Cover of the day

Discussion in 'Stamp Chat' started by DonSellos, May 17, 2016.

  1. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Recently, I have turned from mounting stamps to writing up some covers. Below is one that I purchased on eBay and is headed for my Stamp Clubs and Societies Collection. The cover is somewhat ratty, but I purchased it because of the ephemeral items that came with it and for the time period it represents.

    The cover is representative of the last decade of radio as an information and entertainment source. It also represents our government's efforts to reach out to other cultures, and in this instance, using stamp collecting as a vehicle of appeal. I suspect the Voice of America is still broadcasting, but I would be surprised if it includes stamp collecting in its programing.

    I also collected the cover for its prominent and bold cachet along with the correct franking for international surface mail and the clearly struck postmark. The accompanying letter and the membership card are icing for the cake. I'm not sure it is visible in the scan, but the pictorial background of the membership card is modeled on an airmail stamp showing the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.

    All in all, a welcome addition to my cover collection.


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    Last edited: May 18, 2016
  2. Gunny

    Gunny Retired Jarhead Moderator

    Great stuff. That cover, and it's contents, made it from the U.S. all the way over to New Zealand. And then, it has found it's way back here to the U.S.

    I had never heard of the VOA Stamp Club. I have indeed listened to the VOA many times. There were many times while stationed on Navy ships, in the middle of the ocean, I would tune in to VOA just to hear to English language radio. This was in the HF radio band so the quality wasn't good, but it was good enough.

    There's a link here that has a paragraph about the VOA Stamp Club. You'll see it on the second page.
  3. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator


    Thanks for the link. It provided an explanation of the "question" mentioned in the letter that came with the cover. I searched the internet for some time looking for a reference to the VOA Stamp Club and found nothing. I noticed that the publication in the link was dated November 1950, so the stamp club had already been operating for nearly two years. I wonder how long it ran?

    Michael Rauch likes this.
  4. James-2489

    James-2489 Well-Known Member

    Hello Don, I found this link that I think is quite interesting.

    Regards, James.
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  5. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator


    Lots of nice cachets in that link you provided. It makes a body want to collect FDCs!

    Where did you find the image of the VOC Stamp Club cover you posted? I note it also is to a New Zealand collector and posted just a week before mine. It is also in much better condition than the one I found. There must be others out there, but this one, and the one I purchased, are the only ones I have seen in nearly 20 years of looking at covers on eBay.

    Thanks for your post.

  6. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Pretty bad to quote one's own post, but on closer examination of the background image of the membership card I note that it is, indeed, the design of the 15c stamp of the 1947 U.S. airmail set issued for the airmail rates to South America, Europe, and the Pacific area. In this instance it is Sc. C35 that is reproduced on the card. I thought I had seen that scene before.

  7. James-2489

    James-2489 Well-Known Member

    Hello Don, that cover is in the link that I posted. Membersip card there too.

    New Additions - Jan. 8, 2003
    Regards, James
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  8. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Thanks, again, James. I missed the cover and card the first time, but your last post made them easy to find.

    I notice that the membership card that I purchased has the FDR quote peeled off the reverse. I noticed another interesting connection with this stamp club. The president's signature on the card is that of Howard Hotchner, who I am reasonably certain was John Hotchner's father. If I remember correctly, Howard was a career employee for the State Department and John currently writes the USA column for LINNS.

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  9. Makanudo

    Makanudo Moderator Moderator

    I just love the design of the cover.
    History links are amazing!
  10. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    Great to know about that stamp club and classic cover. :)
  11. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    While rummaging through some of my unmounted covers I found this National Air Mail Week cover addressed to Betty Crocker, the iconic fictional cook and baker of General Mills company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Betty was created by the company's public relations department to answer cooking, baking, and recipe questions the company received. The cover was neatly opened at top, so it apparently carried a message of some kind.

    I don't remember when or where I bought this cover, but it will eventually end up in my small collection of association covers instead of Air Mail Events.

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  12. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Below are two covers with some similarities, but obvious differences. The one on the left I purchased a few years ago. The one on the right is a recent acquisition and I purchased it as a "companion" piece to the other.

    Airlines, in their early years, and probably down to the 1960s or 1970s, used to provide stationery to their customers that carried company logos and the names of the company. It was a service and a good method of advertising their companies. These two covers are from the now defunct Pan American Airways that used to be the leader in flights between the U.S. and Latin America.

    For me, these covers are collectible for the cachet-like art work in the lower left corners. Being a collector of aircraft on stamps and covers, I also bought them because the art contains recognizable drawings of aircraft used by the company. I found the second acquisition, the cover on the right, also collectible and interesting for the changes in art work of the cachet.

    The first cover, mailed in Chicago in 1936, shows a Sikorsky S-42 airplane being boarded with a smartly dressed steward pointing the way and a caricature of an overloaded bellhop carrying passengers' luggage.

    The second cover, posted nearly six years later in Recife, Brazil, in 1942, has an recognizable image of a Boeing S-307 Stratoliner, which entered airline service ca. 1939. It was the first civil airliner to have a pressurized cabin and an additional crew member, the flight engineer.

    Changing the art work to reflect the updating of aircraft is not unusual, but the other changes in the cachet I found culturally interesting. The smartly dressed figure standing at attention in the second cover looks more professional and more "pilot-like," than steward-like while the bellhop figure has a much lighter load and is, shall we say, less racist in presentation. Finally, the larger number of people boarding is in scale with the capacity of the airplane.

    All-in-all, for me, an interesting contrast between the two covers. I intend to mount them in sequence in my cover album and watch for yet another cover dating from the 1950s or later.

