06/30/2011 (P1691)
Contact: Tara Murray

How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails

The Sixth Annual Postal History Symposium will be held at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, September 16–17, 2011. This year’s theme will be “How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails.” The Symposium, which is free and open to the public, provides a forum in which philatelists, academic scholars, public historians, and the interested public discuss and present research integrating philately and the history of postal operations with the broader context of world history.

The Symposium will feature panel presentations and a keynote address by Dr. David Hochfelder, assistant professor of history at SUNY-Albany. Attendees will have opportunities to view invited stamp and postal history exhibitions, purchase stamps, covers, and ephemera from philatelic dealers, and visit the American Philatelic Research Library, the American Philatelic Society’s Sales Division, and the historic Headsville Post Office. Hochfelder’s keynote address will be delivered during a banquet celebrating the 85th anniversary of United States Stamp Society on Saturday evening, September 17.

Hochfelder’s research interests include the history of technology and business history; he is particularly interested in the relationship between technological innovation and social change. He was the assistant editor for two volumes of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison, and his book The Telegraph in America: A History, 1832–1940 is forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press.

This year’s lectures and discussions will be held in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the United States Stamp Society (USSS) taking place September 16–18 at the APC. The USSS is a non-profit, volunteer-run association of collectors interested in promoting the study of postage and revenue stamped paper produced for use in the United States and U.S. administered areas. Once concerned exclusively with the output of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the USSS has expanded its coverage to include all United States issues, both classic and modern, regardless of printer.

The Symposium is jointly produced by the American Philatelic Society, the American Philatelic Research Library, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum and has been held annually since 2006.

The Symposium is free but registration is required. Registration, a schedule of events, and information about special hotel rates, is available or call 814-933-3803. For more information about the USSS, visit its website.