Monthly e-Stamp Bulletin edited and published by Jeevan Jyoti from Dehradun.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Rainbow January 2017

Happy New Year

Dehradun January  2017  Vol. X No. 109

Readers are requested to send reports of philatelic activities in their area for publication. Short write ups by the readers about their journals, societies, publications and philatelic requirements can be sent for inclusion in this bulletin to

Note- This bulletin is only for circulation among a limited group of philatelists without any commercial purpose. The bulletin will be sent to the readers only on request. Those who wish to receive it regularly please reply giving the name of your city / country with the subject SUBSCRIBE RAINBOW

Dear Reader

With the first issue  of the year 2017, I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Now Rainbow enters the 10th year of  publication. In the long 9 years it has published several articles, news and interviews covering a variety of subjects. I express my gratitude to all the readers and contributors for their great contribution and it has enabled me to continue this newsletter without a single break in the last nine years.

I hope this journey will be continued in the years to come  with some more new features in this  magazine. Please send your  feedback and useful suggestions to improve the future issues. India Post has brought out a desk calendar for 2017 in form of Miniature sheets which is an innovative idea. A calendar on miniature sheet is really very nice. The beautiful series "Splendors of India" is highly appreciated. 

My Greetings to all the Readers of Rainbow. Have a wonderful philatelic year  ahead !! More beautiful stamps and more philatelic activities in 2017 .

This is all for this month.....More in next issue.

Happy Collecting !

                                                                                 -   Jeevan Jyoti

§  From the Desk of Naresh Agrawal
§  Recent Indian Issues
§  In The News
§  Doon Philatelic Diary
§  Beginners’ Section
§  Specialized Section 
§  New Issues from Other Countries
§  Philatelic Clubs and Society
§  Blogs & Websites on Philately
§  Current Philatelic Magazines – Newsletter



Before I start my discussion, I would like to wish all the readers, philatelists, friends a very Happy New Year 2017.

Well, as we know, It has always been a desire of a philatelist to participate in International / World Exhibition, the highest level of philatelic shows. But most of them cannot participate mainly due to following reasons :

1.    Non eligibility due to set system of acceptance of the exhibit
2.    Improper / below  standard or quality of exhibit
3.    Limited number of participation allowed
4.    The cost involved in  participation

Of all the above points, it is the cost involved in participation which hurts / means the most. I mean ,if I say like this, apart from the standard of exhibit, the participation and acceptance norms; it is the cost of participation which also decides the eligibility of participation by any participant in any International / World exhibition.

I agree, philately is hobby of kings and so the kings rule the hobby. And so apparently the higher level shows are found to have been set  them only.  To participate in such high level shows abroad (out of India) one has to be financially eligible apart from his or her philatelic eligibility. Because collecting philatelic material of high quality and  preparing a competitive exhibit of International standard of the highest generation (4th generation), already requires a huge amount  of money. And after this, a middle class Indian exhibitor cannot afford to spend money in thousands just to participate in such show.  Participation fee and cost over the years have increased tremendously. For exhibitors of Europe or America the expenditure may not be high but for Indian participants, applying for participation out of India is certainly is big blow. Due to this the most eligible participants do not apply.

I have written  on this aspect several times before also but this time again it is a big pain to write the same thing. The total expenditure comprised of frame fee, carriage/transport expenditures, clearances from different departments, documentation,  Insurance, award fee (contribution by PCI for awards and prizes for a particular show) and miscellaneous expenditures. My concern is to see what can be done to check this? Can we find some sponsors? Can India government look in to the matter and lend a helping hand by giving financial support or waiving the charges other than application / frame fee? Can there be formation of a common fund by various philatelic federations / bodies world over to help this cause? I mean one has to think and think, then only some solution can be found out.

The award fee, as I know has to be shared by the participant which is contributed by PCI  for particular show. What exactly is this? Why  a participant has to share amount for the awards to be given? Such  things need to be checked.

By this, the deserving financially weak philatelists shall also get opportunity to participate in higher level exhibitions and the international philatelic Fraternity will get opportunity to witness some precious, beautiful, highly acclaimed philatelic exhibits which remains closed in the  cupboard of a deserving, dedicated and hardcore philatelist. This certainly will help in promotion of philately in particular country.

Hope the think tank of National Bodies of different countries will look in to such aspects and will come out with some desirable solutions. 

Naresh Agrawal

Recent Indian Issues  

3 December 2016 – AIIMS – Rs 5
5 December 2016 : Exotic Birds -2 x Rs 5, 2 Rs 10, 2 x Rs 15 + 2 MS _+ 2 Sheetlets
7 December 2016 – Pramukh Swami Mharaj – Rs 5, Akshar Dham Templw – Rs 15 _ Se-tenant pair
14 December – Acharya Vimal Sagar – Rs 5
22 December Samrat Vikramaditya – Rs 5
23 December 2016 – Season’s Greetings – Rs 10, Rs 20 + MS + 2 Sheetlets
26 December 2016 - Hardayal Municipal Heritage Public Library – Rs 15
26 December 2016 – Personalities of Bihar  - 8 x Rs 5
30 December 2016 – Legendary Singers  -10 x Rs 5 + MS
1 January 2017 – Splendors of India – 12 x Rs 25 + 1 MS Rs 300 + 12  MS of RS 25 each

Recent Special Covers

1 December 2016 : Rabindranath and Tripura -Shantiniketan
2 December 2016 : Jaydev-Kenduli Mela : Shantiniketan
9 December 2016 : Vishwa Tuluvere Aayano World Tulu Festival - Peradala
16 December 2016 :  State Bank of Mysore - Bangalore
16 December 2016 – Cawnpex 2016 - “Jhanda Geet ” -  Kanpur
17 December 2016 – Cawnpex 2016 – Swachch Bharat – Kanpur
17 December 2016 – Cawnpex 2016 – Kanpur Kal Aaj aur Kal - Kanpur
26 November 2016 Narmadapex 2016 - Jabalpur 

 In The News

Recent Stamp Exhibitions


Brasilia-2017 is a Specialized World Stamp Exhibition. The Exhibition will open on 24 October 2017 and close on 29 October 2017. An exhibitor whose entry has won at least a vermeil award at the National philatelic exhibitions, or have participated in an International philatelic exhibition and have won a medal may submit entry.

Mr Ajay Kumar Mittal is the National Commissioner. Interested philatelists may contact him at email :

Following classes are available for participation.

Exhibition Classes

Class 1 – FIP Championship Class 
- For exhibits that have been awarded three Large Gold medals, in three different years, at World Exhibitions held under FIP Patronage over the last ten years (2007-2016).

