The Poca Post is pleased to announce a stamp celebrating
the life and work of Effingham Flewellyn Stoppe.
E. F. Stoppe, affectionally known as "Eff," was an early experimenter in photography on the Poca River. His father had immigrated from Germany, and his mother from England. They met and married, settling on the Poca River. Eff was born in 1865 in Buffalo-on-the-Poca. He showed an early interest in lenses since his father made reading glasses. By 1885 "Eff" had constructed an early box camera that used wet plates. He recorded many events and personages with this equipment. Indeed, the Poca Post is indebted to the work of "Eff" Stoppe since it has used many of his photographs from our archives for commemorative stamps.
By 1908 Stoppe had developed a booming business in Buffalo-on-the-Poca, and people came from up and down the river to have themselves and their families recorded by the new photographic process.
In July of 1912 "Eff" Stoppe had developed a process of "flash photography" using black powder and magnesium. On July 15th of 1912, during the Poca Fish Days Celebration, Stoppe decided to try out his "flash pan" for a night shot of the celebrations. He added a good deal more powder to the pan than usual since he had never taken a flash photo out-of-doors at night. Unfortunately, the amount of powder was excessive, and the explosion ended Effingham F. Stoppe's life on the spot. However, the camera was able to capture his last image of life on the Poca River.
The stamp was issued on 15 July, 2002 in a pane of 16 stamps in the domination of 37 Poca units.