21st Century Letter Writing

A repost from one year + ago. Stamps, and letters, yeah!

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Have Cancels Been Canceled?

I admit, I’ve noticed for years that many postal items appear to be uncancelled.  That is to say, the stamps appear to be non-cancelled.  I chalked it up to some nifty “invisible” cancel, that the postal scanners would recognize, and kick any mailpiece that utilized a stamp already used.  Too futuristic?

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Well, that may not be the case.  In my short time digging online, this discussion points more toward the stamps simply overlooked by the machinery.  Now, if my miserly ways compelled me to break the law and reuse said postage (an act I would never consider), I assume the result would be another delivered missive.

Are the machines at fault?  Is the postal volume too high for proper checks?  COMMENTS WELCOME!

Oh well, in the meantime, I’ll soak these suckers and place them in the sort bin.  Thanks to the Erie Stamp Club for these fine mini-blocks.  ~TH~

Let’s Have Fun With Words

I’m currently reading a book checked out from the library, Word By Word by Kory Stamper.  So far it’s delightful.  It reminded me to pull two books down from the shelves here at home; The Joy Of Lex and More Joy Of Lex.

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For you youngsters out there, the two books on the right were titled as a play on words of two popular books of that era, The Joy of Sex.  Both of the books on lexicography were published in the early 80s.  When my girlfriend (now my wife) and I were out at a bookstore, I found the first book.  We both enjoyed it very much.  It’s filled with etymology descriptions, but it also strains your brain a bit by tossing appropriate puzzles at you.

I knew that the blue cover follow up existed, but I had a devil of a time finding it; pre internet don’t you know.  But perseverance prevailed.

If you enjoy wordplay, or simply like to bandy new vocabulary words about your tongue, I recommend these titles.  You can get your paws on them easily nowadays.

HemisFair Stamp, 1968

Issue Date:  March 30, 1968

City:  San Antonio, TX

Quantity:  144,345,000

I received this used stamp in a packet recently.  I like the design, and I decided to dig into the background of the stamp and the event a little more closely.

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As to the event itself, I found this concise description on the the Mystic Stamp Company website:

Printed By:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Printing Method:  Lithographed, engraved

Perforations:  11

Color:  Blue, rose red and white

Publicizes the opening of the HemisFair ’68 regional exhibition at San Antonio, Texas. This exhibition was held in honor of San Antonio’s 250th anniversary.

HemisFair ‘68 was the first official international exposition held in the Southwestern U.S.  It was held in San Antonio from April 6 to October 6, 1968.  With an overall theme of “Confluence of Civilization in the Americas,” San Antonio’s mixed cultural heritage was celebrated.  It also highlighted San Antonio’s potential as a center for international commerce and cultural exchange between the U.S. and Latin America.

HemisFair ‘68 attracted more than 6.3 million visitors.  More than 30 nations participated, many with special exhibit pavilions.  The fair was held on a 92.6-acre site.  Several permanent structures were built for the fair, including the theme structure, a 622-foot Tower of the Americas.

Printed by lithograph and engraving; hmmm, interesting.  One of the features on the stamp I noticed was that the white spiral lines are raised.  I therefore assume that they were the last part of the printing process.  Sure enough, there are some misregistrations that exist for this stamp.  Linn’s Stamp News points these differences out.  If you click the link to the Linn’s article, you will notice that my stamp (shown below in detail) most resembles the improper registration of the spiral lines shown on the far left (of three examples).

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In my internet travels, I also discovered an active website dedicated to the actual HemisFair ’68.  Click the link to find out even more, some interesting information there. Enjoy.

~TH~

Sort, Sift, Learn Stuff

Spent a couple of hours sorting through the rag-tag shoebox of stamps I mentioned earlier.  All used, some already soaked off the paper.  Found a few things of interest.

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I ended up with three Scott #832 $1 Woodrow Wilson stamps.  I plan to get some watermark fluid and see if any of the three happen to have the USIR watermark.  I’m not holding my breath.

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I vote this stamp design the most tawdry in my collection.  My heavens!  That woman is disrobed… and what are those two cherubs up to?  But sincerely, I’m interested in finding out more about the design.

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Also found a Hopalong Cassidy collector card in the box.  Now you know how to bulldog a steer, something every middle class school boy needs to know.  Yee-haw.  ~TH~