Class 2 - Traditional Philately (TP): A) Brazil. B) Americas (except Brazil). C) Europe. D) Asia, Oceania and Africa. 

Class 3 - Postal History (PH): A) Brazil. B) Americas (except Brazil). C) Europe. D) Asia, Oceania and Africa. 

Class 4 - Postal Stationery (PS). 

Class 5 - Thematic Philately (TH) (*). Exhibits will be classified under: A) 
Nature. B) Culture. C) Technology.
(*) Please, indicate clearly in the “Exhibit Application Form” as to the subclass (A, B or C) the exhibit is entering. 

Class 6 - One Frame – TP, PH, PS, TH. 

Class 7 - Modern Philately – TP, PH, PS, TH. 

Class 8 - Youth Philately:

Age for Group A: 10-15 years old (As of January 1st, 2017).
Age for Group B: 16-18 years old (As of January 1st, 2017).
Age for Group C: 19-21 years old (As of January 1st, 2017). 

Class 9 - Philatelic Literature:
A) Philatelic books and research papers (published on or after January 1st, 2012).
B) Philatelic magazines and periodicals (the whole annual volume issued after January 1st, 2015).
C) Catalogues (published after January 1st, 2015).

Article 9 – Participation Fee 

9.1 There is no fee for Non-Competitive Class entries
9.2 The participation fee for Competitive Classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 is US$ 60.00 per frame. 

(An additional 50 Swiss Francs per frame for the FIP Championship Class shall be paid directly to FIP).

9.3 The participation fee for One-Frame Exhibit (Class 6) is US$ 75.00 per exhibit.
9.4 There is no fee for Youth Philately (Class 8).
9.5 The participation fee for Philatelic Literature (Class 9) is US$ 60.00 per exhibit.


BANDUNG 2017 Specialised WORLD STAMP EXHIBITION, 3-7 Aug 2017 Exhibition under FIP Patronage

Shri Sahdeva Sahoo is National Commissioner for this exhibition.  emails :   &  Phones +91 9337103542
 +91 674 2432251 (LL)


MELBOURNE 2017, 34th FIAP Asian International Stamp Exhibition will be held in Melbourne, Australia from 30 March to 2 April 2017.
Mr. Madhukar Jhingan is the Indian National Commissioner for the MELBOURNE 2017.
 (M) +919811160965, Email:
Cawnpex 2016

- A Report by Aditya Asthana

A two day district level philatelic exhibition,“Cawnpex 2016”was organized by India Post from 16th – 17th December, 2016 at Philatelic Bureaue GPO Kanpur.. The Exhibition had 56 frames in Competitive class and 2 in Invitee class. Mr. Dinesh Chandra Sharma and Mr. Arun Agarwal were the members of the jury at the event.

3 special covers were released during the exhibition. On December 16th, the exhibition was inaugurated by PMG Mr. Alok Saxena and a special cover dedicating the flag song (Vijayi vishwa tiranga pyara, Jhanda uncha rahe hamara...') written by Shyam Lal Gupta Parshad, a popular writer from Kanpur, was released. The special cover features the image of the original notes of the writer (source: Bithoor Museum) and the cancellation features a flag. A painting competition was also organized for the school children.

On December 17th, two special covers were released. A cover featuring a quotation by Mahatma Gandhi, “Everyone must be his own scavenger” was released on “Swatchh Bharat”. The cancellation of the cover  features spectacles of Gandhi (Swatchh Bharat logo). Another cover featuring the pictures of Cawnpore Kotwali, Radha Krishna (J.K.) Temple and a proposed Kanpur metro train with caption “Kanpur Kal, Aaj Aur Kal” was also released. The cancellation of the cover features  Kanpur GPO building.

Award List

Aditya Asthana -  “Postal History of Cawnpore” Gold + Best Exhibit Trophy (Senior)

Sidak Singh Saluja –“Brave Sikhs in Defense” - Silver + Best Exhibit trophy ( Junior)

Dipak Gupta – “Innovative stamps” of Bhutan - Gold

Rajpreet Singh Saluja - “Sikhism – It’s Glory and Heritage” - Gold

Mrs. Nupur Mehrotra - Indian Postal Stationery – Gold

Book Review

Collector's Guide on Special Covers of Tamil Nadu

A new book "Collector's Guide on Special Covers of Tamil Nadu" compiled by T. Mathan and N. Vignesh was released on 25th November 2016 during SIPA Diamond 2016 Jubilee Exhibition. This beautifully designed hard bound book gives complete data with colored pictures of  special covers (1961 onwards ) released by Tamil Nadu Postal Circle of India Post . The book is very useful for all stamp lovers and philatelists. Thematic collectors can find various themes in this book for their philatelic collection. The price of the book is Rs 800.  Interested philatelists may contact : N. Vignesh  email :  ph. +91 7418711411 (Whats App)

Doon Philatelic Diary

Silver Jubilee of Gangotri National Park

Abhai Mishra

Gangotri National Park was carved in circa 1989 extending over the upper catchment area of holy river Bhagirathi. It is situated in the Uttarkashi district of state of Uttarakhand and covers an area of approximately 2400 square kilometre. It is named after the famous "Gangotri" shrine, which is one of the important Hindu pilgrimage. "Gomukh" glacier, the origin of holy river "Ganga" lies within the park. It was mainly established to conserve the fragile high altitude eco-system of Himalayan region. The park is bestowed with abundant natural beauty, having high ridges, deep gorges, breathtaking valleys, magnificent views of coniferous forests and it's altitude varies from 1800 to 7000 metres above MSL. The forest of the park is mostly temperate and the vegetation consists of pine, deodar, fir, spruce, oak and rhododendron. The park is a vital link between Kedarnath and Govind National Park.

Special cover issued during Wildlife Week at FRI Dehradun on the silver jubilee of Gangotri National Park

                                    "Snow Leopard"                       "Gomukh Glacier "               

The park boasts of some of the rare wildlife species like Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, Bharal, Himalayan Tahr, Ibex etc. In December 2013, the camera trap set up by the forest department captured video and still images of the movement of male and female snow leopard. Snow Leopard is critically endangered and is on the verge of extiction. More than 150 species of birds can be sighted in this National Park including Himalayan Monal, Pheasants, Partridges, Parakeets and Barbets.

- Abhai Mishra : email :

Beginners’ Section

Elephant Letter Box

One of the most popular temple festivals in India “Pooram” having a tradition of 200 years old was initiated by the then ruler of Cochin, Raja Rama Varma in 1798 because he and many of his friends were not allowed into a nearby festival as they were late. He invited temples in this Kerala region to the main temple in Thrissur to pay respects to Shiva, the presiding deity making Thrissur’s Pooram, the biggest of all Poorams held in Kerala.

