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Ekko Cinderella Stamps

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Valued Member
Canada
287 Posts
Posted 09/30/2010   03:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add XNBer to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Does anybody in the SCF collect EKKO stamps?

I'm thinking of going back to a hobby I had in the early 60s called BCB DXing.

That's similar to SWL (Short Wave Listening) only on the Broadcast (AM) band.

Mainly it was listening to distant (dx) stations, writing down a few details like program details, times, date, and sending it to the station in hopes of receiving a QSL (verification of reception) card.

In the early days of radio, it was quite the hobby, and for that matter, still is. Many clubs exist and thousands are involved in the hobby.

Here's an explanation for EKKO stmps:

http://reviews.ebay.com/WHAT-apos-S...:-1:SEARCH:1

If that doesn't work, Google EKKO stamp. Also, I see there are some listed on eBay at reasonable prices.

Not that I need another type of stamp to collect, I'm just curious if anybody in the SCF does.

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United States
2972 Posts
Posted 09/30/2010   11:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stamperdude to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had found out about EKKO stamps a few years ago and even check out eBay listings every now and then. However, I've never actually purchased any. I find them very interesting and will eventually like to add some to my collection. They would be a great addition to my Route 66 thematic collection. I would collect them from radio stations located in towns found along historic Route 66 from Chicago IL to Los Angeles CA. The different colors and station call letters are appealing.

Please share pictures of your collection if possible.
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United States
5880 Posts
Posted 09/30/2010   11:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add smauggie to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This is a first for me, though they are a fascinating piece of history. A whole dime, eh? Today that time would be worth . . . $1.58 (based on the intrinsic value of the metal in the coin today). A collection would begin to get rather pricey. But then only the reasonably well-off could afford radios at that time.
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Israel
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Posted 09/30/2010   1:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Londonbus1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, just seen a load at eBay from 99c-$2 so far. But most with bids so will rise.
Never seen them before this post...or at least never taken any notice of them.
Interesting subject.

Londonbus1
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Canada
287 Posts
Posted 09/30/2010   4:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add XNBer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry Stamperdude, I haven't started a collection..............yet.

Since I'm an old (in more ways than one) radio type, I'm very interested in the idea, though.

If I do get into EKKO stamps, I will no doubt be posting info.

From what I've seen, those ABNC-produced Cinderellas are very nice and I'm sure there are lots of reasons to collect them by colour, country, stations now defunct and staions still on the air, etc.

According to some of the info I've seen, they were only around from 1924-30....that would make them quite rare, coupled with the fact only about 700 were made.

But, they are Cinderellas and almost by definition they are rare.
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United States
12128 Posts
Posted 08/22/2011   10:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I recently came upon this seemingly comprehensive history of EKKO Stamps and found the story quite fascinating, so I thought I'd share it here for anyone not familiar with the promotion. Unfortunately, I don't own any of these stamps, but apparently they are still readily available at reasonable prices through eBay listings:

Edit: Apparently the eBay link I (as well as others) provided is no good, which is why I never read up on the history of these stamps before now. For anyone interested, here's the summary of the article:


Quote:
WHAT'S AN EKKO STAMP?
by: czelbst ( 1149 )
246 out of 250 people found this guide helpful.
Guide viewed: 18799 timesTags: ekko | verified reception stamp | postage stamps | cinderella | radio

________________________________________
This guide provides an overview of a fascinating example involving mass marketing, technology and stamp collecting!

With the end of World War I the world awakened to many new technologies, including commercial radio broadcasts, a mysterious and exciting entertainment that quickly captured everyone's imagination and interest! In the United States an advertising gimmick became a national craze, and for a brief period collecting RADIO VERIFICATION STAMPS rivaled postage stamp collecting!

The EKKO Company of Chicago, IL developed the advertising concept of radio verification stamps as a means of exploiting this new technology that had captured the interest and passion of America. Their idea was to sell to the emerging radio broadcasting industry a marketing tool to help promote public interest in specific radio stations. The EKKO Company contracted with THE AMERICAN BANK NOTE COMPANY to design, and produce to order, stamps of the same high quality as current postage printings, to be used by commercial broadcasters in promoting their stations and radio shows to the listening public. The genius of this concept, intentional or not, was the combining of a popular hobby, stamp collecting, with the new and exciting pastime of listening to radio broadcasts from far away!

