ROESSLER, ALBERT CHARLES

Fig. 1. Albert Charles Roessler, Jr. (1883-1952), in a photograph at age 46 published by himself in Air Plane Stamp News, Volume 114, March (1929) with the gag line the photo is of the manager of the import department. 

Copyright © 2011-2017 John N. Lupia III

Albert Charles Roessler, Jr. (1883-1952), was born on April 7, 1883, at Newark, New Jersey, son of Albert Roessler and Emma  Roessler (1858-).

1958 Washington Avenue, New York. Coin and stamp dealer, began trading as a stamp dealer in Denver. 

Fig. 2. Roessler's 1904-7 ads give his address as 21 Club Building, Denver, Colorado. Later he removed to East Orange, New Jersey. Advertisement in The Philatelic West, Volume 28, No. 1, September (1904) leaf 13 recto. For sale.  Write john@numismaticmall.com

            In 1905, according to the New Jersey State Census, he lived at 72 Mt. Prospect Avenue, Newark, New Jersey, working for a newspaper.

            Roessler was both a stamp and coin collector and dealer. His coin business lasted over thirty years. His stamp business was extraordinary and novel introducing a myriad of artistic illustrations for stamps some of which were used by the government or at least based on his drawings but without credit or acknowledgement and also for his myriad of cacheted covers illustrating contemporary themes that took the collecting world by force. Because he was slighted by the government for his artwork inspiring several postage stamps Roessler became a spokesman for criticism of the U. S. Post Office, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U. S. Postmaster, all of which eventually backfired on him in the 1930's. Due to his excessively novel and innovative activity in philatelics his numismatic business and dealings unfortunately have become obscured by time and little or scarcely none of his numismatic literature is known to be extant and rarely if ever seen on the market. His weekly bargain list for coins was titled The Coin News which grew out of his original Coin List offering coins at highly competitive bargain prices. One aspect of Roessler's coin business that will prove to be noteworthy to numismatists was his advertising and promoting medals and commemorative coins and his illustrated cacheted covers of them that popularized them to a new generation of collectors. Commemorative coins were not exclusive to centennial, bicentennial and tricentennial celebrations since stamps were also issued and Roessler pioneered and innovated the cacheted first day cover concept to stimulate collectors to collect both the stamps, covers, and coins and medals that accompanied them in their issues. For the medal and commemorative collector, scholar and dealer Roessler played an important role in helping to establish a stronger market for this specialized niche. Moreover, he evidently did business with Henry Chapman as several pieces of mail are found in the Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. It may be too difficult to hunt for them since there are 27,000 pieces of mail stored in over 325 binders, but when found they will be posted here. He owned a stamp and coin shop in the Ampere section of East Orange, New Jersey. The shop was taken over by Frank Gerardo Spadone (1924-2000), who may have worked for Roessler at the end of his career or else it was his brother John Gerardo Spadone. John Spadone (1922-2010) is famous as the creator and originator of The Coin Press in 1955, while Frank Spadone is the numismatist famed for his specialization in coin oddities of misstrikes and both author and publisher of Major Variety-Oddity Guide of United States Coins. Under Spadone's ownership the shop was known as Ampere Coins since stamp sales were discontinued by him though he had what was left of Roesslers hoard hoping someone would come and buy the lot. Some of the coin and medal inventory of Roessler was still there in the late 1950's and early 1960's of fond memory of this writer, and included ancient and U. S. Colonial coins, among them Fugio, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York Cents, as well as Washington pieces, and a variety of American and foreign medals. I remember Spadone talking about Roessler and his arrests and the Federal agents that came into the shop and seized everything. 

