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Scott International Brown Album In A Single Volume?

 
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Posted 05/05/2022   9:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add gvol21 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hey all - I've been a Scott Intl Vol 1 ('big blue') collector for some time now, and enjoy reading the discussions here and elsewhere debating the relative merits of the Blue, the Browns, other albums (e.g. Minkus), and so on.

So I was actually quite surprised to learn, just today, from a post on Apfelbaum's site that there was apparently a single volume Brown album? Full article here: https://www.apfelbauminc.com/blog/p...stamps-album


Quote:
The album gives you the opportunity to collect the world to 1940 and has spaces for every country complete as listed by Scott... The one that you want is the hardbound, brown 1840-1940 album, about five inches thick when it has no stamps in it.


I must confess that I've never heard of, let alone seen a picture of, this album, but now I'm immensely curious. Anyone have a photo of it?
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Posted 05/06/2022   01:16 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hy-brasil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here's the 1920 (or so) version:


The full blown version that runs to 1940 is/became the Big Blue vol. 1, perfect bound, except also having the embossed brown outsides and the gold lettering on the front. The Junior was very similar but obviously smaller before becoming the version with blue card covers and a red fabric spine.

A lot are in poor shape with not only the covers needing repair but also with pages and binding deteriorating. The one shown is from somebody's current eBay auction (which also shows the familiar interior pages) and is actually in relatively good shape.
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Posted 05/06/2022   2:09 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gvol21 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Interesting. I've seen plenty of the individual Brown volumes floating around eBay, but not the all-in-a-single-volume version... a five-inch thick, bound album would be something else to see!
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Posted 05/06/2022   4:20 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What a strange article that is. I couldn't disagree more with it. It shows very little real understanding of the Scott International album, and it gives some pretty dopey advice about how to collect the world.

First of all, the following statement is misleading: "A fascinating solution to this philatelic conundrum was produced by the Scott publishing company in 1940. 1940 was the centennial of the first postage stamp, and Scott issued a hardbound, brown stamp album that contained spaces for every stamp in the world issued up to that time."

No, that is not what happened. By 1940, Scott had been publishing its worldwide "International" album for well over half a century. That is the brown album that had "spaces for every stamp in the world," not the new, shorter version they published in 1940 which was dramatically redesigned and had a blue cover. He's mixing up the two things.

The article also makes it clearly sound as if, all of a sudden, in honor of the centennial of the first postage stamp, they decided to issue this album for the first time. That's not true. What they did do, and this guy should know that, is issue a new briefer version of the same album they'd been publishing for over half a century, a version with all the expensive and hard-to-get stamps left out. This is the album that replaced the old brown albums. It's the blue version. And they did that over a decade before 1940, not in 1940. So even that is misleading.

They did this because Scott was transitioning their International album (the more complete version with spaces for nearly all stamps, the one you can sometimes still find in various brown volumes) into their modern well-known "Specialty" series of green regional and country albums. They renamed their now much abbreviated one-volume album as the "Scott International Junior" album as it was repositioned to collect a "representative" collection of the common stamps of the world, not all the stamps issued. I think that must be what this guy is trying to describe so inaccurately.

It's just hard to understand how someone who is an alleged authority on stamps can get so confused.

As for the bad advice part of this, I would never suggest to any collector that they collect in a sewn-binding album. Even the author of this article takes great pains to explain how such an album will bow out and become deformed due to the thickness of thousands of stamps that are added to it. Yet that's okay, he says, because it's just really appealing to have an enormous one-volume bulging album. Really? That's just really bizarre. Here's an idea: Use looseleaf albums instead. That way you can add or remove pages as needed to keep the thickness of each volume under control. If you've seen some of the enormous, bulging old albums that I've seen you'd never collect that way. It can become a disaster.

I'm surprised that any stamp expert would combine in one short article inaccurate historical claims and poor advice like this. Maybe they were having a really bad day?

And there's more! If there actually was a "single volume" brown album it would have to be one of the very earliest (1880s?) Scott International albums, and obviously that album would only go up to its publication date of 1885 or 1890, or whatever it might be, not up to the future date of 1940. No new brown album was issued in 1940. It was the "Junior" album or nothing from then on.

Over the decades, that one-volume blue "Junior" album has gradually added pages, as we all know, and now it's enormous. "Junior" got dropped from its name, and it's now knowns as just the "Scott International" album once again, and it runs to over 40 volumes. Up to 1940, it still has incomplete spaces for only "representative" stamps of the world, but after that year (or so) it includes spaces for pretty much every stamp issued -- which is what the much earlier brown version of the same album had once done in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A bit weird.
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Edited by DrewM - 05/06/2022 4:48 pm
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Posted 05/06/2022   4:48 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fast-bound albums, despite some disadvantages, can be amazing things. But don't use mounts.
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Posted 05/06/2022   4:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fast-bound or sewn binding albums are very pretty when not filled with stamps or lightly filled with stamps -- or if the pages have built-in page spacers.

Yes, use no mounts, just hinges. The album will bulge much more quickly if mounts are added due to their thickness.

It also helps if an album has page spacers to spread out the pages at the binding. Otherwise, the album will quickly begin to get the dreaded "bulge" that makes it look quite strange. Spacers are built into some Stanley Gibbons albums as narrow strips after every page -- to help spread out the pages to accommodate the added thickness of stamps. Without spacers, a sewn binding album will bulge to the point where the pages at the open sides of the pages become twice the thickness of the spine. It's a very odd sight. I'm not familiar with any other album makers who use built-in spacers, but some sell them for collectors to add to their albums -- essentially thin strips of cardboard with holes punched in them. Scott Specialty albums have spacers available if you want to add them, which I do. Adding page spacers is not needed in ring binder albums, but only in albums with posts -- or sewn binding albums where they have to already be sewn in along with the pages.
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Edited by DrewM - 05/06/2022 5:01 pm
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Posted 05/06/2022   6:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gvol21 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
And there's more! If there actually was a "single volume" brown album it would have to be one of the very earliest (1880s?) Scott International albums, and obviously that album would only go up to its publication date of 1885 or 1890, or whatever it might be, not up to the future date of 1940. No new brown album was issued in 1940. It was the "Junior" album or nothing from then on.


