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. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Back to work

After a break from the blog due to a hectic personal and professional life I am going to try to spend more time researching and writing about my favorite hobby. 

During the break I continued to buy, mount, and identify stamps. It just seemed like the time to blog about it wasn't there. I really missed it. It is a part of my hobby and I could just feel there was something missing. 

I have a few ideas of things to come and I am already researching another stamp to write about. I can't wait to dive back in.

I think that with the state of the world right now hobbies are more important than they have been in a long time. Hobbies bring a sense of happiness and purpose that are extremely beneficial in these times, no matter what they are. I am so glad that my hobby is so multifaceted and can help take my mind off the stresses of the world, even for just a little bit at a time.

1972 Sidney Lanier Stamp

This 1972 Sidney Lanier 8 cent stamp is mounted in my Heritage Collection album and it is a great looking stamp. One of the things I love the most about stamps is it brings topics and people into my world that I would probably never have known about. That is especially true with this stamp. 

I had no idea who Sidney Lanier was and now I do. That is a wonderful aspect of this hobby. I love learning new things and I love researching new things. That is why I love this hobby so much.

The stamp is a work of art, like so many of the stamps I come across. I have never come across a stamp that I didn't appreciate the beauty of. They are all truly works of art in their own right.

It was issued on February 3, 1972 (the birthday of Sidney Lanier) in Macon, GA (his birthplace). Over 137 million stamps were printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing by the Giori Press method. Its perforations are 11 and it is black, brown, and light blue in color.

Sidney Lanier was an American poet, musician, and author among many other things. He was born on February 2, 1842, in Macon, Georgia to Robert Sampson Lanier and Mary Jane Anderson who were devoutly religious. At an early age, he learned how to play the flute and it would benefit him later in life. 

In 1860 he graduated from Oglethorpe University at the top of his class. In 1861 the American Civil War started and he fought for the Confederacy in the signal corps. Later he served on a merchant's vessel as a blockade runner and captured and imprisoned in a military prison at Point Lookout, Maryland. While imprisoned in Maryland he contracted tuberculosis and suffered from the disease for the rest of his life (there was no cure at that time). 

After the war, he moved to Alabama where he played the organ for a church in Prattville and also wrote his novel "Tiger Lillies" in 1867.

That same year he also accepted a position at a school in Prattville where he taught and served as a principal. He also married Mary Day and moved back to Macon, Georgia. He had 3 sons. 

While in Macon he worked at his father's law practice. Eventually passing the bar exam in Georgia and practicing law himself for several years. During this time he wrote a number of his poems about the poor farmers in the south and traveled the United States trying to find a cure for the disease that plagued him.

It was during one of these trips in Texas that he rediscovered his love and talent for playing the flute. He accepted a position playing for the Peabody Orchestra in Baltimore, Maryland in 1873 and became quite famous and reached the position of the first flutist. 
In order to support his family financially, he started writing poems for different magazines. It was these poems that became his most famous works.

In the later years of his life, he went to work at the English Department at Johns Hopkins Unversity in Baltimore, Maryland where he published lectures and wrote a book. 

On September 7, 1881, he succumbed to complications caused by tuberculosis near Lynn, North Carolina. He was 39 years old. He was buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore.

Sidney Lanier is noted as one of Georgia's greatest poets and many entities are named in his honor, from lakes to many schools.

I enjoyed reading about this man and I am thrilled to have this stamp in my collection. I hope you have too. And I urge you to read some of his poems. Many can be found here