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The 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black – An alternative collection

In this anniversary month John Holman shares his thoughts on the development of the Penny Black and its lasting legacy around the world. This is the third of four posts on the subject.

An alternative Penny Black collection

If you don’t want to make a collection of original Penny Blacks and Twopence Blues (now rather expensive in mint or fine used condition), there are plenty of alternatives. The two stamps, particularly the Penny Black, have been reproduced on numerous stamps and related material—postal stationery, postmarks, souvenir sheets and labels, and indeed non-philatelic items such as ties, mugs and even on pub signs. Here, I look at some of the many stamps reproducing it and next month continue with a review of its use on postmarks, cinderella stamps, exhibition souvenirs, etc. … [Read More] “The 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black – An alternative collection”

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The 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black – Corner letters, size, colour and longevity

In this anniversary month John Holman shares his thoughts on the development of the Penny Black and its lasting legacy around the world. This is the second of four posts on the subject.

Corner letters

A well-known feature of the Penny Black
(also Penny Red and Twopence Blue) is the inclusion of corner letters in corner boxes
at the base of the stamp. Each stamp in the sheet had different lettering, from AA to 
TL. Many collectors like to have an example with their initials if it exists within the 240 permutations. … [Read More] “The 175th Anniversary of the Penny Black – Corner letters, size, colour and longevity”

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The 175th anniversary of the Penny Black

In this anniversary month John Holman shares his thoughts on the development of the Penny Black and its lasting legacy around the world. This is the first of four posts on the subject.

On 6 May we celebrated the 175th anniversary of the world’s first adhesive postage stamps – Britain’s Penny Black and Twopence Blue. The anniversary is being marked by a display at the British Postal Museum & Archive in London (6 May–7 August), and by the Europhilex International Exhibition at the Business Design Centre (13–16 May). … [Read More] “The 175th anniversary of the Penny Black”

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February 13, 1861 – Earliest Medal of Honor Action

The Medal of Honor is the United States of America’s highest military honor, awarded for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress to U.S. military personnel. There are three versions of the medal, one for the Army, one for the Navy, and one for the Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version.

The Medal of Honor was created in 1861, early in the American Civil War, to give recognition to men who distinguished themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity” in combat with an enemy of the United States. There have been 3,469 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and coast guardsmen since the decoration’s creation, with just less than half of them awarded for actions during the four years of the Civil War.

The earliest dated action for a Medal of Honor recipient, took place on February 13, 1861, when Bernard John Dowling Irwin successfully set out on a rescue mission with 14 men of the 1st Dragoons in response to the siege of Second Lieutenant George Nicholas Bascom and his 60 men. While the Medal of Honor did not exist during this event (the medal was not established until 1862), the actions of Irwin were remembered and he was awarded the Medal of Honor just prior to his retirement on January 21, 1894.

Explore this historical event through collectibles on the Stanley Gibbons Marketplace:

Browse Medal of Honor Stamps and Collectibles

Browse Militaria Items for Sale

Medal of Honor 20c Stamp

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medal_of_Honor http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_J._D._Irwin

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