He was born in Newark New Jersey on April 7, 1883, son of Austrian-German ancestry of both parents, Albert Roessler, Sr. (1859-1890), a native of New Jersey, and Emma Katherine Erb (1858-), a native of Connecticut.  The family name in German is spelled Rössler. His paternal grandfather was Johann Rössler a native of Vienna, Austria, and his wife Mathilda a native of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. According to the U.S. Census 1900 his mother remarried in 1893 after the death of his father to John Mulcahey. They lived on Mt. Prospect Street, Newark, New Jersey. He became hooked on stamps and coins at the age of ten, and later on specialized as a First Day Cover (FDC) cachet maker and servicer for most of his entire career.  He was a talented artist illustrator and cartoonist and published in Cartoons Magazine. He used his artistic skills to create many illustrations for his three main publications : A. C. Roessler's Stamp News, Stamp Dealers News, and Air Plane Stamp News, as well as a myriad of illustrated cacheted first and second day covers. While living with his parents at 140 South [now called the Oraton] Parkway, East Orange N. J., he moved to Colorado as a young man, first working in the mines and on a ranch. (Newton, 1977, p. 99). 

Fig. 3. Roessler's imprint ad for his three publications : A. C. Roessler's Stamp NewsDealers' Stamp News [actual title : A. C. Roessler's Stamp News, Dealers' Edition], and Air Plane Stamp News. Eugene Klein of Philadelphia first published Air Mail in 1922 five years before Roessler's Airplane Stamp News. Dealers' Stamp News, is listed in Smith as No. 20, . C. Roessler's Stamp News, Dealers' Edition

He was trained as an artist at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts. After graduation we find him first listed in the 1903 Denver City Directory as a printer’s apprentice to the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Times.  While in Denver he ran a mail order stamp business, and wrote columns and advertised his bargain stamp products in The Stamp Journal of Denver and Philatelic West.  He was a founding member of the Denver Stamp Club organized on December 13, 1905.  The minutes of the January 1908 Club meeting state that a photographer for the Denver Republican took a Club photo that was published in the Feb issue of the Illustrated Sunday Magazine of the Denver Republican.  The photo is reproduced in Newton, 1977, at p. 108. The photo certainly includes Roessler, who was present at the Jan 1908 Club meeting, but he had a passion for anonymity, and never allowed another photo of himself to surface.  (In 1913, Roessler drew a cartoon of himself showing only the back of his head, and published it in the December 1913 A. C. Roessler's The Stamp News, with a humorous note saying it was in response to readers asking him to publish a picture of himself.) Newton noted in 1977 that no one knew what Roessler looked like, sufficiently to identify him in the 1908 Denver Stamp Club photo.  (Id., p. 108). The 5'-11" Roessler weighing 210 pounds would never permit his photograph to be published and no confirmed pictures of him are known.  Dan Barber in his "Via Air Mail" column in Stamp Collector (September 13, 1980), reproduces two photographs which might be those of Roessler. Originally Barry Newton reproduces the  two photographs on page 108 purporting to contain Roessler in group shots. The first one he cites was published in red ink on the cover of Philatelic West, Vol. 20, September (1902). However, Brodstone also published Charles H. Nast's list of names of those in the Denver Stamp Club and Roessler is not in the photo since everyone is named except him. 

Fig. 4. Roessler is believed by this author to be the next to last man far right back row deduced by his height and age being twenty-five at the time. Denver RepublicanIllustrated Sunday Magazine, page 5, February 23, 1908.

The second is the Senior Stamp Collectors Club of Denver published in The Denver RepublicanIllustrated Sunday Magazine, page 5, February 23, 1908. Roessler is believed by this writer to be the next to last man far right back row deduced by his height and age being twenty-five at the time and seems consistent with the 1929 photo in Air Plane News.

The May 1908 issue of The Stamp Journal in Denver announced that Roessler was leaving his job as President of The Stamp Journal Co., and transferring his stock in the company, to return to full-time residence in New York City.  The April and May 1909 issues of The Stamp Journal  published humorous articles by Roessler on the stamp dealer scene on Nausau Street in New York City – about monopolistic auctions and the appearance of imperforate stamps from the First Bureau Regular Postage Series of 1902-03. On May 1, 1909 Vol. 1 No. 1 of  [A.C. Roessler’s] Stamp News appeared, the first of 209 issues published from 1909 to 1937.  Originally titled simply Stamp News in May 1909 Roessler changed the title in December 1909 prefixing his name to it as A.C. Roessler’s Stamp News. In 1909 in New York, Roessler worked as Manager of the Federal Stamp Co. in the Tribune Building on Nassau St, and lived at 1958 Washington Ave.  (Id., pp. 99-102). 

