As a youth, I was hooked on stamp collecting at the age of 7 when my Great Uncle Walter handed me an old stock book containing a mixture of U.S. and foreign stamps. There was probably nothing of great value in that stock book, but it started me on an adventure of discovery that I have continued to this day and hope to continue the rest of my life.

As a beginning collector, I was content with attempting to fill the spaces in my U.S. and world stamp albums, but then one day I encountered an item that greatly expanded my interests. My great uncle died when I was 12 and I was fortunate enough to obtain some of the things from his collection. One of those items was a cover containing a copy of the 3 cent dark blue Byrd Antarctic Expedition issue (Scott 733). This stamp (see Figure 1 below) was issued for use on mail sent through the base post office, for Admiral Richard E. Byrdís second expedition, at the Little America base in Antarctica. Although this stamp could be used on all first class mail, it was only available through the Philatelic Agency in Washington, D.C. and was primarily intended for use on mail to Little America. Those sending mail to Little America were also assessed a 50 cent surcharge for each letter to cover processing fees.


Figure 1.  Byrd Antarctic Issue

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