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Posted May 27, 16 3:51 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

Lordahl books

re John A Fox - Thanks Leonard and Ken.

Leonard - do you have the following book (2 vols), I think the 2 softback volumes came out in 2000, possibly updated by a cd in 2006:

Erik Lordahl, German Concentration Camps, 1933-1945, History and Inmate Mail, War and Philabooks Ltd., Tarnasen, Norway, 2006

Posted May 27, 16 0:16 by Farley Katz (navalon)

General Post Office - Packet button

Here's an article which starts out "Royal Mail's 143,000 postmen and women are to be issued with stylish new uniforms - the first new design for more than a decade. The new uniform includes amongst its two dozen separate items Harrington jackets - smart, zip-up hipster coats - with detachable fleece liners, stormproofs, smart blue shirts for wearing with and without ties, and modern practical caps.'

Further on, it states "These new designs form part of a tradition which goes back nearly 300 years, when sailors on packet ships were first issued with buttons bearing the words "General Post Office Packet." Mail coaches came next, their guards in scarlet coats and gold braid. Then from 1837 blue-coated, scarlet-trimmed London Twopenny Postmen set the colours which, for most of the next 160 years, would identify the mail services."

Complete article at

Posted May 26, 16 23:13 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

A Puzzle for NY 2016

I have struck out trying to find any information about the attached button. I'm thinking based upon the construction of the button that it is possibly early Victorian era, but I have not seen a "General Post Office - Packet" uniform item. Perhaps someone else has and/or knows the context of its use?


Posted May 26, 16 16:53 by Leonard Hartmann (hartmann)

John Fox Markings


as far as i know Fox only fakes US and CSA markings
as he had both the knowledge and market for such material

as a side line i knew John Fox in mid 1965, he was 
always most helpful and considerate and never cheated me 
but then again in 1965 i had no money and why bother, i once
offered him a stamp i bought in Belgium and had a good profit in
he noted the cancel was of more importance than i realized but i 
said so be it and went through with the cash sale


Posted May 26, 16 15:09 by David Kent (davekent)

2016 Exhibit Mounting

Greetings, Chip. I'll see you around noon Friday in the bin room (depending on how Amtrak is running). I'll be interested to see the new exhibit frames and how they've improved them since we saw the prototype in Grand Rapids. Got my first lessons on how this style of frames work from Charlie Jenkins, the inventor, at Chicago in '86. The volunteer coordinator says they have added another shift of exhibit mounting, running through 2 a.m. Saturday morning. I'll admit to being a night owl, but my usual post at 2 a.m. is dozing in front of the TV. Not sure I want to walk even four short cross-town blocks in Manhattan at that hour.

Posted May 26, 16 7:03 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

John A Fox counterfeit postal markings

All the ones shown reproduce United States markings. The articles about Fox and his fakes can be read here.

Posted May 25, 16 23:48 by John Shepherd (tas philatelist)

Stolen McCoy Inverted Jenny Recovery

Very interesting article by Ken.

Re John A. Fox's box of photo-lithographic fake cancellers, were there any of the "English type" of barred numerals i.e. two digits set inside four groups of bars, the whole forming an oval shape?

Did he produce or enhance any classic British Empire covers?

Or put another way, did he restrict his output solely to US covers?

The picture below is of a genuine type. The number of digits can vary (between 1 and 3), as can the number of bars and the overall size, depending upon the maker.


Posted May 25, 16 22:33 by Chip Gliedman (cgliedman)

NY 2016 - Reality sets in

Spent the day working on checking in the exhibits and getting the frames ready for mounting. Just want to say that you have no idea how much room 4500 frames occupies. They fill an entire large exhibit hall in the Javits Center. It's going to be a massive undertaking to mount and/or view the exhibits.

Put it this way - if you only look at half the frames, and spent 1 second per page (16 seconds per frame), it will still take you a full 10 hours just to scan the material.

Sure seems like a lot more material than Washington or San Francisco.

Looking forward to renewing acquaintances.


Posted May 25, 16 19:46 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

Stephen Rose ...

