Fundraising Update

In August the American First Day Cover Society launched the $100 From 100 Campaign. Like many organizations, our income cycle doesn't always match our expense cycle. Thus, at certain times of the year, bill paying is more difficult. The purpose of this campaign is to get one hundred AFDCS members to donate $100 each, establishing a $10,000 nest egg for the AFDCS so we don't have to go begging every year. (Unlike some organizations, the AFDCS doesn't have a large endowment fund.)

We’re pleased to report that we've had 35 donors so far. This means we need 65 more. If you’re an AFDCS member and you enjoy the hobby of first day cover collecting and the benefits the AFDCS provides, please consider making a $100 donation (or more!) to help preserve the future of the Society and the hobby.

You may donate online via this link, or you can mail contributions to

AFDCS
PO Box 16277
Tucson, AZ 85732

THANKS in advance for your support.

The American First Day Cover Society has been designated a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent the law allows.

Board Election Results

The American First Day Cover Society has elected five people to its board of directors for three-year terms beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

Four are incumbents, while one, although well known among FDC collectors, will be serving his first term on the Board. Here are the vote totals (five winners in bold):

Lloyd de Vries
147
Todd Ronnei
126
Ralph Achgill
120
Lorraine Bailey
112
Mark Goodson
111
Andrew McFarlane
103
Gil Celli
47

Four individuals received single write-in votes: Dave Fletcher, Maurice Landry, Larry Gassen, and Fred Collins. 167 valid ballots were counted.

De Vries is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors, and has served on the Board since 1987. Ronnei is the Society's First Vice President and Webmaster. Achgill is just completing a stint as Education Chairman and continues as Bourse Chairman for the AFDCS' annual show and convention, AMERICOVER. Bailey is part of the AFDCS Sales Division, handling the AFDCS Cachetmakers Series first day covers. Goodson is a co-author of the ongoing First Cachets catalogue project.

Michael A. Mellone of Jonesborough, Tenn., did not seek re-election this year. He was first elected to the Board in 1987.

President Chris Lazaroff thanked Richard Hoffman and Fred Gagliardi of the Connecticut Cover Club for their work in counting the ballots in this year's election, and the Nominating Committee of Helen Fowler, Mary Kay Fisher and Fred Fowler for recruiting the candidates.

Five seats on the AFDCS Board of Directors are elected each year for three-year terms, beginning Jan. 1 of the following year. In addition to the 15 elected directors, the president, the editor of the official journal, First Days, and the general counsel serve on the board ex officio, if not elected to the board themselves.

AFDCS directors are not compensated, nor reimbursed for their travel expenses. The board meets annually at AMERICOVER, the society's annual show and convention, which next year is being held Aug. 5-7 in Indianapolis, and via mail ballots as needed.

Donate to AFDCS via eBay

If you’re selling on eBay, you can support the AFDCS by participating in the eBay Giving Works program. Donate 10% to 100% of the final sale price of an item. Listings stand out with a distinctive charity ribbon and receive added visibility through specialized search functionality.

In the spirit of giving, eBay rewards your generosity by offering the eBay Giving Works Fee Credit policy. When you create a listing with eBay Giving Works and that item sells, eBay will credit the insertion and final value fees back to you, equal to the percentage of the final selling price that you elected to donate.Your buyer will also be presented with the option to make a additional donation to the AFDCS when they check out.

Click this link to see our eBay Giving Works page.

You can also use the link above to donate directly the AFDCS using PayPal. Click the “Donate Now” tab to make a contribution.

Thanks for supporting the AFDCS!

First Days Index Online

The American First Day Cover Society is pleased to offer its latest new feature on the AFDCS website: the First Days article index. Two separate indexes in Adobe PDF format are now available; together they cover all content of First Days from 1955 through 2003. The benefits of this feature:
  • You can download the indexes and save them on your computer.
  • They're printable, if you want to have a hard copy for reference (approximately 200 pages).
  • They're SEARCHABLE by keyword!
  • And best of all, they're FREE! (The indexes formerly cost $15 for a hard copy only.)
If you prefer another format, we also have a Microsoft Excel version available for download. That version covers an additional five years of articles.

To access the indexes, visit the First Days information page.