Of course, the elephants are the main attraction, decorated with their Nettipattam (golden headdress), decorative bells and ornaments, palm leaves and peacock feathers, and beautifully-crafted kolam (paintings). The ornate parasols which the mahouts (elephant riders) carry on extremely tall bamboo poles add to the colour. Folk dancing, Panchavadyam (rhythmic beating of the drum), and a stellar fireworks display that begins at three in the morning and continues on for three hours all serve to create a visual feast that makes for a completely immersive, tribal experience. The two teams of 15 elephants and their mahouts meet outside the temple and create a “pass the parasol” ritual, while the men stand on the elephants that add some competition to the event.

As a philatelic tribute to this, in Thrissur Philatelic bureau, a Elephant shaped letter box is kept. This cover is a special cover belonging to a Philatelic event in Thrissur, where the cover has been posted in this Elephant Letter box, then conveyed to Chalakudy by Mail Van and from there to Irinjalakuda by Runners.

Specialized Section

On the 126th anniversary of Agatha Christie's birth

Agatha Christie’s popularity IS SLIGHTLY LESS than god (pt I)

© Dr.Satyendra Kumar Agrawal

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Agatha Christie’s popularity is second only to the Bible and the works of William Shakespeare. She is indisputably the best-selling novelist of all time.

Agatha Christie, the best-selling crime novelist

A 1959 UNESCO report claimed her books had been translated into 103 languages, and to date she’s sold over two billion copies—more than the entire population of China and America combined.She became one of England’s best loved crime novelists. Her stories were full of mystery as well as history and interesting facts on archaeology as well as very clever murder methods which she had learned from her time working in a pharmacy during World War II.

Agatha Christie, the queen of crime,Booklet pane, GB 1991

Born in Torquay, England onSeptember 15th 1890, Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, popularly known as ‘Agatha Christie’ was a home-schooled, intelligent child who grew up with a love of literature which would last a lifetime.  In her late teens she studied to be a classical musician and wrote a waltz which was published and was advised that her soprano voice was good enough for concert singing but not strong enough for opera.     


During First World War she worked for much of the war in a hospital dispensary and it was here that she conceived the idea for ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’, her first mystery plot.Her autobiography states 'since I was surrounded by poisons, perhaps it was natural that death by poisoning should be the method I selected.'Her choice of detective, Hercule Poirot, also came about because 'we had quite a colony of Belgian refugees ... How about a refugee police officer - A retired police officer?’

Idea of ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’ shaped as her first novel in 1916 in response to a challenge from her sister Madge who thought that her plots were just too complicated and she didn’t think Agatha was capable of weaving them together. It was like Henry Rider Haggard, who wrote his first successful novel as a bet.

  ‘The Mysterious Affair at Styles’
 “Poirot and Hastings investigate the crime scene, forming the skull, as the murderer used poison and whole stamp is reproduced in miniature on the poison bottle can be viewed by a Magnifying Glass   

Published in 1920, Poirot’s first case after arriving in England as a refugee in World War I concerns the poisoning of a wealthy widow following her marriage to a younger man, with various relatives and house guests under suspicion.

The book includes maps of the house, the murder scene, and a drawing of a fragment of a will. The true first publication of the novel was as a weekly serial in the “The Times”, including the maps of the house and other illustrations which were also included in the book. This novel was one of the first ten books published by Penguin Books when it began in 1935.

Amended First Floor Plan of ‘Styles’, Booklet pane from GB 1991 commemorating 100th Birth Anniversary of Agatha Christie
Her first book waited five years before publication having been rejected by six publishers but the  day also came when 100,000 copies of ten of her titles published by Penguin on the same day in 1948 – “A Penguin Million”. Also, a pile of all of the US editions of her novel ‘Peril at End House’ would stretch to the moon.

Special cover and postmark commemorating her 100th Birth Anniversary, GB 1990

Her entire output consists of 72 novels and innumerable short story collections, as well as poetry, memoirsof her archaeological experiences in Iraq, children’s stories and plays.Royalties are about $4 million per year.


Christie also wrote six successful romantic novels under the name ‘Mary Westmacott’ silencing those critics who complained that she only wrote ‘glorified crosswords’.One of them, ‘Unfinished Portrait’ (1934), was a deeply personal story about a female novelist who attempted suicide after her marriage falls apart. It has been seen by many as a thinly-disguised retelling her own real-life break-up and subsequent ‘disappearance’. Another ‘Absent in the Spring’ (1944), has an interesting history of having been written in only three days.

The ‘Mary Westmacott’ pseudonym remained a secret for almost 20 years and was discovered by a journalist from the Sunday Times in London in 1949. He was Nan Kon, also a close friend of Agatha Christie, questioned her after finishing “Giant's Bread”, a romantic novel by the then unknown author Mary Westmacott. 'I read a book I liked very much the other day; now let me see - what was it? Dwarf's Blood - that's it - Dwarf's Blood!' From a phrase about children and a poem in the book, she deduced, correctly, that Agatha had written the novel.

Other clues to the author's personality and experiences are contained in Giant's Bread. Like Agatha, the hero, a talented composer, loses his memory, in his case while fighting in the trenches of the First World War. A constant theme of the book is the struggle within him between the desire for the freedom to compose and the ties of love.

‘Giant's Bread”A Romantic Novel with herpseudonym ‘Mary Westmacott’
Reverse side of the Booklet pane, GB 1991


She is the only crime novelist to achieve equal and international fame as a dramatist too and her “The Mousetrap” is most famous and longest running stage play opened at the “Ambassadors Theatre” with Richard Attenborough in the original cast, then switched to the “St Martin’s Theatre” next door in 1974, and still there today with more than 26,000 performances already staged creating a great piece of theatrical history. Christie’s name has appeared every day for the last 63 years in every newspaper with a West End theatre listing.

It will be interesting to know that Queen Mary was the inspiration for this world's longest running play. She was asked by the BBC how her eightieth birthday might best be celebrated on radio. The Queen, an avid fan of Agatha's, requested that something by Miss Christie should be broadcast. Agatha was attracted by the idea and wrote   the little radio sketch called ‘Three Blind Mice’ and Queen Mary was pleased with it. The world was also pleased with it after the radio play, broadcasted on 26 May 1947, was adapted into the stage version.

The eventual rodent-themed title is an allusion to the name of the play-within-the-play in Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

"The Mousetrap"
Reverse side of the Booklet pane, GB 1991

"The Mousetrap" has three different entries in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is the longest-running theatrical show in the world. It boasts the world's most durable actor — David Raven played the role of Major Metcalfe for 4,575 performances and Nancy Seabrook being the world's longest-serving understudy for 6,240 performances over 15 yearssitting patiently out in the wings doing embroidery and crochet.

