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What are Pages and Panels
Souvenir Pages have been issued by the US Postal Service since the Yellowstone Park issue of 1972. Each 8 x 10-1/2 inch page is printed on tinted bond paper, often with watermarks, and includes an image of the stamp, data about the issue including designer, first day date, first day city, number of stamps printed and background information on the stamp's subject. The stamp itself is affixed to the page and first day cancelled. Since 1988, Page numbers are printed in the lower right corner. Page numbers are four-digit numbers beginning with the two-digit year followed by a two-digit sequence-of-issue number, e.g 9601, 9602, etc. Pages issued prior to 1988 were not printed with a number, but have since been assigned numbers in The Postal Service Guide to US Stamps by the USPS/ASPPP going back to 1972, the start of the subscription program. Pages have been issued (with only a few exceptions in 2000) for every US stamp.
Souvenir Pages were slightly redesigned and renamed American Commemorative Cancellations in 2002. The image of the stamp has been removed; the page's number has been reduced in size and is located after the USPS copyright text, in parenthesis; the bond paper is not watermarked; full sheets are affixed to the front of the Page with all text information on the reverse, which is also tinted the same color as the front (Souvenir Pages for full sheets were designed with the text information on the tinted front and the sheet affixed to the reverse, which was white).
Stamp Posters, the forerunners to Souvenir Pages, were printed to be displayed on Post Office bulletin boards from 1959 (49-Star Flag) through 1981 (Rachel Carson), and were also made available to collectors. They are the same size as Souvenir Pages, 8 x 10-1/2 inches, but were printed on a lesser quality paper without watermarks. Printed by the Government Printing Office, they were available by subscription in mint condition (uncancelled, with no stamp affixed, folded in thirds). Enterprising collectors and dealers had stamps affixed and first day cancelled; since they often affixed their own stamps, many possibilities exist, such as zip blocks, plate blocks, tab singles, coil line pairs and combinations with other stamps. These items are generally collected with first day cancel, although they are also collected "mint". Stamp Posters were issued for every US postal issue, including stamped envelopes, postal cards and aerogrammes, and are also known (erroneously, in our opinion) as "Unofficials" or "Poster Bulletins".
Commemorative Panels have been issued by the US Postal Service since the Wildlife issue of 1972. Each 8-1/2 x 11-1/4 inch Panel is printed on card stock with engraved vignettes on issues prior to 2002 or with photographs and artwork on issues starting with 2002. Each Panel also includes subject-related text and a mint block of four stamps affixed to the Panel in a mount (although strips of stamps, larger blocks and even full sheets have been provided for certain issues, even requiring two panels in some cases.) Commemorative Panels have been issued for every US commemorative stamp.
Postal Bulletins (Postal Stationery and Joint Issues)
In 1984 ASPPP Founder Bud Scrantom created Page and Panel Philatelics and created two types of pages to fill in the "blanks" in his Souvenir Page collection: Pages for Postal Stationery and Joint Issue Pages. While postal stationery Stamp Posters had been issued from 1959-1981, no stationery Souvenir Pages were ever issued. While foreign stamps were issued together with US stamps, often with an identical design, both stamps were never first day canceled on the same page. For his pages, Bud photocopied the stamp announcement page from the USPS Postal Bulletin, which was provided to every US Post Office, on colored paper and used that as the basis for his Pages, which were therefore called "Postal Bulletins". For postal stationery issues, he had postal cards, stamped (embossed) envelopes, or aerogrammes affixed to the page with corner mounts and first day canceled; he made sure they were "tied" to the page, as collectors preferred. For joint issues, he had both country's stamps affixed and their respective first day cancel applied. Stationery pages were created from April 30, 1984 (Olympics Torch Commemorative Postal Card) to January 3, 1995 (Liberty Bell Stamped Envelope & Red Barn Postal Card.) Joint Issue Pages were created from June 26, 1984 (St. Lawrence Seaway, with Canada) to October 9, 1994 (Cranes, with China). After January 3, 1995 Bud was unable to find any stamp announcements in the USPS Postal Bulletin, and no further Postal Bulletins were created.
50th Anniversary Pages were produced to enable collectors of philatelic pages to expand their collections back before July 4, 1959 (the date of the first Stamp Poster). In 1985 Jim Canon created 50th Anniversary Pages for each stamp issued by the Postal Service in 1935. The first issue was for the 1935 Connecticut Tercentenary stamp; the actual stamp is affixed to the page (along with additional postage to make up the current first class rate) and cancelled at the original first day city, on the same day, exactly fifty years later. These pages have technical and descriptive information about the stamps issued and a photo of a strip of the stamps. The series continued each year until 2009 and was available by subscription, by year, or for sale as individual issues. After Jim Canon's passing, his family continued the series until the July 4,1959 issue was reached, which was Jim's goal. (see Related Links).
Jim Canon has always voiced the opinion that issues such as the 1994 Locomotive Booklet Stamps should be honored with individual Souvenir Pages, one for each stamp. Combining his love of railroading with his ability to design pages, Jim has created individual pages for the 1987 Locomotive Booklet Stamps, the 1994 Locomotive Booklet Stamps, and the 1999 20th Century Trains Stamps.
Robert Ford Porter's Philatelic Pages are designed so that a block of stamps and a first day cover can be displayed in a balanced layout with some of the same elements as a Souvenir Page. These pages, which feature stamp specifications and a commentary on the stamp subject, also have the stamp affixed and canceled on the first day of issue with space for the block and first day cover to be mounted on the page. The Horace Moses stamp was issued on August 6, 1984 in Bloomington, IN, so Porter (living in Indianapolis) did a Philatelic Page to see how it would come out (that became PPP1, and Frank Laubach was PPP2). Porter says he only publishes pages for stamps that "strike his fancy", including designs having to do with pilots and airplanes, the original thirteen colonies, the Constitution, and other patriotic themes. On August 16, 2002, Porter, at age 75, issued his final pages for the two Love stamps, PPP99 and PPP100. All pages were autographed by Robert Ford Porter, and occasionally by other persons having some connection to the subject of the stamp being issued. With the exception of the first page which was 8.5x11 inches, all Porter Philatelic Pages are the same size as Souvenir Pages, 8x10.5 inches. Matching FDCs were available for most PPPs. Upon retirement, Robert donated his stock of Pages to the ASPPP. The ASPPP still has a few of Robert's PPPs for sale; contact email@example.com for details. (see Related Links).