He ran a display ad selling U. S. copper coins, and mixed lot of foreign coins in the Philatelic West Vol. 44, No. 1, April 1909 (9th leaf from end)

He applied to the ANA in September and joined the ANA in November 1909 with an address at 1958 Washington Ave. . This is the earliest known numismatic activity of Roessler within the mainstream of American numismatics. From here on we find Roessler involved with the coin business until he retired in 1940.

By 1910 Roessler moved across the river to his native city of Newark, New Jersey, to 10-1/2 Clay Street, where he resided, dealt in stamps, coins and covers and published A.C. Roessler’s Stamp News.  He married Elizabeth Ann Koch (1905-1983). He became vice president of the Newark Stamp Club in 1911 and the President in 1914. 

Fig. 5. Roessler was in charge of the "Coin Department" for Everybody's Philatelist, Volumes 4, No. 8, August, 1913, page190

Fig. Earliest known Roessler cover postmarked Dominican Republic, June 6, 1912. Ex-Kunzer. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library.


Fig. 6.  Roessler postal stationery cover Scott #U116-U35 = Thorp-Bartels #362 with uprated franking with a very scarce Scott #392, postmarked Guam, June 10, 1912. This is a remarkably early Roessler cover that was originally printed all-over advertising backside for Dashwood Medicine and Chemical Company of Fort Worth, Texas, on Plimpton postal stationery issued 1874-1876. In 1912 this was an antique unused cover some 36 -38 years old when Roessler came upon it and self address rubber stamped it in red ink. Note the right handed Roessler favored the far left side when stamping the rubber stamp leaving the right side with a weaker impression thereby causing the maladroit impression of the address 10 CLAY ST., to appear as if reading 10 CLAY CT.  The C of what seems to be CT., is actually composed of the upper and lower lobes of the S of ST. Apparently, he sent this cover in a larger envelope either to a postmaster at Guam or someone he knew at a military base in Guam and requested they mail it back to him with the Guam postmark. Many dealers used to do this sort of thing to get postmarks they wished to have either for themselves or for a collector/client. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. Roessler to Mrs. E. S. Watkins, Vice-President of the State Teacher's Association, Columbia, South Carolina, postmarked Newark, New Jersey, September 30, 1912, uprated Postal Stationery with Scott #413, 1912 Coil 81/2 Perf- Vertical, corner card. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. Roessler correspondence with G. C. Norman, a partner in Seevers, Norman & Co., Jewelers. Earliest Roessler Stamp News Graphic Illustrated Advertising Cover postmarked March 3, 1913. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. 7. Self-addressed stamped business envelope of A. C. Roessler postmarked Honolulu, Hawaii, February 3, 1913, A.M., Flag Cancel - H-14. Special postal marking in violet stamped "Received at Honolulu, Hawaii under cover from the Post Office At Newark, N. J.Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Roessler postmarked VERACRUZ, Mexico, May 8, 1914. That was just 17 days after USA occupied Veracruz. On April 9th U. S. sailors entered Tampico Bay fueling station and were arrested. President Wilson ordered the U. S. Navy to occupy Veracruz and release the sailors. The cover is franked with a Scott #444 issued April 25th making this an early use. Roessler probably franked this the first day of issue placing it in a larger mailing envelope to the postmaster at Veracruz. The postmark and cancellation were made by a roller self evident in the repetitive CDS and four wavy line killers.
 

By December 1914 he had moved his residence and stamp and coin operations into his new home at 140 South Parkway, East Orange, New Jersey.  

Clay Street, Newark is an industrial section of Newark with scattered apartment buildings and overhead apartments. Apparently Rosessler owned his own shop there since he advertised print jobs in various periodicals. Owning a print shop allowed him to print his magazines and envelopes at cost.


