‘U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad (1832-1875)’ receives top honours in international competition

U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad (1832-1875), a notable book authored by Hugh V. Feldman and published by the Collectors Club of Chicago (CCC), received first place in the Fifth Annual C.G. International Philatelic Promotion Award competition.

The announcement came at MonacoPhil 2017, during which Auktionshaus Christoph Gaertner presented the award to CCC member Leonard Hartmann. The award included a 2000-euro prize on behalf of the CCC.

The book presents the development of the early railroads in a historical context focusing on the establishment, routes and the cities and towns served as it relates to the philatelic information. The mail contract route information is presented in a well-organized manner including dates, route numbers, contract agreement and cost per mile.

The information is arranged by state and accompanied by charts, copies of detailed maps locating towns and a detailed list of the stations served on the various mail contracts.

The mail contracts normally have the individual stops and dates and thus one may be able to bracket in times when a specific station was in use.

This book runs 1,096 pages in full colour with a hard bound dust jacket. It illustrates 242 covers, 582 maps and 360 other images. A DVD is included containing more than 800 covers (many not illustrated in the book), PMG annual reports and other reports to U.S. Congress between 1817 and 1878. In addition, there are images of the manuscript Railroad Contracts by States—6,773 in total.


“The bonus disk is a boon to postal historical research … Although these reports might be sourced otherwise from the internet, to have them all in one place is a gift … So, bravo to a brave British postal historian for supplying his American counterparts with such a valuable resource,” said Diane DeBlois, in the November 2017 issue of The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues by the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society.

“In a feat of monumental discipline, Feldman photographed every page in the gargantuan, 325-volume ‘Register for Star Route Contracts 1814-1960,'” said Charles Snee, in the Dec. 11, 2017 issue of Linn’s Stamp News.


In late November, Feldman appeared at Chicagopex 2017 in Itasca, Ill., where he gave a presentation based on the book and signed copies.

The competition, open to all organizations and publishers of philatelic periodicals, was founded in 2013 to recognize promotion of philatelic research and the preservation of philatelic knowledge through publication, according to outgoing APS Librarian Tara Murray, as posted in a recent APRL blog.

The railroad book and others are available for purchase at the CCC website. Bulk purchases are available by contacting Hartmann at leonard@pbbooks.net.

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