Postage Stamp Collecting

Postage stamp collecting had its beginnings right after the first stamp was printed in England, in 1840. This first pre-gummed stamp was called a penny-black, and had the Queen of England’s likeness engraved on it. That same year, some lady wanted her dress covered in postage stamps, and put an ad in the paper to that effect.

Others have since joined in, and have many choices available to them. Today, in the United States, the Post Office estimates that there are more than 22 million people who engage in this pastime. At one time, apparently, even one of our presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and King George V of England, also had their hobby of postage stamp collecting.

With so many stamps available – over half a million different ones to choose from, it would be very difficult to attempt to collect all of them. A wiser choice would be to look at a few stamp catalogs in your library, and select a few themes that interest you. A few suggestions are:

  • Animals stamps – in the USA
  • Trains
  • Aircraft
  • Historical events, Civil War, WWII, etc.
  • Famous people – movie stars, rock stars, etc.
  • General interest – music, art, etc.
  • Presidents, Queens, and other political leaders.
  • Birds.
  • Flags, statue of liberty, etc.

Then decide if you want that topic to be, for example, animals, limited to this country, or to all animal stamps of the world. Another thing is the time period. Decide if you are going to collect all animal stamps that have ever existed, or will you start at, say, more recent times, like after 1975, or, 2000?

Organizing Your Stamp Collecting Hobby

  1. Take the stamps you are starting with, and decide if you want to put them into a preprinted book, make your own sheets with your own information on them, or use pre-made notebook sheets with plastic pockets on the.
  2. Determine which stamps have greater value intact (on the envelope, postcard, etc.), then prepare them to be mounted by soaking them in warm water to remove the glue, and to get them off the paper. Dry them, and put them in a book overnight to keep them from curling.
  3. Put them on the hinges, and then in your book. Some new books already have the hinges in them.
  4. Find out if you have any stamps of value.
  5. Show them to your friends, and get them interested, too.

Learning about your hobby of postage stamp collecting as you go along, is part of the fun. It is always good to learn more, and better ways. You could also find out how to turn stamp collecting into an investment.