About Our Company
A little history, Who we are, What we do
Virginia Goldberg operates Subway Stamp Shop as a family business. Her motto "Stamp Collecting.... fun for the whole family" reflects the way Virginia make her business decisions. Subway has everything a stamp collector might need from stamp hinges to the highest quality deluxe hingeless albums. Subway guarantees customer satisfaction and will exchange or refund any product you are not satisfied with.
Hugh's father, Simon E Goldberg was a lifelong stamp collector. In the evenings he made stamp packets from duplicates and lots, and sold them from displays he placed in luncheonettes, cigar and candy stores. In the late 1940's Simon, using his own collection, opened a stamp collecting department in the corner of a cousin's camera shop in Brooklyn (NY). The business quickly grew and in 1952 Simon made the move to world famous "Nassau Street" (New York City) when he purchased Subway Stamp Shop (est. 1931). The store was located in the subway arcade at 87 Nassau Street (hence the name Subway) until Subway relocated to larger quarters on the 2nd floor at 111 Nassau Street. Nassau street was the home of hundreds of stamp collecting companies from the 1930's thru the 1970's. Stamp collectors and dealers both headed straight for Nassau street when visiting New York. For many years Subway Stamp Shop's advertisements started with the line "Nassau Street - where stamp collecting began.
Hugh became sole owner when his father died in 1975. That summer he met Virginia, who was director of children's activities at Parents Without Partners. Virginia was a widow with three children between the ages of 3 and 16. Hugh's four children, the same ages, lived with him on weekends. Hugh and Virginia began doing things with their children and soon realized they had much more in common than her Italian Roman Catholic heritage and his Jewish heritage would suggest. Hugh proposed on their third date (smartest move I ever made says Hugh) and they were married in December of 1975. Virginia feels their different religions have had a great influence on the children. The family celebrates holidays of both faiths and the kids (and now the grandkids) respect and rejoice with each other on occasions like first communions and bar mitzvahs.
In the late 1970's Hugh learned 'Coin/Stamp Supply Co.' (and two other associated stamp collecting supply companies) were having financial difficulties and were going out of business. Subway stepped in, wrote to thousands of their customers offering to fill (at no charge to the customer) any orders that had been paid to Coin/Stamp but had not been shipped, or had only been partially shipped. Subway filled these orders without ever having received any payment. Hugh and Virginia felt they were able to repay in this small way the industry that has been so good to them. Hugh says "we ended up satisfying over 4,000 complaints at a cost in excess of $40,000." Most of Coin/Stamp's 30,000 patrons became loyal Subway customers. People still remember being surprised by receiving their orders from Subway. When Coin/Stamp went out of business most customers assumed all was lost.
In the mid-1980s, Hugh and Virginia repeated the process when they acquired the customer lists of financially troubled 'Midwest Stamp and Coin Company' (also trading as 'National Supply Company'). This time they satisfied over 1,200 retail complaints at a net cost to Subway of about $15,000.
In 1985 Elbe, a manufacturer of quality stamp albums and pages announced they were closing their Philatelic Division. This meant many products stamp collectors were using for over 50 years would no longer be available. Subway stepped in, bought Elbe's machines, rebuild them and rebuilt them again. Elbe Philatelic Products was reborn into the Subway family. Collectors who had mounted their collections on Elbe Roosevelt and Governor pages were able to continue using the same high quality pages as they used on countless gold and silver medal winning collections. Other Elbe products such as manila stockpages, manila stockbooks and manila approval cards have long been a mainstay of our industry.
In 1979 Subway formed G&K Hobby Products to manufacture dealer sales aids, including sales sheets, display cards and much more. You cannot go to any stamp show without seeing G&K collection cards in their familiar red boxes. G&K has expanded its production to include sheet, cover and postcard albums, cover protectors, stockpages (starsheets and Centurion) plus other material collectors want and need. Since we manufacture most of our own products we are able to sell at prices 20% to 50% below other brands without comprising quality. In fact many of our products are better quality than the 'name' brands costing double and triple. Subway is the single largest distributor of almost every major brand of stamp collecting supplies in the world.
Subway expanded into (reference) book publications with the addition of 'Postilion Publications' (over 100 titles in print, and another 40 in preparation) and 'Imperial Album Company' a manufacturer of custom stamp album pages. Stamp collectors can have custom album pages titled to the exact country or topic they collect. Imperial has added archival quality mounting corners, storage boxes, exhibition protectors, arrows, repair tape and various other products specifically for the exhibiting and display of stamp collections. In 1998 Subway added Blue Rose to its product line manufacturing and packaging Manila stockbooks, Stamp Mounts and other accessories. In 1999 Subway purchased the old Dennison stamp hinge machines. We hope to be manufacturing (in early 2000) stamp hinges similiar in quality to the old hinges collectors knew and loved years ago.
In August 1994, Subway shocked the philatelic world by closing its operations in New York and moving the company to Altoona, Penn. This massive undertaking took a crew of 70, working thousands of person-hours (can't say man-hours anymore) and 14 - 48' trucks moving over 500,000 lbs. of stamps, accessories and machines.
In January 2003 Hugh Goldberg passed leaving Virginia to carry on the traditions.
The focus of Hugh and Virginia's business remain the hobby of stamp collecting. Hugh said "The collectors are our friends, and dealers must take new, bold initiatives if we're going to make this industry grow." Hugh was a member of over 100 philatelic organizations, a life member of both the American Philatelic Society (APS), and the American Stamp Dealers Association (ASDA). Hugh was also a past director of the ASDA and an "almost" director of the APS (maybe next year). Subway is one of the largest sponsors of new members of the American Philatelic Society (APS).
We will be pleased to sponsor dealers and collectors for membership in both of the fine organizations. Dealers: ASDA printable membership application. Collectors and dealers: APS on-line and printable membership aplication. Note all cash awards Subway earns as a sponser are donated completely to the APS and the ASDA building funds.
Next time you are in the Altoona, Pennsylvania area, please stop by and visit us. Our store hours are Monday thru Friday 9:00 - 5:30. You will find the largest and most varied inventory of stamp and coin collecting supplies in the world. Note: Subway no longer handles foreign stamps, except in packets and the occasional collection we might purchase.
Dealers are welcome at Subway and receive full wholesale discounts for all their accessory needs. If you are truly buying for resale, Subway will do all we can to help you. Call today for our wholesale supply catalog. Proof of dealer status is required with your first order. See Attention Dealers - Register here for dealer requirements. Very soon dealers will be able to register on Subways web site and see (after special sign-on) wholesale prices on all albums and supplies.