Alex   ...   the info is being transmitted to you off-board   ...

Posted May 25, 16 16:58 by Alexander Haimann (bastamps)

Trying to reach Stephen Rose

Hello All,

Does anyone have Stephen Rose's current email address?

Please message me directly if you do, thank you!


Posted May 25, 16 16:50 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

Help with cover #1

thank you everyone for your suggestions
 have checked Helbock -- there are no post offices from CT that start with Wal, Wel, Mal, Mel, Wul, or Wul in the correct time period.  I'm guessing Wallace Indiana, because I think the name is Wallace, and I think that the date is Dec 1, and the second "1" is an "I".  Wallace Indiana open 1837, still open.

Posted May 25, 16 14:54 by Cary Johnson (fastmail)

Cover help

From Maroa (Illinois) Station Agent for Illinois Central RR

The other, I believe, ends wit Ct so might check towns on Forte's site. Wallace, Michigan did not open until 1877.

Posted May 25, 16 12:55 by John Becker (johnbecker)

Cover help

The first appears to be from Wallace, state unknown.

The second appears to be "From Maroa", see 709-S-2, page 278 of Towle's Route and Station Agent book.

Posted May 25, 16 12:03 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

Help with cover #2

I can not interpret the postmark on this cover -- to me, it looks like Normanda at the top, ILL.C.R.R.  at the bottom.  Anyone recognize this?  Thanksagain.


Posted May 25, 16 12:01 by Barry Elkins (elkman3)

Help with cover #1

This manuscript postmark looks like Wallace, but can anyone help with the state?  Likely candidates (based on Helbock) for the time period are Indiana, New York, or (West) Virginia.  Thanks.


Posted May 25, 16 9:28 by Glenn Estus (gestus)

Don Johnstone

Don Johnstone is very much alive and is now living with his son's family in the Burlington, VT area.

I last saw Don a year ago at our annual local stamp club show.

Don is member #1 (1956) and founder of the Vermont Philatelic Society.

He was also the 1st editor of The Vermont Philatelist. I am the current editor. I have just finished the May 2016 issue and have placed it online at our website for any reader of this board who might like to take a look at it. Address is:

Glenn Estus President, Vermont Philatelic Society

Posted May 25, 16 7:21 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Stolen McCoy Inverted Jenny Recovery

My article in the June American Philatelist can be read here. The involvement of John A. Fox has not previously been reported to my knowledge.

Posted May 24, 16 23:31 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

Don Johnstone

According to my records, and yet to be confirmed, Donald (“Don”) B. Johnstone passed in January 2014 in Vero Beach FL, with the funeral services having been conducted in Vermont.

Questions concerning some of our old-timers and younger 'uns usually can be answered by contacting the APS when it comes to the member's current whereabouts (Don’s APS No. being 29970).

Chuck Cwiakala

Posted May 24, 16 22:32 by John Bowman (johnbowman)

Don Johnstone

The last time I spoke with Don Johnstone (US carrier collector) was almost two years ago at the senior center in Shelburne, Vermont. He was in his 90's. Someone else has that phone number now.

Does anyone know his whereabouts?

Posted May 24, 16 19:36 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Yellow-green fluorescence

Possibly the proofs were cleaned in modern times. Claret ink glows orange.

Posted May 24, 16 19:09 by Ray Porter (rporter314)

Fluorescence & banknote postage dues

Looking for some technical expertise.

As is known by many, the claret banknote postage dues fluoresce orangish under UV light.

I recently bought a set of card proofs advertised as J1-J7 (brown) but when inspected they were claret. (There is a reason why is appeared that way which is probably irrelevant to my question.) When I viewed under UV (which confirmed they were claret i.e. fluoresced) they glowed a pale yellowish-greenish instead of orangish. I have examined probably 400 stamps to verify color and have never seen any clarets glow yellowish-greenish.

Has anyone seen this before? Might there be some scientific explanation? Does it mean some other ink recipe was used?

Posted May 24, 16 15:58 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

CCC Sponsoring “Authors’ Talk” Seminar during NY2016 ...

