Notes from the Past

Scott Discusses Changes - Part I

Hugh and Theresa Clark were the editors of the Scott's Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue in 1939.  Scott placed an advertisement in The Stamp Specialist Volume 1 Part 1 to discuss the changes they had made and their plans for the future.  The following makes use of excerpts from that advertisement.

After a statement of their interest in establishing broader relationships with collectors and dealers, they noted the major change which had been introduced in the 1940 catalogue.  This change involved renumbering the classes of stamps to include letter designators.  Previously each class of stamps had been given a group of numbers with gaps left for stamps to be added.  Of course, this proved unworkable.  This is what the Clarks said about this change:

First of all, we would like to call attention to some of the new features contained in the present Catalogue, as well as some of the things that we anticipate doing in future editions.  By far the most important of these changes, to our own way of thinking, is the re-numbering of all stamps except the regular postage issues.  The plan upon which the new classification is based can be roughly divided in three general groups, as follows:
    1.  Those pertaining to regular, first class, unlimited mail.
    2.  Those pertaining to first class mail which is limited in use by either the nature of the service or the locality served.
    3.  Those pertaining to other than first class mail.

Each of these groups is developed in detail, and given a prefix which ix exactly the same for all countries.  This enables us to start each group with No. 1 and a suitable prefix letter, and will make it unnecessary to renumber entirely each group, as we had to do in the past, when the intervening numbers that were allotted to each group had been taken up.  We will not go into details of the plan, for it is fully described in the Catalogue, but we feel that this is a distinct step forward.

The advertisement continues with a discussion of fourteen additional changes which appeared in the 1940 edition.

To Be Continued

Posted September 8, 2000

Index of 508 Notes from the Past

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