Postmark Calendar

Postmark Calendar: August

Postmark Calendar (August)
Postmark Calendar (August)

At the beginning of 2017, my favorite stamp blog (Big Blue 1840-1940) began a series “to present a postmark calendar for all the 366 possible days of the year, represented by interesting appropriate date cancellation stamps from the [Ralph A.] Kimble collection.” I thought this was a great idea and began going through scans of my collection to determine whether I could do something similar.

I came up with 255 stamps I could use for a Postmark Calendar of my own; this does include some duplicate dates. At the moment, the best-represented month is March. I did find out a couple of things in compiling stamps for my calendar: my eyesight is getting worse (time for a checkup!) and some dates are difficult to determine even when the postmark is clear. My criteria was simple: the month and date had to be clear; if I had to squint to figure out the date, I wouldn’t use it. I prefer to have the year included, but this wasn’t always possible. I also decided that I wouldn’t include postmarks from first day covers and other philatelic items.

While I was still going through my stamps examining their postmarks, I came across the Postmark Calendar thread on my favorite stamp collecting online forum, The Stamp Forum. The thread was started on August 11, 2013, and is now 122 pages strong! I began adding stamps to it around a month ago.

I love the format Jim has been following for his calendar entries on Big Blue so I’ll follow his model. After all, “imitation is the sincerest [form] of flattery” according to the quote by Charles Caleb Colton.

Philatelic Pursuits Postmark Calendar: August

August 4

Austria Sc#P9 (1867); postmark dated 4 August 1869
Austria Sc#P9 (1867)
postmark dated 4 August 1869
Germany Sc#108 (1920) Leipzig postmark dated 4 August 1920
Germany Sc#108 (1920)
Leipzig postmark dated 4 August 1920

August 5

Newfoundland Sc#190 (1932)
Registered postmark dated August 5

August 6

Malayan States: Penang Sc#62 (1960); Penang postmark dated 6 August 1960
Malayan States: Penang Sc#62 (1960)
Penang postmark dated 6 August 1960
Spain Sc#1698 (1972) postmark dated 6 August 1975
Spain Sc#1698 (1972)
postmark dated 6 August 1975

August 8

Germany Sc#128 (1920) postmark dated 8 August 1921
Germany Sc#128 (1920)
postmark dated 8 August 1921

August 9

Great Britain Sc#82 (1881) Mark Lane, London EC postmark dated August 9, 1884
Great Britain Sc#82 (1881)
Mark Lane, London EC postmark dated August 9, 1884
Abu Dhabi Sc#40 (1967) postmark dated 9 August 1969
Abu Dhabi Sc#40 (1967)
postmark dated 9 August 1969

August 10

St. Vincent Sc#40 (1883) Kingstown postmark dated August 10, 1894
St. Vincent Sc#40 (1883)
Kingstown postmark dated August 10, 1894

Kingstown is the capital, chief port, and main commercial center of Saint Vincent. Surrounded by steep hills, the town was founded by French settlers shortly after 1722, although Saint Vincent had 196 years of British rule before her independence. The botanical garden, conceived in 1765, is one of the oldest in the Western hemisphere. William Bligh, made famous from the Mutiny on the Bounty, brought seeds of the breadfruit tree here for planting in 1793.

August 13

Siam Sc#84 (1899) Bangkok postmark dated 13 August
Siam Sc#84 (1899)
Bangkok postmark dated 13 August

August 14

Austria Sc#15 (1860) postmark dated 14 August
Austria Sc#15 (1860)
postmark dated 14 August

August 15

Austria Sc#14 (1860) postmark dated 15 August 1862
Austria Sc#14 (1860)
postmark dated 15 August 1862

August 18

Victoria Sc#169 (1890) Melbourne postmark dated August 18, 1899
Victoria Sc#169 (1890)
Melbourne postmark dated August 18, 1899
Netherlands Indies Sc#55 (1904) postmark dated 18 August 1908
Netherlands Indies Sc#55 (1904)
postmark dated 18 August 1908

August 19

Germany Sc#203 (1923) postmark dated 19 August 1923
Germany Sc#203 (1923)
postmark dated 19 August 1923
Ghana Sc#291 (1967) Accra postmark dated 20 August 1971 [digitally cropped for calendar above]
Ghana Sc#291 (1967)
Accra postmark dated 20 August 1971
[digitally cropped for calendar above]

Accra is the capital and most populous city of Ghana, with an estimated urban population of 2.27 million as of 2012. The city stretches along the Ghanaian Atlantic coast and extends north inland. Originally built around three different settlements, including a port (Jamestown), it served as the capital of the British Gold Coast between 1877 and 1957. Once merely a 19th-century suburb of Victoriaborg, Accra has since transitioned into a modern metropolis; the city’s architecture reflects this history, ranging from 19th-century architecture buildings to modern skyscrapers and apartment blocks.

August 21

United States Sc#4025 (2006) Lake Forest, California postmark dated August 21
United States Sc#4025 (2006)
Lake Forest, California postmark dated August 21

Lake Forest is a city in Orange County, California, that incorporated as a city on December 20, 1991. Prior to incorporation, the community had been known as El Toro. Following a vote in 2000, Lake Forest expanded its city limits to include the master-planned developments of Foothill Ranch and Portola Hills. This expansion brought new homes and commercial centers to the Northeastern boundary of the city. Lake Forest (along with its neighboring cities Mission Viejo and Irvine) is ranked as one of the safest cities in the country. The population was 77,264 at the 2010 census.

