Kristin Patterson, WE Expressions – Vol 6 No 4
At StampShow 2012 held in Sacramento, a great example of the use of electronics was used in Anne Harris’ Display Division exhibit, The Horse in America During its Golden Age. This exhibit shows the horse as it lived and was used from 1840 to the 1920s. The exhibit illustrates horses teaming with industry to bring America from a predominately agricultural society into an industrial society.
Anne shows many diverse philatelic items such as a large cut down die proof, fancy cancels, private die medicine stamps, revenue stamps, a feed tax stamp, stampless covers, postal cards, advertising covers and poster stamps. But collateral items such as hay, grain, horse teeth, horseshoe nails, hoof, and more are also included.
But the item that caught my attention was the video box that projected out of the frame. The 1903 video entitled the Rural Wagon Delivering Mail was restored by the Library of Congress in 1999. The video shows a U.S.P.O. wagon being pulled by two horses as the mail clerk hangs on the back of the wagon and places the mail in the curbside, delivery mailbox. It demonstrates that the horse has learned the route and knows to walk closely to the left side of the road which is the opposite side that the traffic would travel.
The ingenious video box was designed by Anne’s son. The LCD screen is 4” wide by 3” tall and plays the Rural Wagon Mail Delivery video on a continuous loop. The LCD is mounted in a handmade wood frame that is suction cupped to the plexiglass. To power the LCD screen, twelve lithium batteries are mounted in the center of the A-frame. Each evening, Anne takes the batteries back to her room to recharge them for the next day’s viewing.
I attended the Exhibits Judges Feedback Forum on Saturday and was surprised that some of the judges thought that the video was not acceptable since it was not owned by Anne. The judging manual states “Each exhibit entered in competition must be the property of the exhibitor.” But in the current age of electronics, this rule needs to be applied differently. I think in the case of audio and video recording, as long as it is in the public domain then it is acceptable for use in a philatelic exhibit.