1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

History of Philately

Stamp Collecting has a long history full of unknown, famous and infamous personalities and fascinating stories. Here you find those people and stories as well as a look at how stamps and stamp collecting have changed over the years.

One Needn't Be an Old-timer to Collect Stamp World's Old Stuff
Real stamp collectors are children of the golden age of the Thirties through the Fifties; a time when philatelic history was made.

The World of First Day Covers and Fakes
As first day cover collecting gains respectability, fakers will take notice to create fraudulent items.

Get Real To Attract Young to Stamp Collecting
Attracting young people to join the hobby of stamp collecting requires some basic changes to the way things are in the world of philately.

Stamps Sweet Charity
Stamps have always been a dependable means of raising funds for those in need or suffering. It started during the U.S.'s Civil War and is still going on today.

Builders Of The House of Stamps
In earlier days the hobby was sold to stamp collectors through a combination of celebrity hoopla, a sense of history, journalistic chutzpah, and the old verity "give the public what it wants and you'll succeed." And as dealers sent their newsletters, journals and pricelists to their faithful customers, they created the philatelic Facebook of their day.

Getting Commemorated vs Getting the Mail
What is more important, using stamps to note history or to deliver the mail?

Nassau Street: A Quarter Century of Stamp Dealing by Herman Herst
The people and places that affected stamp dealer Herman "Pat" Herst during the golden age of collecting are brought to life in this funny and informative collection.

The Buffalo Balloon Stamp
A nearly unique airmail stamp was issued years before powered flight. It's purpose to frank mail carried on Samuel Archer King's balloon "Buffalo," which gave the stamp its name: The Buffalo Balloon Stamp. Today it is a first class rarity of aerophilately.

Blue Mauritius - The Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Stamp
Blue Mauritius: The Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Stamps by Helen Morgan a history of how a stamp becomes one of the rarest and well known stamps in the world.

Online Stamp Galleries, Museums and Displays
Take advantage of the many opportunities to see stamps you might not ever see and learn more about philately and postal history. The sites listed below are those of online galleries, museums and stamp exhibits. While some are parts of museums or other large organizations, many are done by ordinary stamp collectors.

Dag Hammarskjold Invert Issue
Dag Hammarskjold Invert Issue

Veterans Day - Stamps that Honor Veterans
Veterans Day Gallery - U.S. philately that honors those who served

U.S. 1893 Columbian Exposition Stamps
U.S. 1893 Columbian Exposition Stamps

The History of the US Post Office
A detailed look at the history of the United States Postal Service, from the earliest days of the nation to modern times.

U.S. Olympic Games Stamp Gallery
The U.S. Postal Service has a long tradition of celebrating the Olympic Games on stamps. These issues cover a wide variety of sports but have in common unique designs and lots of color.

What Is Stamp Collecting?
An introduction to the hobby of stamp collecting

Christmas Seals
Non-postage stamps that are a holiday tradition

Penny Black
The first postage stamp

Duck Stamps
Special stamps used by duck hunters

Envelopes saved with their stamps are called covers?
The idea that one must be very experienced in collecting to collect covers is a myth. Many intermediate collectors, after a good grounding in stamp collecting find it a natural thing to add covers to their philatelic pursuits.

Collecting Different Types Of Philatelic Covers
We know what philately is. And we have a grasp of what the term cover means. But what about philatelic covers? Covers can be categorized as one of two general types: postal history, which are items that have actually traveled through the mail system; and philatelic covers, the covers that are produced or made specifically with elements that appeal to a collector. The most well known type of a ph…

My Favorite First Day of Issue Ceremony
All collectors have stamps that are special to them, for reasons that sometimes go beyond philatelic concerns. More than just another stamp in an album to us, they have a more personal connection or are of special interest because they are exemplary of our collection's overall theme. To learn more about such stamps, many of us begin with...

Stamp Collecting with Tech Tools Brings Glitches
Technology, while it makes much easier for both collector and dealer of stamps, there are some downsides.

Celebrate with a USPS Pictorial Postmark
Pictorial postmarks, available since the first that was issued from the Headsville West Virginia post office, then residing inside the National...

Lindbergh and the Airmail
Lindbergh couldn't stop in every city in the U.S., but after his post-transatlantic flight tour, millions had seen him and he had been the main...

