Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Philately or Philotely

Most stamp collectors are perhaps familiar with the term philately.  Right at the start, when stamp collecting as a hobby was picking up, there were actually all sorts of terms used.  The term philately was actually invented by a French stamp collector named Herpin.  He used the term in a French magazine and the term stuck with the public and became the widely used term to describe stamp collecting.

The origin of this term comes from the Greek expression philo (I love) and atelos(exempt from tax).  There was actually some discussion and debate on whether the correct term used should have been philotely instead since the name for the hobby was composed of the Greek philo and teli (taxes) and its explanation would be 'love of taxes' or love of stamps used for payment of postage.  But by then, the widely accepted term was already being used all over the world so the term "philately" has remained ever since.

Monday, January 23, 2012


In the past, young runners who could run fast were chosen to become messengers.  In ancient Greece, these runners were called Hemerodromes.  They were often able to cover long distances in relatively short time.  The most famous of these Hemerodromes was perhaps the Greek messenger called Marathon.  As most people know, he was the one who covered the distance to Athens in such a short time that he collapsed shortly after delivering his message.

Ever since the written word was used as a form of communication, these messengers were relied upon to carry both good news and bad news.  These messengers were in fact the forebearers of the modern postman though one will probably think of them as atheletes and postman rolled into one!  They often bore light arms with only bare essentials for survival.  Many of them also had to overcome hardships and dangers along the way.  These messengers paved the way for the birth of the postal service that we know of today.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Money to Buy Stamps

I wrote some time back about knowing your limits when buying stamps.  Essentially, every stamp collector comes to a point in time when they realise that they do not have enough money to buy stamps to improve their collection.

I am sadly disappointed this weekend when I realised that SingPost had stopped selling some 2009 Singapore stamps which I have yet to purchased for my stamp collection.  Buying them off Ebay will definitely be more expensive.

It makes me wonder whether I should set aside a budget each month to buy stamps.


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