Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to give presentations on a variety of subjects to a number of elementary, middle and high school classes around the country. Depending on the age group and what subject areas the classes were covering, I utilized postal history objects to discuss Civics, Art History, American & World History, Graphic Design and more. I don’t think I have ever had more fun in all my time associated with the National Postal Museum than when I was interacting with students during these presentations.
On a recent trip to Anniston, Alabama, I presented to several classes of students at Saks Middle School. A large computer SmartBoard in one of the classrooms allowed me to demonstrate the NPM’s virtual museum.
Throughout the day, I also used a number of real postal history objects to illustrate different aspects of American history--including letters sent by German and American POWs, a letter sent from an inmate at Auschwitz, early 20th century advertising covers (envelopes) for Kellogg’s Toasted Corn Flakes Cereal, covers sent to Clara Barton and a card sent on the last complete flight of the Hindenburg.
Using these real objects provided the perfect opportunity to emphasize the difference between reading about history in books or browsing online and holding a real piece of history in your hands!
About the Author
Alexander T. Haimann, Collections Specialist & Web Projects Developer at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, collects and writes primarily about the stamps and postal history of the U.S. during the first one hundred years of stamp production (1847-1947). Additionally, he develops internet based education projects and exhibits for the National Postal Museum. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Stamp Dealers Association, the Chair of the American Philatelic Society’s Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship and the publicist for the United State Philatelic Classics Society. His national and international society memberships include the American Philatelic Society, United States Stamp Society, Collectors Club of New York and the Royal Philatelic Society London.