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Coffee, Tea or Philately?

Friday, September 16, 2005 Posted: 13:45 PM EDT (17:45 GMT)
John Cropper, VSC Staff Reporter

OAK CREEK, WISCONSIN -- On Friday morning, more than two hundred coffee-lovers were treated to a very special ceremony by the United States Postal Service, celebrating the release of the new 3 Silver Coffeepot stamp. The ceremony was held in conjunction with MILCOPEX 2005, the Milwaukee Philatelic Society's annual stamp and coin show, which continues through Sunday afternoon in the Four Point Sheraton's Baton Rouge ballroom.

The Grand Ballroom at the Four Points Sheraton Airport is
decked out for the 3 Silver Coffeepot stamp ceremony.
The Grand Ballroom of the Four Points Sheraton Airport served as 'Java Central' (left), where invited guests were served premium blends while they listened to background music supplied by Two Guys and a Bassist.

Kimberly J. Peters, Milwaukee Postmaster, served as the Master of Ceremonies. After a presentation of colors by the Marquette Naval ROTC Color Guard (below), Linda A. Brantley of the USPS sang the National Anthem. She was immediately followed by Lutheran Pastor and fifty-plus-year philatelist Reverend Robert T. Voss, who provided the invocation.


After remarks by MILCOPEX show chairman Robert J. Mather, local vocalist Sheri Williams Pannell provided a very lively performance of "Black Coffee".

Stamp artist Tania Lee (below, left) and art consultant Joan Houlehen also provided insight into the creation of the artwork. Local dealer A. Houberbocken, Inc., also supplied silver coffeepots that were in a lighted display case at the ballroom's entrance.

After a stirring speech by USPS Stamp Services Executive Director, David E. Failor, the stamp was unveiled (below, right).

Marquette Naval ROTC Color Guard           Cropper CCMHG/VSC

                      Cropper CCMHG/VSC
(left) Silver Coffeepot stamp designer Tania Lee.

(right, left to right) David F. Martin, Lakeland Performance Cluster District Manager, USPS; Tania Lee, Silver Coffeepot stamp artist; Robert J. Mather, MILCOPEX show chairman; David E. Failor, Executive Director of Stamp Services, USPS;  Kimberly J. Peters, Milwaukee Postmaster; Joan Houlehen, Art Consultant and partner, A. Houberbocken, Inc.

                                                                           Cropper CCMHG/VSC
Attendees snacked on a variety of elegant offerings, although dieters had a problem limiting themselves to just one!

After the unveiling, guests enjoyed coffee-related songs sung by local vocalists Sheri Williams Pannell and the "Java Jivers", a vocal group assembled especially for the ceremony.

The Silver Coffeepot is the sixth subject and the third coil released in the American Design series. The series began in May, 2002 with the 5 American Toleware coil. It replaces the Conestoga Wagon coil issued in 1988.

A dieter's quandary                                        Cropper CCMHG/VSC
Additional information about this and other U.S. stamps can be found on the USPS web site, located at For more information, or to find a local stamp club near you, visit the American Philatelic Society's web site at Free stamp collecting information is available from The Virtual Stamp Club online at

Meet the Stamp's Artist

Virtual Stamp Club Home Page