Monday, February 28, 2011

Indianapolis 500 U.S. Postage Stamp to be Released in May

(USPS Press Release) The centennial of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the automobile race held since 1911 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, IN, is being commemorated on a stamp in May. Since the first race in 1911, the Indy 500 has become an American tradition and is billed as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Today it is one of the most significant auto races in the world.

In 1909, an investment team led by entrepreneur and automobile dealer Carl Graham Fisher purchased 320 acres of farmland outside Indianapolis, Indiana, with the intention of creating a speedway for both racing competitions and private testing. After a series of motorcycle and automotive races at the new speedway, Fisher decided to focus on a single event, an ambitious 500-mile race to be held on Memorial Day.

On May 30, 1911, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the first Indianapolis 500. Around 80,000 spectators watched Ray Harroun beat 39 other drivers with a time of 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds in a car manufactured by the Indianapolis-based Marmon Motor Car Company and nicknamed the “Wasp” for its yellow paint and long, aerodynamic tail. Harroun, who designed the car, included his own invention, the rearview mirror.

The Indy 500 enjoys a prominent place in American culture, having been the subject of movies and television shows and, more recently, video games. In 2002, the Indiana state quarter also depicted an Indy-style car, the sort of open-wheeled car–a car with its wheels outside rather than below its body—long associated with the Indy 500.

Featuring stylized artwork by John Mattos, this stamp depicts Ray Harroun driving #32, the Marmon “Wasp,” the customized yellow-and-black car in which Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911. Text along the bottom of the stamp reads “Indianapolis 500.” Small type along the bottom of the stamp opposite the year 2011 reads “100 YEARS OF RACING.”

The Marmon “Wasp” was also featured on a 17.5-cent stamp in the Transportation series in 1987.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Canada Post Celebrates Native Artist Daphne Odjig with New Postage Stamp

Ottawa, ON - Canada Post has issued three new stamps featuring the artwork of Canadian aboriginal artist Daphne Odjig. The stamps feature three of Odjig’s acrylic pieces. Each painting, Spiritual Renewal (1984), Pow-wow Dancer (1978), and Pow-wow (1969), is a representation of Odjig’s passion for the arts and love of her native heritage.

“Daphne’ Odjig’s colourful palette evokes strength and power,” said Jim Philips, Canada Post’s Director of Stamp Services. “Canada Post is proud to . . .

Full story at: Canada Post

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Inverted Surcharge Postage Stamps Expected to Set World Record at Auction

Hong Kong will hold its largest stamp auction at the Park Lane Hotel from Saturday to Monday, with 3,000 lots and a presale estimate of over $6.45 million, according to the organizer.

The auction will include both rare Classic China stamps from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and 600 lots issued at the beginning of the People's Republic of China.

A three-strip of the $5 inverted surcharge from the 1897 Red Revenue series, which is valued at $619,000-710,000, is expected to set a world record to become the most expensive Classic Chinese stamp multiple ever sold at auction.

Another highlight is the unique . . .

Full story at: Global Times

Friday, February 25, 2011

Garden of Love U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued May 19

(USPS Press Release) The Garden of Love — ten different First-Class stamps depicting a colorful mosaic of flora and fauna in a garden setting — will be issued May 19. These stamps are a continuation of the Love series, begun in 1973, and are intended for use on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day cards, as well as on other occasions when love and affection are expressed.

Award-winning illustrator José Ortega of New York City and Toronto depicts an abstract garden of bright flowers, a butterfly, a strawberry, and doves, interlaced with vines that run from one stamp to another. Each prominent element of the design is in the shape of a heart. The deep blue background is reminiscent of a brilliant summer sky. The word “Love” sits atop each stamp.

Ortega says, “Garden of Love depicts the abundance of life, its generosity, whose spirit is to be shared by all its creatures. Love’s definition is broader than romantic love. Love is that colorful, full feeling you get when you enjoy being a part of and sharing in the generosity of life.”

To create his design, Ortega made a digital file of his original pencil and marker drawings. Then he added color, improvising until the garden took shape. Ortega, a collector of decorative arts, says tapestries, textiles, and mosaics influenced his choice of colors and patterns.

Ortega’s previous projects for the U.S. Postal Service include the 2007 With Love and Kisses stamp and the Salsa stamp, one of four stamp designs that appeared as part of the 2005 Let’s Dance/Bailemos issuance.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

India Post is Largest Postal System in the World Issuing 70-80 Commemorative Stamps a Year

India Post is the largest postal system in the world and issues around 70-80 commemorative stamps a year as well as its regular postage stamps -- significantly more than the UK’s Royal Mail, which produces around 12-15, according to Devika Kumar of India Post.

