Penquins, Potatoes, & Postage Stamps - eBook version

A Tristan da Cunha Chronicle

by Allan B Crawford

Cover page

This is an amazing book that records the developments on the Island of Tristan da Cuhna and how their history has been encapsulated in various series of postage stamps. Due to an accidental meeting, Allan Crawford took part in a scientific expedition to the island in 1937 where he created the first detailed maps of the island.

Over the next sixty years he would do five tours of duty on the island. During these tours, he led the campaigns to petition the British Government to allow Tristan da Cuhna to get its own series of postage stamps. Eventually postage stamps would become one of the major exports of the island, with the island creating many series annually that told the history of the island and its people.

This included major disasters for the people on the island such as when half the adult male population were lost in a lifeboat accident, and when the volcano erupted right next to the main town and the entire island had to be evacuated.

Allan's book tells about the history of the stamp series with which he was involved, the designs that he submitted as proposals, and the stamps that were eventually accepted and issued.

Philatilists collecting rare stamps will enjoy this book, not only to learn about the island, but to learn about the history of those postage stamps.

This book profusely illustrated with many rare and important pictures, is the personal chronicle of Allan Crawford written as he reflects in his retirement on his many years involvement with Tristan da Cunha. It is a remarkable tale of devotion to this remote island, known as the loneliest island in the world, written by a foremost authority.

Of particular interest are his research notes and original designs for postage stamps for the island. He was involved with as many as 16 issues starting in 1946 with the famous potato stamps - because there was no money locally, each stamp bore a value in potatoes.

Using his research as a link he discovered artefacts and records of previously unpublished historical information. This is an important addition to the literature of the island of Tristan da Cunha.

The book also includes reports about a research project to isolate the gene responsible for Asthma by testing the population, as they are one of the most isolated populations in the world being more than 2000 miles from a continent.

© Allan B Crawford

First published 1999 - Out of print
Ebook version (2017)

The PDF version of the book is 297 pages and contains 370 images.

Foreword by HRH Prince Andrew 
  Part 1 My arrival on Tristan da Cunha 
1    1917       {Voyage to the South Atlantic} 
2    1942   {World WarII: Island becomes HMS Job 9} 
3    1946   { The 'Potato Stamp' designs } 
4    1948    {Marion Island South Indian Ocean Post Office } 
5    1948    {Developments on Tristan } 
6    1950    {Administrator's duties } 
7    1955   {Return visit to Marion Island } 
8    1961   {Volcano on Tristan (Post Oflice closed) } 
9    1962   {Royal Society Expedition } 
10   1962   {Islanders in UK; audience with HM The Queen } 
11    1963   {Plans for repatriation } 
12    1980   {150th Anniversary: Royal Geographical Society } 
13    1984    {Stamp Advisory Committee meeting } 
  Part 2 The stamps 
14    1985   { Shipwrecks (first series) } 
15    1985   {Flags } 
16    1985    {Centenary of the lost lifeboat} 
17    1986    {Halley's Comet }  
18    1986   { Shipwrecks (second series) } 
19    1987   { Flightlessness (birds and insects on stamps)} 
20    1987   { Shipwrecks (third series) } 
21    1987   { Additional Shipwreck Ideas } 
22    1987    {50th Anniversary Norweian Scientific Expedition } 
23    1988    {Handicrafts, illustrated on stamps } 
24    1988   { Whaling in the 19th century } 
25    1995   { Sealing in the19th century } 
26    1995   { 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II } 
27    1996   { 50th Anniversary of the 'Potato Stamp' } 
28    1997    {Visual communications } 
29       {Reflections } 
A       {Postal cachets} 
B       {Full Petition for Postage Stamps} 
C       {Search for the Asthma Gene} 
D       {Designing Postage Stamps} 
E       {Commerative stamp issue recognising Allan's contribution} 
       {About the author} 

Ebook version costs R120-00 (US$11.00) and will be sent by email. It is available in PDF (Adobe) MOBI, (Kindle), and EPUB (generic ebook reader) format.

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