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Stamp Trade News Magazine (1912-1930)


click on any photo for a larger image - Robert Hay circa 1915
Robert Howsmon Hay worked in the stamp industry for 40 years, starting in October 1912 as editor and publisher of the national magazine "The Stamp Trade News," then the magazine owner until May 1930, and finally as owner and president of the Hay Rubber Stamp Company for 35 years (1918-1952) until his death.

"In our January issue (question No. 1387) a subscriber asked if there was a trade journal published in the interest of the stampmaker. We have been informed that the Stamp Trade News is the official organ of the International Stamp Manufacturers' Association. It is published by Robert H. Hay, 710 Thirteenth street, Washington D. C."
- The Inland Printer, 1913, p. 895

"Mr. Hay was an avid reader of biographies and a student of Lincoln. This was reflected in the many stories and articles he wrote for the Stamp Trade News. He was a down-to-earth writer and the columns of the magazine were always filled with news of individuals and firms who were struggling to build this industry."
- Marking Industry Magazine, June 1952 (second on right)

This document details what is known about The Stamp Trade News, and links to select pages of the magazine Robert published for over 18 years. In 1930 he sold his interest in the magazine after a two-year search to Lightner Publishing Corporation, which changed the name to "Marking Devices." At some point before 1952 the name was modified to "Marking Industry Magazine" as that is the name Aunt Fran wrote in her diary (second on right).

June? 1930 announcement
Aunt Fran's diary page with her brother Robert's obituary
Marilyn's 1999 letter to David Hachmeister, Marking Industry Magazine
It appears to me (DLH) that Robert successfully built the magazine up to the point that it was hard for him to self-publish. Thus he looked for a company that had its own printing plant and advertising departments.

January 1930 issue Announcement excerpts (full announcement at right):
     With this issue, Stamp Trade News, which has been published in Washington, D. C., for the past 22 years, moves to Chicago and assumes the new title of MARKING DEVICES.
     For perhaps two years negotiations have been going on... leading to the arrangement that has just been completed ... experience, good-will and favorable standing of Robert H. Hay in the trade is combined with the publishing facilities and (marketing ?) of the Lightner Publishing Corporation.
     For some time Mr. Hay had realized that the publication would be better in a big commercial city... than in the national capital. He also realized that a publishing organization, having its own printing plant and (?) and advertising departments, would be in better position to ? and extend the scope and service of the magazine. ...

The magazine started with a subscription rate of $1/year and 10¢/monthly copy in 1914; in 1930 it was $1.50/year and 15¢/monthly copy.


Marilyn's foreword, 2017:

After my parents' deaths, I ended up with family letters and a diary written by my grandfather's sister, my Aunt Fran. An obituary for her brother Robert H. Hay, which had appeared in the June 1952 issue of Marketing Industry Magazine, was glued on one of the pages. Grandpa had "made his mark a lasting one" with regard to having edited and published the Stamp Trade News from 1912-1930, I read. I was eleven at the time of Grandpa's death, just becoming interested in him as a person. Intrigued, in 1999 I tracked down David Hachmeister in Elmhurst, IL. His father had purchased the Stamp Trade News in 1930, apparently from my grandfather.

David had the back issues stored in boxes in the attic of his home in the Chicago area and offered to bring them to his office when I came through town that November. I was unprepared for what I found on the one day I had set aside to rummage through them and make photocopies of selected pages, which David had so graciously offered.

The medium gray covers of the magazines, perhaps once tan, disintegrated -- dust motes drifting through the air -- as I perused each issue. Every twenty minutes I had to wash the debris off of my hands in order not to smear it on everything I touched. I copied 172 pages that day. By the time I got to the 1926 issues, black began streaking the pages. I copied less, worried that I had damaged their equipment, but I wanted to get to 1930 and find out why Grandpa decided to sell publication. The copier had stopped working entirely by that point. Someone at the office offered to copy the final page and mail it to me after I got home. It is only partially legible. But the answer is there.

Did I find my grandfather in the worn pages? As I read his editorials, his portraits of early leaders in the field, technical articles and the competitions he created to encourage the people in his field to work together instead of competing, I could visualize the twinkle in his eyes and the laugh lines in the corners. And I missed him.


