In the late 1970s a fascinating series of articles written by Mr. K. Kouwenberg about the history of Stamp Collecting, appeared in the Dutch magazine Philatelie. This series has been the source of inspiration for PostBeeld owner Rob Smit to rewrite the history of stamp collecting in instalments. This is Part 14.
Before going to Belgium, we stay in England with a name we have previously encountered in this series – Dr. C.W. Viner.
Charles William Viner was born in 1812. So he was already 50 years old in 1862 and already one of the older stamp collectors – possibly the reason for his nickname “the Father of Philately”. He played an important role in the early days of philately.
He had seen a stamp collection in 1854, as he later attested, but only started collecting in 1860.
A stamp album was already available in England in 1862. This album was published by Eric Oppen. Oppen’s Postage Album became very popular and eventually ran to 33 editions. The popularity of the album was further enhanced by Dr. Viner who, from the seventh edition (1865) until 1891, provided the composition of the album.
Furthermore, he had helped Mount Brown in the compilation of his catalogue (see Vol. 10).
In 1863 he became editor of the ‘Stamp Collector’s Magazine’ and later the ‘Philatelist’ until 1876. He was responsible for contributing a large part of the information contained in these magazines.
He translated the works of J. B. Moens and gave it the title ‘Postage Stamps Illustrated – A General Nomenclature of Every Postage Stamp and Facsimile of All Types issued up to the present time in the Different Countries of the World 1840-1864.
In 1869 he co-founded the London Philatelic Society (later to become the still existing Royal Philatelic Society) and attended the LPS’s inaugural meeting on April 10, 1869. He died in 1906 at the grand old age of 94.
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