(Or One Collector's Trash Is Another Collector's Treasure)


Introduction: On September 27, 1971, the Smithsonian officially started using a USPS board-and-batton cancel ... well maybe that's going a little too far back. Looking at what we have after awhile, ones starts to conjure up a scenario of what all this means and what might have happened. And what might the hypothesis be you may ask? I believe that most if not all of this run of Stamp Posters (and a few Souvenir Pages) were canceled at the same time, at one sitting. Stamps were affixed to the posters ahead of time and the canceller canceled in mass, looking at the date at the top of the page, changing the cancel to match and ZAP! However, I did not notice any beer and peanut stains. This does not hypothesize that we are dealing with a teetotal-ing canceller. On the contrary - the cancels appear to have been done in a hurry. I went into excruciating detail on the last few cancels in 1981 to give the reader a chance to see that very little appeared different on those cancels from those in the early 1970's. The inks seem to be about the same consistency; and several, when placed in date order, appear to have similar inking flaws (lack of inking in given spots, etc). Now any good theory should not just put together a feasible explanation that accounts for the above facts - BUT SHOULD REVEAL OTHER ANOMALIES. And don't forget about getting all these stamps to the Smithsonian on FDOI date! Back on the subject again, did I find anything of noteworthy in my stroll back through my stack of Smithsonian cancels?

Yes, I did find some interesting Smithsonian cancels! But before I totally recruit you into my grand hypothesis (or as some would say - before we swoop on to my grand fallacy) - I want to point out some interesting cancels along the way to tie you to my hypothesis. The Stamp Posters seem to parallel the start up of the Souvenir Page program (Mar 1, 1972 - until their demise with the Carson Stamp Poster, May 28, 1981). Two earlier outliers did occur - Lanier and possibly the Peace Corps. The early Stamp Posters would have been difficult to get canceled with Smithsonian cancels at the precise date, not knowing when the Souvenir Page program was to start and what it included. Souvenir Pages were not sent out until June, and the Yellowstone was included only as an after thought. The program was initially to have started with the Cape Hatteras' issue. Any way, having the Family Planning issue is a very nice item. Also, included in the Stamp Posters were all stationery items released - also nice items to have since Souvenir Pages are not issued for stationery.