Magazine pages

172 selected magazine pages for 1914-1930 (1912-1913 and 1915-1921 not available)
(45MB pdf file, so may take time to open or download!)(see 14 select pages below)

Note: These 172 pages represent maybe 3% of the magazine. However, Marilyn estimates that perhaps 65% of the magazine was advertisements, 20% minutes of meetings/miscellaneous news, and 15% articles/editorials. Marilyn copied mainly the articles/editorials, with samples of the advertisements and meetings; she copied perhaps 10% of the articles, less of the later years when the copy machine was malfunctioning. Circa 2015 the original magazines were sold to Mr. Chaunlong Ni {addressed Ni Chaunlong in Chinese) of the Success Group near Shanghai, China.
A huge thank you to David Hachmeister for preserving all these old issues, and for sharing
both the magazines and his xerox machine! And to Marilyn for all the xeroxing and scanning!

The 172-page pdf includes the following:
              (1912-1913 not available)
  1-13 - selected 1914 pages (13 pages)
              (1915-1921 not available)
14-28 - selected 1922 pages (15 pages)
29-58 - selected 1923 pages (30 pages)
59-101 - selected 1924 pages (43 pages)
102-135 - selected 1925 pages (34 pages)
136-153 - selected 1926 pages (18 pages)
154-160 - selected 1927 pages (7 pages)
161-164 - selected 1928 pages (4 pages)
165-167 - selected 1929 pages (3 pages)
168-172 - selected 1930 pages (5 pages)

One of our favorite writings about Abraham Lincoln by Robert Hay (April, 1924, p.78):
THE GREAT ADVANTAGE OF PREPAREDNESS
Abraham Lincoln once said, "I will study and get ready, then maybe my chance will come." That he was prepared to grasp the opportunity to serve mankind in the remarkable manner that he did is now common knowledge. The example should stand before all as a necessary rule to follow, for it is only those who are called for a position who are considered competent to fill it successfully. It would be just as possible for a man without training and natural ability to conduct successfully an important job as it would be for him to lift a ton weight with his bare hands.
There is a crying need in the stamp industry for this spirit. How many of the rank and file of machine and benchmen are ready to take the next step up the ladder to the position of foreman? How many of the foremen are qualified to fill the superintendent's job?

Our favorite accolades of Robert's magazine:
Letter from Frank W. Lane (May, 1924, p.84):
"This is a busy world, and between business and pleasure there are very few idle minutes -- but I always take time to read the Stamp Trade News. The news items keep us in touch with what all men in the industry are doing, the advertisements keep us up to date, the special articles make us realize the great benefit of cooperation and organization. I am glad the day has come when I can count my competitor my best and most trusted friend. ..."

Letter from Stamp Employee (December, 1924, p.97)
'I greatly appreciate your paper, which always has something of interest to the employee as well as the employer, although it is mostly an expression from an association of marking device factory owners. But I realize that the man who works in the shop has an opportunity to better himself only so far as his employer betters himself in the development of his business. Therefore, I never fail to find your paper interesting. ..."

Selected pages to illustrate the variety of subjects covered in the magazine

1914 Stamp Trade News cover (p.1) 1914 lost tax opportunity (p.2) 1923 officers - Robert Hay was Governor of District #9 (p.34) 1923 letter to editor - more on stock stamps (p.39) 1924 for sale, wanted, trade notes (p.47) 1924 article on the importance of rubber stamps (p.68) 1924 various stamp designs (Robert often published unusual stamps/stencils)(p.94)
June 22-26 1925 -- the 14th convention of the International Stamp Manufacturer's Association -- 215 members and guests at the Traymore Hotel, the largest summer resort hotel in the world -- Robert and Alma Hay are in here somewhere! (p.121) Besides these international conventions, there were local meetings and national conventions!

1924 stamp industry statistics (p.100) 1925 stamp and stencil firms nationwide (there are only two rubber stamp firms in DC; the other two are stencils)(p.109) 1925 "Things You Should Know" (magazine had manufacturing information and suggestions)(p.117) 1925 stamp contest (p.130) 1926 Hay Rubber Stamp Company adverrtisement (p.141) 1927 first stamp pioneer J. F. W. Dorman (1836-?) (magazine often wrote about characters in the business)(p.160) 1930 business outlook after 1929 stock market crash (p.168)



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