Friday, September 17, 2010

Before E-bay

I first started using the Internet while I was at RPI in the early 1990's. I had my old 486 computer set up in my dorm room, and there was an ISDN line that I was able to use to connect to the college network. FTP and Telnet were the way to access other computers on the network, and the place to go to find things was Usenet. Usenet is still around (I think it got swallowed up by Google, and is now called google groups), and while looking at the various groups available, I came across rec.collecting.stamps. My Israel collection was still just a basic collection in those days, with lots of gaps in just the basic tabs. One day, i came across a post on the newsgroup advertising a box of Israel items. I remember the post described that it contained a few coin booklets on presentation sheets, and a bunch of other items. I think the asking price was $50. That was a lot of money for this college student, but I e-mailed the person who had posted, and eventually ended up calling him after a brief exchange of e-mails. Long story short, I sent him a check and a huge box arrived at my dorm room a week or so later. The box had a ton of stuff, including 2 of the booklets. The picture here is one of them. The only other items I recall from that collection are a couple of early FDC's with short tabs, including the Camel and the Menorah stamps. But, I still consider the booklets to be among my best finds.

1 comment:

Aaron Huber said...

I have only bought one booklet back in 2003 at a show in Indianapolis. If my memory is correct it was either a B5 or B6 and I picked it up for $4.25. Back then I just thought it looked cool as I had no idea about these booklets or their value. Is it possible many dealers didn't know the value of these early booklets and simply priced according to the value of the stamps inside?