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Biophilately Volumes 1-62

with Unit History Jack R. Congrove

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Forward aa ii | Genesis... 1 About the Іпдех.222.Л2мл222222. 59 Production Methods ............................ 47 | Early Yéats. cei edens 2 | Contributors 2... 60 Unit О#йсегѕ..... 49 | Adolescent Үеатѕ................................. 15 | Publication раќеѕ................................. 64 Distinguished Topical Philatelists ....... 53. | Maturity icit 2] | References ...........sssseeeeee 68 Demographics.............. e 54 | Transitions 22222022221. 33 Section 1: Воѓапу................................. 70 Unit Constitution & By-Laws ............. 56 | Current Organization ........................... 40 | Section 2: 20010ру............................... 81 Acknowledgements ............................. 69 Section 3: Сепега].............................. 104

Section 4: Аџіһогз.............................. 120

Biophilately Index and Unit History


Editor Jack R. Congrove

P.O. Box 33092, Fort Lewis, WA 98433, USA


Richard Roman Dick.Roman@SbcGlobal.Net

Associate Editors

Christopher E. Dahle

1401 Linmar Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Dr. Paul A. Mistretta

4148 Commodore Dr., Atlanta, GA 30341



Michael Prince Mammalia “Dorset,” Grove Road, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hants. U.K.

Glenn G. Mertz

625 N. Lafayette St., Allentown, РА 18104

Charles E. Braun

7 Winthrop Drive, Aiken, SC 29803

Kris P. Lindstrom

P.O. Box 51008, Pacific Grove, CA 93950


New Birds


Ian Hunter Invertebrate Zoology 77 Edgevalley Way N.W., Calgary, AB

T3A 4X7, Canada

Donald Wright, Jr. 84 Woosamonsa Rd., Pennington, NJ 08534

Dr. Hans-Peter Schultze

2001 Vermont, Lawrence, KS 66046



The purpose of the journal is to provide members with informative articles dealing with biological topics and to publish


Alan J. Hanks President 34 Seaton Drive, Aurora, ON Canada L4G 2K1

Larry E. Davidson Vice-President Р.О. Box 154, Tobermory, ON Canada NOH 2К0

Christopher E. Dahle Secretary/Treasurer 1401 Linmar Dr. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402


Jack R. Congrove (Washington)

Lois C. Herrmann (New Mexico)

Dr. Frederick C. Skvara (New Jersey) Donald P. Wright, Jr. (New Jersey)

Publicity Director

William Cochrane

9/30 William Street, Castlemaine, Victoria 3450 Australia


Mark Reineke

925 Boychuk Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7H 4L6 Canada

Web Site www

The Biology Unit, founded in 1951, is a study unit of the American Topical Association dedicated to the inter- national cooperative study of biological postage stamps and related material.

Back copies of Biophilately are available from the Librarian. Copies of separate articles are available at a charge six cents per page. Please contact the individual associate editors if you have queries about the content of their columns.

Send membership enquiries and change of address notices to the Secretary, Chris Dahle, (319) 364-4999. See last page for membership application.

listings covering the new zoological and botanical issues of the world, identified and classified to the best of our ability.

Please send letters, comments on the journal, articles, or new material to the Editor (data above). The Publisher will handle

requests for issues from the current year. Contact the Librarian (address above) for copies of all other issues.

NOTE: Please provide a self-addressed envelope with the necessary return postage (or International Reply Coupons, if

available) for all enquiries requiring an answer.

The term Scott and Scott Catalogue numbers are trademarks of Amos Philatelics, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Company.

December 2013

December 2013 Biophilately Index and Unit History iii


This document started out as an effort to provide an index to all issues of Biophilately: The Official Journal of the Biology Unit of the ATA in order to serve as a reference for researchers and to assist Unit members with locating past articles of interest and checklists relating to their particular collecting topic. My original intent was to consolidate the listings from previous indexes and update them with entries for the more recent journal editions.

However, while obtaining and reviewing past versions of indexes, it became immediately apparent to me that they were inadequate and not comprehensive enough to be of much use for research or reference purposes. I do not mean this statement to denigrate the efforts of past indexers, as they often focused on a different purpose for their listings, and these documents do provide valuable starting points for listing articles and authors. Also, as I soon discovered, our Unit Library had some serious gaps in its holdings, these listings helped fill in gaps where the original journal was not on hand, or had missing pages.

