The question of what is the most interesting area of philately to specialize in was a hot topic among philatelic writers before 1950. Collectors then had, for the most part, a broader based knowledge of their hobby than do collectors today. This was for two main reasons. First, there were far fewer stamps that had been issued (probably only a quarter as many), and so many collectors had the time and inclination to delve into philatelic areas outside their main sphere of interest. And second, serious collectors 65 years ago spent far more time on their hobby than do serious collectors today, largely because today there are so many other distractions. Travel in 1950 was time consuming and difficult, and trips like Chinese and African safaris only existed for the very rich and very adventurous (and for China, the somewhat insane, as China was in the midst of a fierce civil war). There were only

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