Fig. 8. Roessler's advertisement soliciting to print labels and for a mere 2 cents will send his 40-page catalogue of printing services and rates published in Cartoons Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 5, May (1915) : 6

He serviced First Flight Cachets (but not First Day Cachets) on the #C3 24c Airmail issued 5/13/18 for the inauguration of  the US airmail between New York and Washington. In The Stamp News he published an early report of the C3 Inverted Jenny.  Shortly after C3 he founded The Air Plane Stamp News, publishing 167 issues between 1918 and 1938.  He operated his postal printing business operations at 37 So. 8th Street, in the Roseville Section of Newark, and addressed his covers to this address from March 1921 until March 1924, after which he reverted to exclusive use of his home address at 140 South Parkway, East Orange.  (Id., p. 101-106).

Fig. 9 A. C. Roessler’s Stamp News, Advertising cover, postmarked Chicago, Illinois, September 9, 1918, first flight, 60 days after issue of Scott # C2-AP1 16c green issued July 11, 1918. Very early Air Mail before the establishment of the Transcontinental route from Cleveland to Chicago. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. If this were a regular mail cover alone it would be worth from $150 on up.  Early Air Mail covers sell typically $600-$800. For Sale  $375.00 Write john@numismaticmall.com

ROE-CC6 This is the actual cover plated in Barry Newton on page 86. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library. Early Air Mail covers sell typically $600-$800. For Sale  $375.00 Write john@numismaticmall.com

Figs. 10-13. Roessler's Airplane Stamp News and Winged Letters postmarked December 18, 1918. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. Roessler sent out only twelve of these first flight via Chicago covers franked with Scott C2 issued July 11, 1918. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. 14 A. C. Roessler’s Stamp News, May 1920. In 1919 his address was East Orange, New Jersey; in 1924 his address was 37 South 8th Street, Newark, New Jersey.

Albert C. Roessler’s First Corner Cards were for the #614/616 Huguenot-Walloon Set of 5/1/24.  (#614/616 ROE-1, ROE-2 and ROE-3, in Newton, 1977, p. 5; #614/616-4, -4a & -4b, in Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, pp. 29-30).  The First Roessler Cachets were for #620/621, the Norse-American Set issued 5/18/25 (#620-621 ROE-1 and #620 ROE-2 in Newton, 1977,  pp. 6-7; #620/21-1 and -9, in Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, pp. 37-38; Monty et al., First Cachets Revealed, 2006, p. 6).  There are no known Roessler FDCs, either manufactured or serviced, for the #617/619 Set (3) Lexington-Concord, issued 4/4/25. (Newton,1977, p. 7; Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, pp. 33-36).  The First Pictorial Roessler Cachet was the #623-1 17c Woodrow Wilson issued 12/28/25. (Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, p. 41; Newton, 1977, pp. 8-9).  As a printer, Roessler also produced and sold to other FDC Cachet makers and Servicers as well as the general public, many varieties of distinctive air envelopes, beginning with the Roessler double-bar envelope on 3/20/25, two types of “barber-pole” air envelopes in 1928, and three types of “checkered” air envelopes in 1929-1930 (Newton, 1977, pp. 3-4).  The #620-9 and #620 ROE-2 cited above have a printed advertisement for Roessler envelopes on the back. (Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, p. 38; Newton, 1977, p. 7).

Fig. ROE CC9, 1921. This is the actual cover plated in Barry Newton on page 87. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.