AFDCS Handbooks on Sale

The American First Day Cover Society has reduced the price of a number of its publications. These titles are now available at half their previous cost:

Handbook of 1909 Commemoratives on FDC
by Robert P. Colby with contributions by Robert F. Drummond and First Days authors
Was $15, NOW $7.50

Walter G. Crosby - Philatelic Cachet Specialist
by William H. Stroebel
Was $20, NOW $10

Cachet Catalog of Staehle & Knapp
by M. Douglas Parks
Was $40, NOW $20

Checklist of US FDC Predates and Unofficials - 1922 to mid-1936
by Robert P. Colby
Was $13, NOW $6.50

International Bibliography of FDC Literature
by David Zubatsky
Was $6, NOW $3.00

Philatelic Announcement Cards of the USPOD
by Dr. Cary Finder
Was $15, NOW $7.50

United States Meter Stamps First Days and Earliest-Known Uses
by Douglas A. Kelsey
Was $6, NOW $3.00

First Day Covers of the Regular Issues of 1922-35 (second edition)
by Jack V. Harvey
Was $9, NOW $4.50

Scott Number and Cachetmaker Index for First Days Volumes 1-41
by Wayne P. Gasper and Pat Price
Was $10, NOW $5.00

Many of these titles are in short supply, and orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

To purchase these and other titles, visit the online AFDCS Marketplace, where you can place your order and securely pay with your credit card. Orders of $10 or more ship FREE to U.S. addresses.

2010 Court of Honor Cachet

Cachet Series Now Three Decades Strong

The thirtieth cachet in the AFDCS Court of Honor series features an original design by Susan D. Jorritsma, the principal artist for Washington Press, producer of ArtCraft cachets.

Susan studied art at Worcester Art Museum and Northeastern University. Her second art job was at Woodbury & Co., Inc. in Worcester, Massachusetts, the company that produced ArtCraft cachets for Washington Press since 1939. She was hired to work in the finished art department where she learned to do hand lettering, trademarks, and pictorial illustrations of the designers’ customer-approved art for stationery.

She graduated to working on cachet lettering and later to working on airbrushed pictures. The first cachet she designed herself was for the “Letters Preserve Memories” stamp issued in 1980. She used her parents wedding picture (1945) being slipped out of an envelope and another photo of her smiling mom holding out big ice cream cones.

Her opportunity to design cachets full time came unexpectedly in 1989 when the lead ArtCraft artist, Hal Bailey, retired for medical reasons and she was given his job. She worked directly with Leo August, founder of ArtCraft.

When Woodbury moved the art department from airbrush, ink and paper to programs on the computer, the transition was very difficult at first. When Woodbury went out of the stationery business in 2002 Susan was able to continue working with Washington Press on her own and now works with Tim Devaney.

She reports that artwork is done on the computer in PhotoShop and sent to Washington Press by email. When the artwork is approved, the picture is lithographed and the lettering is engraved.

Susan says she loves her job of designing ArtCraft cachets for Washington Press, and that the privilege of being invited to join the Court of Honor is timely, as she is celebrating her 20th year as the primary artist for ArtCraft.

The basic design of the Court of Honor cachet for 2010 will be lithographed in three colors: blue/green, red/orange and process yellow. The lettering will be engraved and printed in a slightly darker shade of blue/green than the litho. The finished art has been sent to Washington Press for printing.

Unserviced envelopes for those who wish to service their own covers may now be purchased online, and serviced covers may be pre-ordered. Click here to go to the order page.

2011 & 2012 AMERICOVER Sites

AFDCS Chooses Indianapolis, Los Angeles for 2011, 2012 Shows

Following the success of its AMERICOVER 2010 in August 2010, the American First Day Cover Society is planning to meet next year in Indianapolis and hold AMERICOVER 2012 in Los Angeles.

AMERICOVER is the organization’s annual show, convention and celebration of first day covers, and a World Series of Philately show. It features the largest exhibition of first day covers and biggest concentration of FDCs of the year, and each year is held in a different part of the country.

AMERICOVER 2011 will be held August 5-7 at the Wyndham Indianapolis West (left), which is about 3 miles from the Indianapolis airport and has a free shuttle to and from the airport. The American Philatelic Society’s StampShow is the following weekend in Columbus, about three hours away.

AMERICOVER 2012 is slated for Southern California, August 10-12, and again, StampShow is the following weekend, in Sacramento, about 6 hours away.

Putting AMERICOVER in the same part of the country as StampShow was a deliberate move by the AFDCS Site Selection Committee, since many dealers and collectors attend both shows. The geographical proximity hopefully will encourage even more philatelists to put both on their calendars.

For 2011, the AMERICOVER hotel rate is below $100 — the 20th year in a row the AFDCS has kept a lid on hotel costs.

