Monthly Archives: September 2014

  1. The Day the Internet Won the Publishing War

    The Day the Internet Won the Publishing War

    If there is ever a date that goes into history books to mark the demise of printed books in the battle with electronic information on the Internet, it may well be March 14, 2012-the day that The Encyclopedia Britannica announced that it was ceasing publication of its 20 volume annual edition. For nearly 300 years this encyclopedia has been the first read for many people who begin to research a subject. The encyclopedia was put to rest by the Internet and Wikipedia, which has incorporated most of the eleventh edition (first published 1911)  in its entries. Stamp collectors have always found Britannica useful and I keep an old hundred year old set above my desk from the days when I used
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  2. War and Philately

    War and Philately

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  3. Early Apfelbaum

    Early Apfelbaum


    Maurice Apfelbaum, Earl

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  4. Pleased Customers

    Pleased Customers

    Apfelbaum acquires nearly all of our stamps from collectors. Collectors call us when they think they want to dispose of their stamps, and heirs contact us when they have inherited stamps. We have bought tens of thousands of collections from collectors and have a happy record of satisfying sellers. The following are six letters that we received last month:

    I just wanted to say what a pleasure it was dealing with you regarding the stamps from my father's estate. From my initial contact with you personally as well as discussing a price with Mr. Apfelbaum, you all exhibited the utmost tact, courtesy, and understanding which made what could have been a stressful experience a pleasure. Your stopping by the house to review the collection and to pick it up for evaluation was a much appreciated additional service.
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  5. The Airmails of France

    The Airmails of France

    Aerophilately has been a popular philatelic specialty for nearly a hundred years now. No country has as many interesting Airmails as does France, and indeed the Airmails of France cover many of the more esoteric aspects of our hobby. The first two Airmails are overprints and show that aspect of stamp issuance; an earlier issue receives an additional print that changes its purpose and often the postage that it was originally sold for. The second issue of the Airmails of France are the famed Ile de France Airmails. These Airmails are provisionals issued for just one flight and not available through the general philatelic agency. Like
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  6. Irish Philately

    Irish Philately

    The best model in the twentieth century for an evolved peace has been Ireland and Great Britain. After centuries of British occupation, the Irish finally obtained independence in 1922 through armed struggle and political effort. Early relations between the Irish Republic and the balance of Great Britain were difficult
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  7. Is it Original Gum?

    Is it Original Gum?

    When Rowland Hill invented the postage stamp, an integral part of his design was a "wash of mucilage applied to the back, which, when moistened would allow the stamp to adhere to paper". In the very early years of stamp collecting, collectors primarily collected used stamps. After all, the reasoning went, why spend good money when stamps in the late 1860's was the height of folly? After all, what could they ever be worth?

    Led by the Belgian stamp dealer Moens, collectors began collecting unused stamps in the 1870's and 1880's. True, they dind't display the purpose for which stamps were invented (that is, postal use) but the collectors didn't have disfiguring cancellations to worry about. So, they pasted the unused stamps in their albums, or if they received stamps with gum, they just licked them down. This is shocking to modern day collectors, but we must all be aware that gum was a meaningless annoyance until the turn of the century. And the hinge, which now seems

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  8. Unconventional Thematic Collecting

    Unconventional Thematic Collecting

    Thematic stamp collecting along conceptual lines  has never really caught hold. There was a great gold medal collection making the rounds of the APS Champion of Champion shows several years ago entitled "Murder" where the collector sought to portray how murder was shown on stamps from individual murderers to genocide (such as the Holocaust). But few other thematic collections have tried the "concept" route and today we are mostly stuck with thematics such as Birds on Stamps or Disney which really only use stamps as pictures in a scrapbook to illustrate the collection's thematic point. Famine, however, would be a great "concept" thematic. The collection could trace the history of food with various stamps illustrating different grains and the impact that the discovery of the America's made on food production worldwide and the help that potatoes and corn had in feeding the world. Revenues for taxes on foodstuffs could be included.  The collection could

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  9. Underground Delivery

    Underground Delivery

    Civilization requires communication. As societies have developed, communication has developed with it, both for personal use and for commerce. Throughout the early stamp issuing period many different ways have been tried to speed mail delivery (and remember before electronic communication, the only way to communicate at a distance was by the post). Postal agencies tried airmail. They tried balloons and railroads and trolley cars and even the Pony Express. Speed of communication was always at a premium especially in business where the value of timely information could be immense.
            In the late nineteenth century
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  10. Bileski


    Kasimir Bileski, or as he was known professionally K. Bileski, was already a philatelic mainstay when I came into the stamp business in the 1960's. Born of Ukrainian immigrant parents in 1908, Bileski's philatelic career is in many ways instructive of how philately changed during the Twentieth Century. His biography is fascinating. He was truly a self made man.
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  11. A Financially Successful Philatelist

    A Financially Successful Philatelist

    Albert Gross lived in a small house in a neighborhood outside of Milwaukee. He had come to the United States from Germany in the early 1930's as his very left wing views (he had been a Communist) left him prey to Hitler's hatred. He worked at Schlitz which, for those of you who are too young to remember, was the biggest beer producer in the US in the 1970's. It was in 1978 that Albert called me to come see his stamps.

    Albert was not a wealthy man, but he had always worked, and he had a house, and he had no family and had spent all of his money over the years on German and Austrian stamps. The house was loaded floor to ceiling with albums and boxes and unopened envelopes of stamps, and after an evaluation, Albert and I decided that selling his collection at Public Auction would be the best way to dispose of his lifelong hobby. I packed and packed,
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  12. Test Blog Post

    Test Blog Post


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  13. Our Founder

    Our Founder

    My grandfather, Earl P. L. Apfelbaum, was born in 1905 and died in 1985. He was born in Philadelphia, and though he traveled extensively, at the time of his death his home was only a few miles from where he was born. He collected stamps from his earliest childhood, and this was an interest he shared with his father, Maurice. Earl started his stamp business in 1930, at the beginning of the Great Depression, by opening his little shop in downtown Philadelphia.

    Earl's interest in philately was different from what most people do today. He was a complete generalist, as happy sorting through a batch of mixed Nicaragua
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