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Friday, June 26, 2009

Bob Hope Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from Wednesday…

Bob Hope is also known for his support of the United Service Organizations (USO). Hope’s USO support spanned 50 years and 60 tours! He first began performing for the troops in 1941 at March Field, in California. He continued to travel and entertain troops for the rest of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. Hope always performed for the troops wearing Army fatigues as a show of support for our great service men and women.

Bob Hope lived an amazing life and received many awards and honors to his credit. He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kennedy Center and The Freedom Award by Nancy Reagan. Hope was also appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Bob Hope celebrated his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003. To mark the event, 35 states declared the date “Bob Hope Day” and the famous intersection of Los Angeles’ Hollywood and Vine was named “Bob Hope Square”. Bob Hope died at home on July 27, 2003.

According to his official website “Bob Hope became the most recognized profile and talent in the world. And, in the entire history of show business, no individual traveled so far -- so often -- to entertain so many.”

Stop by Stamp Center to see the many different Bob Hope postage stamps available from around the globe.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bob Hope Postage Stamps Part I Of II

One of America’s most revered funny men will forever be remembered as the United States Postal Service released the Bob Hope postage stamp on May 29, 2009. The picture of Mr. Hope that is used on the commemorative stamp was taken on the flight deck of the USS Midway where Hope had entertained countless servicemen and women.

Leslie Townes Hope…otherwise known as Bob Hope, was one of five sons. He was born in London, England on May 29, 1903. His family imigrated to Cleveland, Ohio in 1908. Bob Hope was an entertainer from the young age of 12 when he began his career dancing and performing comedy on a local boardwalk. He eventually joined Hurley’s Jolly Follies in 1925 and played third billing to Siamese twins and trained seals.

Bob Hope appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. Hope celebrated 60 years working for NBC in 1996. He is famous for his Christmas specials where he usually performed a duet of “Silver Bells” for the audience. In the 1950’s Bob Hope was asked to appear on one of the most popular shows of the time…“I Love Lucy”. Without hesitation he accepted, but asked to do the show without a script. Showing his true comedic talent, Mr. Hope ad-libbed the entire episode, much to the delight of the viewers.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Having More Fun With Postage Stamp Errors

Last week I had so much fun finding postage stamps from around the world that had errors on them. I thought I would share a couple more with you. Leave a comment if you have a good one that you would like showcased and I will do my best to post information about it.

The top postage stamp will likely be more tricky to figure out the problem. It was issued by Saudi Arabia in 1949 and was never corrected. This plane looks correct…or does it? Can you figure out the problem? The picture appears to be one of a commercial aircraft. The first “jet” aircraft was developed in Germany in 1931. It was not until 1943 that the first jet fighter aircraft went into service. It was not until the early 1950’s that commercial jet airplanes began production. Perhaps Saudi Arabia had a vision into the future with this commercial jet postage
stamp. Technically, this airplane should have had propellers and not jet engines.

I laughed when I saw the lower postage stamp above. It was issued by Monaco and features America’s beloved President Roosevelt. Roosevelt, who was an avid postage stamp collector, appears to be admiring his postage stamp collection in this picture. Can you spot the trouble? Look closely at Roosevelt’s left hand. He is sporting one too many fingers. I count five fingers and one thumb. Oops! The stamp was issued in 1947. It was never corrected or reissued by Monaco.

Don’t forget to check out the many fun postage stamps that are available at Stamp Center today!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Having Fun With Postage Stamp Errors

Throughout the history of postage stamp releases there have certainly been some printing errors. Some are glaring and spotted by the public immediately. Some have been more subtle and far more difficult to find. One of America’s most famous postage stamp errors that most everyone knows about is the Inverted Jenny. In that stamp, during the printing process the airplane was printed flying upside down. If you are lucky enough to own the Inverted Jenny, it certainly is a great find. In today’s stamp printing, it is far more difficult for a stamp to pass through the process without an error being caught. If you find a stamp with an error, hang on to it as it will likely we worth more than your average stamp.

The brown postage stamp above was issued by Guadeloupe. At first glance, you might not see the mistakes from the artist. This stamp was printed in 1946 and was never corrected or reissued. Can you figure out what the problem is? If you look closely, the camels in the front of the design are missing an important feature…a couple of legs!

The red colored postage stamp above looks pretty simple and serene. It was originally issued by Fiji in 1938 and then reissued with the corrected version in 1940. Can you see the problem? The original stamp features an outrigger canoe that is under full sail. Experienced sailors will attest that a boat cannot be in full sail without a crew! In the second version of the stamp, one crewmember was added to the picture.

Stamp Center has postage stamps available from all around the world. You are sure to find something special to add to your collection.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Postage Stamps – The Choices Are Endless Part II Of II

Continuing from Monday…

Unless you are an experienced collector, you should not buy postage stamps as an investment. Buy stamps that call your name and put a smile on your face. When deciding on what type of postage stamp you want to add to your collection; it is wise to do some research to see how much the stamp is worth before you buy it. There are many books you can read to help you learn more about postage stamp values. You can also contact a reputable Stamp Dealer to help you find what you are looking for. Always remember, a collection is what you want it to be and it doesn’t have to be expensive. You should still buy a postage stamp that is in the best condition that you can afford just in case you want to sell or trade it at a later date.

Be sure to find out how to properly care for your stamp collection. There are many stamp collecting products available to help with storage and treatment of the stamps. One thing that many stamp collectors don’t think about is buying insurance for their stamp collection. Many homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover stamp collections, so it is a good idea to find out what coverage, if any, you have for your collection. If you don’t have coverage, it is easy to obtain, and usually not very expensive. Don’t forget to keep a detailed inventory list of what stamps you have in your collection and how much they cost. This is important for insurance claims and selling or trading your stamps.

Stamp Center has postage stamps (new and older) available from all over the world. No matter what your preference is, you are sure to find a wonderful postage stamp to add to your collection when you visit Stamp Center.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Postage Stamps – The Choices Are Endless Part I Of II

People have been collecting things most likely since the beginning of time. A quick internet search and you will find that what some people view as strange to collect; others are passionate about their favorite items. As diverse as people are, so are their collections. You can find people who collect mugs, buttons, cookie jars, toys, traffic signs, air sick bags, candy wrappers, and of course postage stamps, to name a few. Postage stamps are by far the most collected item around the world. They can show a bit of history and often times tell a story of their origin.
They are fun, easy to obtain, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on this hobby.

Unlike some collectibles, there are many choices available when it comes to stamp collecting. If you are new to stamp collecting, you might be wondering where to begin your collection. Should you pick stamps with flowers, presidents, animals, foreign releases, domestic releases, or would you like to dabble in a little bit of everything? Should I only buy cancelled stamps or would un-cancelled stamps be a better value? One of the greatest things about collecting postage stamps is that the possibilities are endless. You can buy stamps from Stamp Dealers, online, from postal authorities, or from other collectors.

Stamp collectors love to show their wonderful stamp finds. There are many stamp collectors clubs that get together to share information, buy or trade stamps, and see what other great finds their fellow collectors have found.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Redwood Forest Priority Mail Postage Stamp

John Muir, who is one of America’s most famous conservationists, spent his life dedicated to saving the California Redwoods. He would be so proud to see that the United States Postal Service has paid tribute to the beautiful California Redwood Forests. The Priority Mail postage stamp was released in January of 2009. It is digitally made with a stamp value of $4.95. The stamp ceremony took place at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park among the
Redwood trees.

The California Redwoods, in my opinion, are the most beautiful forests in the world. Giant Sequoias, Coastal Redwoods and Douglas Firs are all part of these amazing forests. In America’s not so distant past, the forests were cut down with little thought about the damage that was being caused to the land and the species that inhabited it. Through John Muir’s efforts, logging was stopped and these trees were saved.

Many of the California Redwoods are over 300 years old and are some of the oldest trees in the world. They are named for the color of their bark and heartwood. They are the tallest living trees in the world. The trunks alone are so large that when a cavity is formed, a car can drive through them.

Today the Redwoods are protected and are a treasured part of the western landscape. Thousands of visitors enjoy their majestic quality each year. Redwood National Park, Yosemite, and John Muir Woods are a few of the most favored destinations in California.

Stamp Center has this beautiful Redwood Forest Priority Mail postage stamp ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whistler’s Mother Postage Stamp

James Abbot McNeill Whistler was an American-born British based artist. Originally his painting, which was made into a postage stamp, was titled “Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother”, but was later shortened to “Whistler’s Mother”. The Whistler’s Mother postage stamp was released in 1934, three decades after the artist’s death. The stamp stands as a tribute to not only the famous American painter’s mother, but to all mother’s in America. This three cent postage stamp reads “US Postage-In memory and in honor of the mothers of America.”

The lady sitting sideways as the model (a traditional pose of the time period) is Anna McNeill Whistler. When the painting was first exhibited, it was not much admired by the public. As Whistler’s reputation grew, so did the admiration of this painting, as well as his other works of art.

The painting was purchased for the Luxembourg Museum in Paris by the French government for the less than $1000, when Whistler came upon hard times. This was much less than a private collector would have paid. As with all of Whistler’s paintings, it had to be restored because poor materials were used. It is currently on display in a Musée d’Orsay Gallery not far from famous Van Gogh and Renoir masterpieces.

As with many stamps that are produced, there is often someone who takes issue with the final product. Art critics denounce the fact that the US Postal Service cropped the picture so that the subjects face appears much closer than in the original painting. The stamp designer also decided to add a bouquet of flowers to the scene, in the far left corner of the stamp. The changes depicted on the stamp brought many protests from art experts.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Steve Irwin Postage Stamps

All of the Crocodile Hunter fans in America and around the world will be glad to know that Australia issued a commemorative postage stamp to honor Steve Irwin.

Steve Irwin was a wildlife expert and conservationist who received worldwide fame from his television show “The Crocodile Hunter”. His vibrant personality lit up the television screen and you simply could not help be drawn into the world of wildlife as seen through the eyes of Steve Irwin. Irwin and his wife co-owned and operated the Australia Zoo which has welcomed people from around the world.

Steve Irwin died on September 4, 2006 when his chest was pierced by a stingray spine while he was snorkeling and filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef. The horrible accident and subsequent death sent shockwaves around the world.

The postage stamp was issued just before Australia’s inaugural “Steve Irwin Day” which takes place on November 15th. Along with the stamp came a New Idea magazine commemorative cover of Irwin, his 2 children and a large snake. Proceeds from the stamps went to “Wildlife Warriors”, which is Irwin’s conservation charity.

The Steve Irwin postage stamp is one of many types of memorials honoring Irwin. There is a nature park, roadways, and a national park to name a few. Steve Irwin’s legacy continues to live on through his wife and 2 children who concentrate their time on protecting wildlife and conservation too.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Hospice Care Postage Stamp

The Hospice Care postage stamp was one of the many social awareness stamps there have been issued by the United States Postal Service. Originally slated for a November 1998 release date, it was delayed until February 1999 so that the stamp could have a longer shelf life due to the then postage stamp price increase. The special stamp ceremony was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the national first-day-of-issue ceremony took place in Largo, Florida on February 9, 1999.

Hospice is a team oriented care program that affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. Hospice doctors and nurses treat and comfort terminally ill patients by providing personalized services so that patients and families can be supported during their time of need. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones death; but provides skilled services to patients who have decided to spend their last months at home or away from a hospital setting. Hospice care dates back to ancient times, but the first service in the United States dates back to 1974. Since its inception, each year more people are choosing to utilize hospice services.

The Hospice Care postage stamp is beautiful and serene. The stamp features a little white house with a colorful butterfly hovering over head. According to the stamp’s designer, Mr. Phil Jordan, “The art symbolizes life's journey to its final stage, the part where hospice lends its vision. The butterfly is a symbol of spiritual release -- a positive metaphor for the last transition of life."
If you are looking to add the Hospice Care postage stamp or any of the other social awareness postage stamps to your collection, contact Stamp Center today.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

CD ROM Postage Stamp - Bhutan

Bhutan is a small nation that is sandwiched between India and China. It has only been producing postage stamps since 1962 when it released its first international postage stamp. With many interesting postage stamps under their belt, they are known for their colorful, creative and collectible stamps around the world.

In 2008, Bhutan once again released a postage stamp like no other. The first ever CD ROM postage stamp was created to show the world what Bhutan has accomplished during the past 100 years. The stamp set commemorates some of Bhutan’s most historic events on postage stamps as well as on video. The 100th anniversary of the monarchy, the coronation of the 5th King of Bhutan, the evolution of Bhutan’s democracy and the eventual signing of a new constitution, are all showcased for the world to see on the stamps and the video set. These postage stamps are mini-CDs that fit into a self adhesive envelope. When affixed to a larger envelope, the CD stamp can be used as postage. Definitely worth collecting!
Postage stamps remain the primary source of revenue for Bhutan. The revenues generated have helped build the nations infrastructure.

If you would like to add this very interesting CD ROM postage stamp or other stamps from Bhutan, contact Stamp Center today.

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Monday, June 01, 2009

Roller Coaster Postage Stamp

Today I thought it would be fun to run several internet searches on various obscure objects to see if a postage stamp had ever been issued depicting such object. One of the searches that I completed was “roller coaster postage stamp”.

After an extensive search, I only found one postage stamp, issued by a country that showcases a roller coaster. They can be found at “make your own stamps” website. Oddly enough, the stamp I found is a new stamp issued from Sweden on May 14, 2009.

The stamp features the Balder roller coaster which is located at the Liseberg amusement park. This wooden roller coaster opened in 2003 and has been voted “Best Wooden Tracked Roller Coaster” in the world two times since its opening. The stamp set includes 4 stamps that feature architectural wonders in Sweden. Along with the roller coaster stamps there is the Turning Torso (a twisted building in Sweden), the Kaknäs Tower in Stockholm, and the Lugnet ski jump which is 52 meters high.

Loving roller coasters like I do, I am feeling a bit slighted that there are no other roller coaster postage stamps. Do any of our readers know if any other roller coaster has ever been depicted on a postage stamp? Feel free to leave a comment if you know of any.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Part II Of I

In continuation from Wednesday…

In 1835, at 27 years old, Poe married his 13 year old first cousin, Virginia Clemm. She contracted Tuberculosis in 1842 and succumbed to the disease in 1847 at the age of 24. Virginia’s struggle with the illness and subsequent death are believed to have impacted Poe’s poetry and prose, where dying young women appears frequently.