The #629 2c White Plains issued 10/18/26 was Roessler’s First “Stamplike” Cachet, featuring distinctive enlarged perforation framing a picture of a stamp.  (#629-9 in Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, p. 55; 629 ROE-1 and ROE-2 in Newton, 1977, p. 11).  This Cachet had original artwork by Roessler inside the perforation frame that Roessler had published in The Stamp News as a proposed design for the new White Plains issue.  The cachet picture duplicates the “U.S. Postage” words, and the face of the cachet states that ”Cut shows rejected design.” During the early 1930s, Roessler continued the  practice of printing FDC Cachets with artwork resembling the announced design, eliminating, however, the prohibited “U.S. Postage” words.  His cachet for the #704-715 Washington Bicentennial Series featured an enlarged engraving of young Washington’s portrait lifted exactly from the  #703 Yorktown stamp’s engraving of Washington.  Bad blood between the Post Office Department and Roessler fomented with Roessler’s continuing to claim prior design of U.S. stamps, publishing uncomplimentary articles about the Post Office Department, and producing cartoon-like cachets that appeared insulting because they parodied official Post Office Department designs.  The Post Office Department refused to mail most of Roessler’s original cachets for the #724-8 3c William Penn and the #725-29 Daniel Webster, both issued 10/24/32. Roessler produced censored versions that eliminated the perforated border and the phrase “Use Air Mail.” (#724-9, Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994, p. 98, and ROE-2 in Newton, 1977, pp. 49-50; #725-30 in Mellone, Planty Vol II, 1995, and ROE in Newton, 1977, p. 51).

Fig. 15. Stamp dealer and philatelic writer and columnist Philip Ward mailer to A. C. Roessler franked with 19 cent air mail rate postmarked Philadelphia, registered mail, February 21, 1927. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $100-$200. Write john@numismaticmall.com


Fig. 16-17. Roessler's "First Experimental Airplane-Motorcycle Courier Service" postmarked Westfield, Massachusetts, March 15, 1928. Franked with a strip of two  1-1/2 cent Harding, 2 cent Washington Fourth Bureau, and 5 cent Ericsson.  Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $100-$200. Write john@numismaticmall.com


Fig. 18-19. Roessler's prankish double sided cover. Front side a mimic air mail cover "Letter carried by Sir Bunk de Bunk From Newark to Philadelphia Via the Plane The Steam Roller" franked with a nicely centered Scott #554-A157, postmarked East Orange, N. J., March 26, 1927. Back side self stamped addressed to A. C. Roessler, franked with Scott #627-A188, Liberty Bell Sesquicentennial Exposition carmine rose 2c. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library.

Fig. 20. Roessler First Day Cover - June 17, 1929 - (Barry Newton) 657 ROE-1a postmarked Binghamton - Special Rubber Stamped Cachet. Very Scarce.
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $75-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com

 Fig. 21.  Roessler First Day Cover - Sullivan Expedition June 18, 1929 - (Barry Newton) 657 ROE-1a postmarked Washington, D. C. Type-2 A. C. Roessler East Orange, N. J. rubber stamped address same as in Newton 654 ROE-5, diagnostics are the descender of E in East  and Opened O of Orange. Even this seems a variant of Newton 654 ROE-5 with a serif on the N of N.J. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $75-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Roessler Zeppelin Mail Cachet Airship LZ127 franked with Scott C36, postmarked Friedrichschaffen Germany 31 July, 1929. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, 
A. C. Roessler file. 

Fig. Newton 651 ROE-6, Roessler's fictitious daughter  Roberta Roe, postmarked Dunedin, New Zealand, December 15, 1929. 
Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. 

Fig. 22. Roessler's Bargain Coin List circa December 1929. Illustration in Remy Bourne, Fixed Price Lists & Prices Paid for Lists of United States Coin Dealers, Vol. III : 82, 84

Fig. 23.  Roessler Second Day Cover cachet of the Vermont Sesquicentennial Official Medal, franked with a Scott #643 2 cent Vermont, postmarked New York, New York, August 4, 1927, 8:30 P. M. This was mailed on his way back home from Bennington and Montpelier, Vermont where he mailed two varieties of these envelopes on August 3rd as First Day Covers. (See Barry Newton, No. 643, page 15). Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $75-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 24.  Roessler's ad for the bronze Lindbergh Medal in The Numismatist, Vol. XL, No. 8, August (1927) : 499. Roessler created about two dozen or so different Lindbergh cacheted covers.


Fig. 25. Roessler's ad for the Hawaiian in The Numismatist, Vol. XLI, No. 7, July (1928) : 439.

Fig. 26.  Roessler's complaint against the U. S. Post Office was published in the Morning News, Friday, September 7, 1928, page 1.
Fig. 27.  Another Roessler complaint against the U. S. Post Office was published in the Democrat and Chronicle, Sunday, January 20, 1929, page 42.

