Notes from the Past

Notes on an Early 'Booklet'

To digress for a moment, I would like to mention one very interesting piece which has been shown to the members of The Booklet Pane Society.  It is a small unofficial stamp booklet owned by James A. Cassie and has a rather interesting background.  Back in 1887, the Brooklyn Post Office, like many others of that day, was a fee office and the postmaster's remuneration depended upon the amount of business the office transacted.  The Postmaster at that time was Joseph C. Hendrix who served from July 1st, 1885 to June 30th, 1890, and either he or some one in his office hit upon an idea to increase the revenue of the office.  They suggested to Wechsler & Abraham, which has now developed into Abraham & Straus, one of Brooklyn's largest department stores, that the store purchase a large quantity of stamps from the Brooklyn Postmaster and make them up into little stamp booklets to be sold to their customers, thus at one time increasing the business of the local Post Office and also providing a little advertising for the store.  Wechsler & Abraham, following the suggestion had a booklet made up, the covers of which are a tan waxed paper about 1¼ inches high and 3 5/8 inch in width, with the stitching across the width at the top.  There are 11 pages of tissue interleaving and the entire booklet was meant to hold about 10 panes of stamps.  These were inserted in strips of 3 or 4, but as there was no margin or selvage by means of which they could be fastened to the booklet, the stamps were merely placed between the interleaves, a strip of 4 stamps if placed upright, or a strip of 3 if horizontal.  The  entire booklet was enclosed in a small brown glazed paper envelope or pochette of the same size, on the front of which were printed the words "Buy Your Postage Stamps in Brooklyn ' and under the flap the name of "Wechsler and Abraham."  It would be interesting if we could find out whether this scheme substantially increased the revenues of the Brooklyn Post Office.
- Sydney S. Jalkut
"Stamp Booklets and Booklet Panes"
The Stamp Specialist, India Book
H. L. Lindquist - 1946
Posted April 14, 2000

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