11 Years ago Joann and Kurt Lenz introduced the “Ugly Shirts” for USSS members attending APS StampShow and AmeriStamp Expo, as well as regional shows with USSS representation. Any USSS member brave enough to wear an Ugly Shirt on the final day of the show can represent the Society and have an opportunity to appear on a Zazzle.com stamp…another creation of the Lenzes. Joann and Kurt are passing the baton on to Chris Calle at APS shows. Will YOU volunteer to continue the 11 year history of the “Ugly Shirts.”
Amazing at it seems, it has been a full 10 years since the USSS’s Dummy Stamps Study Group published their first newsletter – Dummy News &Views. It has totally been a labor of love for me and the numerous other contributors of this newsletter. Those of you who have followed it since it’s inception know that it has very rarely been published on time. Even though it’s a quarterly newsletter, too many times that has not happened. No excuses as it lies entirely with me and my desire (or lack of) to work on them. It has actually been a very wonderful time in my life being able to share one of my loves – test stamps. Without the help of several fellow Dummy Stamps Study Group members, notably Mike Perry and Joann Lenz, a lot of this would have not been possible. I wish them to stand up and take a bow.
The 2015 Annual Meeting of the United States Stamp Society was held at Philatelic Show in Boxborough. MA during the weekend of May 1st through the 3rd. More than 30 members from across the country attended the show and a good time was had by all. The official business of the Society was conducted at the Board of Governors Meeting on Saturday morning and the General Membership Meeting later that day. The Board of Governors discussed a variety of issues at their early morning meeting. Although Treasurer Dave Sugar was unable to attend the meeting. He provided a summary of the Society’s financial position and the 2015 budget. both of which were very positive. Dave noted that this is due in large part to the generosity of the membership in terms of both annual and estate donations. The Board authorized the Encyclopedia Committee to contract for a print run of 2.500 copies of the second edition of the Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting, which is scheduled for release at the 2016 New York international show. This edition will contain not only many updates to the 2006 edition. but also a number of new chapters. The Board also noted that the 2016 edition of the Durland Catalog is well underway and may also be released at the international. Longtime
Society Secretary Joann Lenz announced that she will be stepping down at the end of her current term this December and the Board expressed its deep appreciation for her many years of excellent service. The Board also authorized the creation of a committee to study the suggestions of two board members as to how the Society may both improve its operations and attract new members. The committee will report back to the full Board at the conclusion of its work. The General Membership Meeting was held on Saturday afternoon at which several important projects were discussed. The revamping of the Society website is well underway and is anticipated to be fully functional by late Summer or early Fall. Many of the existing fealllres will be improved and a host of new ones will be incorporated into it. It was announced that there are presently two committees. the Marginal Markings Committee and the Registered Mail Study Group. which need new chairpersons and that we would also like to create a 21st Century Committee to study and write about the stamps issued since the turn of the century. If you would be willing to help out with any of these committees. please let me know.
One of the highlights of our Annual General Membership meeting is the presentation of the Walter W. Hopkinson Literature Award for the best article or series of articles which appeared in The United States Specialist during the previous year. Unfortunately. our 2014 award winner. James Robinson was unable to attend the meeting to accept the award for his article in the April. 2014 issue … Unrecorded Early Use of the First Electric -Eye Issue – The Fourth Bureau 2c Washington Rotary of 1935.” However. the award plaque and honorarium along with our congratulations have been sent to Jim. On Friday evening. more than 60 folks attended a joint USSS and Collectors Club Fellowship Dinner in the courtyard area of the show hotel. Inasmuch as there were a large number of folks who arc members of both organizations. it was felt that rather than force them to make a choice between which Friday night dinner to attend. it would be best to hold a joint function. This proved to be a great idea and resulted in an evening of good food and philatelic camaraderie. I want to thank our Vice President, Jeff Shapiro, for making the arrangements. not only for this dinner. but for all of the USSS activities during the show. Thanks to his continual attention to detail. all of our functions ran smoothly.
The exhibit frames at the show were filled with a wide array of material from Society members and included the stamps and postal history of everything from definitive and commemorative stamps from the first decade of the 20th century right through the Prexies and Canal Zone Airmails. The Grand Award was won by Nick Lombardi for his exhibit, ”The 1903 Two Cent Washington Shield Issue,” which also won the Society’s Statue of Freedom Award and the APS Research Medal. Lombardi also won the W. Wallace Cleland Award for the best single frame exhibit by a member at the annual meeting show for ··The U.S. Three Cent Jackson Stamp of the 1902 Series.” The Society’s prestigious Walter W. Hopkinson Trophy was won by Greg Shoults for his exhibit .. Washington & Franklin Coils. 1908-1924.” Although Bob Rufe’s exhibit U. S. Special Handling 1925- 1959: The Stamps and The Service” was not eligible for open competition at this show because it had won the Grand Award at the St. Louis Stamp Expo in March. it was awarded The Collect0rs Club award for the “Best Modern U.S. Exhibit” in that club’s annual multi-frame competition which was held at this show.