In his short 40 years of life, Poe became famous for his writings and poetry. He is best known for his poems, and mystery and macabre style of writings. Poe died on October 7, 1849. To this day, Poe’s death remains a mystery, but it is speculated as various reasons like rabies, heart disease, suicide, alcohol, drugs or Tuberculosis.

Despite the fact that Poe lived a life of loneliness and for the most part poverty, Poe is referred to as the “America’s Shakespeare”. He is revered for his short stories, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry and horror stories. There have been many of Poe’s former homes that have been deemed landmarks to honor this great American writer. The Poe Museum is located in Richmond, Virginia and has a year long celebration to honor Poe planned for 2009.

On January 6, 2009, the United States Postal Service issued stamps to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe. According to the USPS “One of Poe’s best-loved poems “The Raven,” was first published in 1845. In this special commemorative booklet edition, French artist Emmanuel Polanco graphically interprets “The Raven” in six original illustrations. The booklet also includes commentary by stamp artist Michael J. Deas and a block of four Edgar Allan Poe stamps with mount.”

Stamp Center has Edgar Allan Poe postage stamps that are issued from Monaco and the United States ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Part I Of II

Edgar Poe was born on January 18, 1809. His parents died when he was very young and he was taken in by the soon-to-be wealthy Allan family. The Allan’s did not adopt Poe, but they did give him the name of “Edgar Allan Poe.” As a child, he traveled with the Allan’s and attended school in England and Scotland before returning to their home in Richmond, Virginia in 1820.

After completing schooling in Virginia, Poe tried his hand at college life and attended the University of Virginia to study languages for one year. In 1827 Poe took a job as a newspaper writer and clerk, but had a difficult time supporting himself. He soon entered the United States Army and served at Fort Independence in Boston Harbor. To his delight, his military career was short, thanks in part to the efforts of Mr. Allan. After his discharge from the Army, Poe received an appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point. In 1831, through his purposeful bad actions, an unhappy Poe allowed himself to be discharged from West Point.

Poe’s first published literary work was a 40 page collection of his poetry called Tamerlane and Other Poems. It was met with no fan-fare and only 50 copies were printed. The book is so rare that a single copy today sells for over $200,000. He went on to write 2 other volumes of his poems. Poe began writing sensational tales and writing reviews which made him widely known as an American author. He continued to churn out literary works, some published, some not. By all accounts, Poe’s poem “The Raven” is what put him on top as an American writer.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Prostate Cancer Awareness Postage Stamp Part II Of II

In continuation from Friday…

The Prostate Cancer Awareness stamp says “Annual Checkups and Tests”. The wording on the stamp has resulted in the American Cancer Society (ACS) taking the stance of not endorsing the postage stamps. The American Cancer Society wanted the wording to be changed because they thought it would make American’s believe that ALL men must have annual prostate screenings. Because the ACS does not call for “mass screening” of every man, and because the United States
Postal Services would not change or remove the wording, no endorsement was given to the stamps. The ACS does support screening for all men who are over 50 years old. As a result of the lack of endorsement, the stamps were slow to sell throughout the United States. Another point of contention was that these stamps were not semi-postal stamps so no extra funds were raised towards helping combat the disease.

Prostate Cancer advocates would like to see a new stamp made called the Prostate Cancer Research Stamp. The Research Stamp would target the fact nearly 200,000 men will be newly diagnosed with Prostate Cancer each year. Unlike the Awareness Stamp, the Research Stamp would be designed as semi-postal to help fund research efforts with the goal of eliminating Prostate Cancer. The major initiatives of making the stamps includes “fostering research
focused on the understanding of prostate cancer: its causes, preventative measures against it, and effective diagnosis and treatment procedures.” So far, the stamp has been rejected.

If you are looking for the Prostate Awareness stamp to add to your collection, Stamp Center has it in stock and ready to ship to you.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Prostate Cancer Awareness Postage Stamp Part I Of II

Did you know that there are only two animal species that are known to develop cancerous tumors of the prostate gland? Dogs and humans are the unlucky two. Prostate Cancer is the second most common type of Cancer in men. It is estimated that in 2009 that there will be almost 200,000 new cases of Prostate Cancer diagnosis’s in the United States alone. Statistically, 1 in every 6 men will be diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in their lifetime. Because of current medical treatments, only 1 in 35 will die as a result of the Cancer.

In May of 1999 the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp to bring awareness to the public about Prostate Cancer. The stamp is being compared to the Breast Cancer Awareness Stamp, but the messages behind the stamps were vastly different. As a result, the Prostate Cancer Awareness stamp drew quite a bit of controversy that still remains today.

The problem with the postage stamp stems from the wording on the stamp. The Breast Cancer Awareness Stamp says “Fund The Fight Find A Cure.” The semi-postal stamps went on sale in mid-1998 and rose over $54 million for research. Along with the stamp came a massive campaign at post offices around the United States to educate the public about Breast Cancer. There were posters in lobbies, distribution of free breast cancer brochures, radio and television public service announcements, as well as other community outreach activities. By all accounts the campaign was a huge success.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Adoption Awareness Postage Stamp

The first social awareness postage stamps appeared in the 1950’s. Since then, there have been many stamps issued by the United States Postal Service. The stamps serve to raise awareness of issues that face American’s and other people around the world. There have been postage stamps issued to bring awareness to Sickle Cell Disease, Breast Cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amber Alert, Jury Duty, and even Organ and Tissue Donation. I am so glad to see that the United States Postal Service also issued a stamp for Adoption Awareness.

The Adoption Awareness postage stamp pays tribute to all of the children, birth parents and families that have been blessed by the gift of adoption. In 2001, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption was honored by the United States Postal Service when they received the 2001 Social Awareness Award at the National Postal Forum. The award was given to the Foundation and its founder, Dave Thomas, who is also the founder of Wendy’s. It is the primary goal of The
Foundation to help every child in the public child welfare system; that is available for adoption, to find a permanent and loving family through adoption. They were recognized for “being instrumental in the use of the Adoption Awareness postage stamp as a vehicle for highlighting this important cause.”

The 2000 Adoption Awareness postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service will be a wonderful addition to any collection and they are available at Stamp Center today!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

British Design Classics Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from Friday…

The Concorde…It was a product of an Anglo-French government treaty which combined the production skills of the British Aircraft Corporation and Aérospatiale. The first flight was in 1969, but it did not enter service until 1976. The Concorde was a supersonic passenger airline that amazed the world. It flew for 27 years before retiring in 2003.

K2 Telephone Kiosk …Truly a symbol of England, these classic bright red telephone boxes stood out on street corners throughout the United Kingdom from their inception in 1926. Despite their current reduction in numbers, you can still find them on current and ex-British Colonies around the world.

Polypropylene Chair…These chairs are resistant to fatigue and can be found it public buildings around the world. Robin Day was the inventor of these chairs. It is estimated that most everyone in the world has sat on one of these creations at some point in their life.

Penguin Books…Penguin books is a British publisher that was founded in 1935. This stamp featured Edward Young’s book jacket design which was instantly recognizable by the trademark orange and black penguin emblem.

London Underground Map…The London Underground postage stamp features Harry Beck’s easy to understand design which was originally based on an electrical wiring diagram.

The Routemaster Bus…The Routemaster Bus is a double-decker bus that was built in England in 1954. The Routemaster can still be found touring the streets of London. The buses are currently out of production, but there are approximately 1000 still in existence.

Stamp Center has these fantastic British Design Classics postage stamps and Prestige Booklets in stock for you.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

British Design Classics Postage Stamps Part I Of II

In January of 2009, Great Britain issued a set of 10 postage stamps that depict “Design Classics” that represent Great Britain. In researching these postage stamps I found that the people of England either love them or hate them. Some say that these stamps are simple and don’t really represent designs that should be considered “classic” in Great Britain. Others seem to love the simplicity of these 1st class stamps and recognize them as iconic figures of the not so distant past and present. Personally, I like them!

The set includes the following postage stamps…

The Supermarine Spitfire…This British single seat fighter aircraft was used by the Royal Air Force during World War II and throughout the 1950’s. The classic elliptical wing design allowed the plane to fly at higher speeds and was a favorite among pilots at the time.

The Mini Skirt…The mini skirt was a defining fashion symbol in the 1960’s. Considered daring at the time, the mini skirt transformed the typical conservative women’s fashion into a spicy international fashion trend. The mini skirt continues to be a popular fashion choice today among females around the world.

The Mini – The original “Mini” is considered an icon of the 1960’s. The car allowed for 80% of the cars spacious floorplan to be used for passengers and luggage. This is a stark difference to the Mini that is currently being produced. Current owners would not likely want to change the upgrades to their Mini as it is considered much safer and offers great human comforts. In 1999, the Mini was voted as the second most influential car of the 20th Century…behind the Ford Model T. Besides, they are really fun to drive!

Anglepoise Lamp…Who has not owned one of these lamps in their lifetime? Despite what was originally thought about this lamp, it was not designed to resemble a human arm. The original patent for the lamp was granted in 1932 for British car designer George Carwardine. You can easily find these lamps in stores around the world; which earned it a spot as a top British accomplishment.

Please come back on Monday for the conclusion to this post.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

James Dean Postage Stamps – Legends Of Hollywood Part II Of II

In continuation from Monday…

James Dean died an untimely death on a California Roadway on September 30, 1955 at the young age of 24. His short Hollywood career and early death transformed Dean into a cult type figure with timeless fascination by people from around the world. Dean is remembered by his home town of Fairmount, Indiana each year with a fantastic four day festival. Cholame, California has a concrete and steel memorial sculpture in front of the post office which is near the location where James Dean died. In September of 2005, the California Highway Department named a Junction in Cholame after James Dean to commemorate the anniversary of his death.
James Dean is buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmont, Indiana. In a strange twist, over the years Dean’s gravestone has been stolen, in its entirety, several times. It has been found and returned to the grave site after each theft. Many fans have traveled to see the headstone and some have actually chipped away at the gravestone and kept a portion of it as a souvenir. His worldwide popularity and following may never be dimmed.

The Legends of Hollywood postage stamps were a spectacular collection of many amazing stars. The James Dean postage stamps were quick to sell out and are hard to find on the market today. The great news is that Stamp Center has the James Dean Legends of Hollywood postage stamps in stock and ready to ship out. Stop on by and see what fantastic stamps are available for your collection.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

James Dean Postage Stamps – Legends Of Hollywood Part I Of II

Many stamp collectors will agree that the Legends of Hollywood series that was issued by the United States Postal Service was one of the best series of all times. The stamps depicted fantastic Hollywood icons of years past that have put their lasting mark on the television and film industry.

James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana. He spent his early childhood in Fairmont, Indiana and then Santa Monica, California. After his Mother’s death from Cancer when Dean was just 9 years old, he was sent back to Indiana to live on a farm with his fathers relatives. It was in Indiana that he completed his schooling and was bitten by the acting bug. Dean eventually moved back to California and tried his hand at acting. Getting nowhere, he moved to New York City and became a stage performer. It was not long before Hollywood came calling and his fate as a legend was sealed.

Handsome and talented, James Dean is one of the faces that you will see in the Legends of Hollywood series. He made three films in his very short Hollywood career. “East of Eden”, “Rebel Without a Cause”, and “Giant”, are to his credit. East of Eden was the only film that was released while James Dean was alive. He received a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his efforts in the film. His other two films were released after his death and he also received posthumous nominations.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

What’s A Newbie To Do? Part II Of II

Continuing from Wednesday…

Paying for a stamp can be tricky endeavor when you are new to collecting. It is wise to check out the “Scott Catalogue” for the most up to date information about postage stamps and their values. The books are issued each year and depict interesting and valuable information about what each stamp is worth. In 2008, there were six large volumes of the book. You can also find it available in DVD and printable CD formats.

Old postage stamps can be found via internet websites, stamp shows, auction sites, other collectors and Stamp Dealers. When buying from someone you do not know, always remember to get information in writing as to what you are purchasing. Reputable Stamp Dealers are a great source to buy stamps from. They not only have a good supply of stamps to choose from, but they have a wealth of knowledge to share with you.

New postage stamps that originate in the United States can be found at USPS.com. If a stamp is in high demand, you usually can find them available at a Stamp Dealer.

If you are lucky enough to have inherited a stamp collection from a relative, it would be a good idea to find out how much the collection is worth before you decide what you are going to do with it. An experienced Stamp Dealer will be able to accurately appraise the collection. Depending on what is in the collection, a Stamp Dealer may even want to purchase the collection themselves. Knowledge is power so you definitely want to know what you are dealing with before you decide to keep or sell the collection.

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

What’s A Newbie To Do? Part I Of II

The art of stamp collecting has been around basically since postage stamps were created. If you are new to stamp collecting, you might be asking yourself some of these questions…

"Which stamps should I collect?”

“How much should I pay for a stamp?”

“Where do I find old postage stamps?”

“Where can I buy new postage stamps?

“What do I do with Grandpa’s stamp collection now that he is gone?

Stamp collecting has evolved since the Great Britain released its first adhesive postage stamp in 1840. There are literally thousands of different stamps to choose from that are issued from almost every nation in the world. The good news is that most stamps are very reasonably priced for collectors. New stamp collectors can decide to keep their collecting focus on a particular type of stamp or a stamp that comes from a specific country or region. Perhaps you like stamps with the faces of world leaders or you prefer ones with pretty flowers instead. Maybe you want to focus your stamp collection on cartoons or stamps from specific regions of the world. The choices are endless and deciding what you want for your collection is such great fun! Beginners could decide to buy stamps in bulk to see what types of stamps they are actually interested in before they pick a specific type.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bee Gees Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from Monday…

Interestingly enough, while researching different Bee Gees postage stamps available from around the world, I found information that there are “illegal postage stamp issues” in circulation for the Bee Gees as well as other celebrities, political figures, paintings, vehicles, etc. The following is information provided by The Postal Administration of CÔTE D'IVOIRE (REP.) “Thirteen miniature sheets in the same format each containing four postage stamps each featuring a different picture of the celebrities in question, either alone or with other people. The
name of each celebrity or group is inscribed at the top of each sheet, namely AC/DC, The Backstreet Boys, The Bee Gees, The Beatles, The Doors, Freddie Mercury, KISS, Madonna, Metallica, Queen and the Rolling Stones. Each postage stamp on each miniature sheet is inscribed with a value of 100 F, the year 2002 or 2003 and the logo of the Rotary
organization. There are various depictions of the celebrities or groups in the margins of each miniature sheet.” Apparently these postage stamps are not valid and were not issued by The Postal Administration of CÔTE D'IVOIRE so buyer beware!
The Bee Gees record sales are estimated to be well over $200 million dollars which makes them one of the best selling music artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Stamp Center has cool Bee Gees postage stamps in stock from the Ivory Coast and Benin. Stop by soon and see what stamps we have for you.