On 18 February 1911, 23-year-old Frenchman Henri Pequet flew a 50 horsepower Sommer biplane from Allahabad to Naini carrying around 6,500 letters. The 13-minute journey was India’s first airmail flight and only the second in the world—a day earlier, American adventurer Fred Wiseman had taken off from Petaluma, California, and claimed first place.

One hundred years later, India Post will . . .

Full story at:

Remembering World's First Airmail Flight by American Fred Wiseman

As Petaluma prepares to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fred Wiseman flight with celebrations around town this weekend, some residents might be asking themselves, “Who exactly was Fred Wiseman?”

A Santa Rosa native, Wiseman moved to San Francisco and worked for Leavitt & Son auto dealership in the early 1900s. He raced Stoddard-Dayton race cars, and after winning the Vanderbilt Race in Indiana, he visited the Wright brothers of Dayton, Ohio, to see their aircraft.

He returned to Sonoma County inspired to . . .

Full story at: Press Democrat

New Postage Stamps Celebrate 100 Years of Indian Airmail

India Post celebrated the centenary of the World’s official airmail flight. On February 18, 1911, a flight carried 6,500 letters from Allahabad to Naini. To commemorate the occasion a set of four stamps on aero philately was issued at Allahabad on February 12 this year. The historic flight was also re-enacted, courtesy Indian Air Force. INDIPEX 2011- was organised in Delhi from February 12 to 18, 2011 and was inaugurated by the President, Smt Pratibha Devi Singh Patil.

Post is said to be the treasure house of history but even the way it was carried and delivered, makes an interesting piece of history. India can . . .

Full story at: Washington Bangla Radio USA

Postage Stamps and First Day Covers...with Lorries on Them!

Calling all 'First Day Covers with a Truck' fans! Having tipped off Biglorryblog to the new KRAZ truck range, Fedor Lapshin has gone one better with this cracking bit of postage art. And he says: " A envelope with a postage stamp from the old USSR time with a KRAZ tipper from 1966--it had a cab with a wooden frame, and many of them are still working in our country today!" And if you've ever wondered what KRAZ stands for then . . .

Full story at: Biglorryblog

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Postage Stamp Adhesive Inventor's Home Destroyed

In addition to Victor Bloede's namesake dam on the Patapsco River, which contained an electrical generator thought to be the first of its kind, Bloede invented and patented the first adhesive used on postage stamps.

Behind a hurricane fence at the end of Forest Avenue in Catonsville lay only the bones of a house.

By Feb. 18, the remnants of the 86-year-old structure, which looked like it had stood in the path of a tornado two weeks earlier, were gone.

Steuart Kret Homes demolished the building as part of a project that will result in . . .

Full story at: Catonsville Times

View Victor Bloede's patent application here.

The Romance of Collecting Postage Stamps

THERE is a big connection between stamp collecting and romance according to Devonport Stamp Club president Gary Carbines.

He said collecting was about the thrill of the chase and filling a gap, although, he does warn people that their childhood collection of stamps may have more sentimental value than monetary value.

Mr Carbines began collecting stamps when he was . . .

Full story at: Coastal Times

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rare Stamps are the Top Performing Alternative Investment

When an 8-year-old is saving "cool" postage stamps beside his box of Legos, we call it a hobby. When an aficionado is writing out large checks, traveling to auctions in Switzerland, the UK, the US, and Germany, and taking out insurance payments on his precious pieces of paper, we call it philatelic investing. Those who are good at it say they can make more than 45% in annual returns regardless of what’s going on in other markets because stamp collecting is . . .

Full story at: Minyanville

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hallmark Puts a Dagger Into the Heart of Stamp Collecting

Hallmark PostagePaid cards will be treated like a “Forever” stamp

The US Postal Service and card manufacturing giant Hallmark have launched their new line of postage-paid greeting cards - in time for Easter festivities.

The PostagePaid Greetings product aims to encourage consumers both to buy more greeting cards and also use the US mail system to send them.

The new line of “everyday” and seasonal cards come with postage already . . .

Full story at: Post & Parcel

Chicago Cub's Legend Fergie Jenkins Adorns New Canadian Postage Stamp

Not many opponents licked Fergie Jenkins during his illustrious major league baseball pitching career -- and thanks to Canada Post, Canadians won't be able to lick him, either.