The AFDCS has met twice before in Indianapolis, in 1999 and 2004.

Already penciled in for AMERICOVER 2011 are a tour of a local attraction and an outdoor hog roast the day before the show opens, and a social event, possibly a dinner theater, Sunday evening after the show closes.

The Wyndham Indianapolis West has two restaurants, 24/7 room service, a heated pool, fitness center, airline departure monitors in the lobby, and free Wi-Fi Internet service and airport shuttle.

AMERICOVER shows feature a national-level exhibition of rare first day covers, a dealers bourse, cachetmakers bourse, banquet, meetings and seminars, presentation of the AFDCS’ annual cachet contest awards, and sometimes a first-day ceremony.

For more information on AMERICOVER 2011 or 2012, send e-mail to showinfo@afdcs.org, or write Norman Elrod, AMERICOVER Chairman, 641 Dogwood Trail, McMinnville, TN 37110-3015.

$100 from 100 Appeal

Attention members of the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS):

Like many today, the AFDCS has been experiencing a cash flow problem. Our primary expense time of the year (summer, with AMERICOVER) does not match our primary income time of the year (either side of January 1, when most membership renewals occur). Regretfully, we do not have the endowment that other organizations do. At our annual meetings at AMERICOVER, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the AFDCS agreed to attack the problem. We've set a goal of raising $10,000 in contributions. This would cover all outstanding and near term expenses and give us a bit of a nest egg.

While we always accept contributions of any size, we are looking for members to step up to the plate (we had a baseball theme at AMERICOVER this year). We are especially looking for donations of $100 or more (and are grateful to those who have recently made substantial donations). If 100 members each donated $100, we'd reach the goal.

Now is the time for AFDCS members to show their support. If you enjoy the first day cover hobby, the AFDCS, its events and publications, please consider showing your support with a donation (if possible of $100 or more). You may donate online via this link, or you can mail contributions to AFDCS, PO Box 16277, Tucson, AZ 85732.

THANKS in advance for your support.

--Foster Miller

The American First Day Cover Society has been designated a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization by the Internal Revenue Service. Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent the law allows.

Elrod, Others Receive Service Awards

Norman L. Elrod of McMinnville, Tenn. received the American First Day Cover Society’s Distinguished Service Award for 2010. Charter member Alan Warren presented the DSA to Norm at the AFDCS membership meeting held at AMERICOVER 2010. In presenting the award, Alan had this to say of Norm:

“His interest and knowledge in the field of first cachets led to his being co-author of First Cachets Revisited in 1997, and Mellone’s First Day Cover Photo Encyclopedia of First Cachets Revealed in 2005. In that year he was elected to the society’s board of directors, a position which he still holds. In 2004 he was named Exhibit Chairman for AMERICOVER, and continued to expand his responsibilities to the point where he was named Convention Chairman in 2007 – another position which he holds to this day.

“His love of our hobby is reflected in his being a speaker at local clubs, exhibiting Tennessee Statehood issue cachets, and promoting AMERICOVER on APS Stamp Talk Radio. He has already received one distinguished service award—from the Tennessee Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. And now it is time for AFDCS to bestow its DSA on Norman L. Elrod.”

Glenn C. Michel Special Recognition Awards were also conferred at the show. Recipients were:
  • Mark Goodson, for his many years of able assistance researching, identifying, and compiling information for the ongoing AFDCS First Cachets project;
  • Todd Ronnei, for his creative and technological work redesigning and updating the AFDCS.org web site and for adding new online services and features;
  • Cynthia Scott, for her creative and cost-saving work since 2001 producing custom AFDCS service and exhibit award items for presentation at annual conventions;
  • Randall Sherman, for his years of promoting and distributing generic AFDCS awards at American Philatelic Society affiliated shows where First Day Covers are exhibited; and
  • Richard Sine, for his faithful service since October 2006 as editor of the highly-respected and award-winning AFDCS journal First Days.

Nafziger Grabs AMERICOVER Grand

Ralph H. Nafziger received the Grand Award at AMERICOVER 2010 for his exhibit The 3-Cent Oregon Territory Issue. The exhibit also garnered the American Philatelic Congress Award and the United States Stamp Society Statue of Freedom Award. By receiving the Grand Award, Nafziger’s exhibit becomes eligible for the Champion of Champions competition at the 2011 APS Stampshow.

