History of International Stamp Exhibitions in the U.S.

Hamilton Bank Note Co. Cinderella Stamp
Hamilton Bank Note Co.
Cinderella Stamp

The first international stamp exhibition to be held in the U.S. took place in New York City in 1913. The Post Office Department hadn’t yet created a division to cater directly to stamp collectors, so there were no U.S. stamps issued to commemorate the event.

However, the Hamilton Bank Note Co. of New York produced a set of four Cinderella stamps to mark the occasion.

A lot had changed by the time of the second U.S. international philatelic exhibition in 1926.  The U.S. Post Office Department was more actively engaged with collectors and so they issued a special 25-stamp sheet with an inscription in the margin to commemorate the show.

U.S. #630 was therefore a dual “first” – the first stamp show commemorative as well as the first U.S. souvenir sheet.

U.S. #630 White Plains
U.S. #630
White Plains

While many collectors are familiar with the White Plains issue, few are aware of the beautifully engraved Cinderellas that were also produced in conjunction with the exhibit.


Printed by the American Bank Note Co. – which also produced a great deal of U.S. currency and postage stamps – these Cinderellas are quite appealing. Both sides of the globe are pictured, along with four modes of transporting the mail – Pony Express, merchant steamship, railroad, and airplane. It’s pretty neat to realize airmail was still relatively new in 1926 and the image of a plane represented the “modern” method of delivery.

Meekel's article
Meekel’s article

Mekeel’s Weekly Stamp News described the 1926 International Exhibition as having been a “success beyond belief” that exceeded “the highest expectations in every respect.”  Its editors predicted it had established “philately in the front rank of recreational studies.”

From the White House, President Calvin Coolidge turned a golden key that was connected to the Grand Central Palace, formally opening the exhibition. Thousands of collectors lined up to view 800 frames, which each held 30 pages.

The total value of the stamps exhibited was estimated at over $10,000,000 and included the famous British Guiana stamp that was then owned by Arthur Hinds. (That’s equal to $451,000,000 in today’s wages!) It was the first time the legendary stamp was displayed in the United States.

Advertisement for the 1926 International Stamp Exhibition
Advertisement for the 1926
International Stamp Exhibition

In addition to the exhibits, there were 50 dealer booths plus official exhibits by the U.S. government plus those of Canada, Sweden and Austria.

Experienced collectors will recognize the names of several exhibitors – the list is a virtual Who’s Who of philately – Arthur Hinds, Carroll Chase, Ernest Ackerman, Henry B. Gibson, John Klemann, Alfred F. Lichtenstein, and Philip H. Ward.

The International Stamp Exhibition has been held in the U.S. once per decade ever since 1913. Since 1926, a commemorative stamp has also been issued to coincide with the event. New York City hosted the next show, which was held in 2016.

2016 World Stamp Show NY2016 Commemorative
2016 World Stamp Show
NY2016 Commemorative

Over 23,000 unique visitors passed through the doors. Around 200 dealers had booths, dozens of postal administrations were represented, 3,800 frames of competitive exhibits were displayed, plus a Court of Honor with priceless stamp rarities, auctions, seminars, First Day ceremonies and much more.

NY2016 was held from May 28rd to June 4th, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. You’ll find more information about the event at its official website.

Enjoy these images of International Stamp Exhibition commemorative stamps!

U.S. #778 1936 TIPEX
U.S. #778
1936 TIPEX

U.S. #948 1947 CIPEX
U.S. #948
1947 CIPEX

U.S. #1075 1956 FIPEX
U.S. #1075
1956 FIPEX

1966 SIPEX
1966 SIPEX

U.S. #1632 1976 INTERPHIL
U.S. #1632

U.S. #2216-19 1986 AMERIPEX
U.S. #2216-19

U.S. #3130-31 1997 PACIFIC '97
U.S. #3130-31
1997 PACIFIC ’97

U.S. #4075 WASHINGTON 2006
U.S. #4075

21 responses to "History of International Stamp Exhibitions in the U.S."

21 thoughts on “History of International Stamp Exhibitions in the U.S.”

      • thank you – very interesting! no i am not a spam ner – never did like spam in the can, & when producer man visited Eisenhower (pres.)in the white house , IKE inquired “did you have to make so much of it?” now @ 75 it is more tooo NaCl (salty) for this big guy with a stent inserted five years ago.& N-O-W, I’m trying to sort out my 2.0k-2.5k New Zealand stamps. those w/ a s.c.v. of more than 4. bucks will definitely be ignored FOR PURCHASING. THANK YOU (ooppss caps) again.

      • Collecting stamps is a great hobby and educational, events worldwide are recorded on them. The artistry that goes into them all makes interest. I am 82 yo
        I collected stamps as a youngster, last year my neighbours mother passed away and I help him clear her house I came across an album with 15 stamps that had been ruined, The interest returned now I spend hours looking and sorting out stamps I don’t know a great deal about stamps but I,m learning.Great hobby but it is getting expensive.

    • I have been collecting as long as I can remember nothing serious. Now I have three granddaughters oldest being 11 I was trying to come up with ways to keep her off phone and computer well what a way together we are learning history.. love stamp collecting

  1. What a great way for a beginner. Stamp collecting can be done in such a variety of ways – only one country, or only one subject such as flowers, costs very little, can become a lifetime hobby.

  2. the first 4 post stamps of 1913 exhibition are not represented here…
    Thank you for information I was looking for it for a long time, now I understand why those stamps have no Scott numbers…

    • Really starting to love this. Lots of fun. In time it’s all for the grandkids until then I’ll in Joy myself. ???

  3. I would like to get my nephew interested in “Stamps “ history and start his collections. Do you have any suggestions on how to begin! I thought this would be a great hobby for him
    Any suggestions will be appreciated

  4. Why not pick a foreign country?? You can collect German stamps, for instance, that date back to the 1800’s for pennies. And the history is plentiful.

    DANZIG…………..I have many duplicates and would send A FEW to get someone started.

  5. I have been collecting stamps since I was in the 4th grade & had a penpal from Wales(1959). I will be 70 yo in Nov. & still clip cancelled stamps, buy single or sets of collectible U.S. stamps & occasionally receive a letter via “snail mail” from one of our many foreign exchange students.
    I now have grandchildren (3yo – 32yo) & 1 great- grandchild that I want to introduce to the world of stamp collecting. As I go through my parents’ boxes, both deceased now, I want to pass on some of the stamps & pre-paid stamped envelopes I have found. I think if I show my collection to them….perhaps it will capture the imagination one or more of them. Either in w/themed stamp sets or foreign stamps. In this day & age, I wonder what the future of stamp collecting will look like.

  6. După 40 de ani aș dori să încep să colecționez timbre și sper să reușesc să cumpăr sunt foarte incantat de acest sait vă mulțumesc din suflet

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