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Bee Gees Postage Stamps Part I Of II

The Bee Gees were born on the Isle of Man to English parents. Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb spent 40 years recording their three part tight musical harmony and are known throughout the world for their musical endeavors. They are best known for their performances of soft rock music during the 1960’s and 1970’s and were huge stars of the Disco era in the 1970’s.

The Isle of Man issued souvenir sheets to commemorate the musical efforts of the Bee Gees in 1999. These interesting stamps featured a circular stamp within a circular sheet which looked just like a compact disk does. The stamp sheets feature several pictures of the Bee Gees from 1978 on one sheet and from 1998 on the other depicting great moments in their career. The stamps were first launched in London and then in New York City. These New York stamp release ceremony can be found on YouTube. It was filmed in New York City because the Bee Gees were not able to travel to the Isle of Man due to concert obligations. There are eight stamps issued in the set, each one themed around a specific Bee Gee song.

Proceeds from the sales of the stamps were given to the McMillian Cancer Support which is a charity in England, Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man. McMillian’s primary objective is to reach and improve the lives of everyone who is living with Cancer. The group provides information, support centers, mobile centers and is greatly regarded in the United Kingdom.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

The Heroes of 2001 Postage Stamp

On March 11, 2002, the United States Postal Service issued a new stamp that honor the men and women who gave their all in the rescue efforts on September 11, 2001. These “semi-postal” stamps were sold for 45 cents each; which was 11 cents higher than regular postage stamps were selling for at the time.

Semi-postal stamps are stamps that are sold at a higher rate so that money can be raised to support a specific charity or cause. The additional money collected from the sales of these stamps provided assistance to the families of the emergency relief personnel who were killed or permanently disabled in connection with the horrible terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

It should be noted that issuing semi-postal stamps is not commonplace in the United States. These stamps were only the second semi-postal postage stamps ever issued in United States history. The first ever semi-postal stamps were issued for Breast Cancer Awareness. There were 205 million Heroes of 2001 postage stamps issued.
The stamp release ceremony was held at the White House with then President Bush, Postmaster General John Potter, and many firefighters and rescue personnel who helped in the rescue efforts.

Check out Stamp Center for a wide selection of semi-postals from around the world.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lincoln Brings In Millions

Last Friday a fantastic postage stamp collection went up for auction in New York City. By far, it is touted as one of the most amazing collections of President Lincoln stamps ever to be created. In total, the collection has more than 10,000 stamps depicting President Lincoln.

Originally inherited from his father, the stamp collection began to grow in 1977 when William J. Ainsworth’s interest in philately was sparked once again. Over the next 32 years he worked to create the most definitive collection of Lincoln’s image on United States postage stamps.

The collection was broken into more than 600 lots at the auction. One of the interesting favorites was the mint 90 cent vertical block of six Lincoln stamps that were issued in 1869. The stamps feature Lincoln’s portrait in black with a red background. They are considered rare because they have never been broken apart. There was also a proof of a block of eight mint condition 90 cent stamps of Lincoln with his image accidentally printed upside down.
This proof is one of only two proofs known to be in existence. There were many other Lincoln items available at the auction. Lincoln tax stamps, private issues, test printings, etc. There was even a die impression in red sealing wax of a test design with Lincoln’s profile. It was originally purchased at a flea market for 50 cents and included as one of the rare auction items.

This amazing collection sold at auction for almost $2,000,000.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Barack Obama Stamps Have International Appeal

Stamp collectors may find these stamps interesting, no matter which side of the political spectrum you align yourself with.

Although you must wait a while for the United States postage stamps to be issued, we can usually count on the international community to supply certain stamps that would create great interest, to be released at a much faster rate. Stamp Center has several postage stamps available that honor President Barack Obama. These beautiful stamps have been issued by the following Nation’s:

Sierra Leone
St. Vincent/Canouan
St. Vincent/Union
St. Vincent/Bequia
St. Vincent – a couple of different ones to choose from
Grenada Grenadines
Some of the stamps issued include the White House or the Capitol as a backdrop and others feature the Presidential seal as a backdrop. All of the stamps feature Obama with his trademark friendly grin. The United States is represented well on many of these stamps as they showcase “Old Glory” waving in the background. All of the stamps feature Obama with his trademark friendly grin.

The stamps issued from Tanzania have one in the set that includes Michelle Obama, the Presidents wife. The stamp issued from St. Vincent/Union features a background of people holding signs from either the inauguration or perhaps an Obama rally. I wonder if those people even know that they are issued on an official postage stamp. Unless they are collectors and have looked, it is doubtful!

Please stop by Stamp Center and check out all of the Barack Obama postage stamps that are currently available.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Paul McCartney Happy Memories Postage Stamps

In July of 2002, the Isle of Man, a small island in the Irish Sea, released a delightful set of postage stamps designed by musician, Sir Paul McCartney. McCartney was approached to design the limited edition postage stamps once the stamp bureau found out that he had made visits with his family to the island when he was a child.

The resulting postage stamps feature simple floral designs that are similar to ones that are used in McCartney’s favorite charity…Adopt A Minefield. The charity was founded in Great Britain in 1990 and has raised over $17 million to clear landmines in 126 villages in the war torn countries of Afghanistan, Angola, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Croatia, Iraq, Laos, Mozambique and Vietnam. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the stamps went to support the charity.

There were six stamps in the series and only 170,000 stamps issued. The stamp sets also feature six black and white photographs of Paul McCartney with his signature at the bottom of each photo.

If you are interested in purchasing the Paul McCartney Happy Memories postage stamps, visit Stamp Center today.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2009 World Stamp Exhibition

First the actual Olympics and now the “Olympics of stamp collecting” is gracing the land of China. Beginning on April 10th and running through April 16, 2009, the 2009 World Stamp Exhibition is the place to be to see top philatelic issues from around the globe.

Over 110 countries and regions have brought together more than 3,200 valuable framed stamp collections to be viewed by the public. The entries will also be appraised by world class leaders of philately. More than sixty international stamp experts will review the entries and eight medals will be awarded before the end of the Exhibition. An unprecedented amount of attendees will have their chance on the bidding of rare stamps at the auction as well.

Of the 3,200 framed entries, 80 frames of world renowned stamps are on display. The British royal family has even sent their prized Penny Black which was issued in 1840. It was the first adhesive postage stamp to ever be issued in the world. Also on public display for the first time are stamps collected by the China National Post and Postage Stamp Museum.

There are 24 special Peony stamps issued from various nations to commemorate the Luoyang Peony Festival. China has released 60 commemorative envelopes especially designed for the Exhibition.

The World Stamp Exhibition travels to a new location each year. Expect to see the 2010 World Stamp Exhibition in South Africa.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Simpson’s On Postage Stamps

Kids (both young and old) are going to love this news! Hold back the State stamps and send in the Simpson’s! The United States Postal Service announced that they will be issuing postage stamps for the always dysfunctional animated Simpson family.

The stamps will be issued to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the television show which airs on the FOX network as well as around the world. To date, the Simpson’s is the longest running comedy in the United States. An interesting twist on these stamps is that they will be the first stamps ever issued to a current ongoing prime time show. The fact that it’s an animated show just makes it more fun.

This new set of stamps will feature each of the Simpson family members. There is Marge, the forever forgiving Mom; Homer, the dim-witted Dad; Bart, the wise cracking trouble maker; Lisa, the Saxophone playing smarty pants; and Maggie, the pacifier sucking baby. The stamps will appropriately be designed by the producer and creator of the show, Matt Groening.

The United States Postal service is asking for votes to determine who the public’s favorite Simpson’s character is. To cast your vote for favorite character, visit here. As of today, “Bart” is winning in the votes, but only by a smidge. Look for these fantastic postage stamps to become available to the public on May 7, 2009.

Be sure to visit Stamp Center for all your stamp collecting needs.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Cary Grant Postage Stamp Part II Of II

In continuation to Wednesday’s post…

Becoming a United States citizen and officially changing his name in 1942, Cary Grant is best known for his starring roles in romantic comedies. His many acting successes include “An Affair to Remember”, “Topper”, “Bringing Up Baby”, “The Philadelphia Story”, “Monkey Business”, “Charade”, “North by Northwest”, and “To Catch a Thief.” He was joined on film with several amazing actresses such as Grace Kelly, May West, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn,
Ginger Rogers, and Marilyn Monroe. During his vast career, Grant completed over seventy films and was one of Hollywood’s top box office attractions for several years.

Cary Grant received two Academy Award nominations for his efforts in “Penny Serenade” and “None But the Lonely Heart”, but no Oscar was ever awarded. It is widely believed that Grant, who was one of the first actors to ever break away from a studio and work as an independent actor; was denied the Oscar throughout his active career because of his independence. In 1970, Grant did go on to receive a special Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Cary Grant died in Davenport, Iowa, on Nov. 29, 1986, at the age of 82, while on a speaking tour.
Come visit Stamp Center for the wonderful Cary Grant postage stamps and the Cary Grant Press Sheet issued by the United States Postal Service in 2002.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cary Grant Postage Stamp Part I Of II

Long before Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio or other modern day movie heartthrobs surfaced; there was one celebrity in particular that stood out in a crowd. Cary Grant, otherwise known as Archibald Alec Leach, dazzled fans with his dashing good looks and debonair personality.

On October 15, 2002, the United States Postal Service honored Cary Grant with a commemorative postage stamp. The stamp was revealed in the most appropriate place, Hollywood, California. The Cary Grant 37 cent postage stamp was issued as part of the “Legends of Hollywood” series.

Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England on January 18, 1904. It is reported that he lived a somewhat sad childhood. In 1918, Grant was expelled from the grammar school that he attended. In 1920 he began his many years of stage performances by working as a stilt walker. After his stage troupe toured the United States; Grant decided to not join his fellow performers on their return trip to England. Remaining in America, Cary became a Hollywood Legend
by performing in many well known romantic comedies and thrillers.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Yellow Submarine Postage Stamp

The United States Postal Service released the adorable Yellow Submarine postage stamp as part of the Celebrate the Century commemorative stamp program in 1999. This 33 cent postage stamp sits aside other stamps that represent the 1960’s.

The Celebrate the Century stamp program honored some of the most significant people, places, trends and events from each decade spanning over a 100 year time period. The USPS, along with the United States Department of Education, developed a special curriculum to teach over 300,000 classrooms across the US about these postage stamps and what they represent in the past 100 years of American history.

The Yellow Submarine postage stamp was produced to commemorate the 20 year anniversary of the release of animated film, The Yellow Submarine. The movie was based on the music of The Beatles. The Beatles were not eligible to appear on the postage stamp because the United States has a rule that a person must be dead for at least 10 years in order to have their face on a postage stamp. All Presidents are exempt from this rule. Since the Beatles could not appear personally, the whimsical Yellow Submarine was chosen to represent them instead.

The stamps were released jointly in Denver and in Liverpool, England with a special celebration. Despite not hailing from America, the Beatles influenced music, fashion, entertainment and pop culture. To this day, the Beatles still continue to influence a new generation of music lovers.
Be sure to check out Stamp Center for great Beatles postage stamps.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

YMCA Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation from the post on Wednesday…

The YMCA was formed in the United States in Boston, Massachusetts, on December 29, 1851. The YMCA has an interesting connection to early postage stamp history. During the United States Civil War, many soldiers did not have stamps to use on their mail that they were sending home. When the Post Office received these letters, they were sent to the “Dead Letter Office” because most of the letters did not have a return address on the envelope.

When the YMCA found out that many letters were not being delivered home, they decided to help out the soldiers. The YMCA left unused postage stamps at various Post Offices with instructions for postal clerks to use the stamps on any soldier’s mail that arrived without a stamp or was short the amount of postage that was required to mail the envelope to its intended destination. When a stamp was used on the envelope, a special label was applied to the front of the letter so that the recipient knew that the YMCA had supplied the stamp. This label also let people know of the YMCA’s need for monetary donations to carry on its charitable work around the United States.

YMCA fans will be glad to know that Stamp Center has several YMCA postage stamps issued from Malta, Peru, Aruba, New Zealand and Canada available to add to their stamp collection.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

YMCA Postage Stamps Part I Of II

The Young Men’s Christian Association; otherwise know as the “YMCA” or the “Y” for short; was founded in London, England on June 6, 1844. Originally the group was formed in response to the unhealthy social conditions arising at the end of the Industrial Revolution. The YMCA helped men put Christian principles into practice during their daily lives. In the mid 1800’s, many men arrived in London to find work. Upon their arrival, many workers found the living and working conditions unsafe. The YMCA was formed to give these men a choice between life on the streets and a life of prayer and Bible study. The thing that made the YMCA stand out in the 1800’s (and continues today) is that it did not matter what religion or social class you originated from. All men were treated equal in the eyes of the YMCA. Eventually, the same premise spread to include women and children of all races, religions and nationalities.

Over the years, many countries have issued commemorative postage stamps to honor the YMCA. India issued a stamp to celebrate the 350+ YMCA’s sites that are spread out over most of the major cities, towns and villages around the country. Peru issued a stamp to commemorate the 85th Anniversary of the YMCA. Aruba issued a commemorative stamp that features roller skating and basketball for their YMCA 50th Anniversary. New Zealand issued their YMCA
commemorative postage stamp along side of the Lion’s International and Rotary Club stamps. Canada issued their four million commemorative stamps in 2001 to celebrate the YMCA’s 150th Anniversary.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding Nemo Postage Stamps

Stamp collecting is such a great hobby. I love when stamps are created to spark interest in children so that they too will fall in love with philately.

On April 3, 2008, the Taiwan Post released postage stamps depicting characters from the wildly popular Disney children’s movie “Finding Nemo.” These stamps are adorable and I am sure that many adults have scrambled to obtain them along with the kiddies. The United States Postal Service has done a fantastic job of showcasing Disney stamps over the years. It’s only a matter of time before we will see these adorable characters affixed to American envelopes as well.

The animated movie “Finding Nemo” was made in 2003 in a joint effort by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. The wildly successful film received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and sales of the film have grossed over $864 million worldwide. Finding Nemo remains as the best selling DVD of all time with over 40 million copies sold. To further honor the film, the American Film Institute named Finding Nemo the 10th greatest American
Animated film ever made.

