John W. Scott

John Walter Scott

Born in England in 1842, John Walter Scott eigrated to the United States in 1863, bound and determined to seek his fortune. After failing as a gold prospector in California, Scott came to New York City, settling there for good in 1866 and founding a stamp company under his own name. His initial stock was comprised, mainly, of the stamp collection he had formed as a youngster in England.

Within a decade, Scott had become one of the leading stamp dealers in the United States, having begun circulating his own printed pricelist in 1867. That "price list" was to eventually turn into the premier stamp catalogue in America, widely respected and continually published today by his successors.

In December 1868, he began publishing The American Journal of Philately, Which soon becaue the foremost stamp publication in this country. He used this publication to promote his other publishing ventures, chief of which was the ever-expanding line of stamp albums, which bore his company's name.

On May 28, 1870, John W. Scott staged the very first stamp auction in history at clinton Hall (formerly the Astor Place Opera House) in New York City. 1n 1872, Scott even went back to England on a trip in order to introduce stamp auctions to the venerable firm of Sotheby's.

John Walter Scott was the progenitor of stamp dealers in America, revered today, nearly 150 years after the founding of his company, as the man who legitimized stamp collecting and stamp dealing.

He was one of the founding members of the American Stamp Dealers Association in 1914. In 1920, he sold the Scott Stamp and Coin Company to J.E. Handshaw who saw to its continued success. Scott passed away suddenly in 1919, while he was serving as president of the American Philatelic Society.