US Philatelic Exceptionalism

 Philatelically, the postage stamps of the United States are probably the most interesting and complex to collect of any area. US Philately has the largest body (and most interesting and valuable) of Postmaster Provisionals, stamps issued before national postage stamps by local postal authorities (no doubt we lead in this area because our Federal system has always facilitated local identification). Only Switzerland has issued more than a few Postmaster Provisionals and ours are far more difficult to find. US general issues are among the most complex. Our Reissues and Special Printings are virtually unheard of in any other area. We have scores of varieties of grills, a process which only Peru shares with us. Our Officials and Newspaper stamps are the world’s most interesting and complex. US Revenues are a world of their own and dwarf the revenues of most other nations. Our Carriers and Locals are a vast field all of their own and again the head of the class of in terms of interest. We have plate block collecting, which no other nation has. We began First Day Covers. And Confederate States and Civil War philately is vastly complex and interesting. About the only area that the large European nations have over us is Colonies collecting. We don’t have many and they are, with the exception of the Canal Zone, not too involved. But overall, America has led the way in postal issues and collecting creativity.

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