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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

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CROGO
05 Apr 2020
03:12:53pm
Hello to everyone!

I joined with the hope to find a large collection of postcards that were collected by my grandfather, John V. Doughten, Esq. of Philadelphia (1904-1983). He was an early HAM radio enthusiast who had the call letters W3LV for over 50 years. My cousin relates that he remembers 3 shoe boxes full of postcards that my grandfather had received from pen pals he met on the air from all around the world. These may have been sent to the following addresses:
1911 E. Tioga St., Philadelphia, PA
1801 E. Tioga St., Philadelphia, PA
1105 Arrott St., Philadelphia, PA
I suspect that another cousin sold these postcards online or at a yard sale in either the vicinity of Atlantic City/Ocean City, NJ or Magnolia, DE. I assume that most have a fair market value of $1 (US).

However, my grandfather did manage to get a postcard in 1961 from cosmonaut Gherman Titov, whom he likely spoke with while he orbited the earth. The address on this one is 1105 Arrott St., Philadelphia, PA. It is hand written in French with a Soviet stamp. Titov was the first man to orbit the earth more than once, to stay in orbit for more than 24 hours, to sleep in space, and to experience space sickness. He remains the youngest person to fly in space. This post card is historically significant and likely quite valuable. It represents a time when the Soviet Union was ahead of the Unites States in the Space Race, and some wealthy Russian oligarch might pay a small fortune for it. I have taken reasonable steps to secure its return, including an injunction against its further transfer issued in Cape May County, NJ, where it was last seen.

In addition there were several postcards from the family. There were some from my grandfather to his mother, Mary Agnes Doughten, nee Wisher AKA Mayme Doughten, or Mrs. John W. Doughten. These were from Atlantic City, NJ and North Carolina to her address at 1911 E. Tioga St., Philadelphia, PA, as well as some from her husband, John W. Doughten, to her from various places around the world from 1905-1929. He apparently was traveling aboard a ship. These are priceless family heirlooms that I hope to find, and negotiate their return.

Any information is greatly appreciated.
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musicman
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APS #213005
05 Apr 2020
03:19:39pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

So, are you actually looking for QSL cards in addition to standard postcards?

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CROGO
05 Apr 2020
07:46:42pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

Yes. I was looking for the family heirloom cards especially. It would also be quite interesting to find the post cards that my grandfather sent around the world.

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musicman
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APS #213005
05 Apr 2020
08:18:34pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

Chances are slim to none, but I will look thru my 5 albums of QSL cards

....who knows?


Happy

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ikeyPikey
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05 Apr 2020
08:44:29pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

'
Good luck with you quest.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey (who will add W3LV to his BOLO list)

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
Benque
05 Apr 2020
09:20:22pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

Pardon me Gentlemen; perhaps cabin fever is affecting my deductive reasoning, or (heaven forbid) my memory, but can you explain the meaning of "QSL" please.

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jmh67
06 Apr 2020
02:25:01am
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

QSL is a shorthand for "acknowledgment of receipt of signals". Radio amateurs and some CB operators exchange such cards as confirmation of contacts "over the air", shortwave listeners send them to various kinds of radio stations (broadcasters, amateurs, utility stations) in order to get confirmation of their reception reports. Among amateurs, domestic QSL cards are sent by mail (AFAIK in the USA exclusively so), international ones are often exchanged with the help of the radio clubs. Also look up "QSL card" on wikipedia for more information.

73 (radio-speak for "best regards"), Martin

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
06 Apr 2020
08:27:24am

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re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

this should be very interesting

out of curiosity, were the PCs and QSLs mentioned in the will (assuming such a thing existed)? were they sold shortly after his death in 83 or more recently?

it sounds like no cousin either remembers or is willing to fess up

and "other cousin" sounds as if you, too, might have been a cousin to the deceased, or, perhaps, to the presumed seller.

can injunctions be issued against the transfer a thing? and must that injuction be issued in the precise locale of the thing? if it's really in Wasington's Crossing, is it free to continue its travels?

Much of philately is serindipitous, so some music-loving car mechanic in Michigan just might find a French PC franked with Soviet stamps among his extensive QSL collection. And I'll look in mine, which was recently rescued from being turned into toilet paper tubes (or some other fate). Who knows, there may be a cosmonaut, or two, among them.

