The recently released book, U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad, 1832-1875, received top honors in an international philatelic literature competition.
Auktionshaus Christoph Gaertner announced at MonacoPhil 2017 that the book authored by Hugh V. Feldman, of Great Britain, and published by the Collectors Club of Chicago, received first place in the fifth annual C.G. International Philatelic Promotion Award competition.
CCC club member Leonard Hartmann accepted the award, which included a €2,000 prize, on behalf of the club.
The Collectors Club of Chicago offered the following details:
This book starts with the development of the early railroads in a historical context and then focuses on the establishment, routes the cities and towns served as it relates the philatelic information. The mail contract route information is well organized and includes dates, route numbers, contract agreement and cost per mile.
The basic arrangement of the book is by states accompanied by charts, copies of detailed maps locating town and a detailed list of the stations served on the various mail contracts.
The mail contracts normally have the individual stops and dates thus one may be able to bracket in time when a specific station was in postal use.
The full-color, hardbound book runs 1,096 pages and illustrates 242 covers, 582 maps and 360 other images. A DVD included shows more than 800 covers, many which are not illustrated in the book; annual postmaster general reports; and other reports to Congress between 1817 and 1878. Also included are more than 6,000 images of the manuscript “Railroad Contracts by States.”
“The bonus disk is a boon to postal historical research,” wrote Diane DeBlois in the November issue of “The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues” by the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. “Although these reports might be sourced otherwise from the internet, to have them all in one place is a gift. … So, bravo to a brave British postal historian for supplying his American counterparts with such a valuable resource.”
In late November, Feldman appeared at Chicagopex 2017 stamp show in Itasca, Illinois, where he gave a presentation based on the book and signed copies.
The competition, open to all organizations and publishers of philatelic periodicals, was founded in 2013 to recognize promotion of philatelic research and the preservation of philatelic knowledge through publication, according to outgoing APS Librarian Tara Murray, as posted in a recent APRL blog.
The Philatelic Literature Review, published by the American Philatelic Research Library, and The American Philatelist, published by the American Philatelic Society, took fourth and 10th places, respectively, in the same competition.