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Lunch & Learn: Waterbury’s John R. Hill: Postmaster and Folk Artist
May 10 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
$5 Members | $10 General
Waterbury’s John R. Hill: Postmaster and Folk Artist
Join Charles Epting, CEO of H.R. Harmer Fine Stamp Auctions and learn the fascinating history of Waterbury Fancy Cancellations.
In the mid-19th Century it became illegal for postmasters to use a postmark with the town’s name and date to obliterate a postage stamp on a letter. Instead the postmark had to be clearly
visible on the envelope, and a separate device would be used to render the stamp invalid. Many post offices began using inked pieces of cork or wood for this purpose, and some postmasters–
either out of artistic expression or mere boredom– would fashion these devices into different designs. One of the most famous and prolific creators of fancy cancellations was John W. Hill of Waterbury, Connecticut, who was responsible for over 250 designs depicting everything from elephants to firemen. The talk will explore this intriguing intersection of postal history and American folk art.