History of Stamp Collecting Part 32 – Collectors’ Associations

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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 32 – Collectors’ Associations.

As mentioned in the Part 31, it was not easy to set up an association of stamp collectors. Yet the need remained for an outlet for philatelists to come together to exchange their views and experiences and, naturally, to exchange stamps.

In 1868, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in New York, a successful attempt was made to set up such an organisation. The “New York Philatelic Society” was founded there in March 1868. From the outset the association published the monthly magazine “The American Journal of Philately”.

In 1869 the “Süddeutscher Philatelisten Verein” (South German Philatelists’ Society) was founded in Heidelberg, also with its own magazine called “Bazar für Briefmarken-Sammler” (Market for the Stamp Collector).

In England, the “Philatelic Society” was established in London on 10 April 1869. This association still exists, now with the addition of “The Royal” and is considered to be one of the most active and prominent associations in the world of philately. Reports from this association are often interesting to read; At the Philatelic Society meeting on November 13, 1869, Edward Pemberton (see also History of Stamp Collecting Part 13) had sent a letter from Paris to Birmingham, stamped with a pair of 80c, 1863, tête laurée, unperforated – the so-called Rotschildt issue. Frederick Philbrick showed a letter from Oscar Berger-Levrault with a 10ct St. Louis Bear stamp postmarked December 18, 1845, while the secretary (W. Dudley Atlee) showed a letter sent from New York to London with a 3 cents United States City Despatch Post stamp.

Such rare pieces, the value of which is now considerable, were simply brought along at the time to show to other Society members.

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