Richard Friedberg examines United States revenues for the American Philatelic Expertizing Service and joined the APS in 1975. Encouraged by his father, Richard began at a young age and found stamp collecting was very useful in getting a very high score on the American History NY Regents exam during high school. He has been involved with stamp collecting for the better part of 65 years with a hiatus during college and the first year of graduate school.
He tells people that postage stamps usually commemorate history but that revenue stamps are living evidence of actual economic history. When he became a dealer, he was attracted to a Revenue Stamps as a specialty that was both affordable and interesting.
In addition to the APS, Richard is a member and four term past president of the American Revenue Association, and a member and former secretary and director of the American Stamp Dealers Association. He also belongs to the United States Philatelic Classics Society, the United States Stamp Society and the Collectors Club of New York.
Richard taught an APS Summer Seminar course on revenues. He also wrote a column on US revenue stamps for Linn's Stamp News for about 13 years and edited some of the columns into Introduction to United States Revenue Stamps. which was the 4th work published by Amos Press about 20 years ago. It is now out of print and quite hard to find.
In addition to APEX, he currently expertizes for the Philatelic Foundation and PSAG (Philatelic Stamp Authentication and Grading) and formerly did some work for Professional Stamp Experts. His library and reference collection are the two most important resources in his expertizing.
One of his favorite items is the Persian Rug stamps. In 1871, the U.S. government issued a new series of documentary revenue stamps to replace the 1862 “first issue” stamps. Counterfeiting and chemical removal of cancellations from the first issue stamps prompted this decision.
Unlike the first issue stamps, the second issue varieties were printed in at least 2 colors, with the $200 and $500 varieties printed in three colors as an additional security measure. Given the three colors, elaborate designs and ornate scrollwork on these two stamps, they are often referred to as the small and large “Persian rug” revenue stamps.
Richard was also Mayor of Meadville, PA from 1998-2010. Meadville is the county seat for Crawford County in Northwestern Pennsylvania and home to more than 13,000 full time residents and 2,000 Allegheny College students. In 2010 the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities recognized Friedberg for outstanding service both as mayor of the City of Meadville and as a long-time member of the league’s board of directors, a position he held from 2001 to 2009.