Jenkins, who was born and raised in Chatham, Ont., was in Winnipeg on Friday for the local unveiling of the new 59-cent peel-and-stick stamp issued in his honour during Black History Month.

The stamp includes a present-day image of Jenkins -- the only Canadian inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. -- with a photograph in the background from a Sports Illustrated cover showing him . . .

Full story at: The Winnipeg Free Press

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brown University Has Historical $10 Million Stamp Collection

PROVIDENCE — It’s unlikely that the 49 envelopes addressed to President Abraham Lincoln in the collection of the John Hay Library at Brown University contained any warm birthday greetings.

And it’s even less likely that the people making their way over the snowy sidewalks on this area of Prospect Street are aware that the library, outside the gates of Brown University, houses a stamp collection estimated to be worth $10 million — an
that estimate was made . . .

Full story at: The Herald News

Postage Stamps: Their Histories Stick with Us

1847 Mauritius
WESTON - In this era of e-mail, text messaging, and online bill paying, postage stamps might seem as relevant to modern communications as the Pony Express. Far from being anachronisms, however, stamps continue to fascinate children and adults alike. Stamp collecting remains a popular pastime, with an estimated 20 million Americans engaged in the hobby, according to the US Postal Service.

Just as a handwritten letter stands out amid our modern digital cacophony, so does a local shrine to “snail mail.’’ The Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History on the campus of Regis College is one of only two such museums in the country. (The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington is the other.) Rotating exhibits in the museum’s galleries showcase . . .

Full story at:  The Boston Globe

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Purple Heart Forever U.S. Postage Stamp to be Released May 2

(USPS Press Release) In 2011, the Postal Service honors the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military with the issuance of the Purple Heart with Ribbon stamp. The stamp goes on sale May 2. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is "the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier."

On August 7, 1782, during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington issued an order that established a badge of distinction for meritorious action. The badge, which consisted of a heart made of purple cloth, is known to have been awarded to three sergeants from Connecticut regiments. Known as the Badge of Military Merit, the award was distinctive because it was available to the lower ranks at a time when only officers were eligible for decoration in European armies. "The road to glory in a patriot army," Washington wrote, "is thus open to all."

Although not continued after the Revolutionary War, the decoration was reinstated by the U.S. War Department (now the Department of Defense) on February 22, 1932, the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth. The redesigned decoration consists of a purple heart of metal bordered by gold, suspended from a purple and white ribbon. In the center of the medal is a profile bust of George Washington beneath his family coat of arms.

This new stamp features a photograph taken by Ira Wexler of Braddock Heights, MD, of the Purple Heart medal awarded during World War II to 1st Lieutenant Arthur J. Rubin (1917-1978). Rubin, a native of the Bronx, NY, began his military service with the U.S. Army in May 1943. He was injured twice in 1944—on July 6 and July 10—during military operations near Sainteny, a village in the Normandy region of France and was awarded a Purple Heart and an Oak Leaf Cluster to the Purple Heart. On July 8, 1944, for gallantry in action during a fierce German counter-attack, he received a Silver Star. In February 1946, Rubin returned to civilian life. Upon his death in December 1978, Rubin was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

In 2003, the Postal Service issued its first Purple Heart stamp. It featured a photograph, also taken by Wexler, of a Purple Heart awarded to Lt. Colonel James Loftus Fowler (USMC) in 1968 following an action on the border between North and South Vietnam.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Canada Post to Issue Prince William and Kate Middleton Royal Wedding Postage Stamps

Canada Post has broken a 63-year hiatus with plans to issue stamps marking a royal wedding.

The Crown agency on Friday announced it will issue two special stamps on May 2 to honour the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The decision comes one month after a senior postal official said no Canadian stamp would be issued for the royal wedding.

"We always feature the reigning monarch," stamp services director Jim Phillips told QMI Agency.

He said Canada Post rarely deviates from . . .

Full story at: The Toronto Sun

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200 Year Old Letter Features Rare Penny Black Stamp with Rare Black Maltese Cross

Penny Black Stamp
The letter, which was sent from Perth to Leven, features a rare Penny Black stamp with an unusual black Maltese cross mark.

Auctioneers say the rare letter's real value to collectors is the black Maltese cross cancellation mark across the stamp.

The letter was sent just 30 miles from Perth to "H. Petherham, Surveyor of Roads, Lundin Hall, Leven, Fife," on October 18,1840, the year the Penny Black was introduced.

It is now set to fetch between . . .