The Collectors Club of Chicago is sponsoring an “Author’s Talk” seminar during the World Stamp Show NY2016 event.

CCC member Leonard Hartmann has organized, and will moderate, the 2-hr seminar on Tuesday, 31st May, with the guest speakers being authors who have  published, or who soon will publish, specialized philatelic handbooks through the auspices of the CCC.

During the two-hour session in the exhibition hall’s ‘Reading Room’, participants will be treated to five different CCC authors, with an introduction and overview by Leonard, our CCC Publications Chairperson. The program is scheduled as follows:

~ Leonard H. Hartmann (10:30 - 10:50 AM) - The Role of the Collectors Club of Chicago in Publishing

~ David M. Skipton
(10:50 - 11:10 AM) - 1917-1991 Soviet Clandestine Mail Surveillance

~ Hugh V. Feldman
(11:10 - 11:30 AM) - Researching the Post Office Archives at National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

~ Guillermo F. Gallegos
(11:30 - 11:50 AM) - 1525-1866 Prestamp Period of El Salvador

~ Yamil H. Kouri, Jr. (11:50 AM - 12:10 PM) - The Postal History of the Spanish-Cuban: American War

~ James W. Milgram (12:10 -12:30 PM) - The Author’s Guide to Writing

NY2016 attendees are invited to join in on the seminar. If you are able to attend, please advise Len at:  [email protected]

Charles E. Cwiakala, President
Collectors Club of Chicago

Posted May 24, 16 10:40 by John Olenkiewicz (johnoz)

Philadelphia cover

Mark & Tim: Thanks for your input, if you think of anything else please pass on.

To me the Paid 2 10 looks like a zero. All the Plilly 6's, I've seen definitely look like 6's.

Who applied the top marking "post paid 2"16"?

Posted May 24, 16 9:36 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

Philadelphia cover

I have nothing major to add. Hist Soc. Of Penn sale lots# 2538 and 2608 bear similar "P" of Paid markings, so no doubt this applied in Philadelphia, rather than Maryland Eastern Shore, near Talbot, where the Reese family seems to live. Like Mark opines, all that's left to pay is the local 2p delivery charge that appears back in 1755ish. Are we misreading the "10" ? Tim

Posted May 24, 16 9:01 by Mark Schwartz (schwamoo)

Philadelphia cover

John -- Since it was post paid, and the red rating does look like it was applied in Philadelphia, I am leaning towards it being a 2d fee for local delivery. If it were not post paid, you might expect to see the rate restated in Pennsylvania local currency, but the ratio is wrong for that.

Posted May 24, 16 8:37 by John Olenkiewicz (johnoz)

Would anyone want to analyze this cover?

Here’s a folded cover addressed To: Mr. John Cadwalader Esq, in Philadelphia, no content, but with docket on reverse “Henry Breese 17 March 1771”.

There is in manuscript on top right “post paid 2 16” (2dwt 16gr) with the 16gr lined out by another rate endorsement.

This 2nd rerate, “Paid 2 10” is in magenta red. (Philadelphia?) Or am I mis-reading the rate?

If not why was the 6gr eliminated?


Posted May 24, 16 8:17 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

Upcoming lecture at World Stampshow 2016

I'm pleased to report that Dr. Franklin has accepted my invitation to review the State of the Post during this time of financial and currency peculiarities. His lecture is at 3PM on Saturday the 28th, 1775. Tim

Posted May 23, 16 23:32 by Farley Katz (navalon)

NY Talk on Solving a Mexican Stamp Mystery using Fiber Analysis

At the NY Stamp Show I will present a talk on solving the mystery of the Mexican Rosette Eagles, stamps resembling and seemingly pre-dating the Eagle issue of Maximilian's empire, 1864-66, but unknown in the philatelic world before 1908. See attached example.  A variety of types of evidence was analyzed and the proposed solution confirmed by microscopic fiber analysis of the paper.  Tuesday, May 31 at 11 am, Meeting Room 1E20 at the Javits Center.   All are welcome.


