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ATA Chapter #94

ATA Chapter #94

The AG Files

Ed Silver, EFOCC Member #14, is a stamp dealer doing business under the name Ag and at the same address, P.O.B. 1, Medford, NJ 08055, since at least 1977. From 1977 through 1983, he wrote an EFO column, first in Stamp Show News and then in Stamp Review.

We are fortunate that he has given us copies of these articles, and we produce them here in their entirety. Thank you, Ed!

Additional thanks are due John Hotchner who also provided a number of articles from the same series.

The articles are fascinating because they describe issues and concerns prevalent at a time when EFO collecting was getting started. For example, the very first article discusses how to address situations when dealers would not pay attention to customers asking for EFOs. One of the later articles asks readers whether they would join a "study group or club" focusing on EFOs. That was around the time the EFOCC was formed, and the contact given was Marcel Sager, one of the founders of the EFOCC.

In addition to Silver's articles, there is one article by Jaqueline Willens, vice president at Metro Stamp Co., that appeared in Stamp Review after Silver's column came to an end.

Many of the articles have the same title, "More Freaks & Errors", so below we provide a listing of the articles as well as a summary of each article. Click on the title of an article to see the article itself.

More Freaks & Errors (5/1977)
Silver discusses errors that cropped up following a change from perf 10 to perf 11 at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in March 1917.

The Assertive Freak Collector (11/1977)
Many collectors and dealers consider freaks the riff-raff of stamp collecting. Silver discusses how to overcome these prejudices.

More Freaks & Errors (12/1977)
Silver reviews how prices of some EFOs have changed, how an error gets a Scott listing. He concludes by reviewing a recent EFO find and some startling EFO realizations at auctions.

More Freaks & Errors (2/1978)
Silver replies to reader mail, including Stan Portnoy who asks whether he knows of a stamp club or chapter "focusing on the study and collecting of errors and freaks." He also opines on why there are many coil errors.

More Freaks & Errors (3/1978)
Silver discusses the need for an EFO catalog and how one may assign values to EFOs based on scarcity and "degree of deviance."

More Freaks & Errors (5/1978)
In this fascinating article, Silver mentions that he had a query from Marcel Sager and Stan Portnoy about readers interested in forming "an EFO club or study group." (A few months later, the EFOCC was formed). He also discusses "errors of post office clerks", Dr. Stanley Segal's book, "Errors, Freaks and Oddities - The Question Mark", as well as some reader queries related to error valuations.

More Freaks & Errors - The Poor Person's Inverts (6/1978)
After commenting on the rising prices of more famous errors, Silver proposes consideration of errors of revenue stamps, such as the 1871-72 documentary inverts. He then mentions creation of the EFO Collectors' Club, and discusses some new EFO finds.

More Freaks & Errors (10/1978)
Silver answers readers' questions.

More Freaks & Errors - A Conversation with Marvin Frey (12/1978)
An interview with noted EFO dealer Marvin Frey.

More Freaks & Errors (1/1979)
Silver answers readers' queries about low priced errors. He describes the difference between freaks, which are lower priced, and errors, and then gives some examples with estimated prices.

More Freaks & Errors - Growth in EFO Interest (2/1979)
Silver comments on the increase in EFO interest as evicenced in the APS membership survey, about handling new EFO discoveries and how he once bought at the Post Office window a misregistered sheet.

More Freaks & Errors - Freaks Add Zest to Plate Block Collecting (7/1979)
Silver discusses the joys of plate blocks with ghosted plate numbers and a couple of new discoveries.

More Freaks & Errors - CASDA - An EFO Success (9/1979)
Silver discusses the advantage of smaller bourses held by the CASDA (Central Atlantic Stamp Dealers Association), his discoveries at those bourses, recent EFO related publications and finished by putting in a plug for the EFOCC. Thanks, Ed!

More Freaks & Errors - What Price Glory? (11/1979)
Silver discusses EFO price levels, factors that affect these levels, and concludes with a review of recent EFO publications.

More Freaks & Errors - Freaking Out (12/1979)
After a very eloquent and poetic introduction, Silver discusses errors where text is missing or distorted. He then discusses the case where, in an auction, a reserve causes an item to be sold "to the book", and, in the list of realized prices, it appears sold at the reserve price, even though it was not sold, since the reserve price was not met.

More Freaks & Errors - The Bower Shows (1/1980)
Silver writes about an encounter with Dick Bower, a promoter of stamp and coin shows.

More Freaks & Errors (2/1980)
Silver reviews the missing dot variety from a past issue, answers some mail and then gives hint how readers might be able to find color shift freaks in their collections.

More Freaks & Errors - More On Prices (3/1980)
Silver comments on how prices of stamps have gone up in value, and predicts that prices of errors are also bound to rise. He gives several examples of changes in prices of errors.

More Freaks & Errors (5/1980)
Silver reviews two publications, Mosher's "Discovering U.S. Rotary Booklet Pane Varieties 1926-1978" and Segal's "Errors, Freaks and Oddities on U.S. Stamps - Question Marks in Philately".

