Peter G. Keller
Peter G. Keller
Termed the “Modern Era” of stamp dealing in America, the years after November 1947 saw the national organization for stamp dealers move into a bright new period with the appointment that month of Peter G. Keller as its Executive Secretary. Keller was the American Stamp Dealers Association’s immediate past president and his efficiency and standards in that offi ce made him the logical candidate for this new position.
The incoming president, Edson J. Fifield, remarked, “It is a great good fortune that our society of stamp dealers can attract to itself men of the character of Peter G. Keller.” The position, at first, was only part-time and was operated out of Mr. Keller’s stamp business office on Nassau Street in New York City.
But Keller soon established a permanent headquarters of the Association an operation that continues today and in August 1954, opened an official office at 116 Nassau Street. Meanwhile, Keller established 14 ASDA local chapters around the country including major ASDA clubs in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington, and Philadelphia, Kansas City and Miami.
In 1948, Keller began a major stamp collecting tradition that is still going strong in the 21st century. He secured New York’s 71st Regiment Armory on Park Avenue and founded the autumn National Postage Stamp Show which was to become America’s largest annual philatelic event. Today, it’s called the Postage Stamp Mega Event and still draws huge numbers.
Over a span nearly 20 years in his position, Peter G. Keller solidified the ASDA and gave it a permanence that continues today. From its founding in 1914 until he took over, the Association was a rather loosely-knit organization. But Keller’s devotion and business sense transformed the ASDA into an infl uential trade association whose emblem (logo) is recognized worldwide as a symbol of integrity. It is Keller who is most responsible for this.
Aided by his lovely wife, Helen, who was his secretary and right hand and edited the ASDA Bulletin for more than 250 issues, Keller’s achievements contributed to making stamp dealing a respected, viable trade for thousands of individuals through the years. Through his 20 years of service, he was ubiquitous in the hobby—appearing all across America representing his organization.