Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 37

A nickel trolley ride would have gotten you to the old Philadelphia Stamp Club back in 1920. The Club, as everyone called it, met every Tuesday and Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Its meeting room had several long tables, about fifty chairs, the omnipresent cuspidors and an inordinately thick layer of cigar smoke when the crowd gathered.

The Club was centrally located and since suburban living hadn’t yet robbed the city of many of its upper class its membership included a good number of the society and millionaire strata. There were easily a dozen successful stamp shops inPhiladelphiaat that time and each of these merchants felt it his responsibility to belong to and sustain the Club. The Club had no competition because there was no need for it.

Meetings of the old Philadelphia Stamp Club usually attracted from fifty to one hundred people. They assembled to talk, trade and trump one another’s stories of finds. Almost everyone collected the world and needed stamps from every country. Almost everyone would swap Zanzibar for Canada as readily as they would cut a pair of imperforates to make the single they needed in their albums.

The Club has long since disappeared from the Philadelphia scene and with it have gone many wonderful memories of great people, great philatelists and great times.