“St Martin’s Theatre”

The eventual rodent-themed title is an allusion to the name of the play-within-the-play in Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

"The Mousetrap" ranks alongside Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace as one of Britain's must-see tourist attractions

Commemorative Booklet, GB 1991

One more feather added in her cap as only female dramatist ever to have had three plays running simultaneously in London’s West End  in 1954,‘The Mousetrap’, ‘Witness For the Prosecution’ and ‘Spider’s Web’. On the day she died the West End theatres dimmed their lights for one hour.


At the height of her popularity, Christie saw herself as a "sausage machine."
She was producing two books per year for many earsincluding one that was always released right before the holiday season and marketed as “Christie for Christmas.”  The exhausting schedule led her to declare, "I'm a sausage machine, a perfect sausage machine."

She was producing two books per year for many years

Christie  liked to dream up murder plot ideas while soaking in her large Victorian bath, munching on apples and drinking tea but given up the practice when she became dissatisfied with the modern baths available to her saying they are "too slippery, with no nice wooden ledge to rest pencils and paper on”.
Her books were so realistic that during WWII, MI5 launched an investigation. In her novel N or M, a character named Major Bletchley claims he knows critical British wartime secrets. It just so happened that Christie’s good friend Dilly Knox was a well-known code breaker at Bletchley Park, so insiders at MI5 wondered if the wartime secrets known by the fictional character were actually real details that Knox had spilled. Knox denied that he had told Christie anything, but MI5 wasn’t convinced. If the author didn’t know anything, why had she given that specific character a name based on that location? Knox agreed to ask her, and it seems MI5 was satisfied by her answer: “Bletchley? My dear, I was stuck there on my way by train from Oxford to London and took revenge by giving the name to one of my least lovable characters."
There is also a history of criminals copying crimes from Agatha's books (whether the criminals knew or not). There was a murder very similar to “Murder on the Orient Express” committed in West Germany in 1981. Two murders (one a series of murders) and an attempted murder copied the manner of murder in the Christie novel “The Pale Horse”. Life imitated Christie's art again in North Carolina in 1979, when a gruesome murder was discovered, similar to the one in the Miss Marple story “Sleeping Murder”.

“Murder on the Orient Express”, Guinea 2001

“Murder on the Orient Express”, Sierra Leone 2001
……..Contd. Pt II

-      Dr Satyendra Kumar Agrawal : email :

The Inverted Jenny

-Col J Dutta & Dr Anjali Duta

Glenn H Curtiss, a young American engineer, began his aircraft building carrier in 1907 when he joined Alexander Graham Bell’s aircraft team in Nova Scotia.  In 1909 he joined forces with AM Herring and established his own company.  Curtiss’s plane served America well during World War I and was known by its nickname ‘Jenny’, derived from the JN prefix in its construction number. The JN-4 taught thousands of Allied pilots to fly during World War I and can be seen today at the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum in Washington.  After the war, a peacetime role was found for these biplanes when the US Post Office began air mail routes.  To prepay the airmail postage rates, the USPO issued a set of 3 stamps all depicting the Curtiss Jenny. The 6c and 16c stamps were for short haul flights and were printed in orange and green respectively.  The 24c stamp prepaid letters on the New York to Washington route via Philadelphia.

The Curtiss Jenny biplane and the 24c stamp

The stamp was printed in two colours, the centre in blue and the frame in carmine. The stamps were printed in intaglio at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington. The 24c being in two colours meant that each sheet had to be passed by hand through a press twice. One sheet of 100 stamps was inadvertently passed upside down through the press the second time, with the result that the aeroplane appeared to be looping the loop, i.e. making the plane inverted in relation to the frame. The stamps were put on sale on May 14, 1918.  On that day William T Robey, a stockbroker’s clerk in Washington, went to his neighbourhood post office to purchase a sheet of hundred 24c stamps. The counter clerk only had a part sheet but promised to procure a complete sheet from stock if Robey would call back later. Robey promised to return during his lunch break. Just after midday he called at the post office again and the counter clerk produced a sheet from his stock book.

The sheet which the clerk handed over had the frames upside down! The USPO had done it again! They seldom made bicoloured stamps but every time they did they came up with inverted centres.  It happened in 1869 with the high value of the definitive series and again with the 1901 stamps publicizing the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo.  Robey noticed the error in the Post Office itself and was elated.  He proudly showed off his treasure.  A day or two later he offered the sheet to a local stamp dealer who offered $500. Robey turned it down.  Two postal inspectors visited Robey’s home and appealed to Robey's patriotism to hand over the erroneous stamps, but he refused. By now the newspapers had got hold of the story.  No other sheet with the inverted Jenny turned up.  The wealthy collector Percy Mann offered $10,000 but the offer was rejected. He was convinced the stamps would fetch the best price if he tried the big dealers on Nassau Street in New York. In the ‘Big Apple’ dwelt Colonel EHR 'Harry' Green whose wealth enabled him to build up one of the finest stamp collections ever formed. Robey decided to approach the legendary philatelist but was chagrined to learn that Green was not there in New York. Failing that, he tried two of the leading dealers but neither could top the previous offer.  Back in Washington, Percy Mann offered to introduce Robey to Eugene Klein, a wealthy Philadelphian businessman.  Thus it was that Robey eventually parted with the sheet for $15,000, the money being put up by a consortium consisting of Klein, Mann and Major Joseph Steinmetz, President of the American Aero Club.

At the earliest opportunity Klein took the sheet to Col Harry Green who was very happy to pay $20,000.  Klein pointed out that if Green broke up the sheet he would make a handsome profit and enhance the value of the stamps he retained for himself.  Col Green broke up the sheet and retained the unique block of eight which had the plate number in the margin. He then handed over the remaining 92 stamps to Klein to sell.


The Inverted Jenny plate block of four, note the blue plate number 8493 is inverted as well.
Originally owned by Col Harry Green as a block of 8, as of June 2015,
 it is owned by shoe designer and collector Stuart Weitzman.

e  Before selling the remaining stamps, Klein numbered each stamp in sequence on the back, so that ever afterwards, when any of the inverts came on the market, its exact position on the sheet would be recognised. The members of the syndicate each purchased some stamps at $250. Steinmetz took a pair, but about 1930 he split it and sold one stamp, with which he bought his wife a $1,500 grand piano, ever afterwards dubbed 'The Proceeds of One Little Stamp.'  The 4 marginal stamps fetched $250 each while the other singles fetched $175 each.  By 1930 the prices started to soar.  A decade later, in 1940 the going rate for an inverted Jenny was $4,000.  Five years later, when the vast collection of the late Harry Green came up at auction, his block was broken up into a plate block of 4, and 4 single stamps. One of these was purchased, for about $5,000, by the dealer Philip Ward on behalf of an anonymous private client. This stamp, number 26 in the sheet, was more desirable as it had a vertical guideline down the left hand side, indicating the centre of the sheet. It passed eventually to a descendant who in 1993 submitted it to the American Philatelic Foundation for a certificate. Three years later it fetched over $150,000 at a Shreves Philatelic Galleries auction in New York. 

