Bill Pearson

Bill Pearson started selling stamps in 1920 and he began collecting in the last years of the nineteenth century. He had been introduced to the hobby by his grandfather who had the perspicuity to buy a mint copy of the 5c 1847 at the post office and save it. So Bill claimed he was descended from the first American stamp collector and maybe he was. He showed me (and anyone else who would look) that mint #1 that his grandfather gave him and which was the cornerstone of his collection.
Bill was as proud of his collecting pedigree as any Son of the American Revolution or Mayflower descendant could possibly be of theirs. I always felt that Bill was disappointed that we have no aristocracy in philately. His ego would not have demanded that he be king. He would have settled for duke or earl. I met Bill when I first entered the stamp business, more years ago now than I’d like to remember. Bill was an old man then and he had a cluttered old shop at ninth and Filbert just a few blocks from my new office. I had known Bill most of my stamp life. He would come around to my grandfather’s store so that my grandfather and he could complain together about the new era of collecting. And, for sport, I suppose, they had me stand in as the representative of my generation. Bill became sort of a mentor to me. He was demanding, critical, and often harsh. But he knew more about stamps and covers and the history and psychology of our hobby than anyone I’ve ever met. He suffered fools poorly and called a spade a spade. I made notes of the many conversations that we had over the years when I would go twice weekly to have lunch with him and chew the fat (which was what he called the roast beef at the little restaurant we used to go to). Over the next few weeks I’ll be telling you some of the things he told me.

Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top