John Lennon, U.S. Stamp?

It “could be a reality,” USPS director of Stamp Services Susan McGowan told Rolling Stone for a March 14 article on the Jimi Hendrix stamp. And McGowan says Lennon’s nationality shouldn’t be an issue.

“We do try to focus on people who are American or things that are American, but we also focus on subjects and themes that truly changed American culture,” she says. “The Beatles and John Lennon had a huge impact on our country and culture.”

2015 U.S. Music Icons: Not Rock

In an interview for a March 14, 2014, article in Rolling Stone about the Jimi Hendrix stamp, USPS director of stamp services Susan McGowan says the 2015 Music Icons stamps will not honor rock ‘n roll musicians.

“I definitely see that we need to pay a little honor to some other genres that haven’t been covered,” she says. “For example, jazz is something that will be in the foreseeable future, or Motown and types of music that we need to recognize.”

Hotchner: The Last 60 Years

A Review of the Last 60 Years
by John M. Hotchner

“The more things change, the more they remain the same,” according to the old wise man. But as I think back over my 60+ years in the hobby, where we have come from and the changes I have seen, I don’t think this old saw is true of philately. I’d like to do a little free association here, and list ten changes I am pleased with and ten I am not so happy about. In other words, things that help the hobby, and things that in my view are not positives. First the positive changes, in no special order:

scottcat1. Improvements in the Scott Catalogue (addition of color, new features in the Specialized, release of the 1840-1940 Classic Specialized, increasing the scope of listings in all catalogs, efforts to have prices mirror the market). Catalogs are the bedrock of the hobby. The more complete, accurate and attractive they are, the easier it is to collect.

2. The increase in the range of subjects on U.S. stamps since the Presidentials of my youth. Of course this can be and sometimes is a mixed blessing, but in general, the more the nation’s stamps relate to the lives and passions of the people who collect them or might collect them, the better. Development of regular multicolor printing has made the stamps more attractive as well.

3. Continuing and growing interest in the usages of stamps on cover. Not only does this speak to why the stamps were issued, but it also expands the hobby in a way that is limitless as one stamp can be used in many ways, to many destinations, with many different interesting cancellations, and more.

4. Philatelic exhibiting has gone from showing mainly expensive stamps in a stamp- or set-focused presentation, to an undreamed of inclusiveness that encompasses postal history, topical/thematic collecting, illustrated mail (think of FDCs and other cachets), the development of aeronautics and astronautics as shown by covers, Cinderella material, post cards, and even exhibits that include non-philatelic memorabilia that supplements it.

5. In parallel with #4, constantly increasing quality, consistency and accountability in philatelic judging, that puts more emphasis on the story being told and illustrated by the stamps and covers, and less on the raw dollar signs associated with the material in the exhibit. Together, numbers 4 and 5 bring exhibiting within the range and ability of many more stamp and cover collectors, and computers have made it far easier to do exhibits, too.

6. The rise of the Internet while a bit of a mixed blessing makes philatelic information and access to the hobby’s formal infrastructure far more available to both collectors and potential collectors.

7. The rise in the number of philatelic specialty organizations has promoted inquiry into, and collecting of, smaller slices of the philatelic pie that used to be mostly ignored. The result has been publishing and wider dissemination of information about previously unknown and uncared for material, making the hobby much more attractive to a wider range of collectors.

npmexterior8. The establishment of the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., which has brought a focus to the importance of stamps and the U.S. mails in the development of the United States. The expansion of the Museum due to its director Allen Kane and his deputy, Cheryl Ganz, will give all collectors in the U.S a home in the Smithsonian system, and center of excellence to be proud of in showing their families the importance of philately.

9. A growing realization on the part of many in the hobby’s organizations, especially the American Philatelic Society, that more than children and Caucasian men aged 50 and beyond should be targeted with the good news of philately — its ability to generate enthusiasm and enjoyment, and its collateral benefits in learning, reducing blood pressure, and meeting and sharing the hobby with new friends. This has led to productive outreach efforts and there will be more.

10. The inevitable rise in the number of direct buy and sell systems on the Internet, and the presence of dealers and auctioneers who are learning to use new technology to grow their businesses and to fill the needs of increasingly computer-literate generations of collectors.