Some of the previous indexes merely listed the titles of the articles and few gave any indication of the identity of the authors. Often the titles had no relation to the actual subject of the article. Some used cutesy phrases and others only provided a portion of what the entire article was about. For example, how was one to know that the article titled “Answers to Mrs. Anne Delfeld's Questions" dealt with the difference between sapodilla and sapote, which are two very different fruits? Or that an article titled “Fancy Meeting You Here" was actually a checklist of Saturniid moths on stamps?

Thus, it became necessary for me to go to the actual journal edition and look at each article.

I mention this neither to complain nor boast, because this effort actually afforded me the chance to read some very interesting and informative writing from decades ago that I otherwise would never have encountered. It also provided me with an appreciation for all the struggles that the Unit and its members have faced and all of the successes it has achieved over its 62-year history.

The mention of history brings me to the other aspect of this document. As I was browsing through each edition, I often became distracted and found myself reading entire articles that piqued my interest. This is a temptation that I (and I am sure other researchers) often succumb to when performing their investigations. I start out looking up a bird species and the next thing I know, I am perusing an article about Napoleon.

While reading about the undertakings of the Unit during its early years, it struck me that few of our current members and probably no one from outside the Unit were aware of these activities, including how the Unit started and its labor to reach its 63rd anniversary. So, since I would be looking through each edition anyway, I wondered to myself why not extract any interesting historical information, and include a section containing a brief history of the Unit along with the index data?

Thus, like Topsy, it “grow’d.”

I found it fascinating to note the influence of the Editor on the style and content of each volume of the publication. Simon Becker, the first assigned editor, apparently merely accumulated whatever information the members sent him and placed it in the issue without much "editing." Dr. Willard Stanley took over when Father Becker resigned and he was an editor truly worthy of the title, for he thoroughly organized, researched, and edited each article entered in the journal and also provided scholarly scientific articles and much commentary of his own. Under his guidance, the journal grew into an extensive and professional publication.

Following Dr. Stanley's 15-year long service were some more-or-less interim editors, who lacked his scientific expertise. As a result, the quantity of science-oriented articles declined and the journal began to include more checklists. Then Gus Eglajs took over followed by George Ball and, while these editors also did not have the scientific credentials of Dr. Stanley, they were quite expert in their own fields and were able to provide a variety of articles to appeal across the entire field of biology. Under these editors, the current familiar departments took shape including long-running columns such as *New Birds in the Philatelic Aviary" and others. The journal also began to accumulate awards in philatelic literature competitions.

Next under Alan Hanks's editorship the journal became more devoted to checklists of new issues. This focus was in accordance with the desires of most Unit members and occurred during the time when stamp issuing authorities

iv Biophilately Index and Unit History December 2013

began producing large quantities of topical issues, especially ones showing biological subjects. Dr. Bruce Cruickshank lamented this situation in two separate articles titled, “Тоо Many Bird Stamps?" But, as the new issues became more numerous, this meant less space for articles and other biophilatelic news items. Hanks went on to serve as Editor for a record 19 years finally passing the job on to me.

This project has been absorbing as it enabled me to read fascinating articles from the past. I found that one theme has continued throughout the span of publication and that is the requests by the Editor for input from Unit members. Many issues have been filled with articles and commentary from the journal editor with little input from other contributors. When the editors have been articulate and informed, this has provided interesting reading despite the lack of variety. When editors have been less erudite, the content has suffered.

It is common that many members do not contribute anything other than their dues to the organizations to which they belong. What is concerning is that the members of our organization all possess knowledge that would be at least useful and more likely informative and educational to the rest of the Unit. As Editor, but also as a reader, I urge each of you to put together two or three paragraphs on whatever topic that interests you and submit it for publication in the journal. Then you will be able to see your name in the next version of the Index.

The members of the Biology Unit can justly be proud of its achievements and I think you will find here some interesting information about the Unit and its past members that you did not even suspect.

Jack R. Congrove Fort Lewis, Washington December 2013

December 2013 Biophilately Index and Unit History



In 1949, Jerome Husak established the American Topical Association in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The ATA has grown since then to become the largest organization in the world devoted to topical stamp collecting, with more than 6,000 members in over 90 countries. Two years later a group of topical collectors formed the Biology Study Unit dedicated to the study of postage stamps and related material depicting biological subjects. Other than perhaps

the very general topic of persons on stamps, biological themes form the largest category of topical postage stamp issues. The Biology Unit has the distinction of being the second oldest study unit in the ATA, with the Casey Jones Railroad Unit being the first. The first notice to Unit members was a letter from Homer L. Jones dated 22 May 1951, listing seven members. This letter constitutes Volume 1, Number 1, of the Biology Unit journal.

