest [Enter Contest Here]. In four rounds of voting, we’ll choose a champion stamp and some lucky contestants will win fun philatelic prizes.

We have two simple contests. The first is our Preview Contest in which APS members, via the e-newsletter link sent today (voting closes March 22), are picking the stamp they think will win the overall championship. We’ll randomly choose the winner from the group that picked the winning stamp. One vote per person please and only members of the APS are eligible for the top prize (a 2005 U.S. Stamp Yearbook with $51.43 in face value stamps). A runner-up will receive the book Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950.

Our second contest, also a Preview Contest, is open to the public for voting (voting also closes March 22) and prizes (top prize The Civil War, a book published by the USPS in 1995 that includes two panes of 20 stamps; runner-up prize the Cataloging U.S. Commemorative Stamps: 1950 book).

The stamps represent four regions — the Americas, Europe, Pacific, and Afro-Mediterranean — and they will square off to create a Final Four and eventual champion. Please choose your favorite stamp in each elimination round via Facebook and Twitter, which will lead to a final showdown and eventual champion. Again, we’ll choose at random from the “winning” stamp’s pool to award a prize.

The contests begin today! The first two rounds have the Americas vs. Afro-Mediterranean and Pacific vs. Europe. Good Luck!

THE STAMPS

The Americas
United States (Seeded No. 1) – The design for the New York World’s Fair stamp of 1964 (Scott 1244) was created using the artwork of architectural illustrator John C. Wenrich, who worked on both the 1939 and 1964 New York fairs. The stamp features two of the fair’s prominent icons – “The Rocket Thrower” sculpture and the Unisphere globe.

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APS Survey Results Released

Today, March 14, the American Philatelic Society released the results of a survey of more than 3,000 members and 800 non-members looking at services provided by the APS and giving insight into what collectors want to see.

The survey was conducted through Survey Monkey and the results were analyzed by David Paddock, a long-time APS member and expert in the field of market research.  Paddock agreed to donate his time to lead focus groups at StampShow 2016 in Portland, Oregon and producing the report of more than 120 pages for the APS leadership and members. The key takeaway from the report was a desire to see greater education services provided on-demand through the APS website.

“There are some great insights into how our members and the collecting community at large view APS services,” said Scott English, APS Executive Director, “We have some work to do to better promote some services, like expertizing, circuit sales, and the library, and make sure they meeting the needs of our members.”

The results were presented to the APS Board of Directors at the AmeriStamp Expo in Reno, Nevada, held earlier this month.

“Thank you to David for donating his time and to all those who contributed to this survey,” said English. “The results will help us bring positive changes to the way we serve our members.”

This is the first survey performed by the APS since 2006.

Protect Pollinators Stamps at APS StampShow in Richmond

The United States Postal Service announced in mid-March that it will issue the Protect Pollinators commemorative forever stamps August 3 in Richmond, Virginia. The ceremony for the stamps will take place during the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow. An exact time for the ceremony has not been determined.

The five stamps, to debut nationwide the same day, will be sold in a pane of 20 format with decorative selvage. Nearby is a preliminary image of the pane layout.

Here are some additional details about the stamp issue from the U.S. Postal Service:

Protect Pollinators
Protect Pollinators

Protect Pollinators
This stamp pays tribute to the beauty and importance of pollinators with stamps depicting two of our continent’s most iconic, the monarch butterfly and the western honeybee, each shown industriously pollinating a variety of plants native to North America. These particular species exemplify the ecological service provided by all pollinators, which include other insects, birds, and bats. Crop pollination by insects contributes approximately $15 billion of produce to the U.S. economy each year. Trending declines in their populations alert us that pollinators are helped by planting pollinator gardens with native flowers or heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Art director Derry Noyes designed this stamp pane with existing photographs.

Stamp Out Hunger Souvenir Postage Sheet Unveiled

Souvenir Postage Commemorates
25th Anniversary “Stamp Out Hunger®” Campaign

The American Philatelic Society (APS), in partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), is pleased to unveil a commemorative postage sheet for the 25th Anniversary of the “Stamp Out Hunger®” Food Drive. This personalized postage souvenir sheet, printed by PhotoStamps, will be available beginning Saturday, March 4 at AmeriStamp Expo — the nation’s second largest annual stamp and postal history show — being held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada.

The souvenir sheet features some of the iconic “Stamp Out Hunger®” campaign artwork, designed by artists Bil and Jeff Keane of the Family Circus comic strip, now synonymous with the campaign. Jeff Keane will join representatives from the NALC to dedicate this personalized postage at a special ceremony on Saturday, March 4 at 11 a.m. to celebrate the national kick-off to this 25th anniversary food drive.

Prior to 1991, there had been efforts by a few branches of the NALC to collect food for those in need. In the fall of 1991, an organized effort was held in 10 cities. Two years later, the NALC held its first national drive in mid-May, a time between holidays when the food banks’ donations are often waning. The initial goal was to have one branch in every state participate. That year, more than 11 million pounds of food was collected. In 2016, 80.1 million pounds of food was gathered, bringing the grand total donation to date to 1.5 billion pounds of food.

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