All right. On to the less-happy changes:

1. The inability of the trade to replicate Denison hinges.

2. Steep price rises in the cost of some of the basics of collecting: catalogs, albums, yearly supplements.

3. Decrease in the number of worldwide collectors, and even total-country collectors, in favor of topical collectors. I’ll happily accept new collectors in the hobby however they start, but those who start with a more limited vision of their challenge may not ever gain a full appreciation of the breadth and depth of the hobby.

4. The rise of the Internet has had an unfortunate effect in luring collectors away from philatelic publications and the clubs and societies that are responsible for so much of the positive activity upon which the hobby is built. Why should they pay dues or subscription fees when so much is freely available? But deeper engagement with the hobby’s activists and scholars is a desirable end, and it can’t be done as a lone wolf. Nor does that status help to build the hobby’s institutions, which is done mostly by volunteers who get involved.

5. The inclusion and then exclusion of European post-WW II Allied Military Government (AMG) issues from the Scott U.S. Specialized, and Scott standing fast these days on refusing to bring them back into the Catalogue.

6. The decreasing presence of U.S. history and non-arts, non-sports Americans of note on U.S. new issues.

7. An increase in condition standards such that too many look down their noses at anything less than 100% perfection in original gum, centering, lightness of cancel, etc. I have no difficulty with such condition elements being appreciated, but much difficulty with those who proclaim that all else is trash.

8. The over-planning and -organizing of young peoples’ lives leaving no time for free-form activities such as stamp collecting, because planned activities leave parents free to work or pursue their own activities, and because stamp collecting is not thought to contribute to future success in getting into the right school.

9. The rise of toys giving immediate gratification (from hundreds of TV channels, to video games, to handheld electronics) that crowd out activities like stamp collecting that teach slow but steady progress toward long-term goals.

10. The U.S. Postal Service’s short sighted judgment in cancelling the Benjamin Franklin Stamp Clubs in the early ‘90s because the expense in running a program aimed at young kids could not be justified by short-term stamp sales; never mind that the BFSC program represented an investment in longer-term health of the hobby, and with it stamp sales in the future.

You will have noticed that some of the positives and negatives are different sides of the same coin. Change is complicated, and frequently, though it responds to external conditions, the need for change is not always appreciated by those it most affects. Thus, it often is painful if only in the requirement that we suspend old assumptions. What I think is a tragedy is the reaction of some in throwing in their chips and leaving the hobby because they want things to stay the same. Our world is dynamic, so that won’t happen. So, as with all other areas of life, we must learn to adapt as best we can.

I know my lists are not going to match up exactly with yours. If you would like to add your pluses and minus to the above, post them in the comments area here.

Should you wish to comment on this editorial, or have questions or ideas you would like to have explored in a future column, please write to John Hotchner, VSC Contributor, P.O. Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or email, putting “VSC” in the subject line.

Happy Radio Anniversary To … Me!

Just over 17 years ago, I began my CBS Radio News Stamp Collecting Report. The first one distributed to stations on April 4 for use April 5-6 (or whenever they wanted). It also marked my return to doing on-air work, which I hadn’t done since I left National Public Radio in 1982 to go to CBS.

At the time, I was packaging a weekend feature package for CBS stations, and also tasked with combining two different packages into one. I kept pestering one of my supervisors about doing a stamp collecting feature, until one day he said, resignedly, “Yeah, go ahead.”

The features I was supervising were all over the place in terms of time, but I decided that stamp collecting was going to be a hard enough sell, so I decided all of mine would be 60 seconds (short enough to fit into a commercial window.

In 17 years, there have only been five repeats, so that’s almost 900 different pieces. All have run 59 to 61 seconds. If not, I re-record them until they fit.

A few years after I began the weekly feature, I began to do much shorter “news spots,” often previewing new issues coming out later in the week. These usually run on Sunday mornings when there isn’t much news.

I also got permission to put the feature on this website (every one since 1999 is there, I think), and eventually began to produce variations of the features for APS StampTalk and KNLS, a shortwave evangelical radio station that broadcasts to China and Russia. The VSC and KNLS versions are usually longer, and I read them more slowly, because I’m not trying to cram everything into 60 seconds.

The CBS Stamp Collecting Report and the other features in the weekend package are what is called syndicated: Stations can run them whenever they want, regularly or erratically, or even play them backward if they want. Since there are no commercials packaged with them, stations are not required to inform the network when or if they run any or all the features.

Early on, I discovered that one central California station was saving them up, and running them all once a month during the monthly stamp collecting talk show the manager hosted. After that, I stopped using specific date references like “this week” or “last Tuesday.”

