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Posted Aug 18, 17 21:38 by Richard Drews (bear427)

APJ editor

Jay did a fine job in putting his imprimatur on the magazine. He will be missed. The APS tried to keep him but Linn's upped the ante to the point where we couldn't keep him.

If any member of this board has suggestions about who would be a suitable long term replacement, please contact Scott English. I've spoken at length with Jim Lee and we've sent him 2 names. We have a tight deadline for finding someone.


Posted Aug 18, 17 20:55 by Robert Skinner (1840to1940)

Number, Please

Keijo Kortelainen on his Stamp Collecting blog estimates there are approximately 830,000 major number stamps issued 1840-2015. This is based on a database of the Michel catalog. 

Posted Aug 18, 17 20:27 by William Duffney (bill duffney)

American Institute of the City of New-York

I am mainly looking for material from the 1840s.

Posted Aug 18, 17 20:18 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

Number, Please

Steve-----Pretty confident the issued # would easily exceed one million, especially with the USPOD involved. (Actually, who could legitimately argue about any quantity given?)

Posted Aug 18, 17 19:59 by steven frumkin (sfrumkin)

Number, Please

For a presentation I'm preparing on China's 1980 8 fen Monkey stamp (Scott #1586), can anyone supply the following information?

Approximately how many different postage stamps and souvenir sheets have been issued (worldwide) from 1840 to date? Just need to be able to state with some confidence: "More than _____".

Thanks in advance.

- sf

Posted Aug 18, 17 19:32 by Russell Crow (cornwall2)

APS magazine

Count me among those that believe Jay will be missed. After he took the helm, I actually found myself reading the magazine more. Jay shook up the old stodgy format and added new life to it. Generally I think philatelist like the status quo and don't like change but I believe the changes instituted by Jay were long overdue and well received. I think folks would accept a few errors or miscues in exchange for a superior publication. I applaud Jay's efforts to make the APS mag relevant and up to date/current. Godspeed Jay and good luck in your future endeavors.

Posted Aug 18, 17 19:19 by Scott Trepel (strepel)

Rebuttal to Terence Hines

Jay is a young and dynamic philatelist who injected the American Philatelist with a much-needed dose of scholarship, range and depth. His departure is a great loss for the APS.

I really didn't notice a lot of grammar problems or typos. In fact, given the quality of the contributing authors, I think the writing was excellent. With so many non-professional editors producing journals for the hobby, the general quality of writing and editing has dropped over the years. (Of course, the Chronicle remains the beacon).

You should rethink your comment. Jay will be hard to replace. I wish him well and hope your snarky comment rolls off his back.

Posted Aug 18, 17 17:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

American Institute of New-York

Because the Crystal Palace burned down during the American Institute annual exhibition hosted there, I have a substantial library of its publications, and some collectible artifacts, such as an admission ticket signed by George Nesbitt..

Posted Aug 18, 17 17:51 by Terence Hines (thines)

New editor for the American Philatelist

I'm not surprised. The editing under Bigalke has been sloppy. The topics have been fine but the individual articles often contained poor grammar, redundant sentences and outright errors. The AP had to introduce a "Corrections and Clarifications" section recently.

Posted Aug 18, 17 17:13 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

Charles Fricke AP article

One could be equally surprised that Mr. Fricke's article ever saw publication in the AP, assuming the many "renowned" airmail rate experts there saw it prior to publication. Wondering how much "negative" feedback that story saw in the ensuing months!!!!

But then again, just a little knowledge of a specialty could be a real hindrance.

Here's another SD stamp paying that fee during the 16 cent rate.


Posted Aug 18, 17 16:31 by William Duffney (bill duffney)

American Institute of the City of New-York

Anyone have material from this group, which held rather extensive agricultural fairs at Castle Garden, NYC, from 1827-?

Printed circular attached.

Please contact off-Board.


Posted Aug 18, 17 15:49 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


     They tried very hard to negotiate fair deals.  It is true they were small businessmen trying to go large.   But they were probably also reasonably in thinking it would be very easy for the big guys to rip  them off, and were somewhat secretive as a result.   Do the drug companies, who don't risk their own lives in developing drugs, give up their patent protections without vast battles?  And monopolistic deals to prevent other companies from competing once they go off patent. 
     Orville later thought that initially they would have sold for $10,000.  He was a very punctilious guy, but I think that or 50 or 100 thousand would have done it for sure.  Peanuts.
    The aircraft industry, under govt pressure, did end up with a patent sharing agreement.
    They moved aviation ahead seven to ten years and slowed it down three or so (in America).
     Another tragedy was that their wind tunnel data and propellor design methods, etc.  didn't get out.