Full story at: STV News

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bahamas Postal Service Issues Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation Postage Stamp

Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas Postal Service on February 11 issued a commemorative postage stamp to highlight the 50th anniversary of the Victor Sassoon Heart Foundation. The stamp is being issued in denominations of 15 cents; 50 cents; 65 cents and 70 cents.

The Sir Victor Sassoon (Bahamas) Heart Foundation has helped thousands of children in The Bahamas who suffer from heart disease. It has provided clinics to identify heart problems in children and when needed, the Foundation has paid for the heart surgeries that have meant a full life for many.

The Foundation was created after Sir Victor Sassoon Bart GBE died from . . .

Full story at: The Bahamas Weekly

New U.S. Postage Stamps Commemorates President Ronald Reagan's 100th Birthday

SIMI VALLEY, CA — Considered one of the most influential presidents of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan, America’s 40th president, was honored today with the issuance of a commemorative Forever Stamp in celebration of the centennial year of his birth.

“Ronald Wilson Reagan was one of a kind,” said James C. Miller, III, member, Board of Governors, U.S. Postal Service. “And it is right that we celebrate his life and legacy with constant reminders attached to millions of letters arriving at homes all across America.”

This stamp ceremony, which was held at . . .

Full story at:

Stamp Collecting for Wisconsin's Outdoors

A new DNR program will help fund habitats for wild turkey, pheasants and waterfowl.

Wisconsin conservation groups and government agencies can apply for money to help fund habitat work for wild turkey, pheasants and waterfowl.

Some of the money raised from selling turkey, pheasant and waterfowl stamps is available for . . .

Full story at: The Telegraph Herald

Friday, February 11, 2011

Actor Gregory Peck U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued April 29

(USPS Press Release) With the 17th stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, the Postal Service honors Gregory Peck on April 29. One of America’s most respected actors, Peck appeared in more than 60 films during a remarkable career that stretched from the Golden Age of Hollywood to the emergence of independent filmmaking. His intelligence, natural elegance, and searing integrity impressed critics from the start and endeared him to generations of moviegoers. Nominated five times for the Academy Award for Best Actor, he won the Oscar for his performance as defense attorney Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird, a character that Peck said was closest to his own heart.

Peck’s own favorite role, and the one for which he is most remembered, is Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Harper Lee, the film tells the story of Atticus’s defense of a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. The film opened in December 1962. According to Variety, it was “a major film achievement, a significant, captivating and memorable picture that ranks with the best of recent years.” The film earned eight Academy Award nominations, countless international honors, and the Best Actor Oscar for Peck. Perhaps Harper Lee summed it up best: “Atticus Finch gave Gregory Peck an opportunity to play himself.” In 2003, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked Atticus Finch the number one movie hero in American film history.

Peck was President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1967 to 1970 and also served as a longtime governor. He was an inaugural member of the National Council on the Arts and the Founding Chairman of the AFI. He was National Chairman of the American Cancer Society and raised record-breaking contributions. He also devoted himself to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which provides health care to members of the entertainment industry. For his public service, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Oscar, in 1967.

In 1969, President Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Peck the Presidential Medal of Freedom as “an artist who had brought new dignity to the actor’s profession,” and in 1970, Peck received the Screen Actors Guild award for “outstanding achievement in fostering the ideals of the acting profession.” In 1989, he received the AFI Life Achievement Award, followed by the Kennedy Center Honors in 1991 and the National Medal of Arts in 1998.

The stamp portrait is a still photograph from the film, which tells the story of Atticus's defense of a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman. Peck's performance earned him an Oscar, and the character was named the greatest hero in motion picture history by the American Film Institute. The selvage image shows Peck with his Academy Award.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Actress Helen Hayes U.S. Postage Stamp to be Issued in April

(USPS Press Release) Actress Helen Hayes, who justly deserved the title “First Lady of the American Theater” for her radiant presence on Broadway for much of the twentieth century will be honored on a stamp in April. She also gave memorable and award-winning performances on radio, film, and television.

The stamp features original art by Drew Struzan, whose movie posters for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars series have been seen by millions. Struzan based his design for the stamp on a photograph taken of Hayes circa 1958.

Helen Hayes Brown was born in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 10, 1900. She began acting at age 5 in a school production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and early on had a love for the theater.

Notable stage performances by Hayes, in New York and elsewhere, included Happy Birthday (1946), for which she won the inaugural Tony Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress; Time Remembered (1957), for which she won her second Tony Award; and Eugene O’Neill’s A Touch of the Poet (1958). Altogether, Hayes appeared in more than 100 stage productions during the long span of her career.