Reserve Grand and the Richard B. Thompson Award went to Charles J. O’Brien III for his exhibit New York World’s Fair 1939. Best single frame exhibit and the Curtis B. Patterson Award went to Anthony F. Dewey for The 1-Cent U.N. First Issue and its First Day Solo Use.

A complete palmares can be downloaded by clicking here. Congratulations to all exhibitors!

The AFDCS thanks the jury of Chief Judge Jay Stotts, Allison Cusick, Tim Bartshe, Frederick Lawrence and Dominick Riccio.

Show Fund Raising Auction Set

The AMERICOVER 2010 AFDCS donation auction is now set. In honor of the Society’s fifty-fifth year, AFDCS members have donated 55 lots. A complete list can be downloaded via this link.

If you’re attending the show, you may view lots from 3:30 to 5:00 pm on Friday, August 6 in the Elmhurst 3-4 Room. The Auction will begin at 5:00.

If you are unable to attend the Auction, you may place bids between 3:30 to 5:00 pm and we will bid for you. Email your bids to Foster Miller at fmillerfdc@yahoo.com BEFORE 3PM CDT FRIDAY.

Good luck!

July 15 Issue of First Days

AFDCS Puts Journal Issue Online - Free!

Proving there’s a silver lining in every cloud, the July 15, 2010, issue of First Days magazine is available to the public free online.

The printer of the award-winning journal of the American First Day Cover Society announced more than a week after the cover date that it had gone out of business. Not only hadn’t it mailed the issue as scheduled, it hadn’t even printed it.

The AFDCS is now looking for another printer, and already in talks with several, and the issue will be mailed to its members.

Meanwhile, the issue is available for download, to members and non-members alike, simply by clicking here.

The AFDCS leadership felt an obligation to make the issue available in a timely manner to its members, and hopes non-members will take a look at the magazine and see what a great publication it is. A subscription to First Days is one of the principal benefits of membership in the AFDCS, and membership is the only way to get a subscription.

While you’re on AFDCS website, you can apply for membership right here.

Still Time for Show Event Tickets

Opportunity Knocks Again For Fun at AMERICOVER 2010

There’s still time to join in the fun before, during and after AMERICOVER 2010. There are still tickets available for several events.

AMERICOVER 2010, a World Series of Philately stamp show and convention, will be held August 6-8 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Ill.

The day before the show opens, Thursday, August 5, there's a "field trip" to the Field Museum, which features permanent exhibitions on the Ancient Americas, Nature and Ecosystems, Rocks and Fossils, and dinosaurs. The package includes transportation to and from the show hotel, and basic museum admission. Tickets are $40.

After the show closes Sunday night, the 8th, some of those attending the stamp show will dine and be entertained at Tommy Gun's Garage, an audience interactive speakeasy featuring a musical comedy review "wit da gangsters and da flappers." Again, transportation is included in the package. The price is $70.

There are also food events during AMERICOVER 2010. The President's Banquet is held Friday night. The annual AFDCS cachet contest winners will be announced at the end of the evening, making it a must-see event. Banquet tickets are $65.

First day cover collectors find it hard to tear themselves away from the AMERICOVER Cachetmakers Bourse, the largest held anywhere this year. So that night's food event is late, around 9 p.m., and features sandwiches. The cost is $35.

A convenient online registration system is available simply by clicking here.

AMERICOVER 2010 also features a commercial dealers bourse and a cachetmakers bourse, a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers, seminars, meetings, a youth table, the Stamps in The Attic quick collection evaluation service, and an auction. Admission to the show and parking are free.

Online Access Discount at Hotel

Those staying at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Ill., for AMERICOVER 2010 August 6-8 will get a $7 daily discount on Internet service, on top of the already low $99 AMERICOVER 2010 room rate.

Rather than the usual $14.95 a day for high-speed Internet access, the charge for AMERICOVER 2010 guests will be $7.95 a day.

“It is something special for all our members staying at the Marriott,” says Norman Elrod, chairman of the American First Day Cover Society’s World Series of Philately stamp show.

To get the special $99 room rate, reservations must be made by July 14th. Click this link to go directly to the hotel’s reservation page where you can book your room at the AMERICOVER rate.

“It’s silly to stay anywhere else,” says Lloyd de Vries, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AFDCS. “Not only do AMERICOVER events run from early morning to late at night, but you can’t beat these rates.”

Show Cover Design

AMERICOVER 2010 show covers will have the following cachet design:



Each show cover will have the appropriate cancel for each day (see below) and will be franked with one of the new 44¢ Negro Leagues Baseball stamps. Production will be limited to only 200 sets.

