APS ‘On the Road’ courses coming in 2017

The American Philatelic Society (APS) has announced it will host five “On the Road” courses in the first quarter of 2017.

The philatelic education begins Jan. 26, 2017, with a course by instructor Gary Wayne Loew entitled “Mastering Postal History: How to Read and Interpret a Cover.” The course, which aims to help participants fully understand their postal history collections, will be held just prior to the Southeastern Stamp Expo in Norcross, Georgia. Registration deadline is Jan. 7, and class sizes are limited. The cost is $65 for APS members and $105 for non-members.


Loew is the author of the forthcoming book, Mastering Postal History. His collecting interests have been both wide-ranging and narrowly-focused: his “vertical” collecting interest is Gambia and his “horizontal” interest is the King George V 1935 Silver Jubilee issues. Gary’s philatelic writing has appeared in The Collectors Club Philatelist, Cameo, The Airpost Journal, Flagstaff and The Philatelic Exhibitor. His proudest philatelic accomplishments include the numerous roles he has played in digitizing journals for the USPCS, USSS, and the complete run of the U.S. Postal Bulletin. He is a life member of the APS, serves as treasurer of the Postal History Society and has numerous other memberships.


The second “On the Road” course – entitled “Detecting Damaged, Altered, and Repaired Stamps” – is slated to take place Feb. 16, 2017.

Taught by instructors Michael Ball and Scott Murphy, the course will be held just prior to Aripex 2017 at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona. It will teach participants how to protect themselves when acquiring stamps.

According to the APS website, the course will help collectors answer questions such as:

• is that mark across the corner of your stamp a repair or was it made by the printer;
• is your stamp really a used Scott 315 ($1,250 USD value) or is it a trimmed 304 ($2.25 USD value); and
• are the crackled markings on the back of your stamp from being re-gummed?

The registration deadline for this course is Jan. 20, and again, class sizes are limited. The cost is $95 for APS members and $145 for non-members.


Ball is President of A to Z Stamps, Worldwide Stamps.com, a business that was started in 1984 as Arctic and Antarctic Specialists. Later the company branched into Dead Countries and Colonies of the world and finally expanded into a worldwide operation. A to Z Stamps is now present at more than 25 stamp shows every year. Ball is also a member of the APS, American Stamp Dealers Association, American Topical Association, International Federation of Stamp Dealers, and is treasurer of the National Stamp Dealers Association. In addition to his world of stamp collecting, Ball is also President of the Ball Financial Group, LLC. He spent nearly six years in the U.S. Army as a German, Czech and Russian translator working under the direction of the National Security Agency at a listening post in Germany.

Murphy is the president of Professional Stamp Experts, Inc. where he is senior expert in U.S. postage stamps. He has a weekly stamp collecting podcast, Stamp Show Here Today, and is editor of Stamp Market Quarterly, a price guide for stamps. Murphy also served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, where his last assignment was a shipyard liaison for a submarine squadron brokering nuclear work for home-ported and visiting boats. He retired in 2005, at which time he moved full time into the stamp hobby.


The third “On the Road” course – entitled “EFOs and You: How Your Collection, Knowledge Base, and Exhibit Can All Benefit From Postal Blunders” – is slated to take place March 2, 2017.

Taught by EFO expert Wayne Youngblood, this course will be held just prior to the AmeriStamp Expo. The cost is $95 for APS members and $145 for non-members.


Youngblood is a lifelong stamp collector who began at age eight and never stopped. He has been an APS member for more than 40 years and is the longest-term instructor at the APS Summer Seminar on Philately (25-plus years, Stamp Technology). He’s also a past APS director; serves as an expertizer for APEX (for close to 30 years); was inducted into the Writer’s Unit and Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs Halls of Fame; and is current president of the Errors, Freaks & Oddities Collectors Club. He remains active as an author, editor, exhibitor and stamp dealer.


The fourth “On the Road” course – entitled “Ghosts of the Glory Trail: Nevada Revenue-Stamped Documents 1863–1873, a Geographic Analysis” – is slated to take place March 4, 2017.

Taught by award-winning author and exhibitor Michael Mahler, this course will also be held just prior to the AmeriStamp Expo. The cost is $95 for APS members and $145 for non-members.


Mahler is a mostly retired UCLA research scientist turned professional philatelist, residing in Santa Monica, Calif. After spending a decade studying the movement and consumption of oxygen in muscle, he became a describer at the stamp and postal history firm of George Alevizos in Santa Monica, and turned his research energies to the study of revenue-stamped documents of the U.S. Civil War era. These efforts have been rewarded with the Colby award for “How Were U.S. Civil War Documentary and Proprietary Revenues Made Available to the Public?” (1993); the Elliot Perry Cup, A Catalog of United States Revenue-Stamped Documents of the Civil War Era By Type and Tax Rate (1999) for literature; and the Champion of Champions award, “U.S. Civil War Fiscal History, A Summary of the Documentary Taxes” (2001), for exhibiting. His exhibit “U.S. Civil War Era Fiscal History Panorama” was nominated for the Grand Prix National at the recent World Stamp Show in New York. Since 2013, he has been editor of The American Revenuer, the publication of the American Revenue Association.


Lastly, the fifth “On the Road” course – entitled “Western Expansion: As Illustrated Through Postal History” – is slated to take place April 26-27, 2017.

During this two-day seminar, participants will examine postal artifacts to learn how U.S. westward expansion impacted and influenced the development of nations and governments in and around the Pacific. It will be hosted just prior to Westpex 2017 and will cost $55 for APS members and $95 for non-members.

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