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United States of America
General Postal History

See Also:   US Specialized   US by State or region   Other Countries   Stamp Catalogs

 

 

 
Reference

Essays for U.S. Adhesive Postage Stamps
, by Clarence W. Brazer (.uk)

Philatelic Periodicals of the United States and Canada, Van Cott Gary A. (.uk)

History of the U. S. Post Office to 1829 - Wesley E. Rich c.1977 {.uk}


Sixty Year Index of the United States Specialist [1990]
, Richard T. Hall
[formerly: Bureau Issues Assoc.] (.uk)

Linn's Stamp Identifier: Spiral-bound - 2nd ed. 2004: .ca, .uk, .us.
1st Edition - Paperback: .us
Best is 2nd Edition from Amos Publishing : 2004, 190 pages, b&w illustrations, lay-flat binding

100 Greatest American Stamps,
by Janet Klug (former Pres. APS, Donald Sundman (Mystic Stamp Co., Inc.) [hb]
Reviewed, "Stamp collecting's biggest names collaborated to create one remarkable book! With entertaining stamp stories and large, crisp illustrations, 100 Greatest American Stamps is perfect for stamp collectors and history buffs alike. . . "

History of the Postage Stamps of the United States of America by John Kerr Tiffany, 1886 pb (hb)
Kindle Ed.: Free!!
John Kerr Tiffany: President of the American Philatelic Association and of the St. Louis Philatelic Society.
"In seeking for information concerning the postage stamps of the United States, we shall turn in vain to sources which have furnished, in other countries, such accurate details in regard to the stamps issued by their postal authorities, for the stamps authorized by the United States Post Office Department are not manufactured by the government, and there is no "stamp office" to authenticate each plate, and register the number of sheets made from it, and no edict, proclamation or law informs the public of the values authorized for use, or of the designs, or other peculiarities of the stamps to be employed.

. . The entire work has been therefore largely recast in the hope of making it more acceptable to American collectors, and in several instances comments have been made upon stamps that were not mentioned in the French edition, in order to correct certain erroneous views entertained concerning them in this country, which it was supposed was sufficiently accomplished by their omission in the other series.

Under the heading "Postmaster's Stamps", "Such stamps were issued at New York, St. Louis, Brattleboro, New Haven, Providence, Alexandria, Baltimore, Millbury and probably other places. Although not governmental or official stamps, they are none the less interesting or valuable mementoes. They show how determined the public were to have the postage stamp, and their history shows how the Public Will compelled the government to adopt the postage stamp in spite of the supposed difficulties in the way."

Further, under 'Observations', "It is by no means improbable that other similar devices were in use in other towns and cities at this period, by which prepayment of postage was secured. The salaries of many of the smaller offices depended on the amount of postage collected, and the importance of all offices was estimated by the revenue collected. It was natural, therefore, as the public demand for such accommodation grew, that the postmaster should adopt a device tending to their own benefit."

St. Louis, August, 1886." (republished Oct 14, 2010)

Linn's United States Yearbooks

Devoted to the postage stamps and postal stationery released by the U.S. Postal Service during the year. The Yearbook tells you all you want to know about each issue: why it was issued, how its design was developed, what problems or controversies surrounded it, production facts and figures. Also illustrated are artists' sketches and essays unavailable in any other published work.

1983
Boughner
.ca
pb
.uk
pb
.us
pb
1984
Boughner
.ca
pb
.uk
pb
.us
pb
1985
Boughner
.ca
pb
.uk
pb
.us
pb
1986
Boughner
.ca
pb
.uk
pb
.us
pb
1987
Boughner
.ca
pb
.uk
pb
.us
pb
1988
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1989
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1990
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1991
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1992
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1993
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1994
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb (2)
hb
1995
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1996
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1997
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1998
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
1999
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2000
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2001
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2002
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2003
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2004
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2005
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2006
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2007
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2008
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2009
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
2010
George
Amick
.ca
pb
hb
.uk
pb
hb
.us
pb
hb
See Also: Linn's Yearbooks: 1983-1987 (5 in a case) .us pb, .uk pb, .ca pb

 
Topical

The Civil War 1861-65: A Collection of U.S. Commemorative Stamps,

James MacPherson - Time-Life Books 1996, hb {.ca, .uk}

Statue of Liberty: Stamps and Postmarks - Donald Brenke (Editor) {ATA} pb {.ca, .uk}

Bicentennial of American Independence on Foreign Stamps,
by Donald Brenke (ATA 1979) pb {.ca, .uk}

Celebrate the Century: A Collection of Commemorative Stamps - Time-Life Books, hb {.ca, .uk}

American Mail: Enlarger of the Common Life (History of American Civilization)
,
by Wayne F. Fuller {.ca, .uk}

Presidents:

Presidential Campaign Stamps (1995) - Mark Warda ; pb

Covers: ". . . stamps (also called seals or labels) issued to promote presidential camdidates from 1856 through 1992.
It also includes nearly 100 non-campaign stamps picturing presidents from Lincoln through Reagan."
Note: Most of the material was updated in the (1998) book Political Campaign Stamps, but none of the post-death issues are listed in the latter (updated ; aj) work. -- Publisher Comments

