The Sixth Postal History Symposium
“How Commerce and Industry Shaped the Mails”
Friday - Sunday, September 16 – 18, 2011
American Philatelic Center, Bellefonte, Pennsylvania
The Symposium was held in conjunction with a philatelic exhibition hosted by the United States Stamp Society (USSS). The USSS is a non-profit, volunteer-run association of collectors to promote the study of the philatelic output of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and postage and revenue stamped paper produced by others for use in the United States and U.S. administered areas. Once concerned exclusively with the production of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the USSS has expanded its coverage to include all United States issues, both classic and modern, regardless of printer.
Panels were interspersed with opportunities to view award-winning exhibitions. On Saturday evening September 17th, there was a banquet celebrating the United States Stamp Society’s 85th anniversary and a keynote address.
Dr. David Hochfelder, assistant professor of history at SUNY-Albany was the keynote speaker. After two degrees in electrical engineering from Northwestern University, David earned a Ph.D. in history at Case Western Reserve University. His research interests include the history of technology and business history; he is particularly interested in the relationship between technological innovation and social change. He was the assistant editor for two volumes of The Papers of Thomas A. Edison; David’s book The Telegraph in America: A History, 1832-1940 will be released by Johns Hopkins University Press in the spring.
The Smithsonian National Postal Museum American Philatelic Research Library and the American Philatelic Society jointly produced the Symposia, which have been held annually since 2006. The format of the 2011 symposium was similar to that of the Post Office Reform symposium in 2009, with the paper presentations distributed across two days allowing ample time between sessions for viewing the 150 frames of invited stamp and postal history exhibits, purchasing stamps, covers, and ephemera from the philatelic dealers, reading in the APRL, and conversing with fellow attendees. Hochfelder’s keynote address was given at the Symposium banquet on Saturday evening where the United States Stamp Society, a Symposium co-sponsor for 2011, celebrated their 85th anniversary.