The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum announced that it has acquired John Lennon’s childhood stamp album. In addition to more than 550 stamps from around the world, the album’s flyleaf bears the name, address and signature of a young John Lennon. On the album’s title page, beards and mustaches were drawn in blue ink on the likenesses of British monarchs, including Queen Victoria and King George VI.
The National Postal Museum plans to begin displaying the album in October 2005 to coincide with the 65th anniversary of Lennon’s birth and National Stamp Collecting Month.
“We’re tremendously excited at the prospect of exhibiting John Lennon’s boyhood stamp album,” curator of philately Wilson Hulme said. “I hope it will inspire new collectors. There are people who think stamp collecting isn’t cool and maybe this will cause them to think differently about that. It just doesn’t get cooler than John Lennon.”
Years before his rise to fame as a musician and member of the Beatles, Lennon was a schoolboy in Liverpool, England, when his cousin Stanley Parkes gave him a hardcover Mercury stamp album. The circa-1950 album originally belonged to Parkes, who encouraged Lennon’s interest in stamp collecting. The album has 145 pages and features stamps from several countries including India, the United States and New Zealand.
Philately is the collection and study of postage stamps, postmarks and stamped envelopes and the study of postal history.
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing the largest and most comprehensive collection of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., in the Old City Post Office Building across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information visit the museum’s Web site at postalmuseum.si.edu.
# # #