The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is presented in recognition of outstanding service to the AFDCS. The award is presented from time to time and is not given each year. The award recognizes those individuals who have truly contributed an outstanding effort on behalf of the society. Only living AFDCS members in good standing and who have not previously received the DSA are eligible to receive the award.
Peter D. Martin
Prior to making his mark in the world of philatelic literature Peter Martin had a distinguished 22-year career in the military, culminating in the position of Inspector General of the 95th Training Division in Oklahoma. He edited a number of government publications and served on the staff of the U.S. Army’s monthly magazine Soldiers.
His writing, editing, and publishing accomplishments comprise a list that is too long to enumerate here but include editorship of the American Philatelist, Philatelic Literature Review, Duck Tracks, Scott Monthly Journal, State Revenue News, and the Ceremonial. He currently serves as editor of the Confederate Philatelist and La Posta.
Through his connections with the philatelic press he promoted the Society by having the winners of our annual cachetmakers contest publicized in Scott Stamp Monthly and elsewhere. He spearheaded the Cachetmaker of the Century project. He currently serves as AFDCS Historian.
From 2003 to 2006 he was editor of First Days and an ex officio member of the board of directors. In 2011 he was again named Editor, a member of the board of directors and also the Executive Committee. In 2012 he was named Americover Chairman, in which capacity he works with the show venue at each location, the providers for the Thursday and Sunday special events, and the volunteer staff of the Americover Committee.
John H. White
John White is a cachetmaker who introduced his new line of cachets in 1983 with the Babe Ruth issue. Actually his first cachet was for the state birds and flowers stamps the year before. He is a life member of AFDCS and in addition to his vocation and cachet-making, he finds time to be a volunteer fire fighter. But he doesn’t just fight fires. He was once called to assist the Federal Emergency Management Association with a North Carolina flooding disaster in Jones County.
He has a website where you can see a wonderful catalog of the first day covers of the 1955 Certified Mail issue, and a listing of North Carolina FDCs of the 1964 JFK stamp. And if you are interested in the history of the Pinehurst Electric Railroad Company or the Aberdeen and Rockfish Railroad Company, he is the go-to guy.
With the passing of Richard Monty, the First Cachets Committee sought someone who could support their efforts and help with managing their database. Our honoree has stepped into the breach with his technical skills to organize over 10,000 records.
More importantly these skills were demonstrated when he took on the position of AFDCS Auction Manager. In this role he has modernized the entire process of accepting and processing bids, as well as producing an expedited procedure for invoicing and collecting payments, speeding up the cash flow to the society. As the end of an auction approaches, he lists lot descriptions and scans on the Stamp Collecting Forum for those items that have no bids, generating a lot of last minute interest and income.
These efforts have resulted in setting new sales records for our auction program.
The series uses the Christmas theme, for which stamps are issued every year, so that the cachets can be completed in advance. The artists are given complete freedom to develop their designs. The AFDCS then reproduces the art on a high-quality envelope.
Paul Johnson has been employed by the federal government as a graphic artist since 1975, expanding into the fields of audio-visual and video productions in the 1980s. He currently oversees a small media operation within the Social Security Administration as a producer-director.
Paul was introduced to cachetmaking in 1983, producing his first cachet for the Bicentennial of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce Between the United States and Sweden for Rollin Berger of Panda Cachets. Later in 1983 he began to design cachets for the Robert C. Graebner Chapter #17, AFDCS. He has also produced a number of pictorial cancel designs for events and stamp shows over the years. Paul continues to produce cachets for Panda Cachets and the Graebner Chapter.
Unserviced envelopes will be available for purchase in late September or early October, for those who wish to service their own covers. Serviced covers will be available shortly after the first day(s) of issue of this year’s holiday stamps.
Ordering details will be announced at a later date.
Americover 2014, the 59th annual convention and exhibition of the AFDCS, takes place from August 15-17, 2014 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Somerset Hotel & Conference Center in Somerset, New Jersey.
