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The end of an era (just slightly tardy)....

pruebaspruebas Posts: 2,538 ✭✭✭✭✭

I don’t think anyone posted this.

The company that produced ArtCraft cacheted envelopes for First Day Covers and that produced White Ace albums is no more.

Those two products bring back memories of my youth.

http://www.roi-nj.com/2018/10/29/opinion/end-of-an-era-in-stamp-collecting-n-j-s-washington-stamp-exchange-born-85-years-ago-in-newark-is-closing-at-year-end/

Comments

  • USPS still sells FDC, I wonder how many people are buying them.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 2,538 ✭✭✭✭✭

    USPS will still cancel your own FDC free as they always have. It’s just now, you won’t have a cacheted envelope in which to make one.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I was aware of their demise. It was a slow motion thing.

    First, they stopped selling cacheted envelopes and new FDCs. Then they started having discounted sales on existing stock. Then they stopped taking any new orders as they felt existing orders would deplete their inventory.

    I think the whole process took about a year. The end seemed a abrupt but I suppose it was actually a long time coming.

    Stamp collecting is in decline in general, but the USPS helped kill off Artcraft's FDC business. They issued stamps with little lead time for cachet design, they issued stamps with copyrighted/licensed characters that Aircraft couldn't picture on the cachets, and of course the USPS started selling its own FDCs.

    Artcraft had bought out rival Fleetwood just a few years before and added their color-oriented influence to their Artcraft engraved cachets.

    Now that are all gone. As far as I know, there are no large operations making cacheted FDCs any more.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 2,538 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I was aware of their demise. It was a slow motion thing.

    First, they stopped selling cacheted envelopes and new FDCs. Then they started having discounted sales on existing stock. Then they stopped taking any new orders as they felt existing orders would deplete their inventory.

    I think the whole process took about a year. The end seemed a abrupt but I suppose it was actually a long time coming.

    Stamp collecting is in decline in general, but the USPS helped kill off Artcraft's FDC business. They issued stamps with little lead time for cachet design, they issued stamps with copyrighted/licensed characters that Aircraft couldn't picture on the cachets, and of course the USPS started selling its own FDCs.

    Artcraft had bought out rival Fleetwood just a few years before and added their color-oriented influence to their Artcraft engraved cachets.

    Now that are all gone. As far as I know, there are no large operations making cacheted FDCs any more.

    Interesting @JBK , I didn’t know this, especially about the licensing issue. Thanks for the info.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:

    @JBK said:
    I was aware of their demise. It was a slow motion thing.

    First, they stopped selling cacheted envelopes and new FDCs. Then they started having discounted sales on existing stock. Then they stopped taking any new orders as they felt existing orders would deplete their inventory.

    I think the whole process took about a year. The end seemed a abrupt but I suppose it was actually a long time coming.

    Stamp collecting is in decline in general, but the USPS helped kill off Artcraft's FDC business. They issued stamps with little lead time for cachet design, they issued stamps with copyrighted/licensed characters that Aircraft couldn't picture on the cachets, and of course the USPS started selling its own FDCs.

    Artcraft had bought out rival Fleetwood just a few years before and added their color-oriented influence to their Artcraft engraved cachets.

    Now that are all gone. As far as I know, there are no large operations making cacheted FDCs any more.

    Interesting @JBK , I didn’t know this, especially about the licensing issue. Thanks for the info.

    The first time I saw how bad it had gotten was with the "Simpsons" TV show stamps. They couldn't use the name of the show or the characters or even the fictional city "Springfield" on the cachet. It was a ridiculous balancing act to make an appropriate cachet while not directly referencing the show.

    Same for the Harry Potter stamps. They had to make up fictional characters that looked sort of like the ones from the movie but not really. It got really rediculous.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 19,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:
    USPS will still cancel your own FDC free as they always have. It’s just now, you won’t have a cacheted envelope in which to make one.

