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Urban Legends of Philately  
 

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Pillar Of The Community
United States
996 Posts
Posted 04/17/2017   09:53 am  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
If like me, you enjoy reading about the history and lore of our hobby, you've picked up odds and ends of unsubstantiated rumors that may or may not be true but are tantalizing nonetheless.

I have been going through a ten year stack of the ASDA
American Collector' magazine, a great source for philately's history. In one article I read that early in the 1960's a copy of the Canada Seaway invert was destroyed by a dealer who spilled a cup of coffee on it.Then there is the old story that another one cent British Guiana existed and was intentionally destroyed to maintain the uniqueness of the copy already known. You get the idea.

Just thought there might be interest in this.
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Edited by Stamps1962 - 04/17/2017 09:54 am

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Posted 04/17/2017   10:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wasn't there one about a jenny that was sucked up in a vacuum cleaner?
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Al
Valued Member
United States
223 Posts
Posted 04/17/2017   10:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The "vacuum cleaner" copy of C3a is not an urban legend - it is true. It is position 78 and the damage occurred when it was owned by Robert Zoellner. https://invertedjenny.com/position/78
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 04/17/2017   11:02 am  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I also read that there was a president of a major philatelic society who was charged with murder. That would have been around 1890-1900. Tried to Google and found nothing.

Link to an article containing the Seaway invert coffee story:

http://www.omagdigital.com/article/...article.html
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Edited by Stamps1962 - 04/17/2017 11:08 am
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Posted 04/17/2017   11:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add littleriverphil to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not an urban legend, the owner of the British Guiana 1856 1c black on magenta from 1980 to 2014 John E. du Pont did murder Dave Schultz on Jan 26 1996.
He spent the rest of his life in prison, still buying stamps that he was not allowed to have there. He died in 2010, four years before his 1c British Guiana broke the record paid for a single stamp for the fourth time.
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Edited by littleriverphil - 04/17/2017 12:01 pm
Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 04/17/2017   1:36 pm  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Yes, I knew about duPont. The guy I was thinking of was a society president, I think of a major Canadian group. The more I think abut it I seem to recall he was charged, fled to the US then surrendered and was acquitted. It was a case of a husband killing a guy his wife was involved with. In those days they were more tolerant of honor killings like that.
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229 Posts
Posted 04/17/2017   5:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add alub to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
philatelic urban legends:

My Elvis stamp is going to be valuable.

My green one cent stamp with Franklin's Picture must be Scott # 316

The Post Office id going to issue only 100 copies of the Right Side Up Jenny and ALL of them will be distributed randomly in the regular issue.

I think I found a 5 cent brown with a Z grill....


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Edited by alub - 04/17/2017 5:46 pm
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Posted 04/17/2017   6:20 pm  Show Profile Check rlsny's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlsny to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not an urban legend, but I quite enjoyed reading the article in the Siegel catalog for the upcoming sale of the recovered C3a that was part of a block of 4 inverted Jenny stamps stolen in 1955. It goes in-depth into the history of the stolen stamps and their recovery. Since only three of the four stamps have been found the investigation continues - both to find the missing stamp and to try to identify who stole the original block. The article was written by a former civil rights activist who investigated cold case murders. It is called "ETHEL B. MCCOY—The Lady and Her Stamps" and can be found here on page 33:

https://siegelauctions.com/2017/1157/1157.pdf
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 04/17/2017   7:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add angore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Just hang around some dealers at a show and just listen while flipping through books as the dealer talks to another person. It is always the one I got or the one that got away.
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Al
Edited by angore - 04/17/2017 7:03 pm
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Posted 04/17/2017   7:11 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
One that pops into my mind related to a woman in Great Britain who apparently wallpapered a room in her home, walls and ceilings, entirely with Penny Blacks. I think it's a true story but I can't recall for sure.
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Posted 04/17/2017   7:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add shermae to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Another one came to mind, told to me by Dickon Pollard of Murray Payne Inc. As far as I know this story is true.

There was a father-son dealer team in the UK that between the 2 men spanned close to 60 years, if not a bit more. I had personally done business with the son shortly before he left philately in the late 1990s. Unfortunately I can't recall his name, but he had one of the most amazing stocks of Commonwealth in the 1990s before selling off his stock to Stanley Gibbons. The catalog he mailed out in those days was the size and shape of a large, thick non-fiction paper back filled edge-to-edge in listings printed in something like 6-point font. Wish I had saved one of them.

One summer during WW2, the father in this duo was viewing auction lots prior to a sale and he complained to the auction house staff that the viewing room was exceptionally hot and stuffy. Apparently the auction company had provisions for air conditioning even at that time but for whatever reason they refused in this instance to use it.

After repeated complaints about his extreme discomfort, our eccentric stamp dealer/customer decided to take matters into his own hands. Despite the room being full of other browsers, this man proceeded to remove ALL his clothes, including his socks, and he continued to view the auction lots in his birthday suit. The way the story was related to me, apparently this guy would not have taken home any citizenship awards for his personal hygiene, much less his sense of decorum.

I wish I had more of the details, but Dickon had me rolling over this story while we shared some drinks one night. And Dickon insisted it was true.
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Pillar Of The Community
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Posted 04/21/2017   10:05 am  Show Profile Check Stamps1962's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Stamps1962 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The late Herman Herst said that one of the enduring legends of US philately is that someone has full sheets of the Columbian issues. I believe there are sheets of a couple lower values but no one has seen full sheets of the high dollar values for many decades. I'd assume the high values were all broken up by mailers back when full sheets were being sold below face. Hard to believe..
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Posted 04/21/2017   10:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add SPQR to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Columbian Stamp Company recently sold a set of full sheets to the $1 value.http://www.columbianstamp.com/?port...heets-of-100
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Posted 04/22/2017   7:55 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I had a chance to see those sheets, they do exist. However, not only has no one ever seen a complete sheet of the $5 Columbian, there is no known photograph of one either. And people have searched the literature hard all the way back to 1893 looking for one. Some people surmise that with the face value being so high, they were all broken up at the BEP prior to shipping them out to post offices.
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Posted 04/22/2017   9:36 pm  Show Profile Check KRelyea's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add KRelyea to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It's not an urban legend because it's true but the story of the Cooperstown find always makes me wish I was there.

Henry Scott was an original officer of the Bank and worked there from it's founding in 1830 until 1866 when it closed. In his long career he made a habit of saving all of the correspondence that arrived at the bank. By the time he retired the attic of the bank was full of this correspondence. In the 1930s the bank was being torn down and this forgotten postal history treasure was found and is known as the "Cooperstown Find". Many of these documents are in the Albany Museum, but it is not uncommon to find a folded letter addressed to Mr Scott. I keep looking but I've never seen any of the #1s and #2s that were supposedly included in the attic.
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Posted 04/24/2017   7:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There was an article, in LInns I think, not too long ago of a sheet of the $2 Columbian being discovered in Europe. It was split in two due to being folded for many decades. But the auction house; I believe the German gentleman whose last name begins with a G; was able to determine that it was originally one sheet.

This one is NOT an urban legend. For those interested in Mexico, and specifically the 1934 University issues, check out the current auction catalog of Daniel F. Kelleher. They are selling a recently discovered holding of 100 sets of the regular and airmail stamps, plus the cheapie postal tax stamp. Think for a moment. There were just 1000 of the regular high value printed; Scott #706; and 1,500 of the high value airmail, Scott #C61. This holding has 100 of each.
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