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Hidden Gems

The Stamp Collecting Report. I'm Lloyd de Vries.

One collecting specialty is "inaugurals," envelopes or cards postmarked on the day a 
president of the United States was inaugurated. From 1929, collectors could request 
such cancels from the Post Office Department, but before then, such postmarks were 
coincidental. 

Wall Street broker Henry Scheuer collects those early inaugurals.

"I go through lots of postcards, at postcard shows, primarily, looking for Washington 
DC postmarks on the respective inaugurals of the presidents. This goes back to about 
1901, when the postcard era started."
RUNS :15

Most of the postcards were written by visitors to Washington to the folks back home. 
The cards usually don't show pictures of the inaugurations, but they do have to have 
the correct date on them.

"Back before 1937, the inauguration day was not January 20th, but it was in fact 
March 4th."
RUNS :06

Scheuer is now working his way backward through the 19th Century.

"I do have a 1793 in Philadelphia. That's where Washington was inaugurated, for his 
second term. His first term was here in New York City. (1793  there weren't stamps 
yet...) "That's correct. There were no stamps, so this is what's called a stampless 
folded letter, and it's a piece of paper with a postal marking of March 4, 1793."
RUNS :22

Most of the 20th century cards weren't that expensive. It's just a matter of 
patience...and knowing what to look for.

I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, 
visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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