Roessler - Ship to Shore Airmail - SS Bremen & Catapult Flight to Stettin, Germany, postmarked July 20, 1929, franked with strip of two Scott #562. Later Variant of ROE STS3. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic and Philatelic Library.

Fig. 28. Roessler First Day Cover (Barry Newton)  688 ROE 1a with Special Rubber Stamped Cachet. Very Scarce. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $75-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 29. Roessler soliciting to buy 1875 Gold Dollars published in the Scranton Republican, Monday, July 28, 1930, page 5.



Fig. 30-31. Roessler Cacghet - Newton 682-83 among the neither illustrated nor described multiple group - First Flight - New York - Los Angeles Route - Air Mail P. O. D. - C. A. M. 34 - Winslow, Arizona, October 25, 1930. Inside are two older order slips : Newark Stamp and Coin Exchange with 192 ----- . Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $100-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 32.   Roessler's ad for his bargain Coin List that soon evolved into his weekly The Coin News. Photo in The Numismatist, Vol. XLIII, No. 9, September (1930) : 618.

Fig. 33-34.  Roessler altered use postal stationery mailer with return address pasted over previous use printed matter postmarked East Orange, New Jersey, December 19,1931, 3:30 P.M. Reverse flap has a cinderella of the Stamp Collectors Association (enlarged). Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $100-$200. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 35. Roessler 704-15 one of the many Washington Bicentennial Cachets, February 22, 1932, this one is unlisted in Newton. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $60-$120. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 36.  Roessler's arrest and indictment published in the Asbury Park Press, Monday, January 30, 1933, page 3. The story ran in the Associated Press and was also published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch on the same day.
Fig. 37-38. Roessler postal stationery mailer with invoice postmarked East Orange, New Jersey, April 27, 1932, 6:30 P.M. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $60-$120. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 39. Roessler's case published in the Trenton Evening News, Monday, March 20, 1933, page 1.

On Jan 1, 1933, Roessler was indicted and arrested on two federal charges of crimes committed five-six years earlier: (1) using the U.S. mails for deceptive purposes in 1927; and (2) printing and using printed items “in similitude of obligations of the United States” in 1928.  The first charge was that, while processing event covers for a failed Arctic exploration flight on 9/24/27 by Sir Hubert Wilkins, Roessler forged a facsimile of a New York cancellation to create additional covers after the trip when demand for the covers exceeded the supply actually taken aboard the airplane.   The second charge was that Roessler overprinted “GRAF ZEPPELIN” on a 1c Franklin, and then advertised it for sale at 10c each (Newton, 1977, p. 95) and used it 10/28/28 in combination with other stamps when servicing Graf Zeppelin LZ-127 Flight Covers (See ROE-FZ15, Newton, 1977, p. 95).  The overprinting was identical to the font style as the Post Office Dept had used on a 2c Washington stamp for the #646 2c Molly Pitcher and #647/648 2c and 5c Hawaii Issues, which Roessler had previously mocked publicly.   On June 21, 1933 Roessler pled guilty to both charges in Federal Court in Newark.  He was sentenced to two years in the Atlanta penitentiary, but the sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for three years.  (Linn’s Stamp Review, July 15, 1933, quoted in Newton, 1977, p. 106).

Fig. 40. Roessler The Coin News adversing 3rd class cover franked with a Scott No. # 684-A203 Harding 1-1/2 cent brown, issued December 1, 1930, CDS mute, probably December 1930 or early 1931. Roessler used this Coin News adversing cover until 1936. Not listed in Newton. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. For sale. Estimate $300-$400. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Fig. 41. Roessler's business envelope advertising his weekly circular The Coin News. There are a few of these  (TOP) and more other  types in the Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence Archive. The (BOTTOM) photo was published in E-Sylum, July 24, 2016, David Lange Collection. First class mail franked with Scott No. #729-A232 Federal Building 3 cents violet issued May 25, 1933.

