George Linn

George W. Linn

Linn is most famous for his Linn’s Weekly Stamp News which he first issued on November 5th, 1928. From his early youth, he edited and published a series of philatelic journals and monographs, culminating with his famous weekly, which he edited until he retired in 1965.

Son of a printer and publisher, Linn got into philatelic journalism early. His first journal, The Columbian, appeared in January 1901. He followed this with numerous other publication up through 1928.

During his publishing years, Linn was an active stamp dealer and sometime auctioneer. He also showed an early interest in philatelic literature, an interest he kept all his life. In July 1902, he published a journal Philatelic Literature, the only issue. In 1911, he published an early index by William R. Ricketts, and led the short-lived American Philatelic Literature Society.

In 1926 Linn moved to Kansas to work on Weekly Philatelic Gossip, but within a year returned to Columbus. He began Linn’s Weekly Stamp News in 1928, and saw it prosper during a period when there were many competitive philatelic weeklies. Subsequent owners have successfully continued what is now Linn’s Stamp News to this day.

Linn was an outspoken advocate and critic of all things philatelic, and used his position as editor of Linn’s to give his personal opinions. In 1932 he used his editorial column to strongly advocate the election of philatelist Franklin D. Roosevelt. Linn printed a souvenir poster stamp and cachet cover before the election, and prepared another cachet cover canceled on FDR’s inauguration day.

Linn will always be remembered by first day cover collectors for creating the first pre-printed cacheted FDC. This was for the first day of issue of the black 2-cent “mourning stamp” (Scott No. 610) issued September 1, 1923 to honor the late President Warren G. Harding. Linn prepared several hundred covers printed with his mourning cachet which he posted in Marion, the first day city, and other nearby Ohio towns. Linn created an entirely new collecting area, and for many years, through his firm, Linprint, printed and sold first day cachets.

[Editor’s Note: We are grateful to the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame (in which Mr. Linn’s name also appears) committee for information contained in this article.