Basic Knowledge for the Best Stamp Collecting
Here you will find the information to start a stamp collection on the right foot and continue it knowledgeably, getting the most pleasure possible...

The Error World
Review of The Error World - An Affair with Stamps by Simon Garfield

Being a Stamp Collector
There are stereotypes of stamp collectors, perpetuated by the media. Although there may be an element of truth to them, they are based on exaggeration. Examining what real collector types exist can give one a good picture of the stamp collecting world and what to expect when one becomes a part of it.

How to Buy Gifts for Stamp Collectors
Buying gifts for the stamp collector can be extremely hard for the non-collector. They already have the basics like watermark detector, tongs and the other tools of the hobby. And you don't know what kind of stamps to buy for him. Here are suggestions for gifts that might not seem glamorous, but compared to the basics will be much appreciated by...

Use the Internet to Form a Better Stamp Collection
The Internet is a real boon for stamp collectors, allowing them to add to their knowledge of the hobby, purchase stamps with ease and connect with other collectors.

Some Stories That Shaped Stamp Collecting in 2010
The best news stories for stamp collectors are that a new issue in their collecting area is about to be released. But there are some big stories that represent the trends in the world of philately that can have a broad effect on the hobby and most of its practitioners -- the stamp collectors. So without further ado, the following are a few of...

Stuck with Self-Stick Stamps
Stuck with Self-Stick Stamps

Topical Stamp Collectors Must Use Common Sense
The topical and collector of worldwide stamps must have some set limits or drown in a deluge of each year's new issues In the sesquicentennial year of the Civil War there will be stamp issues to tempt the collector. The CW topicalist will want to add all of them to his collection. But is is a good idea to examine the legitimacy of these issues...

Reagan Birth Centennial Celebrated with Variety of Philatelic Items
The USPS has just released a stamp to celebrate the centenary of president Ronald Reagan's birth. Along with first day cancels and covers available from the USPS there are other Reagan philatelic specialty items available to the collector.

The Compleat Philatelist by Herman Herst
The Compleat Philatelist by Herman Herst

Stamps and Postal History Remember the Best of Black History
George Washington Carver, a much honored black man of great achievement, was one of the first black Americans, after Booker T. Washington to be honored with a postage stamp. In his time, his impact of agriculture, especially in the U.S. south was pronounced. His place in black history is at the forefront and his influence on later generations is...

See Stamp Collecting Clearly Through the Lens of Covers
The collecting of postal and philatelic covers can give one an added perspective on the stamps that he collects. After all, stamps primary function is to carry the mail. A casual inspection of postal history shows stamps at work in their practical purpose; to move the mails. That the results, called covers also can have an intrinsic beauty and...

Your Summer Stamp Collecting Adventure
If you have hours to fill when you're out of school this summer, consider taking up stamp collecting. It's easy to start a collection, while many philatelic activities are open to active stamp collectors, including visits to postal museums, partcipating in first day cover ceremonies, going to stamp shows large and small, joining a club and...

One Dealer's View of First Day Covers
What would one dealer from the classic era of stamp and cover collecting think of the current trend practiced by some of creating artisanal cachets and charging big bucks for them. Although Herman Herst was of the generation of first day cover collectors who enjoyed covers made by Artcraft, Fleetwood, Anderson and many others, the new kids...

Discover Where Stamp Collecting Is Going by Looking at Its Past
Be ready for changes in stamp collecting styles. New types of stamps can mean different ways to collect, as well as the need for different tools to store and enjoy your stamps and covers. Keeping up with current trends in stamp collecting makes sure you enjoy your hobby to the maximum.

Don't Get Burned On Sand Dunes Stamps
The exotic middle east countries including Fujiera, Kuwait, Yemen, Ajman, Afganistan, Oman have issued stamps that many collectors cast a wary eye upon, when they are not ignoring them entirely. While these stamps from the so-called Sand Dunes do have their place in the philatelic world -- mostly in cheap packets and to beef up bulk packages...

Amelia Earhart: First Lady of the Airmail
Amelia Earhart, known as The First Lady of the Air, was also the first lady of the airmail. She carried collector covers on her flights and was a collector and exhibitor in her own right. She has been commemorated on stamps worldwide, and many are still fascinated with her story and her disappearance.

