American Philatelic Society

United States Online Exhibits

1937 US Christmas Seal, The
by Milton R. Wirth, 2011, 16 pages (single frame), 14.7 MB

Description: One-frame exhibit.  The first U.S. Christmas seals were issued in 1907 when Emily Bissell, a Red Cross volunteer from Delaware, wanted to raise funds to operate a local tuberculosis sanatorium. She had heard about the successful Christmas seal distribution in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries and thought she would try the idea in this country.

The 1937 US Christmas seal was designed by A. Robert Nelson and pictured a town crier on 96 regular seals with 4 slogan seals in yellow, black, red, and blue. Total amount raised was $4,985,696.


The 9-cent Alamo stamp and its first day covers
by Jane King Fohn, 2016, 8 frames + synopsis, 91.5 MB .

Awards: AusPex 1982, local third award; SESCAL 1991, bronze; HOUPEX 2000, regional vermeil; TEXPEX 2001, gold; AmeriCover 2001, reserve grand; AmeriStamp 2002, vermeil; TEXPEX 2015, gold; AmeriCover 2015, Grand Award, and Greater Houston Stamp Show 2015, regional Grand Award.

Description: "Gillis King was chairman for the Liberty Series' Alamo 9-cent stamp's first day ceremony (Scott number 1043). The first day of issue was June 14, 1956 in San Antonio, Texas. Included in the exhibit are letters from the USPOD giving King planning details for the event. On issue day he received a Commemorative Stamp Album, ceremonial programs, and other memorabilia. The Alamo 9-cent stamp was issued to pay the first class rate on three-ounce letters. Some material has late usage as the stamps were used until supplies ran out. The earliest usage is June 21, 1956 to West Germany. The latest use found is January 28, 1977.


Posted 01/16/17

Boston Postal History to 1851
by Mark Schwartz, 2015, 8 frames, 152 MB

Awards: Benjamin and Naomi Wishnietsky Champion of Champions Award, APS StampShow 2015; Grand Award, Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition 2015; Grand and Gold, NOJEX 2011; Gold, ARIPEX 2012; Reserve Grand and Gold, Garfield Perry March Party 2009l Diamond, AAPE; Grand award, Northeastern Federation of Stamp Clubs Philatelic Show 2010.

Description: "The purpose of this exhibit is to illustrate the evolution of the rates and services of the American postal system from the very early Colonial period through the rate simplification of 1851, shown through the window of the Boston Post Office. The starting point of 1703 was the year in which postal markings were first introduced in America. Specific attention has been paid to include all types of letters handled by the Boston Post Office ....".

Posted 11/9/15

The Butterfield Overland Route
by George J. Kramer, 2013, 2 frames, 7.3 MB

Awards: Gold at APS StampShow 2013.

Description: The first U.S. overland mail contract to singly connect San Francisco to the Mississippi River cities was made with the Overland Mail Company as contractor. The southern route became known by the name of the company president, John Butterfield. It began as biweekly service, in operation from September 16, 1858 thru late March, 1861 when, because of the Civil War, Congress moved the route north to the Central Overland Route.

As depicted throughout these pages, the route was to and from St. Louis and Memphis through Ft. Smith, Ft. Chadbourne, El Paso, Tucson, Ft. Yuma, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"Butterfield" letters had to be inscribed "Overland", "Southern" or the equivalent.


Colorado 1858-1876 Pre-Territorial and Territorial Periods (Part I, Part II)
by William H. Bauer, 2006, 162 pages

Awards: Vermeil, ROPEX 2002; Gold, NOJEX 2002; Vermeil, Rocky Mountain Stamp Show, 2003; Gold, Rocky Mountain Stamp Show, 2006.

Description: Prior to late 1858, within the boundaries of what is now the State of Colorado, there were only a few trading posts and small agricultural settlements. None of these enjoyed the privilege of official mail service; not even the U.S. Army post of Fort Garland. In late 1858, the discovery of small quantities of gold near the junction of Cherry Creek and the South Platte River caused a sudden rush of immigrants to this perceived new 'El Dorado'.

Almost immediately the new arrivals sought to establish communications with older settled areas of the United States. Although post offices were soon authorized, initially it was the private express companies that carried the mail to and from Colorado. It would not be until nearly 1890 that the Post Office Department would be able to keep pace with the expanding frontier in Colorado. This exhibit chronicles that expansion, from late 1858 to the attainment of Statehood on August 1, 1876.

Part I
Part II

Great Lakes Passenger Steamers of Old : Travel in Bygone Days, 1880s-1930s
by Roland D. Essig, 2013, 4 Adobe Acrobat PDF files, 65.2 MB .

Awards: Gold, National Topical Stamp Show 2009; Gold, Minnesota Stamp Expo 2009; Gold, Philatelic Congress Award for Best Write-Up and Most Popular Exhibit, Milcopex 2010; Gold and AAPE Special Award for Excellence in Exhibiting, West Suburban Stamp Show 2011; Gold, Garfield Perry March Party.

Description: "It is the intent of this exhibit to give you a feeling of what traveling around the Great Lakes was like during the 1880s-1930s. It was an era when steamships plied the Great Lakes carrying passengers, produce and commercial products.” The story is told primarily through post cards.


Posted 01/30/16

Jenny Invert
18 pages (single frame), 4.17 MB

Description: The story of the most famous U.S. stamp. An error in the printing of one sheet of the first U.S. airmail stamp resulted in a stamp that is known by collectors as the “Inverted Jenny.”


Telegraphy in the Confederate States of America
by George J. Kramer, 2013, 2 frames

Awards: Gold at ARIPEX 2012 ; Single Frame Reserve Grand and Gold and American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors Creativity Award at APS Ameristamp 2012 ; Vermeil, APS StampShow 2013.

