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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.

1879 issues, American Bank Note Company

The American Bank Note Company took over Continental, along with its printing contracts. When additional print runs were requested, ABNC continued to use the Continental plates. The distinguishing characteristic is that ABNC used soft, porous paper, rather than the thin hard paper of the Continental printings.

Scott O94, 1 Agriculture Department, plate number 65

Scott O95, 3 Agriculture Department, plate number 57

Scott O10S var, 1¢ Executive specimen, plate number 82

There is no record of ABNC reprinting any values of the Executive series. However, this example is on the soft porous paper used by ABNC, not the thin hard paper used by Continental. This variety is apparently different from the "horizontal ribbed paper" (Scott O10Sa) and is not yet listed by Scott.

Scott O96, 1 Department of the Interior, plate number 52

Scott O97, 2 Department of the Interior, plate number 45

Scott O98, 3 Department of the Interior, plate number 27

Scott O99, 6 Department of the Interior, plate number 56

Scott O100, 10 Department of the Interior, plate number 109

Scott O101, 12¢ Department of the Interior, plate number 49

Scott O102, 15¢ Department of the Interior, plate number 93

Scott O103, 24 Department of the Interior, plate number 104

No plate number examples are known of the ABNC printings of the 3¢ and 6¢ Justice stamps, Scott O106 and O107.

Scott O108, 3 Post Office Department, pair with plate number 41

Image courtesy of Wallace Cleland

Scott O109, 3 Treasury Department, pair with plate number 29

Scott O110, 6¢ Treasury Department, plate number 51

Scott O111, 10¢ Treasury Department, plate number 58

Image courtesy of the Philatelic Foundation

No plate number examples are known of the ABNC printings of the 30¢ and 90¢ Treasury stamps, Scott O112 and O113.

Scott O114, 1 War Department, plate number 48

Scott O115, 2 War Department, plate number 35

Scott O116, 3 War Department, plate number 32

Scott O117, 6 War Department, plate number 60

Scott O118, 10 War Department, plate number 79

Scott O119, 12¢ War Department, plate number 54

Scott O120, 30 War Department, plate number 81

After a few years, the franking privilege was restored, and government departments were not required to use stamps for another 100 years.

 

1881 Special Printing

In 1881, the American Bank Note Company did a special printing of three values: the 1¢ Executive in violet rose instead of carmine, with blue overprint (Scott O10xS); the 1¢ Navy in gray blue instead of ultramarine, with carmine overprint (Scott O35xS); and the 1¢ State in yellow green instead of dark green, with carmine overprint (Scott O57xS).

 

1918 Postal Savings Official issues

Printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Scott O121, 2 Postal Savings Official, double-line watermark, plate number 5501

Scott O122, 50 Postal Savings Official, plate number 5614

Scott O123, $1 Postal Savings Official, plate number 5615

Scott O124, 1 Postal Savings Official, plate number 5646

Scott O125, 2 Postal Savings Official, single line watermark, plate number 5501

Image courtesy of Wallace Cleland

Scott O126, 10 Postal Savings Official, plate number 5613

Image courtesy of Wallace Cleland

 

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This page last updated September 10, 2017.

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