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Treasure Trove

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

Much of the material at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington comes from
the U-S Postal Service, but thereís a wealth of other material that belongs on display
there, and isnít.

Itís at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, locked away from public view.

For 111 years, the Treasury agency printed nearly all U-S stamps, and still has in its
possession the hand-engraved dies that were used. The Bureau also has preliminary and
final drawings and other material Ė even design notes written by President Franklin
Roosevelt, who collected stamps.

Theyíre used occasionally to print souvenir cards and once in a while a new U-S stamp.
The Bureau will answer stamp collectorsí questions if askedÖ but many probably donít know
these historical items exist.

It took Bill McAllister of Linnís Stamp News months to arrange to see this material.

The Postal Service stopped using B-E-P to print its stamps ten years ago. Other printers
were less expensive and more flexible. The Bureau didnít seem to have much interest in
new printing techniques.

The Bureau is still producing U-S currency, and an occasional engraved stamp. And it says
those historic stamp materials will stay in its vault.

Iím 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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