Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Albums PLUS Albums"

I stumbled across the following in Scott’s Monthly Journal, June 1921, p.18 and thought it might give some pleasure. Incidentally, if you haven’t browsed old philatelic journals via Google Books, it is a pleasant way to spend an hour.

The author Mr. Hill writes that he has been a collector for 47 years, which means he began in 1874. About when the first International appeared!

Albums PLUS Albums
By Edwin B Hill

It is now quite the fashion to ridicule the printed album, so called, and to praise the blank receptacle for our treasures. It has remained then for the publishers to supply both styles; and, to encourage the sales the vendors assume chamaleon-like changes to suit the prospective customer.

I love the old International with its printed spaces, many of which it is impossible to fill. I adore the linen-hinged loose leaf album with its stately binding and its beautiful pages. And then I proceed to use both—the International for aid in placing my stamps for artistic arrangement, and, for general utility. I work with it and my catalogue together and the results are always correct. But my loose leaf albums are my real treasures, for I am one of those collectors who loves the blank pages and the open spaces,—so much has the free life in the southwest done to visualize the breadth and sweep of general collecting. My tastes are catholic.

I see no reason for the beginner starting without a catalogue or minus the printed album. He needs both. There is a joy in filling the blank spaces in the printed album that never comes to the elder collector who merely hinges newly acquired treasure into his protected blank page. The old thrill seem to have lost much of inspiration as the collector grows older and discards his ancient treasure house. I am for the International, and for the Ne Plus Ultra—for the Catalogue with a large “C”),—for all that makes the collector love his stamps. And most all I am for the publishers who, alas!, are held accountable for every trifle that is against the desires of the specialist, but who, it seems to me, have done their best to aid the joy of collecting as we as the science of philately.

This is the belated tribute I pay them after forty seven years a stamp collector.

1 comment:

ChrisW said...

Bob, this is great! Thanks for sharing this. This is great to read at a time when I have been struggling with the best approach to house my WW classic collection. I tried the “Steiner approach” and it just didn’t feel right to me (for a number of reasons that I won’t go into here). When I add stamps to my Scott International Vol. 1, it does give me a sense of joy and relaxation just matching my stamps to the pictures in the album and a sense of accomplishment just “filling spaces.” I’m sure this is related to something in my brain that recalls the fun I had doing this as a kid. When using Steiner pages, I felt overwhelmed, and I seemed to be always stressing about using the right type of paper, the best binder, how best to modify the pages, should I used page protectors or not, etc. etc.

Now, I have a 2-volume Vintage Reproductions Browns that cover the 19th century that I can still use my “philatelic skills” with, a 2-volume Scott International Vol. 1 for a general 1900-1940 collection, and I recently purchased via eBay a Scott International Part 2 going up to 1950. With these, I will just have fun ‘filling spaces.’