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!
If you are reading this blog, you are probably aware of the United States Postal Service’s current financial struggle. This is something I’ve been concerned about for a while, and I’m pleased that more people are taking notice. While I respect differing opinions, I truly believe that the Post Office is an essential part of America’s infrastructure and I won’t shy away from defending it.
As I finished writing a letter to my representatives in the US House and Senate, I realized that I wanted to be a little louder in expressing my opinion than just mailing letters to my two Senators and House Representative. So I’m publishing my letter here for anyone to read, to help understand why I feel that the Post Office is worth saving.
It sure is a great week for nature! This week started with Earth Day on Monday, and the workweek ends with Arbor Day on Friday. Plus, the brilliant spring weather where I live is calling me to go outside and enjoy the flowering trees and green grass. It’s a good time to consider the wonders of our planet!
It’s also a great time to learn about and consider ways to protect and preserve nature. One of the most well known and easily practiced ways to reduce waste and slow the depletion of resources is to recycle. So today I want to write about recycling stamps.
No, not stamps about recycling (like the 2011 Go Green stamp) – about recycling the stamps themselves. I’m going to write about Test Stamps and the Environmentally Benign Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Program of 1994.
Happy Easter! At the last stamp show I visited, I thumbed through some dealers’ bargain boxes and found four cute Easter post cards I just couldn’t resist. This gave me an opportunity to learn a little more about post card collecting. Vintage post cards are collectable items outside of philately, as unmailed cards are often bought for their pretty designs and historical value. They make wonderful display pieces that can be easily kept in albums or displayed in frames.
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.