Monthly Archives: December 2018

  1. Super Specialization

    Image result for #33 specialized collectionThere are very few areas of philately that can't be specialized to the max. Take the early postage dues of Romania for instance. Most collectors have just a single example of each of these common stamps but they are known with many perf varieties and especially scarce compound perfs (perforated say 14 at side by 12 at top), some of which are very rare. To specialize in this kind of area one has to know that such varieties in fact exist and then have enough of the material to sift through so as to both find enough material to actually have a collection and also to feel satisfied that you have accomplished something as a collector. This is just an example. Such specialization exists, though, on hundreds of micro areas in our hobby. But for the most part i

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  2. Universal Postal Union

    Image result for u.p.uBy 1874 the system of international carriage of letters was a mess. Countries had to negotiate postal treaties with each other and most treaties called for cross payments where part of the postage of a letter was remitted by the sending post office to the receiving post office. This was confusing and difficult to keep tabs of but of further complexity was the cross payments to transit countries (say when a letter from the United States landed in England, was sent to Poland and then across land to Russia). Nearly thirty five years after the Penny Black, with world commerce rising, the system of cross payments just wasn't working. It was slowing down communication and as postage rates dropped it was becoming more expensive to account for the letters than to carr

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