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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Happy Hour

This was the marquee at the Holiday Inn diner at Union Avenue and McLean where I played the piano in the 1990's.


I had lots of fun hanging out there.

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Jackass Mail

The 8th annual Jackass Mail Run took place on April 5th, 1969.

The mail was carried on the back of a jackass between Porterville, California and Springville, California, about 17 miles, on that historic day.


The cost to send the mail with a jackass was "four bits" or fifty cents.


This piece of mail was picked up by the jackass in Porterville, California and delivered to the post office in Springville, California the same day, Saturday April 5th, 1969 on the circular date stamp.

The four cent vertical coil Lincoln stamp, Scott #1058, is pencil line cancelled,

The vertical coil Roosevelt stamp, Scott #1305, is cancelled with the April 5, 1969 circular date stamp featuring the 93265 zip code of Springville, California with the seven bar wavy line machine cancel across the local post jackass.

Once the mail arrived in Springville it was cancelled and sent to the addressee in New York via airmail.


The handstamped "Via Jackass Mail" cachet adorns this monumental cover on the left.

This beautiful jackass cachet is also on the back of the cover.


In 1961, as part of the City of Porterville Centennial Celebration (100 years), the Jackass Mail Run event was born. 


Here's a photo from an early Jackass Mail Run.




The Jackass Mail Run recreates the old west when mail to Springville was delivered by horse or mule-drawn wagon. Hundreds of riders on horseback, covered wagons, buggies and stagecoaches will gather in front of City Hall in Porterville, and set out to deliver the mail to Springville, lead by the "Wagon Master".


The mail is collected for weeks in special handmade rustic boxes, stamped with a special "Jackass Mail Run Stamp" and transported to Springville. A posse of bandits are always waiting in Springville to steal the mail, and a gunfight ensues.


Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main and J.Carrol Naish starred in the 1942 film, "Jackass Mail".




 Spam, although not carried by a jackass, is also a form of jackass mail.
12:29 pm cst          Comments

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Stamps of Heligoland - "Holyland"

Helgoland (Heligoland to the English and on the stamps) is located in the North Sea about 30 miles from Schleswig-Holstein and sixty miles from the great Elbe river port of Hamburg. It was taken from the Danish and given to the British as a part of the settlement following the Napoleonic wars. While the British used it for its naval facilities and tourism, it was mainly inhabited by local fisherman and farmers.

Scott Catalog numbers 1 through 21 are represented here, 1867 to 1888. 


Stamps were issued for "Heligoland" from 1867 through 1890 under a complex arrangement between the British and the Germans. The postal administration was tied to Hamburg and to Germany after the unification in 1872. Stamps were printed by the Prussian printing office, which became the Reich Druckerei after unification, for German speaking people, but the stamps continued to feature the profile of Queen Victoria.

From 1875 its postage stamps were denominated in both sterling and gold marks.


In 1890 the British conveyed the island to Germany in exchange for some African territory. Heligoland came under the Reich postal administration and began to use the stamps of Germany.


 As a result of this change, Heligoland stamps became the past issues of a "dead territory" and very collectable.


There were more than twenty reprintings of the stamps for collectors in the nineteenth century, some of them official, some semi-offical, and a few restricted to private printings. Very few of the reprintings were actually "forgeries." A million and a third valid stamps were printed for use, but only about half of them were used. The rest were bought for resale to collectors. There were between five and seven million reprints depending on the source of confirmation.


The islands, with a population 1,127, are located in the Heligoland Bight which are part of the German Bight in the southeastern corner of the North Sea. They are the only German islands not in the immediate vicinity of the mainland. They lie approximately 69 kilometres (43 miles) by sea from Cuxhaven at the mouth of the River Elbe.


All Heligoland stamps are scarce, even the reprints if you're lucky enough to discover them.

However, please remember that forged cancellations are numerous because of the extreme rarity of Heligoland cancels. Have them expertised by the Amarican Philatelic Society expertising service, Stamps.Org.




I'm delighted to share 22 unused examples, and one cancelled, from my collection with you.

It's unkonwn at this time if they're reprints, forgeries or original.

In 1906 Arthur Wülbern published a little book called ORIGINALE UND NEUDRUCKE VON HELGOLAND

Original and Reprints of Heligoland.

To quote the late Mr. Wülbern:

Reprint: "That word alone is a horror for many collectors, for beneath the mask of originals creep the bastard stamps which appear as legitimate parts of a collection. Perhaps in no Country do reprints play such a large, remarkable and dangerous role as in Heligoland. One might expect Heligoland reprints to show weak embossing, junky printing, etc. and therefore be easily distinguishable. On the contrary, however, the reprints (especially the Berlin reprint of the 6 Schilling stamp) appear more professionally done and aesthetically attractive than the orginals.

