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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Just stampendous

Did you have a stamp collection when you were a kid?  I got the hang of affixing the little glassine stamp hinges to the stamps to mount them properly on the grainy illustration.  I remember sending .25 for a packet of cancelled stamps and finding out that the ratio of just-plain .03 or .04 (or 3-penny or 2-franc) stamps to pretty commemoratives in the packet was large.

The hobby did not catch on with me and I don't know what happened to my starter album and all those loose, cancelled stamps. 

I got these stamp albums at a church rummage sale last week for $5.  The red-covered "Modern Postage Stamp Album" was published by Scott's in 1937.  The green-covered album, "The Academy World Stamp Album," was published by the Grossman Stamp Co. in 1961. 

The 1937 album has pages for stamps of many nations that no longer exist.  Korea is spelled Corea.  Australian states have individual pages, as does Newfoundland which was not then part of the Canadian federation.  A previous owner added information about some of them.  

The 1961 album is firmly in the post-WWII Cold War era. Some of the country pages are headed with geographical summaries. Not all the comments are politically correct today (one example: the percentage of the population of Central American countries that is "pure white").  Look at the next to last line in the Denmark writeup. 

Most of the pages of these albums have few if no stamps at all. The 1961 collector had some commemoratives like these ships from Poland and wildflowers from Romania.

This article torn from the February, 1963, issue Kiplinger's Changing Times magazine was inside the 1961 album.  Did it persuade the album's owner to give up the collection?  We'll never know.

If I were truly crafty I would figure out a way to use not only the stamps in these albums but also the album pages with the lithograph illustrations of the stamps.  In the end I will probably enjoy these albums for a while and then sell them in my own garage sale. 


  1. Or send them my way to add to my humble little collection!

  2. I did, too! Yes, the mail order packets were disappointing -- lots of duplicates. I guess the theory was to trade the dupes, but I didn't know anyone else who collected stamps. Loved the colors and learned a lot about geography. I have my mother's collection of corner blocks; they're probably worth no more than the face value of the stamps and the denominations are so small I'd have to cover an envelope with them for what it costs to mail now.


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