George Washington on Stamps - Melvin Morris (ATA handbook, Vol. 132 ; hb)

Abraham Lincoln on Worldwide Stamps - Melvin Morris (Editor) [ATA 1998]

Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Stamp Collecting President - Brian C. Baur [Linn's 1999] pb

Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Stamp Collecting President - Brian C. Baur [Linn's 1999] hb

The Roosevelts on worldwide stamps (Collecting the presidents) by Melvin Morris (2003)

Handbook of Roosevelt philately: A description of postage stamps and related philatelic material issued throughout the world to honor Franklin Delano Roosevelt, L. Boyd Norris (Alt.)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (& family) on Worldwide Stamps - Donald Brenke [ATA 1995] pb (Alternate)

Other:

Who's Who on U.S. Stamps - by Richard Louis Thomas 1991 [Linn's] pb {hb}

From Presidents to poets...

More Who's Who on U.S. Stamps - by Richard Louis Thomas 2000 [Linn's] pb {hb}
Features (258) capsule biographies of people who are honored, but not pictured, on US stamps--thus filling in the gaps in Who's Who on US Stamps and making the set a comprehensive guide to stamp personalities between 1847 and 1992.

The Duck Stamp Story: Art, Conservation, History by Eric Jay Dolin, Bob Dumaine (.uk)

Prehistoric Animals: A Collection of U.S. Postage Stamps - by Greg Varner - [Design Editions] - hb

Folk Heroes: A Collection of U. S. Postage Stamps - USPS

 

General Postal History


American Stampless Cover Catalog : The Standard Reference Catalog of American Postal History by David G. Phillips

United States Postal History Sampler - Richard B. Graham {Linn's} hb

The Post Office Book : Mail and How It Moves, by Gail Gibbons
Reviewed, " ‘Another winner by Gail Gibbons, who has a wonderful ability to choose a daily occurrence or a familiar object and make sense of it.’ —SLJ.
Children's Books of 1982 (Library of Congress) "

Mail Call! : The History of the U.S. Mail Service (First Books) by Nancy O'Keefe Bolick
Review From School Library Journal, "Grade 4-6 : Four- to eight-page chapters cover such topics as Benjamin Franklin's role in mail delivery in the colonies, the Pony Express, the changes brought about by the railroad, stamps and postmarks, and the postal service today. The final section contains stories about unusual events, such as a mail carrier who fell off his bike into an ants' nest, and a four-year-old girl who was mailed to her grandmother because postage was cheaper than a train ticket. . . . This title is a good companion to Gail Gibbons's The Post Office Book (HarperCollins, 1982), which is for a younger audience. Both books will help to fill the gap in collections where there isn't much information between the Pony Express and the present day. . ."


Mailing May (Ages 4 to 8) by Michael O. Tunnell, Ted Rand (Illustrator)
Based on an incident that occurred in Idaho in 1914, this story tells of little May, who longs to visit her grandmother. May's parents cannot afford a railway ticket for the 75-mile trip, but with the help of cousin Leonard, who mans the mail car on the train, May's father takes advantage of the new parcel post regulations: he presents his daughter at the station post office as a package he's mailing to Lewiston. Affixing 53 cents in stamps to the back of her coat, the good-natured... (4 1/2 star review)

For Which We Stand; The Life and Papers of Rufus Easton by Bruce Campbell Adamson, et al.
History NOT Philately, "...The U.S. Postal Service is the web that holds this great country together. Next to Dr. Benjamin Franklin, Rufus Easton was one of the most colorful in the Postal history at the dawn of these United States. For Easton was first postmaster of St. Louis while simultaneously judge of the largest territory ever in North America. ...

...In 1805 Rufus Easton refused to partake in Burr's Conspiracy in which General James Wilkinson was a major player. In his lifetime Easton backed out of four separate duels. The most historic one was in 1805 when President Jefferson's favorite cabinet member, Postmaster General, Gideon Granger implored Easton not to participate in a duel with Aaron Burr. In 1804 Aaron Burr had killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Had Easton entered a duel with Burr, would historians have declared Easton a major player in American history? ..."


