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An example of a recent photograph-based first day cover, for the Snowy Egret booklet stamp (Sc. 3830), is shown here. It was produced by American Philatelic Society vice president Ada Prill, whose husband David is a "birder," or birdwatcher, and, unlike some cachets for this issue, features the correct genus of egret.

"We both use 35mm cameras - mine with a zoom lens, his attached to a telescope," Prill said. The cover shown is a photograph taken by David in Louisiana, while the Prills were in the South just before AmeriStamp Expo 2003 in Biloxi, Miss.
The program from a "dedication" ceremony in Chicago for the Paul Robeson stamp Twelve years in the making, this #10 envelope by the American First Day Cover Society features all 12 stamps designed by Clarence Lee for the U.S. Lunar New Year Series.

Given the short notice during a holiday period and the requirement that the imprinted Priority Mail envelopes be ordered and shipped from Kansas City, any actual uses on Dec. 29, 2003, are highly unlikely.

Stamp writer Ken Lawrence ordered a package of the envelopes as soon as they were announced on Dec. 29 and received them Jan. 2. He mailed one to himself that same day, using different addresses. Lawrence's envelope, shown here, appears to be the EKU (earliest known use) for this postal stationery item.

While the red registry cancellation is hard to read, the bar code label paying for delivery confirmation also confirms the date.

Collectors could also order these imprinted envelopes from Kansas City with the "First Day of Issue" cancel.

A bookmark promoting children's reading found at the local public library fit exactly on a 5"x7" card, with plenty of room for the stamp and cancel.

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Lloyd A. de Vries
©2002 de Vries Philatelic Media

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