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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

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ScanStamps
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10 Feb 2012
12:45:12pm
Now that we have "Forever" stamps all over the place, what is the implication for modern US postal history?

In the "old days," you could clearly tell a rate change because you'd get covers from the first day of the new rate with a stamp the OLD rate, and a make-up stamp. Nice visible documentation.

With the advent of "Forever" stamps, a cover mailed on the last day of the old rate, and the first day of the new rate look exactly the same. Sure, you could make yourself a little note or "cachet" to say "first day of new rate," but then you could only have "philatelic" covers. So what gives?

I was just puzzling through this, in my head, this morning. I don't actually collect modern US postal history... but I was just curious, all the same.

Any thoughts?


Peter

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gosling
10 Feb 2012
01:04:04pm
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Interesting. I've spent a fair amount of time working with the 'alphabet' stamps detailing the dates of rate change and the numerous combinations of stamps used prior and subsequent to the effective date to pay the new rate.

I haven't the remotest idea how to deal with the subject given the proliferation of 'Forever' stamps.

Great question, I hope others chime in on this one.

Cheers,

MikeR

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
10 Feb 2012
01:27:57pm

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re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Peter, Mike,

I suppose the question you're pondering is how one tells the rate when there is no "value" shown on the cover.

We've had this conundrum ever since the first semi-postal was issued. It's had valid franking privileges for more than a dozen years and 8 major rate changes.

Familiarity with the rate tables is paramount here; and the alphabet nondenominated stamps pose similar, but more easily solved, problems in that they retain a given value.

My late friend Tom Harley as well as current member Jerry Shean both collect the B1 on cover. I know that Tom was trying to amass an example from each day; I believe Jerry is trying to do something similar (Jerry, if you're reading you might comment on this).

Does this address the question?

Incidentally, I just added an example of an uprated Forever stamp in another thread, voicing the public's misunderstanding of the intent of the stamp.

David

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
10 Feb 2012
01:31:51pm

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re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

i should add that a compounding problem is the increasing illegibility of US postmarks. It used to be that they would smudge on any glossy surface; now, they seem to be blobs on virtually any surface. I've seen 50 examples of the most recent spray on slogan cancel and still don't know what it says.


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GeoStamper
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Steve
19 May 2015
12:22:28am
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

After seeing a rash of APS postings on Facebook concerning upcoming non-denominated issues, I had similar questions. So reviving this thread seemed to be in order!

One example is this set of non-denominated Coastal Birds postcard stamps (35-cent) pictured here.

Image Not Found

The stamps are nice enough but what will their franking power be in 3-4 years? Does the word "postcard" also imply "forever"?

One thing I do like is that the year increasingly seems to be part of the stamp design.

Some of my favorite conundrum stamps...

Image Not Found

Nice image, and it is especially helpful to have the planet labeled "Earth" so that we don't confuse it with, say, "Planet E." I also wonder how many people interpreted the image as the zone covered by the E rate, and thus "Domestic" referred to our "home" planet?

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Always thought it appropriate that the bird on a "make-up" stamp carries an olive branch.

Image Not Found

This has to be the all-time classic. Is it a riddle? Is it a Jeopardy answer? Be sure to answer that in the form of a question. The only way they could have made this misuse of ink and paper any better would to have actually printed a shark right on there and show the stamp jumping over it.

All in fun. Besides, it is Scott who has to figure all this out, assign numbers, print catalogs, etc. I'm just along for the ride!

-Steve

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michael78651
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19 May 2015
01:26:10am
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Regarding the specific rate forever stamps, these will begin to be sen starting with the May 31, 2015 rate increases, and will be valued at the current rate for their service designation the same as first class forever stamps have been for many years.

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
19 May 2015
11:15:42am
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Wondering aloud how good an investment Forever stamps will be. I recently saw an eBay auction for a full tray of 13 cent coil stamp rolls, at a discount from face of course. I started to think that you'd need 3 of them, plus a 10 cent stamp to make the current 49 cent rate. So the buying power of that 13 cent stamp lost a lot of power! Now if they had forever stamps back then....

And to boggle the mind... you'd need 16 3 cent commemorates plus a 1 cent stamp to make up that 49 cents. Not enough room on the envelope!

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xstitchalanna
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Wanting to bring the joy of stamp collecting to younger generations
19 May 2015
12:42:05pm
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

As far as the "rate change" I would assume a postal catalog would mention when and what the rate change was.