Unsubstantiated rumor has it that the American Bank Note Company quickly redesigned a stamp that had been submitted to, and rejected by, the United Stated Postal Services and that the EKKO Company accepted the design but insisted on the use of numerous colors for their customers. The stamps, framing the American Bald Eagle with two radio towers in the background and a station bar where the broadcast station call letters could be imprinted, measured in frame height 35mm and in frame width 22mm. With perforation (12) and plate cuts, the finished stamps measured approximately 40mm in height and 25mm in width, familiar dimensions to American postage stamp collectors.

These stamps, often referred to as "Cinderella's" by todays collectors, would be purchased by the radio stations from the EKKO Company and then, when their respective listeners provided written information identifying the details and proving that they had indeed tuned in and listened to a particular broadcast, the station would send the listener a VERIFIED RECEPTION STAMP (VRS) with the station's call letters.

The listener was suppose to provide the date and time they had listened to the broadcast as well as details as to what they had heard, and then send the information along with 10 cents to the radio station. The radio station would check it's broadcast log and confirm, or verify that the information was correct, and if so, then in return send the listener a VRS stamp.

What came as a complete surprise to the EKKO Company was that collecting these stamps became almost as great of a sensation as listening to the radio broadcasts, and the demand for Verified Reception Stamps increased dramatically as this new hobby swept the nation! In an effort to legitimize the hobby, and as an additional means of gaining revenue by selling advertisement space, the EKKO Company published a hardback stamp album in 1924, and several different paperback versions beginning in 1926 and continuing into 1927. A bit of trivia is that the albums did not list the stations in alphabetical order within the respective state or country sections, but were instead arranged to provide color contrast!

The 1926 - 1927 albums were produced for at least 18 stations, each of which purchased these paperback albums with their station call letters on the cover. To their initial surprise many found that "their" special edition albums were filled with advertisements sold by the EKKO company to radio manufacturers and the like! As with the 1924 hardback album, the paperback editions boldly proclaimed that the albums "contained spaces for stamps from every broadcasting station in the United States and Canada", which wasn't really true. Both the hardback and paperback album had printed call signs for stations that had purchased EKKO stamps, and blank boxes for stations that had not! More importantly, and perhaps a bit vindictively on the part of the EKKO Company, stations that had previously participated in the program but then "fell out" and started producing their own verified reception stamps were not listed in subsequent albums!

The 18 known stations that participated in the paperback album program are:
KDKA - Pittsburgh, PA KHQ - Spokane, WA KSBA - Shreveport, LA KYW - Chicago, IL WBAW - Nashville, TN WBZ - Springfield, MA
WCAO - Baltimore, MD WEEI - Philadelphia, PA WFBL - Syracuse, NY WGHP - Detroit, MI WGR - Buffalo, NY WHEC - Rochester, NY
WJAY - Cleveland, OH WMAQ - Chicago, IL WOW - Omaha, NE WRNY - NYC, NY WTMJ - Milwaukee, WI WCAU - Philadelphia, PA

To further keep this new hobby growing, the EKKO Company recognized that they would have to provide collectors a means to complete their collections, something that was impossible to do under the "rules" since most broadcast stations were not powerful enough to send out signals that would reach the entire country, which meant that collectors would not be able to comply with the written detail requirement in order to get the stamps from the broadcast stations directly. To the dismay of their customers, the broadcast stations, in 1925 the EKKO Company began selling the stamps directly to the public.

When the EKKO Company published their hardback album in 1924, they were selling stamps to 592 stations in the United States and Canada, and at the height of the collecting craze they were selling their stamps simultaneously to slightly more than 650 broadcast stations located throughout North America and the Caribbean! It is commonly accepted that this is the maximum number of stations, however, our research has identified over 844 stations that participated in the program between 1921 and 1929, and the list continues to grow! These stations were located in the United States, Canada, Cuba and Mexico.

