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Forgotten Biography

Shri Jal Manekji Cooper (Jal Cooper)

Jal CooperJal Manekji Cooper FRGS (b. 1905 - d. August 1972) was an Indian philatelist, and an expert and authenticator of the postage stamps and postal history of India. Cooper was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the author of several philatelic handbooks. He was both a stamp dealer and a collector and was associated with philatelists like C. D. Desai, N. D. Cooper, and Robson Lowe. Jal Cooper was the undisputed leader of philately in India since 1940s till his death. He has authored a couple of books on various aspects of Indian Philately, viz. A Specialised Priced Catalogue of Indian Rocket Mails, Stamps and Vignettes, Early Indian Cancellations, India used Abroad and India used in Burma.

In December 1941, Jal Cooper formed ‘The Empire of India Philatelic Society’ (EIPS). He served as its founder-Secretary. He acquired the publication ‘India’s Stamp Journal’ (which was started in January 1937) from a Swiss dealer, Mr. Neukom of M/s Philatelic Orient in October 1940. He also wrote a popular column ‘Stamp News’ in the Illustrated Weekly of India, a popular Times of India publication, in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.

The Jal Cooper Philatelic Society, in Varanasi, was named after him. He has been commemorated on an Indian commemorative stamp on 15.12.1997 issued on the occasion of INDEPEX 97.

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