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  13. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    I purchased the cover below because it looked like a first day cover with commercial origins, a type of FDCs I like to collect if not too pricey. After receiving it, I have concluded that it is more likely of private origin using business-related stationery. I am guessing, but I am thinking that the addressee, who was probably a collector, either owned or worked at the George W. Fox Paper Ccompany and sent one or more envelopes to the issuing post office for a first day cancellation. Considering that the addressee used the plural (first day covers Army and Navy series) in his annotation below the return address, he probably send a cover for each stamp issue. I'll have to watch and see if I can find another one or two. If I can find another cover(s) on the same stationery addressed to a different person(s), the covers may, indeed, be "commercial first days." The use of a block of four stamps, however, leads me to believe that my initial opinion of a collector-originated cover is correct.

    I should have been more discriminating with the purchase, but I'll put it in my commercial first-day cover collection with my reservations about its origin in the write-up.


    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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  14. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Time for a Christmas cover or two. I don't think I have posted these before, but if so, I ask forgiveness. This one from the 1930s showing the familiar motif of Santa, sleigh, and reindeer, although the reindeer were much fewer in number than usually shown. Some advanced glue degradation around the address window of this cover, but I do like the artwork of the cachet.


  15. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    An eBay seller sent a recent purchase to me in this cover. Looks like he has a sense of humor! I have a category of covers that I call "novelty covers." That would be a good place for this one.


    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
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  16. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A long post about an interesting, to me, philatelic association cover.

    The cover, with its contents, shown below is from John Latta who I call Oklahoma's philatelic "Bad Boy." He was a collector and a recognized philatelist best known for his "The Capped Relief of the Two Cents 1890" that was published in the Stamp Specialist of 1941, and an extended series on the U.S. 10 cent banknote that was serialized in Philatelic Weekly Gossip.:yawn:

    Besides being a stamp collector, John Latta was also a dedicated atheist who was annoyed constantly by the prevalence of religion in our society. The celebration of Christmas, for example, bothered him and he once wrote a letter to the editor of the daily Oklahoman debunking Christmas day (Dec. 25th) as Jesus' birthday and went so far as to state his doubts that Jesus ever existed. His letter brought a fire storm of rebuttals from the newspaper’s Christian readers.

    In 1954, when the U.S. Post Office Department replaced the Presidental series with the Liberty series it motivated Latta to extend his anti religion campaign to philately. The catalyst was the 3c purple Statue of Liberty stamp of the Liberty Series, Sc. 1035. The stamp included in its design "In God We Trust," and those were fighting words to Latta. He started using the stamp to mail his bills, letters of protest, and requests for first-day cancels in envelopes bearing anti-religious labels and hand stamps proclaiming the 3c stamp “subversive” and “in open contempt of the law.” Inside the envelopes he often included one of the card stuffers shown below.

    The Post Office Department responded by returning most of his mailings with an “unmailable –return to sender” hand stamp. Many were never returned nor delivered. To make a long post shorter, Latta’s case was taken up by the National Liberal League which attempted to seek a ruling by the courts to allow Latta’s covers as a form of protest. The League lost. The first U.S. Christmas stamp of 1962 inspired the last of Latta’s protest covers. After the Post Office Department refused to service his first-day Christmas stamp covers Latta retired from his fight. He reportedly moved from Oklahoma City to Arizona, and from there he left the United States to live in Mexico and he dropped out of the philatelic picture.

    This cover post marked August 1955 and addressed to the Editor of Oklahoma City sister newspapers probably carried a letter protesting the Post Office’s actions along with the enclosed card. If there was such a letter, it was not published that I could find by using the archived copies of the paper. The card blames Republicans then in office as the ones responsible for the offending stamp. I speculate he used three 1c Prexies to frank this cover to add emphasis to the quote on the label. For those who might want to read a more detailed account of Latta’s postal activities with illustrations of his cachets and labels, Herman Herst Jr., wrote two articles about his activities, one for Linns Stamp News, February 29, 1988 and the other for The American Philatelist, September 1990.


    Left to right, my recently acquired Latta cover, the message side of card enclosed in the cover, and the reverse of the card bearing a used copy of the stamp and Latta' handstamped comment.

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2019
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  17. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A sub-cover collection I maintain and add to occasionally is what I title "Novelty Covers," for want of a better term. Some might call them humorous, but then not everyone finds them funny.:woot: This one from 1935 is actually a stamp dealer cover, but I think it fits the novelty cover designation better.


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  18. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    Continuing the "novelty" cover collection is this one drawn by Walter Lupton aka as East Coast Lefty. Lupton was career Navy and drew some cachets that reflect Navy enlisted ranks life and culture.


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  19. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    A second East Coast Lefty cachet, this one shared by fellow Navy cachet artist, Shorty Burkholder.


  20. DonSellos

    DonSellos Moderator Moderator

    One of my daughters is a regular garage sale attendee and just before Christmas last year she came across some philatelic stuff and bought it for me. As might be expected, nothing valuable in the lot, just loose commemorative stamps torn off envelopes, a bunch of post cards from the teens and 20s, and a couple of covers from missionaries in Sarawak.

    The post cards did include some nice handstamp cancels from some very small Kansas towns which I intend to put in my cover album soon. The cover below from Sibu, Sarawak, is also a keeper for me. While it is a personal letter to friends in Kansas, it included a newsletter of the mission's activities and will fit into my small, but growing collection of religious-related covers. My only wish is that the postmark might have been better struck, but that's the way it is with non-philatelic covers. I will post a few of the post cards in the future.


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