How I Bought 41 Penny Blacks All At Once


Ocotober 2, 2004 Linn’s Stamp News Article

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What do you remember of your earliest days as a stamp collector? I’d like to share my beginning stamp collecting memories and invite you to try to remember what it was like being a novice collector.

I started collecting stamps at the ripe age of 4½, sometime in mid-1947. My daddy had shown me a small beginner Scott album in which he had saved a few hundred worldwide stamps in the 1920’s. I was captivated. Here was a tangible connection with strange places all over the world and historical events from interesting time periods. One look and I was hooked! I wanted my own stamps!

I started saving the stamps from every letter that came into our house. I got a shoebox to keep them in and soon had it half-full of mostly 3¢ purple Thomas Jefferson Presidentials, a scattering of 1¢ green Washingtons, an occasional airmail, and a few 3¢ commemoratives. I liked the 1947 doctor stamp because it pictured a familiar scene. When I was sick, the family doctor, with his black bag, came to visit my bedside. (In those "ancient" days, doctors made housecalls; an office visit was $6, but if he came to the house that cost $8).

In my early collecting days, my rarest most prized stamp was the strangely-shaped 6¢ orange winged-globe airmail. (I had no idea at that time that what I had was a used Scott C19 which catalogued about .04). The first stamp I ever remember buying was the Puerto Rico stamp which cost me 3¢ at the post office in April 1949. By 1950, I was a real pest at our small one-clerk post office, hounding him regularly about whether he had the latest .03 commemoratives yet. But he was always patient and pretended that my three penny purchase was an important piece of government postal business!

Next time (if there is a next time) I’ll relate how my collecting evolved from the shoebox into albums. Meanwhile, see what you can recall of your early introduction to stamps and those enjoyable moments.