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1922 Flat Plate Imperforate issues

Continuing a practice that began with the 1902-03 series, the Post Office provided imperforate sheet stamps to coil manufacturers.

Scott 575, 1¢ Franklin, plate number 14159

Scott 575 var, 1¢ Franklin, Bureau precancel, plate number 14159

Scott 575 var, 1¢ Franklin, coil leader with Schermack Type III private perforations, plate number 14158

Scott 575 var, 1¢ Franklin, Schermack Type III private perforations from pane before slicing into coil strips, plate number F14159

Scott 576, 1-1/2¢ Harding profile, plate number 16870

Scott 576, 1-1/2¢ Harding profile, Bureau precancel, plate number 16863

Scott 577, 2, plate number 14179

Scott 577 var, 2¢ Washington, Schermack Type III private perforations from pane before slicing into coil strips, plate number F14197

Scott 611, 2¢ Harding, plate number 15027

Some collectors consider the 2¢ Harding as part of, or at least very closely associated with, the Fourth Bureau Series due to the design similarities and the fact that the identical portrait was used for the 1-1/2¢ denomination soon afterward.

For a special study of the 2¢ Harding varieties, check out the Harding page.

 

1922 Coil issues

The Post Office also issued its own coil stamps. The plate numbers were trimmed away during the printing and coiling process. Occasionally, the cutting process was sufficiently off-center that some portion of the plate number is still visible.

Rotary Press Horizontal Coil issues (perf. 10 vertically)

Scott 597, 1 Franklin, plate number 19759

Scott 597 var, 1 Bureau precancel, plate number 19759 (with star)

Scott 598, 1-1/2¢ Harding (profile), plate number 16909

Scott 598 var, 1-1/2 Harding (profile) precancel, plate number 18821

Scott 686, 1-1/2¢ Harding (full-face), plate number 20389

Scott 686 var, 1-1/2¢ Bureau precancel, plate number 20388

Scott 599, 2 Washinton Type I, plate number 20001

Scott 599, 2 Washington Type I, plate number 20349

Scott 599 var, 2¢ Washington Type I, Bureau precancel, plate number 18040

Scott 599A, 2 Washington Type II, plate number 19749

Scott 600, 3¢ Lincoln, plate number 18808

Scott 600 var, 3¢ Bureau precancel, plate number 17909

Scott 687, 4¢ Taft, plate number 20135

Scott 602, 5 Teddy Roosevelt, plate number 16443

Scott 602 var, 5¢ Bureau precancel, plate number 17946

Scott 723, 6 Garfield, plate number 20968

Scott 603, 10¢ Monroe, plate number 16340

 

Rotary Press Endwise or Vertical Coil issues (perf. 10 horizontally)

Scott 604, 1, plate number 20357

Scott 606, 2, plate number 19153

Scott 606 fake coil, 2¢, plate number 19991

Clues:

  • Plate number 19991 was not used to print the coil stamps
  • Plate 19991 was used to print the rotary booklet panes, Scott 634d
  • Authentic partial coil plate numbers are centered to the left of the stamp image (see the genuine Scott 606 immediately above it), whereas partial booklet pane plate numbers are at the top left as in this example
  • The dimensions (as measured in mm) are not right for the coil stamp
  • The perforations have been trimmed from the right side to make the booklet stamp appear as a coil

 

1923-26 Regular issue - rotary press coil waste

Stamps left over from the printing of 1 and 2 coils were perforated on the remaining two sides and sold to the public. 

Scott 578, 1, perf. 11 x 10, plate number 14573

Scott 579, 2, perf. 11 x 10, plate number 14342

Scott 595, 2, perf. 11, plate number 14126

No plate number example is known of Scott 594, the 1¢ perf 11 coil waste issue.

 

1927 Imperforate Harding (rotary press)

The post office issued imperforate stamps for vending machine companies. These companies pasted them together in strips and privately perforated them (such as Schermack type III, with the oblongs), thus making coil rolls. The coils were then used to affix the stamps by machine to business mail. When one company ran out of the imperforate flat plate 1-1/2 Hardings (Scott 576) and requested more, the post office, which by then was no longer printing flat plate stamps, sent imperforate rotary press stamps from two plates instead, seeing no difference. The rotary stamps were in smaller sheets, doubling the cutting and pasting work for the private company, but the gutters on the rotary press sheets threw off the perforations. At around the same time, Pitney-Bowes was authorized to use meters. The combination of problems and the new competition ruined the private vending and affixing industry, and imperforate stamps have not been intentionally issued since except for the Farleys, occasional souvenir sheets, and the "die cutting omitted" experiment with press sheets since the early 2000's. Background information courtesy of Lawrence H. Cohen

  

Scott 631, 1-1/2, plate numbers 18360 and 18413

 

1928 "Molly Pitcher" overprint

In an effort to save money in designing and engraving, in a couple of instances the post office decided to overprint the common 2 and 5 definitives, Scott 634 and 637, to provide a quick "commemorative" stamp. The "Molly Pitcher" stamp was supposed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1778 Revolutionary battle of Monmouth, New Jersey.

Scott 646, 2, plate number 19071, with a particularly runny overprint

Scott 646 var, local precancel, plate number 19070

 

1928 Hawaii overprints

The "Hawaii" overprints commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1778 European discovery of Hawaii by Captain Cook. Britain's Union Jack is part of the Hawaii state flag in commemoration of this event.

Scott 647, 2, plate number 18983

Scott 647 var, overprint high and to the left, plate number 18984

Image courtesy of Bill Langs

Scott 647 var, 2¢, dirty overprint mat, plate number 19055

Scott 648, 5, plate number 18907

1928 Canal Zone overprints

Denominations from 1/2¢ to $1.00 were overprinted for use in the Canal Zone. Two overprint types were used on flat plate issues, plus a handful of rotary press issues. See examples at the Canal Zone page.

1929 Kansas-Nebraska overprints

Denominations from 1¢ to 10¢ were overprinted for use in two states which had experienced a lot of postal robberies. The idea was to make the stolen stamps harder to re-sell in other states. It was not successful, and was not expanded to additional states. Despite the overprints, the stamps were valid for mailings throughout the United States. See examples at the Kansas-Nebraska page.

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This page last updated May 14, 2023.