American Philatelic Society

Franklin Richard Bruns Jr.

(May 15, 1912 - March 24, 1979) Maryland

Franklin Bruns was a life-long activist for the advancement of organized philately. He was a founding member (No. 1) of the American Philatelic Congress and served as acting president on the death of Eugene Klein (1944), as president (1945-1947), and twice as editor (1952, 1955). He was a life member of the Society of Philatelic Americans and served as a director, board secretary (1970-1974), and vice president (1962-1964). He received SPA's Lagerloef Award in 1972.

Frank Bruns was widely known for his nationally syndicated stamp column that appeared in some 30 newspapers between 1932 and 1972. For the Collectors Club of New York he served as governor, secretary, and editor of the Collectors Club Philatelist (1942-1948). He was on the first Citizens Advisory Committee (1951-1957) and was director of the USPOD division of philately (1957-1962). He served two more terms on the CAC and was a member at the time of his death.

He became curator of the Smithsonian Institution's philatelic collection in 1951. Bruns was the first curator of the Cardinal Spellman Philatelic Museum (1957-1962) and then returned to the Smithsonian in Washington as a research associate and was named supervisor and curator of postal history (1971-1977). During his tenure its philatelic collection and library grew markedly in quantity and quality.

Bruns was a contributing author to the annual year books of the Encyclopedia Britannica and Colliers Encyclopedia during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1979 he was named to the Writers Hall of Fame.

Dr. Herbert Munk

(June 26 1875 - April 19, 1953) Germany, Switzerland

Dr. Herbert Munk was one of philately's greatest researchers and writers. Editor of the 11th edition of the Kohl Briefmarken Handbuch from 1923 to 1936 (covering A to Italy), he wrote most of the sections of this outstanding and highly acclaimed philatelic reference work until he left Germany in 1936 due to the rise of Hitler.

In Switzerland, Munk carried out seminal research on the printing and plating of the 1850-1851 issues of that country. Some of the key treatises he authored on classic Switzerland include Neue Wege zur Erforschung der eidgenössischen Ausgaben 1850 ff. im Kreuzmuster (1941), and Allerlei Neues über Locale and Ortspost (1951). He was president of the Expert Committee of the Union of German Philatelic Societies, and served as an international philatelic juror during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1925 he was awarded the Lindenberg Medal, signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1931, and received the Crawford Medal in 1936.

Dr. Munk's work was financially supported by the Verein der Freunde des Kohl-Briefmarkenhandbuchs, e.V., whose members comprised a group of international philatelists. The Collectors Club of New York acquired the copyright of this monumental work. Several sections were translated into English and published in The Collectors Club Philatelist. Herbert Munk was named an honorary member of the Club in 1949.

Lauson H. Stone

(November 28, 1904 - November 7, 1999) New York

Lauson Stone was an outstanding collector and student of the stamps and postal history of Sweden. He built the greatest collections of Swedish classic stamps and covers ever and received international awards for two decades. His collections garnered large gold medals at PHILYMPIA 1970, STOCKHOLMIA 1974 (also the Grand Prix Natinal), INTERPHIL 1976, LONDON 1980 and AMERIPEX 1986. His classic stamps exhibit was featured in the court of honor at STOCKHOLMIA 1986 and World Stamp Expo in1989. He also collected and wrote articles about Jugoslavia during the World War II period.

He was a past president and honorary life member of the Scandinavian Collectors Club, a founder and trustee of the Scandinavian Philatelic Foundation, and honorary life member of the Swedish Postal History Society. Stone contributed many articles to The Posthorn, journal of the Scandinavian Collectors Club. He was coauthor with Jan Billgren and Tomas Bjäringer of Swedish Letter Rates to Foreign Destinations 1855-1895 (1986). In 1990 he was awarded Sweden’s highest philatelic honor, the Strandell Medal, and was the only American to receive it.

Nils Vilhelm Strandell

(May 20, 1876 - July 20, 1963) Sweden

Nils Strandell is Sweden's greatest philatelist and one of the most accomplished of all time. He began collecting as a schoolboy and shortly thereafter began acquiring philatelic books. He was a prolific author and contributed more than 500 articles and monographs on a wide variety of subjects, notably forgeries. His reference collections of forgeries were sold by Postiljonen in 2001.

