Category Archives: Stamps

The Mystery of the Nazi Envelope, or the Search for Arthur Gorum

Norwegian letter with Nazi censor stamp

I spent much of this last winter sorting through my grandfather’s collection of stamps. They come from a variety of sources.  Some he clearly cut off envelopes.  Some he probably purchased, as they are in glassine envelopes.  Some were gifted to him by a cousin in 1935. I have zero idea how he came into possession of this envelope (click to enlarge). Where did it come from? The stamps make this question easy, on account of Norway having a long

A Question of Context: the Billion Mark Stamp

The poor state of history education in our primary and secondary schools has left many of my college students seeing history as nothing but distinct facts to be memorized, often in list form. I know I had to repeatedly memorize the major battles of the Revolutionary War and their dates. How does that help me understand the war overall? It doesn’t. Not in the least. Also, I don’t remember a damn one of them besides Lexington and Concord precisely because

It’s All About the Benjamins…What?

Benjamin franklin Stamp Saying "What"?

As previously mentioned, my grandfather’s concept of organization is…creative. Going through his jumbled collection of stamps invoked many facepalming exclamations of “Grandpa!”  This was one of them, exclaimed even before I opened the envelope to which he had scotch-taped a green stamp of Benjamin Franklin. Scotch-taped.  By its appearance it was obviously old.  Upon looking it up, I found it was printed sometime between 1908 and 1912. So, you know, effectively destroyed a 100-year-old stamp.  In his defense, the stamp

The Little Stamp Collection That Could

Quite Special Envelope from Grandpa

As I recover from surgery, I’ve shifted my hobbies to things I can do on the couch that don’t require a lot of thought. It’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while. Much of that included organizing a spectacularly disorganized stamp collection I had inherited and forgotten.  (Another part of it involved rewatching all four seasons of Farscape, which is as good as I remember, except for season four, which is every bit as bad as I remember.)