Pony Express Postage Stamp Album for United States Stamps Issued Through 1988 - Pexo

Pony Bob's Daring Ride : A Pony Express Adventure (Highlights from American History) by Joe Bensen, John Potter (Illustrator)

The First Ride : Blazing the Trail for the Pony Express by Jacqueline Geis

The Pony Express (A Timestop Book) by Laurel Van Der Linde

They're Off! : The Story of the Pony Express by Cheryl Harness

Horse Drawn Mail Vehicles by James H. Bruns
From the Table of Contents:
Overland Vehicles, Stage Wagons, Conestoga Wagon, Colonial Coaches, Calash, Habersham Coach, Post Coaches, Road Coach, Troy Coaches, Concord Coaches, Passenger Wagons, Mountain Wagon, Sightseeing Wagon, Coach Sleigh, Mail Sleds, Bobsled Stage, Civil War Wagons, Canal Boats, Urban Postal Vehicles, Regulation Wagons, Screen Wagons, Mail Messenger Wagons, Carrier Wagonette-Omnibus, One-man Collection Carts, One-man Collection Wagons, Two-man Collection Wagons, Package Collection Cart, Collection and Distribution Wagon, Parcel Post Delivery Wagons, Star Route Buckboards, Star Route Farm Wagon, German Mail Wagon, Truck, Rural Free Delivery Vehicles, RFD Carts, One-man RFD Wagons, Two-man Postal Wagons, RFD Parcel Post Wagons, RFD Sleds, RFD Buggies, Storm Buggies, RFD Buckboards..

Ben Holladay : The Stagecoach King : A Chapter in the Development of Transcontinental Transportation by J. V. Frederick.
From a review entitled 'Dangerous Mail Delivery":
"...So often we see in westerns the stagecoach roaring into town and well-dressed easterners get out--not even dusty. This book shows the real and extremely difficult days of the stagecoach mail delivery and does it in a very factual, well-documented way. The end of the book should have been put at the first so we could know Ben Holladay before we learned all about the difficulties of getting the people and the mail to the western cities. ..."

Overland Mail, 1849-1869 by Leroy R. Hafen

Sharps Rifles and Spanish Mules : The San Antonio-El Paso Mail, 1851-1881 by Wayne R. Austerman

Motorized Mail by James H. Bruns

Postal History of American Prisoners of War : World War II, Korea and Vietnam by Norman Gruenzner {APS 1979}

Secret Service of the Post Office Department [1978] - P. H. Woodward - [ & Sanford J. Durst]

United States Postal History, by Richard B. Graham (Linn's 1992)
"It consists of 15 chapters based on approximately 60 Linn's columns created by Graham between 1982 and 1991. Corrections and updates published in subsequent Linn's columns have been incorporated into the text where appropriate. Some of the topics covered include train wreck covers, fancy cancels APO markings, campaign covers, flag cancels, Intelex markings, Dead Letter Office markings, early railroad markings, factured first-day covers, free franks, advertising covers and Navy ship post office markings."

And from Amazon's 'About the Author, "Richard B. Graham is the dean of United States postal historians. Over the last four decades, his writing has appeared in a wide range of stamp journals and publications, and his behind-the-scenes editorial hand has shaped many excellent and important books. The quantity of Graham's output on postal history subjects is simply staggering. (This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.)"; 1990 edition


Labor Struggle in the Post Office : From Selective Lobbying to Collective Bargaining (Labor and Human Resources), by John Walsh, Garth Mangum

Sending a Letter (Everyday History), by Alex Stewart
Ages 8 and up : Reviewed, "... a historical view of communication, from messengers and smoke signals to e-mail and faxes. . . . has a time line, a glossary, and a bibliography. Useful for report writers." Kay Weisman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Spreading the News : The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse, by Richard R. John
(4 star review)
Description "In the seven decades from its establishment in 1775 to the commercialization of the electric telegraph in 1844, the American postal system spurred a communications revolution no less far-reaching than the subsequent revolutions associated with the telegraph, telephone, and computer. This book tells the story of that revolution and the challenge it posed for American business, politics, and cultural life. "

Reviewed, "... The strength of the book is...the author's ability to untangle the thousands of social, political, economic, and cultural threads of the postal fabric and to rearrange them into a clear and compelling social history."

The Last Monopoly : Privatizing the Postal Service for the Information Age, by Edward L. Hudgins(Editor), Cato Institute 1996.
(5 star review)
Explores the pros and cons of privatizing the postal service.

Mail at the Millennium: Will the Postal Service Go Private?
, Edward L. Hudgins, 2001
"As more people correspond and pay bills online, dramatically reducing the need for letter carrying, what is the place for the Postal Service in the 21st century? "

An American Postal Portrait: A Photographic Legacy, c.2000
by The US Postal Service (USPS), William J. Henderson, James Bruns, Carl Burcham
"This first-ever photographic history of the United States Postal Service pays tribute to the everyday people who have worked through rain, sleet, and snow to bring mail to American families. In over 200 rarely seen photographs, beginning with the advent of photography in 1860 and continuing to the present. . . . Starting with the earliest Post Office outposts on the remote western frontier, the photographs highlight the great events, ideas, and inventions of the past century and a half--from mail delivery by stagecoach and horseback to the rapid utilization of the railroads and airplanes to the sophisticated sorting machines automating the processing of mail today."

Philately: The Catalog of the Collectors Club Library - Library Staff (Macmillan), 1974 {.ca, .uk}

Stamps, Coins, Postcards and Related Materials: A Directory of Periodicals
[1991 ed.], Doris Robinson (Editor) - [Peri Press] (.ca, .uk)

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