Jim Forte Postal History

(800) 594-3837 or (702) 791-6828 Fax (702) 369-9139
P.O. Box 371541 Las Vegas, NV 89137




Pennsylvania philatelic literature begins with:

Pennsylvania Postal History by John L. Kay and Chester M. Smith is the best post office listing.

A Catalog of Philadelphia Postmarks 18th Century to the Present Part I by Tom Clarke is a catalog of Philadelphia markings.

A Catalog of Philadelphia Postmarks 18th Century to the Present Part II by Tom Clarke is a second volume cataloging Philadelphia markings.

A Catalog of Philadelphia Postmarks 18th Century to the Present Part II by Tom Clarke is a third volume cataloging Philadelphia markings.

You can access my online guide of Pennsylvania Post Offices here.


The market for Pennsylvania covers is strictly divided by county. A couple of general rules apply. First there is a marked preference for 19th century material and especially stampless covers. Second, material from western Pennsylvania is scarcer and of course, more avidly collected. The most popular collecting areas are the independent post offices of Philadelphia county and the oil producing areas in Northwest Pennsylvania. There exist two happy accidents, Bucks county and Lancaster county, that are both avidly collected and material exists in some abundance. There are many, many areas with little collector interest and tons of available material. Chester and Delaware county come to mind.

Among the 50 states, the District of Columbia, R.P.O.'s and Streetcars, Pennsylvania rates as the 30th state in terms of percentage of covers sold at 51.75%. It ranks 3rd in terms of the value of covers sold as percentage of all town cancels sold at 6.00%. The overall rank is 9th. This is a ten year running average. The most recent trends are increasing.

I thought it might be interesting to quantify the level of interest for all the counties in Pennsylvania. I figured the percentage of covers I have sold as compared to the total of the covers sold and the covers available. Since some of the Pennsylvania covers I sell are not sold to Pennsylvania collectors, I decided to eliminate flags and doanes from the total of covers sold. While not perfect, this should provide more accurate results. This is what I found:

Clinton 100%
Beaver 95.83%
Montour 94.44%
Wyoming 92.54%
Carbon 85.19%
Butler 84.72%
Northampton 84.18%
Columbia 80.39%
Mifflin 75.61%
Chester 73.66%
Philadelphia 73.47%
Centre 72.83%
Luzerne 71.36%
Lebanon 65.96%
Northumberland 64.84%
Venango 64.79%
Adams 64.63%
Allegheny 60.62%
Lancaster 57.10%
Fulton 56.52%
Bedford 54.65%
York 52.34%
Berks 51.84%
Crawford 50.39%
Franklin 49.47%
Snyder 48.48%
Delaware 47.46%
Bucks 45.37%
Lawrence 45.00%
Indiana 44.94%
Montgomery 44.92%
Potter 44.78%
Warren 44.59%
Cumberland 43.90%
Clarion 42.86%
Lehigh 42.68%
Schuykill 42.38%
Somerset 42.19%
Bradford 41.29%
Juniata 40.00%
Erie 39.35%
Forest 37.50%
Armstrong 36.73%
Elk 36.59%
Washington 36.42%
Blair 35.29%
Westmoreland 35.10%
Fayette 33.96%
Dauphin 33.51%
Huntingdon 32.79%
Cambria 32.76%
Lycoming 32.23%
McKean 32.14%
Cameroun 32.00%
Mercer 31.58%
Greene 30.77%
Monroe 29.63%
Perry 28.99%
Union 27.16%
Clinton 26.98%
Pike 25.00%
Clearfield 24.55%
Wayne 24.22%
Jefferson 22.41%
Lackawana 20.66%
Sullivan 19.05%
Susquehanna 18.84%
Tioga 18.12%

Covers For Sale

All Pennsylvania Covers

Pennsylvania By County

19th Century







World War One

Picture Postcards

Machine Cancels

Auxiliary Markings

Fancy Cancels

Non Standard Postmarks

Registered Covers

Special Delivery Covers

Foreign Destinations



Search for a specific Pennsylvania town. Type in the name below and press enter or click on search. 


If you'd like printable version of these covers, please e-mail me.