North Toronto Stamp Club (NTSC) member Jean Wang won a Large Gold for her multi-frame exhibit, titled “The Story of Blood: Myth to Medicine,” at the 67th annual National Topical Stamp Show in Milwaukee.
Wang’s five-frame thematic exhibit, which was displayed in frames 158-162, shows the history of blood from ancient times to the establishment of transfusion medicine and modern-day blood banking. It highlights the history of blood; the acquisition of new knowledge regarding blood’s properties; the development of transfusion medicine; the international effort to maintain a safe blood supply through donor recruitment; the process of blood collection and preparation for distribution; and the various ways in which blood can save the lives of individuals with bleeding and blood disorders.
Items presenting difficulty of acquisition are indicated by a red drop of blood. Among these rarities are:
- original artwork from Indonesia;
- pre-production items from Canada (a 1952 hardened die essay, of which only one example is known to exist), Tonga (including a cromalin proof, of which only four examples exist), Burundi, France, and Monaco;
- stamped-to-order postal stationery cards from the Welsh Blood Transfusion Service as well as Britain’s National Blood Transfusion Service and its predecessor, the British Army Transfusion Service;
- a Canada Small Queen with a “vampire bite” error cancelled with a rare 1892 Toronto Junction postmark; and
- a stethoscope watermark on Egyptian Syndicate of Medical Professions revenue stamps.
Wang’s exhibit also earned the Medical Subjects Unit Award at the national-level show, which was hosted on June 23-25 by the American Topical Association (ATA).
Wang’s “Myth to Medicine” exhibit has previously won a number of awards, including:
- at the 2014 Canadian Stamp Dealers Association (CSDA) show, where a two-frame version of her exhibit earned a Gold as well as the Best Novice Award;
- at Orapex 2015, where a three-frame version earned a Silver as well as the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE) Gold Award of Honor;
- at the 2016 Royal Convention, where a five-frame version earned a Vermeil, the AAPE Award of Excellence (Plan and Headings) and the ATA Best Topical Award Second Place; and
- at Canpex 2016, where a five-frame version earned a Gold as well as the ATA Best Topical Award First Place.
According to Wang, because blood is a modern medicine, any philatelic material relating to blood donation and transfusion is dated after 1940. This presented a challenge for earlier versions of her exhibit; however, examples of earlier material, including pre-philatelic items tied to the theme of blood, have since been added.