The seven founding members of the Biology Unit were: Floyd D. Bailey (Oregon), =

Harold D. Bearce (Missouri), Ray Fillingham (New York), John H. Groet (Indiana), Homer L. Jones (Pennsylvania), John R. Spannuth (Pennsylvania), and Willard F. Stanley (New York). This quantity was below the required number of members to become a study unit, but the ATA national organization waived the requirement apparently with the anticipation that the biology topic was popular enough that the unit would have no problem quickly gaining sufficient members to qualify.

On 13 June 1951, Jones published a second newsletter titled Leaves and Petals: Newssheet of the Biological Unit of the American Topical Association, to update the unit members. It provided the results of the first election of officers. Homer Jones was elected President and Dr. Willard Stanley was elected Secretary.

Homer L. Jones (BU1) Biology Unit Founder First President and Editor

The next edition on 15 July 1951 was titled Philatelic Leaves and

9% w % P d Petals, and this monthly newsletter continued until 15 November SS 1951, when the name changed again to Biological Tid-Bits, in order

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to encompass the entire biological spectrum. The purpose of this journal was to inform the members about new issues related to zoological and botanical themes and to provide articles regarding the science of biology as it relates to philately. Within the period of

ў "тылын one year encompassing the first Volume, the study unit membership

American Topical Association

had increased from the seven founding members to a total of 49.

During this first year, the study unit began publishing listings of new Issues in the newsletter. These listings have continued throughout successive volumes and have become a primary aspect of the current publication. The Unit members were also busy developing by-laws for the operation of the unit and setting the amount of annual dues. In Volume 1, Number 4, dues were established at 50 cents per year.

The members adopted the initial Unit By-Laws consisting of four articles on 1 October 1951. These added the officer positions of Vice-President and two Unit Directors and changed the Secretary position to that of Secretary-Treasurer. Mrs. S. S. Kimball was

Biological Tid-Bits Cover Design appointed as Vice-President, and Harold Bearce and John Spannuth Volumes 1-4 were appointed as Directors to serve until the next election scheduled for the ATA Convention in June 1952.

2 Biophilately Index and Unit History December 2013

In addition to his duties as Unit President, Homer Jones also served as the editor of Biological Tid-Bits during the Unit's first year through Volume 1, Number 10, when Harold Bearce took over the position temporarily. During that period, the newsletter had grown from a single page to as many as eight. In Volume 1, Number 11, of March 1952, Jones named the first group of Assistant Editors to concentrate on specialized topics: Mrs. S. S. Kimball (New Issues), Floyd D. Bailey (Trees), Willard F. Stanley and Dwight Whitcomb (Mammals), C. Russell Mason (Birds), and F. Eugene Gonzales (Insects). These were the predecessors of our current Associate Editors. Starting with Volume 1, Number 12, Father Simon C. Becker took the reins as editor.

From the very beginning of the Biology Unit, its members were involved with the production of topical listings. The Unit has the distinction of having supported more ATA Handbooks than any other starting with HB1-2, Biology Philately, by Homer L. Jones. Over its existence, Unit members have participated in producing three handbooks on Horses, six on Flowers and Plants, five on Birds, three on Insects with a new one in the works, two on Fish, two on Pharmacy, and four on various Mammals including Bats and Bears.


The Biology Unit held its second annual meeting at the First ATA National Convention and Exhibition, then known as TOPEX, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on Sunday morning, 22 June 1952. Seven of the total 76 Unit members were in attendance. At that time, the Biology Unit was the largest study unit in the ATA and the only one to hold a meeting at the show. All the unit officers were re-elected. In addition to serving as the Unit President, Homer Jones was at the time also the ATA President.

The other main business at this meeting involved recommending an increase in the annual dues to $1.00 in order to pay costs that the newsletter editor and others were covering out of their own funds. The membership later that year voted on this and other amendments to the Unit Constitution via mail-in ballot and the dues increase passed by an overwhelming margin.