The set of three covers is $10. Order in advance and pick them up at the show on Sunday afternoon, August 8, or have them mailed to you after the show closes.
Click here to order online (scroll down to find the covers).

Show Event Cachet Designs

Cachet designs for the complimentary covers given to attendees of AMERICOVER 2010 events have been revealed.

Dave Curtis has produced cachets for two events. The first one will be given to those who participate in the Thursday, August 5 “field trip” to the Field Museum, which features permanent exhibitions on the Ancient Americas, Nature and Ecosystems, Rocks and Fossils, and . . . DINOSAURS!



The second Curtis design is for attendees of the President’s Banquet on Friday, August 6:



Tom Peluso (Therome Cachets) designed the cachet for the final event, the outing to Tommy Gun’s Garage on Sunday, August 8, after the show closes:



The Tommy Gun’s covers will be printed on cream colored envelopes and feature a 3D Model A Ford picture insert. They will be serviced with either James Cagney or Frank Sinatra stamps.

How do you get one or all of these beauties? It’s easy--just attend these events! Sign up by clicking here. But do it today, because the number of finished covers (stamped and postmarked) will be limited to just 30 for the Field Trip, 100 for the Banquet, and 50 for Tommy Gun’s Garage. Covers will go to those who purchase their tickets the earliest.

AMERICOVER 2010 Postmarks

The following postmarks will be available at AMERICOVER 2010







Can’t make it to the show? Order a set of convention covers. 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.

Ward Award Winners Named

Howard, Kaplan, Rosenthal Win AFDCS Ward Writing Awards

E. Lee Howard and the team of Barry N. Kaplan and Michael R. Rosenthal are the winners of the 2010 Philip H. Ward Award, presented by the American First Day Cover Society for best writing on first day covers.

Howard, a past president of the AFDCS and of its Robert C. Graebner Chapter in the Washington, D.C., area, took first place with his article, “Jesse Graham Holland, Pioneer Cachetmaker,” which appeared in the Dec. 1, 2009, issue of First Days, the society’s official journal.

Kaplan and Rosenthal’s “The House of Farnam Story: The Artmaster Era: 1988-2005,” which appeared in the Jan. 15, 2009, issue of First Days, was chosen as the runner-up for the Ward Award.

Back issues of First Days are available for $4.00 each postpaid within the U.S. from Deb Bennett, 1601 River Farm Drive, Alexandria, Va. 22308.

The awards will be presented at the AFDCS membership meeting during AMERICOVER 2010, the annual show and convention of the AFDCS, which this year is being held August 6-8 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Ill.

The award, named in honor of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first day covers, was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964. All articles appearing in First Days are automatically considered for the award; articles in other publications may be submitted for consideration.

Additional information can be obtained from the Ward Award chairman, Barry Ellis, 5117 Arrowhead Pass, Fort Wayne, Ind. 46804, or e-mail bellis1230@aol.com.

Baseball Dedication at AMERICOVER


Negro Leagues Baseball Stamps Dedication Planned At AMERICOVER 2010 August 6th

The cry of "Play Ball" will be heard at AMERICOVER 2010, the annual show and convention of the American First Day Cover Society that's being held August 6-8 in Oak Brook, Ill., near Chicago.

A dedication ceremony for the new Negro Leagues Baseball stamps will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 6, in the Marquis Room of the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook, sponsored by the AFDCS, the Ebony Society of Philatelic Events and Reflections (ESPER), and the American Ceremony Program Society.

Two former Negro Leagues players, Johnny "Lefty" Washington and Hank "Baby" Presswood, will speak at the ceremony, along with representatives of the AFDCS, ESPER, ACPS and the U.S. Postal Service. Washington and Presswood will also be available to sign autographs and memorabilia after the ceremony.

Washington was a versatile athlete who played pitcher, first base and outfield for the Houston Eagles and Chicago American Giants in the late 1940s, as well as the U.S. Marine national championship team in 1952. Presswood played shortstop and third base for the Cleveland Buckeyes and Kansas City Monarchs in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

In addition, the USPS will be selling the two new 44-cent Negro Leagues Baseball stamps and will offer two pictorial postmarks, one that is being used nationwide to celebrate the issuance of the stamps and the other a baseball-theme postmark for AMERICOVER 2010 (the “show cancel”).

AMERICOVER 2010 also features a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a commercial dealers bourse and a cachetmakers bourse, a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers, seminars, meetings, a youth table, the Stamps in The Attic quick collection evaluation service, and several auctions.

