Tuesday, March 5, 2013 /

50 Years as an APS Club

The Western Monroe Philatelic Society was founded by a group of friends who enjoyed stamp collecting in February of 1961.
In 1963 they joined the American Philatelic Society as member.
Although we lost our last founding member a few years ago the club is still going strong.

We meet each month and talk about stamps and will frequently have a club produced presentation on a variety of topics.
Recent presentations have included early air mail covers, duck stamps, the World Colombian Exposition of 1893, watermarks and many more.

We also have had guest speakers from other local clubs who recently gave talks about collecting Christmas Seals, the history of the Railway Post Office and stories about the postal service in exotic places around the world.
Members often bring in interesting items for show and tell or unusual items that might need some help from follow members for proper identification.
We regularly have silent auctions, buy, sell and trade stamps to each other and the popular Kiloware nights when we all dig through mountains of donated stamps looking for some lost treasures.

New members are always welcome, please come join us as we start another 50 years of exploring the world through stamp collecting.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011 /

Brockport Postmarks and Covers

Like many other stamp clubs our club used to view APS slide shows at our meetings.
Several years ago after it seemed that most of the club's members had seen all the slide shows many times over  it was decided that we would try to make our own presentations for club meetings.
At first members just brought in interesting items from their collections for expanded show and tell sessions but then a few club members began to produce PowerPoint presentations.
Those club members with computer skills have also helped other club members to scan stamps and covers and make additional shows.The use of close up computer scans helps club member see details that might be lost just looking at a stamp or cover in an album quickly being passed around the room.  
Some recent topics have include French Stamps, the History of Thurn und Taxis, Theatre Covers, Ham Radio on Stamps, Stamp Boxes and an overview Art Cover Exchange club and a look at many of their handmade covers. The presentations have all been informative and enjoyed by fellow club members.
At the July meeting a presentation on the early postmarks of Brockport was given. The earliest known postmark is from 1834 and several 19th century covers are seen below.


Scott #11








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Friday, April 30, 2010 /

Simple Cover Offers Story with a Twist

By Gary Musante

I have been a stamp collector all of my life and have worked in Theatre almost as long.
It seemed natural to me that I became a Theatre Topical Collector.
I have First Day Covers and Programs of Theatre Stamps, assorted Advertising Covers and Postcards of Actors, Theatres and Plays onstage plus many related non-philatelic items.
I found my first Theatre Cover over twenty years ago and although I have found many more nice pieces since then, it is still my favorite.
A photo of the cover, “Uncle Rube” staring Arthur Sidman, is in the previous blog post.

At a recent stamp show in Rochester I bought two more Theatre covers to add to my collection.
When I am unfamiliar with the names on the covers I like to “Google” them to find out what information I can about them.
One of the new covers, a simple stamped envelope (Scott No U398) with a rubber stamped advertisement in the upper left corner yielded a very interesting story.
The Cover is dated December 16, 1907 and was sent from New York City to Boston with no other markings.
The corner ad says: Clara Bloodgood, in Clyde Fitch’s New Comedy “The Truth”.

From my research I found out that Clara Bloodgood was a well known and respected Broadway actress of her day and appeared in several of Clyde Fitch’s plays, some of which he wrote specifically with her in mind.
Mrs. Bloodgood appeared in at least eight Broadway plays as well as many touring productions.

Mr.Fitch was one of the first American playwrights to get his works published overseas and his stories were very popular and later on some were used for the basis of several early movies including 1924's "Beau Brummel" starring John Barrymore.
His works had strong female characters and he was sometimes called the American Ibsen.
Because of the large size of the casts, many settings and changing audience tastes his plays are not often seen today.

Clara Bloodgood

In 1905 Mr. Fitch dedicated the publication of his script of "The Girls with Green Eyes" to Mrs. Bloodgood, but seems that he liked the actress who starred in the London production of “The Truth” better and dedicated the published script to her.
This greatly upset Mrs. Bloodgood who was performing the play in Baltimore at the time and one evening, after getting her costumes ready, she shot and killed herself.

Clyde Fitch

Mr. Fitch would die two years later in Europe after delaying medical treatment for appendicitis.

Because the cover was sent a week after her death I wanted to see if I could find out who really sent the cover, who it was sent to and why.
The cover was sent to J.M. Bartels who to my great surprise turned out to be a well known stamp dealer and expert who is in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.
At first I was not sure if he was the right man because the first address I found did not match the one on the cover, but after further research I found a photo of a cover sent from Bartels Office at the Old South Building address.

I will never really know who sent it and why because there were no contents with the cover, but I learned a great deal about the people on the cover and a bit about American Theatre History at the turn of the last century.

The tie-in between my two interests of Theatre and Philately will remain a mystery but the search for answers was enjoyable and I will continue to look for more information on the connection between the three people on the cover.

Related Links

More about Clyde Fitch can be found at the following link:

A review of a 2006 production of "The Truth" can be found here:

A copy of the the play 'The Truth" can be found on Google Books.

About J M Bartles:

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Thursday, October 22, 2009 /


by Gary Thomas Musante

I recently gave a Powerpoint presentation at our club meeting of an overview of the covers from my Theatre Topical Collection.
I first worked on plays in High School and then choose theatre as a major and then a career when I went to college.
A few years after I was done with grad school I revisited my stamp collection and started working on it again.
For a long time I was a general collector, US and Canada, but I soon found that I liked covers the most, postal history rather then first day covers, although I have plenty of them.

But about twenty years ago I found a cover from 1888 at a stamp show that changed my collecting focus forever.
I came across a cover sent by an actor to his hometown asking for his mail to be forwarded to the next stop on his tour.
The cover is in fair shape, it has a few tears, ragged around the edges, the stamp is common and damaged and you can barely see the cancel, but I love it.
The cover has a caricature of the actor Arthur Sidman and it advertises his current play, Uncle Rube.
Inside was a letter that further describes high quality of the production.
The letter is simple and has a clean and clear signature of Mr. Sidman.

I tried to do some research on the internet a few years ago but I was spelling the name wrong and did not get too much.
When I realized it was “Sidman” and not “Sideman” I got better results.
From about only six sources, mostly from old copies of the New York Times and other newspapers, I have only been able to piece together only a basic biography of Mr. Sidman.
From my research Sidman was born about 1863 and was 25 or 26 at the time my letter was mailed to his hometown.
I have read a few other newspaper reports that mention that he was performing with his company in town.
One article recounts that he had his company stay over to play a benefit to raise money for the family of a woman who had died in a fire.
The New York Times of August 13, 1901 states that Arthur Sidman died the day before at his summer home while preparing for another tour.
In 1905 one of his plays New York Folks was produced on Broadway.

As I have found and added other Theatre covers and postcards from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s to my collection I have done research on the people and/or places noted on the item.
My research into the “Sidman” and other covers in my collection have given them a greater significance and value to me.

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Friday, September 11, 2009 /



Open to All Interests and Levels
APS Circuits and Slide Shows
Show and Tell, Club Circuits,
Auctions and Trading

For more Information Contact:
Gary Musante


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