BSA Merit Badge


Exhibit Synopsis

The material used in this exhibit is from the topical "Scouts on Stamps".  It is presented to illustrate the requirements for the Stamp Collecting Merit Badge.  The ‘story line’ is the sequence of the numbered list of ten requirements in the pre-1993 edition of the merit badge book as published and prescribed by the Boy Scouts of America.  In the very few cases when Scout stamp material is not known that can illustrate a requirement, it is so noted on the exhibit page.

The exhibit focuses on material infrequently seen or issued in a small quantity.  The term ‘forerunner’ is applied to philatelic material issued by the authority of Robert S. Baden-Powell, the British military officer in charge at various locations in southern Africa during the Boer War at the turn of the century.  Baden-Powell (his name is correctly spelled either with or without a hyphen) later founded the Scouting movement in England in 1907.  The movement subsequently came to the USA and was incorporated in this country on February 8, 1910.  From the "Scout Classics" and the USA, the following is shown:

Cape of Good Hope (Mafeking), 1900 - forerunner material:
Largest block of any "MAFEKING BESIEGED" overprinted/surcharged stamp (page 11)
The "reversed head" variety of the small format Baden-Powell stamp (9 known with 7 in private hands).  This stamp is generally considered the most desired of all Scout stamps. (page 14)
Last remaining proof essay in the original smaller size of the "Bicycle" stamp (page 8)
Mint "cracked plate" variety of the large format Baden-Powell stamp (page 3)

Czechoslovakia, 1918:
Progressive negative perforation on the 10 heller blue (page 8)
Quadruple printing of the 10 heller blue (page 8)
Used postal card (1,000 printed, much fewer exist, still fewer exist used) (page 18)
President Masaryk arrival overprint on 10 heller blue (600 printed, much fewer exist) (page 5)
Non-died out 20 heller red (page 8)
Provisional (revolutionary) overprint on the 20 heller red (page 3)

Siam, 1920-21:
Inverted Type II Scout overprint on 5s postal card (only one known on any Siam postal card) (page 11)
Type II Scout overprint on 3s postal card. Second earliest verified date on any postal card (2 copies known) (page 9)
Type II Scout overprint on 5 satang block of four, vertically imperforate between (page 7)

United States of America:
1935 cover with earliest date for a USA Scout cancel (page 4)
1967 postal card with blue and black colors missing (two reported known) (page 14)
1967 inverted date circle World Scout jamboree cancellation on cover (page 9)


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