Local posts and independent mails have been a special interest of mine ever since I started working in philately, but not everyone is so familiar with this subcategory of stamp collecting. In the US, local posts are private companies that carry mail outside of the official government post office. These companies were first organized in the 1840s, to compete with or supplement the Post Office’s service. Although the classic era of local posts ended in the 1860s when new laws suppressed their ability to legally carry the mail, short lived local posts still occasionally pop up – usually through the will of creative philatelists who want to leave their mark in the world of stamp collecting.
I gave a presentation on the history and evolution of local posts for the American Philatelic Society. You can watch a recording of the talk here: https://youtu.be/8I2HvB7hOlA
Creating my own local post is something I’ve wanted to do for years, but never knew exactly when or how to pull it off. Well, it’s 2020, and due to the corona virus pandemic, I haven’t been able to visit stamp shows or first day ceremonies, and I’m aching for a stamp adventure. So it seems like the perfect time to put my local post research to work and create an exciting new local post that I can share with all philatelic friends!
I’m well aware of mail and messages sent by carrier pigeon. You can even collect pigeon post stamps, which are the first air mail stamps ever produced!
But this week my husband introduced me to this children’s book, which is based on a true story, about a city in Belgium that attempted to us cats to deliver mail. So of course, as a philatelist and a cat person, I had to dig in and do some research on this fun little bit of postal history.
The past two weekends I’ve been getting a little crafty. One thing I really wanted to make for myself was a new purse, so I went looking for some philatelic-inspired fabric to make it with. I looked through four different fabric/crafting stores and found a variety of material to choose from.
One thing I noticed while looking for stamp themed fabric was that most of it was less focused on stamps and more focused on France. Vintage Paris, with its romantic imagery, is a popular theme right now for craft products. While I did buy a few yards of pretty pastel fabric covered in images of French stamps, I generally shied away from these types of material. I mostly work with US postal history and don’t know much about French stamps. Since I was planning on carrying this purse regularly, I wanted to be sure if anyone asked about it, I’d have a story to tell. Continue reading →
One of the benefits of working for a stamp collector is that when I want to send mail, I have a wide variety of leftover stamps to choose from. This gives me the opportunity to pick the perfect stamp(s) for any type of mail or occasion. This Valentine’s Day, I sent out postal cards from the Art of Disney: Romance set, supplemented with the 25₵ 1990 LOVE stamps.
Specific stamps for special occasions seem only natural. When your special someone (friend, family, or significant other) sees that floral or heart patterned stamp, they know they’re in for a Valentine’s treat! It also adds sentimental value and beauty to the envelope if they keep it as a memento. Continue reading →