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The Stamp Collector-in-Chief
The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.
"Franklin Roosevelt was himself a stamp collector and he understood uniquely the ways
he could use stamps to convey messages to the American people."
Daniel Piazza is assistant curator of the National Postal Museum in Washington, which
has just opened a new exhibit, "Delivering Hope: FDR & Stamps of the Great Depression."
The 32nd president worked closely with Postmaster General James Farley on what stamps
the U-S issued.
"Roosevelt would often sketch out a design for Farley as they were chatting in a meeting."
Among the stamps F-D-R helped design, Piazza says, are the Presidential or "prexy" series,
the National Parks series, and the Mothers Day stamp.
A presentation album of each new stamp is given to all modern U-S presidents, and F-D-R
also got some special stamps from the Post Office Department. Otherwise, his collection
was just like anyone else's.
"Some of it was the sort of material most people would find in their albums. In different
areas, he had different areas of collecting."
Roosevelt might not have been the most sophisticated of collectors, but he was serious
"All throughout the 1930s and the War years, whenever he traveled abroad, he always took
a portion of his collection with him to work on. And his son, James Roosevelt, remembered
that his father always, religiously, a half hour at least every day, worked on his stamp
Roosevelt's collection is now scattered, sold at auction after he died, the stamps now in
many private collections. What you'll see on display are the tools he used, his design
sketches, and Farley's rather unique personal stamp collection.
The National Postal Museum is part of the Smithsonian and across from Union Station in
I'm Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting,
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