Friday, 10 June 2016

No Post & Go Mania in New York, but Three Machin Exhibits and a Useful Show App

I mentioned in a previous post that the Royal Mail stand at World Stamp Show NY2016, outsourced to a local stamp dealer, had no Machins for sale. They did, however, have two Post & Go machines, selling the New York skyline design from the Sea Travel set and the Union Flag design. 
After an initial bit of activity on the first morning, probably mostly dealers, there seemed to be little interest in the machines. The above picture was taken on the afternoon of the first day. While I did not monitor the machines carefully, I never saw anyone using them whenever I passed by.

I'm pleased to report that there were three Machin exhibits at the show. I had seen all three previously, but each had some improvements. Steve McGill showed his comprehensively researched "Britain's Marvelous Machins" and won a gold medal. 

Tony Walker's spectacular "The Great Britain £sd Machin Definitives 1967-1971" also won a gold. Above I show a page from his exhibit that I photographed. (Click the image to see a larger version, sorry the bottom part is a bit blurred.) It includes two cylinder blocks of the 4d sepia with paper folds. Remarkably, both blocks come from the same lift, the group of six to eight sheets that are gathered and perforated as a unit.

Finally, Larry Haber's "The Half-Penny (decimal) Machin" won a large vermeil. It now includes the only known solo usage of the 1/2d on cover. (There is also one postcard known franked with a lone 1/2d).

Finally, I would like to commend the show team on the smartphone app that they created. This was very well done, and I found it very helpful before, during, and after the show. (Since the show ended I have been referring to notes that I took in the app while I was at the show.)

The picture above shows the main page of the app to give you an idea of its scope. One of the main advantages of the app was that all the lists were searchable. I could go to the exhibit list, search for "Machin," and get a list of all the exhibits containing Machins, including the frame numbers. I could also search by exhibitor name. I could do similar searches for dealers, meetings and clubs. Finding a dealer using the search (or scrolling the alphabetical list) gives the booth number, and another press brings up the floor map with the location of the booth highlighted. There was a reminder system for events; I could choose an event and have the app remind me 10, 30 or 60 minutes before the event started.

I think this app was well-designed and executed, and I hope future shows take ideas from it and create their own app.


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