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Postage stamps collecting had a powerful impact in our country. This european hobby reached " mioritic plains" around the year 1865, during the reign of prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Individual collectors or tobacco merchants were selling our first postage stamps: The Auroch Head, The United Princely States or Cuza."Timbrophilo" - the first Romanian philatelic magazine
The need to communicate between collectors led to their organization into philatelic societies and clubs. Therefore on the 1st/13th of January 1881 the first philatelic magazine in Romania appeared, suggestively named "TIMBROPHILO" (it is true that only for a short time, the edition being limited to only three numbers), having the redaction and administration at the "Steinberg & Wortmann" bookstore, in Calea Victoriei nr. 16, Zlatari Inn.
The magazine reappeared in November 1890, under the name "TIMBROFILUL" (2ND Year, nr. 4), having the redaction and administration in Morfeu St. nr. 27, at the home of retired captain Constantin M. Moroiu, who was also the director of the publication.
In nr. 6 from February 1891, was published the first list of collectors in Romania, classified on cities: Bucharest (24), Braila (3), Barlad (2), Botosani (1), Craiova (4), Codaesti (1), Iasi (7), Galati (2), Focsani (2), Pitesti (4) and Ramnicul Valcea (2).
In April 1891, in Bucharest was founded, temporary, SOCIETATEA ROMANA DE TIMBROLOGIE - S.R.T. (The Romanian postage stamp society), with president Dimitrie C. Butculescu, Vice-president - colonel ® I. Thorand (Craiova), secretary - captain ® C. M. Moroiu.
On the 6th of May 1891, the first philatelic exposition took place, having a private character.
This exposition took place at the house of president Dimitrie C. Butculescu, in Bucharest, Clementei St. nr. 11 bis, the present building of the LIDO casino, near the central headquarters of the Romanian Philatelic Federation.Dimitrie C. Butculescu - President of the Romanian Philatelic Society
From the "Timbrofilul" magazine nr. 12/oct. 1891, we find out that in the offices of the Postal Direction, was organized a small postal museum by colonel Gorjan, that held "the complete collection of all the postal stamps, telegraphic and various prints, used from before the Romanian Union, and up to the present, as well as a section of postmen costumes, inscriptions, and various objects that have been used in the Romanian countries".
In November 1891, S.R.T. was finally organized, the Administration Committee being made up of: Dimitrie C. Butculescu (president), col.rez. I. Thorand (vice-president), cpt. Rez. C. M. Moroiu (secretary), G. Bascovici, Al. S. Klenk and Dem. Antoniu (members). First member card of the Romanian Philatelic Society
At the meeting held on the 26Th of november/10Th of December 1891, they changed the name into "SOCIETATEA FILATELICA ROMANA" (Romanian Philatelic Society), at the same time adopting the Statute, with the aim of offering stamp collectors in Romania a center to meet and join forces.
On 24th of December 1891, the following presented communications within the Society: Dimitrie C Butculescu about; " The Toscana, Parma and Mondena stamps with a review of Italian philately" and Constantin M. Moroiu - about "The Hamburg stamps, 1st and 2nd Issue".
On the 8th of June 1892, the following people resigned from the management of the Society: vice-president I.Thorand and secretary C.M. Moroiu. The last one together with a small group of philatelists, reestablished "Societatea Romana de Timbrologie" (with 23 members) - under himself as president, at his own house. Vice-president I. Thorand came back on his resignation.
In the new situation created, S.F.R., to which more philatelists joined (42), remade the Committee, with Dimitrie C. Butculescu as president, deputy Ion Oteteleseano as vice-president, I. Thorand as secretary, A. I. Pancu as cashier, and members: G. Bascovici, Al. S. Klenk, Dem. Antoniu, St. Elefterescu, P. Obedener, col. Gorjan, I. Cesianu and St. I. Nicolau - 2nd secretary.
First illustrated postal card: 12th of September 1894In the meeting on the 29th of June 1892, cpt.rez C. M. Moroiu was forced to resign from the Society, being accused that he took upon himself the title of president of the Society, and under this title he wrote to many members and even to the Society, bringing moral damages to it (information published in the newspaper "The monitory of the Romanian Philatelic Society" year I, nr. 1 from the 15th of September 1892). The newspaper appears as official paper of S.F.R., in parallel with the magazine "Timbrofilul", run by C. M. Moroiu, as official paper of "Societatea Romana de Timbrofilie", established by him.
In the year 1894, Dimitrie C. Butculescu - " the initiator of the association spirit and the forefather of the cooperative societies and expositions from the country", organized, within the Cooperators' exposition, in the Cismigiu Garden, Bucharest, a philatelic exposition, functioning a postal office and a special stamp. With this occasion, an illustrated postal card was edited in three nuances. Both the special stamp and the illustrated card are considered to be the first ones realized in Romania. This exposition was organized under the high patronage of the heir FERDINAND and princes MARIA. On the opening of the exposition, King Carol I addressed to Dimitrie C. Butculescu the following words of praise: "The most popular Romanian, the apostle of patriotism".
