On November 10, 1919, a group of stamp collectors organized the Syracuse Stamp Club to promote their mutual interest and enjoy good fellowship. Meetings were held at the Onondaga Historical Society building on Montgomery St., and the club experienced gradual growth. Circuits were available at each meeting, but auctions were only held once or twice per year. (However, one auction, held March 3-4, 1932, included a copy of US #1 and lasted until 1 a.m.!) The first twenty years of the club’s history are somewhat hazy, but two events stand out. One is the club’s participation in the First Day ceremonies for the 1927 Saratoga commemorative stamp. The other is a banquet held on May 21, 1931. Legendary collector Arthur Hind of Utica was the guest of honor and showed some of his fabulous collection.
Around the time of the Second World War, a good many of the members were specialists and some outstanding collections were passed around for inspection. A show and dinner took place annually, and these often featured noted speakers such as Herman Herst, Harry Lindquist, Harry M. Konwiser, and Max Johl.
The club signed on as a charter member of the Federation of Central New York Philatelic Societies in 1940, and its members frequently served as Federation officers. (Syracuse and Elmira are the only founding clubs of still in existence.)
Several major developments in the club’s history took place at mid-century. In about 1953, the club was invited to a joint meeting with the Syracuse Women’s Stamp Club at the Goodyear-Burlingame School. (At that time, the SSC was an all male organization.) The two organizations met together regularly until 1956, when the Women’s Club disbanded and its members joined the SSC.
In 1959, three SSC members Anton Zahm, Austin Dulin, and Fred Scholl created a monthly Federation newsletter that later evolved into the Stamp Insider. In October of that year, the club sponsored its first SYRAPEX show.
The 1990s to the present
In 1990, the club participated in its second First Day ceremony, this one for Scott #2452, the Circus Wagon definitive in the Transportation series at EMPEX ’90, a Federation show hosted by the club.
The character of the club has changed considerably since the early days. Topical collectors are becoming more numerous, and with the vast number of new issues the old-time general collector is becoming a minority. Auctions are held more frequently and membership continues to increase.
A number of junior collectors have been added to the club and they are rapidly increasing their stamp knowledge. These young people have great potential for future leadership in our club.
The club is blessed with excellent officers and directors who give their time and best efforts to the affairs of the organization, and it continues to evolve and prosper as new ideas and new members change its character.
This club history was adapted by Daniel Piazza from Howard Scarrett’s History of the Syracuse Stamp Club, written in 1979 as the stuffer in this commemorative cover for the club’s sixtieth anniversary: