Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Scott Annual and Progressive Albums

I've written about these albums several times. They were intended as supplements to the Brown Internationals between release of the latest bound volumes. For those interested, a recent thread on the Stamp Community Forum contains some interesting photos and scans.

As a reminder, the last volume of the Browns issued by Scott stops with issues from 1938/39. But the Vintage Reproductions edition of the Browns takes the albums through 1940. So how was Vintage Reproductions able to bring the Browns up to date? (I asked and "they" don't remember.) The possibilities would seem to be:

1) there was an Annual Album published for 1939/1940 which has eluded the Internet (almost certainly not the case);

2) an Annual Album for 1939/1940 was prepared but never published once Scott decided to discontinue the Browns--Vintage Reproductions somehow got hold of one;

3) Scott actually prepared the pages to bring the Browns up to 1940 but decided to cut their costs and remainder the existing set rather than releasing an album for the latest issues--again, Vintage Reproductions somehow got hold of one;

4) Vintage Reproductions used Scott Specialty albums to reconstruct 1939/1940.

I lean towards the latter explanation but honestly do not know. I wonder if someone had the Specialty Albums from this era whether they would faithfully match the Vintage Reproductions pages for these years?

Here is a link to the thread on Stamp Community Forum.

To see my previous posts on these albums, type 'annual album' or 'progressive album' in the search engine box at the top left of this page.


Jim said...

Hi Bob

Great topic!

The Brown's Fifth (and final) volume (Called "20th Century Part Four) covers from September 1934 to ~ August, 1938, and includes all stamps found in the 1939 Standard Postage Catalogue, according to the title page. The 1937-38 "Annual album" also ends coverage August, 1938.

To repeat, the Brown coverage ends mid year, 1938.

So where did Vintage come up with the Volume 6?

Well, the Scott 1938-39 "Annual album" covers from September 1938- August 1939!

Why wouldn't Vintage simply use the 1938-39 "Annual album" (Sept 1938-August 1939) as already published by Scott to extend coverage?

Coverage would be up to August, 1939.

Now, whether Vintage continued with coverage from August 1939 into 1940 from another source, I don't know. As you said, it would be nice to compare Vintage Volume 6 and the 1938-39 "Annual album". Are they the same? And do they differ and/or is coverage continued further?

All the best!

Jim Jackson

Bob said...

Jim, thanks for reminding us that the coverage of the Brown and the Annuals correspond to those of the corresponding Scott catalogs. There are more important philatelic mysteries out there (did Hind really destroy a second copy of the unique One Cent British Guiana?), but still, it would be nice to know.

DrewM said...

Subway Stamp Shop is the creator and owner of the Vintage Reproduction (VR) pages, the ones that copy the old Big Brown 1840-1940 albums. Once you remember that, I don’t think there’s really much mystery about where Subway got those pages. Even though there is no “annual” volume covering 1939-40, Scott surely created page layouts for those years. How could they not have? And they must have given them to Subway for Subway’s VR pages as part of their agreement with Subway.

Scott Publishing created page layouts through the whole year, adding new stamp spaces on new pages as needed. Yhey didn't wait until the year was over and then scramble to make all their page layouts at once. It was an ongoing thing. They would have been laying out 1939 and 1940 pages all year long on the assumption that they’d be needed for the "annual volume" for 1939-40, the one that was never published. And if they weren’t needed for that volume, they’d be needed for whatever came next. What came next turned out to be Scott Specialty albums. One way or the other, they were clearly going to need them. So there are worldwide page layouts for 1939 and 1940. What happened to them?

No mystery there, either. They got used in Scott’s new Specialty albums. You can see them there today -- just open any album to 1939 and 1940, and there they are. Scott had them, Scott kept them, and Scott still uses them today. Not all of them get used -- since Specialty albums don’t cover some countries. But, even then, would you throw page layouts away? Not a chance. You’d put them in your “archives” in case you needed them later.

Many years later, Subway negotiated with Scott/Amos for the rights to publish the Vintage Reproductions pages covering 1840-1940. How that happened I have no idea. Why Scott would permit some other company republishing those pages, I also have no idea. But they did. Scott/Amos agreed to provide Subway all of its 1840-1939 pages, so why wouldn’t they give them their 1939-40 pages, too? I’m sure they did. That way, the new VR pages covered the entire hundred years from 1840-1940. There's no reason for them to keep those layouts from Subway. They had them, so they gave them to Subway. There they are in the VR pages.

The question of where 1939 and 1940 pages in the Vintage Reproduction reprints came from only makes sense if you assume that Subway copied their VR pages form old Scott Brown albums and the later “annual” albums. They didn’t do that. They were given all those page layouts, including the ones for 1939 and 1940 by Scott/Amos. Why would Scott withhold those last two years? They didn’t. The “missing” 1939 and 1940 pages came directly from the files of Scott/Amos as part of their agreement with Subway, not from old Brown albums Subway had picked up and copied.

Given Scott/Amos' collaboration with Subway to create the VR pages, this seems the likely reason. They had these pages -- so they gave them to Subway to use. I think it’s as simple as that.

DrewM said...

Although . . . Maybe I should qualify my comment at least to some extent. I had thought to mention that most Vintage Reproduction pages I'd seen seemed to be lacking many or most 1939 and 1940 pages. So maybe there are no "missing pages," after all? Maybe the VR pages don't go all the way through 1940? Then I edited that out.

Now I read in another post the following:

Scott International originals (Browns) - 5 vols

—Comprehensive for major numbers in Scott Catalog (at the time each volume was published)
—Can purchase for bargain prices from eBay et al

—Originals are out-of-print and most offered for sale are in less than pristine condition
—Hardbound so you can't interleave volumes or add your own pages (there were looseleaf versions but these are practically never encountered)
—Thinner, non-archival paper printed on both sides of the page
—No catalog numbers in spaces
—Most countries missing the stamps for mid-1939 through 1940

What do you make of that last item? Are the VR pages "missing the stamps for mid-1939 through 1940" or aren't they? If they are missing these stamps, then my claim that Scott handed over those page layouts may not be such a slam-dunk after all.

Jim said...

As I said above...

"Well, the Scott 1938-39 "Annual album" covers from September 1938- August 1939!

Why wouldn't Vintage simply use the 1938-39 "Annual album" (Sept 1938-August 1939) as already published by Scott to extend coverage?

Coverage would be up to August, 1939."

fredbee said...


I am not sure with my vision problem that I could follow all the conversations. I have the Vintage Repo for the 30's. For most countries the last part follows closely the Big Blue, for example some German Semi-posts of 1940 are omitted and later numbered items are included. In British Colonies however there are spaces for stamps issued in 1941 and beyond. Other pages show evidence of a cut and paste. These pages must have been created from later Specialty pages.

I have three of the annual albums. They are neat as all stamps are from the same period, however lots of pages for few stamps.

It is my understanding that Subway bought Vintage Repo. I have a three volume set of the Scott Air Post albums to 1949, never had a stamp in it. I had talked to Hugh Goldberg of Subway of reproducing it. He was interested, however then he past away.

Tim said...


That's interesting to know as I have a complete set of Airpost to the last supplement - 1962. Now with that as a reference, I reviewed the Vintage pub and noticed that items, like Mexico C93a was cut and pasted to the airmail page, which wasn't for some time as Scott didn't officially the stamp until the 50's. My question is does your 1949 Airpost have the first Peru airmail stamps? When I updated with the supplement, the O'Higgin's stamps were included on the first page. I've thought of reproducing the pages but it'd be a fortune and then there's copyright issues and Scott will defend it's brand with tooth and nail. Cheers, Tim