think we are all born with a little bit the the collecting bug in us. Some of
us collect coins, some collect old bottles, and some collect insects. We
collect rocks, newspapers, salt & pepper shakers, spoons, art, autographs,
sports cards, antiques, and of course stamps. We have been collecting one
thing and another since the dawn of time.
become collectors for a variety of reasons. People may collect antiques or art
for their historical and cultural significance or for pride of ownership. They
may collect rocks for their aesthetic appeal. They might collect items out of
plain curiosity or whimsy. Stamp collecting, by far the most popular form of
collecting, combines all of these elements and more.
Stamps subjects include magnificent artwork,
beautiful sculptures, folklore, dress, and traditions of people around the
world, heroic figures, great events, antique autos, world-wide flora and fauna
and many other topics too numerous to list here.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, himself an
ardent Stamp Collector once stated that, "Stamp collecting dispels
boredom, enlarges our vision, broadens our knowledge, makes for better
citizens, and in innumerable ways enriches our life."
Postage Stamps were first issued by Great Britain in 1840 and
by 1860 less than a thousand different stamps had been issued world wide.
Stamp Collecting was certainly a lot simpler in those days and nearly
everyone was a collector of world-wide issues.
There was not a lot of thought or consideration given as to
whether the stamp was used or mint, whether the glue was intact, whether it
was on or off cover, the type of paper or watermark on the stamp, the type of
cancellation or any other aspect of the stamp or the envelopes
condition. Early collectors were simply interested in obtaining one of each
stamp. As stamps became more numerous and the numbers of collectors increased;
philatelic societies were formed, collectors began to interact with each other
and all of these different aspects of the stamp's physical make-up became more
Today there literally hundreds of different ways and methods
of collecting stamps and postal items. In these next few pages, we will
discuss the many different types of stamp collections, how to get started,
supplies that will aid you in your collecting efforts, and associations and
contacts to enhance your collecting experience.