John Coulthard and Leather Postcards















I knew nothing about John Coulthard (1903-1966) and very little about leather postcards, but with the help of Fred Baumann at the American Philatelic Research Library I learned a lot more. My search for information about Coulthard and postcards began with my purchase of a leather library postcard depicting the library building in Sandusky, Ohio (shown above). I collect picture postcards of libraries.  This one stood out not because of the library on the picture side of the postcard, but because of the message on the address side. It was addressed to John Coulthard % of the Western Stamp Collector in Albany, Oregon. The postcard was mailed by Bertha Seiche of Sandusky, OH in December 1937 and the message read: “Dear Sir: Saw your article on ‘Bright Ideas in Post Cards’ in W.S.C. and I bought this one only last week in a local book shop. Will pass it on to you. I can get more at the same place.” I was intrigued by the message and wanted to find out about Mr. Coulthard’s “Bright Ideas in Postcards”. In a search of APRL’s online Philatelic Union Catalog, I determined that the APRL has a complete run of the Western Stamp Collector on microfilm, and I contacted APRL to get a copy of the article mentioned on the leather postcard. Unfortunately, I could only indicate that the Western Stamp Collector article probably appeared in a 1937 issue of the magazine. Fred Baumann at the APRL was able to find the article after a tedious search of the Western Stamp Collector on microfilm and provided me with a scan of the article. His task would have been a lot easier if the Western Stamp Collector had been indexed. There is a great need to get philatelic periodicals indexed. The APRL is working on this with the help of volunteers but more is needed. Fred also helped me locate information about John Coulthard. I plan to do a larger article about Coulthard and leather postcards for the Philatelic Literature Review. Thanks Fred.