Stanley Ashbrook's "Special Service"

Stanley B. Ashbrook (1882-1958), noted Unites States postal historian, published his Special Service as part of a subscription service distributed to clients. Published between 1951 and 1957, it is one of the first publications that dealt with U.S. postal history in an analytical way. He wrote at length about the detection of fakes and forgeries. With each issue, he included glossy photographs of the covers he discussed.

The links below are organized by year of publication. All files are in PDF format with searchable text. The "Year Published" files includes the text and the "Images" files, scanned from a set of glossies, include the images for the corresponding issues. All image numbers are referenced in the text.

It should be mentioned that new information has come to light in the last sixty years that has revised some of Ashbrook's opinions and interpretations. However, the methods used to analyze covers as postal history artifacts, remains a great contribution to the field.

Year Published Issue Nos. Page Nos. Images
1951 1-9 1-54 1-34
1952 10-21 55-150 35-69
1953 22-33 151-244 70-129
1954 34-45 245-360 130-184
1955 46-57 361-456 185-235
1956 58-69 457-560 236-276
1957 70-81 561-658 277-319

In addition to Ashbrook photographs distributed to all subscribers,  additional photos were sent to individuals who had contributed material for text only inclusion. If any readers have examples of any extra images and would care to share, please contact me.

Richard Frajola (Dec 2011)