More Freaks & Errors - A Conversation With Metro (6/1980)
Silver interviews Ray Snitow, head of Metro Stamp Co.

More Freaks & Errors - Trust Is Not Enough (7/1980)
Silver focuses on EFO description errors and gives some examples, and on the effect of these description errors on prices.

More Freaks & Errors - An EFO Anonymous? (8/1980)
Silver gets philosophical about his secret envy feelings and yearns to join EFO Anonymous, should one ever get created.

More Freaks & Errors (9/1980)
Silver answers readers' questions.

More Freaks & Errors - More About Trust (10/1980)
Silver discusses issues of authenticity when looking at freaks errors.

More Freaks & Errors - Balpex A Winner (11/1980)
Silver starts off by expressing his fondness for Balpex and then describes one of its dealers, Jim Sanders.

More Freaks & Errors - A Conversation With Stan Goldfarb (12/1980)
Silver interviews EFO dealer Stan Goldfarb.

More Freaks & Errors (2/1981)
Silver discusses the misperforated Architecture stamps and then thinks, following the ASDA Show in New York City, about stamp prices and speculators' effects on stamp prices.

More Freaks & Errors (3/1981)
Silver discusses the chain of events surrounding some PTA offsets he owns.

More Freaks & Errors - Color Missing Errors (4/1981)
Silver observes that speculators are targeting U.S. color missing errors and that an investment advisor is even hoarding these for sale to his customers as investments.

More Freaks & Errors - Collective Bargaining Imperf Error Sheet Surfaces (5/1981)
Silver describes the discovery of a Collective Bargaining imperf sheet and how the Secret Service held on to it for six years and its agents wrote notes in the margin.

More Freaks & Errors (6/1981)
Silver follows up on his article about the Collective Bargaining misperf, and reviews some error price changes.

More Freaks & Errors (8/1981)
Silver speculates about what the repercussions would be if the John Paul Jones and Benjamin Bannaker imperfs were found to be printer's waste.

More Freaks & Errors (9/1981)
To buy or not to buy? Silver does not follow his own advice and gets burned.

More Freaks & Errors (10/1981)
Silver is happy that the baseball strike gave him a chance to normalize his life.

More Freaks & Errors (12/1981)
Silver shares incidents involving dealers behaving ethically.

More Freaks & Errors - Dinner With Parker (1/1982)
Silver recounts a memorable dinner with J. Emerson Parker, III., an explorer, inventor, presumable CIA agent, connoisseur and EFO collector.

More Freaks & Errors - Dealers Want Dealers, Too (2/1982)
Silver describes the verious relationships between dealers, shows a bisect and a contradiction.

More Freaks & Errors (3/1982)
Silver discusses coils, coil plate numbers, matched coil plate numbers and asks whether a reader would like to exchange stamps with an incarcerated collector.

More Freaks & Errors - Erring at Errors (4/1982)
Silver discusses an erroneous bid he made at an auction, and also mentions that the EFOCC will open its auctions to non-members.

More Freaks & Errors - My Mind is in the Gutter (5/1982)
Silver discusses gutter snipes and features that make variations of gutter snipes more or less desirable.

More Freaks & Errors - Wacky, Wonderful World (6/1982)
Silver first discusses on how specialists go about locating errors, then describes responses he has received to his erroneous bid featured in an earlier article.

More Freaks & Errors - Selling Your Error Stamps (7/1982)
Silver discusses three classes of owners of error stamps and how they would approach selling their error stamps.

More Freaks & Errors - Selling Errors at Auction (8/1982)
Silver discusses the pros and cons of selling stamps at auction, of large auction houses vs. smaller firms vs. specialty houses.

More Freaks & Errors (9/1982)
Silver describes a get-together with Larry Weiss and Tony Callendrello and thinks about the differences between a ""philatelist" and a "collector". He concludes that the world needs both.

More Freaks & Errors - Right Tool for Right Job (10/1982)
Silver discusses how to cut imperf sheets or coils.

More Freaks & Errors (11/1982)
Silver discusses another cheap invert collectible variety and how to remove panes from booklets without cutting off the adhesive tab that fastens the pane to the booklet cover.

More Freaks & Errors - Philatelic Freak Confesses (12/1982)
Silver start off by discussing his addiction to stamp shows and then describes fishing permit stamps from Marion County, Kansas.

More Freaks & Errors (1/1983)
Silver reviews error stamps collected by non-error collectors and speculators, and speculates that economic conditions will lead to lower stamp prices.

More Freaks & Errors - So Where Are The Christmas Errors? (3/1983)
Silver reviews errors on Christmas stamps, and provides a table listing errors found from 1962 through 1981.

More Freaks & Errors - When is a Color-Missing Error not a Color-Missing Error? (4/1983)
Silver discusses color-missing errors, describes cases where the color presumed to be missing is not completely missing, and also corrects an earlier article by indicating that EFOCC auctions are not open to non-members.

Freaks & Errors On Definitive Stamps (by Jaqueline Willens) (8/1983)
Willens discusses errors on definitive stamps, using as example the Flag Over Supreme Court issue.

John M. Hotchner
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