Already a stamp collector with a major collection, on the death of her father,
Alfred F. Lichtenstein (1876-1947), the Vassar-educated Louise Boyd Dale (1913-1967) inherited her father’s world class collection. One should recall, however, that in the 1940’s philately was almost exclusively a “For Men Only” fraternity. This did not deter the daughter of the great philatelist. She energetically continued to build upon the great collection. Not content to rest upon her father’s philatelic laurels, she became a major philatelist in her own right. She greatly expanded the U.S. area of the collection, and many of the choice U.S. items from the April 19, 1989 auction of Harmers of New York, like the unique imperforate pairs of the 1875 Government Reprints of the 1857 issue, were her acquisitions. She also immersed herself in philatelic scholarship and research, and she presented lectures at the Collectors Club, most notably on “The Bordeaux Issues of France.”
Long before women were fully accepted in American society (e.g., at the time of her death in 1967, women were still barred from attending Yale, Harvard or Princeton Universities), Louise Boyd Dale rose to the top of American philately. In 1952 she was named Chairman of The Philatelic Foundation’s Expert Committee. Working with Executive Secretary Ethel Harper, Dale oversaw the first move of the PF to its own facilities. In 1953, she persuaded Alfred H. Caspary to serve as Honorary Chairman of the Expert Committee. She continued to build up the Foundation’s Reference Library and Reference Collection, oversaw the establishment of the PF’s weekly “Philately on the Air” syndicated radio broadcasts, instituted the first PF Seminars, inaugurated the PF’s series of publications and entered into an arrangement with Columbia University to grant college degree credits for Winthrop Boggs’ “Foundations of Philately” Course.
These were years of tremendous growth and expansion, and under the tenure of Louise Boyd Dale the PF entered the modern age. Dale was also an accredited philatelic judge, and in 1956 became the first woman to serve on the jury for an International Philatelic Exhibition (FIPEX, New York). The philatelic community mourned the passing of Louise Boyd Dale in 1967 at the age of 54.
In October, 1968, the H. R. Harmer firm commenced a series of eleven sales of the first part of the famed Dale-Lichtenstein Collection. In 1989, Harmer’s of New York started bringing down the gavel on the second part of this legendary Collection. This series of auctions ranks with the greatest philatelic auctions of all time, and stands as a monument to both Alfred Lichtenstein and to Louise Boyd Dale.