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United States Postage Stamps
A History


Regular, Commementive, Memorial Issues
diamondIntroduction ~ Series of 1847
diamond Series of 1851
diamond Series of 1861
diamond Series of 1869
diamond Issues of 1870
diamond Issues of 1890&3
diamond Columbian Series of 1893
diamond Isues of 1894
diamond Trans-Mississippi Exposition Stamps of 1898
diamond Pan-American Stamps of 1901
diamond Series of 1902-3
diamond Lousiana Purchase Commemorative Stamps of 1904
diamond Jamestown Commemorative Stamps of 1907
diamond Issues of 1908-9
diamond Issues of 1909
diamond Issues of 1912
diamondPanama-Pacific Commemorative Stamps of 1913
diamond Issues of 1914-5
diamond Issues of 1918
diamond Issues of 1919
diamond Pilgram Tercentenary Commemorative Stamps of 1920
diamond Issues of 1922-23
diamond Issue of 1923
diamond Huguenot-Walloon Tercentenary Stamps of 1924
diamond Issues of 1925
diamond Issues of 1926
diamond Issues of 1927
diamond Issues of 1928
diamond Issues of 1929
diamond Issues of 1930
diamond Isues of 1931
diamond Washington Bicentennal Commemorative Stamps of 1932 & other Issues
diamond Issues of 1933
diamond Issues of 1934
diamond Issues of 1935
diamond Special Souvenior sheets of 1935
diamond Issues of 1936
diamond Issues of 1937
diamond Issues of 1938
diamond Issues of 1939
diamond Famous Americans Commem's of 1940 & Others
diamond Vnmont Statehood of 1941
diamond Issues of 1942
diamond Overrun Countries commem's of 1943-44 & Others
diamond Issues of 1944
diamond Roosevelt and Armed Forces Series of 1945 & Others
diamond Issues of 1946
diamond Issues of 1947

Air Mail Stamps
diamond Issues of 1918-1947
Carriers' Stamps
diamond Issues of 1851
Newspaper & Periodical Stamps
diamond Issues of 1865
diamond Issues of 1875
diamond Issues of 1895
Offical Postage Stamps
diamond Issues of 1873-1884
Parcel Post Stamps
diamond Issues of 1912-1913
Postage Due Stamps
diamond Issues of 1879-1930
Parcel Post Postage Due Stamps
diamond  Issues of 1912
Postal Savings Offical Stamps
diamond Issues of 1910-1911
Postal Savings Stamps
diamond Issue of 1911
Registry Stamp
diamond Issue of 1911
Special Delivery Air Mail Stamp
diamond Issue of 1934-1936
Special Delivery Stamps
diamond Issues of 1885-1925
Special Handling Stamp
diamond Issue of 1925

United States Postage Stamps

1847 through 1947 ~ The first 100 years

SESQUICENTENNIAL OF ORDINANCE OF 1787-COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP-ISSUE OF 1937

This stamp is issued to commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Ordinance of 1787 and the organization of the Northwest Territory.

The stamp is 84/100 by 1 44/100 inches in dimension, arranged horizontally, and is printed in purple color. It was printed by the rotary process, and issued in sheets of fifty.

The central design is formed by an outline map of the original States and the Northwest Territory, with the portrait of Manasseh Cutler, who sponsored the enactment of the Ordinance, at the left, and that of Rufus Putnam, leader in the settlement of the Northwest Territory, on the right. Underneath the respective portraits in oval panels with white ground are the names "Cutler" and "Putnam" in dark Gothic. In a vertical arrangement along the left edge of the stamp is the inscription, "U. S. Postage" in dark Gothic, the first two letters being in the form of a monogram. In a corresponding position at the right is the denomination designation, "3 Cents" in dark Gothic. Within a narrow horizontal panel with dark ground at the cen­ter of the base of the stamp is the wording, "Ordinance of 1787" in white Roman lettering.

The initial sale of this stamp took place at New York, N.Y., and Marietta, Ohio, on July 13, 1937.


VIRGINIA DARE COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP-ISSUE OF 1937

The Department authorized the printing of a special postage stamp in the 5-cent denomination to commemorate the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Virginia Dare and the settlement of Roanoke Island.

The stamp is 1 inch square and is printed in light blue. It was printed by the fIat­plate process and issued in sheets containing 48 stamps.