Our Society table was staffed continuously throughout the three days of the show. Members stopped by to purchase books, exchange information, or just to rest up. Special thanks go out to Jay and Denise Stotts. Kurt and Joann Lenz. Larry Ballantyne. Roger Brody. Bob Rufe and Ed Grabowski for helping man the booth at different times. as well as to Tom Jacks of Mountainside Stamps for hauling our booth materials to and from the show. Those members visiting the booth included:
Larry Ballantyne Denise Stotts
Frank Braithwaite Rod Juell
Roger Brody Charles E. Nelson
Edward Grabowski Paul Ammons
Labron Harris Roger Skoyles
Andy Kupersmit Ken Moreau
Joann Lenz John F. O’Keeffe
Kurt Lenz Douglas Horka
Rob Loeffler Brian Engler. Sr.
Nick Lombardi Stan Sablak
Robert Rose Bob Rufe
Phil Sager Jeffrey Shapiro
Greg Shoults K. David Steidley
Tom Jacks Lynn Batdorf
Jay Stotts Tony Bruno
Tom Corette Warren Manning
Irv Miller Decker Adams
Dave Wessely Bob Chipkin
Our 2016 Annual Meeting will take place at World Stamp Show New York 2016 on Sunday. May 29th. at 1 PM and we are planning our annual Fellowship Dinner for Monday. May 30th. There will be a host of USSS activities during the full eight day run of this international. so start making plans now to attend as much of this great show as possible. We will be providing more information about the Society’s activities as we get closer to the show.
The U.S. Stamp Society will once again have a booth at the annual APS StampShow. The show will be held from August 20th through the 23rd at the DeVos Convention Center, 303 Monroe Avenue NW in Grand Rapids, Ml and we will have our booth manned for the full four days of the s how. The Society will pitch its tent al booth R where we will have a full supply of all the Society publications on hand. There will be special show discounts on certain items, so be sure to stop by and check out the savings.
If you also happen to be an APS member, be sure to get to the show early and pick up one of the free coupon books being given to the first 2,000 APS members who arrive. The book contains 60 different coupons good for discounts and other promotions at various dealers. One of the coupons is for a 50% discount on all of our publications on hand at our booth. This is the perfect opportunity for you to fill in those missing volumes in your philatelic library. If you don’t happen to be an APS member, you can sign up at the s how and receive the coupon book for as long as the supply lasts. As is our tradition, we will hold a Dutch Treat dinner on Friday evening after the show closes. Please stop by the Society booth and sign up for what is certain to be a very enjoyable evening of food and camaraderie.
Details are still being worked out, but all necessary information will be available at the booth. We could really use help staffing our booth and any time you could spare to do so will be greatly appreciated. In addition to those who volunteer, we will have our officers, Board members, committee chairs and authors helping out. This will be the place to meet old friends and make new ones. Please contact me if you can help out. We look forward to see in g a large contingent of our members at this great show. When StampShow was last held in Grand Rapids in 2005, the venue, the hotel s and the show itself were top notch. Make your plans to attend as a good time is sure to be had by all.
James Robinson is recipient of the 2014 Hopkinson Memorial Literature Award, given annually for the best article or series published in The United States Specialist during the past year. The award, which includes a plaque and honorarium, is for his “Unrecorded Early Use of the First Electric-Eye Issue – The Fourth Bureau 2¢ Washington Rotary of 1935.” The article appeared in the April, 2014 issue.
The award has been given annually since 1954 in memory of the late Walter W. Hopkinson. It was established by his widow, Mrs. Constance B. Hopkinson, to honor her husband’s interest in philatelic scholarship and to support the dissemination of research and knowledge through the Society’s publications.
The selection committee was comprised, as usual, of the three most recent awardees: Kevin Lowther (acting as chair), Ken Lawrence and Richard Nazar. Robinson’s winning article, which was vetted by the Marginal Markings Committee, is a well-documented analysis of the introduction of stamps printed on specially-marked rotary press plates, using electric-eye technology to guide the perforating process. Although experimentation began years earlier, the first “electric eye” stamp issued — the then-current 2¢ definitive (Scott #634) — was not shipped to post offices until early February, 1935. This was done without public notice. Robinson’s well-researched article provides in-depth background on how this happened and why documenting early uses of these stamps remains a challenge. A list of previous winners of the award can be found here.