Philatelic Society of Lancaster County

The James Buchanan Chapter #173 of the American Philatelic Society  
Chapter #118 of the American Topical Association  



PSLC is a member of the American Topical Association (ATA) which promotes the collecting of topical and thematic stamps. More info can be found at their website There are hundreds or perhaps thousands of stamp topics to collect, and the ATA helps make this an easier process with the lists they compile of stamps by topic by Scott Catalog Number. Topical collecting is great fun and largely inexpensive. When you introduce your friends and family to stamp collecting, consider showing them your topicals or those on this page. It just might create the spark needed.

In The News

The American Topical Association has just published What’s First?, a 335-page book that pictures and describes the first stamp for more than 800 topics. From abacus to zebra, it is colorfully illustrated with stamp images and descriptions of the first time a topic appeared on a stamp. Spanning two centuries, the book explores firsts for popular topics, such as cats and railways/trains, to more esoteric topics, such as handshakes and dominoes. It is fully indexed by topic and country/Scott number.

Written by Canadian playwright and journalist Jack Gray, the book will be appealing to topical collectors, as well as those with other collecting interests, and also to exhibitors. It makes an excellent addition to any philatelic library. What’s First? is available in book and DVD format for $40 plus shipping (Book: U.S. $4, Canada $25.25, other countries $35.75; DVD: U.S. and Canada $1.50; other countries $3.50). Mail a check to ATA, PO BOX 8, CARTERVILLE, IL, 62918-0008 or email or call +1 (618) 985-5100. More information at (2018.09.17)

The African American Heritage Stamp Album

PDF Mini-Icon SPECIAL African American Heritage Stamp Album, by Thomas Nichols. This specialty album is designed for anyone interested in U.S. postage stamps related to African-American culture. The stamps & other postal material fall into three categories: (1) African-American — commentative stamps, regular & special issue’s honoring famous African-Americans from the past; (2) Black Heritage — The Black Heritage Series, initiated by the U.S.P.S. in 1978, recognizing the achievements of prominent African-Americans; & (3) Theme Related — relate in some way to African-American events, art, music, work, sports, culture or an image of African-Americans. The album has capacity for all African American Heritage postage material issued from the U.S. between 1904 through 2020: i. over 300 stamps; ii. four Souvenir Sheets; three Postcards. All stamp images are illustrated in color for ease of identification, with several blank pages for future stamp issues.


This sub-page provides samples of small topical collections compiled by our members who were asked to compile a sheet of their topical stamps from their vast collections. We find that when collectors share topical collecting with others, it is easiest to do it with examples such as these. These pages are not meant to be the sine qua non of topical collections, just examples.

Many potential collectors come to topical based on existing interests, personal ones. Two members of the club have family members who like cats. “Cats on stamps” is a popular collecting area, and this is only one of many. Other areas collected by PSLC members include Stamps on Stamps, Holograms, FDR, The Great War, Lighthouses, Waterfalls, Hot Air Balloons, Civil War, Judaica, Cathedrals, The Statue of Liberty, Cartoon Characters, and many more. Happy Topical Collecting.

The Collections

Enjoy our members collections. If you have a page(s) of your favorite topicals or thematics to share, please contact Dr. Charles J. DiComo at

Note: Click any image to open Photo Gallery: at bottom click large “Arrow” to auto play images and/or “i” to read associated text; at mid-left or right, click small “Arrows” to scroll; click small “x” at upper right to close Photo Gallery.

Pennsylvania Toleware

Toleware is an object of tin or pewter. The decorations are hand painted and finished with varnish. The items decorated had a practical use. In the 1800’s, these items were popular in the United States and Europe. Some of the best toleware was created in Pennsylvania. This presentation examines the United States toleware stamps issued in 1979, namely #1775-Coffee pot; #1776-Tea caddy; #1777-Sugar owl; and #1778-Coffee pot. Enjoy.
[envira-gallery id=”5950″]

The Evolution of the Automobile

No one man invented the automobile, nor can a single date be given to its birth, but the 1880’s saw crystallization of ideas into a mechanical reality. The first convincing experiments into self propulsion date back to the middle of the 17th century with experiment with steam vehicles on roads in France and England. After the invention of the internal combustion engine, Benz and Daimler, working separately in Germany, developed the motor car in 1886. It wasn’t until 1893 that the first gasoline automobile was developed in the U.S. by the Duryeas in Springfield, Massachusetts. Interestingly, the Duryea brothers later argued as to who actually built and drove the first American automobile.

An attempt is made in this topical, thematic exhibit to show with stamps, the development of the American gasoline automobile over the last 100 years. Illustrated are the independents which have not survived as well as the big three – Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. The PSLC thanks the creator of this wonderful exhibit, who is unknown to us.
NOTE: there are a number of pages missing covers and/or stamps. These are included for continuity of the exhibit.

[envira-gallery id=”5192″]