Posted Aug 18, 17 14:05 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

May 1918 air mail again

Note that the 24¢ rate could be paid "with special aeroplane postage stamps or with ordinary postage stamps," but there was no authorization for the use of special delivery stamps. That Fricke's cover was tolerated did not mean that its franking was legitimate.


Posted Aug 18, 17 13:55 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


The claim is based on the number of members, and if Les Winick were still alive he would challenge it. Does anyone here know the current membership of the German, Russian, and Chinese philatelic federations?

Posted Aug 18, 17 13:53 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Wright patent

A few weeks ago (more or less; I don't recall the issue) Barron's editor Thomas Donlan argued that the Wrights were foolish to litigate their patent, and would have been far more successful had they simply dedicated themselves to building and selling better airplanes.

Posted Aug 18, 17 13:51 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Why am I not surprised that Charles Fricke's faulty statement about the 24¢ per ounce air mail rate, of which 10¢ (not per ounce) went for special delivery service, ended up on this board?

Posted Aug 18, 17 13:47 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


Yes, Curtiss, not Martin.  Both were great flying boat developers.  Curtiss was a churl,
Martin was, well, Martin -- I believe he absorbed the Wright company down the line.   He had a snazzy all girls baseball team.
The Goldstone comment on the Whitehead is not au pointe.  If you don't have the Wright direct differential lift system,  you need a lot of dihedral to convert a skid (rudder) into a roll (vectored wing lift).  This system works very well on model aircraft (I was fourth at a World Champs with it once.)

Posted Aug 18, 17 13:44 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

Non-C3 in period flown cover

Does anyone know the present whereabouts of the wonderful airmail cover shown here in the 2007 AP issue? Would love to locate---great article by the late Charles Fricke!! Thanks in advance---Joe


Posted Aug 18, 17 13:18 by Rainer Fuchs (rainer)

APS, the world’s largest non-profit, stamp collecting organization?

The American Philatelic Society, the world’s largest non-profit, stamp collecting organization?

Based on what? Revenue, Number of members???

Posted Aug 18, 17 13:13 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

The American Philatelist

needs an editor.

Posted Aug 18, 17 12:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Glenn Curtiss

builder of the JN4H "Jenny" biplane, not Glenn Martin of the China Clipper

Posted Aug 18, 17 12:28 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)


The McC is lovely, but limited.  McC evidently fell in love with Wilbur and is unfair to Orville.
I talked to one of the Wright experts at the Smithsonian and he was pretty dismissive.  McC is good on social history,  but says not much about the invention of the aeroplane.
The Wrights pointed out that they risked their lives to do something that was said to be impossible, and that their claims of success -- backed by many witnesses -- were poopooed.   And when they solved a problem by dint of brilliant hard work, surviving many crashes, masses of mosquitoes, storms, and considerable personal expense, had a valid patent (which is often misrepresented as weaker than it was) everyone wanted to steal it.  They let the Exp. Aero. Assoc. (may not be right name) use their work for research purposes, then Glenn Martin worked very hard and with much success to steal it.
Orville wrote interestingly about Whitehead.  Certainly the claims for the plane are bogus.  I doubt that it ever got into full flight, although a hop is conceivable (as for the Ader).  I have not looked into the details, but the reproduction that was built has phoney propellors.

Posted Aug 18, 17 10:59 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


Here is the review of that book I posted two years ago:

Posted May 13, 15 7:24 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Spring reading

I have just finished reading David McCullough's new book The Wright Brothers. It is as elegantly narrated as his readers and viewers have come to expect. One can feel and almost smell the perspiration on the brows of these young geniuses at work in their Dayton bicycle shop, shiver with them at Kitty Hawk, and contemplate their seemingly stoic, almost selfless acceptance of fame and fortune. Although the book makes no reference to postal history except in vague anticipation, understanding these dramatic events in context is crucial for every student of 20th century mail.

Despite the author's grace and diligence, his book will disappoint anyone who knows the larger story — the less attractive sides of Wilbur's and Orville's personalities and business practices, and the important contributions of other pioneer aviators whom the brothers Wright fought fiercely to discredit. For balance I again recommend, as I did last July, Birdmen: the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, and the Battle to Control the Skies by Lawrence Goldstone.