Customers at the cachetmakers bourse are likely to see a wide variety of FDCs for the Negro Leagues Baseball issue.

ESPER is an international stamp society which promotes the collecting of African Americans on stamps and the collecting of stamps by African Americans. The ACPS is a collectors club dedicated to the preservation of Postal Service first day and philatelic-related event programs. The AFDCS is the largest non-profit organization for first day cover collectors in the world, and publisher of the award-winning journal First Days.

Scholarship Fund FDCs Available

The 2010 AFDCS Youth Scholarship Fund first day cover is now available. The cover features a hand-painted Year of the Tiger cachet by Mary Kay Fisher. Covers are available with single stamps, or in combination with the 32¢ Year of the Tiger stamp issued in 1998. Covers come with standard black or digital color postmarks.



Covers are available for $20 each (or $25 for multi-stamp “special” combo covers), with the proceeds going to the Youth Scholarship Fund. The Youth Scholarship Fund provides a free membership for a year to a youth member or club. Covers may be ordered online by clicking here.

For more information about the covers, contact Lorraine Bailey at alsaceleb@verizon.net.

AMERICOVER: More Than FDCs

First day cover collectors attending AMERICOVER 2010, the American First Day Cover Society's show and convention in suburban Chicago, will have an opportunity to explore 13,000 years of human ingenuity -- and a decade of human depredation.

AMERICOVER 2010, a World Series of Philately stamp show and convention, will be held August 6-8 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Ill.

The day before the show opens, Thursday, August 5, there's a field trip to the Field Museum, which features permanent exhibitions on the Ancient Americas, Nature and Ecosystems, Rocks and Fossils, and dinosaurs. During AMERICOVER, the Field has a special exhibition, "Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age," available for an additional fee.

After the show closes Sunday night, the 8th, some of those attending the stamp show will dine and be entertained at Tommy Gun's Garage, an audience interactive speakeasy featuring a musical comedy review "wit da gangsters and da flappers."

There are also food events during AMERICOVER 2010. The President's Banquet is held Friday night. The annual AFDCS cachet contest winners will be announced at the end of the evening.

Because the Cachetmakers Bourse runs from the close of the show Saturday into the evening, that night's food event is late, around 9 p.m., and features sandwiches.

Sunday morning, there's a free breakfast for charter and life members of the Society.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, a hospitality suite operated by the Claude C. Ries (Southern California) and Robert C. Graebner (D.C./Maryland, Virginia), and Chicagoland FDC Society chapters will be open, complete with munchies, beverages and camaraderie.

Prices for the Field trip, banquet, post-bourse sandwiches and speakeasy go up after June 30. There is also a discount for those ordering a package of all four events.

A pre-registration form is included in the April 15 issue of First Days, the official journal of the AFDCS, but a convenient online registration system is available here.

AMERICOVER 2010 also features a commercial dealers bourse and a cachetmakers bourse, a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a forum by a postal official involved with first day covers, seminars, meetings, a youth table, the Stamps in The Attic quick collection evaluation service, and an auction.

2010 Show Cachetmakers Bourse

Year's Biggest Cachetmakers Bourse Planned for AMERICOVER 2010

AMERICOVER 2010, the American First Day Cover Society's annual World Series of Philately stamp show and convention, will host the biggest cachetmakers bourse of the year in the Chicago suburbs.

AMERICOVER 2010 will be held August 6-8 at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook in Oak Brook, Ill., and the Moonlight Cachetmakers Bourse will be held Saturday afternoon and evening.
A cachetmakers bourse is an event where producers of first day covers – those who design and print the "cachets" or designs on FDCs – sell their products. They are only permitted to sell their own cachets, during a limited time. In this case, the Moonlight Cachetmakers Bourse will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It's considered by many a highlight of AMERICOVER.

Many of last year's participants have already signed up for the 2010 edition, but "we have plenty of room for Cachetmakers and the room at Chicago is fantastic for the Cachetmakers Bourse!" says bourse chairman Ralph Achgill.

The table fee for a Cachetmakers Table is $100, but there is a $10.00 discount for each night the cachetmaker is staying at the show hotel, up to two nights. In addition, the special AMERICOVER rate at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook this year is $99.

Cachetmakers who wish to sign up can download the application or contact Achgill at rkcovers@yahoo.com, c/o RKA Covers, PO Box 6508, Lafayette, IN 47903, or by telephone at (765) 543-8274.