73 and 30


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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

juicyheads.com/link.php?PLJZJP
philb
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06 Apr 2020
09:19:16am

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re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

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"And every hair is measured like every grain of sand"
StamperMA
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06 Apr 2020
09:35:11am
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

I think you are facing quite a challenge CROGO finding these items. If they were sold years ago they may be widely dispersed by now.

As for the QSL cards I might look for large collections on eBay. When folks sell QSL cards they show the interesting call letter side and not the address side so you seldom see the recipient. But for large collections it might be worth inquiring if by chance they are all addressed to John Doughton. Admittedly this is a very long shot but not a lot of work as large collection for sale are not too common.

For example, right now eBay has a collection of 600 cards for sale (3 groups of 200 cards each from the same seller).

As for the Titov postcard I doubt it is worth a small fortune. 250 of his items on eBay now and while the signed ones are pricey ($100s) most are asking prices and not auctions. It would be great to recover your Titov postcard as a family momento but you won’t get rich off of it.

Dennis

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CROGO
06 Apr 2020
09:11:18pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

The postcards were held in a family trust, as determined by a judge in Cape May County NJ and, at least some, (there were a lot) were likely in my uncle's house at the time of his passing. Since he was the trustee, they were not part of his estate, but it did cause much confusion that they appear to have been found there. The sale or transfer was likely in the past five years. Yes, some people aren't fessing up about what happened to them, which makes knowing where to look harder. Someone in the family might yet have things. Yet, the Internet is a powerful tool for communication, and I am hoping that they went to someone who collects them. What is difficult is that places like EBay sell them in lots, but don't include a description of to whom they are addressed. It's like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Several John Doe's and XYZ corporations were listed in the complaint as placeholders for anyone who might have acquired things. The injunction applies to all who have knowledge of it, or should know of it, within the long arm jurisdiction of the State of New Jersey, which includes online auctions visible in New Jersey. I am doing my best so as many people as possible know. Admittedly, the injunction itself doesn't guarantee anything. There is still the issue of legal title and a bona fide purchaser for value. Basically, if a person doesn't pay fair market value for a thing, he/she doesn't gain legal title. So paying $1 for something worth much more is like buying a hot TV. The buyer doesn't gain legal title to it. The postcard is sufficiently unique, that I will not recognize anything but an open auction at place like Sotheby's as a sale for fair market value.

From what I see on Ebay, there are autographed pictures of Titov with an asking price up to $800. The postcard is more than his signature. It was a continuation of the friendly conversation he had with my grandfather in space with details of his experience shortly after he returned to earth. Unlike a signature , it would be much more difficult to forge. Affecting its value is the fact that my grandfather was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1961. (I am attaching his obituary from the Philadelphia Daily News, Tuesday, October 4, 1983, Page 30.) If John Glenn or Neil Armstrong had sent a postcard to a Soviet commissar with whom he communicated by radio while in space during the Cold War would that be worth more than just an autographed picture?

Image Not Found

His mother wanted my grandfather to be a lawyer, but he wanted to go into radio. His postcard collection attested to his passion for radio, when it was the technology for international communication. It was a big part of who my grandfather was. The postcard from Titov proves he was very good at his hobby, and he was quite proud of it. Yes, the odds of recovery aren't great, but the odds would be nil if I did nothing.

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musicman
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APS #213005
07 Apr 2020
07:53:16pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

Well, I have looked through all that I have and I'm sorry to say

I have not found anything related to your quest.


I hope you eventually find some of the missing pieces.


Happy

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CROGO
07 Apr 2020
08:43:13pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

Musicman, thank you so much for your effort. It is greatly appreciated.

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John Macco
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Astrophilatelist- Space Cover Collector
08 Apr 2020
10:09:19am
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

Can you scan the front and back of the Titov card and post image? Thanks.

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CROGO
08 Apr 2020
12:48:34pm
re: 1961 postcard from cosmonaut Gherman Titov

As I don't presently have the postcard, the answer is no, I can't scan it. I am reluctant to describe it in greater detail, lest I encourage someone to try to forge it.

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