Otto F. Wolke is a longtime APS member who lives about 70 miles from Bellefonte, PA. Earlier this fall, Otto brought a wonderful gift with him on a visit to the American Philatelic Center: a fresh, sound, complete copy of the Catalog of United States Perfins, edited by John C. Randall.
You might be forgiven for thinking that the gift of such a catalog is no big deal in a library with literally miles of shelves, but you’d be wrong. A current catalog is always a sought-after asset, whatever your philatelic specialty. With perfins ― the perforated initials that firms punched through mint stamps to prevent misappropriation and misuse before meters were widely used ― the number of corporations, smaller businesses, banks, utilities and government departments confirmed as perfin-users still steadily grows, year by year.
The catalog includes the fourth edition of The Addendum to the Catalog of United States Perfins, completed in July 2014 ― another 90 pages of valuable information and additions made over the last 17 years. In fact, in the last half-century, the catalog has gone from 413 pages in its 1966 edition to well over 1,000 pages today, adding a great deal of previously unknown detail.
Tipping the scales at 7 pounds, 10 ounces, the loose-leaf catalog can be unwieldy. That’s why Perfins Club Immediate Past President and current Publicity & Public Affairs Director Jerry Hejduk dug deep into his own pocket and purchased the perfect 4¾” D-ring binder to make this formidable reference work easy to open up, lay flat and use. He then contrived to get this big binder transported from his home in Central Florida to Otto, who brought it the rest of the way for you to use and enjoy.
Founded in 1943, the Perfins Club will celebrate its 75th anniversary in several years with a new Diamond Jubilee edition of the Catalog of United States Perfins, according to Hejduk. Until then, the crisp new volume he took pains to have delivered will do a very good job.
The Perfins Club makes it easy for newcomers to start collecting, with an excellent offering of affordable perfins literature catering to all interests, covering regions from Africa to Switzerland. This literature begins with the club’s bimonthly journal, The Perfins Bulletin, one of the many worthwhile perks of membership, which is quite affordable.
Perhaps you’re wondering whether collecting perfins is for you. On a special Q & A page, the Perfins Club has composed an excellent answer. Here is another example from a group that you’ve probably never heard of, which has found an appealing way to match up its love of perfins with a popular topical interest in a way that makes both of them more interesting.
If your organization has a stamp specialty you’d like to promote, take a tip from the Perfins Club: put your best foot forward with information about what you collect. Whether it’s a show-stopping gem or an exhibit of community material at your local library, an intriguing journal or a mature catalog, a friendly, welcoming public face may be your most powerful asset in achieving growth and success.