Dragons Will Invade American Philatelic Society’s StampShow

You may want to consider packing some heavy armor, shields, crossbows, magic potions or anything else that might tame or slay a dragon if you plan on visiting Columbus, Ohio this August.

The U.S. Postal Service will issue four new Dragons stamps during StampShow, scheduled for August 9 to 12 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

StampShow – sponsored by the American Philatelic Society – is the nation’s largest annual philatelic show and promises to be more exciting than ever. This is first time the show will be co-sponsored with the American Topical Association, the group that helps collect stamps by topics, such as heraldry, legends and dragons.

The show will offer philatelic activities, exhibits and experiences, making it an event for collectors and non-collectors of all ages. There will be hundreds of exhibits, stamp rarities on display, specialty societies on hand, presentations, youth and beginners’ activities and dozens of dealer booths. The U.S. Postal Service plans to be at the show with an extraordinary booth.

Something sure to make the show more enjoyable will be the society’s new mobile app for the show, scheduled for release May 1.

StampShow, which moves among locations annually, will serve as the 132nd convention of the society, which has about 29,000 members worldwide.

The four new U.S. stamps will be issued in panes of 16.

“The high-flying, fire-breathing mythological creatures … have roamed our imaginations for millennia,” the Postal Service said in a news release.

The stamps feature digital illustrations created by artist Don Clark of Invisible Creature studio. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps.

The designs show:

A green fire-breathing dragon towering over a medieval-inspired castle.

A purple dragon with orange wings and sharp black armor on its back snaking around a white castle that evokes Camelot.

A black dragon with green wings and green armor on its back swooping past a ship on the sea.

A wingless orange dragon, inspired by creatures from Asian art, architecture and ancient religion and lore, weaving its way around a pagoda.

“We’re very excited to bring these beautiful stamps to the 132nd annual APS convention,” said U.S. Postal Service Stamp Services Director Mary-Anne Penner. “This is one of the premier stamp shows in America and serves as an excellent platform to showcase these special stamps.”

“We’re thrilled to have USPS unveil these great stamps with us in Columbus,” said Scott English, APS executive director. “There will be something for the whole family highlighting this cool theme. No experience necessary, so we hope you will join us!”

The U.S., not home to many dragons of lore, has not issued many stamps with dragons; maybe just a couple from Lunar New Year series. The 2000 Lunar New Year stamp (Scott 3370) features a paper-cut styled dragon to mark the Year of the Dragon. The 2012 Lunar New Year stamp (Scott 4623) features a colorful dragon head of the type used in parades and celebrations. Many European and Asian countries have included dragons on stamp. They include Austria, Cambodia, China, Great Britain (including this year’s Game of Thrones set), Japan, Jersey and the Philippines.

More information about StampShow and the APS can be found online at https://stamps.org/STAMPSHOW-SS.

More information from the U.S. Postal Service can be found online at: https://aps.buzz/2GaraS0

Get Ready for a Beautiful Day in Our Neighborhood

BELLEFONTE, Pennsylvania – Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood is coming to our neighborhood.

It’s sure to be a beautiful day when the neighborhood from the groundbreaking children’s television show will be the theme for an afternoon of children’s activities. The special day will include a very special guest – Mr. McFeely, who was the postman on the PBS show that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The American Philatelic Society and WPSU-TV, State College public television invite you to join us at the American Philatelic Center, 100 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte to celebrate Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and a new stamp issued in his honor. Activities for the whole family will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24, 2018.

The event occurs the day after the new Mister Rogers forever postage stamp will be formally released in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Fred Rogers produced and filmed the show about his neighborhood. The show ran for more than 30 years on PBS.

Mister Rogers PhotoMr. McFeely – the postman from the Speedy Delivery Service portrayed by David Newell – will be in character. He will arrive aboard the Penn State trolley and invite everyone inside, where at 2:15 p.m. he will dedicate the new Mister Rogers stamp to become part of the American Philatelic Center’s collection. He will then visit with children and sign autographs.

Other planned activities include an opportunity for children younger than 12 to color a design on an envelope, address it to someone special, affix a stamp to the envelope and mail it (limited to one per child). The APS, through its historic Headsville Post Office, will have Mister Rogers stamps available for purchase.

WPSU will bring its cutout trolley, reminiscent of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Trolley, which is a nice backdrop for photos. Also, Daniel Tiger, star of an animated Mister Rogers spinoff show, will be present via a life-size cutout (more photo ops!). These are set pieces that WPSU uses in live broadcasts.

WPSU will hand out Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Activity Booklets to children 8 and younger along with Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood coloring sheets.

In addition to decorating and mailing an envelope, the APS Education Department will offer other stamp collecting activities, including an opportunity for children to create their own free stamp albums.

Children of all ages will be able to reminisce as we share video clips of Mister Rogers Neighborhood during the event.

Tours of the American Philatelic Center will be available.

Deborah Kris Farmer offered the following on the PBS web pages dedicated to Mr. Rogers (www.pbs.org/parents/rogers/the-timeless-teachings-of-mister-rogers-neighborhood):

“Fred Rogers was always addressing two audiences. First, he offered children lessons about friendship, emotions, and growing up. And he also offered parents simple strategies for helping their children grow and thrive: how to talk to kids, how to listen, and how to use song, story, and make-believe to communicate important ideas.

