Donald Patton Articles

Donald Patton’s The Private Local Posts of the United States comprises important series of articles that has long been out of print. The articles and an index have been scanned as text-searchable PDF files. A years-long collaboration between Dr. Donald S. Patton of Wiltshire, England, and Elliott Perry of New Jersey (as well as Robson Lowe of London) resulted in the most outstanding research on United States private posts and their forgeries for its time. Patton published a series of articles in Robson Lowe’s The Philatelist from 1957 until 1965. The history of this effort was recorded by Donald B. Johnstone, a founding member of the Carriers and Locals Society, and published in The Penny Post Vol. 3 No. 1, Jan 1993.

Patton was one of the preeminent researchers and writers on local posts, carriers, independent express companies and expresses. Many of us have Patton’s hardbound book The Private Local Posts of the United States, Vol. I, New York State, published by Robson Lowe in 1967. Volume I contains information on the local posts of New York City and Brooklyn and is readily available today. A Volume II based on Patton’s articles on local posts of other cities was anticipated but never published.

Patton’s enlarged pen and ink drawings comparing characteristics of original stamps and their forgeries are familiar to any collector who has perused Larry Lyons’ three-volume Identifier for Carriers, Locals, Fakes, Forgeries and Bogus Posts of the United States (now out of print.) Lyons reproduced these with permission in his Identifier series and expanded their scope with additional illustrations and details gathered from other authors, collectors and his own collection. Lyons also produced a Pricing Guide in 2007 based on census data from John Bowman, Gordon Stimmell, Carl Kane, Geoff Rosemond, Bill Sammis, Richard Frajola and others. The Pricing Guide is available for $22.00 including shipping from Larry Lyons, 42 Allen Road, Norwalk, CT 06851.

The Lyons’ Identifier is an indispensable reference book for all collectors of local posts, carriers, independent mail companies and expresses. Why do we reproduce these articles when Lyons’ Identifier volumes include more information about the forgeries than Patton did? Patton included brief histories of the posts which was beyond the scope of the Identifier’s purpose; thus, they provide additional information useful to students.

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