In an odd diversion, New Jersey promoters who insist that Gustave Whitehead flew a heavier-than-air winged aircraft in 1901 have taken aim at McCullough, who dismissed their claim as fiction. Personally, I'm an agnostic about this detail. Goldstone made no mention of Whitehead's claim in his book, but did comment last week. "Here's the deal with Whitehead — maybe he flew and maybe he didn't," he told a reporter. "If you look at the Whitehead flyer, the wings are set in a severe dihedral, which means turning would be very difficult and would be highly susceptible to wind." His conclusion: "To people like Tom Crouch at the Smithsonian, you mention Whitehead and it's sacrilege. But to me, the Whitehead flyer was like the Neanderthals — an evolutionary dead end."

Posted Aug 18, 17 1:09 by Roger Heath (decoppet)

Wright Brothers

I assume those discussing the Wright Brother have read the book "The Wright Brothers" by David McCullough. Very interesting and explains why the French were so enamoured by the Americans and their machine.

NY Times Review here

Posted Aug 17, 17 20:35 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Wrights and Lindbergh -- a great historical mystery

By mid 1927 dozens of people had crossed the Atlantic by air.  Perhaps the most epic success was the first nonstop by Alcock and Brown.  It is hair raising to read.  Lindbergh's major problem -- he was sleep deprived before he took off -- was staying awake.  Though I think he, like Alcock and Brown, had icing.  And yet, perhaps because he did it alone and there were several recent failures, he became a mega hero.  Eventually it went about half way to destroying him.
The Wrights, although there were many good witnesses, were very controversial, in the US and France.  By the time Wilbur showed up in 1908 in Hundieres (I think that preceded Le Mans) there had been a number of well attested heavier than air flights in France, plus dirigibles, including the giant Zeppelin (which wasn't spectacularly slower than a heavier than air).   Now it is easy to understand how the afficianados were floored by Wilbur's magnificent ability to maneuver tightly,  it is much less clear why the French went mad for the man.  As with Lindbergh, his character was easy to  build a hero around.  I see some elements, but I wish I understood it better.

Posted Aug 17, 17 20:12 by Bill Weismann (billw2)

Blackish Violet

Blackish violets are easy to spot compared to a Dark Lilac.

Take a Black Jack or a 12c or 15c '61.  If the stamp is that black, but with a purplish tinge to it, kind of like how a Pigeon Blood Pink has a bluish tinge to it, then it's probably going to get a good cert from the PF.

If the stamp's a dark charcoal grey then it's a dark lilac and will likely get a cert as a 78var Dark Lilac.

If any of you guys ever get the chance the PF has two magnificent shade references of the Blackish Violet on cover, one of which is an absolute tragedy (Stamp torn nearly in half from opening the cover) but they are absolutely unmistakeable as a 78c

Posted Aug 17, 17 20:09 by Bill Weismann (billw2)


I just saw this...  trying to catych up on forums and emails.

I have a cover in the census to Saxlenher from 1895, 22746 with a block of 6 4c 1st bureaus on it.

One of my favorite 4c covers.

Posted Aug 17, 17 19:34 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Wright flight

The many flights in Virginia in 1908 were well attended.  This was after the sensation that Wilbur caused in France had already happened, along with the tests at Kittyhawk that year.  I certainly have no idea if there were postal cards from the many heavier than air flights before the 1909 celebration, but there certainly should have been.

Posted Aug 17, 17 19:00 by Matthew Liebson (liebson)

Ken:  nice card.  Always nice to see something from Ohio with some significance.  Perhaps one of the pioneer collectors would have some more information...

Posted Aug 17, 17 18:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Wright Flights

There's a difference between public and not secret. To the best of my knowledge the Hudson-Fulton flight was the first one in the United States to have been widely anticipated, and with contemporaneous photographs in the newspapers. But even for that one I have not seen any postal souvenirs.

Posted Aug 17, 17 18:14 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Public flights

The Wrights said their flights, at least as early ast 1904, were public -- a lot of people knew about them and they were on the trolley track. They did hold one or two rather unsuccessful sessions for the press.  Who then left them alone, which they did not mind at all.   Until the gentleman from the Bee Keepers journal showed up just in time to see the first full circle (they were slowly overcoming the unflyability of the 1903 ship and the 1904 in its original form, also the pilots were being reprogrammed).  He was a machine fanatic and the Wright's liked the guy.  The article he wrote was very charming and accurate, unlike the 1903 early reports.   A number of very solid citizens of Dayton were able to attest to the flights when they tried to sell the machine.
I would have thought there would be Santos Dumont cards and others even before the 1908 demonstrations in France by Wilbur.   The French (S-D) had been drawn into a race with the Wrights after having given up due to suchlike as the failure of Ader. (Ader's pathetic hop c 1890 is given credence in the history books, but it is highly suspect given how ridiculous his design was and the lie about the flight of his later avion.)
Of course there were witnesses to their 1903 tests and reporters were sneaking (they didn't have to) around the 1908 tests before Wilbur left.