These Taiwan postage stamps feature Nemo, the young clownfish which is the star of the movie; Dory, the nutty blue tang; Bubbles, the yellow tang; Tad, a long nosed butterfly fish; Squirt, a green sea turtle; Sheldon, a sea horse; Peach, the starfish; Pearl, a flapjack octopus; and a school of sea turtles.

There are two souvenir sheets in the set, both with wonderful animated underwater details depicted. These stamps are interesting because there are both circular and rectangular shapes in the souvenir set.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

John Denver Postage Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Wednesday…

John Denver used his music celebrity to draw focus on issues that were near and dear to his heart. His philanthropic involvements included serving as a member of the Presidential Commission on World Domestic Hunger. He was one of the five founders of The Hunger Project which is an organization that is committed to end chronic hunger in the world. He was awarded the Presidential “World Without Hunger Award” for his efforts. Denver also provided support to other organizations like The National Wildlife Federation, The Cousteau Society, Save the Children, and Friends of the Earth and the Human/Dolphin Foundation.

In the United States, there is a group that is requesting that the Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee consider issuing a commemorative postage stamp honoring John Denver. If you are interested in supporting this effort, send your request to:

USPS Stamp Development
Attn: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee
1735 N Lynn St. Ste 5013
Arlington, VA 22209-6432

John Denver died tragically on October 12, 1997 when the aircraft that he was piloting crashed off of the California coast. It would be nice to see the United States issue a stamp for this amazing singer that was loved the world over.

John Denver fans will be happy to know that Stamp Center has some very nice John Denver souvenir postage stamps that were issued by Nevis and Tanzania available and ready to ship.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

John Denver Postage Stamps Part I Of II

John Denver, otherwise known as Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., was born on December 31, 1943. Born in Roswell, New Mexico, he spent the majority of his childhood bouncing from state to state due to his father’s military assignments. Moving constantly did not suit Denver’s introverted personality well and he eventually discovered that he could make friends by singing and playing the guitar. At the age of 20, John headed to California to pursue his dreams of becoming a musician.

John soon adopted the surname “Denver” because he loved Colorado and “Deutschendorf” did not fit on any marquee well. After his arrival to California in 1964, he joined the Mitchell Trio which was a folk group that performed in clubs around Los Angeles.

In 1969 Denver began his solo career and cut his first album called “Rhymes and Reasons.” The album featured Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane” which was later recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary with great fanfare. RCA, Denver’s recording company, did not promote his album with a tour, but Denver decided to take his show on the road himself and performed his music in as many cities as he could throughout the Midwest. Selling his albums along the way convinced RCA that he did indeed have fans who were interested in hearing more of his music. Denver went on to author and sing many musical hits such as “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, “Sunshine on My Shoulders”, “Rocky Mountain High” and “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”, all of which awarded him great accolades in the music world.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Ireland’s First Braille Postage Stamp

On July 7, 2006, Ireland issued their first Braille postage stamp. The 48 cent stamp marked the 30th anniversary of the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. The stamp features a guide dog silhouette design with the denomination of the stamp in Braille. This multicolor postage stamp was wildly popular upon its release in Ireland.

The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind is the only supplier of guide dogs for vision impaired and the blind in Ireland. They also provide assistance dogs to children with Autism. These amazing dogs allow all recipients the opportunity to function fully and independently in society, thereby creating a better quality of life.

It takes approximately eight months to fully train a dog to be service provider. The most commonly used dog breeds are the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Labrador cross Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, German Shepherd cross Golden Retriever, Labra-doodle (Labrador cross Standard Poodle), and the Golden-doodle (Golden Retriever cross Standard Poodle).

All guide dogs are provided free of charge at the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind. As a result, fundraising is a crucial element to their success. Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind collects used postage stamps and sells them to stamp collecting companies who in turn pays for the stamps by the pound. If you have used postage stamps that you do not need, you can send them to Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind, National Headquarters & Training Centre, Model Farm Road, Cork or contact the American branch of the IGDB at 212 534 8867 for more information.

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Stamps Worth Millions Taken Away

Jim Ford, a stamp collector from Scotland, is mourning the loss of his precious stamp collection. The collection was originally started by his grandfather when he was a boy. The first stamps obtained were from letters from family members and friends who were scattered around the world. After his grandfather’s death, his uncle inherited the extensive stamp collection. Being confined to a wheelchair because of Multiple Sclerosis afforded him quite a bit of time to add to the already large collection of stamps from around the globe.

Ford, who collected stamps as a child, eventually inherited the collection. After an accident in 2001 left him disabled, he put his focus on expanding his collection. The collection feathered many valuable postage stamps. According to Mr. Ford, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC wanted to display the 36 “Washington Pinks” that were in his collection because they covered the Civil War years. The stamps were on correspondence between a soldier in battle and his fiancée. The Smithsonian had tentatively valued these particular stamps at around £18 million.

After a gas leak at Ford's home, the collection was packed up and put outside on the porch for a few hours during the cleanup. Council workers were arranged to pick up the old damaged furniture from the back of the home, but took the postage stamps instead. The stamps are now lost forever, despite his calls to have his collection returned.

Included in the mistaken stamp pickup were 840 Penny Blacks which are estimated to be valued between £1900 and £5000 each, the 36 Washington Pinks and dozens of Penny Blues. According to Ford, there was also a strip of three very rare stamps which were valued at £155,000. The good news is that he still has 11,000 stamps left in his collection, but none as valuable as the ones that were taken that terrible day.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Silver Dart Takes Flight

February 23, 1909 was a spectacular day in Canadian aviation history. It was on this frosty day that The Silver Dart first took flight about thirty feet above the Canadian ice covered basin. This historical experiment marked the first controlled powered flight in Canada and the British Empire. On February 23, 2009, Canada celebrated this amazing accomplishment by issuing a postage stamp honoring The Silver Dart.

The Silver Dart, otherwise known as Aerodrome #4 was the brain child of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell and his team at the Aerial Experiment Association. The Association team consisted of members from both the United States and Canada who were dedicated to developing aircraft. The Silver Dart was originally designed and built in New York. After successfully taking flight several times in New York, it was dismantled and shipped to Nova Scotia to mark the first
Canadian flight.

Despite it’s flying successes in the US and Canada, the Canadian Army was not impressed by the idea of aircraft being used in warfare. At the time, they thought that aircraft would never be a useful tool in combat. Eventually the Association was allowed onto a military base to showcase The Silver Dart. Unfortunately, the tiny two inch wheels on the aircraft performed very poorly on the sandy runway. Sadly, on only its fifth flight, The Silver Dart crashed on landing when one wheel struck a berm on the ground. This was the last flight ever for The Silver Dart.

Be sure to check out Stamp Center for great Canadian stamps.

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Prince Rainier’s Stamp Collection Part II Of II

Continuing from Wednesday…

Prince Rainier III is quoted as saying that stamps are “The best ambassador of a country.” Prince Rainier continued to add stamps and covers to the Royal collection throughout his years of reign. Each stamp in the collection is in chronological order and specifically classified. There are three main time periods that Prince Rainier’s collection maintains.
Les Precurseurs, otherwise known as the “Forerunners”, contains stamps that date back to 1641. This section also contains French and Sardinian postmarks used in Monaco and Menton. Those postmarks were issued prior to 1885 when Monaco began issuing their own postage stamps.

“Les Modernes”, otherwise known as the “Modern” section, dates back to 1921 and up through current day issues. Prince Rainier III and Prince Louis II postage stamps are stored in this set as well as many other commemorative stamps.

“Les Classiques”, otherwise known as the “Classics” feature issues issues of Monegasque stamps from 1885 to 1921 covering the reigns of Charles III and Albert I.

Many of the postage stamps that are in Prince Rainier’s collection can also be found at The Museum of Coins and Stamps in Monaco. The Prince founded the museum to allow the public to become more acquainted with philately. According to the Monaco’s official website, “The Rare Stamp Room is the high point of the Museum where priceless items are on display, including a « strip of 5 Charles III 5 franc stamps » and an envelope sent from Menton on 12th April 1851 with one of the first issues of the Sardinian stamp that was then used in the Principality.

Prince Rainier died on April 6, 2005. Stamp Center has the Prince Rainier III souvenir sheet as well as other beautiful postage stamps issued from Monaco in stock and ready to ship to you.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Prince Rainier’s Stamp Collection Part I Of II

Prince Rainier, who served as the longest reigning Monarch, is touted as having one of the finest stamp collections of all time.

In 1917, Prince Albert I of Monaco bought a collection from the late Reverent G.G. Barber, who was an English Pastor who took up residence in Monaco. In this collection there were many philatelic rarities which included stamps cancelled from 1851 to 1885. It also included the first Monaco stamps that were issued with the head of Prince Charles III in 1885.

The collection expanded when Prince Louis II bought a set of mint first issues of the reign of Charles III and of Albert I from renowned collector, Albin Harnish. In 1937, Prince Louis II created the Monaco Philatelic Bureau and Post Office, which supplied and housed all of the Monaco philatelic issues.

Inheriting the stamp collection upon his accession to the throne in 1949, H.S.H. the Prince Rainier III kept the tradition of collecting stamps for the Royal Family a top priority. He searched and then added various vintage stamps that had been previously missing. He took an active role choosing the subjects, colors, sizes and formats of all stamps that were to be issued from Monaco. In fact, a Monegasque stamp could not be issued until it was officially approved by the Prince himself.

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion to this post.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

2004 Entente Cordiale Postage Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from Friday…

There are a couple of interesting things you should know about this stamp set. There were two stamps issued to celebrate the Entente Cordiale. Both France and England released the exact same stamps simultaneously. The stamps feature designs that are abstract paintings by one French artist (Sonia Delaunay 1855-1979) and one British artist (Sir Terry Frost 1915-2003). In small print in the upper left corner is the caption “Entente Cordiale 1904-2004.”

Apparently when the Royal Mail unveiled the stamps at the press briefing, the people in attendance were not pleased with these stamps. In the May issue of “Scott Stamp Monthly”, James Mackay described how the press release was going smoothly and then “all Hell broke loose.”

The renowned British philatelic journalist, Otto Hornung, denounced them as “meaningless and caption-less travesties.” Another journalist on the scene, Peter Jennings” denounced the stamps by calling them “crap”. The journalists thought that other art pieces would be more appropriate and more recognizable for the citizens of both countries.

I find it interesting that President Sarkozy holds these stamps in such high regard. I guess if the Queen of England gave some stamps to me, I would feel the same way though!

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Friday, March 06, 2009

2004 Entente Cordiale Postage Stamps Part I Of II

On Wednesday I wrote about how President Sarkozy of France has taken up the hobby of stamp collecting. As previously reported, one of his prize possessions is the Entente Cordiale postage stamps given to him by Queen Elizabeth last year. The stamps were originally issued by Great Britain in April of 2004.

The Entente Cordial postage stamps were issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of an agreement between France and Britain that settled the colonial disputes between them. This agreement eventually led to an alliance between the two nations.
Britain and France share a rich history of war and peace. It was not until 1898 that the two powerful countries, who continued to seek expansion, ended up in the same location. The French wanted to increase their influence in Sudan as part of their expansion from West Africa. The British were expanding their territory from Egypt to the south. Both countries had troops arrive at Marchand, Fashoda, and Kitchener at the same time. It was decided that rather than fight for territory, British, Egyptian and French flags would all be flown together from the fort. This unprecedented agreement ended the colonial rivalry, and was officially signed on April 8, 1904.

Please check back Monday for the conclusion to the story.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

When Philately And A Presidency Collide

When do stamp collecting and politics appear in the same newspaper article? When the President of France decides to take up this fantastic hobby!

President Sarkozy, who has been known to be unpredictable and have a hot temper in the past, is enjoying his new found love…stamp collecting. This wife, Carla Bruni reports that she is glad that he has taken up such a calming activity as well.

His new passion is even being fueled by the upper echelon of political society. At a visit to Windsor Castle last year, Queen Elizabeth gave President Sarkozy a set issued by the Royal Mail in 2004. These stamps were issued to celebrate the centenary of the Entente Cordiale (Sarkozy’s now prize possessions) and many new stamp releases from Great Britain were supplied personally by the Queen. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governor of California, gave him a leather album filled with postage stamps as well. Other heads of state are jumping on the band wagon and sharing their stamps too. His collection to date is already quite extensive. I guess this is just another bonus given to a seated President. I wonder what Barack Obama will have in store for Sarkozy in the future.

President Sarkozy is now sponsoring a newly formed stamp club called the Elysee Philatelist Club, which is named after his official residence.

Other famed heads of state stamp collectors include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, King George V, Prince Albert, and Tzar Nicholas III of Russia, Prince Rainier III of Monaco and King Carol II of Romania II, to name a few.

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Another Thing To Do With Postage Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Friday…

Did you know that one of the hottest new trends is to make postage stamps into jewelry? There are several ways to make the jewelry and I must say that each piece was quite impressive when it is complete. Necklaces, earrings, pins and pendants are the most popular pieces that you will find. These products are not mass produced and as a result, these one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry are making a huge hit at craft shows and online stores.

Postage stamps are also being made into jewelry boxes. From the pictures that I have seen, the stamps look as if they are carefully applied to beautiful wooden boxes with some sort of varnish. They make a beautiful one-of-a-kind box for jewelry or trinkets.

A jewelry store in Kansas City is manufacturing custom postage stamp jewelry of their own. Their line of cuff links feature authentic older postage stamps from around the world. According to The Star in Kansas City, “the stamp selections cover US and world history, art, music, politics, inventions, wildlife, and of course...sports!” Each set of cuff links arrives in a gift box with a label on the bottom identifying what country the stamp came from, date of issue and some important tid-bits about the stamp that is featured.

All of these pieces of postage stamp jewelry would be a fun way to show your love of stamp collecting.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Another Thing To Do With Postage Stamps Part I Of II

Postage stamps are definitely fun to collect. They come in so many shapes and sizes and from locations near and far. People have been collecting stamps since they first became available to the public. Each stamp is its own little piece of artwork. I decided to do some research to see what things people do with postage stamps, other than collecting them. Warning…serious collectors may cringe at some of the information that I found out.