I sometimes put in so much time producing a feature, with music and interviews and so on, that I’m really earning less than minimum wage – no exaggeration! I get the union minimum for each feature, and that won’t buy dinner at a nice restaurant! (The news spots, when they run on newscasts, pay better.)

However, I enjoy the production: I flatter myself that I used to be a pretty good radio producer, and sometimes I miss it. So I sometimes raise the bar just because I can.

The features are intended for a mass audience, not stamp collectors, and I used to run each script past a non-collector radio person to make sure they weren’t in Jargon. Stamp collectors have often told me I should be running three, four minutes and on National Public Radio. I don’t know that NPR wants them and even so, I prefer preaching the joys of stamp collecting to a wider audience.

At the same time, some radio news people have tried to convince me to dedicate the feature to postal service issues and news, and sometimes even UPS, FedEx and – oh, the pain! – coins. To them, I reply that it’s “The Stamp Collecting Report,” not “The Delivery Service Report.” While I’m never going to talk about plate varieties and Two-Cent Reds, there are going to be some editions that are mostly of interest to philatelists.

I think I’ve managed to walk the fine line between the mass market audience and the philatelic one, entertaining, amusing and informing both most of the time.

By the way, I now lay claim to the longest-running major network radio stamp collecting feature ever.

I’ll be happy to answer questions posted here.

Musical Instruments from Srpska

KarnetEvropaThe Republic of Srpska (also known as the Bosnian Serb Republic, one of two political entities in Bosnia & Herzegovina) is issuing (April 25th) two stamps featuring musical instruments: The fiddle and the dvojnice. A booklet (whose pane is shown on the right) includes both designs.

Here are the details provided by the Philately Department:

Europa CEPT – National music instruments – on 25. April 2014. There are 2 stamps in set (face values 1,00 KM or 0,51€ and 2,00 KM or 1,02€), booklet which consists of 3 sets (face value 9 KM or 4,60€).

Traditional string stringed instrument that is commonly used to accompany epic poems. It is an instrument Dinara area (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia), Serbia appears at Kosovo Serbs and to some extent the Albanians.

Dvojnice are popular brass instrument from the group labial played with an edge. These are TabakEvropa02actually made up of two tubes of the same length drilled in parallel. Each pipe has a hole of vocal cords and mouthpiece. The holes were drilled to have a pipe with four holes and on the other three.

A better explanation of what a dvojnice is can be found at Stjepan Večković’s Hrvatska Tradicijska Glasbala website. Basically, it’s one mouthpiece, connected to two different recorder-like pipes. One is made from wood, the other from brass.

“Genesis of Philately” at U.S. Museum

[press release]

National Postal Museum to Display Rare Philatelic Gem
“Genesis of Philately” Arrives in the U.S. for the First Time

pennyblack3The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum will display an extremely rare philatelic item, referred to by stamp experts as the “genesis of philately.” On temporary loan to the museum, the extraordinary and historic postal document will be on display—for nine days only—in the museum’s new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery May 3–11. The May 2, 1840, cover shows the earliest known use of two different philatelic elements: the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, and the Mulready One Penny letter sheet.

On May 1, 1840, Great Britain issued the world’s first postage stamp: the Penny Black. It revolutionized postal services worldwide. Mulready postal stationery lettersheets were also officially issued on that day. Neither the stamps nor the stationery were valid to prepay postage before that date; however, a few Penny Blacks and Mulready “covers” are known to have passed through the post office before the official date of issuance. The May 2, 1840, cover being displayed at the museum is the only known item carrying both the Penny Black and Mulready One Penny letter sheet.

pennyblack1“The May 2, 1840, cover connects us to the very beginnings of philately and the modern postal system,” said Allen Kane, director of the museum. “We are excited to bring this rare item to the United States for the very first time.”

pennyblack2The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at

Great British Films (2014)

[press release]
uk_films6The Great British Film stamps celebrate six key British movies produced since the Second World War, with the accompanying Miniature Sheet focusing on the work of the General Post Office (GPO) Film Unit, which produced ground-breaking documentaries for the General Post Office in the 1930s. As a whole, this stamp issue takes in landmark films, epics and influential movies that evoke the distinctiveness and quality of British film and story-telling across key genres.

Royal Mail consulted experts, polls by experts, the public and the British Film Institute to arrive at films from the 1940s to the 2000s.