August 22

Chile Sc#29 (1885) Santiago postmark dated 22 August 1895
Chile Sc#29 (1885)
Santiago postmark dated 22 August 1895

Founded in 1541, Santiago has been the capital city of Chile since colonial times. The city has a downtown core of 19th-century neoclassical architecture and winding side-streets, dotted by art deco, neo-gothic, and other styles. Santiago’s cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. The Andes Mountains can be seen from most points in the city. These mountains contribute to a considerable smog problem, particularly during winter. The city outskirts are surrounded by vineyards and Santiago is within a few hours of both the mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

August 23

Ghana Sc#419 (1971) Accra postmark dated 23 August 1971
Ghana Sc#419 (1971)
Accra postmark dated 23 August 1971
[digitally cropped for the calendar above]
Jersey Sc#39 (1971) postmark dated 23 August 1972
Jersey Sc#39 (1971)
postmark dated 23 August 1972

August 24

Germany Sc#237 (1923) Wesel postmark dated 24 August 1923
Germany Sc#237 (1923)
Wesel postmark dated 24 August 1923

Wesel originated from a Franconian manor that was first recorded in the 8th century. In the 12th century, the Duke of Clèves took possession of Wesel. The city became a member of the Hanseatic League during the 15th century. Within the Duchy of Cleves, Wesel was second only to Cologne in the lower Rhine region as an entrepôt. It was an important commercial center: a clearing station for the transshipment and trading of goods. Wesel is situated at the confluence of the Lippe River and the Rhine in North Rhine-Westphalia.

August 25

Isle Of Man Sc#230 (1983) postmark dated 25 August 198x
Isle Of Man Sc#230 (1983)
postmark dated 25 August 198x

August 28

Jersey Sc#762 (1996) postmark dated 28 August 1996
Jersey Sc#762 (1996)
postmark dated 28 August 1996
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General Pursuits

Philatelic Phun with Photoshop

Well, not really…

I never have fun when using Photoshop and there are only about two functions that I can perform using the unwieldy program (and not always with the same degree of success).  “Fun with Paint” isn’t quite as good a title, however…

If I attempt to design something, I use a combination of Microsoft’s Paint (and not that new 3D version they tried to force upon me a few Windows 10 auto-updates ago) and an open-source program called PhotoScape which is great for things like placing (and resizing) transparent background images upon other images and manipulating lettering amongst other functions.

This weekend, I decided that it was time to change the small logo at the top of my “other” stamp blog, A Stamp A Day. After all, I hadn’t done anything to the design of the blog since I started it over a year ago (I am VERY happy with the theme — a free WordPress theme called Spun).A Stamp A Day

That logo was just a simple “edit” of a stamp issued by France in 1963 for an upcoming philatelic exhibition (Scott #1078):

France #1078 (1963)
France #1078 (1963)

But this didn’t even include the name of the blog, something that kind of bothered me but also allowed me to use the image from time to time here on Philatelic Pursuits and as an avatar on various stamp forums that I’m a member of.

I’d planned to make a new one for quite some time but it’s just hard to find the free time (another detractor is that I didn’t save a copy of the “unlettered” version so I’d have to start from scratch). This weekend, I finally had plenty of downtime and made several versions:


After I made those, I thought, “Let’s do some more!” Once I get started on something, it’s hard for me to stop.

My second try with “editing” a stamp was an attempt using Monaco #C16 issued in 1947, my favorite stamp-collecting themed stamp (I also collect FDR topicals):

Monaco #C16 (1947)
Monaco #C16 (1947)

My first tries at obscuring the cross-hatching in the upper-left and below the country tablet were fairly awful:

I then decided on a “wipe” approach to the upper-left cross-hatching (mainly because any lettering I placed over the cross-hatching was completely unreadable):

Hey! This is fun! Let’s see what the United States #1474 from 1972 looks like:

United States #1474 (1972)
United States #1474 (1972)

German Democratic Republic #91 issued in 1951 for Stamp Day:

For my final stabs at stamp “editing” this weekend were to work on two booklet panes issued in 1986 with a stamp collecting theme: Sweden #1588a and United States #2201a:

Sweden #1588a (1986)
Sweden #1588a (1986)
United States #2201a (1986)
United States #2201a (1986)


I even added a couple of items to the selvage of the Swedish stamp (at the top is the Phuket provincial seal) and at the bottom is a stylized entwined U.S. and Thai flag design. I had some problems removing elements and some of the quadrilles on the U.S. issue in particular are out of alignment. I will go back and fix these at some point, but my “free time” on a Sunday morning had come to end….

Admittedly, what I’ve done is quite basic. But the point is: If I can do this, then anybody can.

My biggest problem now is deciding which of these that I like the best. Which one shall have the upper left corner of the “A Stamp A Day” blog for the next year? I applied the Monaco stamp yesterday but it appears too large so I’ll resize that. I may end up setting it so that a different image appears on each separate click.

In preparing this article, I thought I’d also share a few stamp “designs” I made earlier this year. They may see eventual “release” through my Muang Phuket Local Post; I haven’t printed any of my creations for that project in almost two years (the last being a souvenir sheet for ASEAN Day on August 8, 2015). I have found somebody who can print these labels on dry gum paper and apply perforations so I may do that at some point in the future. The personalized image at the head of this article was created entirely in Photoshop (one of my few “successes”, I suppose but I’m still not entirely happy about it); I’d planned to make covers for my 50th birthday at the end of 2015 but never finished it.