For collecting on my own pages, I just sort forever by year since they print the year on them. You could look up the date the rate changed or even sort by date issued and make notes on your album pages... just a few ideas floating in my head.....

The postcard stamps are "forever" stamps for postcards only. You could use 1 stamp 20 years from now to mail a postcard and the post office can't charge you more. With the cost of inflation and the rate change going up about every year now it makes more sense then issuing a "rate change stamp" There are only 26 letters in the alphabet. We would either have to start using double letters, or we could switch to using Chinese Characters as there are an abundance of them Clown

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michael78651
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19 May 2015
01:10:25pm
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

If you want to know everything about what the USPS charges for all of its services, then this is the link that you need for the USPS Domestic Mail Manual Notice 123:

http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

It will not show the May 31, 2015, rate increase information until the date that the rates go into effect.

It is indispensable if you sell/mail alot of things. It prints out nicely if you click on the "Printer Friendly PDF" button on the upper left side. You can also selectively print only the pages you want/need if you don't want to print out the entire document.

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
19 May 2015
01:15:19pm

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re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Alanna, stamp catalogues, like Scott, for instance, will not list rate changes. You can work backwards with stamp face values and approximate the times of changes, but they'll be wiggly dates.

If you need rate information, the best source is Wawruskiez and Beecher's Domestic Rate Reference work (title is not quite right, and I've butchered Tony W's name). it's essential tool for postal historians, but unnecessary for a stamp collector.

David

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michael78651
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19 May 2015
01:19:35pm
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

You can also find older editions of the USPS Notice 123 on the internet. Doesn't go back too far, but you will get the dates of changes too.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
19 May 2015
10:58:19pm
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Quote:

"If you need rate information, the best source is Wawruskiez and Beecher's Domestic Rate Reference work"



What David (amsd) is trying to say is that the definitive work in this area is "U.S. Domestic Postal Rates, 1872-1999" by Henry W. Beecher and Anthony S. Wawrukiewicz.

Here is where you can get your own copy and get links to the Addenda and Errata:

http://www.spiritone.com/%7etonywaw/index.html

NOTE: I can't make the link work in this environment. You need to replace the "pound sign" (upper case 3) with the "tilde" (upper case inflection mark). It's the "squiggly" character you get if you hold down shift and press the button to the left of the number 1 on the top of the keyboard. Replace # with the character over the letter n in Pinata and you've got it! (got it, Lars-Bobby)

(Hopefully a moderator can make this work?)

Just don't make the stupid mistake I did. I ordered the book and didn't ask for an autograph. Tony sells these books directly. Get him to sign yours!

Lars




(Modified by Moderator on 2015-05-22 08:36:30)
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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
20 May 2015
08:53:19am

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re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

thanks Lars. There's a second edition going to 2006.

Not all books are for all people; I don't think it's necessary at all for stamp collectors, even US collectors. However, for those of us who collect US postal history, it's indispensable in understanding what's happening with US covers. There is no book in my house that gets more use than this.

and thanks for the tip about getting Tony to sign it. He's in a friend's club in Oregon, and my friend says he's just the nicest guy. His reference works are utterly magnificent in their scope, organization, and illustration.

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GeoStamper
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Steve
21 May 2015
03:21:35pm
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Tom, completely concur with your comment!

Quote:

"Not enough room on the envelope!"



I too have purchased a small amount of older unused stamps for postage. The needed combinations and positioning on the envelope are nice challenges. I almost always have to go with a #10 envelope, or even a 5x9 manila envelope, just to mail a check. Oh well, it's the price we pay...

-Steve
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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
22 May 2015
12:57:24am
re: Effect of Forever Stamps on Modern US Postal History?

Quote:

"Lars - is the link above the one you were looking for?

Lisa
DB Moderator"



Nope, sorry Lisa. That link was 404 so I put back what I had. There needs to be a tilde in front of "tonywaw" in that link but I can't make that work. I do this sort of thing for a living, so I have tried every trick I know. This environment is suppressing the tilde character and that's why the link won't work. I could set up an external redirect to make it work, but I think anyone that's interested can figure it out. If not, send me a PM and I will send the link to you.

Lars

use %7e to replace the tilde - Bobby


(Modified by Moderator on 2015-05-22 11:35:58)
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