Posted May 23, 16 11:56 by Jim Baird (bairdo)

QSL cards

If anyone collects these, I have a box of a couple hundred mostly in vinyl sleeves from the 1930's & 40's.  A pretty colorful lot.  Post to me off-site, pls.


Posted May 22, 16 18:16 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

1853 New-York year-dated (3)

Here is the circular cropped to show only the note at the bottom, which showed that the senders intended to be selling their goods from Paris at the Crystal Palace on July 15, the date this one was struck by the nonstandard cancel. That's my best inference that the device might have been at the on-site post office, at least at the beginning.


Posted May 22, 16 18:12 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

1853 New-York year-dated (2)

Not illustrated in my article for want of space, this is the printed side of the circular mailed July 15.


Posted May 22, 16 18:08 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

1853 New-York year-dated (1)

Now that my article is circulating, please indulge another round on this subject. This is one of two recorded covers bearing a 1¢ 1851 stamp struck with the device. Observe that the date is July 15, second day of the expo, but the first day of general admission. (Attendance at the July 14 grand opening was limited to invited VIPs and season-ticket subscribers, mostly taken up with speeches by President Franklin Pierce and other dignitaries.)

Added: Tom Mazza posted the second example, also struck with a July 15 cancel, in the census.


Posted May 22, 16 17:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

1853 New York world's fair at the Crystal Palace

My collection, a 20-year labor of love and the subject of my article in the current issue of the Chronicle, is the most comprehensive one ever formed for America's first world's fair, but I have taken it as far as I am able. To reach a higher level it mostly needs a host with deeper pockets than mine. (For example, this cover would benefit from expert conservation.) If this postal-exonumismatic-ephemera project modeled after Jack Rosenthal's 1893 Columbian and 1898 Trans-Mississippi collections  might tempt anyone here who has maxed out a treasured exhibit and is contemplating a new challenge, write to me off list or talk to me at New York.


Posted May 22, 16 15:56 by Dave Savadge (nomad55)

Self publishing

As David H. so aptly states, self publishing is quite easy.  I'm still getting orders, maybe about one a month, for my CD on expos and world's fairs; and that's 9 years after it was released. 

Pop a blank CD in the computer, copy the files, print a jewel case label, and mail it out.  Very simple, no inventory to keep track of.

Posted May 22, 16 14:18 by David Handelman (davidh)

Publishing your own books, part two

A simpler (and considerably cheaper) method of publishing is to create a .pdf of the book (something like this has to be done anyway if it is to be sent off to a printing firm). The .pdf can be sent to those interested immediately via the Internet, or put on a CD (do these still exist?) or DVD, and mailed.

It isn't difficult to prepare the pdf so that it will print in signatures with variable extra spaces in the interior, so those with two-sided printers (practically all recently manufactured printers will print two-sided) can print and bind the book themselves, if they want. I really don't see the point of printing the whole book, but there are times when I will want to read a section of a book when I'm away from a computer.

And of course, no trees are harmed in the production, except possibly by the buyers (even this would be obviated if they use rag paper ...).

Posted May 22, 16 13:59 by Nick Kirke (nick kirke)

NYFM cancel manufacture

As Rog Rhoads rightly says this IS the Holy Grail. I, in common with most students, have skirted around the perimeters. I once created an exhibit where I more or less proved that up to a third of the geometrics produced 1873-1875 were probably created from previous designs that were broken or worn or simply adapted with the flick of a chisel. It got a vermeil and I retired  the exhibit to lick my wounds. One of the downsides of creative exhibiting.

Kamila and I have searched high and low in every conceivable corner for just a hint of where the cancels were made and how,  and who made them. It was certainly not a large machine if done on the premises. At the old Dutch Church the whole foreign mail operation was conducted in just two small rooms and clerks were literally worked off their feet. Maybe just one or  maximum two clerks were wholly devoted to processing incoming NYFM. Hard to believe one of them had the time to whittle away in work time.

