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> Hobbies

When Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary: Postage Stamps as Windows on the World   

Even those who do not collect stamps find them fascinating. But, few outside the hobby consider how much postage stamps tell us about the world around us, both past and present. This course opens by explaining the origin of stamps and why they exist, then showing what their designs reveal, and, most important, detailing how they reflect history, geography, and culture over the past 180 years. Foreign and civil wars, revolutions, inflation and depression, fascism and communism, colonization and independence, social justice movements – all these and more appear on the stamps of the world’s nations. Postage stamps reveal how countries see themselves and what social causes they endorse. In addition to taking a world history tour in miniature, those asking how to evaluate and find new homes for unwanted stamps will get answers to those questions. In addition to their professional biographies, Mike Homel is an experienced philatelist and dealer, an avocation he enjoys sharing with others, and Chris Hee is a long-time collector of and expert on postage stamps.