Society News for February, 2009

Final Call for USSS 2009 Annual Meeting

February 5th, 2009

The 2009 Annual Meeting is only a few weeks away.  The United States Stamp Society meeting will be held in conjunction with the St. Louis Stamp Expo, a joint effort of the stamp clubs of St. Louis, Missouri and surrounding communities.

The USSS will gather during the weekend of February 27th through March 1st at the St. Louis Renaissance Hotel, 9801 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis, Missouri.  The hotel is offering special rates of $85 per night.  Reservations may be made by calling the hotel at (314) 429-1100 or (800) 468-3571.

The show will include an American Philatelic Society World Series of Philately exhibit competition, which will include more than 100 frames of United States and related material presented by USSS members.  In addition to the normal range of awards available at all WSP shows, eligible exhibits will also compete for the prestigious Southgate and Hopkinson Trophies, which are presented only at the show hosting the Annual Meeting of the Society.

More »

Weiss Wins 2008 Hopkinson Memorial Literature Award

February 5th, 2009

Larry S. Weiss has been selected to receive the Walter W. Hopkinson Memorial Literature Award for the best article or series of articles published in The United States Specialist during 2008.  The award is given annually by the United States Stamp Society and consists of an engraved plaque and an honorarium.  The award will be presented at the Society’s Annual Meeting at the St. Louis Stamp Expo at the end of February, 2009.

Weiss’ two articles titled “Why Collect the U.S. Washington-Franklin Heads? A 100th Anniversary Tribute” are part of a series begun in the November issue of The United States Specialist.  The first stamps of the Washington-Franklin Series, or the Third Bureau Issue as it is also called, were released by the Post Office Department during November, 1908 and, thus, Weiss’ first article in this series appeared 100 years later in November, 2008.

More »

Paul Bourke To Chair The Washington-Franklin Head Committee

February 5th, 2009

As you read in the November Specialist, Larry Weiss is stepping down as chairman of the Washington-Franklin Head Committee after 25 years of service.  It is my pleasure to announce that Paul Bourke of Ashland, Massachusetts, a long-time committee member, has been selected to take over that position.

Paul has been a member of the USSS since 1993 and a member of the American Philatelic Society since 1975.  He also holds memberships in the United States Philatelic Classics Society, the Mobile Postal History Society, the United Postal Stationery Society, the Military Postal History Society and the Machine Cancel Society.  In addition, he has been a member of the Philatelic Group of Boston since 1990 and served as its president for six years.

Paul has written numerous articles for The Specialist regarding the Third Bureau Issue and has crafted a gold medal exhibit about the postal history of this series.  I am certain that the committee is in good hands as it moves forward.

—Nick Lombardi

Nominations Open for the USSS-Mueller Award

February 5th, 2009

Nominations are now open for the second annual United States Stamp Society – Barbara R. Mueller Award for the best article to appear in 2008 in The American Philatelist, monthly magazine of the American Philatelic Society. The award includes a cash payment of $1,000 and recognition on a permanent plaque in the APS editorial offices at the American Philatelic Center in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.

APS members can vote by completing and mailing the form that is included at the bottom of the inside front cover of the January, 2009 issue of The American Philatelist.  A list of the 86 articles by 50 authors in the 2008 American Philatelist that qualify to be considered for the award and to vote are available online.

All votes for the best article of 2008 must be received by March 1, 2009.  The USSS-Mueller Award Committee will select the winner from the top five as voted on by APS members and the top five as selected by the staff of The American Philatelist.  The 2008 USSS-Mueller Award winner will be announced in the August, 2009 issue of The American Philatelist and at APS StampShow 2009, on August 6-9, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The United States Stamp Society founded the award not only to promote research and philatelic writing, but also to promote the USSS, its goals and its mission – to expand the study of and knowledge about U.S. postage and revenue stamps – to the more than 40,000 members of the APS, about 75 percent of whom collect U.S. material.

The award is named for the USSS and for one of its most prominent members, authors and editors, Barbara R. Mueller.  Among her many other honors in six decades of devotion to philately, Mueller, a member of the Halls of Fame of both the USSS and APS Writers Unit 30, was the recipient of the APS John N. Luff Award in 1956 for Distinguished Philatelic Research.

From the Executive Secretary

February 5th, 2009

Reminder postcards were sent out in January to those of you who have not paid your dues for 2009.  If you do not respond promptly, this will be your last issue of The Specialist.  The annual dues of $25.00 (foreign members extra for postage) buys you an excellent monthly journal on U.S. philately, discounts on Society books, two free ads per year in The Specialist, and access to research papers, reprints, and copies of member exhibits.  Please renew now before you forget.  You will be doing a service both to yourself and to the Society.