One of the nicest things you can do with your unwanted postage stamps would be to donate them to a charity that will use it in various ways. Sometimes the stamps are sold to make money for a specific cause. Sometimes the stamps are collected by groups such as Kids Need Stamps. They in turn sponsor official stamp clubs for children around the country. Kids Need Stamps is a fine organization that focuses on teaching children, of all backgrounds, about stamp collecting. There have also been civic groups that have collected stamps for injured soldiers. These donated stamps provide an escape from the typical medical routine that injured soldiers endure on a daily basis.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion to this post.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

UEFA Europass 2008 Postage Stamp

Football is one of the most popular sports in many countries around the world. We American’s refer to it as soccer though.

In 2008, the Austrian Post Office issued an amazing stamp to promote the UEFA EURO 2008 soccer tournament. UEFA EURO 2008 was held in June of 2008 and was the largest sporting event ever held in Austria. There was quite a bit of hype about this particular stamp as it was seemingly a one-of-a-kind concept.

At the time, experts in the philatelic world considered the stamp to be a fantastic creation. The stamp featured the normally 69 cm ball shrunk down to a mere 36 mm. The amazing thing about the stamp was that it was created by using the original material as the UEFA European Championship soccer ball. The synthetic mix with polyurethane was interesting to say the least. The stamp promoted Adidas as well.

Collectors and previous non-collectors clamored to pick up one of the 490,000 stamps that were released. At the time, the head of philately at the Austrian Post Office said “Altogether, the Europass stamp is our most sophisticated stamp in terms of typography and fabric.”
There were many attempts to perfect the stamp prior to releasing it to the public. The stamps had to endure special printing methods because it was made of plastic and not paper. The stamp production cost almost 20 times the price of normal postage stamps.

Sadly, there was one major problem that arose with these postage stamps…they would not stick to envelopes! As a result, large numbers of the stamps had to be withdrawn and replaced.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

1893 Columbian Exposition Commemorative Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Friday…

Sixteen different pictures of Christopher Columbus were represented on these postage stamps. Each stamp had the dates 1492 and 1893 printed in the top corners. Critics did not like the variations in Columbus’s appearance on the various postage stamps and often pointed out the discrepancies. The denominations of the stamps were also a point of contention. At the time, First Class Postage was only two cents per ounce and you were only allowed to mail up to four pounds. So basically, the $2, $3, $4 and $5 stamps were completely useless. This made collectors even more frustrated because they were not able to find any of the higher denominations that had ever been cancelled, forcing them to buy them new for full value.

The complaints did not bother then Postmaster Wanamaker who encouraged customers to buy regular postage stamps instead. Despite complaints, they were very popular and collectors still bought the new type of stamps. At the end of the day, there were 2 billion Columbian Exposition stamps sold and over $40,000,000 made on these interesting stamps.

In today’s market, a used set would run you over $2,000 and a mint unused set would run you over $8,000. The United States Postal Service reproduced the set in 1992, in conjunction with the World's Columbian Stamp Expo '92 in Chicago. These were issued one year shy of Columbus’s 500th anniversary of his first American voyage.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

1893 Columbian Exposition Commemorative Postage Stamps Part I Of II

I cannot imagine a world without commemorative postage stamps. I love the variety, colors, shapes, types, people, smells, characters and sizes. In my humble opinion, I think collecting commemorative stamps is the best part of stamp collecting. I shutter to think of a world without them. Thank goodness I don’t need to!

The first ever commemorative postage stamp was issued in 1893 to commemorate the Columbian Exposition, which was held in Chicago, Illinois. These controversial stamps also marked the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyages to the new world. These stamps were quite controversial for their time. John Wanamaker, the Postmaster General at the time, thought that commemorative postage stamps would become huge money makers. Congress on the other hand was not thrilled with the idea and issued a joint resolution that protested the “unnecessary” stamps.

History soon proved Wanamaker right as these postage stamps were a huge hit. Years ago, stamp collectors often tried to collect any postage stamp that was printed. They were upset at the high cost of the stamps though. The prices of the stamps ranged from 1 cent to $5. It was difficult to afford the entire set, which cost $16.34. The average weekly wage of that time period was about the same cost during 1893, so it was a financial strain for most collectors.

Please come back on Monday for more interesting information on this first ever commemorative United States postage stamp.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Favorite Children’s Books On Postage Stamps

There is no doubt that reading is one of the most important things that your child will learn in school. I was recently asked by a teacher to come and read a story to the class on “Read Across America” day at the end of February. I began to think about what book I would read and found a fantastic one that I remembered from my own childhood. As my thoughts usually do, I began to wonder what postage stamps have been issued commemorating beloved books for children. What a fun search.

I was happy to see that the book I had chosen to read to the classroom has also been made into a commemorative postage stamp. In 2006, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp pane called “Favorite Children’s Book Animals.”

Eight cherished animal characters from fantastic children’s literature took center stage in the series. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, (1969 and 1987) and “Maisy's ABC" by Lucy Cousins, (1994 in the United Kingdom and 1995 in the United States) were jointly issued with the United Kingdom's Royal Mail in January of 2006.

Other stamps in the series include: "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak (1963); “Curious George Flies A Kite" by Margret and H.A. Rey (1958); “Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White (1952); “Frederick" by Leo Lionni (1967); "Olivia" by Ian Falconer ( 2000); and "Fox in Socks" by Dr. Seuss (1965).

Each of these children’s books soared to great popularity and continually remain as a favorite choice for parents and children alike. These books certainly deserved to be depicted on these 39 cent postage stamps.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Jacqueline Cochran, American Aviator Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Friday…

Cochran began racing aircrafts in 1934 and soon set a new woman’s national speed record. By 1938, she was considered the best female pilot in the United States. She continued to set many flying records, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, was the first woman to fly a jet across the ocean, and was the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic. She was known as the “Speed Queen” throughout her flying years. At the time of her death in 1980, she held the more aviation records for altitude, speed and distance than any of her contemporaries, both male and female.

Jacqueline Cochran is considered to be one of the most gifted racing pilots of her time. Cochran organized the Women’s Flying Training Detachment (WFTD), which trained women pilots on how to handle basic military flight support. She is also known for her contributions in the formation of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC). The WASPs proved to be invaluable during the war effort. Under Cochran’s leadership, they transported planes overseas, tested military aircraft, and taught navigation to military men. Cochran was the first civilian woman ever to receive the US Distinguished Service Medal for her WASP work.

The Jacqueline Cochran postage stamps were issued in 1996. It is reported that at least one stamp collector in North Carolina purchased a block of 10 - 50 cent stamps in June of 1996. After arriving home, he realized that his stamps were missing one of the two black inks used during the printing process. His were missing the inscription at the lower left that says “Jacqueline Cochran Pioneer Pilot.” Has anyone else found any misprints on their stamps?

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Jacqueline Cochran, American Aviator Part I Of II

One of our readers recently requested that we showcase postage stamps that depict women pilots. I hope you enjoy reading about Jacqueline Cochran, who was a female pioneer American aviator.

Jacqueline Cochran, (a.k.a. Bessie Lee Pittman) was born on May 11, 1906 near Mobile, Alabama. Her family moved from town to town while her father set up and reworked existing saw mills. By the age of 14, Jacqueline married Robert Cochran who was a naval aircraft mechanic in Pensacola, Florida. After a few short years of marriage, Jacqueline filed for divorce and moved back to northwest Florida to be closer to her parents.

It was not long afterwards that Cochran became a hairdresser and eventually ended up moving to New York City. She worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and developed her own line of cosmetics.
In the 1930’s a friend offered her a ride on an airplane. Cochran fell in love with flying and soon began taking flying lessons. She learned to fly within an astounding three weeks time. She obtained her commercial pilots license within two years and began flying her own airplane around the United States promoting her cosmetic line called “Wings.” Cochran married Floyd Bostwick Odlum who was one of the ten richest men in the world at that time.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion to this story.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Honest Abe On Sale Now

The new set of Abraham Lincoln postage stamps were released by the United States Postal Service on Monday. The release ceremony was held in Springfield, Illinois at the Old State Capitol building where Lincoln spent many days as a lawmaker. These postage stamps commemorate the 200th birthday of this amazing past President. In keeping with his continued connection with Abraham Lincoln, President Barack Obama and other invited guests attended a banquet in Springfield on Monday to help kick off the release. Another special ceremony was also held at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island in front of hundreds of students and dignitaries.

The first day sales of these new postage stamps have drawn huge crowds already. It was reported that within a short time, the line to receive a free limited edition “first day of issue” envelope stretched around the Old State Capital. The free envelope contained all four first class stamps that were officially cancelled with a special Lincoln stamp, by the USPS. These 42-cent stamps show Lincoln as a rail splitter, a lawyer, a politician and a president.

Abraham Lincoln is one of America’s most treasured presidents. He is a hero and he serves as an example to all of the greatness that is the United States.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

John Muir Postage Stamps Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday...
John Muir was born in Scotland in 1838. He moved to Wisconsin with his family in 1849 and experienced a very difficult childhood. When he was 22 years old he entered the University of Wisconsin. After four years there he began his travels, usually on foot, around the United States. Later in his life, he traveled to Alaska and discovered the Alaskan Glacier which was later named after him. He also led scientific expeditions to Asia and the Artic.

John Muir spent his lifetime educating others on how to conserve and enjoy the environment via his travels, writings and drawings.
In 1892, John Muir formed the Sierra Club. He served as the President until his death in 1914. The Sierra Club is instrumental in conservation efforts still today. They are dedicated to teaching others how to reduce our carbon footprint and live a “green” lifestyle. They also focus their efforts on finding ways for America to reduce our dependency on foreign oil while still protecting our beautiful land.

Because of John Muir’s efforts to save the coastal redwoods, California named one beautiful forest “Muir Woods”. Muir Woods is one of California’s prime landmarks and has been visited by millions of people from around the world.

John Muir certainly deserves to be memorialized by having two postage stamps issued in his honor.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

John Muir Postage Stamps Part I Of II

You must be a very important person to not only have one postage stamp, but two postage stamps issued in your honor. John Muir is just the person who deserves that homage. He was featured on a 5 cent postage stamp in 1964 and in 1998 he was featured as part of the Celebrate the Century series for the 1900’s. He is also featured on the back of the highly collectible California State Quarter.

John Muir was a famous conservationist who lived most of his life enjoying the wonders of beautiful Northern California. Through his travels, he was one of the first Americans to realize that our nation’s forests should be protected by the United States government. It was largely through John Muir's influence that Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park were established in California. He was an instrumental force in having the government form National Parks throughout the United States and is often referred to as “The Father of our National Parks.” His love for the environment can be found in his many writings and drawings.
Through his conservation efforts, he was able to end the over-logging that was occurring in Yosemite, California and thus helped save the remaining 300+ year old Giant Sequoias. Sadly, by the time that officials would listen to John Muir, over half of the beautiful trees were cut down and used for grape stakes and roofing shingles.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Penguin Stamps Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Monday…

Like many other remote islands, one of the main sources of revenue is the sale of postage stamps, which are produced by the United Kingdom. There are a few sets of postage stamps issued from the island each year. The whale stamps have proven to be wildly popular over the years. The other sources of revenue for the islands come from fishing licenses, coin sales, harbor fees and an ever growing amount of tourism.

The islands are mountainous and ice and snow covered. The only land mammals that will be seen there are reindeer, which were introduced early in the 20th Century, and mice and rats. King Penguins and other penguin species call the island home. Whales and seals are also frequent visitors to the area.

Stamp Center has a new stamp category that they would like to share with everyone. This new “Strange and Unusual” category features many interesting stamps from around the world. For a limited time only, Stamp Center is offering an additional discount to customers who purchase these stamps. If you are interested in these super cute penguin postage stamps or other unusual stamps, pop over and take a look to see what is in stock.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Penguin Stamps

I love when I find interested information that I can share with readers. These penguin stamps were issued from South Georgia which is an island that is located in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This set of penguin stamps is sure to delight collectors everywhere.

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands is a British overseas territory. These islands were previously governed as part of the Falkland Islands. Despite being a British territory, Argentina claimed South Georgia in 1927 and the South Sandwich Islands in 1938 and maintained a naval station there. Argentina’s claim to the islands contributed to the Falklands War in 1982, when Argentina briefly occupied the Island. To this day, the dispute over
these islands remains between Argentina and Great Britain.

South Georgia is the largest island in the group of islands. The only people to inhabit the islands are A British Government Officer, Deputy Postmaster, scientists and support staff. If you are looking for a sunny destination, these are not the islands for you. The climate on the island and the surrounding water remains very cold year round so it is not very hospitable to humans.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

The Year Of The Ox

The second postage stamp of the New Year was issued on January 8, 2009 in New York City by the United States Postal Service. Welcome the Year of the Ox!

This Year of the Ox stamp is number two in the USPS series that will ultimately have 12 stamps issued. The Year of the Ox will begin on January 26, 2009 and run through February 13, 2010.

The 12 Chinese Animal Signs represent a cyclical concept of time that is based on the cycle of the moon. Western cultures embrace a linear concept of time based on the solar calendar. Unlike Western cultures, the Chinese New Year varies each year. It can start between late January and early February. Even though the Chinese adopted the Western calendar in 1911, the Chinese Zodiac calendar is celebrated each year with great fanfare. The Chinese animal signs also correspond to horoscopes, just like Western Zodiac signs. Most people who follow these horoscopes don’t take them seriously though.
In case you’re wondering what the positive traits of being born in The Year of the Ox, you will find that Ox people are: responsible, dependable, honest, caring, honorable, intelligent, industrious, and practical. The negative traits are: petty, inflexible, possessive, dogmatic, gullible, stubborn, critical, intolerant, and materialistic.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Say It Isn't So!

Stamp collectors will soon not be able to get their midnight stamp buying fix at United States Post Offices. Apparently the USPS is phasing out stamp machines. Stamp machines are no longer being made. Most of the machines in the United States are now over 20 years old. With replacement parts becoming harder and harder to find, stamp machines will be disappearing from daily life forever.

In all actuality, these machines are mostly used by the general public. It has been a huge convenience for Americans to run in and buy stamps out of a machine whenever they needed to. In years past, the USPS was the only place you get to buy stamps, but not so any longer. In an effort to become accessible to all, stamps can now be purchased in various locations around the United States. You can purchase stamps online at the USPS or can call their toll free number and have them shipped straight to you.

The USPS has further diversified their stamp selling locations for customers. The USPS has the “Stamps by Mail” program. Many retail sites are also licensed vendors of postage stamps. In addition, some bank and credit unit ATM’s also sell postage stamps, although I have never seen any sold where I bank. Rural carriers are also known to carry stamps so that consumers do not need to make a trip to an actual post office.