Description: On May 13, 1861, Confederate Postmaster General John H. Regan issued a proclamation assuming control of all postal operations within the Confederacy. Unlike the Union which utilized the services of private companies as well as the independently operated Military Telegraph, Confederate Telegraph service was under the control and direction of their Postal Department. This exhibit demonstrates the importance of the Telegraph during the war and early reconstruction just after. It is developed in a chronological order, allowing the items to form the story.


Types and uses of the international "air-mail saves time" slogan cancel 1924 to 1941, The
by David Reitsema, 2012, 98 pages, 16.4 MB

Awards:Garfield Perry 2010 gold; Garfield Perry 2010 Machine Cancel Society Silver; Rocky Mountain Stamp Show 2010 Vermeil; Rocky Mountain Stamp Show 2010 American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors Gold.

Description: Following the First World War, the Post Office Department began to develop an airmail service. A significant milestone was reached with on July 1, 1924, with regularly scheduled flights on the transcontinental airmail route from New York City to San Francisco. The International Postal Supply Company seized on this situation to promote its canceling machines, and rushed a new slogan cancel to post offices on the transcontinental route. The 'AIR MAIL SAVES TIME' cancel was a slogan designed to promote the new service. This exhibit illustrates and describes every type of the International biplane cancellation using the slogan "AIR-MAIL SAVES TIME". The exhibit shows, for the first time anywhere, the many re­cuttings of these cancels. It also demonstrates that, rather than being just another period slogan cancel, the slogan was designed and used specifically to promote use of the new airmail service.


U.S. Flag & Transportation Coil Issues of 1981
by Bill McMurray, 2013, 10 frame exhibit (27.9 MB PDF file).

Awards: Philatelic Show, Boxborough, Mass., 2013: Gold and American Philatelic Society Medal of Excellence Post 1980.

Description: The purpose of this exhibit is to promote the collecting and exhibiting of modern U.S. philatelic material. This is a traditional exhibit, starting with design information, including all printings, paper & gum types, EFOs, tagging varieties and concluding with postal usage.

The year 1981 was dynamic for collecting of U.S. definitives. The first-class letter rate changed from 15c to 18c on March 22, 1981 and to 20c on November 1, 1981, creating the shortest first-class rate in U.S. history.


U.S. Post Office, Military Station no. 1, Cuba 1898-9
by Jack E. Thompson, 1 frame exhibit (1.13 MB PDF file).

Awards: Gold, APS Stampshow, 2014.

Description: The history of the first U.S. Post Office Military Station in Cuba during the Spanish Armerican War of l898. This subject has been the focus of many studies over the years but the various sources are sometimes in conflict on the dates and usages. This exhibit incorporates important new discoveries for an updated view on this subject. The exhibit is primarily presented in chronological order to best show the progression of services and cancels used during the brief use of this military station. The exhibit concludes with miscellaneous marking such as 'Postage Due', etc.

Posted 01/30/16

US Postal Card Errors
by William R. Weiss, Jr., 2011, 141 pages, 13 MB

Description: Since the production of postal cards began in the United States in 1873, over 500 different cards have been issued, yet less than 15% of them have been reported with major errors. Of these, despite printing quantities of over 20,000,000 of some issues, most major errors exist in quantities of under 10 known and a large percentage of those exist with only one or two examples known.


US Precanceled Postal Cards
by Josh Furman, 2012, 16 pages (single frame), 2.87 MB

Description: Precanceled postal cards were used by postmasters to ease their workloads. Rather than having to cancel individually a bulk mailing, the postmaster would give permission to the sender to cancel its own cards. Early precanceled postal cards were all locally issued, as the Postal Service did not start producing precanceled stamps until 1923. It was not until 1961 that the first government-printed precanceled postal card appeared.

Early precanceled postal cards are, for the most part, extremely scarce. Most were quickly discarded by the recipients. There are only about 75 issuing entities known. Many of these are unique. Some have multiple types, depending on the postage rate at the time, the goods being advertised, and the type style used for the precancel. This exhibit provides an overview of precanceled postal cards from a historical perspective while paying attention to the method of precanceling.


The U.S. Private Ship Letter (Part I, Part II)
by Douglas N. Clark and Nancy B. Clark, 1996 2 Adobe Acrobat pdf files, 15.5 MB, 16.5 MB

Description: A comprehensive rate study of the U.S. private ship letter from the Queen Anne Act of 1710 to the early 1900s. The study concerns all ocean mail not covered by a postal treaty or carried by a ship with a U.S. contract to carry mail. Such letters normally received the marking "Ship" or "Sh" and a ship fee was figured into the rate and paid to the Captain, if a U.S.-registered vessel. Unorthodox uses of SHIP handstamps (retaliatory rates, early treaty rates, etc.) are also included and explained. Incoming mail predominates as U.S. law never authorized outgoing ship fees. United States; Marine Mail; Postal Rates

Part I
Part II

U.S. Special Handling, 1925-1959, The Stamps and the Service
by Robert Rufe, 2016, 5 frame exhibit (20.4 MB PDF file).

Awards: Exhibited at World Stamp Show NY-2016.

Description: A new service called 'Special Handling' was introduced on April 15, 1925. It required live chicks and bees to be expedited with the First Class Mail. This exhibit illustrates both the stamps and the service, from their inception in early 1925, complete through the 1955 dry-printing period, until 1959 when the dedicated stamps were withdrawn from sale. Stamps from each of the five major printings are shown, followed by commercial uses, if known. The exhibit also features the scarce varieties, providing identification keys and guidance, so collectors may seek discovery copies of, as yet, unknown issues or uses, such as the 10¢ and 20¢ dry-prints on cover.

Posted 06/10/16

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