Of course, success breeds imitation, and there were a number of companies that attempted to compete with the EKKO Company in offering stamps to broadcast stations, which added to the variety and scope of collectibles, but which may have ultimately hastened the demise in popularity of the hobby. In addition, several radio stations decided to design and offer their own version of these stamps, with many being so unique and rare today as to be very valuable. Not surprisingly, being that stamp collecting was after all the hobby of kings, none of the major suppliers issued a comprehensive album, and so collectors tended to simply paste these non-EKKO examples into their EKKO Albums.

As these stamps became more and more popular, the EKKO Company expanded it's market with the issue of a second EKKO design, this one with a beaver instead of an eagle, which was for the Canadian broadcasters to use with their listeners. The EKKO Company also sold stamps to broadcasters in Mexico and the Caribbean, but used the American Eagle design. These stations, because there are so few, are extremely rare in todays marketplace!

In the original printing sequences employed by the American Bank Note Company, the first sequence was the body of the stamp which included the Eagle or Beaver but did not include the station call sign letters or the words "verified reception stamp". This allowed the printing in large enough quantities to make the stamps affordable while still allowing for customization of the call letters of a particular radio station. For reasons unknown, the second sequence was the printing of the words "verified reception stamp" directly below the station bar, and when the EKKO Company sold stamps to a broadcasting station, then the third printing sequence, the adding of the station call letters, was completed. This also allowed the call letters and the vrs wording to be printed in the same color. The primary colors for the American stamps are Red; Grey; Blue; Green; Orange; Gold, Purple and Brown and there were 16 secondary colors which were shades of the primary colors, for example, there is a light blue, a medium blue and a dark blue. The primary colors for the call letters and VRS wording were Black; Dark Blue; Red; and while rare, Green. For the Canadian Beaver design, the colors were more a pastel variety, with basically the same primary colors as the American version but with no secondary shades. The Canadian call letters and VRS wording were almost always printed in Black; Red or Dark Blue.

The sequential printing process was suppose to result in a finished product equal to that of postage stamps but because of plating alignment problems, it is quite rare to find an example where the station call letters and vrs are centered correctly to the stamp body, and such premium examples are highly sought after by today's collector. In addition, and considered to be error's, there are examples where the Call Letters are centered correctly and the vrs letters are not, and vice versa. These errors generally carry a premium in today's market.

With the onslaught of the Great Depression, 10 cents was no longer quite so insignificant to the collector, and the EKKO Company, like so many others, faded away. The American Bank Note Company disposed of its remaining EKKO stamp stock, and so this fascinating chapter of Cinderella collecting ended. . . or did it? Well, not quite, as an unknown quantity of stock apparently did survive and found its way into the market, where it was sold to radio stations which then typed their call letters into the station bar.

This created an interesting dilemma for collectors, many of which considered these unfinished stamps to be counterfeits. Today, such examples are categorized into two classifications, the first of which being those that have sequenced through the second printing process and have the wording "verified reception stamp" along with manually-typed in station call letters, are considered to be authentic and sell for premiums. The second classification, where the words "verified reception stamp" has not been printed are considered counterfeits, with the majority having been "produced" into the 1950's to meet the demands of the few active collectors of the time. Surprisingly, in the last five years, demand for these examples has increased enough to affect general market prices and today most often bring the same premium, if not more, as a completed EKKO! Station KGHI above is an example of a "counterfeit" EKKO and Station KARK is an example of an authentic second sequenced EKKO. There is also pictured an example of a non-EKKO verified reception stamp for Station KMIC that is printed on foil, and not to be considered in any manner as a slight, error or counterfeit, but simply because of formatting restrictions, the last stamp is for Canadian Station CKGW.