About 1934 Roessler published a Fixed Price List (FPL) titled : Bankers Coin Book in order to accumulate coins for his inventory suggesting his supply did not meet his demand. This is a 32-page booklet listing United States Coins of all types and the prices paid.

Fig. 42. Another Roessler first day cachet depicting a coin or medal. This one celebrating the Rhode Island Commemorative Half Dollar. The above photo is a zoom-in only.

The timing of these events is interesting.  The 1927 and 1928 crimes were committed during the Coolidge Administration (1925-1929), yet resulted in no federal prosecution until the very end of the Hoover Administration, after Hoover had lost the election and become a Lame Duck President.  Roessler continued to publicly blast Third Assistant Postmaster General Frank Tilton (under lame duck President Hoover’s Postmaster General Walter Brown) for censoring and withholding his #725 3c Daniel Webster FDCs (See Roessler, A. C. Roessler’s Stamp News #200 (Jan-Feb 1933), Airplane Stamp News #145 (Jan 1933), #146 (Feb 1933) and #147 (Feb-Mar 1933), quoted at length in Newton, 1977, p. 52).  The federal indictment for the 1927 and 1928 crimes was handed down Jan 31, 1933, only two months before Roosevelt was inaugurated March 4, 1935, and James A. Farley was appointed Postmaster-General.  Following his conviction in June of 1933, Roessler became uncharacteristically cautious in his public criticism of the Post Office Department.  By the summer and fall of 1934 the philatelic press was up in arms about Farley’s issuance of  priceless imperforate sheets to Roosevelt and other favored cronies, one of which had been sold to a dealer in November 1934 for $20,000,  Yet it was not until  the situation had been remedied by the public issuance of the Farley Reprints, #752/771, on March 15, 1935, that Roessler joined in the public criticism of Postmaster-General Farley’s abuse.  (Roessler, “Monkey Business,“ A.C. Roessler’s Stamp News #203 (April-Jun 1935), quoted in Newton, p. 66; See Johl, U.S. Commem. Vol. I, 1947, pp. 237-241).

Fig. 43. Roessler Cachet of the Huguenot Waloon commemorative half dollar issued in silver by the U. S. Mint on May 1, 1924 (Newton 614-16). This letter is postmarked East Orange, New Jersey, 13 October, 1936. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $75-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com


Fig. 44. Roessler First Day Cover April 21, 1937 (Barry Newton) C21 ROE-1 Very Scarce.Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, A. C. Roessler file. For sale. Estimate $75-$150. Write john@numismaticmall.com

Barry Newton suggests that Roessler began going blind about the time of the #785/794 Army-Navy Set issued 1936-1937. (Newton, 1977, p. 106).  Apparently he either developed severe cataracts or glaucoma. For the 1938 Presidential Issue, he produced defaced photographic images, i.e., sections cut out to avoid printing the entire image which would violate Federal Law, of the #803 1/2c Franklin, #804 1c Washington, #805 1-1/2c Martha Washington, #806 2c Adams and #807 3c Jefferson. (Newton, 1977 p. 79-80. Mellone, Planty Vol. XIV, 2001, p. 14).  For the 806 2c and denominations higher than 3c, Roessler serviced his regular client list with rubber-stamp addressed envelopes on WSE/Clifford Cachets, some with “By Aerial Mail” added by rubber-stamp.  The last and highest Prexy denomination serviced by Roessler was the WSE/Clifford #817-58 12c Zachary Taylor issued Sep 14, 1938.  (Newton, 1977, p. 81; Mellone, Planty Vol. XIV, 2001, p. 30).

The Last Cachet that can be definitively attributed to Roessler as Designer is a commemorative -- a defaced photographic image for #835 3c Constitution Ratification issued 6/21/38.  (#835 ROE-1 in Newton, 1977, p. 81; #835-68 in Mellone, Planty Vol. XIV, 2001, p. 88).  Roessler serviced his subscribers with two other commemoratives from nearby New Jersey cachet makers:  the Clarence Reid #836-40 for the 3c Delaware issued 6/27/38 (Reid had also sold this cachet to Leo August’s Washington Stamp Exchange and Egon Bernet of Newark Stamp Exchange, and Roessler had often collaborated with all of them. See Mellone, Planty Vol. XV, 2004, p. 14; #836 ROE-1 in Newton, 1977, p. 81), and John Alden’s Pilgrim Cachet #837-22c issued 7/15/38. (Mellone, Planty Vol. XV, 2004, p. 48; #837 ROE-1 in Newton, 1977, p. 81) .

