Having recently retired from scientific careers in academia, industry, and private consulting, Dr. Brittain is enjoying semi-retirement while using forensic methods of analysis to study the ink and paper used to produce United Stamps of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Specifically, he uses X-ray diffraction (XRD) to study the crystalline components in paper used to print stamps, and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to identify the chemical components present in printing inks. Dr. Brittain’s stamp collection is highly unusual in that each stamp mounted in an album is accompanied by its FTIR spectrum and its XRD pattern.
Dr. Brittain has published papers summarizing his projects in numerous philatelic journals, namely the Confederate Philatelist, the Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues, The United States Specialist, and in four volumes of the proceedings of the International Symposia on Analytical Methods in Philately.
For more information about Harry, take a look at his CV, here.