Posted Aug 17, 17 18:01 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

British treaty rate, 1863.

My slow old brain did finally think of the United States Mail and Post Office Assistant.
There is an answer, although not entirely satisfying.  The July, 1863 issue, perhaps put to bed around the start of the month, has the 29 cent rate still in the tables.   The August, 1863 issue no longer has the rate in the foreign mails tables.  It does quote from a letter of the PMG, datelinged Post Office Department Washington, July 1, 1863 which establishes the 24 cent single rate to the UK and abolishes 29 cent rate on letters exchanged between the UK and California, Oregon, and Washington (did the 29 exclude Utah, etc?).
The use of the phrase "exchanged between"  sound like it might also apply to letters westbound from the UK.  If this was the key document, and it was not telegraphed West, or even if it was, then the implementation in the US may have been a little chaotic.  Perhaps he sent out a notification west earlier, but it looks like they may have forgotten the implications of the new law until the last minute, or operationally even a bit too late.   And the standard US references may not grasp the reality of the change.

Posted Aug 17, 17 17:49 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Early printed matter

Ron,  I am talking about c1815 so the 1810 law and PL&Rs et seq. are the controlling documents.   My reference to 1799 was not to the PL&Rs, but to a specific cover which was the earliest of its ilk I had seen.  I have looked at the earlier laws.  I don't think they add a lot to understanding the status of things in the teens, though of course invaluable for earlier material.

Posted Aug 17, 17 17:36 by Tim O'Connor (drtimo)

For Spain

Colonial period letter, from Salem Mass August 20, 1776, for England via Spanish Royal Post (only known), landing at VIZCAYA, rated 1 sh 6p there (16) and onto London arriving there December 9. Avoided censorship and blockades. God bless Barcelona. Tim


Posted Aug 17, 17 15:31 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

1799 Is Too Late


Per my email to you a few minutes ago............ 1799 is too late. One has to go back to the 1792 postal laws to pick up the necessary information.

Posted Aug 17, 17 15:29 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Second Class Mails


I believe you are correct but if I remember "Second Class" mail did not exist before 1 July 1863. It was also then that Third Class (and maybe Fourth Class) mail was defined.

Bernard and I are playing way back in the formative years.

Posted Aug 17, 17 15:10 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Flight souvenirs


There are lots of earlier souvenirs of lighter-than-air flights. Just in this country, the Jupiter cover and the Buffalo balloon covers. I'm asking about early airplane souvenirs.

The first public Wright Flyer flights were in France. Maybe there were cards there. If so I have not seen them in any of the great collections. The June 1909 Dayton celebration was their homecoming from France, a week or two after they were given the Congressional gold medal and just before they began the military proving flights.

Flown U.S. airplane souvenirs began in 1910, including the Vin Fiz (which was a Wright Flyer).

I have posted this one previously, but it is later.


Posted Aug 17, 17 14:55 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Newspapers, circa 1815

    I use incidental to indicate that the paper was not sent as a subscription item.  The word transient does not occur in the relevant laws and regs.  The word "transient" is fine so long as it is understood it has no official meaning. 
    The law gives one set of rates for newspapers -- the 1810 law limiting these to prepaid subscriptions leaves no place for newspapers sent individually.
    There was a different rate for pamphlets and magazines.  It is reasonably clear, in period, that these incidental newspapers were, with considerable logic, charged the magazine rate.  This is based on a  rated newspaper.  Also, this fits with a ledger page I have from a PO at the time.  The Regs recommended prepayment of pamphlets and magazines, but allowed PMs discretion in the matter.
    Subscription newspapers are not terribly rare -- the pamphlets, magazines and "incidentals"  much more so in period. 
    Again, there was no official mention of "transient" newspapers in the PL&Rs.  Note also that certain forms, with no lawful basis,  were allowed to go as printed matter.   Also that many of the few existing non newspaper uses accompanied a written letter at a combined printed matter and letter charge (the three New Bedford militia covers I handled are examples, also the unique printed matter error war rate piece).  This peculiar practice seems to have mostly died out after the teens, near as I can tell.
    To be complete, I should add that the New Bedford letters may have included filled out forms, which would clearly be abusive.  The earliest rated printed matter I have seen was from 1799 and mentions the enclosure of legal forms. 