Films featured in the set are:

uk_matterA Matter of Life and Death (1946) has undergone major reassessment in last 20 years. It is genre defying and is a part fantasy and part romance. Starring David Niven in one of his greatest roles, the film tells the story of an RAF pilot who should have died but is caught between two worlds – the real and a kind of afterlife.

Created by Powell and Pressburger, it is technologically very innovative, filmed in both black and white and colour, and was selected as the first Royal Command Film in 1946 attended by the King and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. It regularly appears in the top 20 lists of greatest British films of all time. Danny Boyle used an excerpt from the film in his opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics.

uk_lawrenceLawrence of Arabia (1962) is in most lists of greatest films of all time, by all countries and usually in the top ten. It won seven Academy Awards, four BAFTAs and five Golden Globes. It is regarded as David Lean’s masterpiece and features an impressively powerful performance by the late Peter O’Toole. Sony Pictures marked its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a digitally re-mastered version that has had a theatrical release, again to great reviews. The film has an international following and was selected as the best epic movie ever by the American Film Institute. American director, Steven Spielberg is on record as saying it inspired him to become a filmmaker.

uk_20012001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is the other British film that appears close to the top in the greatest movies lists. Categorised as science fiction it has multiple interpretations and has won generations of fans. It regularly tops lists of the greatest science fiction films of all time and is also the only science fiction film to make the British Film Institute (BFI) poll for ten best movies of all time. It was selected as the best science fiction movie ever by the American Film Institute.

Although American director Stanley Kubrick was a committed anglophile. He moved to the UK in the early 1960s and then made every film in the UK using British crew and studios.

The innovative and hugely influential visual effects, sets and cinematography of 2001 are the work of British technicians and cameramen at Surrey’s Shepperton Studio, with the script co-written by British author Arthur C Clarke (whose short story was the basis for the film). Most observers will say that the images of future space travel have never been bettered and was achieved without the benefits of computer technology. It is widely regarded as a British film.

uk_chariotsChariots of Fire (1981) was the multiple Oscar and BAFTA winning story of two athletes who competed in the 1924 Olympics. It is regarded as one of the greatest sports films of all time, and highly rated by critics and the BFI, who especially believe this to be a key work of Post War British film.

uk_secretsliesSecrets & Lies (1996) this Mike Leigh film is very highly regarded and a fine example of social realism which is a key UK genre. It is Leigh’s most commercially successful film and arguably his most seen, and its performances are regarded as among the best in any film in recent years. Secrets & Lies went on to win two BAFTAs and the coveted Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among many other international awards.

uk_benditBend It Like Beckham (2002) although too recent for a fair inclusion in ‘Best of’ lists, Bend it Like Beckham is a well-received British comedy that is immensely popular internationally.

It topped the UK box office on release and broke box-office records in India for a foreign film and became the highest grossing Indian themed film at the US box office. In 2010 it became the first Western made film ever to be screened on North Korean TV!

The film made stars of its lead actors Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightly. Gurinder Chadra’s Bend It Like Beckham is also arguably the best known film by any British woman director.

Miniature Sheet
uk_filmsminiA Miniature of four additional stamps celebrates the rich heritage of the GPO (General Post Office) Film Unit.

In the 1930s the GPO Film Unit produced what are internationally regarded as key works in the documentary genre.

The unit was established initially to explain postal and telephone services, and heighten the reputation of the Post Office, in an era when it was leading the world in technological innovation. Its remit grew as it experimented with new ways of communicating with the public, and it created ground-breaking films by experimenting with sound, animation and images, as well as landmark documentaries using an impressive array of film makers. The films were screened throughout uk_nightmailthe country and had huge popular appeal. It has been said that the public affection for the modern Post Office began with these films.

The immortal Night Mail film is marked with a stamp for the first time, and a stamp for Love on the Wing, a film by director Norman McLaren also marks his centenary in 2014.