Strandell was editor of the Nordic journal Nordisk Filatelistisk Tidskrift. A highly regarded expert, he served as an international juror from 1912 to 1955. The extraordinary library that he built of some 15,000 volumes was acquired by the Swedish Postal Museum in 1944. He served the museum as librarian and curator until 1959. He compiled a series of eight catalogs of the stamp collections donated to the museum by Hans Lagerloef.

Strandell was a life member of the Royal Philatelic Society London and an honorary member of the Scandinavian Collectors Club, and was a member of many philatelic organizations in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Italy, and Belgium. He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1922. In 1961 the Swedish Philatelic Federation established the Strandell Medal for outstanding service to philately, and he was its first recipient.

George Wendell Brett

(May 30, 1912–January 14, 2005) Iowa

George Brett was arguably the number one au­thority on the production of United States stamps of the twentieth century. He was often referred to as Mr. BIA for his long association with the Bureau Issues Association, now the United States Stamp Society. He served the society as president (1966–67), board chairman (1968–73), and emeritus chairman from 1981 until his death. He was the only philatelist inducted into the society’s Hall of Fame while still living.

Brett was a prolific writer and contributed more than 500 articles to the BIA/USSS journal. He wrote a seminal book on stamp printing, The Giori Press: A Comprehensive Study of Current Stamp Production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (1961), and also Printing Methods and Techniques (1985). He contributed articles to the American Philatelic Congress books and other journals. One of his major articles was his updating of the United States 1847 issues on their 150th anniversary for the combined Pacific 97 Handbook and American Philatelic Congress Book. He was a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee 1961–63.

George Brett was recognized for his vast knowledge and influence as a mentor to many students of United States stamps. Among his honors were the Lichtenstein award of the Collectors Club of New York (1983), the APS Luff award for distinguished philatelic research (1978), the Distinguished Philatelist award of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society (1992), the Writers Hall of Fame (1979), and the Philatelic Achievement award of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum (2004).

Ernst Max Cohn

(March 31, 1920–December 30, 2004) Alabama

Ernst Cohn was not only an outstanding postal historian but he also was instrumental in establishing the discipline of postal history in philately. With his language abilities he was able to examine original documents and stressed the importance of consulting source materials rather than accepting what was written in the past. He also used this technique to distinguish fake from genuine materials.

Although he was first interested in Scandinavian philately, Cohn’s primary collecting and writing turned to the siege mail of the Franco-German War of 1870–71. He was widely published in European and United States philatelic publications over many years. His books include Die “Papillons” von Metz (1976), The Flight of the “Ville d’Orleans” (1978), Ordinary Mail by Diplomatic Means (1995), Unusual Mail in Occupied France 1870–1871 (2000), and A Book of Postal History (1988), a compilation of his popular monthly column on postal history that appeared in The American Phil­atelist for over ten years.

His philatelic writing was recognized with awards and honors by many organizations including the American Philatelic Congress, the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Aérophilatéliques (FISA), and the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP). He was honored with the Luff award for distinguished philatelic research (1995), the Writers Hall of Fame (1995), and the Lichtenstein award for distinguished service to philately (2004).

He was president of the Postal History Society (1975) and served as associate editor and editor of the society’s journal 1982–88. He chaired the American Philatelic Society’s Postal History Committee and was the society’s representative to the FIP Postal History Commission. He was also a member of prestigious postal history organizations in France, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Emilio Diena

(January 26, 1860–October 9, 1941) Italy

Dr. Emilio Diena, founder of the Diena philatelic dynasty, was Italy’s greatest philatelist. He wrote on every aspect of classic Italy and Italian States. He was an original signer of the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists (1921) and received the Lindenberg medal in its first year (1906). He built an outstanding philatelic library, which was maintained by the next two generations of Dienas, and that now resides in Rome, maintained by the fourth generation of this illustrious family.

Diena authored landmark books on Modena (1894), Romagna (1994), Sicily (1904), Parma (1913), and Naples (1932). He was awarded the Crawford medal for the last item. He also was the author of numerous articles in the philatelic journals of the day. In 1929 he received the Tapling medal for his article on Parma.

Emilio Diena was a widely recognized expert on the classic stamps of Italy. His signature on the back of a stamp was the best possible guarantee of its authenticity. He was very much in demand as a philatelic judge and served on many international juries from the 1890s until the 1930s.