So I suppose this 'five-inch thick' Brown album is perhaps entirely mythical, then. Guess that would explain why I haven't seen one turn up anywhere... Apfelbaum must have crossed his wires with the single-volume Blue.
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Edited by gvol21 - 05/06/2022 6:28 pm
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Posted 05/06/2022   7:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The five volumes Browns were around until 1938. The Vintage pages go through 1940 and appear to use the plates from Specialty pages for the years 1939 and1940. The Specialty pages use the Brown plates for the period through 1938. This is proven by examining "cuts" of stamps for idiosyncrasies.

I have owned several complete five-volume Brown sets through the years that I purchased in large lots.
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Posted 05/06/2022   9:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gvol21 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The five volumes Browns were around until 1938. The Vintage pages go through 1940 and appear to use the plates from Specialty pages for the years 1939 and1940. The Specialty pages use the Brown plates for the period through 1938. This is proven by examining "cuts" of stamps for idiosyncrasies.


Thanks, Rog - good to know. Sad to hear that the single volume Brown is just a fantasy item. Would have been cool to come across an image of a mostly-full single volume! (If we think that a full, overstuffed Blue is unwieldy...)
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Posted 05/07/2022   03:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DrewM to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, correct, the Browns kind of lingered on up to nearly 1940. But they did this a bit awkwardly. Scott was not going back and rearranging all the pages. It just left each volume "as is" and moved on to create the next volume every once in awhile. They issued new volumes of the Brown album (the original Scott International) every once in awhile. They capped the 1840-1899 volume as Volume I and made no further changes to it. Then they created a 1900-20 volume, and that was followed by a 1920s volume, and so on. You'd have to look at each separate volume to see all the stamps of any country with, obviously, no way to rearrange them because these were sewn albums, not looseleaf albums. If I remember correctly, at various times Scott even issued what were essentially "yearbooks" covering just a year or two in order to update the albums and to sell them to collectors who wanted to update theirs. It got pretty complicated after awhile. I think there were "yearbooks" every few years in the early 1900s and again either in the 1920s or the 1930s. Not sure.

In the late 1930s, they decided to take the Brown pages and divvy them up to create separate regional and country albums as the Specialty albums in green covers.

So what to do for worldwide collectors? Since the Brown International album was disappearing, Scott decided to create a smaller, more selective Blue International album. And to emphasize that it was for only common stamps, partial lower value sets, and so on, they called it the Scott "Junior" Album. It was a one-volume album originally available in a sewn binding and, I think, also in a loose-leaf binding.

That's what Apfelbaum seems to be confusing with the non-existent one-volume Brown album he thinks he remembers. But there was no Brown International that covered 1840-1940, only this Blue "Junior" International that was only for selected lower value stamps. You coudn't have put all the stamps issued in the world into a one-volume album. Not nearly enough room. Even the Browns ended up as something like six large volumes by the time they were parceled out into the Specialty album series. The original one-volume Brown International was, of course, the 19th century volume up to 1899 of the Intenational album they stopped selling around 1940.

The images Scott used from the beginning just keep being reused, and unfortunately even in the current version of the blue Scott International, Scott has continued to leave out high value stamps and include only the low values of most sets without adding many (any?) new stamps. The 1840-1940 pages are "frozen" pretty much as they were first created generations ago.

The 1840-1940 part of the current International album is now sold in four groups of pages for some reason. It's the same basic blue International first issued as the Scott "Junior" International around 1940 or so. What's changed is that from the 1940s or maybe 1950 on, Scott included spaces for all stamps issued since pretty much no stamps are very rare anymore. The result is that the now-huge blue International album that we have today covers the first hundred years of stamps fairly incompletely but all the rest of stamp history completely (except real rarities).

This is one reason Subway Stamp Shop made a deal with Scott to reprint the 1840-1940 pages from the original brown International and sell it as their "Vintage Reproductions" album. It's pretty enormous since it's printed on one-sided heavy weight paper in many volumes. It's just the old Brown album printed on many more pages. A collector could use that for the first hundred years of stamps and then add all the supplements for the blue International after 1940 and have a virtually complete album of all the world's stamps. But it would cost a great deal and take up an entire library to store it. You'd never fill it even in a lifetime due to time and expense. But it would look impressive and be kind of fun to try.

It's a bit hard to wrap your head around all this, admittedly, and I may have some of this 'off' a little. But there is no one-volume brown International that covers 1840-1940. There is the old six-volume Brown that covers that era if you can find one used -- or the Vintage Reproductions pages which cover that same period. The former is only in sewn bindings and the latter only in looseleaf bindings.
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Edited by DrewM - 05/07/2022 03:31 am
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Posted 05/07/2022   07:49 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great info DrewM on this admittedly confusing topic.

Minor clarification - the Intl does still have some minor gaps in coverage in the 1940s, and even a few in the early 1950s (missing some officials).
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Posted 05/07/2022   11:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 1840to1940 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, that Apfelbaum article is wrong on so many points. DrewM, et al, have done a good job explaining, but what I wrote on my blog may be helpful to those who can't get enough of all things Brown or Blue.

https://globalstamps.blogspot.com/2...-part-4.html

Bob

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