Montgomery Blair, the innovator of mail delivery and a founding father of the Universal Postal Union, is hailed on a new 39-cent aerogramme.

The aerogramme will be officially released Nov. 20 in Washington, D.C., during World Stamp Expo '89. The exhibition is being held in conjunction with the 20th Congress of the UPU.In 1861, when Blair became postmaster general under President Lincoln, he found a postal department that was in disarray. Blair immediately began reviving and reorganizing it.

Within three and a half years, he reorganized the military post and created the money order system, providing a safe way for soldiers to send money home. Blair later instituted free city delivery and the railway post office system.

However, world observers feel his greatest accomplishment was the convening of a Paris conference in 1863 attended by all nations with which the United States had diplomatic relations. It led to the creation in 1874 of the UPU, the world governing body of postal regulations and policies.

The design of the aerogramme features highlights of Blair's term as postmaster general. On the front is a smoking vintage locomotive and a stack of mail bags. To their right are listed three of Blair's achievements: "Free city delivery," "Railway mail service" and "Money order system." In the upper right, "USA 39" appears below a portrait of Blair and Lincoln.

Another portrait of Blair appears on the reverse side, along with a train, and a globe encircled by pieces of mail. Below are the logo of the UPU and a brief explanation of Blair's role in its creation.

First-day cancellations are available in the two usual methods. The deadline for ordering is Dec. 20.

You may buy the aerogramme at your local post office, self-address it and send it to: Customer-Provided Stationery, Montgomery Blair Aerogramme, P.O. Box 96821, Washington, DC 20090-6821.

If you prefer to have the Postal Service supply the aerogramme, for each one desired, send 39 cents in the form of a money order or personal check, and a self-addressed, peelable label to: Montgomery Blair Aerogramme, P.O. Box 98622, Washington, DC 20090-6822.

Uganda "Stamps on Stamps"

Uganda has issued a unique set of four "stamps on stamps" plus a souvenir sheet honoring PHILEXFRANCE '89, the Paris stamp show commemorating the bicentennial of the French Revolution. The new stamps feature reproductions of the first stamps issued by Uganda, one of the first countries in East Africa to issue its own stamps.

The 20-shilling depicts the 5-cowries stamp, while the 70-shilling shows the 10-cowries stamp, both from 1895. On the 100-shilling is the 25-cowries stamp, while the 250-shilling has the 1-rupee stamp, both from 1896.

The four stamps are reproduced on a large 500-shilling souvenir sheet honoring PHILEXFRANCE '89.

New Issues From Belgium

Belgium has issued a trio of interesting and deftly designed sets of stamps that are sure to be of special interest to collectors of Belgian issues.

One stamp honors the Europalia festival, which this year focuses on Japan. The stamp depicts a Shogun wearing the informal court dress, with black headgear, hunting dress and trousers.

A set of four stamps features ducks - the mallard, teal, shoveler and pintail. All are familiar in Europe, and especially in Belgium.

A special stamp honors the Belgian Education League, which was responsible for the introduction of compulsory education in Belgium and its independence of religious beliefs. The design shows a two-headed figure symbolizing equality of education for all.

From the Mail Bag

To Jean G. Cote, of Metheun, Mass.: I'm glad that you enjoy reading the column regularly and distribute your extra stamps to hospitals and scouting organizations. To obtain a complete set of the Mickey Mouse stamps to which you refer, I suggest you write to the Inter-Governmental Philatelic Corp., 480 W. 34th St., New York, NY 10001.