A rare World Stamp Chart from 1948

Edward L[indsay] Bell, WORLD STAMP CHART[:] COUNTRIES AND COLONIES LOCATED. Cambridge, Mass.: Edward L. Bell, 1948.
Printed in black and yellow, 15 7/8”h x 25 1/8”w at neat line plus margins. Bit of cockling from moisture at left and some light staining in margins, but very good.

A rare relic of a bygone era when stamp collecting was still a big deal. The chart features a central map of the world (ca. 8”h x 13”w), surrounded by a table listing “the locations of all countries & colonies that have or are issuing postage stamps.” Each listed location is keyed to the map by means of an alphanumeric grid. The chart, rather dry overall, is enlivened by images of “a few interesting designs found on stamps.” A large empty space near the bottom is left for mounting stamps.

A text column at left explains the use of the chart and offers a bit of puffery:

“The stamp chart is acknowledged by superintendents, headmasters, teachers and pupils of schools as a help in the study of geography and history. Educational, entertaining, and more fascinating as you peruse its many features thru the stamp hobby. Business & professional men appreciate its value.”

The title block of the map lists copyright dates of 1932, 1936, 1937, 1940 and 1948; while OCLC lists editions of 1932, 1934, 1937 and 1940. It is however surprisingly rare: I have never seen it, OCLC lists a grand total of six institutional holdings for all editions, and at present I find no others for sale on the Internet.

Edward L. Bell seems to have tried his hand at the business of designing and selling such charts for educational purposes. I recently handled another by him, titled United State Frigate Constitution “Old Ironsides”. Judging by their rarity, he may not have met with much success.

As of Feb. 2020 this edition is unrecorded in OCLC.