|This is a strange
cover. Its creator, Bob Jones of Sidney, Ohio, was an editor at Linn's Stamp News
in the 1960s who wrote a weekly column on U.S. stamps (today written by
John Hotchner). Jones did only occasional FDCs, and always in small
quantities (fewer than 10).
The cachet is a pasted-on photograph of page 3 of Collier's Weekly
magazine of January 23, 1904. The other stamps on the cover have no
readily apparent link to Churchill. However, a closer examination of
page reveals the following:
My thanks to my friends at The Virtual Stamp
Club who helped me analyze this cover; our discussion can be
- One of the features in the magazine is an
installment of a serial story, "The Borderland," by Winston Churchill.
That story was not written by the future British prime minister,
but rather the American
author of the same name. Could Jones have mistaken the two
men? At first I thought that was likely the case, until it was
pointed out to me that the American Churchill's 1904 novel The Crossing is
about George Rogers Clark. That would mean Jones knew of the
now-forgotten American Churchill and his works, and included the Clark
stamp on this cover for that reason.
- Another article in the issue of Collier's is "The
Automobile in Warfare," and there is an advertisement for the Rambler
touring car in the upper left corner. Those references likely explain
the Wheels of Freedom and American Automobile Association stamps. In
fact, the early automobile on the AAA stamp looks quite similar to the
Rambler in the advertisement.
- General George S. Patton, Jr., pictured in the 1953
stamp placed under the Churchill stamp, has numerous connections to the
British Churchill. The obvious one is World War II--Churchill and
Patton met at least once during the war. In addition, Churchill was an
early proponent of tank development during the First World War, and
Patton's greatest victories were won by his tanks. The tank theme also
dovetails with "The Automobile in Warfare" article, which
perhaps predicted the evolution of the tank.
- The Louisiana Purchase stamp could be included
because Missouri (where the Churchill stamp was issued) was part of
that great land ownership transfer.
- The Wright Brothers' first flight stamp could be
included for a couple of reasons. First, the flight took place December
17, 1903, just over a month before the magazine appeared. Second,
Churchill himself was an early pilot, taking flying lessons before the
onset of World War I.