The postal balloon flight ‘Jupiter’ of 1859

By Charles Snee

The November 21, 100-page issue of Linn Stamp News just landed on the presses and is mailing to subscribers on Monday, November 7. And if you subscribe to by Linn digital edition, you’re ahead of the game with early access on Saturday, November 5. While you wait for your issue to arrive in your mailbox, enjoy these three quick previews of exclusive content available only to subscribers.

The postal balloon flight ‘Jupiter’ of 1859

“To the best of our present knowledge, aeronaut John Wise flew the first air mail dispatched from a post office and mailed on August 17, 1859, when he boarded his balloon Jupiter in Lafayette, Indiana,” writes Ken Lawrence in Spotlight on Philately. “Later that day he landed near Crawfordsville about 40 miles away and dropped off the mail at this post office for transport and delivery.” Lawrence goes on to give the most detailed account of Wise’s historic flight by quoting extensively from contemporary newspaper reports. It is a story worthy of its subject as only a letter and cover from Wise’s historic 1859 flight are known to survive.

Burning stamps: the smell, volcanic ash and burnt edges

Wayne Chen, in a captivating feature article, takes readers on a tour of stamps produced with fire-related characteristics. He first looks at the scent stamps inspired by fire. Earlier this year, for example, Switzerland issued a stamp printed with a coating that smells of campfire. The scent is appropriate as the stamp was issued to celebrate the National Jamboree of the Swiss Guide and Scout Movement. Chen highlights a 1999 Brazilian fire prevention souvenir sheet that smells of burnt wood. As you might guess, volcanoes feature in Chen’s story. To make the point, he illustrates a trio of 2010 Icelandic stamps that were printed with ash from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano that erupted in 2010. He concludes with an overview of the stamps with a creative cutout that resembles burnt edges.

Errors and Varieties on Queen Victoria Stamps

Collectors of Errors, Monsters and Varieties, also known as EFOs, will want to spend some time reading Matthew Healey’s Great Britain Philately column on various Queen Victoria stamps that didn’t turn out as expected after printing. Healey narrows the scope of his discussion in this month’s column to the errors and varieties of Queen Victoria listed in the catalogues. Monsters and oddities are “for another time,” he wrote. He identifies five areas for exploration: design errors (specifically, errors in corner lettering), varieties that occur on individual stamps (plate varieties or defects), watermark errors, and inversions. Whether you’re a seasoned collector of early British errors or a newcomer, you’ll want to keep Healey’s column handy.

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