“Fred Rogers’ techniques were grounded in his study of child development, said Angela Santomero, the creator of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. “There was a reason behind everything he did. It was all very child centered.”

Public broadcasting station WPSU Penn State is a collection of innovative writers, storytellers, teachers, producers, designers and technicians — using 21st-century tools and media to bring information, education, and entertainment to viewers, listeners, and larger communities throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. WPSU engages communities in the heart of Pennsylvania with educational and commercial-free programs that reach across generations to inform, intrigue and inspire.

American Philatelic Society Names New Editor

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania — Today, the American Philatelic Society announced that Martin Kent Miller of Greer, South Carolina would become the new Editor for the Society. Miller will serve as Editor of the APS flagship publication, The American Philatelist, a monthly journal dedicated to stamp collecting and the Philatelic Literature Review, the quarterly publication of the American Philatelic Research Library.

Miller, 49, joined the APS in 2008, but has been a stamp collector since 1974. His collecting interests include philatelic materials related to the USS North Carolina, the 1934–35 National Parks series, and a single-issue collection of the 1937 West Point commemorative. He is currently President and Founder of The Image Forge, a corporate communications firm in Greer in operation since 2003. In 2012, Miller branched out into the social media world as Co-Founder and Director of Marketing for Socialtopias in Charlotte, NC. He was Global Communications Manager for Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation in Greenville, SC from 2000 to 2003 and Vice President and General Manager of Hell Gravure Systems, North America in Schaumburg, IL and through their relocation to Inman, SC.  Miller holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Harding University in Searcy, AR where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

“We’re excited to have Martin joining the team,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the APS, “He brings a wide range of experience in publication, marketing, and branding to our organization. We hope to leverage his talents not only with the publications, but leading the way in growing our online presence to promote the APS and the hobby.”

While Miller’s primary responsibilities will be managing the two publications of the APS and APRL, he will also lead the efforts to revamp the APS website and develop the online strategies for promoting the APS and the hobby to a whole new audience.

“Philately has always been the unifying point of my varied interests — art, design, printing and history,” commented Miller. “I’m honored to now have the opportunity to combine my professional experience with the hobby that holds my love and passion.”

Miller officially joins the APS team on October 1, 2017, but will begin working with current Editor Jay Bigalke immediately.

September 2017 American Philatelist Available Online

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

U.N. Philately by Jeff Stage. Don’t be fooled. The United Nations may not have issued its first stamps until 111 years after the Penny Black, but there is still a world of philately to collect. An expert offers some background about U.N. collecting in anticipation of the UNEXPO17, a special World Series of Philately show, in October at the American Philatelic Center.

An Unusual Registered Item by Vincent Centonze. Why would someone send a postal card — easily viewed by anyone — as a registered item? Perhaps it was just as some assurance of delivery … or was there a blatant message the sender hoped to broadcast through the mailstream?

The Metcalf-Hunt Correspondence, 1835-1875 by Robert L. McCaughey. A collection of nearly 200 covers and letters from the 1800s help tell the story of two prominent New England families — the Metcalfs and Hunts — and their hometown of Providence, Rhode Island.

Will-Call Cards and the Traveling Salesman by Wayne Youngblood. Salesmen’s will-call cards provide an interesting collectible area that offers interesting messages, postmarks and other postal cancellations, stamp usage, and advertising, from some of the U.S. postal system’s glory years.

Turks and Caicos Islands by Noel Davenhill. We travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands, likely discovered by Columbus, wound up as a dependency of Jamaica, and finally as a British Overseas Territory. First, just the Turks Islands were occupied, but the salt industry, followed by tourism prompted growth, and philately, on the Caicos Islands as well.

Guinea-Bissau by Bob Lamb. First colonized by Portugal, this small locale on Africa’s west coast first used overprinted stamps from Cape Verde. Stamps after World War II were inscribed “Guiné” and a whole new look was created after independence in the mid-1970s.

APS 2017 Web Award Winners

The American Philatelic Society has named the winners in this year’s Chapter and Affiliates Web Awards recognizing website excellence.

Eleven groups participated in the competition that was open to all APS chapter clubs; clubs or federations that run stamp shows; and affiliates. Each site was evaluated in a variety of areas, including overall content, structure and navigation, visual design, functionality, and interactivity. The judges were Donald J. Chenevert Jr., of Springfield, Missouri, and Lloyd A. de Vries, of Washington Township, New Jersey.

All entrants received a certificate and distinctive electronic award badge to post on their site signifying their award level and competition year. The 2018 competition will be held in the spring with details available at https://stamps.org/Club-Benefits.

Here is a summary of the awards. Congratulations to all!

American First Day Cover Society (www.afdcs.org)

American Topical Association (www.americantopicalassn.org).

Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (www.esperstamps.org)

Europa Study Unit (www.europastudyunit.org)

The Stamp Forum (thestampforum.boards.net)

Chicago Philatelic Society (www.chicagopex.org)

Christmas Philatelic Club (www.christmasphilatelicclub.org)

Scandinavian Collectors Club (www.scc-online.org)

Silver Bronze
American Society of Polar Philatelists (www.polarphilatelists.org)

Compex Show Committee (www.compexstampshow.org)

Vermont Philatelic Society (www.vermontps.org)