Pennsylvania philatelist Ken Lawrence wins AFDCS literature award

For the third time, prolific philatelic writer Ken Lawrence, of Pennsylvania, has won the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) Philip H. Ward Award for excellence in writing about first-day covers (FDCs).

AFDCS judges unanimously chose Lawrence’s August 2019 American Philatelist article – “Which Items Franked with 1913 Parcel Post Stamps Are Authentic U.S. First Day Covers?” – as the latest Ward Award winner. This article also won the United States Stamp Society (USSS) 2019 Barbara Mueller Award for the best article published that year in the American Philatelist, published by the American Philatelic Society.

In 1989, Lawrence was one of five authors contributing to a symposium on FDCs in the United States Specialist, published by the USSS since 1930. He also won for his 1996 three-part series, “First Day Covers in Earliest Usages,” which also was published in the American Philatelist.

The first runner-up for the latest Ward Award was Ralph Nafziger, whose article “Wisconsin Tercentenary Issue” was published in the May-June issue of First Days, the official AFDCS journal. Anthony Dewey was second runner-up for his article “On the Trail of Grant and Lyon” in the March-April issue of First Days.


The award is named in honour of Philip H. Ward (1890-1963), the distinguished Philadelphia stamp collector, dealer and journalist who was a pioneer in the field of first-day covers.

The award was instituted by the AFDCS in 1964. While all First Days articles are automatically considered for the award, articles in other publications can also be submitted for consideration.

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