Our May speaker was Ed Siskin, who gave us a fascinating PowerPoint presentation on “Free Franks”. Ed first defined the franking privilege and then provided a concise history of such franks. He then went on to show many free franked covers, ranging from the 17th to the 20th century.
To help understand 17th century writing, one of the slides showed the various 17th century letters corresponding to our modern alphabet. Ed then provided a listing of the franking laws issued by the Continental Congress. He went on to discuss the Declaration of Independence and many of the people who were signers of that famous document. He also showed a fair number of covers franked by these individuals.
Ed also discussed and illustrated Congressional free franks and covers franked by governors. He then showed examples of franking abuse, followed by a number of Presidential franks. His talk ended with examples of covers franked by Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. All in all, this was a very informative presentation.