The Biology Unit also set another precedent by presenting awards at TOPEX іп the name of the Unit for the best exhibits with a Biological theme. The first place award went to William Howell of Ohio for his exhibit on Birds, which also took the Reserve Grand Award. The second award went to Johanna E. Rich of New Jersey for her Insects on Stamps exhibit. John H. Groet of Indiana received the third award for his Flowers exhibit.

To help understand the significance of these activities, it is important to know that TOPEX '52 was only the second international topical exhibition to have ever been held worldwide. It received extensive media coverage and was such a great success that this topical stamp show has been an annual event ever since.

Even in the second year of its publication, Biological Tid-Bits was receiving lots of publicity and esteem in the philatelic press including Linn's Weekly Stamp News and Stamps. During the second year, the Biology Unit gained its first international members from Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and England.

Officers of the Biology Unit were also very active in organizing and running the early TOPEX conventions serving as members of various committees. The Unit also began a project to produce slide show series on Biology topics. The first series in 1953 was about flowers on stamps.

In the final edition of Volume 2 in April 1953, Dr. Willard F. Stanley published his analysis of the results of a survey on the topics collected by the 125 members of the Biology Unit (see Table 1).

Dr. Stanley's conclusion was that with 59 of the members collecting stamps that show anything biological and an additional 25 members collecting beyond the limits ofthe central theme, there could be little doubt that the published checklists should be as inclusive as possible.

Starting with Volume 3, the officers of the Biology Unit decided not to issue the journal in the months of July and August reducing the quantity of annual issues to ten. This decision apparently was driven by the fact that the Editor, several Associate Editors, and the Secretary-Treasurer were all faculty members at various educational institutions and this period was taken up with additional summer duties and travel.

December 2013 Biophilately Index and Unit History 3

Table 1. Collecting Areas of Interest 1953

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СЕ т The postponement of the journal publication was a symptom of the growing pains of the young organization. In Volume 3, Number 3, both President, Homer L. Jones, and the Secretary, Dr. Willard F. Stanley, published open

letters complaining about the lack of participation by the general membership and the increased workload placed on the unit officers to manage the 180-member unit and also publish Biological Tid-Bits in a timely manner.

Annual Meetings

The Biology Unit continued to hold their annual meetings at the ATA Convention. The third meeting took place at the Miami Hotel in Dayton, Ohio, following the convention banquet on Saturday, 19 June 1954. Eleven members attended along with five guests. E

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At this show, Unit member Edgar W. Spurgeon won the Biology Unit Award for his exhibit, Life of Christ on Stamps, which also received the Grand Award in the open exhibit competition. The Unit made plans to add other awards and ultimately members donated three awards for the best exhibits featuring birds, mammals, and flowers on stamps.



By the third year of its existence, the Biology Unit had established several enviable standards , Tid-Bits in the area of topical collection. The Biology Unit was the largest of all ATA study units in membership and had instituted a recurring award for philatelic exhibiting. In addition, | members of the Unit created and published some of the first ATA Handbooks including one for Horses on Stamps (HB8), by Dr. Willard Е. Stanley and Ray Fillingham. Members also created lectures with slide shows for Birds on Stamps and Flowers on Stamps and continued work on another checklist featuring Mammals on Stamps.

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Xx Notwithstanding these successes, the officers continued to encounter difficulties in expanding M P participation of members in Unit activities and specifically in the production of the Unit journal beyond a small core of very active contributors. “е есе Ут The Biological Tid-Bits journal had begun to coalesce into а forerunner of the current Cover Design

publication with the stated purpose of providing topical checklists and new issue listings for Volume 5

the membership. For Volume 5, Father Becker tried out a new pamphlet format for the journal. The typesetting was much cleaner than the previous typewritten publication. I suspect that this also reduced mailing costs, but the production method was more time-consuming.

The March-April 1955 edition of Topical Time, the journal of the ATA, devoted an issue to the Biology topic and asked the Biology Unit to provide articles and images for publication. The members of the Unit stepped up to the challenge and the resulting edition received many compliments in the philatelic press.

4 Biophilately Index and Unit History

the ATA First Vice President.

elect, Willard F. Stanley (right).

December 2013

In addition, members of the Biology Unit also served in leadership positions in the ATA during this period. President Homer L. Jones held the office of ATA President and John H. Groet served as the ATA Second Vice-President.