Passionate archeologist, he participates to a lot of research together with Alex. Odobescu and organizes the first archeological exposition at Hotel Boulevard. He was elected as deputy in the Romanian Parliament in three legislatures, and in the year 1893, he led the Romanian parliamentary delegation at the Brussels Conference, we he upholds a motion regarding the right of nationalities.
The research published at the end of the XIX century and the beginning of the XXth century, up to the First World War, sees a sustained philatelic activity, both in Bucharest, as well as the rest of the country. In Pitesti, in the year 1890 we see the appearance of the "Postal Stamp Carrier", under the publishing house I. N. Lazar; at Iasi, in 1893, "The Iasi Philatelic Society" published the illustrated magazine "Philatelic Romania", under the redaction of Alf. A. Rosenberg, and in 1897, "The stamp enunciator" appeared - philatelic journal for stamp collectors and traders (with texts in romanian, french, and german), having as director I. Saraga. In Focsani, the Moldavia Philatelic Society, in collaboration with the Mercur Society edited in 1895, "The stamps echo" - philatelic journal (in french), at the same time with the apparition of another publication: "The Romanian Post" - national philatelic newspaper, under the management of Garabet Alsan.First medal awarded to a philatelic collection put on display in Romania
At Caransebes was founded in 1895, "the Exchange Union of Postage Stamps", that reached in 1898 more than 150 members, being considered the largest in Southeast Europe. In Barlad, in 1898 appeared "Romanian Philately" - monthly philatelic paper. Directors-Owners: Theodoresco & Co., and in Bucharest, in 1896, - the magazine "Rumanischer Philatelist"(in romanian and german); editor: Oscar D. Perlmman, and in February 1897 - "Le Thimbrophilie Roumain". On the 8th of March 1900, in Constanta, the stamp and literature newspaper "TIMBRU", under the management of T. Mantu, with the subtitle: "Small Journal", and in Timisoara - the publication "International philatelic market" (in hungarian), which in 1903 become "The philatelic market" and in 1906 - "The postage stamps market". In Iasi, in 1901, a magazine in german appeared "Rumanischer Briefmarken-Offertenbltt" (Editor: Solomon Spielger). In 1903, in Sibiu, the first philatelic group was establisher, under the Military Circle, led by Geza von Jakots, while in Timisoara "The international association for exchange of united postage stamps collectors" was established, with its own publication "The philatelic market"(ephemeral apparition). In Bacau in
1905, the "Roumanie Timbrophile" appeared (director: Herman Rosenberg), and in Gaesti, in 1908/1909 "La Roumanie Philatelique" (administrator and owner: Iancu D. Dinescu).
In Bucharest, in 1903 the "Timbrofila" Society was functioning (president: Stefan I. Nicolau - former 2nd secretary at the old S.F.R., in 1892) and the "Romanian Philatelic Society" that will edit in 1904-1905, the magazine "La Roumanie Philatelique" Medal of the Philatelic exposition, Bucharest, 1924, organized in the Liedertafel Hall(director Etienne Constantinovitch). In 1906 "Le Moniteur Philatelique" appeared - philatelic and cartophilic magazine, followed by "L'annonce carto-philatelique" (on the 28th of June 1907) and " Revue Mensuelle carto-philatelique ilustre" (director: Jean Katt). In Braila between the years 1906-1907, the following magazines succeeded one another: "Filatelia" as official publication of the Romanian Philatelic Union (administrator: Victor Goutman), "La poste" - bi-monthly publication (redactor: Victor Goutman, administrator: Manelas Kostomyris) and "La philatelie" (directors: M. Kostomyris and Dr. C.), and in 1910 - "L'annonce philatelique d'Orient" - as official paper of Oriental Philatelic Union (director: Leo Jacobson).
In Timisoara, in 1906 was established The HUNNIA philatelic Association, by the Urmeny brothers who continued to publish "The postage stamps market" and in 1910, a satirical philatelic magazine appeared named "Humorische Markenzeitung". In Targu-Mures there was a philatelic group, in parallel with a magazine "Revue philatelique", in the period 1912-1914, and in Resita, in the same period the Resita Philatelic Group was in existence, with 26 members.
The events that predated (the bosnian crisis, in 1908, and the Balkan crisis in 1912-1913) and finally started the First World War, in the summer of 1914, paralyzed any activity in the philatelic field, in the years that followed. Following the events in the history of Romanian philately, we arrive on the 23rd-24th of May 1920 at Timisoara,Lloyd Palace - the place of the first philatelic exposition in Greater Romania 23rd -24th of May 1920 were the imposing Market hall in the Lloyd Palace houses the first Romanian philatelic exposition after the Great Union on the 1st of December 1918. On the 3rd-5th of October 1924, in Bucharest, in the Liedertafel hall, behind the Architecture School,Deutsche Liedertafel Hall, Bucharest, 3rd - 5th of October 1924 a great philatelic exposition takes place. For the first time, the head of state, this time King Ferdinand, himself a philatelist, offered the high patronage to a philatelic exposition, participating in person.
