First Stamp Album

The kids today didn’t invent status symbols. Even nerdy stamp collectors have their hierarchies and when I was a young collector in the 1960’s status in collecting was acted out in the kind of stamp album that you had (or that your parents bought for you). We all had Harris albums in my stamp club. Scott albums were out of the question-sort of a high power rifle when we all wanted BB guns. The question was what Harris album did you have. The Chevrolet of albums was the Harris Ambassador with room for 15,000 or so stamps. The upscale but still middle class line was taken by the Statesman Deluxe album (which I am proud to say was my first album) and, for showoffs, there was the Citation album boasting space for over 50,000 stamps. Of course we all had to bring our albums to our club meetings and to Cub Scouts and to each others houses to trade. The Ambassador and Statesman Deluxe kids had light weight, easily managed albums that even a youth could comfortably carry under his arm. The Citation boys had it tough though. Their album was hard to manage even for an adult and I can remember how difficult it was for poor Bobby McKeegan to lug his to our meetings. The weight was too much for him and it often looked as if he would drop it and I pitied him so much that I would have given all my stamps to have been burdened with an album like his.

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