At TOPEX in 1955, Unit member Allyn H. Wright was elected as the new ATA President and Dr. Willard F. Stanley became

Major W. D. Gooley, (left), Decatur Stamp Club President, reviewing the TOPEX '55 show program with ATA President- elect Allyn H. Wright (center) and ATA First Vice-President-

At the fourth annual meeting of the Biology Unit held at the Hotel Orlando in Decatur, Illinois in June 1955, the Unit nominated a new slate of officers. During the following months, the Unit conducted a mail-in vote with the results that Sidney R. Esten (Indiana) was elected as President and Edgar W. Spurgeon (Ontario, Canada) became Vice-President and the first international Unit officer. Willard Stanley remained in the office of Secretary-Treasurer and two new Directors, John H. Groet (Indiana) and John R. Spannuth (Pennsylvania), were elected. All new officers took office effective 1 October 1955, which at that time was the start of the Unit's fiscal year.

Sidney R. Esten (1894—1965) was a retired teacher and a graduate of Saint Lawrence and Indiana Universities. He was a long time science teacher at Broad Ripple High School (Indianapolis) and taught evening classes in zoology at Butler University. He was the author of the Birds of the World on Stamps handbook (HB10), and the lead editor of the Flowers and Botanical Subjects on Stamps handbook (HB30). He and his wife, Mable Henniger Esten, also a teacher, were both members of the Indiana Academy of Science. Mr. Esten was Chief Naturalist for the Indiana Department of Conservation. He received the ATA Distinguished Philatelist award in 1957.

The Biology Unit held its fifth annual meeting at the Tuller Hotel in Detroit on 15

June 1956, as part of TOPEX '56 with ten members in attendance. The sitting officers

were re-elected and the Unit Constitution was amended to add a third director to the

Board. The meeting unanimously adopted a resolution conferring “Тһе Founder's Life Membership" and title of President-Emeritus on Homer L. Jones.

Sidney R. Esten Second President

The resolution also recognized the 13 Charter Members of the Unit: Homer L. Jones (BU1), Harold D. Bearce (BU2), Dr. John К. Spannuth (ВОЗ), Ray Fillingham (BU4), John Н. Groet (BU5), Willard Е. Stanley (BU6), Floyd D. Bailey (BU7), L. J. Pearson (BUS), Fannie S. Kimball (BU9), Frank Carson (BU10), M. L. Silberstein (BU11),

Mrs. Е. W. Becker (BU12), and Mrs. Lansing К. Kilmer (BU13).

December 2013 Biophilately Index and Unit History 5


In August 1956, the Unit made many changes to the journal. Father Simon Becker, who had been editor-publisher for four years, could no longer continue due to his duties at St. Norbert College. These conflicts had also affected the release of the journal resulting in some significant delays. However, the Board noted that the rapid growth as a study unit and the prestige gained in the philatelic world was due in great part to his work in editing and publishing the newsletter.

Dr. Willard F. Stanley volunteered to take over in the interim and the name ofthe journal was shortened to Biology Tid-Bits. The format also returned to the letter sheet size published using the Multilith printing and duplication process. Dr. Stanley received permission to appoint assistant editors Melvin J. Andrews and Dr. Jack C. von Bloeker.

The editors had been having difficulty acquiring enough articles and OLOGY UNIT Б : P АМЕ

input from the Unit members and other contributors to fill ten issues per year and get them published in a timely manner, so the Board decided to reduce the number of annual editions to six, published on a bi-monthly basis. The editors also expanded the quantity of pages in each edition to more than double those of the previous volumes.

Эмес ЖА. AMERICAN TOPICAL A$$'N. An interesting topic of discussion developed during this period Biology Tid-Bits Cover Design concerning the inclusion in the journal articles and listings of unofficial Volumes 6-9 issues and what today we would call “cinderella” items.

This matter is even today a subject of debate among collectors. In those earlier times, it seems the attitude was very rigid among influential members of the philatelic community, who were used to the traditional approach, that such material had no place in “respectable” collections. Topical collecting and exhibiting was just beginning to receive widespread recognition. And many topical collectors were much more flexible regarding the items they chose to seek out. Some, such as Dr. Stanley, the Editor, even extended the items in his collecting area to include what he termed “supplementary materials.” These included pictures from magazines such as National Geographic, maximum cards, seals, propaganda items from “governments in exile,” and other unofficial items that even he himself termed “sucker bait.”