I did see Stephen's article and it really did break new ground. But it was difficult to link with the working practices that we know for sure existed. I have looked thru the names of post office personel thru this period and no German names seemed to exist. But they could have been inspired and produced by German immigrants with a connection to the PO. I think his article provides the clue we have all been looking for.
I have slowly come round to the idea that these cancels WERE designed and made by a clerk or a friend of a clerk  (probably for free) and I think that is practical in the light of discovering that volumes of NYFM were RADICALLY lower than most of us thought - in other words the devices could be produced in quite small numbers to do the cancelling required.

Levels of general outbound and inbound foreign mail increased dramatically 1873-75 but NYFM did not.

Posted May 22, 16 3:40 by Victor Kuil (vickuil)

Publishing your philatelic books

A very simple way to publish your own books is via I have done it twice. You select the size if your book, the cover type (hard or soft) and upload the cover front and back and the content. You can order any quantity of books and mail them yourself to the buyers or you can let the buyers order a copy from lulu.

Posted May 21, 16 23:16 by Charles E. Cwiakala ([email protected])

U.S. Postal History in British Auction ...

The 15th-16th June Cavendish Philatelic Auctions Ltd. (Derby, England) Sale No. 791 features the " 'DeMeza' Collection of 1840-1908 Great Britain:United States trans-Atlantic Mail & Associated Propaganda Covers", which includes a number of U.S. items intersperced within the listings (, Lot Nos. 1195-1307).

The same sale also features the Grayburn Collection of United States, which includes numerious interesting postal history items (Lot Nos. 1901-1964).

According to the auction catalogue, the viewing of single lots listed in this auction having an estimated value of £300-and-over will be available for viewing at their booth at the World Stamp Show NY2016.

Chuck Cwiakala

Posted May 21, 16 21:02 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

Dutch Design (PA Dutch that it)



Posted May 21, 16 19:37 by Matthew Kewriga (mkewriga)


Wonder if the old Dutch Church location had any of the designs carved in...

Posted May 21, 16 19:10 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)

NYFM Designs

Scott, years back you could see designs very similar to the circular NYFMs on the peaks of Pennsylvania Dutch barns. Forgot what the general populist called them, but they were definitely of German origin.

Posted May 21, 16 18:55 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Scarce Philatelic Runs of Journals and Some Auction Catalogs Available

I am downsizing my philatelic library starting with some complete runs of philatelic journals. Please email me if you might have interest and I can provide the details of each. Aggressively priced to sell.

1. The Chronicle - US Philatelic Classics Society #1, July '48 thru #44, Feb. '63, 8.5" x 11" mimeographed, bound in two volumes, Chatter 1 - 44 bound (Very hard to find complete). Individual booklets #45, July '63 thru #248, Nov. 2015.

2. SOLD - Collectors Club Philatelist - Collectors Club of New York. Vol 1 (1922) thru Vol 57 bound; Individuals Vol 58 (Jan 1979) thru Vol 93 (2015).

3. American Philatelic Congress Books** - 1935 thru 1955 bound (5), individuals 1955 - 2015. All originals, no reprints.

4. Pat's Paragraphs - #1 thru #58. One bound set and one loose set including the usually missing loose leaf inserts.


1. Col. Green #1 thru 28 Complete - Virtually impossible to find as an original unbound set.

2. Burrus # 1 thru #32 Complete

3. Harry Hayes Philatelic Literature Auctions - Vol 1 thru 5 These are hard to find and full of valuable information. Between 1960 and 1988 Hayes was the most prolific auctioneer of philatelic literature, over 64,000 lots. These 5 volumes index all of those lots and subsequent realizations.

** Listing and contents courtesy of Leonard Hartman

Posted May 21, 16 16:37 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

A post for Mark Skalberg


If you wish to continue posting on this board, please register again with your correct name and address. I do not allow posts from anonymous posters. Thank you.

Posted May 21, 16 11:52 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Stephen Tedesco has announced several publications here that have never appeared. If he has actually written them, why hasn't he published them? How can we grant credence to publications that no one can read?

In any event this is not a great mystery, although full details would be interesting to learn if someone actually can supply evidence.