Before any machine is permanently removed, you will see a sign 30 days prior advising you of its removal. The USPS will also list nearby post offices and other places where you can purchase stamps.

I can’t help by feel that by removing these machines it is just one more loss from our American past. Of course you can still visit Stamp Center for your entire stamp collecting purchases.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another Stamp That Smells

Stamp collecting has been around since the first postage stamp was invented. There are so many varieties for so many occasions. There are plenty of plain everyday stamps out on the market and ones so special that collectors will fight and pay big dollars for them. Just like the saying goes for people “there is someone for everyone”, there certainly is a market for most every type of stamp made. For some countries, stamp sales are their most valuable commodity. Collectors enable a nearly 100 percent profit for a postal administration that produces an amazing specimen.

Brazil produced a neat stamp in 1999 that had a smell of burnt wood. The stamps were part of Brazil's forest fire prevention efforts. There were four stamps in the set. They featured a burnt tree trunk, a leaf, a flower and an anteater. The stamp campaign focused its efforts on bringing awareness to the damages that will happen in a forest fire. The smell was meant to remind people of the dangers of forest fire.

This stamp brings community awareness to a new level. It would be a cool stamp to have in a collection. If the United States were to make a smelly stamp, what would you vote for it to be?

If you are looking for other Brazil postage stamps; pop on over to Stamp Center to see what we have in stock for you.

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Cabbage Patch Kids Stamp

Here’s a riddle for you all….What does the Space Shuttle, postage stamps, Olympic mascots, and videos all have in common? They all have experienced the phenomenon that is called the Cabbage Patch Kids! In 1983 they were all the rage. People fought over them in stores. Kids cried when they weren’t under the Christmas trees. They went on a mission in outer space. They became mascots for our United States Olympic teams and even traveled with the athletes
dressed in full Olympic attire. These yarn haired dolls even ended up in McDonald’s Happy Meals. They were the toy that was most in demand among kids and adults.

In 2000 the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp commemorating the chubby faced baby. It was issued as part of the Celebrate the Century campaign representing the 1980’s.

The Cabbage Patch Kids postage stamp was part of a set with 15 stamps on the sheet. The American public voted on the stamps that would highlight the significant events that made the 1980’s special. Other stamps in the series included the Space Shuttle Program, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Video Games, Hip Hop Culture, Compact Discs, Cable TV, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Personal Computers, Musical Smash (Cats, the Musical),
Figure Skating, Hostages Come Home, San Francisco 49er’s, and The Cosby Show. Memories! Weren’t the 80’s fun?

It should be noted that the Space Shuttle Program received the most votes in this stamp series.
To purchase Celebrate the Century postage stamps, check out the fantastic stamps we have in stock for you.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Things To Look Forward To In 2009

Well folks, it’s official. The United States Postal Service has released their list of commemorative stamps that will be available to patrons in 2009. The list includes a wide array of choices to be had next year. All of the stamps will be released at the 42 cent rate until the expected increase in stamp costs this coming May.

Here are the stamps (in no particular order) that I have found.

The Alaska Statehood

Lunar New Year – Year of the Ox

Oregon Statehood

Edgar Allan Poe

Abraham Lincoln – Rail Splitter, Lawyer, Politician and President

Miami University Stamped Card

Civil Rights Pioneers – Mary Church Terrell, Mary White Ovington, J.R. Clifford, Joel Elias Spingarn, Oswald Garrison Villard, Daisy Gatson Bates, Charles Hamilton Houson, Walter White, Medgar Evers, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, and Ruby Hurley.

Love: King and Queen of Hearts

Wedding Cake

Wedding Rings

Bob Hope

Anna Julia Cooper

Flags of Our Nation (Set 3 of 6) – Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri and the Stars and Stripes.

Flags of Our Nation (Set 4 of 6) – Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota and the Stars and Stripes.

Hawaii Statehood

Gulf Coast Lighthouses

American Treasures: Edward Hopper

Early TV Memories: Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet; Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Dinah Shore Show; Dragnet; Ed Sullivan Show; George Burns & Gracie Allen Show; Hopalong Cassidy; The Honeymooners; Howdy Doody; I Love Lucy; Kukla, Fran and Ollie; Lassie; The Lone Ranger; Perry Mason; Phil Silvers Show; Red Skelton; Texaco Star Theater; Tonight Show; Twilight Zone; and You Bet Your Life.

Richard Wright

Thanksgiving Day Parade – Four stamps in the series.

Legends of Hollywood - Gary Cooper

United States Supreme Court Justices - Joseph Story, Louis D. Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, and William J. Brennan, Jr.

Nature of America – Kelp Forest

Christmas – Madonna and Sleeping Child

Winter Holidays - Reindeer, Snowman, Gingerbread Man and Toy Soldier.

Angel with Lute

Hanukkah – Menorah

Kwanzaa – Family

Happy collecting everyone!

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Crossword Puzzle Postage Stamp

The United States Postal Service issued the first ever commemorative postage stamp celebrating crossword puzzles. This adorable stamp was issued as part of the Celebrate the Century – 1910’s series on January 3, 1998. The Celebrate the Century series was the largest commemorative series ever issued by the USPS.

Crossword puzzles are wildly popular throughout the United States. They are the most popular word puzzle in the world. About 50 million people work crossword puzzles each day around the world. All newspapers in the country feature crossword puzzles in some section of the paper. These black and white grids can stump even the smartest of humans. Crossword puzzles are so popular, that they even have a day celebrating their existence…April 18th.

The first crossword puzzle was comprised by journalist Arthur Wynne. His first puzzle ran in the New York World on December 13, 1913. There are many types of puzzle to enjoy. The “Cryptic” crossword puzzles feature clues that are puzzles themselves. It’s no wonder that they can leave you scratching your head. The “Straight” or “Quick” puzzles have clues that are usually simple definitions for the answers. There are “Quiz” crosswords where the clues are in the form of questions. Some puzzles feature indirect clues where clues are taken metaphorically instead of literally. Originally, crossword puzzles were created by hand, but most today are created with the help of computer programs.

Regardless of your preference in puzzles, crossword puzzles will keep your brain sharp as a tack or cause you to pull your hair out in frustration!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

These Christmas Stamps Will Make Your Hungry

Nothing beats decorated homemade cookies around the holidays. In 2005, the United States Postal Service brought baking fun to your Christmas envelopes. These deliciously looking cookies will make you smile and remember the fun that baking brings, especially during the holiday season.

The Holiday Cookies commemorative stamp featured four 37 cent stamps. These festively decorated stamps have a Santa Clause, two snowmen, an angel and two cute elves made from gingerbread and sugar cookie dough. Did you know that long before glass ornaments, people decorated their Christmas trees with real cookies? Gingerbread was the most used cookie dough of the time as it held up longest.

The Pillsbury Dough Boy was on hand for the dedication ceremony which was held in Minneapolis at the General Mills Headquarters. There was an additional unveiling at the Postage Stamp Mega Event in New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

These adorable stamps are made from photographs of actual cookies. Cookie creators made 1000 cookies just to find the perfect six for the making of these stamps. Sally Anderson-Bruce was the famed photographer of the cookies. She also served as the photographer of this year’s Nutcracker postage stamps.

If you are interested in purchasing these Holiday Cookie stamps or other Christmas themed stamps, stop by and check out our many selections.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Postage Helps Spread The Cheer

No bah hum bug here! With the holiday season in full swing, I thought it would be fun to showcase some of the beautiful postage stamps that represent this special time of year. Christmas stamps can be likely be found by every country that celebrates Christmas. They range from the religious variety (Madonna and Child) to the festive variety (trees and wreath types) to the cartoon type variety (Santa and Snowmen).

One of the funny postage stamps that I love comes from Antigua in 2006. It pictures Santa in his red and white bathing suit. Santa is enjoying his time on the beach in Antigua while being surrounded by presents. He is even wearing some cool Santa shades! Maybe this is where Santa hangs out while the elves are making all those gifts.

Of course in the United States, you are not just limited to Christmas stamps during the holiday season. You will usually find stamps representing Hanukkah, Kwanza and EID (Muslim holiday) at post offices around the country.
Be sure to check out Stamp Center for this Antigua stamp and all of your Christmas postage stamp needs.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Nutcracker Postage Stamps

Nutcrackers will not only be found on theater stages around the country this December, but on your envelopes as well. The new 2008 Nutcracker postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service are amazing. They were released on November 8, 2008 and are already a very difficult stamp to find at post offices as well as authorized stores around the nation.

Nutcrackers have been made by German craftsmen in several varieties since at least the 15th century. You will often find them carved like a king, knight, or soldier. These wooden decorative pieces have a large mouth that opens and shuts via a lever in the back of the figurine. They are functional as they can actually crack a nut, just as their name states, but most nutcrackers made today are for decoration only. Nutcrackers are traditionally displayed at Christmastime. The famous ballet, “The Nutcracker” is named after these figurines.
The whimsical Nutcrackers featured on the postage stamps are a picture of four actual German style Nutcrackers. The Santa (Father Christmas), king, drummer and captain were custom made for the USPS by craftsman Glen Crider, whose workshop resembles what you could imagine Santa’s workshop to look like. It should be noted that Mr. Crider is one of the few craftsmen in America who has this rare talent of carving Nutcrackers.

Check out Stamp Center to purchase this beautiful Nutcracker postage stamp set.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Every Stamp Collectors Dream

Who among you in the stamp collecting world does not dream of a once (or maybe twice) in a lifetime find? One that is so spectacular that it leaves you dancing and screaming from one end of your home to another. You are going to love this story. Maybe, just maybe, one day the same will happen to you!

Denny Moreau has been a stamp collector for 35 years and belongs to the American Philatelic Society. Mr. Moreau is a recently retired Las Vegas Casino worker. An average Joe; living a nice life in Las Vegas. With time on his hands, he decided to get back to work on his passion….stamp collecting. He happens upon a previously ignored box of stamps that he purchased from a friend 20 years earlier for $7.50.

This little box held many stamps that he believed did not hold any value. Upon further examination, he discovers what he believes to be one of the rarest stamps in history; a beautiful George Washington 2 cent red stamp with a completely intact perforation that is known as a Schermack. It should be noted that if he was correct, he would be in possession of 1 of the 40 rare George Washington stamps believed to be in existence.

He soon sent his stamp off to be authenticated, but was notified that it was not the stamp he was so excited about owning. Believing that he was correct, he decided to make an appeal on the opinion. A year after he had made his initial discovery, he received another registered letter stating that the stamp was in fact genuine. This was certainly the outcome that Moreau was hoping for.

Let the celebrating begin. It is not often that rare stamps are found. The stamp was sent to auction and fetched a whopping $109,250 (including the buyer’s commission).

Stamp collecting is great fun in its own right, but even grander when you find an unbelievable treasure!

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Make These Mistakes With Your Stamp Collection

Stamp collectors will attest that when you find a stamp that tickles your fancy, all is well with the world. But with such great enthusiasm for your new finds, mistakes can be made that can damage or destroy what would have been a fantastic yet fragile treasure.

Be sure to check your envelopes very carefully before you cut the envelope. Sometimes the envelope itself is collectible. To some collectors, the postmark itself is valuable if it came from someplace special. Sometimes people will buy stamps and not realize that they have a First Day Cover or Event Day Cover in their hands. If you have obtained an old stamp, you could find that it is from a special time in history like wartime mail with censorship markings. Always check your envelope first before doing any cutting, just in case.

If you find that the envelope has no foreseeable value, you will likely need to trim off the excess pieces of your envelope. You will need to do any trimming before you soak your stamp off of the envelope. Be very careful to not cut off any part of the perforation. With stamps coming in so many odd shapes and sizes, it is easy to become over zealous and cut off a portion of your new stamp. Many times, there is special writing around the stamp. Be sure to include these writings when you cut out your stamp.

Come visit Stamp Center for your entire stamp collecting needs.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

John Lennon Stamp Support

There is a new petition that is circulating to have the United States Postal Service issue a commemorative postage stamp for John Lennon.

John Lennon was a British born citizen who rocked the world with his performances with the Beatles from 1957 to 1970. The Beatles caused a frenzy with legions of fans around the world. Lennon’s music has reached millions and is still loved after all of these years. In addition to being a singer/musician, he was also a songwriter, artist, actor and peace activist. He later went on to success as a solo performer. His work as a peace activist landed him in a bit of trouble in the 1970’s. During the Nixon era, the United States tried to deport him for his political ties, but was defeated in their efforts.

Sadly, Lennon was gunned down in New York City on December 8, 1980 by Mark David Chapman. His final album was released three weeks after his death.

Another reason that Lennon should be considered to be graced with a postage stamp is that he was an avid stamp collector. His collection containing more than 550 stamps has recently been auctioned off for a pricey sum.

The potential stamp is sponsored by Lennon supporter, collaborator and close friend Bruce Bieman. Sign your name on a petition heading to the Citizen’s Advisory Committee if you would like to see a John Lennon postage stamp issued in the near future.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Pay More For A Stamp Than You Should?

So why would anyone pay more for a postage stamp than they should. This entry is not about being ripped off by some unscrupulous stamp seller. It is however, about semi postal stamps.

A semi postal stamp is a stamp that is issued to raise money for some sort of charitable cause. The cost of the stamp is inflated above the cost of the normal postage stamp. Sometimes these types of stamp show the normal postage rate, but consumers pay a higher rate to help support the cause. Other times, a stamp will show two denominations that are joined with a plus sign. Purchasing these types of stamps is completely voluntary.

The first occurrence of a semi postal stamp was issued to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in Victoria and New South Wales. These 1897 stamps were sold for 12 times the face value of the actual postage.

In Switzerland and Belgium, stamp collectors prefer collecting semi postal stamps over regular postage stamps. Most of the time, these type of stamps out-sell regular stamps with the public as well.

The first semi-postal stamp was issued in the United States in 1998. This stamp helped support and bring awareness in the fight against Breast Cancer.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Little Stamp Advice

Once you decide to enter the fun world of stamp collecting, it is important that you be careful to not damage your treasured stamps. Here are some simple things to think about when handling your stamps.

First, always make sure that you keep your hands clean and dry before handling any postage stamps. Better yet, don’t use your hands at all. Stamp tongs are a wonderful tool to use instead of your fingers when handling stamps. Using tongs will help keep the natural oil that human skin has off of your stamps altogether. It also helps to keep the dirt off of your stamps.

