Donald R. Johnson - The Almost A.I.D. Cachet

(Published: January, 2019, Volume 19, Number 1, Issue #48) (Table Of Contents)
(Author: Larry Fillion)

The letter below from The Salomons explains that there was a telephone call between Donald R Johnson and Mrs. Salomon. (I believe the letter is signed "Mrs. Salomon") and it appears that Donald was looking to get a large order of FDCs serviced and possibly created. With the date of the letter being February 2, 1962, and The Salomons mostly creating and servicing FDCs for United States stamps, the conversation was most likely about United States Scott 1194 or United Nations Scott 102-103 which were all being issued on March 30, 1962 ()Donald was actually a part of the United Nations Scott 102-103 First Day ceremony). If you read the letter, a lot of questions can be raised of which most cannot be answered. Right below the letter are some questions which came to me and what I think could be possible answers.

Letter To Donald R Johnson About Creating FDCs
Letter From The Salomons Company To Donald R Johnson About Creating And/Or Servicing First Day Covers

  1. Who were The Salomons?

    Answer: For me to get the answer, I looked through the American First Day Cover Society's archive of "First Days". I have the CD of the complete set of PDFs so I could search all of them easily.
    "The Salomons of Silver Spring, Md. travel to First Day cities to service large quantities of covers for dealers and business organizations." ... "The wholesale cover servicers have a dispensation from the postal authorities that is essential to their business. To begin with they relieve the post office of the great additional labor and expense of servicing the large volume of covers that would otherwise have to be added to the free post office service. Since the private servicers do not have access to the stamps until the morning of First Day sale it is impossible for them to prepare their vast quantities of covers for mailing by afternoon closing time of the post office. Therefore, since they are acting in good faith by devoting their best efforts to the work at hand they are granted an extension of a day or more in time for completion of their work." 1

  2. What are "the three previous cacheted envelopes that we have prepared"?

    Answer:When I acquired the "Donald R Johnson" collection, there were no non-malaria FDCs so I do not know what these would be. I searched through Google, eBay, Delcampe, ... for Salomons FDCs but I could only find Maximum Cards (see question 5 below).

  3. What was "the printing problem that I [Mrs. Salomon] spoke of in copying a large picture is obvious on the 4-20-60 issue"?

    Answer: I have no idea. There was no United States stamp issued on April 20, 1960. I am not sure what this is.

  4. What were the "three other cachets that are enclosed are Artmaster, Fluegal, and House of Farnum"?

    Answer: With the date of the letter being 2/2/196, the three cachets would have been "un-serviced" meaning the cachet would be on the envelope but there would of course not be a stamp on them as the stamp would not be released for another eight weeks. Many of the large companies like Artmaster, Fluegal, and House of Farnam would sell "un-serviced" covers so customers could get them serviced themselves at stamp shows or create combination FDCs (other stamps added to the FDC besides the stamp being issued like foreign malaria stamps or previously released stamps with a similar theme). Below are possibly the three covers mentioned. Donald had them serviced and they are all addressed to him.

    House Of Farnam FDC
    United States Scott 1194 House Of Farnam FDC Addressed to Donald R Johnson

    Fluegal FDC
    United States Scott 1194 FDC Addressed to Donald R Johnson

    United Nations Scott 102-103 Artmaster FDC Addressed to Donald R Johnson

  5. What were the "Maximum Card samples that we [Mrs. Salomon] have enclosed"?

    Answer: I searched through Google, eBay, Delcampe, ... for Salomons Maximum Cards and I found the two below. They are from 1959 but this can shed some light on what Donald might have seen for examples:

    Salomons Cover 1
    Salomons MaxiCard For Scott 1130
    Salomons Cover 2
    Salomons MaxiCard For Scott 1134

  6. Did Donald R Johnson have The Salomons create a cachet and have it serviced"?

    Answer: I do not believe that he created a cachet. But possibly he brought copies of his papers and had them serviced. Below are a few of them with United Nations Scott 102-103 cancelled at the First Day Ceremony.

    Paper One
    Malaria Eradication And Postage Stamps (by Donald R Johnson) serviced with United Nations Scott 102-103.

    Paper Two
    Malaria Eradication Activities In Asia (by Donald R Johnson) serviced with United Nations Scott 102-103.


  1. "First Days", November-December 1968, page 12, published by American First Day Cover Society,