I am so glad to have had the opportunity to attend Great American Stamp Show this August (and believe me, I know as well as you how wrong it seems to write about an August event in a magazine that’s published in October, but alas, this is the trial of print media).
Highlights include: meeting many of you in person. For those of you whom I finally talked to this August, well met! I’ll shout out Steve Delaney, an APS member who told me that he always reads my column first – thanks, Steve! I met many people who are doing very unique work within philately – research spanning multiple fields, archival work, digitization of resources in unique ways – and I was inspired and glad to see that innovation is alive and well in our hobby. I am excited to follow up with these stories and share them with you in the future.
Pony Cars artist Tom Fritz signs first day material at Great American Stamp Show. Fritz is the subject of an interview in this month’s New U.S. Issues.
Along those lines, if you at home are conducting original research and innovating within our hobby, I would be more than happy to hear from you. Executive Director Scott English has often said that the best way to grow is to re-think the status quo, or look at it with new eyes. I think many of you are doing just that – thinking about how to improve your local clubs, making shows more engaging, entering the digital world, doing philatelic research – with fresh ideas. I – and our readers – want to hear about it.
Aerophilately and more
In this issue, we’re celebrating all things aerophilately and airmail, in advance of the Aerophilately 2022 show to be held at the American Philatelic Center in early November. Steve Reinhard and the American Air Mail Society have been working hard to bring the show together, and shared some details on page 928. I encourage you to consider attending – not only is Bellefonte, Pennsylvania beautiful this time of year, but the show promises some fascinating discussions and events.
To complement the airmail topic, we welcome Paul Holland back to the pages of The AP where he discusses early transpacific airmail flights from California to China via island bases. He begins with a stunning first flight cover sent from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s famous Postmaster General James Farley to Amon Carter, himself a colorful character who was a guest on several important Clipper transpacific flights. Paul combines an important era of aviation with several names and events you’ll recognize from the history books.
We also welcome Jerzy Kupiec-Weglinski, with whom I had the pleasure of working for a recent issue of the Philatelic Literature Review. Jerzy recently published a beautiful book about Polish airmail, reviewed by Gary Wayne Loew in November 2021. Now he comes to our pages to celebrate the centenary of Polish airmail, exploring the first few important years through various flight covers.
Dan Gribbin most recently appeared in The AP in the last airmail issue of November 2021. Now he returns, offering the thrill of the chase – what it’s like to hunt down “The Big One,” the philatelic piece that’s been eluding you. The chase may take you to unknown places, put a dent in your wallet, and lead you to make connections you’d never have imagined.
Also in this issue
In “Le Perron de Liège,” Gregg Redner discusses a special Belgium stamp issued to honor the city of Liège, which fought heroically against German invasion in the early days of WWI. Unusually, this stamp was sold in Liège alone, a limited edition, for just one week.
Why do some stamps glow when placed under ultraviolet light? Wayne Youngblood tackles this modern stamp basic, also known as “tagging,” in this month’s Collecting Coast to Coast column. Some post offices, including the U.S. Postal Service, use phosphorescence or fluorescence as a printing security device, or to “tag” stamps for automatic mail sorting and canceling. Whether you’re interested in learning more about luminescence as an aspect of your collection, or as a means to root out fakes, Wayne has you covered.
I’m excited to introduce you to Barry White, who came to me many months ago with an idea that spoke to me – just as there is much room in The AP for serious research, and for community updates, there should also be a place in The AP for some light-hearted humor. In this new column series “World Class,” Barry, a self-proclaimed Worldie (worldwide collector), explains why you too could be a “true blue Worldie.”
We’re glad to know that the Smithsonian National Postal Museum is going strong after a lengthy pandemic-related closure to the public. In NPM Notebook, Dan Piazza gives an update on the NPM’s activities, recent publications and “Baseball: America’s Home Run” exhibition.
Melanie Rogers, who in August became the new president of the American Philatelic Research Library, offers a recap of Volunteer Work Week, a week-long event in July at APS headquarters where volunteers tackle major projects that would otherwise take APS staff much longer to complete. Melanie shared some takeaways from her projects.
Finally, I want to point your attention to this month’s New U.S. Issues, written by Senior Editor Jeff Stage. Jeff had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Fritz, who was the artist of the recently issued Pony Cars stamps. Seldom is an interviewee so open to discussing their artistic process in detail.
National Stamp Collecting Month
Every October, we recognize National Stamp Collecting Month – a time of celebration and growth in our hobby. In her column In Touch, Director of Membership Wendy Masorti invites you to share your passion with others. I want to echo this sentiment. There’s no greater form of advertisement than word of mouth – a genuine moment of connection where you share what’s important to you. How many of you have simply invited a friend or fellow collector to join the American Philatelic Society? It might be worth a try – and there’s no better time to get involved with the APS than now. Not only do new members get a significant discount (see this article for more details and a membership application), but as you can see the APS is growing and innovating. We’re thinking 5, 10, and 20 years into the future to make sure this organization serves you and serves our future.
Please keep your feedback coming and share your views. Remember: if you wish to see an always-improving American Philatelist, you – our readers and APS members – must become a part of this exciting journey. Reach out with your questions, concerns, and suggestions. Write a letter to the editor ([email protected].) More importantly, volunteer to participate. This is your American Philatelist. My email is [email protected]. Letters by regular mail are always welcome and will be responded to in kind.