W. G. Crosby Online Catalog
In the late 1970s and early 1980s I began to collect the first day covers of W. G. Crosby. I was intrigued by the little photographs he used on his covers and thought it would be fun to have a complete collection of his covers. Of course I thought that all I would have to do would be to simply acquire one cover for each stamp during the period he produced covers. Little did I know when I began that Crosby had made multiple different varieties of covers for each issue. In my initial foray into Crosby collecting I acquired more than 2000 covers. Finally, when other interests prevailed I sold my Crosby collection in a series of auctions that I ran myself from January through December 1981. Of course those were the days long before eBay and the internet and just at the time when the first of the Planty catalogs came out. Indeed, I had contacted Mike Mellone in the late '70s anxious to acquire the specialty catalogue of Crosby covers that he had advertised was soon to be forthcoming. Alas....he decided not to produce that catalog. In 1992, however, William H. Stroebel produced a wonderful book detailing Crosby's life and cachet-producing activities. It is an essential source for detailed information about Crosby and his cachets.
In about 1996, I started to dabble in Crosby covers again. While my original collection had encompased most of Crosby's cachet-making career, I decided this time to focus only on fdcs and only on covers produced prior to 1938. It is this era of the Crosby covers that are the most difficult to find and thus the most valuable. While the updated Planty catalogs do a good job of listing Crosby fdcs, nevertheless, many varieties are omitted. Moreover, the black and white presentation of the Planty catalogs makes it impossible to fully appreciate Crosby's covers. Consequently, at the suggestion of a number of people, I have decided to prepare this online catalog which will show in color Crosby covers and picture many varieties not shown in the Planty catalogs.
I began this process in June, 2004 and by the end of July, 2004, I completed the initial phase of this catalog --- illustrating Crosby FDCs from his early days through 1937. Almost all of these covers are from my own collection. Thus, of necessity, the catalog remains incomplete. Consequently I welcome others who have covers, to provide links where I can download them so that we can begin to create a comprehensive Crosby online catalog. Image width for scans should be 500 pixels. Larger scans only take up more space as I reduce the scans to that width for the purposes of this catalog. (If instead of providing links, you would prefer to send me scans, please contact me first due to bandwith limitations on my email.) Special thanks to John Kelahan and Karl Zurn for scans.
I have now completed my available scans for 1938 so would welcome additional scans for 1938 and earlier
. Until I have uploaded my currently available scans for any year, please do not send me scans for later years. It will be better to wait and see what I already have available...and then scans for missing covers can be provided. (For an update on the status of this catalog go to the contents
According to Stroebel, Crosby created photographic (Beazell type) covers for a number of the early issues including a complete set of National Parks covers. While I have a number of those covers, I have never yet seen any for the National Parks issues....and they are not shown in the Planty catalog. Consequently I would particularly love to have someone forward me scans of any Crosby National Parks covers.
To reach me contact me at:
I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions about this catalog and of course am always interested in obtaining early Crosby FDCs.