There are Philatelists running amok in the Burholme neighborhood of Philadelphia. They can be found at 7205 Rising Sun Avenue in the heart of the Burholme shopping district at Stuart’s Stamps and Stuff. This quaint store of stamps also has postcards, autographs, paper memorabilia and antique knick knacks. Stamp collecting has a long history in the area, in fact local legend has it that President Franklin Roosevelt traveled to neighboring Fox Chase to view a local man’s collection. The shop is also home to the Burholme Stamp Club. The stamp club meets on the last Saturday of most months at Ryerss Museum and Library for lectures on stamp collecting, history topics depicted on stamps, postcards and world events as they relate to stamps. In addition to lectures the club sponsors bi-yearly stamp shows at Ryerss.
Stuart Geisler is the chief Philatelist in Burholme. He is also a blacksmith, a strange combination to some, but it works for him. Geisler was drawn to stamp collecting due to its appeal to his sense of history and logic. He says anyone attending The Burholme Stamp Club meetings, (free admission), can expect an interesting lecture based on stamp collecting and how it applies to historical research of history. As a young man, Geisler was drawn to blacksmithing during visits to the grounds Bryn Athyn Cathedral and discovering the craftsmen’s building where he met Al Walter who was hammering hot metal into different shapes. As time passed, he became a astrophysics graduate student at Villanova University. Jobs in his field were at a minimum in the 70’s and he turned to the classifieds in the local paper discovering an apprentice blacksmith position. He applied and received a a five year apprenticeship with blacksmith Fyodor Czub.
Stuart’s Stamps and Stuff has an incredible amount of stuff in addition to stamps. There is a large collection of autographed photographs, binders of postcards, wood carved collectibles and of course some metal pieces sculpted by a blacksmith. Hours of operation are: Mon.-Thurs 10 AM to 7 PM, all other hours by appt. You can find the shop on line at: http://stuartstampsandstuff.weebly.com/
-g emil reutter