3331: Honoring Those Who ServeEven though the Honoring Those Who Serve stamp was "officially" released in Kansas City, it was available nationwide on the first day of issue. So I purchased some (an adventure) and went, with my digital camera, to Lexington and Concord and made this FDC with two unofficial first day cancellations (an even greater adventure - the Concord Post Office did not want to provide hand-back service!). I made several FDCs for this issue with various MA and RI unofficial cancels. The first of many times that I have roamed New England producing unofficial FDCs. Now that they release stamps nationwide on the first day, it has created many more (too many?) opportunities.
3374: Los Angeles Class SubAs I researched the Los Angeles Class Submarine stamp, I discovered that the USS Providence was that class of submarine. That gave me an idea for this cover. First, I drove down to Groton for the official cancellation, and then I went to Providence for an unofficial cancellation. I also got unofficial cancels in Newport, RI for two of the other submarine stamps.
3384-3388: Hubble Space TelescopeThis is one of my favorite FDC. I remembered from when I was consulting to Corning, Inc. that they made the glass mirror blank for the Hubble Telescope. And with the American Glass stamp recently released in Corning, it gave me a great opportunity to create this dual FDC. I even added the 1948 Palomar Mountain Observatory stamp to complete the concept. I also produced a few covers with an unofficial pictorial postmark from the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. I am always looking for relationships between new stamp releases to find opportunities for dual FDCs.
Carlton Fisk HoF InductionI also have produced some event covers. I noticed a couple of pictorial postmarks available to celebrate Carlton Fisk's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame and, being a big Red Sox fan, thought I would make a few covers. It was a technical challenge to extract the video frames! I also have covers with a different postmark from his birthplace, Charlestown, NH.
3500: Chinese New Year: Snake"Oakland", "Year of the Snake", Oakland", "Year of the Snake", Oakland", "Snake", "Oakland Raiders", "Ken 'The Snake' Stabler"...well, that was my thought process! I probably would have skipped this stamp instead of creating another snake or dragon cachet like everyone else, but the combination of sports and FDCs was perfect and this is one of my most popular covers. This cover is a great example of how I look for unusual relationships between stamp subjects and first day cities.
3652: Andy WarholHere is an example of combining new releases, along with an older stamp. As I was doing research for a Warhol cover, I found this screenprint of Dracula. I thought how perfect it would be create a cover that combines Warhol's Dracula with the upcoming Bat stamps...and I threw in the Dracula stamp from 1997 for good measure! The only issue was getting my Warhol covers back from the USPS in time for the Bat cancel!
3776-3780: Old GloryI wasn't going to create a FDC for the Old Glory stamp until my research identified a local connection -- the term 'Old Glory' was coined by a sea-captain from Salem, MA. While I was unable to make it an unofficial FDC (I wasn't going to drive to NYC and then to Salem!), I did get a very complementary cancel using the current flag stamp.
3784: Purple HeartFor some reason, the USPS did not scheduled a single first day ceremony in New England during 2003. So, when I saw that the Purple Heart stamp was going to be a nationwide release, I was desperate to discover some local connection. Talk about luck! It turns out that both the first man and the first woman to receive the Purple Heart were from New England. So my cover has unofficial cancels from their two home towns: Beverly, MA and Enfield, CT.
3803: Korean War Veterans MemorialI wasn't planning to produce a first day cover for the Korean War Veterans Memorial stamp. However, when I discovered that the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony was happening the same day, I realized that I could produce this unofficial FDC honoring Ted Williams, a distinguished Korean War veteran and member of the Hall of Fame! A great example of how I look for pictorial postmarks that allow me to make unofficial FDCs that can take the cover in a interesting/unique direction.
3833: Candy HeartsAnother example of a locally release stamp that allowed me to combine the official first day cancellation with an unofficial one. I went to the first day ceremony at the NECCO plant, purchased the stamps, went to the Revere post office and got the unofficial cancel, and then mailed them into the USPS for the official first day postmark. And yes, that is an actual NECCO wafer glued to the cover!
3854: Lewis & clark ExpeditionThis cover took over a year to complete!
After 2003's Louisiana Purchase stamp, I planned to get a Harvard Square cancel on May 14th, 2004 (see cachet for explanation). However, the USPS released the Lewis & Clark Expedition stamps on that date as well, so I ended up with three cancels: 1) Louisiana Purchase (combo w/1020), 2) Lewis & Clark Expedition (combo w/1063), and 3) Cambridge, MA cancel on 2190 & 1392. The USPS also released the Lewis stamp and the Clark stamp on the same day, so some of my covers have those cancels instead of the Cambridge, MA one.
3870: R. Buckminster FullerAs I researched my Fuller FDC, I ran into the interesting fact that he was very good friends with Isamu Noguchi, who had five stamps released just two months early. Who would have guessed? I also, somehow, managed to create a pre-dated cover using a pictorial postmark three days before the actual first day of issue!
3930: Presidential Libraries ActI had so many unofficial options for this cover, given John F. Kennedy's various connections to Massachusetts, that I never bothered to get the official cancellation. I knew there was a John F. Kennedy station and I have always loved the Faneuil Hall station's cricket cancel, so this was my primary design (unfortunately, I don't think either station is still in service).
3987: Children's Book AnimalsHere is one of my FDCs that is for a joint issue with another country (so it has both the USPS cancel and, in this case, the Great Britain cancel). My cachet shows every single children's book that had won the Caldecott Medal up to that point. There were a flurry of joint issues around this time -- I did covers for the Greta Garbo (Sweden) and Voyage of Samuel de Champlain (Canada) joint issues as well.
4341: Take Me Out to the Ball GameAs a big Red Sox fan, I took the opportunity of this nationwide release to go to Fenway Park and take a photo of the Sox's two (at that time!) World Series banners and get an unofficial cancel from the local Kenmore Square station. I then sent my covers into the USPS to receive, for the first time, a digital color pictorial (DCP) cancellation.
- When I am not making my own FDCs, I am collecting them. For my personal collection, I primarily collect FDCs of three specific stamps (click on the stamp name to view my collection):
- 1095: Shipbuilding, released in Bath, ME on August 15th, 1957.
- 2590: Surrender of Burgoyne, released in New York, NY on May 5th, 1994.
- 3182n: First World Series, released in Washington, DC on February 3rd, 1998.