Monday, March 19, 2012

Odds & Ends

I was able to spend a couple of hours at the Wineburgh Philatelic Library at UT Dallas last week and found some further information to add to earlier posts. Specifically,

1) I was missing the Editor's Letter for the 2005 Scott Specialized Catalogue. I now have a copy of this and have added a summary of what was new in the 2005 edition.

2) I found a couple of pieces of information on the publishing history of the Stanley Gibbons Ideal/New Ideal albums.

3) I have added counts for the Minkus Supreme Global's coverage of 19th century Austria, Bavaria, Germany, and Hungary to the comparison of the Ideal, Brown, and Blue albums.

A couple of tidbits on the Scott Blue and Brown Internationals. I saw an ad in the April 1941 Scott Monthly for the following Annual Albums: 1934-35, 35-36, 36-37, 37-38, 38-39, and 39-40 with the dates matching the corresponding catalog coverage. As you may know, there is a question as to whether Scott ever issued a final volume in the Brown International series that covered mid-1938 through 1940. I have never seen anything to so indicate and therefore believe it was the Annual Album that provided collectors these final months. (Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever seen any of the Annual Albums offered on eBay. Has anyone reading this seen one?)

The August 1941 Scott Monthly has an ad indicating that Scott had just published a Supplement that could be used to bring the 1939 edition of the Blue Junior Album up to date through 1940. Other ads promised supplements to the Blue Volume One every two years.


DrewM said...

I'd never heard of the Scott annual albums before. What was their purpose? Were collectors just supposed to keep buying them like supplements are purchased today? If so, wouldn't that make them hardbound supplements?

Did the old Scott brown albums just end in 1938? If not, I imagine it was because they had decided to abandon the brown's comprehensive approach for a more limited album which became the blue series.
I 'm not very familiar with the Brown series other then the fact that they were unusually comprehensive.

This makes me wonder when Scott issued its first loose-leaf albums which would then allow Scott to sell supplements rather than new annual volumes in hardback. There was a loose-leaf version of the Scott International Junior, I know, along with the hardbound (more common) version. But I wonder how long each of them sold -- from when first published to when discontinued? All the Scott Juniors I've seen date to the late 1920s (I think that early, but I could be wrong) through about 1940 or so. In 1940, Scott then just relabeled the Scott Junior as the Scott International. Same pages in both versions. I have both and they appear to be identical.

So 1938-40 must have been the period when Scott rethought its albums to create the Big Blue series, starting with both loose-leaf and hardbound Scott Juniors, both of which offered far less comprehensive coverage for general collectors than the earlier brown series had. There must have been a decline in sales of the brown series, I'd guess, and remember this was the Great Depression so comprehensiveness and expensive collections would not have been as popular.

Bob said...

Drew, interesting comments. The first Blue Junior was published in 1914. I believe that the first looseleaf Blue wasn't published until 1938 (also available hardbound) and, as indicated in my post, Scott actually issued a supplement to bring it to 1940.

In the early days, album publishers on both sides of the Atlantic weren't clear on what to do about supplements. As time went on I think it was appreciated that collectors did not want to remount their collections every time a new album was issued but an economical solution wasn't obvious. Stanley Gibbons, for example, had their Sectional Albums to supplement the Imperial Album, but how many of these were published I don't know. As far as I can determine, Scott's solution (as was Stanley Gibbons, really) was to freeze albums chronologically at some point. But in between that "some point" the collector was faced with either buying a replacement album or adopting some other method to house new issues in the interim. For example, the first of the 20th century Brown albums now covers from 1900-1920, but Scott originally issued it in multiple versions between 1900 and 1920 (for example, there is one covering 1900-1912). The new versions did not supplement but replaced the previous ones. Apparently, after publishing in 1936 the fourth Brown International covering 1930 to 1934, Scott decided to institute the Annual Albums. I am confident that there never was a Brown International for 1938-1940, only the two Annual Albums covering those years. Now whether Scott ever entertained the idea of continuing the Browns after 1938 by conflating multiple Annual Albums I don't know (they did use the same page border A for both). Nor do I know if they seriously considered updating the Browns in looseleaf format. I suspect that the disruptions of World War II played a part, as well as the view acknowledged in their advertising of "the recent trend towards specialization" and "the Speciality Series…have replaced the International Albums in popularity."

Incidentally, I don't think I've mentioned in the blog that Scott made available for some undetermined period a line of Loose Leaf Pages for Individual Countries in regular hinged post style. These sold for between 25 cents and two dollars. Where these pages came from (the Browns, the Blues or the Greens?) I do not know.

Bill Grady said...

In regard to the annual albums, I never heard of them until you mentioned them.

It so happens there is one cataloged at the Library of Congress, the "International Annual Postage Stamp Album" 1936-37 ed. I located another one, the 1937-38 edition in the Catalog of Copyright Entries for 1939.

So for the cost of a subway fare and a few hours of boredom waiting for it to be brought from the stacks, I could see what an annual album looks like.

You once printed a link to the actual front page of v.6 of the Vintage Reproductions Big Brown. I kept a printout of that page. It says "International Postage Stamp Album, 1939-40 ed. with a copyright of 1942. This one is not in the CCF so I wonder if Scott ever went so far as to copyright it, much less publish it.

