CHARLESTON, S.C. – A new book that tells the story of America’s exploration in space through stamps and event envelopes has just won the Gold Medal for Literature at the nation’s largest stamp show and exhibition.
Charleston, S.C., author and expert stamp collector David S. Ball received the top award from The American Philatelic Society (APS) in August for his book, American Astrophilately : The First 50 Years at the APS Stamp Show in Richmond, VA. The book is a landmark volume that presents a comprehensive collection of colorful images of envelopes, stamps and art associated with the U.S. space program. American Astrophilately has equal appeal for space event cover collectors, budding astrophilatelists and those interested in space exploration.
With nearly 44,000+ members in more than 110 countries, the APS is the largest, nonprofit society in the world for stamp collectors. American Astrophilately won out against more than 60 publications in the competition.
By exhibiting envelopes that are postmarked near launch pads, mission control ceners, and on prime recovery ships, the book tells an amazing tale of the new sailing ships in space. American Astrophilately features articles by more than a dozen experts, explaining NASA official marks, tracking ships, prime recovery ships, and why some postmarks are preferred over others. The book shows hundreds of envelopes in full color and, the most critical piece, the postmark. Machine and hand cancels from launch, mid-mission and recovery are shown from the Explorer 1 launch in 1958 through the X-Prize civilian spaceflight in 2004.
The bonus DVD included in the book contains more than 700 pages of useful reference spreadsheets, lists, and charts. Sample award winning exhibits are included as well as guidelines and regulations from the US Postal Service.
Ball has been a stamp collector for 40 years. When he joined the Space Unit in 1987, he became a space event collector of classic U.S. manned and unmanned space covers with a special interest in experimental flight. In 1993, he led an expedition that reexamined the 1967 crash of X-15 #3. The findings were published in Quest Magazine in 1994 and videotaped interviews were included in the Space Craft Films X-15 DVD set released in 2006.
Released in April, American Astrophilately has already shipped to 12 nations.