The Smithsonian National Space and Air Museum remembered the first Channel crossing by air in a webpost titled ‘Crossing the Channel in a Balloon’. Tom Crouch explained that the arrival of pioneering French exhibition balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard (1753–1809) to England in 1784 sparked excitement over ballooning. Boston-born John Jeffries MD, an American loyalist living in England, supported Blanchard’s plan to fly across the English Channel. … Continue reading Channel Crossing by Air
Leading German philatelist Karl Louis, one of the shareholders in the Global Philatelic Network, comprising Heinrich Köhler, Corinphila, H R Harmer and John Bull, reveals a favourite philatelic item. Some years ago, at Stampex 2012 in London, I spotted an amazing mixed-franking cover bearing three different 2d. blue stamps at one of the dealer’s booths. The cover was addressed to the Reverend W W Phelps, … Continue reading My Favourite…
Over many centuries, ships, boats and maritime vessels of all kinds have been used as a means of transport for mail along rivers, and over lakes and seas. In more recent decades, historic ships and boats used for mail transportation have repeatedly been featured on stamps, sheetlets and booklets. An important number originate from British territories, the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey or the … Continue reading Over the Sea – Ship and Maritime Mail
‘The Stamp House’ was a well-known building (a pub actually) in North Bersted, near Bognor. The ‘Rising Sun’ pub’s owner, Richard Sharpe, collected postage stamps, and this was to form the basis of his future fame. As the years progressed, his stamp collection grew, and he began decorating a few picture frames with his spare stamps. Then, in 1882, a customer bet Mr Sharpe he … Continue reading ‘The Stamp House’
If any style of picture postcards epitomised their worldwide appeal and transmission, it was those of ocean liners. Catering for rich travellers, hopeful emigrants and globetrotting business people, they arrived on the scene in a big way, just as the picture postcard was establishing its world media domination (otherwise known as the ‘Golden Age’). Postcards of liners were published in huge quantities during the 20th … Continue reading The World-wide Connection
The frequently cited ‘Spanish flu’ epidemic of 1918 has not been mentioned explicitly on European stamps, but I assume it was one reason (among others) for the numerous charity issues with surcharges for the benefit of the Red Cross and other welfare organisations. The most lethal disease affecting lungs until today is tuberculosis. The Global Tuberculosis Report of the WHO gives a number of 10 … Continue reading Red Cross and Anti-tuberculosis Issues
It’s been a well-known fact for several decades that the number of bricks-and-mortar stamp stores in the United States has been dwindling. At one point during the 1950s, according to Herman ‘Pat’ Herst, in his book, Nassau Street, there were almost 250 stamp stores on that fabled street alone; but the rising cost of rent, easy access to mail order and, later, use of the … Continue reading Just how many stamp stores?
On January 1 1860, the Kingdom of Poland, which belonged to Russia after the Congress of Vienna, was granted its first postage stamp… Continue reading The Polish Kingdom’s first and only issue