Technical details:
Issue date: 13 May 2014
uk_sparetimeNumber of stamps: 3 x 1st Class, 3 x £1.28
Design: Johnson Banks
Stamp format: Landscape
Stamp size: 60mm x 30mm
Printer: International Security Printers
Print process: Lithography
Perforations: 14.5 x 14.5
Number per sheet: 18/36
Phosphor: All over
Gum: PVA

uk_lovewing1st Class A Matter of Life and Death
1st Class Lawrence of Arabia
1st Class 2001: A Space Odyssey
£1.28 Chariots of Fire
£1.28 Secrets & Lies
£1.28 Bend It Like Beckham

Minisheet Values:
1st Class Night Mail
1st Class Love on the Wing
1st Class Spare Time
1st Class A Colour Box


U.S. Specialized Yahoo Group celebrates 10th anniversary

[press release]
U.S. Specialized Yahoo Group celebrates 10th anniversary
On-line stamp collector group thrives on the internet

U.S. Specialized Yahoo Group is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the virtual world all this year.

About the U.S. Specialized Yahoo Group
The group was founded in April 2004 by long-time philatelist Steve B. Davis of Calgary,
Alberta. He founded it after trying to start a local real-world study group for collectors of the
stamps and postal history of the United States. From 3 or 4 members it has grown to over 400 members. In 2007 the group was approved as Affiliate #257 (specialized society) of the
American Philatelic Society, the largest and most respected philatelic society in the world.

Group Description
It is a forum to discuss and network with other collectors. Members are encouraged to engage in the friendly discussion and exchange of information related to U.S. philately. Membership consists of beginners all the way to advanced collectors from all walks of life, and many different countries.

Commercial content, spam or the self-promotion of blogs/websites is not allowed. This is strictly enforced.Those wishing to join need simply sign up on the site and are asked to provide,

  • their areas of interest.
  • names of clubs or societies they are members of
  • their APS membership number if applicable

Requests for membership require moderator approval. This is to screen for spammers.

To learn more about the group, please contact
Steve B. Davis, Founder & Moderator

Group Home Page

American Philatelic Society (APS)

Hudson River School

T14-Hudsonhe April 17th Postal Bulletin says these four booklet stamps will be issued Thursday, August 21st in Hartford, Conn. That’s the first day of the American Philatelic Society’s StampShow 2014, also in Hartford. Most if not all of the American Treasures art stamps have been issued at StampShow.

Designs added May 24th. That also gives us the names of the artists: Thomas Moran, Asher B. Duran, Frederic Edwin Church, and Thomas Cole.

The Wikipedia article on this mid-1800s style of art is here.

From the July 24th Postal Bulletin:

On August 21, 2014, in Hartford, CT, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Hudson River School stamps (Forever First-Class Mail priced at 49 cents), in four designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 20 stamps (Item 689500).

The stamps will go on sale nationwide August 21, 2014.

This 12th issuance in the American Treasures series features details of paintings by four renowned artists of the Hudson River School.

Inspired by the stunning natural beauty of New York state, this loose-knit school of painters flourished from the mid-1830s to the mid-1870s and gave America its first major school of art. The paintings on these stamps are: Distant View of Niagara Falls by Thomas Cole (1801–1848); Summer Afternoon by Asher B. Durand (1796–1886); Sunset by Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900); and Grand Canyon by Thomas Moran (1837–1926). The designer and art director for these stamps was Derry Noyes.

Each one of the Hudson River School stamps must be shown in its entirety with the perforations. None of the stamps may be cropped or modified in any way and must be used only as a whole image.

1. Frederic Edwin Church Stamp:
The following credit is required for philatelic products and marketing materials: Church, Frederic Edwin (1826–1900). Sunset,1856. Oil on canvas. Original 1870s-style frame. 37-3/4 x 49-3/4 in.(framed). Proctor Collection, PC.21, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY, U.S.A. Photo Credit: Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute/Art Resource, NY.

2. Thomas Cole Stamp:
The following credit is required on philatelic products (the caption and credit line may be given on a hangtag). For Internet use, the caption and credit line should appear in immediate proximity of the image or in a “Sources of Illustrations” section and MUST include a link to the AIC’s website. Thomas Cole, American, 1801-1848, Distant View of Niagara Falls, 1830, Oil on panel, 47.9 x 60.6 cm (18-7/8 x 23-7/8 in.), Friends of American Art Collection, 1946.396, The Art Institute of Chicago. Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago.

3. Asher B. Durand Stamp
The following credit is required for philatelic products and marketing materials: Durand, Asher Brown (1796–1886). Summer Afternoon, 1865, Oil on canvas, 22-1/2 x 35 in. (57.2 x 88.9 cm). Bequest of Maria DeWitt Jesup, from the collection of her husband, Morris K. Jesup, 1914 (15.30.60), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S.A. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY.