The decision to include “unofficial” issues in the journal listings ultimately rested on the view that collectors must decide for themselves which items they wish to include in their collections and that, so long as they know the type of item they are getting, this is the collector’s business alone. With that attitude in mind, the editors decided that they would continue to publish articles and listings that included such types of collateral items providing descriptions that indicated their “unofficial” nature, and leave the acquisition decision to the individual. The editorial policy established by Dr. Stanley and continued until present was that the journal welcomed differences of opinion and that one of its functions was to debate and publicize these differences.

Not only was the Biology Unit journal expanding during this time, but the Unit officers were making a concerted effort to expand the membership rolls. To this end, in early 1957, the Unit sent out nearly one hundred complimentary copies of Biology Tid-Bits to other ATA members with invitations to join the Biology Unit. They also went to some effort to encourage the existing members to recruit others. This membership drive led to the acquisition of 20 new members in the months of March and April.

The Biology Unit held its sixth annual meeting on 15 June 1957 in the Aviation Room of the Hamilton Hotel in Chicago, again in conjunction with the TOPEX convention. Fourteen members were present along with three guests. As a culmination of discussions over the course of two years and attempts at holding down costs, the Governing Board announced an increase in the annual membership dues from $1.00 to $2.00 and eliminated the $1.00 new member initiation fee. In addition, the membership adopted a motion to amend the By-Laws to institute a Life Membership option at the cost of $25.

6 Biophilately Index and Unit History December 2013

To further reduce expenses, the membership also changed the policy of providing new members with free back issues of the journal and determined to make the dwindling supply of back issues available for purchase.


In practical terms, the Biology Unit exists today largely through the efforts of one person: Dr. Willard Francis Stanley. A founding member of the Unit, Stan, as he was known to his friends and family, took on the position of Secretary (quickly combined with the office of Treasurer) from the very beginning of the Unit and held these positions until 1971, a record period of 20 years.

For the majority of Unit members, one thing connects them to the Biology Unit and that is its journal. Very few members attend any of the annual Unit meetings and there is little exchange of correspondence outside of the Unit journal itself. The journal provides the glue that holds the whole Unit together. This was even truer in the initial years of the Unit's existence when more rapid and convenient electronic communications were not yet available.

After its first five years of operation, the Unit faced a serious problem. Father Simon Becker, the journal editor, had become overwhelmed with his administrative duties at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin and this had caused delays in the publication of р, Willard Е. Stanley (BUG)

several journal editions. The entire Volume 5 consisted of only 43 pages in a reduced (1901-1991) size. The Board had no control over the publication and many members were First Secretary-Treasurer disgruntled and sending in their resignations. Editor Emeritus

No easy answers seemed forthcoming, so Dr. Stanley volunteered to try to pull the publication out of the hole. His original intention was to re-establish the journal on a sound basis and routine schedule and then turn over the editorship to someone with time and expertise to continue its production. He remained as editor for another 15 years. As we will see, the stress of this work combined with his “bread and butter job,” (as he liked to call it) had a detrimental impact on his health and led to serious physical difficulties.

Willard Francis Stanley was born on 11 May 1901 in Ames, Iowa. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Central College (Illinois) in 1927. He was awarded a Master of Arts in 1928 and his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Illinois in 1932. His first marriage in 1927 ended with the death of his wife during childbirth. He remarried in 1937 and had two more children. He worked as Professor of Biology at North Dakota State Teachers College between 1931 and 1935, and then became Professor of Biology and Head of the Science Department at the New York State Teachers College in Fredonia where he remained for 35 years. He was a member of numerous professional scientific organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Ornithologists Union, American Association of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, American Society of Zoologists, Cooper Ornithological Club, and of course the American Topical Association.

In a fascinating editorial comment, Dr. Stanley, who at the time was a lecturer in Biology and Chairman of the Science Department at the State University of New York Teachers College in Fredonia, provided an indication of the significance this journal was accruing:

“Тһе following is in response to a personal letter in which I had stated that I was pleased that some of my colleagues (at State University) were becoming interested in my venture as editor-publisher of Biology Tid- Bits, even considering it a professional contribution and of some credit to State University, though I had a feeling some others considered anything concerned with stamps as merely ‘kid’s stuff.’

