As the one year anniversary for our Waterfowl Stamps and More website and blog initial launch approaches, we have been working the last few weeks to address a major viewer request. Many of you have asked that we offer a PDF option for the blog posts, similar to the one we made available last year for the published articles.
There has been much talk about a future book (both on the part of Waterfowl Stamps and More team members and in collector circles) that would incorporate all of the blog posts. Quite frankly, there is so much construction of the website remaining, such a book seems pretty far down the road.
In the meantime, we have decided to make the blog series that number four or more parts available as individual PDFs. Why did we choose four parts as the magic number? It is all about time. In order to present the PDFs in a book-like format, all of the pages need to be reformatted.
The images need to be resized and the text needs minor modifications (frequently adding or subtracting a few words or sentences) in order to get the information on the pages to break in a manner that is both attractive and makes sense. Then there are numerous proofs and edits. In other words, it is liking writing a very long novel and takes a great deal of time that could be spent elsewhere on the website.
We have heard you say you would like to be able to print the blogs or transfer them to your ipads for more convenient reading. We get it. However, for now, we are going to ask you to continue reading the shorter blog series online or use a third party PDF maker.
The good news is that we are currently providing you with close to to 700 blog pages in the new PDF Section of the website. The PDF Section can be reached by clicking on “PDFs” under the Home page banner or in the “Home” drop down box located at the upper left of every web page.
At the top of the PDFs main page you will find three buttons, for “Articles”, “Blog Posts” and “Exhibits”. If you click on one of the buttons it will automatically scroll down the page to the first PDF in that section (or you can scroll down the page manually).
To the right of each item, you will see the PDF icon. Below it is some important information; the number of pages that will print and the size of the file. Some of these PDFs are the size of small books, so you will need to load sufficient paper into your printer and allow for the files to download before printing. If you do not currently have a fast internet connection, this can take a considerable amount of time.
We decided to break the Ken Pruess Remembered series into two PDF downloads as it was simply not practical in one (approaching 2 GB). For the larger PDFs (greater than 1 GB), start the download and then run some errands.
To print: 1) Click on the PDF icon; 2) click on the “File” menu at the upper left of your browser and 3) click on print.
To save the file to your computer: 1) Right click on the PDF icon; 2) on a pc it will say “save target as” and on a mac it will say “save link as” and 3) save to your “Documents” folder so you can easily find it later.
This is a good practice for downloading and organizing files from the internet.
The First Fish and Game Stamp
This series tells the story of the the first U.S. fish and game stamp, the 1934-35 federal waterfowl stamp designed by Jay N. “Ding” Darling. Darling’s stamp is also used to provide an overview for the collecting possibilities for federal waterfowl stamps.
We will discuss die proofs, plate number singles and plate number blocks, errors, collecting stamps used stamps off and on license (the latter demonstrating their usage), form 3333, artist signed stamps and their variations and limited edition prints (see Figures 1 and 2).
California Hunting & Fishing Licenses
The pictorial California hunting and fishing licenses are extremely popular with collectors. The licenses owe their appeal to the beautiful chromolithography created by very talented San Fransisco lithographers. This series of posts explains how a specific sequence of events in California resulted in the development of the lithographic arts leading up through the time the licenses were produced.
In addition to being men of great talent, many of the lithographers in San Fransisco were men of unusual courage, grit and determination – for they (or their fathers) were part of the California Gold Rush. The San Fransisco Earthquake and Fire additionally challenged these men and they responded raising their craft to unprecedented levels.
The Panama Pacific Exposition in 1915 presented another challenge – and another opportunity. The survivors and the victorious raised the bar for the lithographic arts yet again. This is their story (see figures 3 and 4).
My Favorite Federal Duck Stamp
Like many people in my generation, I started to collect stamps as a young boy. I was guided by my father, a collector of many things and one of the first duck stamp dealers on the West Coast. When I was 11 years old my parents gave me a copy of the 1941-42 federal waterfowl stamp, better known by its Scott Catalog number as RW8.
For me, it was love at first sight and the stamp, featuring Ed Kalmbach’s artwork of a family of Ruddy ducks, has remained my favorite federal stamp to this day. I have built a specialized collection of this stamp and in this series of posts I have selected items from it to illustrate one method of collecting – choosing a specific stamp that speaks to you and build a specialized collection over time.
We will explore the stamp production process in depth and when we get to the limited edition prints section, we will learn about etching and lithography in detail. This frame of reference will be helpful as we discuss other stamps and prints in future posts ( see Figures 5 and 6)
John Olin, Ding Darling, Maynard Reece & King Buck: The Making of an Icon
This is the story of how one of the most iconic images in our hobby came into being, the 1959-60 federal waterfowl stamp featuring Maynard Reece’s artwork of King Buck. I have found that as collectors, we often take some of the things we collect for granted.