Collectors should consider purchasing glassine envelopes to store their stamps in. Many people make the mistake of storing their stamps in a shoebox or other type of box. You should be wary of this practice because damage can happen at any time in a box. Stamps can suffer the ill effects of this type of storage by becoming curled or bent. In areas prone to humidity, stamps often stick to each other. Sometimes the dye in the storage boxes will even transfer onto your stamps, leaving them worthless. Taking the time to use these special envelopes will ensure that
your stamps remain safe until you decide to mount them.

Come check us out for all of your stamp collecting needs.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Seals Part II Of II

Continuing from the post on Friday…

By 1907, there were many sanatoriums dotted throughout the United States. One sanatorium in Delaware was so in need of money that Emily Bissell decided to help raise money to keep its doors open. She had heard of a man in Denmark who sold seals; that were applied to envelopes, during Christmas to help raise money for people plagued with TB. She decided to give the idea a try as well. She designed her own stamp and had them printed in time for her Christmas campaign. She had 50,000 seals printed and sold them for one cent at post offices. With endorsements from high government officials, including Teddy Roosevelt, by the end of Christmas, she had raised $3,000…ten times the amount needed to help the sanatorium in need.

By the early 1900, and a national campaign, the legacy of the stamps was solidified. Christmas Seals have become a cherished American tradition. The colorful creations continue to decorate Christmas cards every year. Christmas Seals continue to be a major source of funding in the fight against various lung diseases.

The Christmas Philatelic Club is not only dedicated to collecting different types of Christmas postage stamps from around the world; they also embrace the Christmas Seals stamps. Collecting Christmas Seals are also a fun way to start children in stamp collecting. They are easy to obtain and their colorful creations are very nice to look at.


Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas Seals Part I Of II

Christmas Seals are not postage stamps, but have become a very collectible stamp throughout the years. They are labels that look like postage stamps that are usually applied to the back of envelopes at Christmastime. Nowadays, they are distributed by the American Lung Society in hopes of raising funds as well as awareness for a variety of lung diseases. In some cases these stamps are just as valuable to collectors as actual postage stamps.

Christmas Seals have an interesting history that I would like to share with you. The first seals were issued in Denmark in 1904 and the first in America were issued in 1907. Originally they were produced to help fight the most feared of all diseases, Tuberculosis (TB), otherwise known as the “White Plague”. With TB not being a mainstream problem any longer, the focus was changed to help fight all lung illnesses.

In the last 1880’s, there seemed to be no cure for TB. An American doctor, Dr. Trudeau, who suffered from the illness himself, decided to live out his remaining days in a cabin in New York. After much rest, sunshine and fresh air, he began to get well. He became convinced that his peaceful surroundings cured him of the deadly illness. In 1884, the fully recovered doctor opened the first ever sanatorium to solely treat TB patients.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion to this post.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Dr. Seuss Postage Stamp

On March 2, 2004 the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp for beloved author Theodor Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as “Dr. Seuss”. The stamp was issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize winning author’s birth. The stamp was released during the “Seussentennial: A Century of Imagination” year long celebration that occurred in schools, libraries and book stores around the United States. The 37 cent postage stamp features a picture of Dr. Seuss as well as six of his favorite characters from his books.

Dr. Seuss books have thrilled young children for years. The whimsical stories, many with words that make no sense at all, make children laugh out loud. There are 44 different children’s books to his credit. All have the lovable characters and silly rhyming words.

His first book, “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”, was initially rejected by 27 publishers before it was finally printed to a population who loved his new type of writing style. Interestingly enough, Dr. Seuss’ publisher had read a report on how most school children had trouble reading because they thought their books were boring. So he challenged Dr. Seuss to create a fantastic children’s book that would be exciting and fun for the kids to read. The end result of that challenge was the finished copy of “The Cat in the Hat”; which is one of the most read children’s books of all time.

You can find Dr. Seuss and other fine postage stamps at Stamp Center!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Valley Of The Yosemite Postage Stamp

The beautiful Yosemite Valley was chosen by the United States Postal Service to be featured on a postage stamp this year. The stamp depicts a copy of the 1864 oil painting of the “Valley of the Yosemite” by Albert Bierstadt. This stamp is the 8th issuance in the American Treasures series. The American Treasures series showcases beautiful works of American fine arts and crafts.

Albert Bierstadt was a renowned artist of his time. He is best known for his large landscape paintings of the American West. This is not the only postage stamp that showcases a Bierstadt painting. In 1998, as part of the United States Postal Service’s Four Centuries of American Art series, commemorative stamps were issued for his “The Last of the Buffalo” painting as well.

Yosemite is located in the central Sierra Nevada in California. This National Historic Park boasts over 3.5 million visitors each year. Although Yosemite is 1189 square miles (about the size of Rhode Island), most visitors spend the majority of their visit in Yosemite Valley which is about 7 square miles. Yosemite is home to many species of plants and animals that can only be found at Yosemite. Its granite cliffs, waterfalls, Giant Sequoia’s, streams and wildlife continue to thrive and draw visitors from around the world each day.

Check out our website for more information on this beautiful stamp.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hoover Dam Express Mail Stamp Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday…

Lake Mead is the reservoir that is created behind the Dam. There are 8 to 10 million visitors who enjoy the lake and its surroundings each year. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is the fifth busiest National Park in the United States.

Hoover Dam was named after Herbert Hoover, who was one of the key people who made sure that the dam was completed. Hoover began his quest prior to becoming president, but worked diligently on the project once he was in office. In 1932, Hoover lost his bid for re-election to Roosevelt. Much to many people’s dismay, Roosevelt’s new Secretary of
the Interior, Harold Ickes, decided to change the name of the dam to Boulder Dam. In 1945, Roosevelt died and Ickes retired. In 1947, California Congressman Jack Anderson introduced a bill that would change the name back to “Hoover Dam”. With almost unanimous support in the House and Senate, the original name was restored.

Here are some interesting facts about the Dam.

The concrete is still cooling some 73 years later. Hoover Dam became a National Historic Landmark in 1985. It was completed more 2 years ahead of schedule. There is enough concrete in the Dam to pave a two lane highway from New York to San Francisco. There are two lanes of traffic across the top of the Dam. Because of September 11th, a new bypass is being built to divert traffic away from the top of the Dam. It is expected to be completed in 2010. Currently about 13,000 to 16,000 people travel across the Dam each day. The bottom of the Dam has 660 feet of concrete.

Stamp Center has the Hoover Dam Express Mail Stamp available to purchase.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Hoover Dam Express Mail Stamp Part I Of II

The Hoover Dam is a fantastic National Historic Landmark. It is great to see that it has joined the ranks of other such landmarks that have been honored with a postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service.

The Hoover Dam is located on the border of Arizona and Nevada on the Colorado River. It is an amazing structure that was completed in 1935. At the time, it was the largest dam ever built. As of today, it is the second largest. This structure provides electricity to surrounding states as well as California.

Boulder City, which was located in Nevada, was constructed as a city to house all of the workers who would spend years making the dam into reality. Once built, it was illegal to drink alcohol, gamble or engage in prostitution during the period of construction. It was not until 1969 that alcohol was sold in Boulder City. To this day, it is the only location in Nevada that does not allow any gambling.

The making of the Dam was crucial to families as the Great Depression was beginning and many people were out of work. At the time, there was no structure that had ever been constructed like the Hoover Dam. Engineers had their work cut out for them. It was estimated that the concrete would take 125 years to cure if left to its own devices. Special cooling coils were installed throughout the entire Dam to speed up the curing process.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Looney Tunes Postage Stamps

Some stamp collectors collect historical stamps, and some collect stamps from specific countries, while others choose to collect the more fun loving type of stamps. The great thing about stamp collecting is that there are so many different varieties of stamps available to choose from. That is why stamp collecting is enjoyed by so many people, from so many walks of life.

This Looney Tunes stamp set was issued in 1998 by the United States Postal Service. It features the always fun loving and definitely silly characters, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat. This sheet of 10 self adhesive stamps was the second set in the series issued to commemorate Warner Brothers Cartoon Characters. The set was issued in two formats. There was a perforated and an imperforated type to choose from. With both formats, there is die-cutting between the nine stamps on the left hand side of the pane.

Other stamps in the series include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner, and the Porky Pig stamp sets. Fitting enough, the Porky Pig was the last set issued and had printed on the pane “That’s All Folks!”
Stamp Center has adorable Looney Tune stamps available, below book cost, to add to your collection.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Valuable Stamp That Had No Value Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday….

The stamp could be used for sending a free inland letter or postcard on the day the shares of the Dutch Post would officially be introduced at The Amsterdam Stock Exchange. The translation of the words on the paper that the stamp was mounted onto were: “This postage stamp is worth 80 cents on the day that PTT Post will be quoted at the Stock Exchage. On that day this little jewel will be valid for inland letters and cards up to 20 grams. Here you are!”

On June 29, 1998, the PPT finally appeared in the stock market. The “O” postage was only good for that one days mailing. Oddly enough, the stamp was not widely used by the public. There was only a small amount that ended up circulating through the mail system. Perhaps with having to wait 5 months to use the stamp, many people lost their “free stamp”. Perhaps people only regarded the original catalog packet as a form of junk mail and threw them out.

It is estimated that there were around 3,750,000 stamps printed and mailed to patrons.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Valuable Stamp That Had No Value Part I Of II

Here’s a fun and interesting story about a special little stamp from the Netherlands.
The Dutch postal service was owned by the government up until 1989. In 1989, PPT Netherland (Post, Telegraaf, Telefoon) became independent from the government. After a while, the decision was made to separate into two separate entities (mail and phone serves). It was also the intention to bring the postal service to the stock market. PPT Post soon became the first mail company in the world to be listed on any stock market.

In an effort to bring attention to this landmark event, officials decided to offer something special to their customers. It was customary for the Post to send a catalog out to all patrons each January showing what services were offered, as well as the respective costs involved. In January of 1998, the people of the Netherlands received a special gift from the Post.
Inside of their usual catalog there was a very nice stamp addition. The stamp was adorned with a picture of diamonds with a red velvet like background. The jewels were in the shape of a “zero” on the stamp.

Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

13 Mile Woods Definitive Stamp

In May of 2008, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp that is part of the Scenic American Landscapes series. This 72 cent definitive stamp showcases the 13 Mile Woods which is located at the New Hampshire – Maine border. The 13 Mile Woods includes 9 miles of waterfront on the gorgeous Androscoggin River.

The Town of Errol, where the 13 Mile Woods is located, worked to acquire the land from the US Forest Service in order to conserve this beautiful forest. The area is filled with haunting beauty and features wildlife such as the red tailed hawks and white tailed deer. The land also features a rare forest flood plain, trout streams, and mature hardwood and softwood forests.

Many politicians in Washington hopped on board to help save this beautiful area from development as well. Besides conserving this lush land, the new Community Forest will offer the town of Errol, which has struggled financially in the past, with a recreational area for hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing and snowmobiling. New Hampshire is considered to be one of the best vacation destinations for families. The purchase of the 13 Mile Woods is sure to provide an economic boost to the area for years to come.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Tiffany Lamp Postage Stamp

You too can own a Tiffany Lamp…one that can be put upon an envelope that is. In 2008, the United States Postal Service issued a 1 cent Definitive postage stamp that is sure to jazz up any piece of mail with great style.

This particular stamp depicts a Tiffany stained glass lampshade which showcases the grand Tiffany style this is loved around the world. The first Tiffany lamp was created in 1899. The record price for an original Tiffany Studios lamp at public sales will cost you over $8,000,000, if you can find one.

Louis Comfort Tiffany began his career as a painter. He then began to design stained glass windows while working for an interior design company in New York City. He quickly found use of left over glass pieces and began designing stained glass lampshades. His designs transformed what was considered Art Nouveau art in the United States and Europe.

This is not the first stamp honoring renowned glass creator Louis Comfort Tiffany. In 2007, a beautiful 41 cent postage stamp, with the image of one of his stained glass windows, was also produced. Many of his window creations still adorn churches and cathedrals around the east coast.

To purchase these Tiffany stamps as well as other fine stamps, click here.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Great Lakes Dunes Postage Stamps

The beautiful sand dunes that line portions of the five Great Lakes in the United States have been honored by the United States Postal Service. The stamps are the tenth installment by the USPS’s Nature of America educational series. Previous educational issues include the Sonoran Desert issued in 1999, the Pacific Coast Rain Forest in 2000, the Great Plains Prairie in 2001, the Longleaf Pine Forest in 2002, the Arctic Tundra in 2003, the Pacific Coral Reef in 2004, the Northeast Deciduous Forest in 2005, and the Southern Florida Wetlands in 2006 and Alpine Tundra issued in 2007. All of these stamps have shown just some of the amazing natural beauty that can be found in the United States.

One of the largest freshwater dune systems in the world can be found around all of our own Great Lakes. The bulk of the United States dunes can be found on the west Michigan shoreline. The dunes are a dynamic landscape that is formed when the shifting sand, wind and water work in perfect harmony. It is a playground for the young and old and should certainly be protected so that it can be enjoyed for years to come.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes in particular is showcased in this stamp collection. It receives its name by the site of the huge dune formation that resembles a sleeping bear. There are 27 different types of plant life, animals, birds and insects imbedded on the stamp sheet. The stamps show the diverse wildlife that effortlessly co-exists in the dunes.

The back of the stamp pane features a numbered key to the artwork with the corresponding list of both the scientific and common names for the 27 selected species. This makes a neat addition to any stamp collection. First day of issue postmarks are available for envelopes postmarked by December 3, 2008 from the USPS.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Interesting Information About Early Mail Service

Postal service has sure come a long way via a long bumpy road. Mail can be traced back centuries. The first envelopes were made of animal skins, vegetable parts and cloth. The Babylonians were known to bake thin sheets of clay with messages inside for their mail.

Great Britain can be credited with the idea of the first ever Postmark. It was called a “Bishop mark”, which was named after its inventor, Henry Bishop who was the Postmaster General in 1660. After fielding constant complaints from patrons about how long mail takes to be delivered, he came up with the postmark idea to show the receiver the date that it was received by the post office. Postmarks began in England in 1661. Each postmark consisted of a circle with a horizontal line running through it. The month was put in the upper half of the circle and the day was put in the bottom half. Most postmarks were placed on the backside of the envelopes and were always written in ink.