Кіа% stuff indeed! ...Do wish we could get a bit more philatelic knowledge in along with the brilliant write-up material. When was the stamp issued? Why? Why was the subject chosen, is it a native plant or animal, is it a major agricultural product, etc.? I may be alone, but I still believe that in order to exhibit, and in order to make your own collection interesting, you must include such information. Otherwise you merely use stamps for illustrations, and why use stamps? They are pretty poor for that purpose as a general rule. "

December 2013 Biophilately Index and Unit History 7

During the 1957—58 year, the Unit activities focused on the continuing publication of the Biology Tid-Bits journal under the editorship of Dr. Stanley, and work on the daunting project of assembling three new ATA handbooks on the topics of Botany, Mammals, and Agriculture on Stamps.

In July 1957, the Unit Governing Board (unbeknownst to him) elected Dr. Stanley to the title of Founder's Life Member Number 2. This was the Board's method to recognize the contributions of its perennial Secretary-Treasurer to the stability and viability of the Biology Unit and also to acknowledge his immense positive influence and professional performance as Editor-Publisher of Biology Tid-Bits.

A letter from a Unit member in the edition of October-November 1957 highlighted an issue of continuing importance and consideration concerning the listings in the Unit journal. This anonymous correspondent tendered his resignation from the Unit after a diatribe regarding the misidentification, in his view, of various fish species on several stamp issues included in some of the published listings. Editor Stanley provided a response, excerpted below, that is as valid and important today as it was then.

“This is a helpful and thought provoking contribution to our attempt to cooperatively study the biology on stamps. The disturbing thing is—here is a person apparently very much interested in fish and with a more than average knowledge of the group, who is resigning. But, why? We need him, and it is my honest conviction that he needs us. Where else can he find the same opportunity to exchange views with others also interested and eager to find the right answers.

* Perhaps we should preface every identification with the statement, ‘This is probably....' We do it often, perhaps not often enough. We even, on occasion, explain how we arrived at our conclusion.

“I am quite sure that Mr. X does not imply that we should remain silent until we are positive of our ground. If we did this, we wouldn't need to publish Biology Tid-Bits because there would be little to publish. A few pages two or three times a year would suffice. I am reminded of a nice elderly friend of mine who was a devout and conservative person, and who was disturbed by my decision to become one of those ‘vain and conceited scientists.’ He often said, ‘You smart young whippersnappers think you have all the answers. You will be mighty surprised on resurrection morning (when ultimate truth is revealed).

“Тһе chief difference between us was that he was content to wait unit resurrection morning while I wanted to get the best answer I could now. Following the method of scientific investigation, we accept the best answer we can come up with, but only until we can find a better answer by further investigation.

“Тһе purpose of our Unit is to exchange ideas to the end that we may come up with the best answers. If one person thinks we are dealing with a certain organism and someone else can show that he is wrong, haven't we made a bit of progress? Isn't that what we organized this Unit for? Isn't that why a handful of people (at considerable sacrifice of ‘leisure time’) keep this journal coming to you, and keep urging you to participate in its offerings?"

To Dr. Stanley's comments and as a fellow editor, I would like to add that we rely on our Associate Editors (and avidly desire input from all members) to acquire and organize the various listings of new issues. It should be entirely obvious that even though the editors possess extensive knowledge about their topics, no one can be 100 percent accurate in every instance. There are numerous reasons for this. The fact 1s that very many stamp representations are poorly, or even incorrectly, drawn and often misidentified by the issuing authority. In addition, taxonomic reorganizations are continually taking place as new scientific information becomes available just as Dr. Stanley indicated.

The Editors have always made an effort to ensure that spelling and grammar are correct in all of our articles and they check the spelling of all scientific and family names. Where they have access to additional sources, or other research, they have made adjustments, or inserted editorial comments in the articles and checklists published in the journal. When they have had a question about any entry, they tried to resolve it with the author. The Editors and Associate Editors have always avidly sought the input and correction from all our readers. Many times a checklist entry has been merely our best guess and often you may have noticed question marks or “unidentified” in the listings. Consider these entries to be your invitation to inform us what you think is the correct identification.

A letter from a reader in the February 1958 edition also pointed out an important consideration concerning the contents of the Unit journal and the stamp issue listings specifically.

8 Biophilately Index and Unit History December 2013

“We must always remember that we are combining an Art and a Science and that the two are not always compatible. Those of us who emphasize the scientific angle want accuracy and truth, those interested in art look for artistic representation without the necessary correlation that art is completely representational.

