Lanarkshire Philatelic Society


Visit by members of the

"American Stamp Club of Great Britain"


Three members of the American Stamp Club of Great Britain gave us their displays at our latest meeting.

Leading off was Sheila Sinclair who gave us a (principally) pictorial tour of Washington, DC. She started with a brief outline of how the capital city and the area came about and showed a series of postcards featuring the Capitol; Supreme Court (on whose steps the incoming Presidents are inaugurated) as well as a commemorative cover for the (now infamous) Richard Nixon; the White House & National Archive. Other museums to feature included the Library of Congress; Smithsonian Institute; National Gallery of Art and the National Museum of American History which features such diverse items as a Ford Model “T” and Judy Garland’s shoes from the “Wizard of Oz”. Washington Cathedral and the various national memorials featured. These included the Lincoln memorial (with 36 columns representing the, then, 36 states of the union); the Emancipation Statue; the Washington Memorial (with its two distinct colours of marble); the Jefferson Memorial and those for the Korean and Vietnam Wars along as well as the Holocaust. Sheila concluded with material related to Arlington National Cemetery.

Following Sheila was Alex Magowan with “Minisheets of the USA from 1937”. Alex’s display centred on the many, and various, themes used by the US postal administration for these sheets. Philately featured with sheets for the centenary of American Stamps; “FIPEX” & “SIPEX” (the 5th & 6th International Philatelic Exhibitions of 1956 and 1966) and well as some labels from “Washington 2006, which he had actually visited. American history featured with sheets for Columbus, the Civil War, Legends of the Wild West and the American Declaration of Independence. Other topics covered in his display included the Olympic Games, 1996; “Comic Classics”; American Aircraft through the Century; Insect & Spiders; the Pacific Coast Rainforest; the Muppets; Wonders of America, the Stars & Stripes and Space.

The second round was a display by Dr. Murray Touche, the American Stamp Club President who displayed “Duck Stamps”. These are regarded as “Charity labels” and were started in the 1930’s (during the “dust bowl”) by Ding Darling (Director of Biological Survey of the US Dept. of the Interior) as a means of raising funds for the purchase of land to enable protection of wild life. They are professionally designed, the design being chosen by contest, with the winning artist retaining rights to his artwork for personal gain with one designer, Robert Steiner, having had over 50 designs chosen. From 1972 individual states have issued their own stamps. Since 2001 the printing has been commercially done resulting in many mistakes, errors, and a general lowering of print standards. Examples of these mistakes include stamps being printed “back to front” & the text being incorrectly spelled. Other anomalies include differing sizes which can be up to dollar bill size, with one state (Kansas) using the same design each year but the “stamps” printed in different colours. One state, Wyoming, has even produced “Duck stamps” without ducks in the design.


A most interesting evening’s displays were accorded a warm vote of thanks by Bill Jardine.