The theme of this year’s convention is Celebrating 75 Years of ArtCraft Cachets. It should come as no surprise that the official show cachet will be produced by ArtCraft. The beauty of this cachet demonstrates why the ArtCraft line has endured for three-quarters of a century.
Covers will be available at the show. A set of three will be $10. Covers may also be ordered online (scroll to the bottom of the page).
The theme of Americover 2014, to be held August 15, 16 and 17 in Somerset, New Jersey, is Celebrating 75 Years of ArtCraft Cachets.
In conjunction with the show theme, a special postmark will be offered all three days of the show. The design will be the same each day, but the date will change. ArtCraft will also produce the show cachet, the design of which will be revealed later.
A set of three show covers is $10 and will be available at the show.
Can’t make it to the show? Order a set of convention covers online. Click here, then scroll down to the bottom to purchase a set of convention covers and/or a show program bearing stamps postmarked with all three of the show postmarks.
Online orders will be mailed after the show.
The Washington Press is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its ArtCraft Cachets during Americover 2014, the annual show and convention of the American First Day Cover Society, which is being held Aug. 15-17 in Somerset, N.J.
Washington Press owners Leo and Sam August were among the founders of the AFDCS in 1955, and the company has remained a strong benefactor of the organization. Now, for the first time in many years, ArtCraft/Washington Press will have a booth at an AFDCS show. Current owners Michael August (Sam’s son) and Tim Devaney (Leo’s son-in-law) will be available to talk with ArtCraft fans.
The company will also offer three seminars during the show.
On Friday, Devaney and artist Susan Jorritsma will discuss “The Birth of an ArtCraft Cachet,” with an emphasis on the artistic decisions that are made, and the interaction between the cachetmaker and the artist. Jorritsma and Devaney will also look at how that process has changed through the years because of changes in technology.
Then on Sunday, Devaney will lead an audience-participation discussion, “My Favorite ArtCraft Memory,” an opportunity for collectors to share their favorite stories involving the cachet line.
Other seminars at Ameicover 2014 include “The 1926 U.S. John Ericsson Stamp: Production, First Day Covers and Other Uses,” given by Alan Warren; an open forum on exhibiting by Nancy Clark of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, and cachetmaker Fred Collins’ “The Fascinating Story of the Lewis and Clark Issue.”
All of these seminars are free and open to the public.
Americover 2014 will also have two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), World Series of Philately competitive exhibits, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, a commercial auction of Earliest Documented Uses, live and silent auctions to benefit the AFDCS, and a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers.
Americover 2014 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Somerset Hotel & Conference Center, 200 Atrium Drive, Somerset, NJ 08873.
The Ries and Graebner Chapters are once again conducting the Hospitality Suite Silent Auction at Americover. This year's auction consists of 128 lots of covers, programs, and other philatelic material to pique the interest and bidding of our conventioneers.
Click here for the complete list of auction lots.
If you cannot attend Americover this year, but wish to bid upon one or more of the lots, you will need to get someone who is attending to "do your bidding" for you. Foster Miller is willing to serve an auction agent; contact him at email@example.com.
If you’d like to help, contact Rick at SmokeyNav@comcast.net or (301) 682-8496.
Volunteering a few hours to help the convention run smoothly is a wonderful way to feel like part of the convention team. It is also a good way to meet and greet everybody attending. We always need members to help in these areas:
- Exhibit mounting on Thursday and dismounting on Sunday
- Registration & Information Table
- AFDCS Sales Table
- Cancellation Table
- Audio-Visual Setup
- Youth Table
Volunteers who contribute at least four hours during Americover 2014 will receive a special Americover Volunteer cover by Dave and Sabrina Curtis!
Beginning in 2015, each issue will have 80 pages, rather than a mix of 64- and 80-page issues during the year, yielding an increase in content, and will be published on a more regular basis, easier for members and advertisers to anticipate.
“The change shows our continued commitment to the printed journal, and we hope reducing the number of issues will lead to stability in our publishing schedule and reduce expenses in the process,” said Todd Ronnei, chairman of the board.