Roessler appears to have been completely out of business by 1940. However, he still kept his shop in East Orange that became revived in the mid 1950's under his former employee Frank Spadone.  Barry Newton suggests that Roessler was near-blind and (citing an article by Stan Fryczynski in May/June 1961 First Days) collected unemployment compensation and welfare benefits from then until his death on January 26, 1952 in Orange, New Jersey. (Newton, 1977, pp. 106-107). However, he may not have been blind but lacked sharp vision adequate enough to draw and carry on his hobby business. According to a notice in the Asbury Park Evening Press on Friday, January 2, 1948 he was a guest at the home of Robert Coslick of Ocean Grove at a Christmas party in December 1947. 


In 1942, he married Lilian Zimowsky.


Works :

A. C. Roessler's Stamp News (1909-1937)

A. C. Roessler's Stamp News, Dealers' Edition (1916-1919)

Air Plane Stamp News (1927-1937)

Flash List (1927-19??) Smith reports 1977 as terminal date.

Coin List (1927-1930)

The Coin News (1930-1936/7)

Bankers Coin Book (1934/5-1937)

NOTE : A revised version of this article edited by Jean Walton was published in the Journal of the New Jersey Postal History Society, Vol. 46, No. 3, Whole No. 211, August 2018, pages 123-136.

        Bibliography :

        Philatelic West, December (1904) : page 1, and 8

        The Numismatist, Vol. XXII, Vol. 10, September-October (1909) : 287; Vol. 11, November (1909) : 318;

        Philatelic West, Vol. 35, No. 2, February (1907) : half-page display ad on recto 96th leaf.

        Cartoons Magazine, Vol. 7, No. 5, May (1915) : 6

        U. S. Draft Card, 1918

        Philatelic West, Vol. 75, No. 2, January-February (1919) : 4, ad, 15 ad, 27 ad

        The Philatelic WestSeptember 1924 (ad)

        U. S. Draft Card, 1942

        Johl, M.G., The United States Commemorative Stamps of the Twentieth Century, Vol. I - 1901-1935, 1st Edition, New York NY: H.L. Lindquist, 1947.  (herein “Johl, U.S. Commem. Vol. I, 1947”).

        Stamps : A Weekly Magazine of Philately, Volume 49 (1949)

        Newton, Barry, A.C. Roessler Photo Cachet Catalogue, 1st Edition, Stewartsville, New Jersey: FDC Publishing Co., 1977.

        Chester M. Smith, Jr., American Philatelic Periodicals. (1979)

        Philatelic Literature Review Volume 28-29, (1979)

        American Philatelist, Volume 115, Issues 7-12

        Remy Bourne, Fixed Price Lists & Prices Paid for Lists of United States Coin Dealers, Vol. III : 82, 84

        Mellone, M.A., Mellone’s Planty Photo Encyclopedia of Cacheted First Day Covers, Vol. I – 1901-1928, Stewartsville, New Jersey: FDC Publishing Co., 1994 (herein “Mellone, Planty Vol. I, 1994”)

        Mellone, M.A., Mellone’s Planty Photo Encyclopedia of Cacheted First Day Covers, Vol. XV – 1938-1939, Stewartsville, New Jersey: FDC Publishing Co., 2004 (herein “Mellone, Planty Vol. XV, 2004”)      

        Monty, R.A., Doyle, W.L., Goodson, M.W. and Elrod, N.L., Mellone’s First Day Cover Encyclopedia of First Cachets Revealed 1923-2005, 2006 Professional Reference Edition, Stewartsville, New Jersey: FDC Publishing Co., 2006 (herein “Monty et al., First Cachets Revealed, 2006”




            


 

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