    There are far more cachet makers than Art Craft. I don't know how many are still in business. Some people make their own cachets using colored pencil, ink or watercolor.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 19,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So far as the licensing issue goes, it was just another nail in the coffin for first day covers. Interest in them has been dropping for a long time. The USPS decision to stop holding some official first day launches in the early 1990's was another nail in the coffin. Stamps would sometimes be on sale several days before the "first day". There is also the issue of the printed cancels on the first day issues sold by the USPS itself. Many/most true first day collectors hated these.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    So far as the licensing issue goes, it was just another nail in the coffin for first day covers. Interest in them has been dropping for a long time. The USPS decision to stop holding some official first day launches in the early 1990's was another nail in the coffin. Stamps would sometimes be on sale several days before the "first day". There is also the issue of the printed cancels on the first day issues sold by the USPS itself. Many/most true first day collectors hated these.

    I know that now for most issues the USPS sells two First Day cancels: the regular (usually black) ones and also a digital (usually color) one. I think (not sure) the black one is done with a pre-inked rubber stamp (the kind that comes in a plastic housing and swings down when you press it down on the paper).

    In the older (not oldest) days there were two cancels - not officially but there was still a noticeable difference. A machine cancel done by the actual FD post office and the neater one like previously mentioned.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:

    @pruebas said:
    USPS will still cancel your own FDC free as they always have. It’s just now, you won’t have a cacheted envelope in which to make one.

    There are far more cachet makers than Art Craft. I don't know how many are still in business. Some people make their own cachets using colored pencil, ink or watercolor.

    I think most are gone - only small/private ones being left. I would have not idea where to go to buy unserviced cacheted envelopes like Artcraft made.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 10, 2019 1:35PM

    I always thought the Washington Press/Artcraft (Washington Stamp Exchange) missed the boat by not aggressively marketing the FDCs to autograph collectors. Some were already using them but the market could have been expanded as FDCs are/were great to get a relevant famous autograph on.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 19,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I always thought the Washington Press/Artcraft (Washington Stamp Exchange) missed the boat by not aggressively marketing the FDCs to autograph collectors. Some were already suing them but the market could have been expanded as FDCs are/were great to get a relevant famous autograph on.

    I made quite a few hand done FDC's in the mid and late 1960's using colored ink. I never sold any but did donate a bunch to the local PBS station back around 1980 when they had benefit auctions. I have no idea what ever happened to those covers as they have never reappeared on the market. I still have some hand done covers left.

    In 1991 I did two printed FDC cachets. The first was for the Harriet Quimby stamp and the second was for the Numismatics stamp. Neither sold well. I failed to cover the cost of making them. In the case of the Numismatics stamp I had them cancelled at the 1991 ANA Show in Chicago and had some signatures of the US Treasurer plus current and former ANA Presidents. I still have those. I am going to have to get a new digital camera show I can start showing photos! My old camera just died this past weekend. (A photo on the cover of the August 28, 1991 issue of Coin World clearly show me waiting in the line to get the US Treasurer's autograph on the covers and on the First Day Program.)

    All glory is fleeting.
  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, pls post some pics.

    It is too bad about FDCs - a nice cacheted FDC is a great collectable. They were hot for so many years/decades but with most stamps they took a nosedive. I guess now is a good time to collect them.

    While we're at it, maybe I will get some pics of ones I had signed over the years.

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 19,692 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    Yes, pls post some pics.

    It is too bad about FDCs - a nice cacheted FDC is a great collectable. They were hot for so many years/decades but with most stamps they took a nosedive. I guess now is a good time to collect them.

    While we're at it, maybe I will get some pics of ones I had signed over the years.

    If you want to collect them stay away from the common cachets. They are likely to be junk box material for many decades into the future. There are a surprising number of low production run cachets for many issues.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 2,538 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I always thought the Washington Press/Artcraft (Washington Stamp Exchange) missed the boat by not aggressively marketing the FDCs to autograph collectors. Some were already using them but the market could have been expanded as FDCs are/were great to get a relevant famous autograph on.