4. Thomas Moran Stamp
No credits required.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Hudson River School
Hartford Post Office
141 Weston Street
Hartford, CT 06101-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by October 20, 2014.

There are eight philatelic products for this stamp issue:

  • 689506 Press Sheet w/Die cut, $39.20 (quantity printed 1,000).
  • 689508 Press Sheet w/o Die cut, $39.20 (quantity printed 1,500).
  • 689510 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake (set of 4), $16.95.
  • 689516 First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.72.
  • 689521 Digital Color Postmark (Set of 4), $6.56.
  • 689524 Framed Art, $39.95.
  • 689530 Ceremony Program, $6.95.
  • 689531 Stamped Deck Card, $0.95.

Technical Specifications::

  • Issue: Hudson River School stamps
  • 14-HudsonItem Number: 689500
  • Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
  • Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20 (4 designs)
  • Series: American Treasures
  • Issue Date & City: August 21, 2014 Hartford, CT
  • Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
  • Designer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
  • Typographer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
  • Existing Art: Thomas Cole, Frederic E. Church, Thomas Moran, Asher B. Durand
  • Modeler: CCL Label, Inc.
  • Manufacturing Process: Gravure
  • Engraver: WRE
  • Printer: CCL Label, Inc.
  • Printed at: Clinton, SC
  • Press Type: Dia Nippon Kiko, (DNK)
  • Stamps per Booklet: 20
  • Print Quantity: 100 Million Stamps
  • Paper Type: Phosphor Tagged Paper, Overall, Block
  • Adhesive Type: Pressure-sensitive adhesive
  • Processed at: AVR, Clinton, SC
  • Stamp Orientation: Horizontal
  • Image Area (w x h): 1.42 x 0.84 in./36.07 x 21.34 mm
  • Stamp Size (w x h): 1.56 x 0.98 in./39.62 x 24.89 mm
  • Full Booklet Size (w x h): 3.12 x 6.13 in./79.25 x 155.58 mm
  • Press Sheet Size (w x h): 6.13 x 12.48 in./155.70 x 316.99 mm
  • Colors: Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black
  • Plate Size: 80 stamps per revolution
  • Plate Numbers: “C” followed by 1111 (4) single digits
  • Marginal Markings: • Plate numbers in peel strip area • © 2014 • USPS Logo •Title • Barcode (689500)

First Day Postmark:

hudson_dcp_vsc2.66″ x 1.39″

Hot Rods

HotRods2Two designs in a booklet format, to be issued June 6 in York, Pa., according to the April 17th Postal Bulletin. This is NOT part of the “America On The Road” series that has featured classic autos in five-design booklets. The designs are shown on the right.

Digital Color Postmark and Pictorial first-day cancels added May 15th.
Technical Specifications and other
Postal Bulletin information added May 16th.

The date coincides with the Street Rod Nationals East Plus at the York Expo Center: “East’s largest outdoor street rod show. More than 4,000 street rods, customs, muscle cars and specialty vehicles. Manufacturers exhibits, arts & crafts, model car contest, vintage parts swap meet, streets of rods, NSRA Super Prize program, parade, NSRA Safety Inspections, live entertainment, good food & more. Total family event. 19,000 attendees expected.” Street Rod Nationals East Plus is sponsored by the National Street Rod Association, and admission is $60-70! [However, the USPS announced on May 2nd that it has arranged for free admission to the first-day ceremony. See below.]

The date also coincides with the first day of NAPEX 2014, the World Series of Philately stamp show in the Washington, DC, area, about 90 minutes away.

Ceremony details, announced May 2nd:

HotRods2The Hot Rods Forever stamps First-Day-of-Issue ceremony will take place during the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) Nationals East Plus Conference in York, PA, on Friday, June 6 at 11 a.m. ET. As the conference is a ticketed event requiring $15 admission, we’d like to extend an opportunity for stamp collectors to attend as special guests – free of charge.

A limited number of complimentary tickets will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. One ticket per request please.

Please see event details below and RSVP no later than June 3 to or 1-866-268-3243.

Further information will be provided upon RSVP.

WHEN: Friday, June 6, 11:00 AM ET

WHAT: “First-day-of-issue Ceremony for the limited-edition Hot Rods Forever® stamps

WHERE: “National Street Rod Association Nationals East Plus Conference
(Outdoor commercial exhibit – USPS Booth)
York Expo Center & Fairgrounds
334 Carlisle Ave.
York, PA 17404

hotrods_dcp hotrods_bw

From the May 15th Postal Bulletin:

On June 6, 2014, in York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Postal Service® will issue the Hot Rods 49-cent Forever® stamps, in two designs, in a pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) booklet of 20 stamps (Item 689200).

