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Thursday 8 January 2015

What's Your Hobby?

For almost as long as there have been postage stamps, there have been postage stamp collectors. The hobby started in the 1800s, not long after the first stamp was issued. It’s still an extremely popular hobby world-wide today. Within the United States alone, the American Philatelic Society estimates that about 5 million people collect stamps.

Although originally viewed as a hobby especially suited for younger people, there have been plenty of famous adult stamp collectors, including former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who liked to relax with his stamp collection at the White House.

One element that makes stamp collecting fun for children as well as adults is the fact that there are plenty of interesting stamps that don't cost too much to purchase. Each one provides a little bit of history. While some people like to collect topical stamps, for example, groups of stamps that feature one kind of thing such as birds or ships, other collectors might be drawn to a certain period of history.

The more rare and expensive stamps, of course, are the older ones, especially 19th century stamps from near the beginning of postage history. U.S. stamps from that time include stamps that feature historic American personages like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and can sometimes run collectors hundred of dollars per stamp, depending on the stamp’s condition.

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