abcs of stamp collecting, and a peek into john lennon’s album

#10 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.


Click on this image to go directly to the online Alphabetilately Exhibit.

Any stamp collectors out there?

I’ve always appreciated the artistry and infinite variety of postal stamps, as they commemorate people, places and historic events. I still have a few teddy bear stamps and cherish those featuring children’s book authors. Remember the Little Women, Little House on the Prairie, Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss stamps? Very cool. And I’ve always had a soft spot for LOVE stamps.

This year, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., has an exhibit called "Alphabetilately," where each letter of the alphabet stands for some aspect of stamp collecting or postal service. (A is for Advertising Covers, D is for Duck Stamp, O is for Overprint, etc.) In the actual exhibit, there is a display case for each letter, but you can get a good overview by reading what is available online. Find out which stamp many collectors consider to be the most beautiful ever produced in America, and see one of the first stamps ever issued in the U.S., the 5-cent Benjamin Franklin (1847). In this day and age of email, stamps seem to be less and less a part of our everyday lives, so take a few minutes to appreciate these miniature pieces of art!

Not part of the Alphabetilately exhibit, but of interest to Beatles fans, is John Lennon’s Childhood Stamp album. Apparently, both he and Paul were collectors. 


John (age 8), outside his childhood home with friend, Stanley Parkes.

Here is the cover of John’s album,

his writing on the flyleaf,

and a page of his stamps.

To see the rest of his album, click here.

Alphabetica posts #1-9 are here.

Happy licking! ♥

*All images copyright © 2009, Smithsonian National Postal Museum website. All rights reserved. 

 Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade especially for you with love and a wish for more personal letters with real stamps!

14 thoughts on “abcs of stamp collecting, and a peek into john lennon’s album

  1. Re: “Please, Mister Postman, look and see…”

    “Please, Mr. Postman” now has new meaning, doesn’t it? I love that John loved to “travel” the world via stamps when he was a child. Then he grew up to write “Imagine all the people, living life in peace . . . “

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  2. I was tickled pink (or green) when I stumbled across Lennon’s album. I mean, who knew? Years ago, we knew an artist who studied at Liverpool Art College who did amazing miniature paintings. She even designed a postage stamp once. I thought that was pretty cool.🙂

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  3. I love that John…

    “embellished” the king and queen on that one stamp (in the link you included)… proves he was always a mischievous cut-up!

    😉

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  4. Thanks for posting these! I suppose this is rather late commenting (landed here on a Google search), but it is quite funny to see. Both my dad and grandfather collected stamps in their youth. It was quite strange to unearth the pile of old stampbooks at my nan’s house a few months ago – one from 1968, the other 1941!
    What really piqued my curiosity about these scans was that it does indeed appear that Lennon and my dad had the exact same stampbook. (I may well show him this, as a result) Now that really threw me for a bender. I suppose it shouldn’t be that surprising, the UK Post Office would’ve just churned these designs out by the dozen after all. But even the little touches, such as the front page where you’d write the date, signature, address etc. Everything is bizarrely identical; this book could’ve belonged to any British boy growing up in the mid-20th century. It’s a rare moment where a celebrity of Lennon’s calibre suddenly seems genuinely, overwhelmingly normal.
    Thanks again!

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  5. Thanks for posting these! I suppose this is rather late commenting (landed here on a Google search), but it is quite funny to see. Both my dad and grandfather collected stamps in their youth. It was quite strange to unearth the pile of old stampbooks at my nan’s house a few months ago – one from 1968, the other 1941!
    What really piqued my curiosity about these scans was that it does indeed appear that Lennon and my dad had the exact same stampbook. (I may well show him this, as a result) Now that really threw me for a bender. I suppose it shouldn’t be that surprising, the UK Post Office would’ve just churned these designs out by the dozen after all. But even the little touches, such as the front page where you’d write the date, signature, address etc. Everything is bizarrely identical; this book could’ve belonged to any British boy growing up in the mid-20th century. It’s a rare moment where a celebrity of Lennon’s calibre suddenly seems genuinely, overwhelmingly normal.
    Thanks again!

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  6. Thanks so much for your comment! That’s fascinating that your dad had the same stampbook! All too often, we forget that our idols started out as “normal” people. Yes, of course they were, but sometimes stumbling across these little reminders reinforces that. I imagine now your dad’s stampbook has new significance and even more value among his keepsakes.

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  7. Thanks so much for your comment! That’s fascinating that your dad had the same stampbook! All too often, we forget that our idols started out as “normal” people. Yes, of course they were, but sometimes stumbling across these little reminders reinforces that. I imagine now your dad’s stampbook has new significance and even more value among his keepsakes.

    Like

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