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I’ve recently begun saving postmarks from letters and giving them their own page in my stamp album. There’s a certain thrill for us postal geeks when we find a perfectly preserved postal marking. This is especially useful when you come across old letters and you’re trying to determine if the date reads ‘1918’ or ‘1928’.

 These photos are from an assortment I’ve collected in the last few years. I decided to keep them together in the in the SuperSafe stamp album I purchased last year at the National Postal Museum store. I had not really considered myself a stamp collector, but now that I have an album with a few stamps in it, I guess I have to rethink that.

In addition to collecting nicely defined postmarks, I also collect a few different themes of stamps that appeal to me- holiday, authors/writing, cartoons, US states and a handful of cute or colorful stamps that just appeal to me.

I prefer the round postmarks as pictured above and below. They are more evocative of the postal imagery than the machine stamped postmarks that are more common these days. I save all of the letters I receive and every few years I’ll go through the envelopes and cut out the stamps and postmarks that I want to save.

The ‘Forman’ postmark above is from my hometown of Forman, ND. I’m not sure where this stamp came from or what year the postmark is from.

Stamps and postmarks. Just part of the fun and ephemera of mail from today and yesterday.

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  1. Guy Winken on July 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I'm with you on the perfectly preserved postmarks. It gives me a little "ah-ha!" of pleasure when I find one.

  2. postalnotes on July 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    You might be interested in checking out the newly redesigned site of the Postmark Collectors Club at There's a lot to learn about cancels, especially hand cancels which are clean and clear.

    Themed stamp collecting is generally referred to as "topical" collecting and is very popular. Personally, I collect stamps about motorcycles, trains and trolleys, and special delivery and parcel post stamps.

    That Forman, ND cancel is from 1985 or later, since that's when that Abraham Baldwin stamp was released. It actually looks like a pre-cancel, but is probably not since it appears to have run onto the cover (envelope). More info at

  3. Jackie Flaherty on July 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for all of the information! I will check it out.


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