American Philatelic Association (APA) is Established
A committee met in New York City on September 13, 1886, and adopted the name "American Philatelic Association" for the newly formed organization. The following day, John K. Tiffany, a prominent St. Louis attorney, and ardent philatelist, was elected president, a position he held until 1896.
The preamble to the Association's constitutiion was included as follows:
"The objects of this Association are, to assist its members in acquiring knowledge in regard to Philately; to cultivate a feeling of friendship among philatelists; and to enable them to affiliate with members of similar societies in other countries."
Dues were set at $2 per year and the pro-rated dues basis was established where members pay only for the balance of the year remaining. Membership cards were provided to members and a button badge by which members may be recognized was authorized and sold to members for $1, the design is still used today as the APS logo.
Services provided in the early days:
Annual Conventions - known today as StampShow, began with the first meeting on September 13, 1886 and has been held annually since.
Purchasing Department - members wishing to use this service paid for the purchasing agent to procure new issues or obsolete stamps at or near face value. The more members that participated the better prices they could buy for.
Exchange Department (today's Sales Division) - The object of the Exchange Department of the Association is to facilitate the exchange of duplicate stamps, entire envelopes and postal cards among the members. This end will be attained by the use of exchange books and boxes...."
Library Department - As reported in the Volume I of the AP, Although the Library Department is not yet in a condition for the members to take advantage of it, still considerable progess has been made. We shall, until the Association is fairly started, have to depend to a great extend on donations for the growth of this Department."
Counterfeit Detector - the regular appearance of fraudulent stamps plagued the organization in the early days. The APA took prompt action and elected E. A. Holton, a Boston dealer, as "counterfeit detector." This forerunner of today's expertizing agency served without a fee!