War Between the States Continues to Yield Philatelic Collectibles
Civil War Buffs that are also stamp collectors are looking at a lot of action in the next several years as the United States -- and many other stamp-issuing entities of the world -- will mark the sesquicentennial of the War Between the States with a flood of philatelic items.

And Now for Something Completely Philatelic
Reginald Bray of London, England may have been the world's greatest postal prankster, but he was also a collector of unique philatelic items of his own making, autographs and postmarks. He was one of the few individuals who could say that he mailed himself and was delivered by the British Post Office.

Luff Brought Organization to US Slogan Cancellation Collecting
Slogan cancellation collecting, once a popular area, was helped out by Moe Luff, a cover dealer who cataloged U.S. slogans. His numbering system is still in use today.

Women's Connections to Stamps and Postal History a Rich Topic
Women came a long way in gaining postal recognition for their work and achievements, and now, especially in the U.S., they are as well represented on stamps and covers as men.

The Setting Sun of Airmail; The Bright Future of Space
With the glory days of airmail behind it, collectors are waiting to see if a new era of space exploration, travel and possible colonization will engender an astropost serving those living in space stations and beyond. Well before that, of course, will be flights that will be commemorated with stamps and special covers, privately issued, that...

Lincoln: Still a Favorite in the Hearts of Collectors
From the time when his campaign covers were in the mail, to Civil War patriotics, to the 15 cent memorial stamp after his death, to the many postal tributes the USPS has bestowed on him, Abe Lincoln is the man, as far as stamp collectors are concerned.

The Stamps Some Love to Hate
Certain stamps issued by the USPS have met with resistance, if not disdain, for reasons of religion, politics, design and featuring controversial personalities. It is impossible to please everyone and there is usually a stamp in current use that causes deep feelings of dislike in some.

Top US Stamp Stories 2011
A list of a number of stories important to the world of stamp collecting in 2011.

End of Year Stamp Musings
Some thoughts about the future of philately at the end of the year 2011.

Benjamin Franklin Endures as the Face of Philately
Will the USPS close the historic B Free Franklin post office in Philadelphia as a cost cutting measure?

The Adventure of Stamp Collecting
Where once collectors explored the world through covers carried by adventurers, the adventure now in stamp collecting is finding how to bring back the excitement.

Early Mail on Roads and Rails
The sense of romance of mail once carried by railroad and highway is not lost on stamp collectors.

Stamps and Technology: Strange Bedfellows
Technology has threatened the profitability of the mail system since the telegraph. Now the Internet and other technological advances are causing stamp collectors to wonder if stamps will be around for much longer.

The Exotic Hobby of Stamp Collecting
Visit the exotic locales of the world without even leaving your comfy chair. All you need as a traveling companion is a worldwide stamp collection.

Max Kronstein Lived Nearly a Century of Philatelic Flight
Max Kronstein became an authority on philatelic flight from balloons and zeppelins to the Space Shuttle in a life that spanned nearly a century.

Improving the World with Stamps
Stamps can contribute to the welfare and well-being of many living things.

Air Mail -- an illustrated history 1793 - 1981 by Donald B. Holmes
A book covering the history of air mail and the collection of it, known as aerophiltately.

Stamp Words, Serious and Otherwise
Monsieur Herpin coined the word philately more than 100 years ago so stamp collecting might have a fancy title for itself. There are other words unique to the hobby not so elegant. In fact, they can be downright scary.

The Promise of Philatelic Literature
Philatelic literature is a proud tradition in the world of stamp collecting which also has a bright future.

Stamp Collecting World Benefits from Tech
Modes of communication and information gathering, as well as information dissemination in the 21st century have greatly benefited stamp collectors and dealers.

First Day Covers Come Out From Behind Cloud
Is there new respect for first day cover collecting? Years of second class philatelic citizenship may be coming to an end as FDCs win exhibiting awards and seem to be gaining acceptance with hobby purists.

Stamps Support, Reflect Progress
Stamps follow the progress of art and science and sometimes contribute to the furthering of these areas.