Calvet Menger Hahn

(March 10, 1927–May 6, 2004) New York

Calvet M. “Cal” Hahn was a widely recognized scholar and researcher of early United States philately including the prestamp era. His strongly expressed opinions often clashed with those of others in his field, giving rise to descriptions of him as being feisty and combative. Yet his encyclopedic philatelic knowledge was legendary and serious students sought him as a mentor and advisor. Those who were able to penetrate his “crustiness” were rewarded with his dry sense of humor and his willingness to go out of his way to help fellow collectors.
Cal Hahn contributed hundreds of articles to the philatelic press demonstrating his emphasis on research. He received the APS Luff award for distinguished philatelic research in 2000. His writings embraced colonial posts, transatlantic mails, and nineteenth-century United States classic issues, as well as general topics such as stamp color and gum. He amassed what is probably the greatest collection of New York state stampless covers.
He was a life member of the Collectors Club of New York and served on the editorial board. His writings have been recognized with awards from the Society of Philatelic Americans, the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, and the Collectors Club of New York among others. In 2001 he was elected to the Writers Hall of Fame. He served as board member and editor of several local and regional postal history societies. He was a recognized expert for the Philatelic Foundation and other organizations.

Paul Hilmar Jensen

(April 28, 1930–July 17, 2004) Norway

Paul Jensen was a widely recognized exhibitor, judge, and expert on postal history. He collected Czechoslovakia, Cook Islands, Saudi Arabia, and Norway, and received international gold medals for his exhibits. He was a founder of the Norwegian Postal History Society and served as its first president (1977–1991). He was president of the Norwegian Philatelic Federation 1981–1987 and president of the FIP Postal History Commission 1987–1996.

Paul was recognized by many philatelic organizations for his extensive knowledge and service to the hobby. He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1988, received the Anderssen-Dethloff Medal of Norway in 1992, the Copenhagen Philatelic Club Medal in 1994, the Collectors Club of New York’s Lichtenstein Award in 1996, the FIP Medal of Service in 1996, and the Golden Lion of the Norwegian Philatelic Federation in 1997. He was a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London.

He received one of his greatest distinctions in 1998 when King Harald V of Norway awarded Jensen with a gold medal for community service, especially in the field of philately — the first philatelist to win this honor. His service in organized philately included acting as vice president of NORWEX 1980 and secretary general of NORWEX 1997. He wrote and lectured widely, particularly in the field of postal history. He was coauthor, with Patrick Pearson and Robert Odenweller, of the F.I.P. Guide to Exhibiting and Judg-ing Traditional and Postal History Exhibits (1993). Paul was active with youth and served as a mentor to many exhibitors.

Clyde Jennings

(March 28, 1916–May 17, 2006) Florida

Clyde Jennings was one of the hobby’s more colorful personalities, in both speech and dress. He was a prolific writer who was often in demand as a speaker at club meetings. His collecting focus was United States stamps including color cancellations, and he exhibited both nationally and internationally at the gold level. He was a past president of the Society of Philatelic Americans and a director of the American Academy of Philately.

He was also past president of the Florida Federation of Stamp Clubs and a major force on the FLOREX show committee. He was a generous supporter of youth philately.

Clyde received the SEPAD National Merit Award in 1989 and the John N. Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately in 1988. He was a widely regarded national and international judge and served on the juries of all of the American Philatelic Society’s national shows.

Clyde was a founding member of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors. With his enthusiasm as a collector, exhibitor, and judge, he served admirably as a mentor to many collectors.

Mary Ann Aspinwall Owens

(June 24, 1928–November 21, 2005) New York

Mary Ann Owens pioneered the establishment of thematic philately as an important exhibiting class at national and international exhibitions. She exhibited nationally and internationally at the gold medal level, and her landmark exhibit on elephants was the first thematic display to achieve international gold and large gold. Among other collections and exhibits were ones on the Blue Danube, frogs, umbrellas, and postal stationery. She was a thematic judge accredited by the American Topical Association, the American Philatelic Society, and the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie. Mary Ann served as United States commissioner and judge at many FIP shows.

