E. L. Vanderford: 1913-1994

Getting Involved With the SRS Newsletter


The State Revenue Society began publication of the SRS Newsletter in 1959. The newsletter always contained a great deal of information about fish and game stamps due in part to the fact that many SRS members (including editor David C. Strock) were interested in these stamps. Although Van did not contribute original articles in the beginning, many issues of the newsletter contained his additions and corrections to articles and news releases which had previously appeared. Van was becoming recognized by revenue collectors as an authority in the fish and game field (see Figure 9).



Figure 9. Typical of the small pieces of fish and game information Van shared with collectors through the State Revenue Newsletter before embarking on his life’s work, The Handbook of Fish and Game Stamps.




In the early 1960s Joseph Janousek passed away and Van helped his wife sell the collection he had formed. Van was able to add several major rarities to his own growing collection at this time. Most notable were the 1956 Delaware non-resident trout stamp (see Figure 10) and the Puerto Rico hunting license and validation stamp dating from the 1950s (see Figure 11). Both items were the only recorded examples and had been written up by Janousek in his State Game Hunting and Fishing Revenue Stamps column which was published in The American Revenuer.

Delaware began issuing resident trout stamps in 1956. It is believed that Delaware also experimented with the idea of requiring non-resident anglers to purchase a separate stamp at a higher fee in 1956 (perhaps by cutting up a pane of proofs for unlike the resident stamps, the non-resident stamp is imperforate). In his column, Janousek reported that only three non-resident stamps were sold, which included one he had purchased for his own collection (see Figure 10). Delaware apparently decided against the idea and did not begin to print and issue separate non-resident stamps on a regular basis until 1972. The Janousek stamp reached legendary status during Van’s lifetime and is probably the most iconic of all U.S. fishing stamps today.





Figure 10. Janousek’s original listing (above) and the legendary 1956 Delaware NR trout stamp.




Janousek also reported in his column that Puerto Rico first started using the license and stamp system in 1951. The license allowed the holder to hunt for all game for which there was a season, including waterfowl. The current $10 Internal Revenue stamp was used to validate the license, which also served as a permit to carry firearms. The stamp was torn in half, with the bottom portion being affixed to the license and the top affixed to the license application. For his column, Janousek sketched a drawing of the missing top portion and used it for an illustration (see Figure 11a). For over thirty years, the Janousek/Vanderford/Torre license was the only example recorded (see Figure 11b). Then in the 1990s, waterfowl stamp collector Jeannette Rudy acquired a second example. The Rudy license is now in the Csaplar collection, along with several others from a collector’s fantasy flea market find in 2015 (this will be the subject of a future blog post).



Figure 11a. Janousek’s original sketch of the missing top portion used to illustrate his column in the American Revenuer.



Figure 11b. The 1954-55 Puerto Rico license with the bottom portion of the stamp affixed. The stamp was originally folded over, however, Janousek soaked and straightened it out to display in an exhibit.




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