STAMPS OF THE ISLAND OF ENCHANTMENT
(Photo) Daby B. Carreras
Last week I visited a friend who lives near Central Park. Like most New Yorkers, he misses the activity that typified this city. But inside his apartment he has a hobby that is called the ‘quiet excitement.’ It takes him to all counties of the world.
He collects stamps. And looking at his collection brought back memories of my youth, when I lived near Tompkins Square Park. That area was mostly Puerto Rican, and of course lots of kids were enchanted when they got stamps from that island. Early ones, that is, as since 1900 Puerto Rico has used regular US postage stamps.
Before that, Spain issued the stamps. In 1898, the US took possession of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines, and in all three locations, used its own stamps with an overprint. The American presence in Cuba also necessitated the use of overprinted US stamps.
The first stamps used by the US in Puerto Rico are called provisionals, of which there are two types, the Ponce and Coamo issues. Both were basic designs, issued in 1898. A year later, the first US overprinted stamp to be used was a 1c green stamp with the bust of Benjamin Franklin. The first ever US stamp, issued in 1847, also carried the bust of Franklin, as he was the first Postmaster General.
Today many families are discovering philately, as a way not just to pass the time, but to educate their children.
Daby and his team are offering to families with children in Harlem stamp packs so they too may join the quiet excitement, the hobby which President Franklin Roosevelt enjoyed so much all his life, including the time he spent in the White House.
Contact us here and we will send out a pack, free shipping.