What was to become the Maine Philatelic Society was formed on June 25, 1927 when representatives of four stamp clubs met in Augusta and organized the Maine Association of Philatelic Clubs. It is interesting to note that this federation of local clubs was the first statewide organization of stamp clubs in the country. The charter members of the federation were the Collectors’ Club of Portland, the Androscoggin Stamp Club of Auburn, the Kennebec Philatelic Club of Waterville, and the Penobscot Collectors’ Club of Bangor.
In about 1940, the name was changed to the Maine Philatelic Society, and thus it remains today. It was also during this era that Sterling Dow's Maine Postal History and Postmarks, the nation's first book dedicated to the postal history of a single state, was published. Stamp collecting was in its heyday. Maine was true to its state motto, Dirigo ("I direct"), in its leadership in creating a statewide federation of clubs, and in producing a book that still stands as a landmark.
For many years, society activities were mainly confined to a spring and fall meeting combined with a one-day exhibition, bourse and stamp auction. The location of the semi-annual meeting depended on which member club volunteered to handle the details of the occasion! Prior to World War II, meetings were often held at Hallowell, Augusta and Portland.
In May 1967, the Franklin County Stamp Club hosted the spring meeting at Wilton and this was the first use of the popular term “MAIPEX.” During the 1960s and 1970s, there was a revitalization of the Maine Philatelic Society, with many new folks joining to promote the organization. In 1968, it was decided the parent organization would sponsor a spring show -- now known as “MUDPEX” -- rather than asking local clubs to do it. It was also during this time that monthly MPS board meetings were held. MAIPEX and MUDPEX both continue, now hosted by the Waterville Stamp Club.
Members of the Maine Philatelic Society, notably Bruce Hazelton, with help from several other members, carried on the postal history interest, and MPS in 1995 published a book, The Post Offices of Maine: A Rarity Guide.
Unfortunately, like so many other such groups across the country, organized philately in Maine took a dip in the new century. Eventually, the society went into limbo, with no organized events or activities. Local clubs, such as the Waterville Stamp Club and the Aroostook County Collectors Club, continued with stamp shows. In January 2022, the society was reactivated and The Maine Philatelist, a quarterly journal devoted to philately in the Pine Tree State, was relaunched. Under the very capable editorship of Dr. Everett L. Parker, The Maine Philatelist averages twelve pages of news, articles, and regular features, on everything philatelic, related to Maine, and everything Maine, related to philately.
Sensing a renewed interest, over 125 members quickly joined, bringing us to the present day. Meanwhile, members had been working on an updated edition of the Hazelton book. We are happy to say that The Post Offices of Maine -- 2022, a revised, enhanced and enlarged edition, is now available, For details see http://www.mainephilatelic.org/books/TPOOM. All addenda and errata to the new book will be published in The Maine Philatelist.
The Maine Philatelic Society is focused on all aspects of philately, both in Maine and about Maine. It is both the statewide stamp club and the state postal history organization. Its purpose is to promote philately as a hobby and to collect and disseminate information for the benefit of all collectors.
We invite you to join us. Membership is open to all who are interested in Maine and in philately. Dues are only $15 a year for basic membership; $25 a year for benefactor; and $35 a year for champion. The membership form can be printed out from: http://www.mainephilatelic.org/join/MPS-membership-form.pdf.
If you would like additional information, contact the president,