United States Telegraph Issues
By: Roger Brody

Dec 13 , 2011

Roger Brody was our speaker for December on the topic of “United States Telegraph Issues”.   In addition to displaying a large selection of various telegraph stamps, Roger put together a really wonderful PowerPoint presentation on U.S. telegraph companies and the many stamps they issued.

The presentation started with a fascinating video on the invention of the telegraph and the roles of Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail in its development.  That was followed by a study of the growth of the various telegraph lines and a review of the government-issued telegraph revenue stamps. Roger then went on to discuss each of the 26 companies that issued telegraph stamps and franks.  For each company, Roger provided a brief history and also displayed most of the stamps issued by that company.

In each case, he distinguished between “franks” (complimentary stamps that allowed for sending messages without charge); discount stamps issued in booklet form for prepayment of charges; and value bearing stamps that were sold to the general public and allowed for prepayment of telegraph charges.  At the end of the program, we all had learned a lot about telegraph stamps and the companies that issued them!