Posted Aug 17, 17 14:33 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Wright Celebration Card

     There is another card from that celebration that was sold (by Superior ??) about ten years or so ago -- as from Wilbur Wright .  The trouble is the handwriting was wrong and the whole thing did not make sense.  As I recall, it wasn't fake, just not related to the Bros. And I think it just said Wilbur in the signature.
I would imagine there are earlier cards for balloons and dirigibles and probably various heavier than air flights in France, etc,, including the Bros.Also, the tests outside Washington City in 1908 and 1909 related to their contract with the Army
      The Wrights professed to be annoyed by the celebration, which was a huge wing ding.  Dayton has gone from being one of America's great industrial and engineering cities to being the center of opioid death.

Posted Aug 17, 17 13:46 by David Snow (dwsnow)

24-cent National Banknote cover from SF

Here is the reverse of that cover, with 6 Feb.1876 Breslau arrival marking.

Note the "Return Receipt demanded" directive. I suppose there was not an additional charge for that service at that time, judging from the postage affixed.


Posted Aug 17, 17 13:44 by David Snow (dwsnow)

24-cent purple banknote use

John Barwis,

Here is an example from my collection of the 24c 1870 National Banknote on 1876 cover. Cover ID 24038.

From San Francisco, Jan. 13 1876 to Breslau, Germany. Paid triple UPU rate (15c) plus 10c registry fee = 25 cents total. Made good use of the old 24 cent stamp. Not much use for it once the UPU rates went into effect.

Note the Hamburg registered label. Vom Ausland = "From Abroad".  Engeschrieben = "Registered".

Will post scan of back with 1876 arrival marking in next post.


Posted Aug 17, 17 13:37 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Transient Second Class

It's true that the transient subclass of second-class mail was originally assigned to mailers other than publishers and news agents, but the most characteristic transient-rate periodicals are the ones sent by publishers singly as excess samples, as single copies to new subscribers not yet entered in the bulk mail aggregation, to subscribers who had moved too late to be included in the bulk mailing, and to non-subscriber advertisers.

Posted Aug 17, 17 12:58 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Wright Brothers' Flyer

picture side


Posted Aug 17, 17 12:57 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Wright Brothers' Flyer

Does an earlier postal souvenir exist?


Posted Aug 17, 17 12:38 by John Barwis (jbarwis)

U.S. 24-cent purple, 1870-75

Can anyone post a cover bearing the 24-cent purple, which was postmarked in 1876 or later?

Posted Aug 17, 17 12:28 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Change of rate to and from GB in 1863 -- assymetry or error in our standard refs?

Re the change of rates on July 1, 1863.  This reduction implied the reduction of the (nonlegal) 29 cent rate to GB to 24 cents.  But Andrew pointed out sometime back that UK changed on Aug 1. Amazing information.   I still assumed the US changed on July 1, but that is perhaps an unwarranted assumption.  A preliminary search of newspapers in Cal and DC surprisingly comes up with nothing.  It is conceivable that an agreement was negotiated to change that rate and that it went into effect in both countries on August 1.  Note that Starnes, Hargest, and Winter all plump for July, not August.  (Which raises the question of the 1851 transition from 59 cents to 29 cents.)  I suppose one somewhat farfetched possibility is that clueless Americans just assumed that one rate change implied the other and went ahead and did it.  A further farfetched possibility is that the British saw covers and waybills with the new rate and reactively, and in the absence of proper agreement, changed the rate from UK.  (I do need to check the treaty itself to see if unilateral action in this case was possible).

Posted Aug 17, 17 11:24 by Stephen T. Taylor (UK) (stevetayloruk)


Ron, Saxlehner was a wealthy Hungarian philatelist (made his fortune in mineral water) and I've seen several high-value covers from the States addressed to him (or his son or wife via his company after his death in 1889) His home became the Budapest Postal Museum. Steve

Posted Aug 17, 17 9:12 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Thank You


Thank you for the info on the envelope to Hungary ....... since it is not PM then it will go into the "sell pile."

Appreciate it.


Posted Aug 17, 17 9:05 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Cover to Hungary

Ron - It is a regular letter mail, registered rate (11x5 plus 8c registry).

Posted Aug 16, 17 23:42 by Roland Cipolla (roncipolla)

Need Usage Help

Can some on tell me what the rate is on this over-sized envelope? It is heavy paper and measures about 10" x 6.5".

I suspect it might be registered printed matter but am not sure.


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