AMERICOVER 2010 also features a commercial dealers bourse, a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, an auction, seminars, a pre-show area tour and a post-show dinner event. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also likely.

Silent Auction Items Needed

Once again this year, AMERICOVER will feature a silent auction. Lorraine Bailey will conduct the auction, and she's looking for donations. Do you have some unusual or unique items that you'd be willing to donate to benefit the Society? If so, contact Lorraine at alsaceleb@verizon.net or by U.S. mail:

      Lorraine Bailey
      PO Box 100274
      Arlington, VA 22210

Stamps In The Attic at 2010 Show

Stamps In The Attic Program Scheduled For AMERICOVER 2010
Bob Lamb Will Staff Popular Quick Collection Evaluation Program At Suburban Chicago Show In August

There will be an edition of the "Stamp In The Attic" program at AMERICOVER 2010, the American First Day Cover Society's annual show and convention, held this year in Oak Brook, Ill., August 6-8.

Bob Lamb, former executive director of the American Philatelic Society, will staff the booth, where people who have inherited or found collections can bring them for a quick evaluation, and possible referral to one of the dealers at the show. The booth will be sponsored by the National Stamp Dealers Association. There is no charge for the service, and both stamps and covers, as well as first day covers, will be evaluated.

"Every time I've been at a show that has a Stamps In The Attic booth, it's been very popular," said Lloyd A. de Vries, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the AFDCS. "It's really a service to the community, and it’s good for the dealers at the show, too."

Lamb, who evaluates hundreds of collections a year, said that "most of the collections I see were put together by beginners. But at every show someone will bring in a collection which will knock your socks off."

Sometimes the owners have no idea what they have. Lamb estimates that over half of the collections he sees have commercial value and often can be sold to dealers at the show. "Chicago is a good collecting area and I expect to see some very good material there," Lamb added.

AMERICOVER Flyer for Download

Help spread the word about AMERICOVER 2010, to be held at the Chicago Oak Brook Marriott, August 6-8, 2010. You can download this flyer and post or distribute copies at stamp club meetings, shows, libraries, community bulletin boards, or any other public place.

AMERICOVER Needs You!

Each year our Society depends on support from members who volunteer to help at AMERICOVER. This year we are expanding our request to include additional jobs that have to be completed before our convention starts. Please consider devoting just a few hours of your time to help, either before or during AMERICOVER 2010. Volunteers are not required to help all day at the show. Many of the jobs can be done in two hour shifts.

To learn how you can help AMERICOVER 2010 become a success, click here.

AMERICOVER Hotel a Bargain

AMERICOVER Again Holds The Line On Hotel Rate
In 19 Years, AFDCS Show Has Never Exceeded $100

For the 19th year in a row, the hotel room rate at AMERICOVER will be under $100.

AMERICOVER 2010, the World Series of Philately show and annual convention sponsored and organized by the American First Day Cover Society, will be held Aug. 6-8 in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Ill. The special AMERICOVER rate at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook this year is $99.

”The AMERICOVER Committee is happy to once again have a hotel rate that our members can afford," said committee member and AFDCS Assistant Treasurer Foster Miller. "We hope that as many members as possible will stay at the show hotel."

"Part of the fun and enjoyment of attending a WSP show like AMERICOVER, is staying at the convention hotel to enjoy all the continuous philatelic activities packed into the three days of scheduled events," added AMERICOVER chairman Norman Elrod. "The American First Day Cover Society feels fortunate to have maintained such affordable room rates for this number of years, allowing cover and stamp collectors the opportunity to stay at the show hotel each year."

AMERICOVER 2010 will feature two bourses (commercial dealers and cachetmakers), a national-level exhibition of first day covers, a banquet, meetings, a youth table, a hospitality suite, an auction, seminars, a pre-show area tour and a post-show dinner event. A forum by a postal official involved with first day covers is also likely.

The Chicago Marriott Oak Brook features free parking, 32-inch LCD high-definition televisions in each room, a fitness center, indoor pool and whirlpool, a restaurant, and a Starbucks Cafe. It is across the street from the Oakbrook Center mall, 7-1/2 miles from the Brookfield Zoo, 9 miles from the Morton Arboretum, and 3 miles from the Graue Mill and Museum (a stop on the Underground Railroad, in addition to an operating grist mill with waterwheel).

The first AMERICOVER was held in 1992 in Columbus, Ohio. Since then, the show has been held in 12 states.

Cachetmakers Contest Opens

Entries are now being accepted for the American First Day Cover Society's annual cachetmakers contest, where the best FDC designs of 2009 will be chosen in 16 categories.

