By John Germann
Nineteen forty-five was a year to remember on the national, state, and local level. For our country, it marked, of course, the end of the worst war the world had ever endured. For our state, it saw Texans celebrating the centennial of statehood. And for Houston stamp collectors, it witnessed the founding of the Houston Philatelic Society. (Technically stamp collectors are called philatelists; please note, not philanderers!)
Thousands of collectors live in the Houston area. None of their interests are exactly alike, for stamp collecting is an exceedingly wide-open and democratic hobby. Anybody can do it and they can collect whatever fascinating little pieces of paper that they want – from countries around the world, or from one country/region, or from historical lands that no longer exist. Some like to explore the printing and usage of one stamp in exceptional depth. Others gravitate toward stamps showing topics like birds, Elvis, paintings, civil rights, Texas, the Red Cross, religion, science, or the scouts; there is a basically limitless variety of such topics. Some enjoy stamps which, in their engraving or their aesthetic design, are miniature works of art. Others pursue covers (i.e. envelopes) with markings from the Republic of Texas, wars, post offices that have been closed, navy ships, Antarctic expeditions, dirigibles, and the like.
Click here to watch a slide show of past Houston and Texas stamps. (Image may not be visible in Chrome.)