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Official stamps

In the 1870s, government departments lost the franking privilege. Separate series of stamps were issued for each department's use. Except for the issues of the Post Office Department, which feature only numerals, the stamps were patterned on the then-current "banknote" issues.

1873 issues, Continental Bank Note Company

Printed on thin hard paper.

War Department

Offices of the War Department were required to use these stamps on official mailings. This included communications with the commanders of the numerous forts established to protect settlers expanding into the Midwest, Rocky Mountains and Northwest.

Scott O83, 1 War Department, plate number 48

Scott O83S, 1¢ War Department specimen, plate number 48

Scott O83S var, 1¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 48

Scott O84, 2 War Department, pair with plate number 35

Scott O84TC4, 2¢ War Department, black trial color proof, imprint single

Scott O84S, 2 War Department specimen, pair with plate number 35

Scott O84S var, 2¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, imprint single

Scott O85, 3 War Department, pair with plate number 32

Scott O85S var, 3¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 32

Scott O86, 6 War Department, plate number 60

Scott O86S var, 6¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 60

Scott O87, 7¢ War Department, plate number 102

Scott O87S var, 7¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 102

Scott O88, 10 War Department, plate number 79

Scott O88S var, 10¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 79

Scott O89, 12 War Department, plate number 54

Scott O89S var, 12¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 54

Scott O90, 15 War Department, plate number 87

Scott O90SD, 15 War Department specimen, imprint single

Scott O90S var, 15¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 87

Scott O91, 24 War Department, plate number 86

Scott O91S var, 24¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 86

Scott O92, 30 War Department, plate number 81

Scott O92S var, 30¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 81

It was the existence of this plate #81 that the engraver "crossed out" duplicate plate #81 on the 1¢ Executive stamp, with plate #82 replacing it.

Scott O93, 90 War Department, plate number 89

Scott O93S var, 90¢ War, specimen overprint on imperf proof, plate number 89

In 1879, the American Bank Note Company reprinted the 1¢, 2¢, 3¢, 6¢, 10¢, 12¢ and 30¢ denominations on soft porous paper.

 

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This page last updated September 9, 2017.

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