Bertram W.H. Poole

Bertram W.H. Poole

Longtime reader Buck Jordan of Fresno, California, was quite correct in pointing out to us the importance of early Los Angeles stamp dealer Bertram W.H. Poole—for it was in the latter’s downtown shop that Buck, with his dad in tow, got his first taste of stamp collecting. Thank you, Buck.

An internationally-known philatelist and author, as well as dealer, Poole was born in England and entered the stamp business there as a young man. He came to the United States in 1900 as philatelic secretary to a wealthy Altadena, Calif. collector. He re-entered the trade in 1916—by then an expert on the stamps of Great Britain,
her colonies and dominions.

He wrote approximately 30 booklets and books and wrote numerous major articles in The American Philatelist. His final book, The Pioneer Stamps of the British Empire was published only months before his death in Pasadena, Calif., in 1957.

A much-respected collector and dealer, Poole served on many national and international philatelic exhibition juries, and was one of the original signers in 1921 of Great Britain’s prestigious Roll of Distinguished Philatelists, an honor initiated when King George V was asked to be the very first signatory.

Poole edited The West End Philatelist and The Philatelic Journal of Great Britain. His monographs included all seven of the West End Philatelist Handbooks (1908-1910) on various British Colonies and Bulgaria. He also wrote monographs on Dominica, Seychelles, Sarawak and South Africa.

In addition to owning his Los Angles shop, Poole was a very active stamp collector, with specialist collections of Haiti and South and Central America. He served as a judge at the 1913 International Philatelic Exhibition in New York City. After that show, he relocated to Los Angeles where he settled and became a noted dealer and auctioneer.

Bertram W.H. Poole was one of the fi rst West Coast members of the American Stamp Dealers Association (and its local chapter), an organization he belonged to until his death.