Today only 4 or 5 blocks of 4 are believed to exist. In 1995 an ordinary single fetched $110,000 at an auction in New York. A single stamp was sold in New Zealand on
March 22, 2004, at the JR Mowbray auction for NZ$112,000($72,800). It was bought by an American lawyer. The Shreves Philatelic Galleries auction in New York in July 2005 sold the William L Lewis collection which had an inverted Jenny. The stamp was sold for $577,500.

Benjamin K. Miller, whose inverted Jenny stamp was stolen in 1977

Miller's inverted Jenny, position 18 on the sheet, was stolen in 1977 but was recovered in the early 1980s though, unfortunately, the top perforations had been cut off to prevent it from being recognized as the stolen Miller stamp.

In 1998 an adventure yarn about a cover franked by a pair of inverted Jenny called “Flying Upside Down” by Malcolm Rose was published.  In reality however, no inverted Jenny was ever recorded used, far less intact on a flown cover.

Certainly the most fascinating example to come to light is the Inverted Jenny “Locket Copy” which was given by eccentric millionaire Colonel Green to his wife, Mabel, in a gold locket behind glass.  It had never been offered to the public until Robert A Siegel Inc auctioned it in New York in May 2002 by order of the Bank of New York.  Both lower corners were damaged when the jeweller roughly squeezed this poorly centered stamp into the locket.

The McCoy stamps have a fascinating story. A block of 4 of the Inverted Jennys wound up in the collection of a wealthy New York woman, Ethel McCoy, who paid $16,000 for the quartet. In September 1955, she put them on display at a show in Norfolk, Virginia, where they were stolen despite tight security.  The thief cut a cord binding two of the exhibit frames and slid back the covering sheet of glass several inches, author George Amick wrote in his 1986 book. Diego Rodriguez of the FBI's New York office said it was a mystery from the start as there were no witnesses, no suspects and very little evidence to pursue.  One of the four stamps, No. 75, resurfaced in Chicago in 1977 and was seized by the FBI; McCoy donated it to the American Philatelic Research Library. 

Inverted Jenny No. 76

Although the Jenny has been turned over to the rightful owner, O'Neill got a check for $50,00 from the Mystic Stamp Company, which offered the reward several years ago in hopes of cracking the ice-cold case. No. 76 is worth between $150,000 and $200,000, according to English. Its discovery has thrilled the stamp-collecting world. But key questions about remain unanswered, including who stole the McCoy block in 1955, where the fourth purloined stamp (no. 66) is now, and who had No. 76 before O'Neill's grandfather. This mystery still remains to be solved.

As this is such a prized stamp there have been several attempts at forgery. In November 2006, election workers in Broward County, Florida, claimed to have found an Inverted Jenny affixed to an absentee ballot envelope. The sender did not include any identification with the ballot, which automatically disqualified the ballot.  Peter Mastrangelo, executive director of the American Philatelic Society, observed that the stamp was at variance with known copies, due in part to its perforations, although the colours had been reproduced accurately. Further investigations, published in the following month, confirmed that the stamp was a forgery.

All the known “Inverted Jenny’s” are logged with photos and their history, in a most useful and widely available book by George Amick, which makes interesting reading.

1. Col J Dutta, Dr Anjali Dutta, Jayoti Dutta & Ananya Dutta, The Rare Stamps of the World, The Army Philatelic Society, 2006
2. James Mackay: Upside Down Classic, Stamp Magazine, June 2000.
3. Michael Kemp: Flood Light, Stamp Magazine, September 2000.
4. Dr Anjali Dutta, The Story of the Inverted Jenny, Deccan Philatelist Vol 2, No.4, 2003.

-       Col Jayanta Dutta & Dr Anjali Dutta - email :

Natural Disaster

A Philatelic Overview



Disaster in its simplest meaning is an event that results in great harm, damage, or death, or serious difficulty. Elaborating it further, it is a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society involving widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses and impacts, which exceeds the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources. The word disaster is derived from Middle French désastre and that from Old Italian disastro, which in turn comes from the Ancient Greek  (dus-) "bad" and (aster), "star". The root of the word disaster ("bad star" in Greek) comes from an astrological sense of a calamity blamed on the position of planets. So far we are accustomed with two types of disasters; natural and human instigated. Of late, we are becoming more conscious about the third type of disaster. It is now known as Environmental Disaster.

Natural Disaster

By definition, a natural disaster is any catastrophic event that is caused by nature or the natural processes of the earth. They are often extreme, sudden events that are usually caused by abrupt climatic changes and certain environmental factors. Earthquakes, windstorms, floods, and disease all strike anywhere on earth, often without warning and can cause property damage, economic damage or loss of life to sizable extent. The severity of a disaster is measured in lives lost, economic loss, and the ability of the population to rebuild. Events that occur in unpopulated areas are not considered disasters. So a flood on an uninhabited island would not count as a disaster, but a flood in a populated area is called a natural disaster. Man has spent years trying to find ways to predict weather patterns, but it seems that there's still a long way to go because windstorms, earthquakes, floods, diseases, and other types of natural disasters are still striking the earth with death tolls in the millions.

Human-instigated Disaster

Human-instigated disasters are the consequence of technological hazards. Examples include stampedes, fires, transport accidents, industrial accidents, oil spills and nuclear explosions/radiation. These also include mistakes and engineering failures. War and deliberate attacks may also be put in this category. Man-made disasters are examples of specific cases where man-made hazards have become reality in an event.

Environmental Disaster
An environmental disaster is a disaster to the natural environment due to human activity, which distinguishes it from the concept of a natural disaster. It is also distinct from intentional acts of war such as nuclear bombings. In this case, the impact of humans' alteration of the ecosystem has led to widespread and/or long-lasting consequences. It can include the deaths of animals (including humans) and plants, or severe disruption of human life, possibly requiring migration. Environmental disasters can have an effect on agriculture, biodiversity, the economy and human health. The causes include pollution, depletion of natural resources, industrial activity or agriculture.

In the present write up only natural disasters are covered and illustrated through the medium of philately.

