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Monday, 19 September 2011

Cartridge Stamps

In addition to the many postage stamps which concern The Salvation Army, there is a great host of items which have been issued by or on behalf of the SA, and Which are connected in some way with the post. It is hoped that each issue of this Newsletter will bring to readers some of these cinderellas, often very rare, but always of interest. We commence with the Young People's Cartridge Stamps.

Over seventy years ago, the Young People's Work (more often known as "Juniors" or "Sunday School") section of the S.A. issued a series of labels depipting various aspects of the life of General William Booth, the Founder of The Salvation Army, and showing some of the Army's work in many lands. These "stamps" were given to children Who attended each week, and paid a "cartridge" (personal.offering) of at least a halfpenny a week. A small book was supplied to each attender, and a stamp issued each month. The book contained little descriptive material, and included spaces in which to stick stamps. So far as can be established, there were 36 different stamps, each with a descriptive caption, and it is believed that the scheme- started in January 1919. None of these stamps were nuebered, and they bore a very strong resemblance to the Turkish postage pictorials of 1914. All the issues so far seen by the writer are on medium wove paper, a little toned, and without watermark. The perforations vary between 13 and 13. Fifteen different. have been noted; a list is not given here, as members are sure to possess some of these, and a complete list should not be too difficult to compile. Members are requested to report details of those specimens Which they possess, so that the knowledge may be more widely disseminated.

In 1922, a new book.was issued. Books examined bear commencing dates of January 1923 and 1924, but they could have been issued late; it is very likely that not all Corps took up the system at its inception.

Whereas the first book had comparatively plain covers, those of the new book were beautifully coloured, in a design which was much in advance of its time. The covers are of stiff card, edged in pale blue, with a dark blue cloth spine. The design on the front is lithographed in multicolour showing the Army Flag and tasselled ropes, with a vignette showing Jesus and children. The book is entitled "THE SALVATION ARMY" in three lines within a scroll, and "YOUNG PEOPLE'S CARTRIDGE STAMP ALBUM" in three lines on a salver-shaped scroll. At the foot, on a further scroll, is "The Fear of GOD is the beginning of wisdom".

Inside the front cover are details of the issuance of the book; it is described as (No.1), but is the 2nd edition! Perhaps it was intended to continue the series at a later dated. Inside the back cover, in two lines' is "Made and Printed in Great Britain by The Cempfield Press, St. Albans." This is the Army's own printing establishment.

There are 12 pages within, with much detailed descriptive matter, being a history of General Booth and the S.A. to 1913, together with spaces for 36 stamps.

The stamps are numbered, but without captions. The design measurei 23x35mm; 15 designs are horizontal, 21 vertical. The paper.is similar to the previous issue, soft white wove, with cream gum arabic on reverse. Perforations all seem to be 13, but these should be very carefully checked. It has not yet been noted who designed or printed the stamps, nor the size or format of the sheets.

The designs all have black vignettes, except for no.8, which is yellow, red and blue an a pale yellow wash (these are the colours of the Army flag). All are numbered in black, except for no. 8 (red), 15 (colourless with a'black outline), and 30 (colourless on a black background).

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