P.O. Box 76, Norvelt, PA 15674

Volume 33, Number 4

April 2019

This Newsletter is available in PDF format. The PDF version looks exactly like the printed version. You can print a color version from this file.

Click here to download the PDF version. 


May 5

The next meeting of the stamp club will be May 5.    Please bring cookies for the table.  The hall is open from 1 pm, the meeting starts at 2:15 pm     



Don’t forget to pay your dues.  Dues are $10.00 for adults and $1.00 for junior members (18 years old or younger).  Please add an additional $5.00 if you would like the newsletter mailed to you.  The Newsletter is available on our website.  Dues can be mailed to the above address.  Make the check out to the Westmoreland County Philatelic Society. 


LANCOPEX 2019 – Friday, April 27, 10am – 5pm; Saturday, April 28, 10am – 4pm; Farm & Home Center, 1383 Arcadia Rd., Lancaster, PA. Sponsored by the Lancaster County Philatelic Society, Contact: Lou DiFelice, 717-572-3419, loudifelice@gmail.com.  20 dealers.  Note that this show is Friday and Saturday.

BUTLERPEX 2019 – Friday, May 10, 2019 10am – 5pm & Saturday, May 11 2019; 10am – 4pm; Tanglewood Senior Center, 10 Austin Ave., Lyndora, PA.  Sponsored by the Butler County Philatelic Society.  Contact: Tom Sivak, 724-287-1931 http://www.butlercountyphilatelicsociety.com 

Note that this show is Friday and Saturday.

Wilkinsburg Stamp Show - Friday May 31, 2019 10:00am - 5:00pm; Saturday June 1, 10:00am - 3:00pm; Gateway Fire Hall, 4370 Northern Pike, Monroeville, PA;  Sponsored by the Wilkinsburg Stamp Club; 11+ dealers; Contact: Tom Donohue, wilkinsburgstampclub@yahoo.com Phone: 412-373-8697.  http://www.wilkinsburgstampclub.com/

The Alexandria Blue Boy

A Love Story


Collectors often speak of the romance of stamp collecting, but few philatelic items have as true a romantic link as the Alexandria  Blue Boy. Prior to the release of the first United States postage
, a few postmasters in the country took it upon themselves to issue provisionals to prepay postage

Postmaster Daniel Bryan of Alexandria, Virginia, issued a provisional in 1846 featuring the wording "Alexandria Post Office" in a circle, with "Paid 5" in the center. These stamps usually were printed on buff paper, and all are scarce. However, this rarest of the Alexandria provisionals exists on blue paper.

It is the stamp on blue paper that is affectionately referred to by philatelists as the "Alexandria Blue Boy." The only example known to exist is on cover, and it is this item which is enhanced by the romantic story, of the lovers.

On November 24, 1847, James Wallace Hooff of Alexandria sent a love letter to his girl friend, Jannett Hoof Brown, who was visiting relatives in Richmond, Virginia. Before mailing it, he affixed one of the Alexandria postmaster's provisionals. They were second cousins. He was Presbyterian; she was Episcopalian. Relatives were watching and did not approve of this match. Hooff mentioned the couple's secret betrothal, and instructed his love to burn the letter so that plans would not be revealed. Fortunately for philatelists, Miss Brown valued the letter from her future husband too much to set a match to it, or to throw it in the furnace. She saved it.


The couple later married and raised their family in AlexandriAfter both had died, their daughter began searching through some old family correspondence, reading the love letters her parents had written to each other. She came across one envelope bearing a strange stamp. Enclosed was the letter her mother had been instructed to burn. The daughter had never seen a stamp such as the one affixed to the envelope. A friend, who was a stamp collector, suggested she talk to a dealer. She did so, and her find then came to philatelic light.


The cover was purchased soon after its discovery by George Worthington for $3,000. It eventually found its way into the collection of Alfred Caspary, and was purchased by Josiah' K. Lilly for $10,000 during the Caspary sale conducted by H.R. Harmer.  It realized $18,500 during the Robert A. Siegel auction of the Lily collection. It later appeared in the John R. Boker, Jr., collection.

The cover realized a record price of $1 million, the largest sum ever attained by a philatelic item at auction, during a sale in 1981 conducted by David Feldman in Zurich, Switzerland. This Blue Boy cover is still believed to be the only existing example of the Alexandria provisional on blue paper.

Little Mo - April 23

 On April 23, 2019, in Dallas, TX, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the “Little Mo” stamp (Forever priced at the First-Class Mail rate) in one design, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 20 stamps. The stamp will go on sale nationwide April 23, 2019, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue. This stamp honors extraordinary tennis champion Maureen Connolly Brinker (1934–1969). The stamp art features an oil-on-linen painting of the tennis star by Gregory Manchess. Based on a black-and-white photograph taken in 1952, the portrait is a colorful interpretation of Connolly hitting a low volley. Nicknamed “Little Mo,” the 5-foot-4-inch dynamo used powerful ground strokes to become the first woman to win all four major tennis tournaments in a calendar year. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp. First day address:

FDOI – “Little Mo” Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

All orders must be postmarked by August 23, 2019.

Transcontinental Railroad - May 10

On May 10, 2019, in Promontory Summit, UT, the U.S. Postal Service will issue the Transcontinental Railroad stamps (Forever priced at the First-Class Mail rate) in three designs, in a pressure-sensitive adhesive pane of 18 stamps. The stamps will go on sale nationwide May 10, 2019, and must not be sold or canceled before the first-day-of-issue. The Transcontinental Railroad pane of 18 stamps may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually. Three new stamps in a pane of 18 mark the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, a massive engineering feat that reduced travel time across the country from as much as 6 months to about 1 week and made the American West an integral part of the nation. Two different stamps feature the Jupiter and the No. 119 locomotives that powered the trains carrying the officers and guests of two train companies to the “Golden Spike Ceremony,” which was held when the two rail lines were joined at Promontory Summit in Utah.  A third stamp portrays the famous golden spike that was a prominent part of the ceremony. Each of the stamps and the header feature gold-foiled highlights that produce a glimmering effect. Art director Greg Breeding designed the issuance. Michael J. Deas painted the Jupiter and No. 119 stamps. Kevin Cantrell illustrated the stamp depicting the ceremonial golden spike and did the border treatments and typography for all three stamps.  First day address:

FDOI – Transcontinental Railroad Stamps

USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services

8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300

Kansas City, MO 64144-9900

All orders must be postmarked by September 10, 2019.