Natural Disasters

Nature has its own course of action which works slowly but continuously. When a natural phenomenon aggravates, it may cause havoc. Nature under its fury can make a catastrophic damage to life and property. It has been observed that the natural disasters that really affect people worldwide tend to become more intense as the years go on. Frequency of earthquakes, mega storms, and heat waves has gone up considerably in the last few decades. Heavy population in areas that get hit by floods, cyclones, and hurricanes has meant that more lives are lost. In some areas, the population has gotten somewhat prepared for the eventuality of disasters and shelters are built for hurricanes and tornadoes. However, loss of property is still a problem, and predicting many natural disasters isn’t easy. Scientists, geologists, and storm watchers work hard to predict major disasters and avert as much damage as possible. With all the technology available, it’s become easier to predict major storms, blizzards, cyclones, and other weather related natural disasters. But there are still natural disasters that come up rather unexpectedly, such as earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, or even volcanic eruptions. Sometimes, a time of warning is there, but it’s often very short with catastrophic results. Areas that are not used to disasters affected by flash floods or sudden hail storms can be affected in an extreme way.
In 2012, there were 905 natural disasters worldwide, 93% of which were weather-related disasters. Overall costs were US$170 billion and insured losses $70 billion. 2012 was a moderate year. 45% were meteorological (storms), 36% were hydrological (floods), 12% were climatological (heat waves, cold waves, droughts, wildfires) and 7% were geophysical events (earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). Between 1980 and 2011 geophysical events accounted for 14% of all natural catastrophes.
Natural disasters are classified in to following six main categories. In each category, there is further sub classification.

(1) Geological Disasters (Avalanches and mudslides, Earthquakes, Sinkholes and Volcanic eruptions).
(2) Hydrological Disasters (Floods, Limnic eruptions and Tsunami).
(3) Meteorological Disasters (Blizzards, Cyclonic storms, Droughts, Thunder storms, Hailstorms, Heat waves    and Tornadoes).
(4) Wildfires
(5) Health Disasters (Epidemics) and
(6) Space Disasters (Impact events and airburst and Solar flare)      
Geological Disasters
Avalanches and mudslides
An avalanche is a geophysical hazard caused by a large amount of snow sliding down a mountainside. It is a common sight in some mountains in winter. When an avalanche moves towards ground level, it gains mass by amassing snow from the snowpack and is usually at its highest speed when it gets nearer to the bottom of the slope. An avalanche occurs when the snow packed down on the surface fails to carry its weight. Rapid wind speed, major temperature changes, and manmade influences are other common factors causing avalanches (Ill.01). 

 Ill. 01Avalanche in Austria

Earthquakes are one of those types of natural disasters that strike without an early warning. An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. At the Earth's surface, earthquakes manifest themselves by vibration, shaking and sometimes displacement of the ground. Earthquakes are caused by slippage within geological faults. The underground point of origin of the earthquake is called the focus. The point directly above the focus on the surface is called the epicenter. The severity of damages depends upon the intensity and magnitude of an earthquake. High magnitude earthquake can make a catastrophe.  Earthquake imparts horizontal and vertical movements in the entire manmade structures which results in longitudinal and traverse cracks. Earthquakes by themselves rarely kill people or wildlife. It is usually the secondary events that they trigger, such as building or bridge collapse, fires, tsunamis (seismic sea waves) and volcanoes, which are actually the human disaster. Many of these could possibly be avoided by better construction, safety systems, early warning and planning.

A symbolic bridge appeared on Yugoslavia stamp when a stamp was released on the occasion of Skopje Earthquake Anniversary during which many bridges were destroyed (Ill. 02).

Ill. 02 (a) and (b) Skopje Earthquake Anniversary             (c) 1972 Afghanistan Earthquake

Ill. 03 (a) and (b) Destruction in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Earthquake in October 2005

During the month of October 2005, a powerful earthquake rocked the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan killing large number of people and destroying properties worth millions of rupees. Pakistan Post issued special stamp sheetlets urging to help earthquake victims portraying destruction caused by this earthquake including bridges (Ill. 03).
When natural erosion or human mining makes the ground too weak to support the structures built on it, the ground can collapse and produce a sinkhole. For example, the 2010 Guatemala City sinkhole which killed fifteen people was caused when heavy rain from Tropical Storm Agatha, diverted by leaking pipes into a pumice bedrock, led to the sudden collapse of the ground beneath a factory building (No philatelic illustration).
Volcanic eruptions

A volcano is formed when magma from the earth's upper mantle moves to the surface. It takes the form of a pool filled with molten rock. A volcano erupts when pressure builds. Volcanoes can cause widespread destruction and consequent disaster in several ways. The effects include the volcanic eruption itself that may cause harm following the explosion of the volcano or the fall of rock. Second, lava may be produced during the eruption of a volcano. As it leaves the volcano, the lava destroys many buildings, plants and animals due to its extreme heat (Ill. 04 and 05). Third, volcanic ash generally meaning the cooled ash - may form a cloud, and settle thickly in nearby locations. When mixed with water this forms a concrete-like material. In sufficient quantity ash may cause roofs to collapse under its weight but even small quantities will harm humans if inhaled. Since the ash has the consistency of ground glass it causes abrasion damage to moving parts such as engines. The main killer of humans in the immediate surroundings of a volcanic eruption is the pyroclastic flows, which consist of a cloud of hot volcanic ash which builds up in the air above the volcano and rushes down the slopes when the eruption no longer supports the lifting of the gases. It is believed that Pompeii was destroyed by a pyroclastic flow. A lahar is a volcanic mudflow or landslide (Ill. 06 photo illustration only). The 1953 Tangiwai disaster was caused by a lahar, as was the 1985 Armero tragedy in which the town of Armero was buried and an estimated 23,000 people were killed. An erupting volcano can often trigger flash floods, tsunamis, mudflows, earthquakes, and rock falls. Indonesia witnessed the deadliest volcanic eruption in 1815 when Mount Tambora erupted and killed over 92,000 people.
A specific type of volcano is the supervolcano. According to the Toba catastrophe theory, 75,000 to 80,000 years ago a supervolcanic event at Lake Toba reduced the human population to 10,000 or even 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution. It also killed three-quarters of all plant life in the northern hemisphere. The main danger from a supervolcano is the immense cloud of ash, which has a disastrous global effect on climate and temperature for many years.

Ill. 04 Flow of molten lava

Ill. 05 Eruption of volcano

Ill. 06 Mud volcano in Baratang Island of Middle Andaman
Hydrological disasters
It is a violent, sudden and destructive change either in quality of earth's water or in distribution or movement of water on land below the surface or in atmosphere.
When an expanse of water overflows, it submerges land and destroys everything that gets in its way. This is a flood. Floods are usually caused when the volume of water within a lake, river, or other body of water exceeds the total capacity of the body. Sometimes, the water level rises and causes it to overflow its channel that 'submerges' land used by man like a village, city or other inhabited area, roads, expanses of farmland, etc (Ill. 07 and 08). The European Union (EU) Floods Directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land which is usually not covered by water. In the sense of 'flowing water', the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tides The world has seen numerous floods throughout history, but the Yangtze River floods were the most disastrous ever recorded. They were caused by torrential rains and killed more than 3.7 million people in southern China.

