Introduction by Mike Ludeman
James E. “Jim” Lee has been a dealer in postal history for over 50 years, beginning his philatelic career in September 1972. He eventually began to specialize in both philatelic literature and more exotic
subject of essays and proofs of United States stamps. He operated from Chicago, IL, for many years,
selling from both his website and attending between 20 and 30 of the major philatelic shows around
the country. In 2014, he began to write a regular bi-monthly column for Linn’s Stamp News, which
was titled “Essays and Proofs”.
Although my personal collecting interests were never oriented towards these essays and proofs, I was
fascinated by them, and I read the columns faithfully. Because he continued to sell postal history in
his weekly email newsletters, I was a regular subscriber and reader of these. Earlier this year, I
happened to note that he made a reference to one of these earlier Linn’s columns in his e-mail
newsletter, and I thought it was unfortunate that only a few of his regular readers might have access
to that original column.
Because I had previously created compilations of columns published by other columnists, I contacted
Jim and inquired if he would be interested in having a compilation of his Linn’s columns hosted on
Stamp Smarter, and he was delighted with the idea.
In 2021, he began the retirement process and began to slowly reduce his presence at shows, and
downsized his business activities. The website referenced in most of these columns is no longer
active, but he still continues to distribute his bi-weekly e-mail Newsletter.