The deadline for entries is April 15, 2010. Those entering covers must be members of the AFDCS. (Youth cachetmakers need only be related to an AFDCS member.)

The entry fee for adults is $5 if the cover is donated to the Society, or $10 if the cachetmaker wants the FDC returned. A complete set of rules and entry form can be found in the Jan. 15, 2010 issue of First Days, or downloaded here.

AMERICOVER Jury Named

Jay Stotts of Texas (right) will chair the jury at AMERICOVER 2010, which takes place at the Chicago Marriott Oak Brook Aug. 6-8. Joining him on the panel are Tim Bartshe of Colorado, Allison Cusick of Pennsylvania, Frederick Lawrence of Arizona, and Dominick Riccio of New York. All of the jurors are accredited American Philatelic Society national judges.

AMERICOVER 2010 is a World Series of Philately show dedicated to first day covers and the annual convention of the American First Day Cover Society. It will feature 160 frames of competitive philatelic exhibits, commercial and cachetmakers bourses, seminars and meetings. Admission to the show is free and open to the public.

“AMERICOVER is the preferred venue for exhibiting illustrated mail and first day covers," Alan Warren, chairman of the AFDCS Judges Accreditation Committee, observes. "Cacheted FDCs (illustrated mail) as well as earliest known or documented uses of postage stamps (postal history) are the features of this show."

The Grand Award winner at AMERICOVER is invited to enter the annual Champion of Champions competition held at the American Philatelic Society's StampShow the following August.

Stotts is a past president and current board member of the United States Stamp Society. He also served eight years on the APS Committee for the Accreditation of National Exhibitions and Judges (CANEJ). Jay exhibits 20th century U.S. and has received numerous awards for his articles and exhibits. Bartshe is currently president of the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors and has held office in the United Postal Stationery Society, the Philatelic Society for Greater Southern Africa, and the Rocky Mountain Stamp Show. A prolific exhibitor, Tim has shown material in many different disciplines including first day covers, postal stationery, traditional philately, postal history, and picture post cards among others. Cusick is a past president, vice president, and board member of the American First Day Cover Society. He has written extensively in the Society’s journal First Days and also published a monograph, Linprint Photo Cachet Catalog. He chairs the Society’s expertizing committee and manages the Society’s archives at the American Philatelic Research Library.

Lawrence is an accredited national and international judge with expertise in British South Africa, Czechoslovakia, aero/astro philately, and thematics among others, especially on Scouting. He serves on the organizing committee of the ARIPEX shows, where he is responsible for awards and judges.

Riccio has been an accredited APS judge since 1987 and specializes in Eastern European countries, U.S. revenues, and Ryukyu Islands. He is past advertising manager and editor of The Czechoslovak Specialist.

APS Offers FDC Course

The American Philatelic Society is offering the course “Expertizing FDCs and EDUs” as part of its continuing education series. The course will be held June 17–18, 2010 at the American Philatelic Center. The cost for is $149 for APS members; $249 for nonmembers.

Participants will learn the tools to authenticate first day and earliest-use U.S. covers and to identify faked and forged covers with confidence. Those who develop these skills may qualify to serve the hobby as expertizers for the American Philatelic Society’s APEX Service and the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS). Use of published and archival references and online databases are essential skills for FDC/EDU experts, so the AFDCS Archives and American Philatelic Resource Library resources will be employed. Forensic analysis using the Crimescope CS-16 will be included. Students should be familiar with first day covers and/or postal history.

For more information, download this information sheet. Register for the course directly on the APS website via this link.

AMERICOVER 2010 Exhibits

The exhibit Entry Form and Prospectus for AMERICOVER 2010 are now available for download on the AMERICOVER 2010 information page.

Here are some brief notes about exhibiting at AMERICOVER 2010.
  • The maximum number of frames available at AMERICOVER 2010 is 160.
  • The deadline to submit an exhibit entry form is June 1, 2010 or until all frames are filled, whichever comes first.
  • Exhibits are accepted and judged according to the 6th Edition of the American Philatelic Society's Manual of Philatelic Judging. This edition may be found and downloaded from the APS website.
  • Each exhibitor may enter a maximum of 2 multi-frame and 2 one-frame exhibits. (This is a change from the previous edition of the APS Manual of Philatelic Judging which allowed a maximum of 2 exhibits in any combination.) AFDCS does have the option of limiting a fewer number of exhibits per exhibitor.


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