The World Series of Philately

US #1474 was issued in response to collector calls for a “stamp of their own.” Click image to order.

On September 19, 1968, the American Philatelic Society (APS) introduced the World Series of Philately (WSP).

The competition was unveiled at the 82nd Annual APS Convention held in Rochester, New York that ran from September 19-22.  The structure of the competition was developed by Postmaster General Gordon Morison and was an answer to calls made by serious collectors for several years.

Item #UN188-89 – These UN World Weather Watch stamps were issued at the 1968 APS show. Click image to order.

Prior to the WSP, collectors could only see large numbers of award-winning stamp exhibits at international exhibitions.  As a result, most stamp shows didn’t have many exhibits.  The WSP encouraged stamp shows to improve their exhibits by holding a national competition.  Collectors could exhibit their most impressive stamps at national exhibitions.  Each show would declare a winner, and those winners would then compete to be the Champion of Champions at that year’s annual APS Stamp Show. 

US #1474 – First Day Cover Proofcard. Click image to order.

From the time it was announced, the WSP was widely popular.  It gave show organizers a reason to plan even bigger and better shows.  They actively sought high-quality exhibits, promoted their shows on a wider scale, and held their shows on weekends that didn’t compete with other WSP shows.  Their shows also offered interesting seminars and encouraged collectors to participate in the APS. 

US #2198-2201 was issued in 1986 for the 100th anniversary of the APS. Click image to order.

Because many shows and collectors wanted to participate in this prestigious competition, the APS established a set of strict rules to qualify.  You can read them here

To participate in the WSP, exhibitions are required to meet all of the APS’s requirements and be certified by the APS.  They also have to maintain those standards to continue to participate.  The APS limits the number of shows eligible to participate to 35.  Other shows that qualify are placed on a waiting list. 

US #UX110 – Postal Card honoring stamp collecting.  Click image to order.

Winners of the Champion of Champions award are then eligible to participate in international exhibits if they chose.

Click here for more about the WSP, including a list of participating shows.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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  1. 2198-2202 remind me of the stamp day issues of Austria and Germany from the 1940’s and 50’s which depicted young philatelists and their collections.Beautifully engraved.

  2. I am so glad that the stamp collectors loves to collect the stamps (different of kinds stamps). Next month will be the National Stamp Collection month (October).

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