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Posted May 19, 18 16:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Classic Horse Race song

    In this 23 June 1853 folded letter from Savannah, Georgia, to Philadelphia, the sender reported that while he was writing the slaves were "amusing themselves" and "driving away on"

            "I'm bound to work all night

            "I'm bound to work all day

            "But I'll bet my money on the bobtail nag

            "If somebody will bet on the bay."

    Those aren't exactly the words to the chorus of The Celebrated Ethiopian SongCamptown Races that Stephen Foster published in 1850, but might have been truer to life.


Posted May 19, 18 15:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Classic Horse Race letter

    Two weeks ago Justify won the Kentucky Derby (first run in 1875). He is favored to win the Preakness Stakes (begun 1873) today, if he isn't scratched owing to a reported bruised heel. If he wins today, excitement will build over his chances to win the Belmont Stakes (begun 1867) on June 9 and become the next Triple Crown champion.

    Here is a pertinent 28 September 1839 folded letter from Louisville, Kentucky, to Beatties Bluff, Mississippi, about a legendary race run before Churchill Downs, Pimlico Race Course, and Belmont Park were built, but which contributed significantly to public enthusiasm for the Sport of Kings.      The letter begins, "I have been lumbering around here for a few days looking at that is to be seen and hearing all that is to be heard. The races which are to come off next week is the greatest excitement and is the principle and almost only topic of general conversation. Our house (the Galt House) is crowded to overflowing, and all of sporting characters from all parts of the country, N. Orleans, Nashville, Cincinnati and a dozen other principle racing places."

    On 30 September 1839 a two-horse race at Oakland racetrack in Louisville pitted Grey Eagle of Kentucky, ridden by Stephen Welch, against Virginia horse Wagner with the slave jockey Cato riding him, for a $14,000 purse. Grey Eagle held the speed record at two miles and was the bettors' favorite.     The  race consisted of three four-mile heats, with the winner of two heats being declared the champion. Wagner won two heats, setting a speed record in the second heat, with no need for a third. Cato was the winning jockey.

    Disappointed racing fans pled for an opportunity to redeem Grey Eagle's reputation as the champion thoroughbred. Five days later, Wagner beat him again. Cato earned his freedom by winning those races.     


Posted May 18, 18 10:56 by Paul Dessau ([email protected])

Color Stability and Plastics

I have found that certain black plastic stock pages discolor U58, and presumably, the same 1864 envelopes on other paper colors, apparently turning the surface printing from pink to a rose brown. I only placed two envelopes, both on white paper, in the stock pages, and had this happen.

Posted May 18, 18 6:47 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)

Color Stability and Plastics

Ten years ago I was in contact with Herr Feuser concerning the technical issues of his article. Elements of it are on my PowerPoint presentation given at the 2009 March Party and is on the APS website. The problem was with soft / plasticized PVC. when the stamps were in contact with the film they would change color. The issue was the softeners in the plastics, not the PVC itself. Do NOT use soft PVC for stamp mounts, etc.

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