01/31/2013 (P1719)
Contact: Ken Martin

APS Hall of Fame Inductees for 2013

The American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame (www.stamps.org/Hall-of-Fame) was established at the 1940 APS Convention by President Rollin W. Flower. The award recognizes collectors posthumously for a lifetime of outstanding service in philately. The first class of honorees in 1941 included philatelic luminaries Sir Rowland Hill, John Nicholas Luff, John Walter Scott, Thomas Keay Tapling, John Kerr Tiffany, James Ludovic Lindsay (26th Earl of Crawford), Philip Mathias Wolfsieffer, Charles Easterly Severen, Frederick John Melville, Charles Lathrop Pack, Charles James Phillips, Edward Spring Knapp, Beverly Sedwick King, Hugh McLellan Southgate, and Ralph Andrews Barry.

This year’s honorees are Bernard Harmer, Roger Schnell, and Herman Toaspern.

Bernard Bertram Durkin Harmer (1914–2011)
Bernard Harmer was a pioneer in the philatelic auction business and a scion of the legendary auction firm established by his father Henry Revell Harmer. He entered the family business during the depression. Following his volunteer work in the London Fire Service in World War II he moved to the United States and headed up the firm’s New York office for thirty-seven years. During his employment both in London and the United States, he was involved with major sales of Arthur Hind, Hans Lagerloef, Alfred H. Caspary, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Maurice Burrus, Louis Grunin, John R. Boker, Louise Boyd Dale and Alfred F. Lichtenstein among many other famous properties.

As the Harmer firm continued to expand, Bernard took on additional responsibility for offices in San Francisco, Australia, and Switzerland. In 1982 he decided to turn the New York operation over to his son Keith and daughter Alison, and returned to England as chairman and managing director of Harmers of London Stamp Auctions Ltd. In 1991 the London business was sold and Bernard retired. In 2004 he returned to the United States to live.

Bernard collected a somewhat obscure aspect of Victorian postal stationery so that he would not be seen as competing with his customers. He also collected Barbados, Granada, and SCADTA. He served on the board of governors of the Collectors Club of New York, was an advisor to the Philatelic Foundation’s expert committee, and was a member of the board of directors of Interphil 76, the international exhibition held in Philadelphia. He was awarded the Philatelic Foundation’s Mortimer Neinken medal in 1990 for meritorious service to philately.

Bernard Harmer’s dapper appearance and keen wit were his trademarks. He was intent on developing strong bonds through personal attention to his major clients, resulting in a level of trust and confidence that brought these collectors back to his firm when it came time to sell, either by private treaty or at auction. Together with his older brother Cyril and other family members, Bernard continued to build the business to become the twentieth century’s best-known philatelic auction house.

Roger Glenn Schnell (1935–2012)
As an author, exhibitor, judge and commissioner, Dr. Roger G. Schnell of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was recognized nationally as well as internationally for his major achievements in philately. Over the years he collected, and in many cases exhibited, a broad range of topics including Norway, Danish West Indies, German offices abroad, Bolivia, Haiti, Iceland, Isle of Man, Pan-Pacific Clipper mail, SCADTA, OAT, and many others. He exhibited at more than forty international exhibitions and more than eighty national shows in the United States. His Danish West Indies display won the Champion of Champions in 1989 and the Grand Prix National at Norwex 97 in Oslo. He won Scandinavian Collectors Club’s National Award, the Joanna Sliski Taylor Memorial bowl, in 1994 for DWI postal stationery, and again in 2006 for his classic Iceland.

Roger was an ardent student of philatelic research and its literature. He wrote more than forty philatelic articles and became a trustee of the American Philatelic Research Library, where he served as Secretary for three years and was vice president at the time of his passing. He initiated APRL’s Vooys Fellowship program.

His interest in Scandinavian philately is reflected in his chairing the Danish West Indies Study Group of SCC for fifteen years, serving as editor of its newsletter at the same time. He was vice president of the Scandinavian Collectors Club (1991) and served as president (1992–1994). In recent months he donated considerable quantities of philatelic material to SCC. The items have been turned over to the SCC Mart for evaluation as to the best way to utilize Roger’s generosity.

The Club recognized him with its Frederick A. Brofos award for writing (2002), the Carl E. Pelander award for service to the Club (1997), elected him an honorary life member (2011), and named its library, held at the Rocky Mountain Philatelic Library in Denver, the Roger G. Schnell SCC Library.

For the American Philatelic Society Roger served on the board of vice presidents, was past chairman of the planning and development committee, and represented APS on the FIP traditional philately commission where he was also secretary for several years. He received the John N. Luff award for outstanding services to the APS in 2011.

Roger Schnell was president of the American Philatelic Congress 1995–1999 and was president of Germany Philatelic Society chapter 24 for ten years. He served as a director of Washington 2006. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London in 1998 and signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 2006.

Dr. Schnell studied medicine at the University of Florida and the University of Indiana, and served his residency in neurology at the Mayo Clinic. As a board-certified neurologist he had his own practice in Ft. Lauderdale for more than forty years. One of his specialized areas was magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a diagnostic tool used to study body tissue. He was one of the first to install MRI procedures in an out-patient facility and wrote a number of technical articles on the subject. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, served as an expert witness, and taught neurology.

Roger Schnell is survived by his wife of fifty-two years Katherine, daughter Susan, son John, and four grandchildren.

Herman Toaspern, known to all as “Toasty,” was a native New Yorker born in 1893, who went on to became one of Nassau Street’s leading auctioneers and stamp dealers by the time he reached the age of thirty. At age twenty, he was an active participant in the 1913 New York International Exhibition (IPEX) and was apprenticing with J. Murray Bartels during the show. By this time, he was already writing for various philatelic publications. For the 1926 IPEX he was a member of the show’s Board of Directors and played a key role in the event’s success.

He conducted stamp auctions, starting in 1924, using the offices of the Collectors Club. By 1930 he had held eighteen auctions, each with very active participation from well-known collectors. He had developed a reputation for being accurate and honest and had come to be well respected. Many classic covers are still seen with his “Herman Toaspern” rubber stamp on the reverse. The caricature cartoons of “Toasty” were a major feature of his advertising in philatelic publications in the 1920s and 1930s.

He was an early member, and officer of the ASDA, which had recently been formed. He was an associate editor of the recently developed Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue.

In 1934 he relocated to 116 Nassau Street where his business enjoyed great popularity. Sadly, he passed away at age forty-three in 1936 from pneumonia. Prior to his passing, he penned numerous articles in The American Philatelist and STAMPS. His obituary in STAMPS recalls his great sense of humor and passion for the hobby, and his founding of the Hot Stove League, a group of Collectors Club members who gathered regularly to talk philately.

His everlasting legacy to our hobby is that stamp collecting is fun, and that auctions conducted with great integrity help build and grow the hobby.