East Bay Collector's Club History

The East Bay Collectors Club (EBCC) has been an APS affiliate (#220) since July, 1946. It was formed January 17th that year, probably because of dissatisfaction with the Oakland Philatelic Society. Within a few months, it had around 100 members, so it must have filled a gap of some sort. See the program of the January, 1947 EBCC Exhibition, which will be posted on this website. We're still tracing the history.

The Club's first show, celebrating the Club's first anniversary. was held at the St. George Hall in Oakland. For more about the history of the Club's annual shows click here.

The EBCC is the fourth longest-standing California APS affiliate still active, after the San Francisco-Pacific Philatelic Society (1889!), the Philatelic Society of Los Angeles (1929!), and the Philatelic Society of San Leandro (1938).  One member recalls going to EBCC meetings in Oakland when she was still in high school in 1948. Another recalls meetings at the Leamington Hotel in Oakland, then at about 56th St. in Oakland, then at the corner of Bancroft and Oxford, above what's now Foster's Coin & Stamp Company, then at another location in Kensington. Teh club meetings are currently in Berkeley.

The EBCC is one of the more vibrant clubs still standing, and over the years other clubs have formally or informally merged in. For example, the San Pablo Pines stamp club formally merged in sometime in the late '90's or early 2000. The APS was formed in 1886; the San Francisco-Pacific Philatelic Society was its affiliate #3; #1 was the Chicago Philatelic Society. EBCC is #220. (All this is from mining the APS Local Clubs list. We didn't see a #2, so it might have become defunct since 1888-9.) Of the 510 current APS affiliates nationally, EBCC is the 51st oldest, as of 15 Feb. 2013.

According to the Berkeley Daily Gazette, January 14, 1946, front page of the Second Section, the Berkeley Philatelic Society was formed in April 1900 and became APS Chapter 27. The article is reporting on the BPS annual dinner, attended by 75 people, including the presidents of the Oakland Philatelic Society, the Philatelic Society of San Leandro, the San Francisco-Pacific Philatelic Society, and the Council of Northern California Philatelic Societies. (The latter did not become an APS affiliate until 1959.) According to the APRL, the Oakland Philatelic Society (OPS) appears in the 1958 Directory as affiliate #79, but it doesn't appear in the 1962 Directory. (email, 21 Feb. 2013). The OPS must have become an APS affiliate in early-mid 1927, since the still-active McKinley Stamp Club in Canton, OH, became APS affiliate #78 in Feb. 1927 (per the directory as of 15 Feb. 2013).

The Oakland Philatelic Society is referred to in the entry in the American Philatelic Society’s list of APS Hall of Fame Members.  The biography of Erle states “(h)e was a member of the Oakland Philatelic Society (now the (now the East Bay Philatelic club) for 60 years and was its treasurer when he died. Erle had collections and exhibits that covered a wide range of topics. He supported many smaller clubs with frames of interesting material for their local exhibitions.”  The Oakland Philatelic Society’s predecessor dates back to at least 1927 as the cover below illustrates.

This souvenir sheet announces the 1930 Oakland Philatelic Society's Third Annual Show.  The message on the reverse give some idea of the scope of the exhibits, the collecting interests of the exhibitors, and the attempt to engage  a younger audience into the world of stamp collecting.

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