Resource of the Month: Mellone’s FDC Catalogs

One of the endearing areas of enjoyment in philately over the years has been, and to a large extent still is, the discovery and collecting of first day covers, also known as first day cachets (FDC’s). With their printed designs or inventive inscriptions adding color and sometimes context to the issued stamp, they provide a welcome element of color and artistic design to a first day cover usually issued in the commemoration of a particular thematic, historical or philatelic event. FDC’s can commemorate everything from a first flight, a moon landing, or the Super Bowl. These one-of-a-kind cachets are made  by individuals, private companies or in some cases by a government for first day of issue stamp events. Here in the U.S. the first cacheted FDC was produced by prominent philatelist and cachetmaker George Ward Linn in 1923, for the Harding Memorial stamp issue of the same year.

Here at American Philatelic Research Library (APRL) we have a number catalogs that list, identify and value various cacheted FDC’s, but the most respected, authoritative and comprehensive are the Mellone’s catalogs for FDC’s first compiled and produced by noted FDC cachet collector Michael Mellone . The catalogs provide a wealth of information regarding various details of cacheted FDC’s including cachetmaker, dates of first and last cachets, Scott catalog number, values, and in later editions and variations of the catalogs, pictures of the particular FDC cachets. The initial catalogs, titled “Mellone’s First Cachets: A FDC Reference Catalog” appearing in the late 1970s and arranged by cachetmaker, did not include actual images of the FDC’s, however they did included the names as well as known first and last cachets for over 2000 cachetmakers. By the publication of the third edition of the catalog in 1989 the number of cachetmakers included in Mellone’s unique resource grew to 5,000 cachetmakers listed over its now 189 pages.

From these earlier catalogs grew a need to include images of the actual FDC cachets which were then included in later editions of the catalogs produced in the 1980s through the 2000s. The catalogs now listed cachets by Scott number which made it easier for collectors to find and identify their cachets. Publication of catalogs for FDC’s by decade, special event and particular stamp were also produced during this period. These catalogs are an essential resource for any FDC collector and researcher. Some of the more common and most resourceful Mellone’s catalogs here at the APRL are listed here:

Ansink, Hal; Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s first cachets: a FDC reference catalog (Stewartsville, NJ: F.D.C. Publishing Co., c1980.). [G3701 .F527 M528]

Ansink, Hal; Monty, Richard A.; Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s first cachets: a FDC reference catalog(Stewartsville, NJ: FDC Publishing Co., c1983.). [G3701 .F527 M528 1983]

Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s Specialized cachet catalog of first day covers of the 1960’s (Stewartsville, NJ: FDC Publishing Co., c1985.). [G3701 .F527 M527sp 1960s]

Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s Specialized cachet catalog of first day covers of the 1950’s (Stewartsville, N.J.: FDC Publishing Co., c1983.). [G3701 .F527 M527sp 1950s]

Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s specialized cachet catalog of first day covers of the 1940’s (Stewartsville, N.J.: F.D.C. Publishing Co.,, 1978.). [G3701 .F527 M527sp 1940s]

Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s directory of cachet makers & servicers (Stewartsville, N.J.: FDC Publishing Co., c1980.). [G3701 .F527 M527md 1980]
[Michael Mellone]

Mellone, Michael A.; Planty, Earl Gerald. Mellone’s Planty Photo encyclopedia of cacheted first day covers (Stewartsville, NJ: F.D.C. Publishing Co., c1994-c2006.). [G3701 .F527 M531]

Monty, Richard A. / Mellone, Michael A. / Planty, Earl Gerald. Mellone’s first day cover photo encyclopedia of first cachets revealed (Stewartsville, NJ: F.D.C. Publishing Co., c2005.).[G3701 .F527 M529 2005]

Monty, Richard A.; Ansink, Hal; Mellone, Michael. First cachets revisited (Churchville, MD: Published by Memory Management, Inc. [R.A. Monty] ; MaxiMedia, Inc. ; [Stewartsville? NJ]; FDC Publishing Co., (1990-2001) [G3701 .C119 M814f]

Monty, Richard A.; Moore, Ruth; Lloyd, William B. Mellone’s first cachets: a FDC reference catalog (Churchville, MD: FDC Publishing Co., c1989.). [G3701 .F527 M528 1989]

Monty, Richard A.; Doyle, Wendy L.; Goodson, Mark W.; Elrod, Norman L. Mellone’s first day cover photo encyclopedia of first cachets revealed 1923-2005 ([Stewartsville? NJ]: FDC Publishing Co., c2006.). [G3701 .F527 M529 2006]

Pelcyger, Scott; Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s specialized catalogue of first day ceremony programs & events (Stewartsville, NJ: FDC Publishing Co., c1989.). [G3701 .F527 P381m 1989]

Tiffner, Howard C. Mellone’s photo encyclopedia of souvenir cards / (Stewartsville, NJ: F.D.C. Publishing Co.,, c1997.). [G3701 .S729 T565m 1997]

Ullmann, John F. Mellone’s photo encyclopedia of U.S.S. Akron & U.S.S. Macon event covers (Stewartsville, NJ: F.D.C. Publishing Co., c1996.). [G3701 .C873 U41m 1996]

Wise, William; Mellone, Michael. Mellone’s specialized cachet catalog of Ducks and express mail FDCs (Stewartsville, NJ: FDC Publishing Co., 1988.). [G3701 .F527 W813m 1988]

One thought on “Resource of the Month: Mellone’s FDC Catalogs”

  1. Hi,

    I discovered this posting when trying to find a source to purchase the complete set (most modern volume for each respective era) of Mellone’s. However, I am running into lots of dead ends. One website (, that seems to be for the publisher, is obviously quite broken and the phone number they give has been disconnected. Another number I found on the web for Mellone has been disconnected.

    I would try to use other sources (book sellers, online auctions, etc.), but I don’t know EXACTLY what I am looking for in terms of the MOST RECENT EDITIONS of each respective volume.

    I want a) fully illustrated if such exists and b) the most recent of each.

    Can you advise:

    – What edition/publication date, etc., is the most recent edition of each respective volume for the fully illustrated versions?

    – Possible sources that actually stock this series?

    Thank you

    Jay Smith APS #78698

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