Ill. 07 1997 Flood disaster in Frankfurt in Germany      Ill. 08 Washed spans of a bridge
Limnic eruptions
limnic eruption occurs when a gas, usually CO2, suddenly erupts from deep lake water, posing the threat of suffocating wildlife, livestock and humans. Such an eruption may also cause tsunamis in the lake as the rising gas displaces water. Scientists believe landslidesvolcanic activity, or explosions can trigger such an eruption. To date, only two limnic eruptions have been observed and recorded. In 1984, in Cameroon, a limnic eruption in Lake Monoun caused the deaths of 37 nearby residents, and at nearby Lake Nyos in 1986 a much larger eruption killed between 1,700 and 1,800 people by asphyxiation (no philatelic illustration).
A tsunami also known as a seismic sea wave or as a tidal wave, is a series of waves in a water body caused by the displacement of a large volume of water. Tsunami is caused by a powerful earthquake, underwater explosions, landslides, or volcanic eruptions under the ocean floor. A tsunami is one of the deadliest types of natural disasters and can affect millions of people. Tsunami waves get bigger as they approach the coast and cause tremendous damage. Tsunamis can be caused by undersea earthquakes such as the2004 Boxing Day tsunami, or by landslides such as the one in 1958 at Lituya Bay, Alaska, or by volcanic eruptions such as the ancient eruption of Santorini. On March 11, 2011, a tsunami occurred near Fukushima, Japan and spread through the Pacific. The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami is the deadliest of all time causing about 280,000 deaths (Ill. 09 (a) and (b)).

09 (a) Destruction by Tsunami – 2004 Sri Lanka MS

09 (b) Bridge piers and spans swept away by Tsunami waves.
Meteorological disasters
Blizzards are severe winter storms characterized by heavy snow and strong winds. When high winds stir up snow that has already fallen, it is known as a ground blizzard. Blizzards can impact local economic activities, especially in regions where snowfall is rare. The Great Blizzard of 1888 affected the United States, when many tons of wheat crops were destroyed, and in Asia, 2008 Afghanistan blizzard and the 1972 Iran blizzard were also significant events.

Cyclonic storms
Cyclonetropical cyclone (Ill. 10)hurricane, and typhoon are different names for the same phenomenon, which is a cyclonic storm system that forms over the oceans. The determining factor on which term is used is based on where they originate. In the Atlantic and Northeast Pacific, the term "hurricane" is used; in the Northwest Pacific it is referred to as a "typhoon" and "cyclones" occur in the South Pacific and Indian Ocean. The deadliest hurricane ever was the 1970 Bhola cyclone; the deadliest Atlantic hurricane was the Great Hurricane of 1780 which devastated Martinique, St. Eustatius and Barbados. Another notable hurricane is Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005.

Ill. 10 Tropical Cyclone ((a) and (c) on radar and (b) on synoptic chart)

Cyclones, tropical storms, typhoons, and hurricanes describe the same disaster type. Basically, these types of natural disasters refer to a closed circulation system in the atmosphere that consists of strong winds and low pressure. The winds rotate clockwise in the southern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the northern hemisphere. A tropical cyclone is usually characterized by a low-pressure center with strong winds and spiral rain bands. Bhola cyclone that hit Bangladesh in 1970 is considered the deadliest since it caused the deaths of over 500,000 lives.

tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of acumulus cloud. It is also referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider sense, to refer to any closed low pressure circulation. 

Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (177 km/h), are approximately 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 mph (480 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (perhaps more than 100 km) (Ill. 11).     

Drought is the unusual dryness of soil, resulting in crop failure and shortage of water and for other uses which is caused by significant low rainfall than average over a prolonged period. Hot dry winds, shortage of water, high temperatures and consequent evaporation of moisture from the ground can contribute to conditions of drought.  When the situation persists over an extended period, it changes the ecosystem and destroys the agriculture of the region. 

Ill. 12 Draught in Australia

Well-known historical droughts include the 1997–2009 Millennium Drought in Australia led to a water supply crisis across much of the country (Ill. 12). As a result, many desalination plants were built for the first time. In 2011, the State of Texas lived under a drought emergency declaration for the entire calendar year and severe economic losses. The drought caused the Bastrop fires. The Horn of Africa witnessed the worst drought in 60 years in 2011, leaving more than 12.4 million people with limited to no food supply. Due to its impact, a draught has to be included in the list of natural disasters (Ill. 13).

             Ill. 13 Draught in Africa

Thunder storms
Severe storms, dust clouds and volcanic eruptions can generate lightning. Apart from the damage typically associated with storms, such as winds, hail and flooding, the lightning itself can damage buildings, ignite fires and kill by direct contact (Ill. 14). Especially deadly lightning incidents include a 2007 strike in Ushari Dara, a remote mountain village in northwestern Pakistan, that killed 30 people, the crash of LANSA Flight 508 which killed 91, and a fuel explosion in Dronka, Egypt caused by lightning in 1994 which killed 469. Most lightning deaths occur in the poor countries of America and Asia, where lightning is common and adobe mud brick housing provides little protection.

          Ill. 14 Thunder storm with lightning
Hailstorms are falls of rain drops that arrive as ice, rather than melting before they hit the ground. A particularly damaging hailstorm hit Munich, Germany, on July 12, 1984, causing about 2 billion dollars in insurance claims (Ill. 15).

