Apfelbaum’s Corner – Volume 117

The worth of stamp collecting to society is primarily in the incentive it creates to learning. It has the flavor of school, lectures, reading, writing, art and economics without being any of these things. The ten-year-old with his five dollar album cannot escape the above any more than the middle-aged, well-to-do collector who uses stamps to fill his surplus time and take some of his excess wealth into a more interesting direction than the stock market.

Every stamp in a collection offers a path to increased knowledge. There is no better clean, wholesome and accepted avocation. Why is it then that we hear talk that stamp collecting isn’t recruiting followers as in the past? Can it be that the dollar sign in all the sensational press releases and articles in the lay press discourages new prospects? Of course, we delight in the knowledge that some “Daddy Warbucks” paid many thousands of dollars for some rarity. But to 99%-plus of collectors it means nothing more than the ability to say that they also collect stamps. Frankly the thousand-dollar items are wonderful to deal in or own but common sense indicates that the handful of potential buyers for them could never affect the hobby except in its rarified upper strata where few of us belong financially. It is a fact that stamp collecting can be fully enjoyed for just about as little cost as any other known hobby. When will some journal of wide distribution get the message and print an authentic article based on the real worth and value of stamp collecting to over 99% of its followers?