Saturday, October 10, 2020

Apparently....this stamp isn't legitimate


I was at Hobby Lobby about 6 months ago when I bought a topical package of stamps. They were all dinosaur stamps and my son loves dinosaurs so I just had to get them. Part of the reason was maybe having dinosaurs on the stamps would spark an interest in my son for stamps. He's a little young yet but it really worked. He sits on my lap as I work on my stamps quite frequently.

So, I was going through them and mounting them in albums and I came across this Ankylosaurus stamp. It had no cancel on it and all the rest in the package did. So I googled "Sahara OCC. R.A.S.D" and the first website that was on the list starting talking about "bogus stamps". 

Stamps marked "Sahara OCC R.A.S.D." relate to Western Sahara which is occupied by Morocco and the post office of Morocco claim that these stamps are illegitimate and, from what I have read, they aren't in Scott Stamp Catalogs. I think they are nice looking stamps though and I'm going to keep them.

Monday, August 24, 2020

1972 Stamp Collecting


I was going through my Heritage Collection the other day looking for my next stamp to write about when I came across this 1972 Stamp Collecting commemorative stamp. I knew I just had to write about this. Philately is such a strong passion of mine, and stamp collecting is such a big part of it. 

Over the years I've had hobbies that were really fun and garnered much of my attention. But, they have always paled in comparison to this hobby. This month marks my first-anniversary collecting and I am running out of room in my closet. My collection has grown so much in that time. Everyone that I know keeps their stamps and I go and collect them. I am always begging my wife to stop in the hobby store when we drive by, and honestly, I don't think she minds (it's her favorite store too). Anyway, enough about me. 

This 1972 Stamp Collecting stamp has a denomination of 8 cents and was issued on November 17, 1972, in New York, NY. Over 166 million were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and were engraved and then lithographed. It is multicolored and its perforations are 11.

Stamp collecting isn't philately exactly but most philatilists usually collect stamps. Philately is the study of stamps. It can be any part of the stamp. It can be about anything from the printing processes used, the perforations, the designs on the stamps, etc. Stamp collecting is usually just like the name implies: collecting of the stamps. 

Stamp collecting has been around for a long time. It has been around since at least 1774 when John Bourke started collecting revenue stamps in Ireland. That was over 65 years before the first postage stamp (The Penny Black) was created.

When the Penny Black was issued in Britain in May of 1840, stamp collecting took off. Just 20 years after the issuance of the first postage stamp, there were thousands of collectors all over the world.

Many notable stamp collectors throughout history include: King George V, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Freddie Mercury, and John Lennon. They're collections are all on display in museums across the world.

Stamp collecting is unique in the aspect that there are no rules on how a person collects their stamps. Many people callect stamps on particular topics such as: castles, dinosaurs, landscapes, etc. Others try to collect stamps from particular countries (that is my passion). Some may collect their stamps in albums attached with hinges or mounts and others may use stock books. You will rarely find two collections exactly the same.

There are many ways to acquire stamps. These include: asking friends/relatives to save stamps from their mail, buying bulk or individual stamps from brick-and-motor stores or on-line, buying from dealers, or joining a club and trading stamps with other members. Many countries have their own national organizations that collectors can join to connect with other collectors and dealers. I, personally buy a lot of stamps from

The internet has had a huge impact on stamp collecting. There are so many resources available with just a few clicks. There are thousands of blogs available. Here is a list of top 75 blogs on Feedspot. If you are looking for tips, values of your stamps, or a community to talk with other collectors; the internet is such a valuable tool. 

I have really enjoyed the time that I've spent researching and studying my stamps and I love sharing these stories here with you. I hope that you enjoy reading about the stamps that I come across and hope whether you are already a collector or aren't you enjoy the beauty and the history of the stamps. The truly are all a work of art.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

1944 Completion of First Transcontinental Railroad


The next stamp on my list of stamps to write about was this beautiful 1944 3¢ "Completion of First Transcontinental Railroad" stamp.

I've noticed that when I research a stamp and write an article on my blog about it that I really develop a deeper appreciation for it. I've learned so many things about the first transcontinental railroad this week that I didn't know. I know I say this all the time, but that is one thing I love about my hobby. 

This stamp was issued on May 10, 1944, in 3 different cities: Omaha, Nebraska, Ogden, Utah, and San Francisco, California. Over 61 million were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing using the Rotary Press method. It's perforations are 11 x 10.5 and it is violet in color.

The First Transcontintal Railroad (or originally known as the Pacific Railroad and the Overland Route) is one of America's greatest achievements in my opinion. To think about what was achieved almost 160 years ago by people that didn't have the technological advancements that are available now is just amazing.

The rail road was constructed from 1863 to 1869 but for many years people had been proposing to congress for the construction of a railway system to connect the East and West coasts by rail. Congress agreed and the government spent two years conducting surveys to find the best route. 3 routes were suggested. They were: a northern route, central route, and southern route. Eventually, the central route was chosen. Sacramento, California was chosen as the western terminus and in Council Bluffs, Iowa was connected to an existing rail line.

To allow the creation of the two companies (Union Pacific and Central Pacific) to build the House of Represenatives and the Senate pass the "Pacific Railroad Act of 1862" and was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln soon after. The law also allowed the government to sell bonds to finance the project. The two companies also sold stocks and bonds to help finance the project. 

Land grants were given by both federal and state governments totaling over 180 million acres (an area larger than the state of Texas). Some of that land was then sold to settlers which largely boosted the rapid expansion of people to the "West".

Thousands of workers were employed in the construction of the rail line. Inlcuding former Union and Confederate soldiers of the American Civil War, Chinese and Irish immigrants, and former slaves escaping from the south after the civil war. Work was hard and the days were long through both hot and cold temperatures. The workers also had to worry about attacks from Native American tribes.

Many cities and towns spurng up along the line that are still here to this day. Many tunnels were opened by the use of dynamite and many are still there as well. The Union Pacific dug 4 tunnels and the Central Pacific dug 15. Bridges had to built to cross rivers and streams. 

After six years of hard work the two companies met at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory and the "last spike" was driven on May 10, 1869. The Union Pacific had laid 1,087 miles and the Central Pacific laid 690 miles.

The Transcontinental Railroad reduced travel to the west coast from over six months to just about one week.

Although the original tracks don't remain, hundreds of miles of the railway are still in use to this day on the original grade that was built almost 160 years ago.