“Collectors of both schools exist in our Unit and both must be catered to. It is encumbent (sic) on those of us who look for detailed representations that enable us to identify them down to species and varieties to admit that in many cases this is absolutely impossible.... When we are in doubt about a genus or species, or even a family, let us say so and write ‘probably’ or ‘possibly’ after our identification.”

This letter also included one of the first suggestions for having “new issues” editors for specific topical areas.

Dr. Stanley kept the journal and the Unit going in first class fashion in its early years, but unfortunately it was at the expense of his own health. He insisted on doing everything himself: Editor, Publisher, Secretary, and Treasurer. He justified being Publisher because he had access to the college facilities for printing at an inexpensive price and could hire lots of students to assemble the printed pages, again at a reduced rate. He justified being Treasurer because he needed rapid access to money when he had to pay his students for their work.

As head of the Science Department, he was responsible for the expansion of the curriculum as well as the construction of a new multi-million dollar science building in addition to his normal teaching duties. He gave over much of his vacation time to work on the publication of the journal and the stress of this effort led to failing health. What began for Dr. Stanley apparently as a labor of love in the end became such a burden that he openly complained about the onus of the job and what he seemed to feel was the insufficient level of cooperation from the membership ш providing input and other assistance in the production of the journal. In fact, much of this he caused himself by taking on too many duties and failing to delegate responsibilities that others could easily, if perhaps not as thoroughly, have accomplished.

It seems evident from the journal contents that Stan pretty much held the Unit together in its early years. Nonetheless, the approach he adopted was not a good one. We need heroes, but only in extraordinary circumstances. If it takes heroic effort to perform routine work, then you are doing it wrong.

Growing Pains

During this period, there continued to be much debate among the Unit members about the scope of items to include as subjects under the “biological subjects on stamps" definition of the Unit charter. Professor Jack von Bloeker, in a preface to his “Fish Stamp Checklist,” discussed the primary issue faced by all checklist authors and that is, how inclusive should it be? Some people collect issues that depict the subject only as the central theme. Whereas others collect anything that is any way associated with their topic.

His observation, which holds as true now as it did then, was that there is nothing wrong with either procedure, and that collectors can form interesting and educational collections using almost any criteria. It is simply a matter of the collector's interests and desires.

“One of the most enjoyable aspects of topical collecting, and probably the main reason it is so popular, is that опе is completely free to decide what is to be collected and to make one's own rules for arranging and mounting the collection. It is a true medium of self-expression. One doesn't have to take another's advice about any topical subject, nor imitate another's choice, in any manner."

Despite this view, Professor von Bloeker also pointed out that it was difficult for biologists to conceive that mythological creatures and caricatures, or stylized animals in artistic designs had any direct bearing on the Biology topical field. Some viewed these items as relating more to the Art on Stamps Unit (now the Fine and Performing Arts Philatelists). Conceding that topics such as Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Veterinary Medicine, Forestry, Wildlife Conservation, Fishing, Hunting, and similar fields do have definite relations to Biology, he nonetheless warned that it is risky to extend inclusion far from the principal theme lest the unit become “hopelessly lost in a tangled jungle of irrelevant material."

Editor Stanley pointed out (Volume 7, Number 4, page 157) that the Unit counted many professional biologists as members, but only a few had ever contributed to the “cooperative study of biological philately." However, these contributions had been essential to the growth and continuing existence of the Biology Unit, for without them, the

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Unit would have disbanded long before. He also made a very good observation that the professional biologist can "scare off" the lay biologist with the result that few are willing to put forth an article, or even a comment for publication lest they subject themselves to embarrassment, or some other criticism.

To this as the current Editor, I would add that I encourage everyone to contribute your views on any article or listing published in the journal, as well as to provide your own articles on subjects that interest you. We review all articles prior to publication and work with the authors to resolve any questions or possible discrepancies. No one should feel hesitant to submit an item for inclusion in the journal. I am quite certain that you know more about the subject of your collection than I or most other members of the Unit, and we would enjoy learning more about it.

There was some discussion regarding a change to the format of the journal to enable the readers to take it apart and file the various portions in notebooks. Responses from the readers were tepid. The editors found it difficult to envision a simple and cost effective way to accomplish this idea, so it was shelved.

During this time, topical exhibits