While remaining more of a curiosity than anything else for over 50 years, beginning most noticeably in the 1980's, collector interest began to re-awaken concerning these beautiful and interesting stamps, and collecting radio verification stamps has seen a steady increase in popularity. Stamp values have increased from literally nothing to prices for the rarer examples that now reach into the hundreds of dollars! As EKKO stamps are still readily available for the most part, this niche collectible provides the specialized collector with the opportunity to complete the collection for a relatively modest investment, and while EKKO stamps dominate the specialty, non-EKKO verification stamps sell for significant premiums and will most likely enjoy the greatest appreciation in value in the coming years. EKKO stamps for Canada and Cuba are especially sought after, as are a number of the American "super" stations. EKKO stamps for Hawaii and Alaska are considered extremely desirable and sought after as they were issued while these two American states were actually territories.
As format restrictions prevented the loading of more than 10 photographs, interested readers may view numerous examples of EKKO stamps by using the search feature of eBay with the term EKKO.

The first and only comprehensive Verified Reception Stamp Price Catalog is now available from L& B Publishers!

©Copyright 2006 C. M. Zelbst. All rights reserved.

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Edited by wt1 - 08/22/2011 10:33 pm
Bedrock Of The Community
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Posted 08/22/2011   10:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

April 2010



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Rest in Peace
United States
1806 Posts
Posted 08/22/2011   11:07 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1775mac to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Yes, just seen a load at eBay from 99c-$2 so far. But most with bids so will rise.


This would be a understatement. Many start at 99cents but end much higher. I had thought about these a few years ago. They were averaging about $1-$5 at the time. If you want to start collecting these you will need deep pockets to amass a moderate collection. The damaged ones are selling for $1-$10 presently. Right now they are a hot item with good ones going for $30 to $60 dollars a stamp. Should have gotten in on these before.

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Edited by 1775mac - 08/22/2011 11:10 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United Arab Emirates
507 Posts
Posted 08/26/2011   08:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add james to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Although they don't fall under my area of interest, I couldn't resist their beauty & had to place bids on most of them!

Look fabulous by all means!

Thanks for the interesting topic & thanks wt1 for the clarification ...


Cheers
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Bedrock Of The Community
United States
12128 Posts
Posted 08/26/2011   09:07 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As no illustrations of Ekko Stamps appear on this link, I thought I'd post these examples from WOWO Radio (Fort Wayne, Indiana) issued by American Bank Note Company and P.M. Bryant Company of Chicago, respectively:



I've not seen the P.M. Bryant stamp before. According to this link, the P.M. Bryant Company of Chicago was out of business by 1927. While not as attractive as the ABNCo. variety, I wonder if the P.M. Bryant stamp may be harder to find?

http://historyofwowo.com/qsls.html
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United States
1138 Posts
Posted 10/11/2011   2:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add PoStat4evR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
XNBer: I to am (was) a BCB DXer, along with the rest of the radio spectrum to boot. I have been doing the hobby for many years. I only received ONE stamp back in my years, and that was from KFI in Los Angeles. I have picked up a few of them when at show and no one knows what they are. As mentioed, eBay does have a large number of these stamps offered. The pricing is generally high (IMHO), but that is the nature of eBay. Some are reasonably priced, until the bidding gets out of hand. Good luck on your collecting, should you decide to pursue it.
Bob
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New Member
United States
3 Posts
Posted 12/17/2015   5:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rottenralf to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My father's step-father collected these in 1927-8. He kept records of where he sent to, and if he got a return stamp. He had a separate album for the stamps, which he created himself. My father told he won a contest in 1927 which was a train trip across the US and back, but I can't find any online data that discusses that. If it lets me do a second image, it will a page in his album, one with a non-EKKO stamp from Denver.
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Posted 12/17/2015   6:35 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add KGB to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Cool hobby!
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1235 Posts
Posted 12/19/2015   8:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Timm to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Any free down loadable pages for these?
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Posted 05/08/2017   10:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For anyone with an interest in the area discussed in this old topic, I thought that I'd mention that there is now available a catalog that illustrates and values these types of stamps.

A sample page is shown below.





Another catalog is available that illustrates the similar QSL bureau stamps. A sample page is shown below.



Both books are available at ericjackson.com

Jim
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United States
75 Posts
Posted 07/05/2019   1:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add griffbo to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good morning,
Here is an EKKO stamp on U.S.postal card for radio station WIOD in Miami.I just got it today at a local flea market.'Thanks
David



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