Fleetwood

THIS PAGE IS A WORK – IN – PROGRESS  [July 2019]

Disclaimer

Hopefully I haven’t made any mistakes here, but please let me know if you find anything wrong with my information. I’d love to fix it up and be as accurate as possible. Thanks !

History  |  Characteristics  |  Rarity  |  Numbering System  |  Check List  |  Year-by-Year

History

Fleetwood is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming (USA). Under the name “Unicover” they produce stamp-related collectables to this day, but no longer covers for Australian stamp issues. The earliest Australian issue was for the 1977 Cricket series, and the latest release I can find is from 1995 but issues were so few and far between by this stage I could easily be wrong. In fact looking back, Fleetwood issues were always sporadic, except for perhaps in 1979/1980/1981 where almost every issue seems to have been covered (no pun intended). What happened in ~1982 though, to make them stop producing covers for Australian issues ?? I’d really love to know the answer to this question. As many Fleetwood first day covers are tough to find, my guess is that there could be more different types that I haven’t seen yet. Can anyone help ? I’m sure there must be people out there who know a lot more about this stuff than I do. I’ve read online that Fleetwood first day covers were sold exclusively in North America, but have no evidence to back that up. Maybe they weren’t popular and/or didn’t sell very well, hence new issues dropped dramatically from ~1982 onwards. It seems that most Australian Fleetwood first day covers were post-marked in Melbourne so there must have been a link or an arrangement in place.  If anyone has any information about this i’d love to know and add it here.

Characteristics

Fleetwood first day covers are made to a very high standard, and are printed on an unusual woven/patterned paper (also sometimes watermarked) which is quite different to anything else i’ve ever seen in Australia. In my opinion, Fleetwood did an  outstanding job with their cover art & design, often times using alternative artwork from the actual stamp designer/artist – which I think is very clever and certainly adds to the appeal for me. I have purchased quite a lot of the original Fleetwood cover artwork from America so that it’s safe back here in Australia.

Rarity

I can’t really explain why, but almost all Australian Fleetwood first day covers are fairly hard to find. It makes no sense. I’m sure they were produced in large quantities, so they should be around. But they aren’t ! Perhaps they are still locked up in collections in the USA but even if that were the case, I think we’d see more of them for sale on eBay and other auctions.

Just a brief note on other FDC’s that might (should?) exist, but i’ve never seen an example, at least not yet:

  • Anything else from 1977/1978 ?
  • 1979 Australia Day ?
  • 1979 $5 painting ?
  • 1979 National Parks (strip of 5 together) ?
  • 1981 $2 painting ?
  • Anything else from 1982 onwards ?

Numbering System

There seems to be a vague numbering system for some Fleetwood first day covers but it’s not straightforward, at least not to me. Some envelopes i’ve seen have a code on them, but the codes seem to be more for internal use rather than something that collectors can easily use. For example, the 1984 Clipper Ships set singles are identified with 57152A, 57152B, 57152C, 57152D & the full set with 57152E.  But most of the covers from from the 70s & early 80s don’t have codes, so instead i’ll come up with my own numbering system soon and share that information on here.

Having said all that, there really aren’t that many Fleetwood covers so it’s easy enough just to refer to them by year and stamp issue — most collectors will be familiar enough with Australian Stamps so that should be no problem. It seems as though Fleetwood did some special issues, such as the “Flora & Fauna” issue of worldwide covers, some of which were for Australian stamps. Unfortunately incomplete sets were used, for example 1982 Whales, where covers only exist for 2 out of the 4 stamps. What a shame ! Another example is the 1985 Marine Life series, again only 2 single covers were made for the set of 5 stamps.

Check List

I will only show entries here for covers that I either own or have seen myself. Honestly i’m not confident that this list is complete. From time-to-time I find a new cover that I didn’t realize existed, so this list might grow slowly over time.

Year-by-year issues

1977  |  1978  |  1979  |  1980  |  1981  |  1982  |  1983  |  1984  |  1985  |  1986  |  1987  |  1988  |  1989  |  1990  |  1991  |  1992 |  1993 |  1994 |  1995

1977  |  Back to Year choices

2 FEB 1977 – Silver Jubilee

9 MAR 1977 – Centenary of Test Cricket


1978  |  Back to Year choices

11 SEP 1978 – Birds (PSEs / no stamps)


1979  |  Back to Year choices

14 FEB 1979 – Ferries & Steamers

9 APR 1979 – National Parks

16 MAY 1979 – Steam Locomotives

29 AUG 1979 – AAT Ships

6 JUN 1979 – Black Swan

13 AUG 1979 – International Year of the Child

17 SEP 1979 – Birds

24 OCT 1979 – Fishing

24 SEP / 1 NOV 1979 – Christmas


1980  |  Back to Year choices

13 JAN 1980 – AAT Flight

23 JAN 1980 – Australia Day 1980

20 FEB 1980 – Dogs

31 MAR 1980 – Birds (March 1980)

21 APR 1980 – Queen’s Birthday

7 MAY 1980 – Folklore / Waltzing Matilda

19 MAY 1980 – High Court Building

21 MAY 1980 – AAT Ships

12 JUL 1980 – Birds (July 1980)

11 AUG 1980 – Community Welfare

29 SEP 1980 – National Stamp Week

1 OCT / 3 NOV 1980 – Christmas

17 NOV 1980 – Birds (November 1980)

19 NOV 1980 – Australian Aircraft


1981  |  Back to Year choices

21 JAN 1981 – Australia Day 1981

18 FEB 1981 – Sporting Personalities

25 MAR 1981 – Airmail 50th Anniversary

6 APR 1981 – 50th Anniversary of Apex

21 APR 1981 – Queen’s Birthday

20 MAY 1981 – Gold Rush

15 JUL 1981 – Animals

29 JUL 1981 – Royal Wedding

19 AUG 1981 – Fungi

9 SEP 1981 – AAT Ships

16 SEP 1981 – International Year of Disabled Persons

30 SEP 1981 – CHOGM

14 OCT 1981 – Yachting

28 SEP / 2 NOV 1981 – Christmas


1982  |  Back to Year choices

17 FEB 1982 – Whales

19 APR 1982 – Animals


1983  |  Back to Year choices

9 MAR 1983 – Commonwealth Day

15 JUN 1983 – Butterflies – a mystery !


1984  |  Back to Year choices

23 MAY 1984 – Clipper Ships

7 NOV 1984 – Australian Bicentennial Issue I – another mystery !!


1985  |  Back to Year choices

12 JUN 1985 – Marine Life II


1986  |  Back to Year choices

Queen’s 60th Birthday  [scan to come]

Halley’s Comet [scan to come]


1987  |  Back to Year choices

Single cover for one Technology issue stamp [scan to come]


1988  |  Back to Year choices

AAT Wildlife (2) [scans to come]

Joint Issue with the UK [scans to come]

Joint Issue with the US [scans to come]

Joint Issue with New Zealand [scans to come]

Seoul Olympics [scan to come]


1989  |  Back to Year choices

(No issues that I know of)


1990  |  Back to Year choices

21 FEB 1990 – Highland Animals


1991  |  Back to Year choices

(No issues that I know of)


1992  |  Back to Year choices

2 JAN 1992 – Threatened Species


1993  |  Back to Year choices

(No issues that I know of)


1994  |  Back to Year choices

(No issues that I know of)


1995  |  Back to Year choices

1 SEP 1995 – Koala  – Joint Issue with China


No more Fleetwood issues for Australia ?

Surely there are more covers, especially from the later-part of the 1980s and early 1990s, that I don’t know about. If you can contribute here that would be greatly appreciated !