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Many notable women who would have been mentioned in the history books, if they had been men, weren't. Or, they were relegated to mentions in books about larger organizations, and today may primarily survive as brief Wikipedia entries - or may not. This is the first of an occasional series presented by PageTurner Editions dedicated to to reclaiming some some of these undersevedly forgotten women, with profiles drawn from the pages of the by-gone magazines and newspapers of their eras. These entries revel the cultural predilections and prejudices of the time, and the text is often thought-provoking, to say the least, when read by modern eyes. In this installment, we present the text and photograph for a 1936 profile of Catherine Lemmon Manning, Stamp Detective:

"One counterfeit stamp carried Catherine Manning from an obscure souvenir shop in Washington, D.C., to the position of America's foremost stamp detective. One day, working as a clerk in the shop sorting stamps, her sensitive fingers discovered a fake, and saved her boss a lot of money. Now, after years of study, she knows all the crooked tricks of the trade. Her sharp eyes detect patches in torn stamps, water-color retouching, and unauthorized issues from stolen plates. Secret service men follow her tips. Recently showed up 43 rare stamps as fakes, and saved the prospective buyer $65,000. In 14 years, Mrs. Manning has advised 10,000,000 collectors and put her stamp of approval on millions of stamps. Here's her advice to collectors: "Locate a reputable dealer through the stamp reporter of your nearest city newspaper. Brush stamps with benzine to bring out flaws. If you're not sure then, use a microscope." Mrs. Manning is now custodian of 65,000 rare stamps in the Smithsonian Institution." (from The American Magazine 1936)

For those interested in learning about her, below is her Wiki entry:

Catherine Lemmon Manning

Born January 24, 1881
Died April 14, 1957
Nationality USA
Engineering career
Institution memberships American Philatelic Society
Significant projects Curator Emeritus of the National Postal Museum; first woman to hold elective office at the American Philatelic Society
Significant awards APS Hall of Fame
Catherine Lemmon Manning (1881–1957), of Washington, D.C. served the philatelic community by her work in several philatelic societies, and the American public by her service at the National Postal Museum.

Serving the Smithsonian

From 1922 to 1949, when she retired, Catherine Manning served as the Government Philatelist at the National Postal Museum, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. She was subsequently named to the post of Curator Emeritus, a position she held from 1949 to 1957.

Philatelic activity

Manning, during her early years, gained experience in philately by working for stamp dealers, such as Julius (John) Murray Bartels, in the Washington, D.C. area. At the American Philatelic Society, she was the first woman to hold an elective office in the organization, serving on the Board of Vice-Presidents from 1935 to 1937. At the American Philatelic Congress she served as a council member, and at the Bureau Issues Association, later renamed the United States Stamp Society, she was declared an honorary member. Manning was also a Trustee of National Philatelic Museum, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Honors and awards

Manning was honored by an award for her work from the Philadelphia's National Philatelic Museum in 1949. In 1990 she was named to the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.

See also