Machin by Douglas Muir. This month marks the 50th anniversary for the simple, yet so complex, Machin series of stamps from Great Britain. The author offers an account of the Machin heads’ first appearance and this year’s special anniversary commemorative stamp issue.
My Lifetime Stamp Pursuit by Matthew Healey. The iconic Machin stamps, named for the sculptor who helped create them, were first issued almost at the exact time the writer was born. When he was old enough to learn about stamps, Matthew felt a natural connection to the design featuring a profile of Queen Elizabeth II. He tells the basics of collecting this multifaceted series.
Conquering Early Stamps of the Himalayas by Joseph Iredale. Nepal, a landlocked nation home to Mount Everest, first started printing stamps in 1881. The early issues feature native design elements, marginal inscriptions, pin-perfs and imperforates, and different papers.
Collecting Coast to Coast. Not-So-Counterfeit Cinderellas, by Wayne L. Youngblood. Free franking for soldiers, the privilege of being able to send mail at no cost, started in 1775. But Congress helped establish rules and the postal service has frowned on those who break them, even if for identifying free-franked mail.
British Empire: Gilbert and Ellice Islands by Noel Davenhill. We travel to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, a series of atolls and coral islands that fell under British rule — first as a protectorate, then as a colony — for more than 80 years.
Worldwide in a Nutshell: Mount Athos by Bob Lamb. Though linked to Greece in many ways (including postal) this mountainous entity home only to Orthodox religious men and hermits has some postal history, including contemporary post offices.
Champion of Champion by Robert Odenweller and John Hotchner. This August, the 50th Champion of Champions will be crowned during StampShow. Here is a look back at the roots and growth of our premier exhibiting competition, the World Series of Philately, and some of those who shaped and participated in this exhibiting event.
Fort Ticonderoga (Scott 1071) by Charles Posner. The Fort Ticonderoga stamp of 1955 was designed through a contest and led to the establishment of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee two years later. This stamp also was part of the PMG’s quest to improve American postage stamp design.
’Round the World in 343 Days by Chuck Fisher. A colorful cover, mailed in January 1891 in Germany finally settled back in Germany more than 11 months later. In between, it traveled to four more continents, leaving several mysteries in its wake.
Collecting Coast to Coast. When First-Day Battles Raged, by Wayne L. Youngblood. Pioneer U.S. cachetmakers fought with the U.S. Post Department over what was acceptable, or not, in their designs.
Expertizing: West Berlin Stamp in Center Ring, by Tom Horn. Identifying the different years of issue in of a continuing design of West Berlin stamps is easy: All you have to do is watch which way the clapper in the bell swings.
Worldwide in a Nutshell: Kuwait, by Bob Lamb. The first stamps of Kuwait were overprinted British stamps. The independent state, a sheikdom, started issuing its own stamps a couple years before it gained full independence in 1961.
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.
The January issue of The American Philatelist is now online for members to view. Here are some of the highlights:
Alaskan Interrupted Mail by Steven Berlin. Uncommon and rare covers include those delayed by floods, earthquakes, ship mishaps, airplane crashes, and robberies.
Federal Use of Confederate Design Patriotic Covers of Northern Manufacture by James Milgram. A look at covers displaying Confederate designs that were manufactured and used in the North.
Superheores on Stamps by Timothy M. Bergquist. After spending decades on the pulp pages of comic books, popular superheroes have burst onto the stamp scene with a POW! BAM! and SPLASH!
1919 Texas Recruiting Flight by Don Jones. After World War I, the military found itself short of soldiers so it conducted a major recruitment campaign by dangling the new air service as a carrot.
Featured Columns Stamp Classics by Joseph Iredale. A new column reviews some stamps from the golden era described by many as the first hundred years, 1840 to 1940. This month, a look at Thailand’s first official postage stamps and some provisionals that preceded them.
Collecting Coast to Coast: A Little Something Extra On That Cover by Wayne L. Youngblood. Messages from the Captain of the Watch, the Fiscal Director and others of interest are found in a review of private auxiliary markings that sometimes amuse or confound postal clerks, customers, and collectors.
Worldwide in a Nutshell: Antigua and Barbuda by Bob Lamb. The Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda had separate philatelic histories until they were joined together as one country.