The stamps will go on sale nationwide June 6, 2014.

HotRods2With these two stamps, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates hot rods, the fast, powerful vehicles that thrill-seeking enthusiasts have been modifying for nearly a century. The cars depicted are 1932 Ford “Deuce” roadsters. One stamp features a black ’32 Ford with orange flames running down the car’s body. The other stamp showcases a red ’32 Ford. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps, which feature art by John Mattos.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark:
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Hot Rods Stamps
3435 Concord Rd
York, PA 17402-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers have to pay five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by August 5, 2014.

There are eight philatelic products for this stamp issue:

  • 689206 Press Sheet w/Die cut, $68.60 (print quantity 1,000).
  • 689208 Press Sheet w/o Die cut, $68.60 (print quantity 1,500).
  • 689210 Keepsake w/Digital Color Postmark (Set of 2), $13.95.
  • 689216 First-Day Cover (Set of 2), $1.86.
  • 689221 Digital Color Postmark (Set of 2), $3.28.
  • 689224 Framed Art, $19.95.
  • 689230 Ceremony Program, $6.95.
  • 689231 Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.

Technical Specifications:

HotRods2Issue: Hot Rods
Item Number: 689200
Denomination & Type of Issue: First-Class Mail Forever
Format: Double-sided Booklet of 20 (2 designs)
Series: N/A
Issue Date & City: June 6, 2014, York, PA 17402
Art Director: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Designer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Typographer: Derry Noyes, Washington, DC
Artist: John Mattos, San Francisco, CA
Modeler: CCL Label, Inc.
Manufacturing Process: Gravure
Engraver: WRE
Printer: CCL Label, Inc.
Printed at: Clinton, SC
Press Type: Dia Nippon Kiko (DNK)
Stamps per Booklet: 20
Print Quantity: 100 Million Stamps
Paper Type: Nonphosphored Type III, Overall tagged
Adhesive Type: Pressure sensitive adhesive
Processed at: AVR, Clinton, SC
Stamp Orientation: Horizontal
Image Area (w x h): 0.84 x 0.73 in./21.34 x 18.54 mm
Stamp Size (w x h): 0.98 x 0.87 in./24.89 x 22.09 mm
Full Booklet Size (w x h): 1.96 x 5.5 in./49.78 x 139.7 mm
Press Sheet Size (w x h): 5.5 x 13.72 in./139.7 x 348.49 mm
Colors: Yellow, 1795 Red, Cyan, Black,
Plate Size: 140 stamps per revolution
Plate Numbers: “C” followed by 1111 (4) single digits
Marginal Markings: • Plate numbers • © 2014 USPS • USPS logo • Barcode (689200)

June 7th: The USPS press release after the first day ceremony was essentially the same, but starts off a little differently:

YORK, PA — Today, the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the fast, powerful vehicles thrill-seeking enthusiasts have been modifying for nearly a century by dedicating the limited-edition Hot Rods Forever Stamps. The stamps depict two 1932 Ford “Deuce” roadsters — a black ’32 Ford with orange flames running down the car’s body — and a red ’32 Ford.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place at the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) Street Rod Nationals East Plus at the York Expo Center in York, PA. Available in booklets of 20 stamps, customers may purchase the stamps at, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), at Post Offices nationwide and on eBay at

“These Hot Rods stamps mark the beginning of America’s fascination with customizing fast cars,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the stamps. “And they’re just as popular today as they were decades ago. Just like the cars they celebrate, these stamps are timeless in that they’re good for mailing First-Class letters anytime in the future.”

Joining Donahoe in dedicating the stamps were “Car Crazy TV” host Barry Meguiar and NSRA Special Events Director Jerry Kennedy.

“With an estimated 12 million hot rodders in America today, I applaud the Postal Service for recognizing that Hot Rods will forever be a symbol of our American culture,” said Meguiar.

Designed by Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, the two stamps were digitally created by artist John Mattos of San Francisco.

The hot rod culture is vibrant today, with monthlies like Hot Rod magazine and organizations like the National Street Rod Association (NSRA) helping keep the flame alive.