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General Philatelic/Gen. Discussion : Covers That Deserve To Die!!

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Tom in Exton, PA
10 Sep 2021
We all have them. These are the covers people refuse to throw away. Some of them have been floundering in junk boxes for 100 years. You can always find them in those "100 Cover Lots" on eBay as filler fluff. Here's some candidates...

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Covers that never got serviced - Nobody wants to toss out a nice Artcraft cachet. Never mind that you day dreamt past the due date! I am keeping the Ike cachet in my Inauguration album. Maybe next time there is an Eisenhower stamp issued, I'll remember. Probably not.

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Raggedy old covers of no significance! Here's two torn and ragged covers of towns that either are cities or still exist, so the cancels can be acquired in good condition. Especially the ones with torn stamps missing pieces!

I do have covers in similar condition in my New Jersey postmark collection (and two on eBay right now!) of DPOs (Discontinued Post Offices) that may just be the last existing example of a rare cancellation. I know early on in my collecting I passed up a few never to see the town again. We make exception for those.. but these two must die!

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Covers with illegible postmarks... as in "what the heck?" Anyone who collects cancellations has no doubt run into covers from American Hay and Grain. This guy was collecting all US postmarks back in the 1930s. I got a load of them in a huge cover lot I bought once. And I've seen more of these on eBay. But he saved everything! This cover will be cut up for the block of four which will go into my USA on Paper box!

The second cover goes away on several counts! First someone literally tore this sucker in half chasing after the insert. (And then you save it?), the postmark is unreadable and a quarter of the stamp is missing. Gone!

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Faded and discolored covers.. Especially in multiples... I have 5 of this exact same cover! All of them wrinkled, cachet faded to unreadable and the cheap envelopes yellowed.. sometimes enhanced by a cheap pulp paper insert that destroys the envelope that holds it. Filler left inside way beyond it's usefulness! The clincher.. these covers have lasted 89 years and still haven't found a home in a collection!

So I'm braver than most and I see it as my service to the collecting community to destroy these covers, rather than play "Tag, You're It!" by passing them on in a large cover lot.

Okay, I like Dwight, I'll keep him!


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10 Sep 2021
re: Covers That Deserve To Die!!


You might think about franking the Eisenhower cover with a related issue, maybe something commemorating an event while he was in office (death of Joe Stalin?) and then having it canceled on the 70th (75th?) anniversary of that event!

I have a nascent collection of 'bizarro' presidential covers. This is my favorite, sent to us by my (former) sister-in-law, a true-blue Liberal who was living in a yurt in Santa Cruz at the time:

A Favorite Son?
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Particularly cruel, as the copyright, and postmark are not much more than a year since Nixon's death. The First Day of Issue of the Nixon stamp was April 26, 1995, a year and four days after his death.

In the words of Stephen Colbert, "Too soon?"

Speaking of anniversaries, anyone have any ideas for special covers to frank tomorrow (September 11)? Bears some thought...


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APS member since 2004
11 Sep 2021
re: Covers That Deserve To Die!!

Paul (pigdoc):

The cover of Richard Nixon reminded me of an event many years ago, that I thought as stamp collectors, some may appreciate.

I am too young to remember Richard Nixon as the American President. I was seven or eight years old when Watergate was happening. As well, I am Canadian. I am aware that Mr. Nixon does stir up emotions of Americans of a certain generation.

That said, I was living in Brownwood Texas when that stamp came out. Before I moved to the United States, I made an effort to study American history. I was standing in line at the post office to purchase stamps to mail some letters. There were posters up at the post office of the new stamp and the postal clerks were selling the Richard Nixon stamp to anyone who asked for a First Class Stamp.

There was an elderly lady in front of me, being served by the postal clerk. Here's how the exchange went...

LADY: "Can I have five stamps, please?"

The postal Clerk tears off five Richard Nixon stamps and puts them in front of her.

LADY: "Richard Nixon!! He was a %$@#* crook!"

The postal clerk reaches in his drawer and pulls out another pane of stamps.

POSTAL CLERK: "How about the flag?"

LADY: "Much better"

I always think of that day at the post office when I look at the Richard Nixon stamp in my United States collection.

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