NEW!! Battleship Desk Reference Version 2 (Online and Free)

The Battleship Desk Reference (BDR) was created by Robert Mustacich and Anthony Giacomelli in the early 1990s. The information in the BDR was based on information from the Pharmaceutical ERA trade directories obtained for the years 1898, 1899, and 1902, in combination with the handstamped cancel collection of the late Morton Dean Joyce combined with the collections of Anthony Giacomelli and Robert Mustacich. It was beyond the scope of the 1990s effort to include more than the most rudimentary images, but current capabilities now argue for an update far more advanced than a printed book. Instead, a team is working to create a virtual directory that is packed with images and extensively linked to historical information about the companies and products involved with these cancels. We're calling this "BDR2." By its virtual nature, it can be freely accessed by all, both collectors and non-collectors interested in the histories of these companies and their products. Unlike a book, it also does not get frozen in time -- instead it can be updated, corrected, revised, and expanded as new information becomes available.

We have seven collaborators working together on the BDR2 project. In alphabetical order, they are: Colin Blakebrough, Malcolm Goldstein, Timothy Kohler, Robert Mustacich, Paul Reese (, Frank Sente, and Duane Skeen. Robert Mustacich is the webmaster and lead editor for the project. The entire BDR2 project is now online. Where the images end in the tables is the point to which the team is currently working. Beyond this point, BDR2 consists of original BDR content which has not yet been significantly revised, corrected, appended, or edited. We hope you find the BDR2 project useful and interesting whether your interest is cancel collecting or patent medicine history, and please revisit to witness the project's continuing progress. Go to BDR2 on the top menu bar to access the tables.

New BDR2 Search Capabilities

The full BDR database is is searchable by cancel index, names of companies, cities, states, medicinal products, and the cancels. Fragments of any of these can be used separately or in combination to search the full database. In fact, searching with fragmentary information is a powerful use of BDR2 for finding matching images of cancels with some unclear information. Go to the BDR2 Search on the top menu bar to use this feature.

Computational Philately

This site now features a new page with references covering recent advances in computational philately. Topics include recent research references to stamp color analysis, perforation and separation analysis, perforation fingerprinting, color subtraction, and the direct digital differencing of high resolution stamp images in their entirety to show microscopic plate and printing differences, gross differences between stamps including cancels, and the relative distortion differences between individual plate impressions.

Documentary Battleships and Other Revenues

This site is being expanded to include information on cancels on the documentary battleships as well as other topics pertaining to revenue stamps. These topics will appear as folders in either the U. S. Revenues page or the Gallery page of this site. Specialty topics such as railroad cancels and double transfers are in development. Special thanks go to John Langlois of for recent contributions to the RR cancel listings. The latest addition to the site is a new index of "Wall St." cancels of stamps on document. This is mostly a 20th century database from stock and bond transaction receipts.