There are many factors to consider in making such a change, and the Executive Committee did not offer any input on how a change, if approved, should be implemented. The Board has been actively discussing this matter via email and conference call.
As I write this, the Board is voting via mail ballot on whether to go to a six issue per year schedule, beginning in 2015. Some Board members favor the idea, while others prefer to continue with eight issues of First Days per year. I can’t speculate on which way the vote will go.
Balloting should be completed by May 31, and the result will be posted here on the AFDCS News Blog.
Chairman, Board of Directors
Some of you have received a Winter Flowers first day cover like the one shown here from the AFDCS, with a cachet by Argineh Zadoorian -- one of the hottest current cachetmakers. Inside is the annual AFDCS solicitation for donations; we actually use a postal collectible for fund-raising!
If you didn't get one, it's because the mailing only went to new members and recent donors.
Unfortunately, there are no extra covers available for sale this year. However, past year’s fund raising FDCs are still available. Click here to purchase.
Cachet Contest chairman John Byrnes reports that for the "first time in my four years of doing the Cachetmakers contest, we had a winner who had straight 10’s from all three judges in all five categories."
The results will be announced at the President's Banquet at Americover 2014, Somerset, New Jersey, August 15th, and later that night online.
Contest winners from 2003 through 2012 are available online.
The Robert C. Graebner Chapter and the Claude C. Ries Chapter will be hosting the Hospitality Suite at Americover 2014. The suite is a nice meeting room with snacks and beverages to the show attendees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The two Chapters are also teaming up to hold the second auction - a Silent Auction, which is posted on Thursday evening and will close on Saturday evening, August 16, at 11 PM.
This auction offers various new and older material including single covers, sets on cover, ceremony programs, and a few unique items that should attract several bidders. This auction has a certain level of excitement as bidders rush to place their final bids before the 11 PM deadline. It also allows the bidders to obtain some very nice items and also provides the funding to run the Hospitality Suite. Any funds remaining after expenses are donated to the AFDCS.
The past several silent auctions have been very successful in providing additional support to the AFDCS. All items posted for the auction are donated by Chapter members and many members of the AFDCS. Donations may be sent to Otto Thamasett, 6025 Sherborn Lane, Springfield, VA 22152 or Michael Litvak, 1866 Loma Vista Street, Pasadena, CA 91104.
We thank all members for their support!
Americover 2014, the annual first day cover show and convention, celebrates the best of stamp and cover collecting in the New York/New Jersey area, and marks an important anniversary at the same time.
Americover 2014, sponsored by the American First Day Cover Society, will be held August 15-17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Somerset Hotel & Conference Center, 200 Atrium Driver, Somerset, NJ 08873. A special Americover 2014 room rate of $97 – the 23rd year in a row with an Americover hotel rate of less than $100!
Thursday's pre-show tour begins with a tour of the Washington Press, home of ArtCraft, as well as White Ace albums. The Americover visitors will also meet current ArtCraft artist Susan Jorritsma.
The Americover 2014 bus will then take the visitors to New York City, for a quick tour of the Financial District, Nassau Street (once the greatest collection of stamp businesses in the world), and the Collectors Club of New York. The tour then goes to the famed Katz’s Deli, where lunch may be purchased, before heading to the World Trade Center site and then Champion Stamp Company, the only street-level stamp store left in New York.
Sunday evening, after the show closes, Americover visitors will go out to dinner at the Stage House Tavern, with rustic American fare and hearty portions. This event is limited to just 30 people, so register early!
During the show, the annual President's Banquet will be held Friday evening, featuring the Taste of Tuscany Buffet with three entrees: tortellini carbonara, chicken marsala or fillet of sole with a spicy tomato sauce. (Special dietary needs can be accommodated if specified before June 30.) Following the meal, the results of the annual AFDCS Earl Planty Cachet Contest will be announced, as will the winners of the polls for cachetmakers of the 20th century, (fourth) quarter century, and decade (2000-2009).
Unlike other World Series of Philately shows, Americover's exhibit awards are not presented at its banquet (which is held Friday night), but at the AFDCS Business Meeting Saturday morning.