The philatelic movement in Romania grows stronger every year with new members of quality, and new collections, containing great rarities, Romanian, as well as foreign.
We reach the year 1932, when in Bucharest, at the Romanian Academy Foundation (Dalles Hall) between the 23rd and the 30th of November, takes place the greatest philatelic exposition since, called EFIRO - 1932Plaque of exposition EFIRO 1932 (The Romanian Philatelic Exposition).
This philatelic exposition also has the honor of being under the high patronage of the chief of state, King Carol II, himself a philatelist since the age of 6, owner of a fabulous collection, ranked as third in the world at that time, in terms of value. EFIRO - 1932, brought to BucharestKing Carol II receiving explanations from Heinrich Bimbach regarding the report blocks to the lithographed Carol I issue great collections and collectors from abroad, among them: Louis Goldberg (Belgium), Henry Rosenthal (France), Heinrich Birnbach (Germany), dr. Emilio Diena (Italy), Theodor Champion (France), Louis Yvert (France), Nils Strandell (Sweden), Rene Pancelet (Belgium), Edwin Muler (Austria), A. Hertsch (Switzerland). We can affirm that almost all the "sacred names" of European philately gathered and participated in one way or another at this great philatelic regalia, named EFIRO - 1932 and that will have a great echo after 66 years, through the organization of the EFIRO - 1998, at the Palace of Parliament. But let's not anticipate. Up to the great philatelic exposition EFIRO - 1998, we have the moment named "Bucharest '58", exposition that took place in the Postal Palace, and was organized by the Department of Posts and Telecommunications, together with the Romanian philatelist Association. This exposition was a successful training for the international exposition The Romanian Postage Stamp Centenary, in November that year. At this exposition over 145 collectors from Romania and all over the world participated with their collections, among other objects exposed, being reminders from the dawn of the postal service in Moldavia and Muntenia: Images from the Centenary of Romanian postage stamp exposition 1958postal coaches, old stamps, postal uniforms, various documents regarding postal history.
Another great success of Romanian philatelists, reorganized after December '89, in The Romanian Philatelic Federation, was the great philatelic exposition of Balkan countries: BALCANIFA '91 that took place in Bacau. This great exposition was under the patronage of the President of Romania, Mr. Ion Iliescu, that through his personal counselor, send a very nice message to all participants. Starting with the year 1996, romanian philatelists held their expositions in the grand Palace of Parliament. The elegant Bratianu Hall hosted the ROMFILEX '96 exposition, under the patronage of the president of the Chamber of Deputies of the time mr. Adrian Nastase, prime-minister of Romania today. This exposition was a general repetition of the greatest philatelic exposition ever organized in Romania, named according to tradition EFIRO - 1998.
EFIRO - 1998, was also under the highest level of patronage, from the chief of state, President Emil Constantinescu. The Romanian Post, and The Romanian Philatelic Federation united its forces in an effort to realize a national exposition that through its grandeur, through its high number of panels set up (1300), the EFIRO '98 exposition will rise to the level of an European exposition. Hoping that this grandeur will be overtaken in the year 2008, through the organization of a world philatelic exposition that will celebrate 150 years since the Romanian Post issued the famous Auroch Head (Cap de bou) - Moldavia stamps in 1858.
This great philatelic event will be the crowning glory of the work and passion of a number of generations of postage stamps collectors in Romania, as well as a good way in which the Romanian Post will celebrate this remarkable feat of its time, the issue of a postage stamp. As it did at the centenary, the Romanian Post will not miss the 150th anniversary of Romanian postage stamp, a great honor among the other European postal administrations.
We are sure that united we will manage. On a Tuesday, the 26th of October 1999, at the initiative of a number of enthusiastic philatelists (Silviu Dragomir, Leonard Pascanu, Teodor Melnic-Ghiata, Corneliu Beda, Alexandru Bartoc, Mircea Stanculescu), on Saint Dimitrie day, at the Bellu cemetery a memorial service took place in front of the restored funerary monument of the great personality that was Dimitrie C. Butculescu. The restoration was done through the care of the Romanian Philatelic Federation.
In the year 2001 - F.F.R. celebrated 110 years since it was founded. This cultural organization represents
the biggest collectors organization in Romania. According to its Statute F.F.R. aims at promoting cultural, historic and moral values of the Romanian People through its postage stamps.
This activity was promoted benevolent, through patriotism and love of Romania, although the state, especially the Cultural Ministry, did not give its full support throughout our long existence. Any way, Romanian philatelists are optimist and keep on going only through passion and love for the postage stamp.

Translated by Teodor Catalin Giurgiu.
Selection of texts from articles written by
Leonard Pascanu and Valeriu Neaga
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