    I did this with the transistor stamp from 1973. I had it autographed by all 3 inventors of the transistor.
    Unfortunately, my father had the FDCs made, and he hand wrote my name/address on the cover in blue ballpoint pen. But it's still a neat piece of history.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:

    @JBK said:
    I always thought the Washington Press/Artcraft (Washington Stamp Exchange) missed the boat by not aggressively marketing the FDCs to autograph collectors. Some were already using them but the market could have been expanded as FDCs are/were great to get a relevant famous autograph on.

    I did this with the transistor stamp from 1973. I had it autographed by all 3 inventors of the transistor.
    Unfortunately, my father had the FDCs made, and he hand wrote my name/address on the cover in blue ballpoint pen. But it's still a neat piece of history.

    Hind sight is always 20/20, but that is still a neat item.

    My first FDC s that I serviced myself had my name and address rubber stamped on them.

    Your transistor FDC is a keeper for sure, and it guarantees you immortality - decades and centuries from now it will still be valued as an historical artifact because of the autographs, and your name will be there on display as well. :)

  • OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,493 ✭✭✭✭

    @JBK said:
    I always thought the Washington Press/Artcraft (Washington Stamp Exchange) missed the boat by not aggressively marketing the FDCs to autograph collectors. Some were already using them but the market could have been expanded as FDCs are/were great to get a relevant famous autograph on.

    I bought this one mainly for the Adolph Weinman autograph. No cachet, but this FDC has the signatures of many people associated with this stamp.

    image

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 11, 2020 3:08AM

    @Overdate said:

    @JBK said:
    I always thought the Washington Press/Artcraft (Washington Stamp Exchange) missed the boat by not aggressively marketing the FDCs to autograph collectors. Some were already using them but the market could have been expanded as FDCs are/were great to get a relevant famous autograph on.

    I bought this one mainly for the Adolph Weinman autograph. No cachet, but this FDC has the signatures of many people associated with this stamp.

    image

    That is an incredible cover. I have seen similar ones with that collectors address.

    A ton of effort went into that, first to identify all the parties involved and then to track them down.

    It even has the Postmaster Genrtal and widowed First Lady.

  • OverdateOverdate Posts: 6,493 ✭✭✭✭

    Here's a baseball-related Wunder cover that sold for $37,000 in 2008! (The 9:00 am postmark is standard for First Day Covers.)

    Link

    "This cover was sent to each of these individuals by an ambitious autograph collector by the name of Paul Wunder of New Orleans, Louisiana on behalf of his daughter Doris to whom the cover is addressed."

    A little background I discovered: The addressee, Doris Viola Wunder (1931-2004), was only 6 to 9 years old when the covers were created. The signatures on the covers were assembled by her father, some of them at the First Day stamp ceremonies and others by mailing them to the artists and dignitaries for their signatures. Nearly all the covers were created between 1938 and 1940.

    Doris was married in 1954 and she and her husband later moved to Georgia. She most likely kept this and her other first day covers during her entire lifetime, as they did not come to light until after she died. The signatures on each of the covers are related to the particular stamp being issued, but I do not know of any others, aside from mine with Adolph Weinman’s signature, that have numismatic as well as philatelic significance.

    My Adolph A. Weinman signature :)

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 2,538 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, I forgot to revisit this thread and look at what you guys have posted! So cool. @Overdate I’m sure yours is worth a pretty penny too.

    I had one bad experience as a kid trying to get autographs on a cover. I must have bought an Inauguration Day cover for Nixon. I sent it to him and it was returned signed (probably with autopen, but I was too young to tell). I still have the envelope it was returned in. Like a fool, I sent it to Ford when he assumed office and it was never returned.

  • JBKJBK Posts: 8,200 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 24, 2020 9:15AM

    @pruebas said:
    Wow, I forgot to revisit this thread and look at what you guys have posted! So cool. @Overdate I’m sure yours is worth a pretty penny too.

    I had one bad experience as a kid trying to get autographs on a cover. I must have bought an Inauguration Day cover for Nixon. I sent it to him and it was returned signed (probably with autopen, but I was too young to tell). I still have the envelope it was returned in. Like a fool, I sent it to Ford when he assumed office and it was never returned.

    That is too bad...

    In the years after they left the White House both would have signed for real.

    It is all but impossible to get an authentic signature from a sitting president.

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