Saturday evening's "food event" will be held late – about 9 p.m., after the Cachetmakers Night Owl Bourse. The fare at the post-bourse party includes pizza, crudité platters (vegetables) and more.
Americover 2014 events may be purchased individually or as part of a discounted package. There is also a discount for purchasing event tickets before the end of June. To purchase tickets online with your credit card, click here.
Besides these events, Americover 2014 will also have two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), WSP competitive exhibits meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, and possibly a U.S. first day ceremony. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also on the schedule.
This is the eleventh edition of the popular directory. The AFDCS hopes to produce new editions several times a year. The directory is now compiled by Ron Allen of Kentucky.
It lists cachetmakers both by their trade names and their real names (with a cross-reference), their regular mail addresses, websites, e-mail addresses, and telephone numbers. The listings also indicate how often a cachet line is produced, what its first FDC was, and for what countries and what topics cacheted FDCs are made.
It includes both AFDCS members and cachetmakers who are not, and there is no charge for a listing. A form to request a listing is included in this edition, as well as information on how to reach Allen. The form can also be completed online.
“We want to list every first day cover servicer currently producing cacheted FDCs, regardless of whether they are members of the AFDCS or not,” said society president Lloyd A. de Vries. “Of course, we think all cachetmakers should be members, and that membership offers them many benefits.”
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE DIRECTORY
The Moon Landing cachet catalog has landed.
The original edition, by Monte Eiserman and Harry L. Anderson, contained illustrations of 205 FDCs, history of the designing and production of the stamp, the first day activities, plate number information, postmarks, and descriptions of the three first day ceremonies. Over the years, some of that material was cut from subsequent editions, while more illustrations were added.
It has been out of print for at least five years.
The 2014 edition, revised by David S. Zubatsky, restores all the introductory material and adds more information. It also includes all the original black and white illustrations.
"The 1969 First Man on the Moon stamp is the most iconic space related stamp ever issued," says stamp designer Chris Calle, whose father Paul designed what became Sc. C76. "As a collector of the C76 issue this is a most welcome catalogue for space collectors worldwide."
Each issue will be available in three different versions:
- A page-flip version which simulates an actual magazine on a monitor connected to a Windows or Macintosh computer;
- A mobile version for use on tablets, phones and other mobile devices; and
- A .pdf version, whose file can be downloaded and saved.
The AFDCS offers several levels of membership: Online, which does not include a printed copy of First Days; Regular, which does; Silver and Gold, which allow members to express their support of the AFDCS and first day cover collecting; and Life, which includes both the online and hard-copy magazines.
Members who want access to these digital editions of First Days, as well as other AFDCS digital publications planned for the near future, and have not previously registered on the site should click on “Member Register” in the top left corner of the AFDCS website, www.afdcs.org.
"Digital publishing of hobby publications is the future, and now, for the AFDCS, it’s the present," said AFDCS president Lloyd A. de Vries. “I especially want to thank webmaster Todd Ronnei, who spent months seeking and then testing the necessary software.”
Ronnei was also responsible for compiling a digital archive of First Days from the first issue in 1955 through 2011, which is available on a DVD for $79 or a flash drive for $89. An update disk is planned covering subsequent years, although .pdf files of all issues from January 2011 to the present are still available.
The American First Day Cover Society is mourning the death of Richard A. Monty, a long-time leader of the organization, and a pioneer in cachet research. He was 78.
"Dick was a tireless volunteer for AFDCS, ever willing to step up when the Society needed help. His service in many, varied roles rendered him invaluable," said Allison Cusick, who was executive vice president and president when Monty first took on AFDCS leadership roles.
"For some 30 years, Dick was the backbone of the Society," added current AFDCS president Lloyd de Vries. "His FDC research was also invaluable."
He was an avid collector of first cachets, the first envelope designs produced by a particular FDC servicer. He began documenting them in First Days in 1982, and then had an update in practically every issue for nearly 30 years. He was a co-author of Mellone's First Cachets: A FDC Reference Catalog, first published in 1980, and became its lead author by 1989. He also wrote The Specialized Catalogue of Jacques Minkus F.D.C.s and Patriotic Cachets (1977).
