Sven Pahlman, born in 1950, has lived most of his life in Sweden, but his graduate studies and the subsequent academic career, brought him to many countries, including a post doc in London and longer and shorter stays in the US. He became a professor in Molecular Medicine in 1995 and retired in March 2020. His research interests during the last 40+ years were in the field of cancer, specifically neuroblastoma biology and the diagnosis and prognosis of this childhood tumour. During the last 20 years. Sven addressed questions related to the effects of oxygen shortage on tumour and tumour stem cell behaviour.
Sven started collecting stamps in parallel as he learned to walk. With his father and an elder brother as keen stamp collectors; the track was paved.... However, some 40 years ago. he gradually lost interest in stamps as a consequence of a newly developed awareness of the beauty of modem art and other collectables, interests that have persisted. After Sven had sold an old map in London, two blocks away from the stamp shops at the Strand, he felt rich and went to one of these shops and bought the postcard shown in Fig. 5.5 1. This card shifted his philatelic focus to postal history and the card became the starting point for his two collections of postal routes to the Dutch West and East Indies, respectively. He has exhibited both collections internationally and they arc currently at the international gold level.
When Sven bought the 12.5 cents postcard described above, it was the route mark that attracted him, not that the postcard itself is difficult to find correctly used, a fact lie was totally unaware of at that time. The successful search for more postal items with similar route marks required knowledge to explain how and why a given handstamp was used to mark a letter, questions which first brought him to the library at the Postal Museum in Stockholm and later to the book shop to build his own library. He did not find answers to all his questions in available books, some answers he figured out himself, that is one reason why he decided to write the book you hold in your hands.