The American Topical Association honored her with its Distinguished Topical Philatelist Award in 1969 and she was elected to the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame in 1978. She served on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee

William Penn Brown


William P. Brown was a pioneer stamp dealer who played an important role in the development of philately in the United States. He began his career in 1860, calling himself the second earliest stamp dealer in New York City.

He was the New York editor of the London and New York Stamp Collectors Review (January 1864), the first philatelic journal written for the American collector. Twice in the 1860s he helped finance and support J.W. Scott in becoming a stamp dealer. In 1870 he started The Curiosity Cabinet in which he published the first listing of U.S. locals (by C.H. Coster) and his own account of his discovery of the New Haven postmaster provisional.

Brown held the first specialized stamp auction, and all-U.S. stamps sale, in 1878, and charged his absentee bidders no commission for their participation. At that time, mail bidders typically paid a five percent commission. Other auction houses soon followed suit. In 1897, for his first mail bid sale, he charged the successful bidder one bid above the next highest bid price. This soon became the practice for other mail bid auctions.

During his last years as a stamp dealer, he wrote extensively on the early growth of philately.

Brown was born in India and spent his youth in Japan as the son of a Baptist missionary. In a period when rival stamp dealers ridiculed their competitors, he was highly respected and known as an honest, helpful, and reliable stamp dealer.

W. Wilson Hulme II

(June 14, 1946 – January 10, 2007)

Wilson Hulme was a widely regarded expert in classic United States stamps and postal history. As Curator of Phil­ately for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum he displayed an unbridled enthusiasm for stamp collecting that stimulated the museum staff and brought international recognition to the collections and exhibits. His goal was to make the museum a place where collectors as well as the public could “access the inaccessible.”

Hulme achieved his goal by planning NPM exhibits of items from Queen Elizabeth II’s Royal Philatelic Collection, the U.S. Postmaster General’s Collection, and the New York Public Library’s Benjamin K. Miller Collection of early U.S. stamps. Other major exhibitions that he envisioned were in planning stages when he died.

An inveterate philatelic researcher, Hulme’s wide knowledge of archives and resources led to the discovery of important early post office records. He published articles on classic U.S. stamps and covers that resulted in numerous awards from the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society including the Distinguished Philatelist Award, Carroll Chase Cup, Mortimer Neinken Award, and the Lester G. Brookman Cup.

Wilson Hulme was president of the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society (2004–2007), a fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, and an expertizer for both the American Philatelic Society and the Philatelic Foundation.

Morton Dean Joyce


Mort Joyce was the dean of United States revenue collectors. His extensive collections of all aspects of U.S. revenues were recognized with many honors and awards. The most notable was his winning the National Grand Prize at the Fifth International Philatelic Exhibition (Fipex) in 1956. This was the first time a back-of-the-book collection received such a prestigious award.

Although his revenue collection was always his main pursuit, he was also active in other collecting areas. He was a signatory to the incorporation (in 1938) of the Bureau Issues Association (now the United States Stamp Society), and supported its activities during his long life. He wrote many articles, mostly on revenue stamps, but he was most noted for his financial and material support of the works of others, mainly the books United States Revenue Essays and Proofs and Sloane’s Column, compiled by his friend and colleague George T. Turner.

Joyce acquired the Butler and Carpenter letter books from Hiram E. Deats, made the material available to researchers, and bequeathed it to the Smithsonian Institution. He received the Hopkinson Trophy in 1957 and the first Southgate Trophy from the Bureau of Issues Association (BIA), now the United States Stamp Society, which also has named him to its Hall of Fame.
Joyce joined the APS in 1914, was founding member ARA2 of the American Revenue Association, president of the Booklet Pane Society, and served on the board of directors of the Collectors Club of New York.

Diane Dumble Boehret


Diane Boehret was a leading advocate for the advancement of organized philately. She held many offices including leadership positions in the two societies she is most often identified with, the Postal History Society and the American Philatelic Congress. She joined the Postal History Society in the 1970s and served as treasurer, secretary, and then president (1989–2005). She was secretary of the American Philatelic Congress and was named president (1984–1990), the first woman to hold that position. In 1990 the Congress created the Diane D. Boehret award, one of the most prestigious honors in the field of philatelic literature. She received the Walter R. McCoy award and the James Waldo Fawcett award for her writing and service to the Congress. She was an APS accredited philatelic and literature judge.

