You would have had no trouble finding a stamp at the Buffalo Convention Center on Friday.

The National Topical Stamp Show convened, featuring more than 30 stamp dealers from across the United States and Canada displaying their merchandise and offering them for sale.

The American Topical Association was organized in 1949 and is the world's largest organization of thematic stamp collectors. The collector's interest is usually the subject depicted on the stamp.

John Leszak, show co-chairman and a local stamp dealer, is an enthusiast who feels the show helps boosts Buffalo's image.

"This show puts Buffalo in a positive perspective. There are people from all over the world that will be visiting the stamp show this weekend. Stamp-collecting is an open text book that involves a lot of history," he said.

"Stamp-collecting is versatile; you can learn so much through its historical connections," says Ingeburg L. Fisher, a stamp collector from Spokane, Wash.

A key part of the convention will be the displays of more than 40 of the world's top thematic collections, vying for prizes to be awarded by a panel of five experts from across the country.

Buffalo Postmaster Donald Gross said the public's fascination with stamps has grown over the years.

"Stamps have become very popular. The youth of America are starting to show an interest in not only stamps, but stamp-collecting. Stamps contain history that many generations inquire about," he said.

The convention and exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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