This is not a criticism per se, as there are many reasons for collecting and one of the foremost is the therapeutic benefit of simply allowing ourselves to enjoy something we find aesthetically pleasing, without having to give it a great deal of thought.
For those who yearn for more, the information is frequently scattered or lacking altogether. One of the purposes of this website is to provided knowledge that will allow those who so desire to develop a greater appreciation for the items we collect. Many may find that knowing a little history and background can make our hobby more rewarding.
Such is the case with this famous image for, you see, many different things had to happen in many different peoples lives (and one famous dog) at precisely the right time for this image to occur. Was it serendipity or fate? You decide (see Figures 7 and 8).
Morton Dean Joyce: Fish and Game Hall of Famer
Morton Dean Joyce is known for being the greatest revenue stamp collector of all time. When one thinks of Joyce they usually think of his wonderful general U.S. governmental revenue collection and especially his private die match and medicine stamps – truly collections for the ages.
Not so well known is that Morton, or Mort as he was known to his friends, had a tremendous state revenue collection and aggressively pursued fish and game stamps. If it were not for Mort, many of the greatest fish and game rarities in our hobby would not exist today.
In this series of posts we explore Mort’s wide ranging philatelic interests and take a close look at his contributions to the hobby of fish and game stamps (see Figures 9 and 10).
Walter A. Weber: Winner of the First Federal Duck Stamp Contest
This series of posts looks at the life of Walter Alois Weber, a very talented artist who holds the distinction of becoming the first person to design more than one federal waterfowl stamp. In the process, Walter was the winner of the first ever federal duck stamp contest, held in 1949.
Although fish and game collectors know him for the two federal stamps – and that will be our primary focus in this series of posts – Walter is probably better remembered by a much larger segment of the population for his illustrations that were featured in The National Geographic Magazine for three decades starting in 1939 and for the images of his paintings that appeared on some 250 stamps printed and distributed by the National Wildlife Federation (see Figures 11 and 12).
Ken Pruess Remembered
It is with a heavy heart that I had to report the passing of a friend and fellow collector, Ken Pruess, on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Ken was a long time revenue stamp collector, author, exhibitor and APS accredited judge. With regard to fish and game stamps, I would like to say that he was one of the legendary pioneer collectors. However, his low key approach to collecting and his personal modesty prevented him from becoming a household name in the hobby.
In the past, I have avoided talking too much about Ken or giving him a lot of credit for the important work he has done. Knowing Ken the way I did, I did not feel that he would appreciate it. He was a humble man and it was not his style. Now that he is gone, I would like everyone to know just how much Ken did for our hobby.
This series of posts explains how much Ken did for the hobby, as well as how much he helped myself and other fish and game collectors and exhibitors. For the first time, the extent of his tremendous fish and game collection is revealed (see Figures 13 and 14).
From Girlie Pulps to Trout Stamps
This is perhaps the most popular series of blog posts I have written to date. It tells the fascinating story of Worth B. Carnahan. Worth was an artist, illustrator, magazine editor and publisher. He participated in the origins of two pop culture mainstays, girlie pulps and comic books, whose images today invoke two very different connotations.
We see how the development of both industries was directly linked and, in so doing, reveal the remarkable background of an artist who would later design some of the most popular stamps in the fish and game hobby (see Figures 15 and 16).
The Dean of Minnesota’s Wildlife Artists
This series of posts takes a look at the career of Les Kouba, one of the more memorable artists from a state which has heavily influenced the wildlife art scene since the late 1930s. Les was not a stereotypical artist. They say that the artist’s mind generally makes for a poor businessmen; such was not the case with Les Kouba.
In addition, Les was always affable or extroverted; one of those characters whose persona was larger than life. He loved interacting with all kinds of people and made a habit of painting in public areas. On these occasions, large crowds would invariably gather to observe their local folk hero doing what he did best.
What Les Kouba did best was to paint in a way that was entertaining. Over the years, as with other successful entertainers, his fans multiplied. Les Kouba grew to become a huge celebrity in and around the state of Minnesota, where he was variously referred to as “The Dean of Minnesota’s Wildlife Artists, “The Norman Rockwell of Wildlife Art” and “The Mickey Mantle of Wildlife Art” (see Figures 17 and 18).
Future PDF Additions
We hope that you enjoying reading these series of posts and that the information contained within them enhances your appreciation for our hobby. At this time, the downloads are admittedly longer than we would like. However, we are building this website for the long run and it will not be long before improved technology makes this process much faster.
When time permits, we will add PDFs for the shorter series of posts (one to three parts). Thankfully, these will require less time to create on our part and less time to download on yours. Something to look forward to.