It must be mentioned that one of the main methods of recognition, sometimes the only method, is by examining the stamp colors. Since Heligoland stamps display two or sometimes three colors, identification is made easier; but on the otherhand the many printings of the originals make identification more difficult and this difficulty is made greater by the varieties of issues of reprints. In any case, this area is one of the most difficult in Philately."

It's believed that the name Heligoland in origin means "Holy Land" (the modern Dutch and German heilig, "holy"). Several alter native theories have been considered throughout centuries, explaining that it's the name of the Danish king Heligo or from the ancient Frisian Germanic word hallig, meaning "salt marsh island".

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica suggests an etymology of "Hallaglun, or Halligland, i.e. 'land of banks, which cover and uncover'".

I believe that Heligoland translated is "Holyland".

12:45 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Socialist Party Ticket - Memphis 1920

Eugene Victor Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and a five-time candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.

On June 30, 1918 Debs was arrested and charged with sedition and went to prison on April 13, 1919.

He ran for president of the United States from his prison cell and received nearly a million votes.


The Socialist Party of Tennessee had an active chapter in Memphis.


This rare brochure, part of my collection, was a appeal to voters to support the Socialist Party Ticket.


It was printed in Memphis on October 15th, 1920.

11:34 am cst          Comments

Friday, December 15, 2017

Return of the Wright Flyer - December 17, 1949

On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright piloted the first powered airplane 20 feet above a windy beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet.

Here's a first day cover from my collection that commemorates the 46th anniversary of that flight and heralds the return of the The Wright Flyer 1, the first successful heavier-than-air powered aircraft designed and built by the Wright brothers. They flew it four times on December 17, 1903, near Kill Devil Hills four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, US. Today, the airplane may be seen at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.


Scott #C45 airmail, The Wright Brothers Issue, is tied to the first day cover by the first day bar cancel in addition to the Kitty Hawk, North Carolina circular date stamp of December 17, 1949, 9-AM.


And the great cachet.


This is a House of Farnum cachet. Notice the initials "HF" at the bottom left of the lower wing.

Great example of historic aviation philately !

1:30 pm cst          Comments

Monday, December 11, 2017

Letter to Loretta - " I Should Worry " ???

M.C. sent this postcard to Loretta Cook on May 21, 1918.

The postcard looks like it was given to M.C. by the American Red Cross, Richmond, Virginia Chapter's Canteen Committee from the purple hand stamp to the left of the three cent violet Washington, Scott #501.

He penned his message on Monday.

It was postmarked on Tuesday.

"Mon. am. Am O.K. except R.R. pick. Good bye. God bless you. Write soon. Hope M.C."


I like the dual seven line wavy machine cancellations. The top cancel on the stamp and the upside down bottom cancel. Wonder why the card went through the machine twice ?

Here's a better look at Scott #501, the upper right machine cancel and Red Cross handstamp.

The seven bar machine cancel is most likely a Universal Machine Cancel which entered into use in 1909.


And the piece de resistance:


What in the hell does it mean ? " I should worry become a hunter and catch a deer " ???

It means that he's worried that his lover will cheat on him while he's away at war and that the only thing he can do is bag a cervid instead of a trophy wife after she shafts him.

1:18 pm cst          Comments

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Letter to Loretta - The Jewish Welfare Board 1919

The first world war was over, but the agression still lingered.

Loretta Clark lived in Memphis and corresponded with soldiers.

She got this postcard from a jewish soldier, a member of the First Company, Regiment 11, in 1919 after he had returned to America on the U.S.S. South Dakota on July 19th, 1919.

The ship was anchored in Hempstead, New York on the Atlantic Ocean.


"We landed July 19th, 1919. Will say I was mighty glad to get back to America. Will write again."

The stamp, Scott #498, is tied to the postcard by the Hempstead, New York, July 21, 1919, 6PM, circular date stamp and military flag wavy machine cancellation.


This scarce postcard was provided to our jewish soldiers and others by theJewish Welfare Board, United States Army and Navy, for soldiers arriving on U.S. shores and in this case returning to Camp Mills Long Island, New York.


I'm proud to have this fine postcard in my collection.

1:23 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Apollo-Soyuz Before the Docking - The Setenant July 15, 1975

The other setenant undocked.

Scott #1570 Apollo-Soyuz undocked


The ArtCraft Cachet


The Cape Kennedy circular date stamp and first day of issue cancellation.


Collecting space covers can be very rewarding.

