The United States Stamp Society/Barbara Mueller Award
The USSS/Barbara Mueller Award goes to the author of the best article published in a single year of The American Philatelist, monthly journal of the American Philatelic Society. The award is named for the United States Stamp Society (USSS) and for one of its most prominent members, authors, and editors, APS Life Member Barbara R. Mueller. Among her numerous honors in six decades of devotion to philately, Mueller was a member of the Hall of Fame of both the USSS and APS Writers Unit #30, and the recipient of the APS John N. Luff Award for Distinguished Philatelic Research in 1956.
In 2007, the United States Stamp Society founded the award to promote the USSS, its goals and its mission to the 28,000 members of the APS, an estimated 75 percent of whom collect U.S. material.
2022 Mueller Award
– Otto Kjærgaard
Otto Kjærgaard is a retired senior master from the University of Aarhus, Denmark, with degrees in English, art & design and counseling. He has collected and exhibited Greenland Postal History, ocean letters, and some local Danish exhibits. Kjærgaard has published several books especially on postal history and countless articles in stamp magazines and on the net. He is presently the editor of the magazine for Danish Postal History. He has received several awards including Danmark Medaljen, the highest award in Denmark for philately, and is an honorary member of Danish Postal History Society.
Kjærgaard’s article – “Ocean Letters” – published in two parts in the February and April 2021 issues of The American Philatelist explored wireless telegraphy, an innovation that combined radio with the post to speed communications from ship to land. As Kjærgaard worked to develop a catalog of ocean letters, he offered a primer on the topic, showing a wide range of ocean letters material. In Part 1, Kjærgaard offers an introduction and several other aspects of the topic, such as a history of the major telegraph companies involved. In Part 2, the author finishes the tale, showing examples from minor ship letter companies, the less-traveled Pacific and the final days of ocean letter use in Denmark.
An ocean letter can be defined as a message Morsed from one ship to another that is on its way to a harbor. The message is written down by the receiving ship on a special piece of stationery – depending on who runs the radio and radio operator – put into a special stationery envelope or written on a piece of stationary that might be folded and sealed to look like a letter. The telegraph operator or the purser on the receiving ship takes the letters to the post office at the next port of call, has them franked and sent through the ordinary mail system. So, an ocean letter is first sent by wireless telegraph between ships and then sent as ordinary mail. Therefore German, English or French ocean letters might be franked with stamps from anywhere in the world.
2022 APRL Awards
Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Life Achievement Award
Charles “Charlie” Peterson (1933-2009) worked with the International Federation of Philately (FIP) and the American Philatelic Society to turn the idea of a competitive philatelic literature exhibition into a reality – virtually inventing the rulebooks for how to exhibit and judge philatelic literature. He singlehandedly lifted the bar for quality in philatelic publications. Charlie’s legacy is that of “integrity, scholarship, and the unrelenting desire to advance the collective body of [philatelic] knowledge,” qualities that were recognized in his lifetime with the highest accolades offered in philately – admission to the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists and the APS John N. Luff Award (which he was awarded twice).
The Charles J. Peterson Award was established two years after Peterson’s passing in 2009, and is awarded by the American Philatelic Research Library every year to a person who embodies the outstanding legacy that Charlie left behind. Peterson award winners are notable for their dedicated work to further philatelic knowledge through philatelic literature.
Dr. James W. Milgram
As a teenager, Jim Milgram followed his father to antique shops and bookstores where he once acquired a letter written by a gold miner. Jim’s analysis of the letter resulted in his first article – “Estill & Co. Express” – in the October 1959 issue of The American Philatelist. Over the years articles continued to emanate from his pen, his typewriter and his computer, and have appeared in many publications, including Linn’s Stamp News, S.P.A. Journal, Confederate Philatelist, Stamps magazine, United States Specialist, Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues and many other periodicals. Approximately 600 such items have been recorded.
The myriad topics include express mail, registered mail, prisoner of war covers, Indian territory uses, transatlantic steamer markings, illustrated letter sheets, Confederate valentines, railroad markings, Abraham Lincoln illustrated envelopes, patriotic covers, postage-due markings, “advertised” postmarks, and transcontinental railroad covers.
He has authored the following books: The Western Mails (1967), The Express Mail of 1836-1839 (1977), Vessel-Named Markings on United States Inland and Ocean Waterways 1810-1865 (1984), Abraham Lincoln Illustrated Envelopes and Letter Papers 1860-1865 (1984), Presidential Campaign Illustrated Envelopes and Letter Paper 1840-1872 (1994), United States Registered Mail 1845-1870 (1999), Federal Civil War Postal History (2009), American Illustrated Letter Stationery 1819-1899 (2016), and he has edited or co-authored several others.
He has been a recipient of the Elliott Perry Cup (1987), Stanley B. Ashbrook Cup (1999), Susan M. McDonald Award (2001) and the Barbara R Mueller award as co-author for the best article in the 2007 issues of The American Philatelist and again as an author for the 2013 issues. In 2014 he was elected to the APS Writers Hall of Fame.
Thomas F. Allen Award
Thomas Allen (1942-2007) ran a successful private law firm in Cleveland after graduating with a Yale Law School degree in 1968, but his first passion was always stamp collecting. Thomas was an expert on Ohio postal history, winning an international gold medal for his Cleveland postal markings exhibit. He also co-authored the book 19th Century Cleveland Ohio Postal Markings (1991), served as president of the United States Philatelic Classics Society, and served as president, secretary, and treasurer for many years with the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club.
The Thomas F. Allen Award was founded in 2013 to promote research and philatelic writing. It is awarded each year by the American Philatelic Research Library to the writer(s) of the best article to appear in the Philatelic Literature Review during the previous year. Past winners have shared new research or knowledge, or offered new and relevant discussions to well-studied topics.
2022 – Abhishek Bhuwalka
The 2022 Allen Award is presented to Abhishek Bhuwalka for his article, “The Bibliophile of Schwalmtal-Waldniel: Wolfgang Maassen,” which appeared in the 2021 Third Quarter issue of the Philatelic Literature Review.
The article is essentially a profile and interview with Wolfgang Maassen, to whom the author refers as “the greatest philatelic historian of all time.” Maassen tells the author he is a workaholic, spending a good portion of every day, “writing, researching, collecting, archiving …” The result has been a massive amount of research and publications, including some of the great names of philately – particular those from Europe – including Alfred Moschkau, Heinrich Köhler and Philipp von Ferrary.
At more than 10,000 words, the article is hefty, but incredibly fascinating as the author probes the mind of this devotee of philatelic research who, himself, has probed the mines of great philatelists through their legacy works. Although the meat of the article certainly are Maassen’s responses, it clearly took the author a great deal of his own knowledge, research and skill to ask the right questions. From the introduction:
I met Maassen a couple of years back in Stockholm and found him to be a very modest and down-to-earth man. However, make no mistake; behind his simplicity is a steely will which enables him to spend 12 hours a day, seven days a week, researching and writing about philatelic collectors, dealers, forgers (a most charming subset of philatelic personalities!); institutions; literature, and more. I was very inspired with the way he comes across in this interview going about his business; in fact, I would say that I had goose bumps by the time I came close to the end!