Sharing Stories at the World Stamp Show
So how did it go? Fundraising Events Officer Rhea gives her view of New York's World Stamp Show, and some of the exciting stories we shared and heard...
Every ten years, thousands of stamp enthusiasts come together for the World Stamp Show – which this year took us to New York City! We had a clear mission: to promote the opening of The Postal Museum in 2017, spreading the word about our collections and our plans for Mail Rail.
As I mentioned in my last blog, we celebrated the occasion by bringing a sheet of both Penny Black and Twopenny Blue stamps to display in the show’s Court of Honor, sharing some of our philatelic treasures with a keen international audience.
Each day on the booth we met scores of new people, building excitement about our museum project. It was great meeting visitors at the show and hearing how excited they are about our plans – and the appeal of the British accent seemed to make us extra popular!
I took some time to have a look around the other booths. Among some great finds, one sold JFK campaign buttons from the 1960 US Election and a certificate signed by Abraham Lincoln!
It was interesting to see such a broad range of historical items, not all of them stamp-related. We discovered the Curtiss JN-4H aeroplane, otherwise known as the ‘Jenny’ – so obviously, we had to take a photo of our very own Jenny standing next to it…
Harry and I also had the pleasure of meeting stamp enthusiast Lisa Burgman. Lisa is the daughter of Hilly Kristal, founder of the famous underground rock bar CBGBs in NYC, which was renowned for showcasing some of the best punk and rock bands ever! She had some great stories, but she was really interested in ours too.
On Tuesday 31 May our Senior Curator of Philately, Douglas Muir, gave a presentation on one of our biggest stories – Postal Reform and the Penny Black (which we touch on here). It saw a good turnout and a great Q&A afterwards, with a lot of people expressing interest in our Court of Honor exhibit.
One visitor, who came back to our booth afterwards to see the Old Original Die, said it was the “best presentation of the whole show”, which made all the hard work of coming to New York (and bringing the stamp sheets!) worth it.
We also met up with the team from the National Postal Museum based in Washington DC, who brought along John Lennon’s stamp album. It was fun catching up and sharing ideas – and hopefully we will see them in London very soon!
The show as well as the city was a great experience, and we formed long-term relationships which will help our museum hugely. Our society booth and outstanding exhibit in the Court of Honor definitely made an impression, with lots of visitors keen to leave their details and keep updated on our progress.
Thanks for having us WSS, and here’s to the next show!
– Rhea Harvey, Fundraising Events Officer