Diane served on the board of the Council of Philatelic Organizations for ten years. She was a member of the board of the Philadelphia National Stamp Exhibition and in 1997 she and husband Jesse Boehret received both the local and national merit awards of PNSE. The husband and wife team was honored again in 2003 with the Outstanding Service award of the Military Postal History Society. After moving to Virginia Beach she held office in the Virginia Philatelic Federation. Her exhibits on German post offices abroad, especially in the Boxer Rebellion and the military mission in Turkey, achieved national grand awards.

In 1999 Diane Boehret was elected to the American Philatelic Society’s board of vice presidents and served until 2001. In 2004 she received the John N. Luff award for exceptional contributions to philately. She demonstrated uncanny skills in organizing and heading philatelic organizations, a field usually dominated by men.

Col. James T. DeVoss


Jim DeVoss was one of the greatest philatelists of the twentieth century. He was an expert on Canal Zone stamps and postal history, building outstanding collections in those fields. His postal history collection “Via Panama” won the highest national and international awards. He will long be remembered for his outstanding service to national and international philately.

During his residence in Washington,DC, he was a leading force in the activities in this region. He served the Washington Philatelic Society as an officer and its Outstanding Service award is named after him. He helped organize the area’s national stamp show Napex and was a founder of the Pentagon Philatelic Society. While in Hawaii, he was an active member of the Hawaiian Philatelic Society, editor of the Honolulu Advertiser, and arranged for the APS to hold its national convention there.

Jim DeVoss joined the APS in 1946, and held his first of many positions with the Society, International Secretary, from 1949–1954. He won his first Luff Award in 1952 for Service to the APS. After his retirement from the Army, he became Assistanct Executive Secretary of the APS in 1951. In 1953 he became Executive Secretary (later called Executive Director), serving until 1981. During his term he reorganized and expanded the services offered to APS members, leading to a dramatic increase in membership. Most notable were the Expertizing services and insurance for APS members’ collections. He revived the Sale Circuits, making it an important part of APS members’ activities. He also introduced philatelic correspondence courses, which expanded to the APS Summer Seminar.

DeVoss chaired the Committee that put the forger deThuin out of business and wrote the 1974 APS book The Yucatan Affair. He also co-wrote, with Robert H. Schoen, Counterfeit Kansas-Nebraska Overprints in the 1922–1934 Issues, published by the APS in 1973. He wrote numerous articles in the American Philatelic Congress Books, winning its McCoy Award in 1953 and 1959, and the Jere Hess Barr Award in 1959.

Jim helped found the American Philatelic Research Library, serving as its president from 1980 to 1983. During his tenure he saw the establishment of the first American Philatelic Building in State College, Pennsylvania. On the international level, he was vice-president of Federation International de Philatelie from 1978 to 1986.

The Collectors Club of New York awarded DeVoss m the Lichtenstein Award in 1978. He signed the Roll of Distinguished Philatelists in 1981. He received the Neinken Award from the Philatelic Foundation in 1991. Jim received two Luff Awards from the APS: in 1952 for his outstanding service to the APS, and in 1958 for his Distinguished Philatelic Research on Canal Zone stamps and postal history.

Maryette Brown Lane


Maryette B. Lane was a philatelic author and editor, but her most memorable philatelic achievements were as organizer and head of the APS Stamp Theft Committee.

Maryette wrote a series of articles in The American Philatelist for which she won the Chemi Award, and the Perry Cup of the United States Philatelic Classics Society. Her research led to the book The Harry F. Allen Collection of Black Jacks: A Study of the Stamp and Its Use, published by the APS in 1969. As a result of the theft of part of the Allen collection, Maryette reorganized and led the APS Theft Committee from 1969 to 1981.

She also served Florida philatelic in many capacities over three decades. She wrote on many aspects of Florida philately. Her article on the fumigation of mail in Florida during the 1888 yellow fever epidemic was reprinted in K.F. Meyer’s book Disinfected Mail (1966). She edited The Florida Philatelist for four years.

Maryette was president of the St. Petersburg Stamp Club on ten occasions. She was a member of the organizing committee of Florex, the national philatelic exhibition of the Florida Federation of Stamp Clubs.

For her distinguished service to the APS, she received he Luff Award in 1970, and in 1982 was inducted to the American Philatelic Society’s Writers Unit Hall of Fame.

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