In our last newsletter we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the modern First Day Cover.
After sending out the newsletter, Carol Peluso—a long-time customer and supporter—reached out with the following email:
My late husband, Thomas, was a cachet designer of First Day Covers (FDC) and won more than 70 awards for his designs.
I asked Carol if we could feature Thomas and his work in this week's newsletter. She was thrilled!
Here is the email exchange I had with Carol:
QUESTION: Who employed Thomas to create the FDC's?
While there are companies that mass produce covers, there are also artists who produce their own cover line. Thomas produced his own under the name "Therome Cachets".
QUESTION: How and when did Thomas get his start creating FDC's?
As a lifetime stamp collector, he started making covers for his personal collection. He was at a stamp show canceling some of his covers when people started approaching him and requesting to buy them. Hence the beginning of "Therome Cachets".
QUESTION: Approximately how many FDC's did he create in his lifetime?
Thomas designed covers for every stamp the U.S. Postal Service issued in a year. I would estimate in his 30+ year career he designed more than 600 covers.
QUESTION: Of the 70+ awards he won, was there one he was the most proud of?
Most of his awards were from the philatelic community, organizations such as the American Philatelic Society and the American First Day Cover Society (of which he was on the board of directors). He was very proud to also be recognized and awarded in the artistic community where his work was framed and displayed.
QUESTION: Did he have a favorite FDC he created?
One of his favorite is the Frank Sinatra cover because Thomas was also an accomplished vocalist performing at private parties, assisted living facilities, community functions, etc.
QUESTION: How has Thomas' work continued after his passing?
Thomas occasionally said that this would be his legacy—and it truly is. When he passed he had 900 auctions on eBay. His covers have sold worldwide. One is on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. His covers are available now thru FDC dealers on eBay and stamp shows.
Thank you Carol for sharing Thomas' work with the Christopher Arndt Postcard community. It was amazing to learn about his work, his legacy, this area of philately (the collecting of stamps and other postal matter as a hobby or an investment).
(To learn more about First Day Covers, you may enjoy this Short Course on First Day Covers provided by the American First Day Cover Society.)