I’ve long been fascinated by the incredible feats of the brave and extremely tough men who set off from Europe and Scandinavia in search of fabled lands. It’s possible that those featured in this article were preceded by unknown explorers but here we mention those whose exploits are confirmed in history.
The man commemorated on the 1968 USA stamp above is Leif Erikson, the first known European to have discovered continental North America before Christopher Columbus. There are many other statues of Erikson in various cities in America and many countries have featured the exploits of the 10th Century Icelander on postage stamps such as those below.
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Naturally, the ease with which one can communicate with people worldwide via email and other modern instant messaging systems has its advantages, but these methods have caused a great decline in the act of physically writing a letter and sending the item to another person via a postal delivery service. The big question is if, and when, will the postage stamp as we know it cease to exist? And what, if any, effect will this have on the value of stamp collections in the future?
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What is now known as The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), the organisation was founded in its original form as the National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck. This was in the year 1824 and was instigated by the actions of Sir William Hillary. He lived on the Isle of Man and had witnessed a massive loss of life to the sea from the shores of the Island.
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Childhood memories came flooding back when I saw the stamp sheet below featuring classical toys. This mint item was issued by Great Britain in 2003.
And further memories for me as my father-in-law worked on the installation of the radar system for one of the Ocean Liners shown on the sheet below, the SS Canberra. In the past some of these ships competed to be the fastest to complete the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
How about this attractively illustrated sheet from Great Britain, 2001, depicting weather conditions and a barometer.
The above stamps from Portugal, 1997, are the second in a three-part series celebrating the 500th anniversary of voyages made by the explorer Vasco da Gama.
The stamp top left depicts the erection of a large stone cross inscribed with the coat of arms of Portugal placed as part of a land claim on the East African country of Mozambique. Stamp top right shows the arrival of a ship of da Gama’s fleet at Mozambique.
Bottom left stamp shows the impending arrival of the fleet in Mombasa, Kenya and the last stamp features the reception on board ship of the King of Malindi. The town of Malindi lies 120 kilometres north-east of Mombasa.
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PostBeeld owner Rob Smit is constantly busy seeking out opportunities to add stamps to the enormously varied stock held at the four PostBeeld stores dotted around Holland. Always on the lookout to buy-in interesting collections at auction houses or directly from people wishing to sell, he fervently strives to provide what his customers might be looking for.
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Stamps have proven to be a wonderful outlet to celebrate the spectacular nature existing in the World. Here we have a selection of stamps that not only feature people and discoveries, but also things that were the largest, fastest or most valuable at their time of issue.
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One of the biggest frustrations for many stamp collectors is the enormous amount of new issues. The question can then become: “How much of my ready cash do I spend on new stamps and how much should I spend on old items that will give me a more varied collection?” However, there are still countries in the year 2016 with very modest issuance programmes.
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New stamps appear regularly with a variety of subjects. Below is a selection of recently-published stamps from around the globe.
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On August 17, 1977, at 4am Moscow time, the atomic icebreaker Arktika, having overcome the ice of the Central Polar Basin, became the first surface craft to reach the North Pole. The icebreaker covered 2,528 miles in 7 days.
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