Wallster, Everett E.

Everett W. Wallster, USCS #H-14

To this point the Member of the Month articles have been about current USCS members. Perhaps some day future naval cover collectors will find them interesting and will give them an insight about those that have written up their stories. I often wonder about the collectors that helped found this hobby and wish that I could learn something about them. I recently met the son of early member Everett Wallster who shared many clippings and articles about his dad. This allows those of us who were not collecting during the early years of USCS to learn something about Everett. Thank you to Gerry Wallster (# 11976) for sharing. I used this information along with old USCS Logs to put together this article. I hope this inspires others to write about some of the early members that they may have personally known.

Everett Wallster was one of the charter members of the USCS, joining as member #14 in 1932. He would be involved with the USCS for almost 30 years. Everett was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1903.

Everett was a stamp collector though I’m not sure if this led to naval cover collecting or vice versa. At any rate he became interested in naval covers in 1928. After joining USCS in 1932, he is credited with conceiving the idea of local chapters and was instrumental in organizing the Old Ironsides Chapter (Chapter #1) in 1933 with 6 local members in the Boston area. In fact the chapter would meet at his house, with his home becoming the “permanent” headquarters in 1937. Due to the growth in the chapter they later moved to the Lennox Hotel. As an Old Ironsides member, he served as Publicity Manager, Secretary, Sales Manager and President.

He specialized in the history of the USS Constitution and USS Constellation, sponsoring cachets for port visits of Old Ironsides during 1931-1933. (A listing of his cachets can be found in the Naval Cover Cachet Makers Catalog.) In 1933, he worked with fellow chapter member Joseph Hale to publish a magazine about ship covers, “The Seapost Collector.” This magazine, published through 1934, featured information about covers, ships and contained ads for those selling naval covers. Many of the writers are recognizable today as early collectors and giants of the hobby.

In 1934 he again worked with Joseph Hale to publish the 1st Handbook of Naval Postmarks. Everett was co-publisher and wrote the section in the catalog titled “Introduction to Naval Postmark Collecting.” Everett did a lot of writing, with articles published in “The Philatelist” (1934), “Western Stamp Collector” (1938), “Stamp Collectors Digest” (1935), the USCS Log and “Spit and Polish”, (1952) a Marine publication. His joy of writing carried over to his profession, working as a printer and reporter for the “Boston Naval Shipyard News”.

Like many of us, Everett his hobbies were not confined to covers. He collected spoons with warships engraved on them and he enjoyed writing letters on other peoples stationary, such as those from hotels and businesses. He collected ship pictures, post cards. He had an extensive library of over 1000 volumes pertaining to the sea. It is said that he wanted to collect a naval cover from every ship. Much of his collections were stored in his attic office that overlooked Boston harbor. He also raised ducks and chrysanthemums.

In 1940 he created the Everett Wallster trophy to be awarded annually to ”the person who in the opinion of the judges, selected from the leading naval and ship cancellation societies, has performed the greatest achievement for the advancement of the hobby of ship cancellation collecting.” It was awarded to Joseph Hale for his work in 1939, Eugene Klein in 1940 and again 1941 and Richard Buchwald for his work as editor of the ANCS Navigator in 1942. The trophy stood 17 inches tall, finished in bronze and featured a globe with anchor and ships wheel on top.

Everett was involved in leading the USCS. He served as Director in 1933, the New England Regional Director 1935, 1938, 1939, Director of the the 2nd National Convention in 1941, was elected as 2 nd Vice President in 1946 and again 1948. He became 1 st Vice President in 1949 and was elected President in 1950. He served as director 1950, 1951. 1955 and 1957.

As an exhibitor, his 9 frame exhibit “The Squalus Story” received the Grand Award in 1949 at the convention and again in 1952 and was featured in the Court of Honor at the 1958 convention. He was a dealer of naval postmarks and covers can be found with his labels, “House of Hobbies.” He was a source of stamps, post cards, historical papers, documents and research material.

He was also active in other philatelic societies and historical societies including the Abigail Adams Historical Society, of which he was once president and an honorary Life member. (He was also a USCS honorary Life member.) He was a member of the Qunicy (Mass.) Historical Society, Bay State Post Card Club and editor of the Post Card Digest. He was considered an authority on the USS Constitution, Paul Revere, Josiah Quincy and Abigail Adams.

Everett’s health began failing in late 1958 with arthritis and a thyroid condition, perhaps brought on by his hard work as General Chairman of the June 1958 USCS Convention held in Boston. The May 1959 Log notes that he had been in very poor health since the convention and was contemplating moving to a different climate. The July Log noted a change of address to McAllen, Texas. Sadly, the change of climate was not enough and Everett passed away on September 17, 1959. The November 1959 Log has a write up about him on page 1. Everett’s wife had passed away before his death and they left one son, Gerard, who was serving with the Navy at the time of Everett’s death.

By Steve Shay