Ill. 15 Hailstorm in Italy
Heat waves
A heat wave is a period of unusually and excessively hot weather. The worst heat wave in recent history was the European Heat Wave of 2003. A summer heat wave in Victoria, Australia, created conditions which fuelled the massive bushfires in 2009. Melbourne experienced three days in a row of temperatures exceeding 40 °C (104 °F) with some regional areas sweltering through much higher temperatures. The bushfires, collectively known as "Black Saturday", were partly the act of arsonists. The 2010 Northern Hemisphere summer resulted in severe heat waves, which killed over 2,000 people. It resulted in hundreds of wildfires which causing widespread air pollution, and burned thousands of square miles of forest (Ill. 16).
Ill. 16 Wildfires

Extreme Temperatures
Extreme temperatures caused by a heat wave or cold wave are one of many climatological hazards. A heat wave increases the temperature in a certain region and pushes the human body beyond its limit. The same is the case with a cold wave that is accompanied with heavy snowfall and extreme cold, which may lead to hypothermia. The deadliest heat wave of all time struck Europe in 2003 and led to 70,000 casualties (no philatelic illustration).
Wildfires are large fires which often start in wild land areas. Common causes include lightning and drought but wildfires may also be started by human negligence or arson. They can spread to populated areas and can thus be a threat to humans and property, as well as wildlife. Notable cases of wildfires were the 1871 Peshtigo Fire in the United States, which killed at least 1700 people, and the 2009 Victorian bushfires in Australia. In the United States, over 90% of wildfires are caused when people leave campfires unattended, discard cigarettes carelessly, etc., but long-lasting lightning bolts can also start a fire in wild lands. The Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin is the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history with estimated deaths of over 2,500 people (Ill. 17).
Ill. 17 Forest fire

Health disasters
An epidemic is an outbreak of a contractible disease that spreads through a human population. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread globally. There have been many epidemics throughout history, such as the Black Death. In the last hundred years, significant pandemics include the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic (killing an estimated 50 million people worldwide), the 1957–58 Asian flu pandemic (Ill. 18), and the AIDS pandemic, which began in 1959. The 1968–69 Hong Kong water flu pandemic, the 2002-3 SARS pandemic (Ill. 19), and the H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Pandemic in 2009–2010 (Ill. 20) were also significant cases.

Ill. 18 Pandemic in Afghanistan            Ill. 19 SARS in China

Ill. 20 H1N1 Flu in India
Impact events and airburst
Asteroids that impact the Earth have led to several major extinction events, including one that created the Chicxulub crater 64.9 million years ago and associated with the demise of the dinosaurs. Scientists estimate that the likelihood of death for a living human from a global impact event is comparable to death from airliner crash. 
No human death has been definitively attributed to an impact event, but the 1490 Ch'ing-yang event in which over 10,000 people may have died has been linked to ameteor shower. Even asteroids and comets that burn up in the atmosphere can cause significant destruction on the ground due to the air burst explosion – notable air bursts include the Tunguska event in June 1908, which devastated large areas of Siberian countryside (Ill. 21), and the Chelyabinsk meteor on 15 February 2013 (Ill. 22), which caused widespread property damage in the city of Chelyabinsk and injured 1,491. 

Ill. 21 Tunguska event                                      Ill. 22 Chelyabinsk meteor

Solar flare
A solar flare is a phenomenon where the sun suddenly releases a great amount of solar radiation, much more than normal. Solar flares are unlikely to cause any direct injury, but can destroy electrical equipment. The potential of solar storms to cause disaster was seen during the 1859 Carrington event, which disrupted the telegraph network, and the March 1989 geomagnetic storm which blacked out Quebec. Some major known solar flares include the X20 event on August 16, 1989, and a similar flare on April 2, 2001. The most powerful flare ever recorded occurred on November 4, 2003 (estimated at between X40 and X45) (Ill. 23).

Ill. 23 Solar flare

However, despite the many natural disasters the world over, mankind has shown amazing resilience. When an area or country is badly affected by a natural disaster, the reaction is always one of solidarity and aid is quick to come. There are organizations set up with the primary goal of being prepared for natural disasters. These groups work on global and local scale rescue work. Aside from those who have chosen to make disaster relief their life-work, when disasters hit, it’s the individuals who step in who help to make a difference. People will step in and donate items, time, and skills in order to help those affected by a natural disaster. Celebrities will often do what they can to raise money through concerts, phone marathons, and visiting affected areas with aid. People have also shown that they can rebuild, lives can be remade or start over. Trauma is a big after effect of natural disasters and getting counseling has been the focus of aid—to heal emotionally as well as physically. It’s clear that natural disasters are a part of life as we know it. However, science is making it more possible to predict, aid is faster at coming, and people are learning how to rebuild in safer areas.


Patel I. A. – Bridge Disasters, Chapter – 18, unpublished manuscript, May 2016.


This philatelic article is prepared using the information available at following web links;

New issues from other Countries


11 November 2016 : Tattoo – The Art of skin

A souvenir sheet of five stamps issued  on Nov. 11, 2016, displays the work of Brazilian tattoo artists.
According to a report in the Brazilian newspaper Jornal Agora, the idea for stamps featuring tattoos came from Ademar Goncalves Rios, who participated in a post office program that asked for suggestions for stamp subjects.
In announcing this issue, called Tattoo  Art of Skin, Brazil’s Correios said: “Tattoos have long ceased being mere designs or marks on the human body. Nowadays, they are art on skin and, regardless of fashion, are a way to customize on the human skin, through the universal language of art, what one believes as being his/her essence, feelings, beliefs, ideologies, traditions and even to cover up imperfections.”
Pictured in the souvenir sheet’s selvage is the hand of tattoo artist Jerson Filho at work. Another tattoo by Filho is shown on the second stamp from the right in the bottom row. Correios reports that this tattoo design is a stylized image of the archangel Michael.
Also illustrated on the bottom row of stamps are tattoo designs by Paulo Tattoo, Ivy Saruzi, and Luiza Fortes. A tribal-style tattoo by Jun Matsu is shown on the single stamp in the top row. All of the stamps in the sheet are non denominated, paying the basic domestic first-class rate.
Christmas Island

10 January 2017 - Year of the Rooster

Isle of Man

20 October 2016 : Christmas Pantomimes


30 November 2016 : Spanish Cinema - International Film Week of Valladolid

Correos commemorates Spanish cinema with two stamps  honoring two great artists of the seventh art, Amparo Rivelles and Luis Mariano.
Vadophil October 2016
Ananthapuri Stamp Bulletin January 2017
Blogs & Websites

Philatelic Clubs & Societies 

Baroda Philatelic Society -
Chandigarh Philatelic Club
Deccan Philatelic Society – Pune, Maharashtra
Eastern India Philatelists’ Association -   
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Indian Stamp Ghar -
Indian Thematic Society, Ludhiana -
Ludhiana Philatelic Club
Numismatic & Philatelic Association of Vellore Fort
Philatelic Congress of India -
Philatelic Society of Rajasthan, Jaipur
Rajkot Philatelic Society – Rajkot, Gujarat
Gujarat Philatelic Association - Ahmedabad
South India Philatelists Association -
The Army Philatelic Society, Pune


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Stamps Today  Stamp & Coin Magazine edited by Vijay Seth

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Participated in different philatelic exhibitions Wrote for philately column in The Pioneer and worked as sub-editor for U-Phil Times published from United Philatelists, Kanpur.Did Schooling from Kanpur Vidya Mandir and Post Graduation in Botany from A.N.D. College Kanpur.


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