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Valued Member
United States
193 Posts
Posted 05/17/2019   10:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add EdziuMM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Mom did it for me!
Way back in 1943-
or-so she brought home a packet of stamps for me. I didn't even know of the existence of stamps 'til that moment.
That wonderful intuition of hers stirred a lifetime interest in me for geography, history, collecting and STAMPS!
Thank you, thank you, Mom! ~"Sonny"
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Valued Member
United States
62 Posts
Posted 05/17/2019   11:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wheatcent to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Quite honestly? It was the little pouch of 300 worldwide stamps at Hobby Lobby for $5 that caught my eye.

I had always been interested in it but never purchased any stamps or albums or anything like that. I've been a numismatist for well over a decade now and I always (for whatever strange reason) thought that I should "stay in my lane" with coins. Two months later, here we are, and I'm enjoying every second of philately.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
4167 Posts
Posted 05/17/2019   12:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add floortrader to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The older boys in the neighborhood would get together and trade stamps on the front porch, us younger kids would watch. They gave us some if they had a lot of duplicates . I went home to show everybody ,so my mother purchased me a album for 25 cents at Woolworths .
For 65 years I never stopped .
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Valued Member
Ireland
148 Posts
Posted 05/17/2019   12:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add FitzjamesHorse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I firmly believe that Collectors have a "collecting gene".
My father collected cigarette cards in the 1930s. So while other fathers (circa 1957) might think bubble gum cards were a waste of money. my father happily splashed out one penny for a packet of one. And sent off a postal order for an album.
First cards were Football.......one lot from a bubble gum machine and the other in packs.
Circa 1960, one of these firms that I now know to be AB & C (??) issued a set of 80 cards of Flags of the World. As my mother forbade me from chewing gum (horrible pink stuff anyway) as a "dirty American habit and the gum will stick in your tummy and you will die", I happily swapped the gum for other cards.
I think those were my favourite cards.....some internet research a few years ago suggests there was an American version (maybe smaller in measurement).
I think those cards led directly to stamps in around 1961.
My father bought an album in Wollworths and Woolies also stocked packets of stamps for sixpence or ninepence....Bulldog or FG or whatever. And ever corner shop seemed to have very small packets of stamps.
It was a kinda rite of passage in the 1960s.
A few years ago, I found a complete set of those 80 Flags (in an album)on eBay. At some point I might get some of those football cards...or at least Manchester United as they are the only team for me.
But I go back to the "collecting gene". I am interested in Irish/USA coins, some cigarette cards, phonecards and postcards. And plastic toy soldiers
But even if I am not interested in (say)beer cans, cigarette packets or whatever I don't think I could pass a collection of beer bottles, cigarette packs or whatever without spending some time looking.
And probably a lot of other collectors can identify with that.
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Valued Member
Learn More...
United States
105 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   12:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anghus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow! You guys (and gals?) have much better memories than I do. I really have no idea what got me started collecting stamps. I just remember heading down to Woolworth's every Saturday with my allowance burning a hole in my pocket and coming home with those wonderful 5, 10 and 25 cent packets of stamps.

This was probably in the late 50's. Then sometime in the mid-60's (about when the Beatles made their big splash in America) I sold my WW collection to some outfit in New York for $750! Doesn't sound like much now but it was big money then. I bought myself a new bicycle and a top of the line component stereo system.

I kept my US collection though but didn't really get back to collecting until 20 years later. I took another long break in there but now that I am retired I guess I am a full-time collector! It's interesting to look through my US collection and find items that I remember buying over 60 years ago.
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Valued Member
United States
82 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   06:39 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moschophoros to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My grandfather was a postmaster. He gave me my first philatelic material when I was fairly young. I don't know why he chose me alone from among his many grandchildren, but I still enjoy knowing that he personally canceled many of the FDCs in my collection.

When my aunt saw my budding interest, she pulled out 2 stamp albums that were her (deceased) brother's when he was a child: a paperback world album and some White Ace pages for US commemorative stamps of the late 40s and early 50s.

My grandmother starting clipping newspaper articles about new stamp releases and starting buying me plate blocks and 10 strips of coils of all new US issues.

By this point I was a collector. Many of those early stamps have driven my current areas of interest. My favorite US stamp is still Scott 720, the purple 3c Washington. Perhaps the common US stamp in existence, but back then I felt it was philatelic perfection, and still do.
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Valued Member
United States
369 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   08:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add funcitypapa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My parents bought me a stamp album and a few stamps when I was about 10. The first early stamp was an unused hinged copy of the 5 cent chocolate US Grant (Scott 223) which I managed in my neophyte way to damage but is still one of my favorite issues. As the above stories show and as I wrote several decades ago in a letter to the editor in the American Philatelist, in response to a collector reporting how his grandmother used to tear off stamps from the old country (Italy) as the basis for his collection, it is usually someone near and dear to us that exposes us to hobbies.

