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.

Depression-Era Poster Art Featured on New U.S. Stamps

Striking imagery from Depression-era posters are featured on 10 new U.S. forever stamps formally issued today, March 7, in a first-day ceremony at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York. The stamps were produced in double-sided panes of 20 (convertible booklet format).

The posters depicted on the stamps were created by artists employed by the Work Projects Administration’s Federal Art Project’s Poster Division and created to support the civic-minded ideals of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

WPA Posters
WPA Posters

“It is undeniable that Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood the importance of visual design and how it could communicate powerful messages of optimism, hope and perseverance,” Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Megan J. Brennan, who dedicated the stamps. “It is also fitting that these WPA posters are being memorialized on postage stamps, because President Roosevelt had a lifelong fascination with stamps as artwork.”

Brennan was joined at the stamp dedication ceremony by Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum; Anthony Musso, author and historian; and David B. Roosevelt, grandson of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“These stamps commemorate the work of my grandfather’s most ambitious New Deal program and the artwork generated from the WPA artists,” said Roosevelt. “Much of the artwork adorned public buildings built by WPA employees.”

The stamps feature 10 illustrative posters from the Library of Congress collection.

Formed in 1935 as the Works Progress Administration — renamed Work Projects Administration in 1939 — the WPA provided millions of jobs during the Great Depression. Lasting until 1943, the WPA’s Federal Art Program’s Poster Division was absorbed into World War II programs.

Antonio Alcalá served as the art director of the project and designed the stamps with Maribel O. Gray.

National Postal History & Stamp Show Coming to Reno March 3–5

AmeriStamp Expo, the nation’s second largest postage stamp and postal history show, will take place March 3–5 in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center at 4590 South Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public. Details are available on the show website: stamps.org/StampExpo.

Postal historians as well stamp collectors, dealers, artisans, and the general public can learn about stamps and postal history, buy and sell stamps, and have stamp collections evaluated. Displays include letter carriers’ museum artifacts, an historic postal vehicle, an historic post office window, and a few of America’s rarest postal items — including the earliest known U.S. Presidential “Free Frank” from 1789. More than 130 private collections of stamps, postal history, and philatelic material will be exhibited.

Among the most popular reasons to attend the Expo is the “Stamps In Your Attic” program, a free service to identify and evaluate stamps and postal history. The public is encouraged to bring along inherited collections of stamps or old family correspondence to receive input as to their uniqueness and care.

Youth can learn about stamp collecting through microscopes, design their own stamps, fill a stamp passport, play games, and pick up items for their collections in the Youth Area — all for free. Adults interested in learning more about the hobby can attend free Beginning Collectors seminars and other workshops.

Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope
Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope

Friday, March 3, ceremonies will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, for the new Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope and Flora stamps being issued by the United States Postal Service® and Marshall Islands Postal Service, respectively. Saturday, March 4, a special ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. to celebrate the national kick-off to the 25th anniversary National Association of Letter Carriers’ “Stamp Out Hunger®” Food Drive. Artist Jeff Keane of the Family Circus comic strip will help dedicate a personalized postage souvenir sheet featuring the iconic campaign artwork, printed by PhotoStamps.com. Autograph sessions will follow each ceremony. Proceeds from postage sheet sales will benefit the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, who will also have a booth at the show to accept contributions and donations of canned goods.

AmeriStamp Expo 2017 is hosted by the American Philatelic Society, in partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers and the United States Postal Service. Event details are available at stamps.org/StampExpo. For details, call (814) 933-3803 ext. 217 or e-mail stampshow@stamps.org.

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