5:42 pm cst          Comments

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Apollo-Soyuz - Docked - The Setenant July 15, 1975

The US Postal Service issued a setenant pair of two 10-cent multicolored stamps on July 15, 1975, at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

The stamp, Scott #1569, represents the docking of the Apollo-Spyuz mission.BlogMisc/apollosoyuz1.jpg

Two nations collaborated on a space project for the first time.

In July 1975, the United States launched the manned Apollo Command to rendezvous with Russia's manned Soyuz spacecraft. A special docking station made it possible for the astronauts to work together.

Television stations worldwide broadcast the historic event. The modules remained docked for two days while the teams performed experiments in space.

Along with the circular date stamp and first day of issue bar line cancellation, the first half of the setenant pair of stamps portrays the docking of the two spacecraft.


The ArtCraft cachet beautifully portrays this great moment in the history of space exploration.


The other half of the setenant, "before the link-up", will be posted for you soon.

10:46 am cst          Comments

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Comoros Islands Commemorate Apollo-Soyuz 1975

The Comoro Islands, officially the Union of the Comoros, is a sovereign archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean located at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel off the eastern coast of Africa between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar. Other countries near the Comoros are Tanzania to the northwest and the Seychelles to the northeast. Its capital is Moroni, on Grande Comore. The Union of the Comoros has three official languages – Comorian, Arabic and French. The religion of the majority of the population is Islam.

This great souvenir sheet was issued in 1975 to commemorate the Apollo-Soyuz rendezvous and docking mission in space.


Scott #163 Comoro Islands issued December 15, 1975


8:14 am cst          Comments

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Rural Electrification Administration

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Rural Electrification Administration by executive order on May 11, 1935. It was established by Act of Congress on May 20, 1936 and authorized to serve as a lending agency and develop a program for rural electrification. The REA became part of the Department of Agriculture.

The stamp, issued on May 11, 1985 in Madison, South Dakota, is Scott #2144 on an Art Craft cachet.





In 1935 only about one out of ten farms had electricity.
12:20 pm cst          Comments

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pioneer Jupiter Mission - Scott #1556

In March of 1972, NASA launched spacecraft Pioneer 10 to gather information about Jupiter.

The 10-cent Pioneer commemorative stamp was issued on February 28, 1975 in Mountain View, California, and beautifully represented in this Art Craft cachet and first day of issue cover.




Scott #1556


5:51 pm cdt          Comments

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Railroad Engineers Issue 1950 - Scott #993

This great Cachet Craft first day cover, Scott catalog #993, was issued in Jackson, Tennessee on April 29th, 1950.

Click any scan for more.




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Monday, October 23, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 The War Department





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Sunday, October 22, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 The Department of the Treasury





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Saturday, October 21, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 State Department





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Friday, October 20, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 Post Office





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Sunday, October 15, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 Navy





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Saturday, October 14, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 Justice



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Thursday, October 12, 2017

United States Officials 1873-1875 Interior II



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Link to web log's RSS file


For the next few weeks I'll be talking about the first day covers of ArtCraft along with everything else.

ArtCraft closed it's doors recently after 76 years of making philatelic history.

I'm predicting a sudden, salubrious escalation in the value of the ArtCraft cachet, all ArtCraft first day covers and ArtCraft portrait cards.
Including those connected to the Postal Commemorative Society

Their departure signals the end of an extraordinarily crucial, very important, highly significant and exceedingly meaningful period in philately

A mournful signal which will be heard around the world and lamented throughout the multitude of collectors

Leo and Sam August treasured their associations with the world's greatest philatelists

Leo's contributions to our hobby were significant enough to earn the coveted Luft Award and a place in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.

ArtCraft has well-earned it's place in the great chronological record in the history of philately.

Their raised ink, line-engraved intaglio printed cachets rank among the most aesthetic in the world.

ArtCraft cachets are not just beautiful.

They are works of art that showcase the wonders of the world and illuminate the powers of human creativity and ingenuity.

The Coober Pedy Cover
One of the World's Great Philatelic Rarities

Coober Pedy

Could this become la pièce de résistance de toute la modern Australian philatélie ?

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia. The town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences,called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name "Coober Pedy" comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "white man's hole".

Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world's gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

Coober Pedy - no village, no buildings, no roads, just desert, mountains dotted with boulders. A bizarre lunar landscape, but for opal seekers is the most exciting place on earth, where again every day is the true challenge, happiness and luck just a shovel width apart and where life is defined by two words: winners and losers. Coober Pedy, grab your hat, throw it into the air and where it lands start digging !


Coober Pedy

 Linn's Stamp News

“The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott
Publishing Co. The marks Scott and Scott’s are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be
made of these marks or of material which is reprinted from a copyrighted
publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos
Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365.”