Moschophoros: since your grandfather was a postmaster, depending on your age and the class of post office he worked at, if you search your family archives, you may come across his original postmAsters commission
Which if the post office was large enough, might have been signed by the president. Now that would be something I would proudly display!
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Edited by funcitypapa - 05/19/2019 08:59 am
Valued Member
United States
82 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   10:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Moschophoros to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Funcitypapa - we do have the original commission signed by President Eisenhower; it is currently in my father's possession.. Eisenhower was a Kansas boy like my grandfather and myself. My grandfather was postmaster of Manhattan, Kansas in the 1960s.
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Valued Member
United States
88 Posts
Posted 05/19/2019   5:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gslaten to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Tom Marshall was our postman, and I remember him delivering our mail from his large brown mailbag every day from 1942 til 1949 when we moved to a different city. As it turned out he was an avid stamp collector.

As an 8 or 9 year old in the mid 1940's, I was given a stamp collection, stored in cigarette tins that two of my uncles had saved as kids. Worldwide. In an attempt to add to it, I naively put a letter in the mailbox addressed to "someone in Europe" asking them to send me some of their stamps...of course Mr. Marshall intercepted it, read it and took me under his wing. He introduced me to approvals from such companies as Jamestown and Littleton which greatly expanded my horizons. I have collected off and on ever since. I have many FDC's addressed to Tom Marshall that he gave me over the years as well as many more that he serviced for me at 10 cents/cover. Still worth about the same.

I will always be grateful to Mr. Marshall...he was a kind, generous and helpful mentor.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
652 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   12:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My interest in history and geography reaches back further than my memory, but it led to both coin collecting and stamp collecting. The coins started with some foreign odds and ends that my dad gave me when I was 5 or 6. The stamps started with those that I saw on mail, especially the 1972 U.S. "Stamp Collecting" stamp (Scott #1474), which was the real impetus for my collection.

My uncle was a Serious Collector, but I don't think I knew about his collection until I started collecting myself. He became my mentor, supplying me with my first album, duplicates from his stock books, and plenty of advice and support.
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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1082 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   01:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've related the story before, but will repeat it here.

When I was about 8-9 years old, I was "exploring" my attic and came across my dad's army trunk. After working the lock to remove it, I was "in"!

There were the usual odds and ends, including various ribbons, medals and metallic insignia for someone who had served in the Army, but it was a small stock book which caught my attention.

There were dead Presidents (think 1938 series), as well as Hitler, Chinese junks and other worldwide stamps which quickly took my 8-9 year mind on a journey I'd never have imagined without the stamps.

To make a longer story short, I got into a good deal of trouble for being where I was not supposed to be, but in a blatant disregard for my personal well-being, I insisted on talking about the stamps....

My dad eventually gave them to me and the rest, as they say, is history. 55 years later, I'm still chasing these bits of paper for their beauty, their history, their artistry and their importance in weaving the history of where we have been.
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Valued Member
United States
74 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   09:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bakechad to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally my Grandmother bought me a Harris stamp album from Woolworths in the late 1970s. Played with a little and it disappeared somewhere throughout the years.

In the late 90s, I was walking through Marshall Field's (Chicago - State St.) basement and saw the stamp counter. Went over and bought a few packets and some mounts and so it began......

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
1902 Posts
Posted 05/20/2019   10:13 pm  Show Profile Check TheArtfulHinger's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add TheArtfulHinger to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I started back in the '70's, somewhere around 7-8 years old or so; I don't remember exactly. Anyway, back then craft stores would have packets of stamps, displayed in cellophane wrapped cardboard of about postcard size. I can't remember if I had some of my own money or if my mom bought them for me, but I went home that day with some stamps. I was entranced by the foreign writing and exotic pictures; they opened up a whole new world for me. On my next visit to the craft store I purchased one of those paperback kids albums (which I no longer have) and within a couple years I had graduated to a Harris Traveler, which I still have. Once in awhile I'll pick up the Harris Traveler and even add to it if I have duplicates from my main collection that will fit in the spaces. I think the 10-year old inside of me is still trying to complete that album!
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Valued Member
United States
50 Posts
Posted 06/16/2019   5:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add HoosRec to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Dad got me started in the late 1950s. He collected US, but I was already interested in world geography and maps. So I focused on a worldwide collection as a kid. I already had an album, but Dad found an 1896 Mekeel album, I think at a local estate sale. That helped keep me interested for a few years, but college and other things got in the way for the next 20 years. Then, one day in the 1980s, my wife and I were in London and unexpectedly walked past the National Postal Museum! We walked in and looked around. I was hooked again, but this time I was focusing on the pre-1940 engraved stamps.
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Pillar Of The Community
Learn More...
2933 Posts
Posted 06/16/2019   6:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was very sick when I was eight or ten years old and my Mom bought me a stamp album from Johnsons Bookstore to help occupy the time. I sent away for stamps from places seen in comic book ads and the rest is history.
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