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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GARFIELD-PERRY STAMP CLUB

GARFIELD-PERRY STAMP CLUB

The GARFIELD-PERRY STAMP CLUB, one of the first stamp clubs in the U.S., was formed by area collectors on 17 Mar. 1890. Its organization was initiated by Geo. J. Bailey, a stamp collector and agent for the Harkness estate, who invited area collectors to a meeting to form a local branch of the American Philatelic Assn.; they were chartered as Branch No. 7. The club was named to honor JAS. A. GARFIELD and Oliver Hazard Perry, because the portraits of these men that appeared on the $.05 and $.90 stamps had originated in Cleveland: Garfield's was from a photograph by JAS. F. RYDER, and Perry's was copied from his monument. It had 16 charter members by mid-Jan. 1894, and 54 resident and 16 nonresident members by 1917. The club gave up its charter in the American Philatelic Assn. ca. 1900 and became an independent club; in 1914 it took over the 2-year charter of Cleveland Branch No. 30 of the American Philatelic Society. Its exhibitions, as well as the large stamp collections assembled by many of its members, helped the club achieve a national and international reputation for its philatelic work. In honor of the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving & Printing issued a souvenir card on the occasion of the club's Mar. 1986 show. The club amended its bylaws in July 1986 to welcome women, formerly excluded from membership on the grounds that they weren't likely to be serious collectors. Having observed its centennial with a 4-day celebration in March 1990, the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club numbered more than 200 members in the 1990s.