The Appeal of Covers to Stamp Collectors: Part II
Stamp dealers have an impact on the collection of covers, whether postal history or philatelic.

Possible New Example of Kicking Mule Cancel Found
A collector bought a cover on eBay which may -- unbeknownst to the dealer who sold it to him -- hold a new example of the rare Kicking Mule fancy cancel.

A Stamp and Dealer Minkus Saves Family from The Holocaust
WWII veteran and artist Si Lewen credits his uncle, stamp dealer Jacques Minkus with saving him and his family from certain death in The Holocaust.

Getting to Your Next Level of Stamp Collecting
There are some basic steps the stamp collector must take -- as well as basic tools to grasp -- to get to the next level in his collecting life.

One Man Topical Stamp Collection: Balloonist T.S.C. Lowe
The life of U.S. Civil War balloonist T.S.C. Lowe, an individual with great philatelic exposure, makes for an interesting topical stamp collection.

Unusual Philatelic Items from Stamp Shows
Aside from stamps there are a great number of philatelic items, the products not of postal agencies, but stamp shows, that are collection-worthy.

The Relationship of Stamps and Covers
Covers and stamps have to exist together. Although stamps can exist without covers, the reverse isn't true. In the end, they are both collectible.

Philatelic Information and Knowledge: Pass It on
Digitizing philatelic literature will help avoid loss of publications of the past.

When Stamp Collecting Rocketed into the Future
The reader of genre literature can be a natural stamp collectors with little effort.

2012: the Philatelic Year that Was
Events of interest to stamp collectors that occurred in 2012.

Collect British Postmarks from Stanley Gibbons
A review of the stamp catalog Collect British Postmarks, published by Stanley Gibbons, Ltd.

Philately and Photography Work Together for Good
Great photographers of America deserve to be honored on stamps. Although their work has appeared on stamps, they are more than just a sum of their images. Their contribution to culture and society deserves philatelic recognition.

My Stamp Collecting Journey
The progression of my stamp collecting life through the years.

Noting National Stamp Collecting Month
Though National Stamp Collecting Month has become a low-key event, there are ways for the collector and prospective collector to enjoy the time.

Honesty in the Stamp World
Not proceeding with honesty in the stamp collecting world can produce dire results.

My Stamp Collecting Journey: Part II
How one stamp collector progressed in the hobby.

Buried Philatelic Treasures Require a Bit of Digging
Rare stamps have been found in the most unusual places.

Some Stamp Collectors Embrace Disasters
For those who wish to find them, there are plenty of tragedies and disasters in the hobby, found both in albums and in the living, breathing world of philately. But how can these sad events be collectible?

Stamps At Your Leisure
World history has made special times for stamp collecting. As leisure time comes through periodic prosperity, more people turn to stamp collecting.

The Great American Stamp Collector: FDR
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a stamp collector of such passion that he may have thought of himself as a philatelist first and leader of the free world second.

First Day Covers are Serious Philately
The stamp collector should not think of first day covers as kids' stuff in relation to their serious stamp collecting. Respected philatelists find the collection and study of first day covers to be a worthy pursuit.

The Not-So-Simple Appeal of First Day Covers
First day covers, in their scope and variety, prove a rich collecting byway for stamp collectors.

The Not-So-Simple Appeal of First Day Covers Part II
First day covers, with us in different forms for 100 years, are as much a part of the world scene as stamps -- sometimes more so.

Your Real Life Found in Stamps
Stamp collecting, like all hobbies, take you out of your daily life and bring you to a special place. But stamps can also help the collector find his place in the real world.

The Stamp Collector: A Profile
The journey from beginning stamp collector to true philatelist is an exciting one, even as hard lessons are learned along the way.

Art in the Posts: But Is It Philately?
Mail art can help the post office, but it won't save it from its financial troubles.

Suffering from Early Post Office Nostalgia
Media becomes more interested in the U.S. Postal Service as its plight becomes more dire.

The Basics of Your Philatelic Library
Knowledge is power in the philatelic world, and philatelic literature is the way you gain that power.

Commemoration on Stamps an Honor?
The commemoration of people on stamps is not necessarily a welcomed honor for some.

Stamps and Their Critics
As long as stamps continue to be issued there will be those happy to criticize every aspect of them.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.