Part of being the world's largest philatelic organization is being a resource to collectors, so naturally when APS member Jack Portwood of Southeastern Kentucky was on the hunt for a classic yet elusive philatelic film, "Timbromania," he reached out to the APS for assistance.
The 1979 film was produced by the Pennsylvania State University and chronicles the history of stamp collecting. The film is narrated by actor and collector, Ernest Borgnine and includes a guest appearance by Herman "Pat" Herst Jr. (philatelic writer, stamp dealer and auctioneer).
Fortunately the APC, located in Bellefonte, Pennsyvlania is just a few miles from Penn State and Portwood's inquiry was brought to WPSU to which Penn State graciously offered the APS use of this film. It will remain a part of the APS digital collection on Stamps.org as well as on the APS YouTube Channel. Timbromania debuts Thursday, February 24th at 7:30 PM EST and includes a chat box for premiere goers to socialize and comment.
Curious about the member behind the request, Heidi Rhoades, Community Outreach Specialist and host of Stamp Chat contacted Mr. Portwood.
APS Member Jack Portwood asked APS for help finding the classic philatelic film, "Timbromania."
"First of all, I live in the rural mountains of Southeastern Kentucky. As a child, my grandmother would write to me about twice a month and, in 1974 when I was 9, I received a letter from her which had the Scott #1548 Legend of Sleepy Hollow stamp on it. I was absolutely fascinated by this stamp and it led to my beginnings as a collector. I have had a lifelong love of history and this was a great time to collect stamps, due to the excitement surrounding the upcoming bicentennial and all the commemoratives being issued to celebrate it.
Like many collectors, I continued collecting until about my sophomore year in high school, when girls and cars made stamps less of a priority in my life. After college, life got in the way even more and, though I occasionally had brief spurts where I would work on my collection, nothing serious was done with it for several decades. Due to some serious health issues, I had to retire early several years ago and a deep depression started setting in on me. Not only was my health preventing me from working, I could no longer participate in many of the outdoor activities, such as backpacking, that had occupied my a good portion of my spare time. My therapist said that I needed to find something to occupy my time that I enjoyed and that wouldn’t be affected too badly by my health issues. That’s when I thought about my stamp collection and pulled it out of the closet. Once I became immersed in it, my depression began to disappear and is now gone for the most part. My stamps keep me quite busy and I once remarked to my wife that I hadn’t retired, I had simply gone from one full-time job to another!
I recently had the opportunity to watch the documentary “Freaks and Errors: A Rare Collection” and it got me to thinking about other stamp collecting documentaries. I’m not exactly sure where I first heard of it, but I remembered “Timbromania” and began an internet search with hopes of finally getting to see it. With the exception of a few mentions on older blog and forum posts, I could find absolutely no information about “Timbromania,” let alone the movie itself. As it was made by the APS and Penn State, I decided to contact Scott English with the hope of making it available, not only to myself, but any other philatelists out there who might want to see it. I wish to commend Scott and the APS for taking such quick action in getting it uploaded to YouTube.
That’s my story. Many parts of it are carbon copies of many collector’s stories who collected as a child, stopped to further their career and raise a family and, then, returned to it in their later years."
Thanks to Portwood's curiosity, and WPSU's permission to the APS to show it, collectors can enjoy the film on the APS YouTube Channel.
The film premieres on Thursday, February 24th at 7:30 PM EST and includes a chat box for those in attendance to interact.