This was his post:

Posted Jan 20, 16 9:58 by Stephen Tedesco (steddy)



Please indulge me with a short press release concerning my e-book publication, "the carving of the New York geometric cancels." It will be available shortly for a nominal cost from Amazon.

Some years ago I submitted part one, because it was too large for a single journal article, to both the Chronicle and the American Philatelist. One journal showed no interest at all, the other said it was better suited for an "anthropology journal." In retrospect I can laugh at it now but at the time I was quite bewildered. Perhaps if the complete manuscript was sent it would have worked out different. The U.S. Cancellation Club was more then willing to accept the manuscript. I never followed thru with Roger.

The story of the carving of the cancellations at the New York Post Office is not a story suited for editorship in a philatelic publication. It is a story about American immigrants, mainly of Germanic ancestry, common people, coming to New York and applying their long  tradition of wood carving. This heritage was so ingrained in them that the task was as easy as whittling a old-fashioned corn pipe. But for generations, philatelist made it more complicated for surely the answer could not be lying right in front of our faces.

Posted May 21, 16 11:40 by Alan Campbell (alan campbell)

NYFM Cancellations

I was privileged a few years back to review a draft of an article by Steve Tedesco. I believe that in terms of the history of folk art, he has brilliantly identified the inspiration for these geometric designs, and also the craft tradition which produced them. He encountered difficulty getting the article published in traditional philatelic journals, because it was essentially more art history than postal history. I believe that a few months back, he announced on this forum that he intended to self-publish his research through Amazon. He deserves credence, because he is a veteran woodworker by trade, and with minimal effort managed to reproduce a few of the designs.

Posted May 21, 16 10:47 by David Handelman (davidh)

New acquisitions

Here is an item that is really interesting (although it doesn’t appear that way), just received. It is a 1940 US AR (return receipt requested) card, returned from Colombia, a better than average destination; but what is exciting is that it isn’t for a registered letter, but for an insured parcel post item.

US AR card to Colombia for insured parcel>

Between the wars, the US permitted third class and parcel post to be sent insured internationally (domestically, this started 1913). But I’ve never seen a cover or wrapper showing this service (internationally I mean—domestic material is somewhat difficult to find, but not rare), let alone with AR. All insured matter could be sent with AR.

This is only the second (international destination) US AR card for insured matter I’ve seen. Unfortunately, I've already sent "US RRR & AR" to the Canadian commissioner for NY2016, so this item won't be in the exhibit.

Oh yes, here is another item, picked up recently (ex-Brigham).

Canada registered, 1876>

Posted May 21, 16 9:54 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)

NYFM - Weiss Certs

Mark - sorry to read about your getting burned on the fake NYFM's.  If you have the ability, could you post images of a few of the stamps and the conflicting certs?

I would also ask that you consider donating the fakes to the US Philatelic Classics Society SCRAP program (Stamp & Cover Repository and Analysis Program) where the society will make information about the fakes available to others.  

Posted May 21, 16 8:55 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Ask a Boy Scout

The easiest way to decorate my jewelry box was to transfer the geometric pattern to the end of a dowel, carve it, saw it off, and repeat. Using a dowel of different diameter and a different design alternated positions with the first. That was one requirement for my Woodwork merit badge.


Posted May 21, 16 8:18 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Geometric chip carving history

Examples are here and here.

Posted May 20, 16 23:29 by Andrew Reid (andrewukusa1847)

NYFM - Cancels

I am going to go out on a limb and predict (a la Babe Ruth) that there has to be, somewhere, a surviving example. I just think that people are not looking in the right places. Why do I think that? I started broadening my horizons in looking for postal artifacts in the last year and have started to yield results. Without exception, this stuff is not coming from the philatelic marketplace. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. For example, I have picked up three cancellation machines --- one of which weighs 300+ pounds. A whole range of hand stamps and other instructional markings dating back into the 1860s. Patience is rewarded. Somewhere in some obscure antique shop Nick's Holy Grail awaits. Who will find it?

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