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The genealogy of a collection.

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

I collect something called "first day covers" – envelopes with stamps that are postmarked
with the date of the first day the stamp goes on sale.

When I was a boy, a company in Michigan sent me a selection of these every few weeks for
my consideration, and I bought nearly all of them. And most were addressed to a C-Y Shipman
of Muskegon, Michigan.

The stamps were from the 1940s, 50s and early 60s.  Back then, first day cover collectors
had to submit envelopes in advance, BEFORE the stamp was issued, along with payment for the
stamp – usually coins.

Many collectors, including Shipman, used special envelopes with designs on the left side
that often explain more about the stamp subject.

I came across one of these first day covers the other day, then for some reason was on a
website for genealogical research – and a light bulb came on. On a whim, I put "C-Y Shipman"
and the address into Google…. And I'm now fairly certain that the full name was CLAUDE Y.
Shipman, born in 1890.

The cover was 1963's Amelia Earhart, and the neat, precise handwriting is a little shakier
than the earlier ones.  He was 73 then. Life expectancy in 1963 was 70.

The dealer from whom I bought these a few years later was Sunny Stamp Company, fairly well
known at the time for this type of sales. Sunny's address was in Fruitport, Michigan, so I
looked that up, too. It's about 10 miles from Muskegon. Sunny probably purchased
Mr. Shipman's collection after he passed away….and sold them to a kid in New York.

And now, nearly 50 years later, I know a little bit more about my first day cover collection.

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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