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Articles From Past Issues of Watercraft Philately
Pages From Ships on Stamps Exhibits


Watercraft Philately has been published for 57 years. In that time, there have been many interesting articles about ships and their histories that should be of interest to current collectors. This section of the web site is intended to become an archive of such articles. Stories will be added as time allows so check back at least occasionally.

Included here are also some pages from exhibits that feature ships on stamps. You can get an idea as to how to exhibit your stamps, either at home or at a stamp show.

*****February 2017 update******
Norma Nielson has an updated version of her Gold award-winning Lloyd's of London exhibit which won the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors (AAPE) Creativity Award and the American Philatelic Society Research Medal. You can see the complete exhibit using this link

****New 7 Nov 2013****
There is a tendency to concentrate our attention on ships that have names while there are many more watercraft that do not have names, except perhaps from their owners or operators. Over the period of 1972-1975, Stirling Cameron had a series in Watercraft Philately about the miscellaneous ships and boats that grace our stamps.

World War II has been widely commemorated on stamps. There have been many ships shown on stamps that participated in WWII. The series, Naval Events of World War II,  ran from 1991-1996 while Ships Lost in WWII and Liners That Served as Troop Ships were featured in 1958. As you might expect, many new stamps have been issued since but these will be an excellent start on a checklist or a story on the subject of this great war. (zipped file)

As long as there are wars and natural disasters, there have been hospital ships. These have been either conversion from existing  ships or purpose built. Hospital ships are well-represented on stamps. You may be surprised at which ships have been pressed into service as  floating hospitals. This checklist was published in Watercraft Philately in 2005.

Dhows are another popular ship type found on stamps. This is an introduction to this ship type that may easily lead into a more in-depth study. This was producted in the early days of the Ships on Stamps Unit in 1961.

The many islands of the Pacific Ocean have a long tradition of sea travel that predates European arrival. Many of these craft are shown on the stamps of the island nations. The Canoes of the Pacific Islands is a story written during 1956-1960.

The America's Cup
is a popular topic with collectors of yachts on stamps. These three links will take you to several of these articles. For some reason, these articles load very slowly. Please be patient while they load and we try to speed up the loading process.

America's Cup 1 1851 to 1920 (8 pages)
America's Cup 2 1930 to 1987 (9 pages)
America's Cup 3 2000 to 2003 (4 pages)

Under the menu item 'Ship Topic Pages' on the left you will also find another story featuring the America's Cup.

the world over are maintained by dredges. Without them, modern waterborne commerce would be very different.

Norma Nielson her Lloyd's of London exhibit. The pages shown here are those from the National Topical Stamp show in Clackamas, Oregon (2015), which won the show Reserve Grand Award and also a Gold award. The exhibit, " From Coffee to Commerce: The Story of Lloyds" is shown here in five frames of 16 pages each.


Jim Hanna has had two exhibits on exploration voyages. The first is an older exhibit on exploration in general and is in two parts:

                    Part 1
                    Part 2
The second is an exhibit titled 'Explorers, Navigators, Adventurers and the Exploration of the Pacific'. This won a silver at Melbourne in 2010. There is a total of 90 pages in the entire exhibit of which 23 pages are shown here in four parts to make viewing easier.


This exhibit shows the various aspects of ship stamp collecting. It was developed in order to show stamp show attendees what this facinating hobby is all about.

In looking through older issues of Watercraft Philately, there is no shortage of articles on ship classification, arranging your collection and different ways of collection and showcasing your collection. This is one such article on Types of Sailing Ships from 1959 by an experienced seaman.

All of these articles are in Adobe pdf format and you must have Adobe Reader to read them.













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