Monty was an active member of the First Days editorial team, and wrote hundreds of articles for the AFDCS journal. His first was in 1976, just three years after he began collecting FDCs.
He also joined the AFDCS in June 1973 and became a life member four years later. Earlier that same year, 1977, he took his first leadership position, Slide Program Editor. By 1979, he was executive vice president, and took over as president a year later.
Monty was a recipient of the AFDCS Distinguished Service Award, and was named an Honorary Life Member in 2001.
Monty was born in Sanford, Maine, on April 2, 1935. He attended Boston University, Columbia University, and the University of Rochester, from which he earned a doctorate in experimental psychology. He retired as chief of psychological research on vision, hearing and memory from the Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1997.
To make a contribution to the AFDCS in Dick Monty’s memory, please click here.
Nancy B. Clark of Massachusetts will head the exhibits jury at Americover 2014, a World Series of Philately show that will be held Aug. 15-17 in Somerset, N.J.
Clark will be assisted by Robert Henak of Wisconsin, Jeffrey Shapiro of Massachusetts, Hal Vogel of New Jersey and Douglas Clark of Massachusetts.
The prospectus is now available for download via this link, by regular mail from Kerry Heffner, 17656 K Street, Omaha, NE 68135-3491, or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for entering the Americover 2014 exhibition is June 1, 2014, or whenever the 160 available frames fill up, as happened last year.
The emphasis at Americover is on First Day Cover exhibits, and about three-fourths of each exhibit should consist of FDCs and related material. All three divisions (Postal, Illustrated Mail and Display) of the General class of exhibits will be accepted, as well as One-Frame and Youth exhibits.
Henak collects FDCs of the Prevent Drug Abuse stamp. He is also exhibits chair for Milcopex, the Milwaukee WSP show, and is active in several Milwaukee-area philatelic organizations.
Shapiro is active in Boston area philately and has held leadership positions with the United States Stamp Society, the Northeast Federation of Stamp Clubs, Philatelic Show, the American Air Mail Society, and the Spellman Philatelic Museum.
Vogel is a recognized world authority on polar history and polar philately and received the first doctorate awarded in polar studies. An accredited APS philatelic and literature judge, he has also judged shows in France, Germany and Australia. He is a published authority on USA and foreign FDCs associated with Antarctic Treaty anniversary issues, as well as the FDCs of the 1933-35 Byrd Expedition issues.
Douglas Clark has wide experience in collecting and exhibiting in diverse fields like postal stationery, postal history, mobile post office mail, ship mail, thematics, and first day covers.
As a WSP show, the winner of the Grand Award at Americover 2014 will be part of the Champion of Champions competition at Stampshow 2015. Andrew McFarlane, winner of the 2013 Grand with "First Days of the 1929 George Rogers Clark Commemorative," will represent Americover this summer in Hartford, Conn.
The Americover Grand prize is again a crystal pyramid provided by the AFDCS' Claude C. Ries Chapter.
In addition, if six or more competitive single-frame exhibits are entered, the Curtis B. Patterson Award recipient for the best single-frame exhibit will be invited to enter the APS Single-Frame Champion of Champions competition at AmeriStamp Expo in 2015.
Besides its Grand and Reserve Grand awards, Americover offers special awards from both the AFDCS and other philatelic societies, including ones for best exhibits of foreign FDCs, topical FDCs, pre-1931 FDCs, best exhibits by a novice and a youth, and best single-frame exhibit.
The three-day World Series of Philately show will be held at the DoubleTree Somerset Hotel & Conference Center, and there is a special Americover room rate of $97. There also will be two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, live and silent auctions, seminars, a pre-show tour of the area, a post-show evening dinner event, and possibly a U.S. first day ceremony. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also on the schedule.
Unlike other WSP shows, Americover's exhibit awards are not presented at its banquet (which is held Friday night), but at the AFDCS Business Meeting Saturday morning.