Do you have any idea what Big Blue collectors did for supplements back in the 1950's? Did they get annual supplements? Are the parts that Scott sells now just retrospective compilations of the annual supplements?

Bob said...

Bill, while I would not want to deprive anyone of a visit to LC, I suspect there are better uses of your time! It would be interesting though to see if the copyright date of the last Annual Album is 1942. The next time I'm back in Dallas, I'll take a better look at some of the copyright registration books and works like the Cumulative Book Index.

I don't know the answer to your question about how Scott handled interim years for Volumes 2 and 3. An ad in my 1943 Catalog promises "supplements issued every two years for loose leaf [Junior] edition" but I am suspicious if Scott implemented this, at least for the whole decade. I think I recall seeing on eBay a Volume 2 that covered only part of the 1940s, but I could have dreamed it.

John said...

I have frequently seen versions of Volume 2 on ebay that went up to 1946, which coincides with the first publication of Vol 1 in 1947. On annual supplements in later years, I recall seeing one for 1970 that I believe had more coverage than the corresponding international volume. I've seen annual supplements offered on ebay from the '60's but I can't recall seeing any earlier ones.

Bob said...

John, thanks for the info. I thought I had seen a 1946 Volume 2, too, but couldn't put my hands on anything about it.

Bill Grady said...

No problem. Going down to LC Saturday was fun.

The catalog entry says: The International Annual Postage Stamps Album, 1936-37 edition.

The results were mixed. LC has the album, but it went through the wringer of the book bindery in 1982 according to a sticker on the back.
What that means is that the book that went in is not the one that came out. The pages were trimmed (which is typical), the covers of the album (if any) are gone, and the book was collated poorly, in that it starts with Panama, runs to Z, then US., A thru Panama. Without page numbers apparently no one cared enough to put it in alphabetical order. The only pages remaining are stamp pages, with an added homemade LC title page tipped in. I assume the real title page was the missing cover.

It consists of 251 leaves, unpaginated, printed one side only. Punched with the Scott rectangular slots/holes. The paper is the creamy color favored by Scott and is about the thickness of a Specialty Album, thicker than the Big Blue from 1943 I have. The border is the typical Big Brown border. The paper is in extraordinarily good shape considering its age. This probably relates to standing upright unopened from decade to decade in the evolving climate control at LC over the years. Its in better condition than any used album you see for sale. I wonder if Scott used acid-free paper before the War?

The tipped in title page says: Annual Album, 1936-37, Scott Publications, Inc., New York.

It is too bad that the orginal covers weren't there. It is telling it is looseleaf and printed only on one side.

Interestingly enough, LC also has a Big Brown which I didn't call up from the stacks. It is described as "Twentieth Century edition" in 4 volumes through Aug 1938. Copyright of 1940. There is also a "Nineteenth Century edition" copyright 1941. Scott must have reprinted them and recopyrighted them in 1940-41.

I made photocopies of some pages. This is really a supplement album as you can tell when you see the pages.

If you would like to see a pdf and/or a tiff version of the sample pages, email me at wgrady1@ verizon .net.



Bob said...

Bill, sorry for the delay in replying--I've been out of town. Wow, this is great information. I really am intrigued about the volume being one-sided as it suggests that Scott could have been contemplating moving the Browns in that direction.

I just replied to another post and mentioned that for the 19th Century volume, at least, I had seen copyrights into the 1930s. I bet your c1941 was the last one as by 1942-43 Scott had decided to discontinue the series.

Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the album and sharing what you found.

Bob said...

Bill sent me scans of 12 pages from the Annual Album 1936-38. I checked them against my Brown Volume 4 (1934 to mid-1938) and discovered that the spaces on most of the pages were rearranged between the Annual Album and the Part 4. This makes sense as the Volume 4 covers more years and the Brown might combine, for example, stamps from the year immediately before and the year immediately after the coverage of the Annual Album. However, the cuts matched exactly--i.e., the exact same cuts in the Annual Album were also in the Part 4, even if in different places, and the descriptions
in the spaces were exactly the same. So based on Bill's information it looks like Scott
just rearranged the Annual Albums to create Part 4.

fredbee said...

Browns & Annual Albums

In the ad section of the back of Vol 2 of the Scott Catalogue is an ad for the Browns headed:
It listed No. 1 through No. 5 (Part IV to Aug 1938. Single volumes at $7 each or the "Complete sets (5 volumes) while they last" $25. So if they were closing them out it seems unlikely that they issued a Part V.

I have been able to pick up three annual albums 1934-1935, 1935-1936, 1936-1937. These have not had any stamps in them except a few in the 1936-1937 where the collector had written the purchase price on the space.

The paper used is much heavier than the bound Browns or the loose leaf Juniors. The post binders are brown.

Bob said...

Fredbee, fascinating. This makes it even more confusing as to where the pages came from that Vintage Reproductions used to complete their reprint of the Brown Albums. Do you happen to remember what was the year of the Scott Catalog that had the discontinued notice for the Annual volumes?

fredbee said...

Sorry, I should have included the year - it was 1943 which is the year I try to use to sort out issues (not stamps) which pop up when trying to figure what spaces are for in the Big Blue.

What makes the Vintage Reproductions more confusing is the last section includes spaces for stamps issued after the 1940 cut-off. I check both SG & Michel to verify the year of issue.