In the mid 1600’s, most letters were paid for by the receiver of the letter, not the sender. The front side of envelopes often contained very explicit instructions on where to drop the letter off so that correct delivery could be ensured.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Fast Ocean Navigation Postage Stamp Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday…

These stamps were by far the most artistic stamps ever produced by the United States Postal Service at that time. Because they had two colors, they required 2 trips through the printing press.

Several of the stamps featured the word “Fast” on them in the title. “Fast” signified how increased delivery speed of goods would help drive the slow economy. The stamps were available for sale for the duration of the World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York. The Exposition ran from May 1st through October 31, 1901. The Pan American Exposition showcased technical achievements and how that technology would benefit others living in the 20th century.

Interestingly, in December of 1899, there was wide speculation that the Pan American Exposition postage stamps would not come to fruition. The public and the philatelic communities were against having these stamps made. The main complaint was that the stamps would take up to much room on an envelope just as the Trans Mississippi Exposition and the Columbian Exposition stamps did before them. Both of these series were widely rejected because there were smaller stamps available to purchase at the same time.

Here’s one more bit of history for you. President McKinley was a huge supporter of the Pan American Exposition. While waiting in the receiving line at the exposition, he was shot 2 times by an assassin. He died 8 days later.

If you would like to purchase this amazing historical stamp or other great stamps for your collection, check out this site.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

The Fast Ocean Navigation Postage Stamp Part I Of II

The Fast Ocean Navigation stamp was issued by the United States Postal Service on May 1, 1901. This 10 cent stamp featured the American Liner steamship called the St. Paul. The St. Paul was famous for being the first commercial ship to be commissioned as a warship during the Spanish-American War.

This stamp was part of the Pan American Exposition (World’s Fair) stamp series. They were the first United States postage stamps of the 20th Century to be issued. The stamps were listed as commemorative, but they were in fact a means of promoting the World’s Fair.
The series depicted 6 different stamps, which were all the modern forms of transportation at that time. There was the Steamship, The City of Alpena. The stamp was called the “Fast Lake Navigation” and had a denomination of 1 cent. The “Fast Express” portrayed the Empire State Express which was the railroads out of New York Central and Hudson River Railroads. It was issued with a 2 cent denomination. The 4 cent stamp features an electric automobile. It is called the “The Automobile”. The 5 cent stamp features the bridge at Niagara Falls. It was the
largest single span steel bridge at that time. It is called “The Bridge at Niagara Falls”. The “Canal Locks at Sault de Ste. Marie” stamp has an 8 cent denomination. This stamp illustrates the spirit of international co-operation.
Please check back on Wednesday for the conclusion to this post.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Alzheimer's Social Awareness Postage Stamp

Families who are currently dealing with or have dealt with a family member with Alzheimer’s disease; will attest to the difficult times they encounter on a day to day basis. Dealing with the emotional and financial challenges can cause devastation to even the tightest knit family.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, they predict that 10 million baby boomers will be stricken with the disease. Currently there is no cure and with one out of eight persons developing the disease, there is real concern about the future of our current health care system and their ability to keep up with the needs of patients.

The United States Postal Service would like to help people become more aware of the problems people endure with their unveiling of the Alzheimer’s Social Awareness Postage Stamp. The stamp was released on October 18, 2008. The stamp features a lovely side profile image of a grandmother with a hand resting on her shoulder. The hand represents all of the friends and family members who lend a hand and loving support to people afflicted with Alzheimer’s.

Hopes are high that by raising awareness, funding will be given to help find a cure for this debilitating disease once and for all.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Postage Stamps In Outer Space

No, there is no known post office in outer space, but there have been some postage stamps that have made it there.The crew of the Apollo 15 space mission had a successful mission on all accounts; that is until they returned back to earth. Their reputations were tarnished when it was discovered that one of the astronauts had made a deal to take 398 First Day Covers hidden in his space suit on the flight.

Each astronaut was promised $7000 to sign the covers and to keep mum about the secret mission to the moon. Upon their return home, the First Day covers were distributed to H. Walter Eiermann who then gave them to a stamp dealer in Germany. The covers sold on average for $1500 each.

Realizing their error in their ways, the crew of Apollo 15 did decide to not accept any money for the Covers that they had brought into space. Once Scott heard that the stamp dealer was selling the covers, he asked that they be stopped immediately. NASA eventually got word of the sale of the Covers and confiscated the additional 298 covers from Scott. I wonder where those covers are today. Most likely they are locked in a vault someplace. It would be amazing to own the first postage stamps to travel to outer space.

Each crew member was reprimanded for their lack of good judgment in the “Stamp Affair”….as Congress called it. It makes you wonder what other items have secretly traveled throughout the stars.

Personally, I think that sending postage stamps into space sounds like a great way for NASA to help fund their space programs.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Stamps...Or Not

Class movie monsters are about as American as apple pie. Did you know that there have never been any postage stamps issued by the United States Postal Service to celebrate Halloween? You would think that with stamps issued for seemingly everything else, that there would be a Halloween issue as well, but sadly there is not. You can however purchase cute Halloween stamps from several of the online photo printing sites that the Postal Service has approved. There are even stamps with “dark”, gothic themes available for purchase on some of the sites.

On September 30, 1997, the USPS did issue stamps called the Universal Monsters. They were appropriately released at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. These spooky stamps were certainly fun stamps to collect. The stamps featured several of the movie classic monsters made popular in years long past. There was The Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, and The Wolf Man in the set. These stamps are watercolor paintings that show
amazing skin coloring. The USPS even released t-shirts (among other collectible items) depicting the individual stamps on them. They came in a collectible box and were a huge hit to fans.

To purchase these cool, non-Halloween, but spooky none-the-less, stamps, visit this website. These stamps are hard to find and a great addition to any collection.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

1965 Abu Dhabi Falcon Stamps

Postage stamps issued from Abu Dhabi can be an interesting addition to any stamp collection. Their placement in history has a somewhat sorted past.

Abu Dhabi’s postal history had three distinct periods of time. First, Great Britain issued stamps and then Abu Dhabi issued stamps. Currently postage stamps are issued by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which Abu Dhabi is a member of.

Initially, each of the stamps issued for Abu Dhabi were British stamps with an overprint of “Bahrain” printed on the stamps. During the later years of Britain’s control of the postal service, both British and Abu Dhabi stamps were used together. Soon Great Britain stopped issuing their stamps and the short era of independent Abu Dhabi produced stamps began.
Many of the stamps issued by Abu Dhabi featured pictures of the Emir. In 1965, a set of three stamps of the Saker Falcon were produced. The falcon is an important symbol in Arab lands because it is used for hunting. There were only 83 stamps produced from 1964 to 1972 from Abu Dhabi.
Some of these stamps can be found at full price online. You can find these falcon stamps, considerably reduced in price by clicking here.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Choose A Midwife Postage Stamp

National Midwifery Week was celebrated by the American College of Nurse-Midwives this past week with an issuance of a postage stamp that was authorized by the United States Postal Service. This personalized stamp was produced through the online stamp producer, photostamps.com.

The “Choose a Midwife” postage stamp features the logo of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, a stamp with a newborn infant, a baby holding it’s mothers finger and a beautiful picture of a very pregnant female midsection.

Certified Midwives have been dedicated to the health and well being of women and their families in the United States since the early 1920’s, however; women have been attending births in America since the first colonists arrived in North America. The practice of midwifery was established because of the high rate of maternal and infant mortality. Prior to the 1920’s, for every 1000 births, 124 infants passed away. Would-be mothers also experienced similar

Mary Breckinridge was a pioneer who established guidelines for nurse-midwifery in the United States. Her work helped many families in isolated areas receive heath services. It was not uncommon for nurses to visit their patients via horseback. Her devotion to keeping women and babies safe can still be felt today amount nurse-midwives and midwives.

Currently there are over 7,000 certified nurse midwives who practice in every State. These dedicated providers deliver 8 percent of the babies born in the US. Nurse midwives have helped tremendously in the reduction of mortality rates and provide well established medical care for people who do not want to experience the traditional ways of pregnancy and child birth.

These lovely stamps can be viewed by clicking here.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Take A Great Big Whiff

The great thing about stamp collecting is that you can collect whatever sparks your interest. Scratch and sniff stamps are some of the stamps that I find the most fun and interesting to collect.

The first scented stamp was released by Bhutan in 1973. It featured six stamps in the series, all with a beautiful rose scent. During the production of the stamps, each stamp was perfumed to smell like a rose by soaking in rose essence. Each stamp smelled like the rose that was depicted on the individual stamp.

The scratch and sniff technology has been around for quite some time (since the 1940’s). You might be wondering how scents are captured onto the actual stamps. The process is called Micro-encapsulation. Tiny particles (essence) are surrounded by a microscopic coating. When the surface is scratched on a stamp, only a few scented particles are released at a time. The scent will last easily for 5 years if not longer depending on the amount of scratching done
to the stamp.

Since the successful launch of the scented stamp in Bhutan, many other countries have released their own scented stamps. Flowers are by far the most popular scented stamp produced.
Keep a watch out for more scented stamp news that will be coming soon. Click here to view an amazing array of stamps and stamp collecting products.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

18 Reasons Why You Should Collect Stamps

It’s the most popular hobby around the world.

It makes you smarter. (This has been proven in a study in England.)

It can be an economical hobby. (You can even find free stamps if you search around).

You can meet other stamp collectors at club meetings (or form your own club).

You can pass your stamps on to your heirs.

Stamp collecting is a relaxing hobby.

Stamp collecting allows you to learn about various people, places and things.

There are endless amounts of resources available.

You like the challenge of finding something that others cannot find.

Stamp collections are wonderful conversation pieces.

Stamp collecting is a great way to bond with the children in your life.

You can collect stamps at your leisure. There are no time restraints. You do what is best for you.

Stamp collecting stimulates your brain because there are always new stamps to learn about.

You can pick one kind of stamp to collect or many types. You can tailor your collection to suit your wants and needs.

You might find a stamp that is rare and very valuable.

You can begin collecting at any age.

You can visit this website for an amazing collection of stamps from around the world that are available to purchase.

And most importantly….just because it is fun!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Arthur Ashe Postage Stamp

The Arthur Ashe postage stamp was issued by the USPS in August of 2005. It was appropriately dedicated at the stadium bearing Ashe’s name on the Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the 2005 US Open.

The picture of Arthur Ashe was from Sports Illustrated when he was named the 1992 Sportsman of the Year. This was the first Sports Illustrated cover photo to ever be featured on a stamp by the USPS.

Arthur Ashe was born in Richmond, Virginia on July 10, 1943. At the time, Richmond was segregated and he was only allowed to play tennis on a “blacks only” playground. Ashe became one of the most recognized and talented tennis stars of all time.

Ashe broke racial barriers and went on to compete in the world’s top tennis tournaments. He was the first African American to represent the United States on the Davis Cup team and won Wimbledon in 1975.

Arthur Ashe was not only a tennis great. He was well known for his work with young people and his humanitarian efforts. He also helped in the fight against AIDS; which he unfortunately contracted during a blood transfusion during heart surgery.
To purchase this Arthur Ashe stamp as well as other amazing stamps visit http://www.stampcenter.com/ or more information about this particular stamp.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

United States Postal Service Honors Disney Once Again

In my opinion, Disneyland will always be “The Happiest Place on Earth”. On August 7, 2008, the United States Postal Service released a new set of Disney themed stamps that represent “Imagination”. The release of the stamps was appropriately held at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

There are 4 stamp designs in this collection. They feature an older version of Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie, the adorable Dalmatian Pongo and one of his little pups (101 Dalmatians), Princess Aurora and her helpers Flora, Fauna and Merryweather (Sleeping Beauty), and Baloo and Mowgli having a snuggle together (The Jungle Book).

These stamps follow previous Art of Disney issues released by the USPS. Wonderful Disney characters have been commemorated in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and now this year to boot. Previous themes were: Friendship, Celebrations, Romance and Magic, respectively.

Disney stamps continue to prove to be some of the best sellers among the young and young at heart. They bring forth delightful memories of the past and bright eyes of wonderment from younger collectors.

Click here to see other beautiful Disney stamps that have been issued from around the world.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ball Game Stamp

“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowds, buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks…..” This song is probably one of the most recognized songs in American history. It is traditionally sung at baseball games throughout the country during the 7th inning stretch.
It seems only fitting that the United States Postal Service has issued a postage stamp commemorating the song as well as the tradition of American baseball.

On July 26, 2008, a Digital Color Postmark Keepsake stamp, as well as a full pane of 20 stamps was released. The stamp celebrates the 100 year anniversary of this fantastic song.
Take Me Out To The Ball Game was composed by Jack Norworth in 1908. It was written on a piece of scrap paper while he rode the subway in New York City. Norworth was a successful vaudeville entertainer and songwriter who is famous for writing and performing “Shine On Harvest Moon”.

He wrote Take Me Out To The Ballgame in a mere 15 minutes. He quickly joined with Albert Von Tilzer who then wrote the music to the words of the song. The funny thing is that neither man had ever even attended a baseball game prior to writing the song.

An interesting fact about the song is that the part that we all sing at baseball games is only the chorus. There are also 2 verses (and two versions) that are not known and never sung at ball games. Another fun fact about the song is that if a baseball game reaches the 14th inning stretch, the song is sung again. It was even sung in the spring of 2008 at the 21st inning stretch at the Rockies vs. Padres game!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bette Davis Stamp Coming This Friday Part II Of II

In continuation to the post on Monday.

Bette Davis was born Ruth Elizabeth “Bette” Davis on April 5, 1908. She was one of Hollywood’s leading actresses who never failed to mesmerize audiences with her ability to play characters that others stayed away from. Her range of acting skills covered all types of movie genres.

She began her life as a dancer but quickly realized how much acting was her true calling. Coming to Hollywood in the 1930’s, she did not hit it big until the 1940’s where she became one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actresses.

Bette Davis was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She was also the first woman to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

Despite her tough outward persona, Davis believed hugely in supporting American soldiers. She was the co-founder of The Hollywood Canteen. The club offered food, dancing and entertainment to men and women serving in the military. All of the services were provided free of charge to all branches of the military, when they came dressed in uniform.

In her lifetime, this amazing actress wowed audiences in over 100 big screen, theater and television performances. In the 1980’s there was also a very popular song “Bette Davis Eyes” that was sung by Kim Carnes. Sadly, she died from Breast Cancer in October of 1989 while living in France.

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