—Larry Ballantyne

Recent Winners of USSS Medals

February 5th, 2009

Here are the United States Stamp Society medal winners that have been reported from recent shows:

Statue of Freedom Awards (National WSP Shows):
Americover, VA Charles J. O’Brien III Georgia Bicentennial
SESS, GA William J. Ainsworth Lincoln Definitive 4¢ & 5¢ Issues of 1890-1908
OKPEX Roland Austin Usages of the 1954 Liberty Series
VAPEX Alan Warren 3¢ Byrd on First Day Covers
Chicagopex Gregory A. Shoults Washington and Franklin Coils Rotary Press Issues 1914 – 1922
FLOREX Nicholas M. Kirke The Rise and Fall of the NYFM Fancy Cancel, 1870 – 1878
President’s Awards (Regional/Local Shows):
Lancopex, PA John C. Hufnagel Private Vending Coils of the U.S.
Thamespex, CT Tony Dewey A Postal History of Hartford, Connecticut
Sacapex, CA William J. Snider The Beacon Air Mail Stamp
Seapex, WA William Hainsworth Fascinating Facets of the U.S. 3¢ 1851 – 1861 on Cover
Mid-Cities Expo, TX Harold Patterson The Grand Canyon of the Colorado
Penpex, CA William J. Snider The Beacon Air Mail Stamp

—Denise Stotts, Awards Committee

United States Supplementary Mail To Be Released

February 5th, 2009

The United States Stamp Society is pleased to announce the publication of United States Supplementary Mail by Leonard Piszkiewicz. The book began as a series of 16 articles published in The United States Specialist from March, 2007 through June, 2008.  The information presented in that series was almost entirely unknown in the philatelic world.  Before this research began, only a few collectors knew a fact or two about how the service had operated, based on covers in their collections.  It was apparent that much of the story of U.S. Supplementary Mail had never been researched in a systematic way.  Aside from some 19th century covers with Supplementary Mail markings, very little had been published on how Supplementary Mail operated.

This volume gathers the information published in The United States Specialist and adds previously unknown information on the beginnings and early operation of Supplementary Mail service in New York and ten other cities, as well as describing the origin of the concept of Supplementary Mail.  New material has been added to several of the chapters including a new chapter summarizing auxiliary markings used in association with Supplementary Mail.  The volume is extensively indexed to be helpful to readers in finding specific topics.

The 140-page hard cover full-color book, produced in an 8½ by 11 inch format will be available for $40 to nonmembers and $32 to USSS members, postpaid.

About the Author
Leonard Piszkiewicz, a native of Chicago, received a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1967 and worked in the chemical industry.  He has served as Editor of the Illinois Postal Historian since 1990 and as Editor of The United States Specialist since 1998, and has also published more than 100 articles in philately and other fields.  In addition to collecting Chicago postal history since the late 1970’s, which culminated in the publication of Chicago Postal Markings and Postal History in 2006, he has collected and exhibited postal history in several other areas, including the Presidential Issue of 1938, for which he received two national level Grand Awards.  An outgrowth of his Presidential Issues studies is the present volume, United States Supplementary Mail.

Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Awards Gala Held November 8, 2008

February 5th, 2009

The Smithsonian Philatelic Achievement Awards were presented last November 8th at a gala event held at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC.  The Award honors Americans and individuals from around the world for outstanding lifetime accomplishments in the field of philately.  The achievements can include original research that significantly advances the understanding of philately and postal history, exceptional service to the philatelic community, and the overall promotion of philately for the benefit of current and future collectors.  The recipients for 2008 are Wallace Cleland, Bernard “Bud” Hennig and Gordon Morison.  Wallace Cleland and Gordon Morison are long-time USSS members.

To honor this prestigious award and its recipients, Dr. G. Wayne Clough, Smithsonian Institution Secretary, gave remarks and thanks for the contributions to the hobby and the museum.  Later in the evening, the awards were presented by Dr. Richard Kurin, Under Secretary of History, Art, and Culture for the Smithsonian Institution; Mr. Don Sundman, Council of Philatelist Chair and President of the Mystic Stamp Company; and Mr. Paul Carlin, the 66th Postmaster General.  Mr. Omar Rodriguez, a well-known actor and philatelist, hosted the evening’s festivities.  This year’s guests included members of the Club de Monte-Carlo, who displayed some of their philatelic rarities for the gala.  This special collection is exhibited in the Stamps and Coins Museum of Monaco and had never before been exhibited in the United States.
More »