The central design is enclosed in a large upright oval and depicts Virginia Dare in the arms of her mother, who is seated in the dooryard of their cabin home, whicb is partly visible in the background. The father stands close by holding a musket. Arranged verti­cally at the left of the central oval is the wording, "U.S. Postage", in white-faced Gothic, the first two letters of which are in the form of a monogram. In a similar posi­tion and style of type at the right is the designation, "5 Cents." At the bottom of the stamp arranged in two lines, the top one of which is broken in the center by the lower end of the oval, is the wording, "In Memory of Virginia Dare. Born Roanoke 1587", in dark modified script lettering.

The stamp was first offered for sale on August 18, 1937, at Manteo, N.C., near the site of the original colony.


SOUVENIR SHEET OF 10-CENT NATIONAL PARK STAMP-ISSUE OF 1937

This souvenir sheet was issued in connection with The Forty-third Annual Convention of the Society of Philatelic Americans held at Asheville, N.C., August 26-28, 1937.

The souvenir sheet is 2.7 inches wide and 3.1 inches high and has as the central subject a single stamp conforming in design and denomination to the Smoky Mountain National Park issue of 1934. The sheet was printed in green and was gummed, but not perforated. The full sheets, as well as the stamps cut therefrom, are valid for the pre­payment of postage to the amount of 10 cents. The souvenir sheet bears the following inscription: "Printed by the Treasury Depart­ment, Bureau of Engraving and Printing", at the left; "Under the Authority of James A. Farley, Postmaster General", at the top; "In Compliment to the 43rd Annual Con­vention of the Society of Philatelic Americans", at the right; and "Asheville, N.C., Aug. 26-28, 1937," and the plate number at the bottom.

The sheet was first placed on sale August 26, 1937, at the S.P.A. Convention Station, in the Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N.C.


SESQUICENTENNIAL OF CONSTITUTION COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP­ISSUE OF 1937

This special stamp was authorized to commemorate the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

The stamp is 84/100 by 1 44/100 inches in dimension, arranged horizontally. It was printed in purple by the rotary process and issued in sheets of 50.

The central design is a reproduction of the painting by Stearns depicting the signing of the Constitution. In a narrow panel with dark ground at the top of the stamp is the wording "Constitution Sesquicentennial" in white Roman letters, below which is a white ribbon panel with folded ends containing the inscription "Signing of the Constitution in the Philadelphia Convention, September17, 1787-Independence Hall", arranged in three lines, in dark Gothic. Opposite this panel are the dates "1787" at the left, and "1937" at the right, in dark figures. In an upright panel at the left edge of the stamp is a representation of the Roman fasces, symbol of power, and in a corresponding panel at tbe right is a reproduction of the flaming torch, emblem of enlightenment. In shield. shaped panels in each lower corner of the stamp is the denomination designation "3c" in white on a dark ground. In a narrow panel along the bottom of the stamp is the wording "United States Postage" in white Roman, on either side of which are straight line ornaments. Resting on the bottom panel at the center is a decorative scroll.

This commemorative issue was first placed on sale at the Philadelphia, Pa., post office on September 17, 19.37.


TERRITORIAL SERIES-ISSUE OF 1937

This series of stamps was issued as a tribute to the outlying possessions of the United States.

A different shade of purple ink was used for each stamp, all of which were printed by the rotary process and issued in sheets of 50. The dimensions are 84/100 by 1 44/100 inches.

These stamps are valid for postage wherever regular United States stamps are used.

Hawaii.-The central design is a reproducion of the statue of King Kamehameha 1, who first placed the Hawaiian Islands under 1 single sovereignty. This statue stands in front of Iolani Palace in Honolulu. Rays of light as from the rising sun form a back. ground for the central design. The title "Hawaii" appears in white Roman in a horizontal panel with dark ground along the lower edge of the stamp, on which rests a similar but more narrow panel with the inscription "U. S. Postage" in white Roman lettering. At the center of the base of the statue is a circular panel with dark ground enclosing the denomination designation "3c" in white. This panel is bordered at the top and sides by a floral wreath.

This stamp was first offered for sale at Honolulu, Hawaii, on October 18, 1937.

Alaska.-The subject of the stamp is a reproduction of Mount McKinley in the dis­tance, while in the foreground are depicted views symbolizing present day developments in this Territory. In a narrow panel with dark ground across the top of the stamp is the inscription "D. S- Postage-Three Cents" in white Gothic. The numeral "3" appears in a square panel with dark ground in each lower corner of the stamp. In a narrow panel with dark ground at the center of the lower edge of the stamp is the name "Alaska" in white Roman.

The stamp for Alaska was first placed on sale at Juneau, Alaska, on November 12, 1937.

Puerto Rico.-The central subject of the stamp is a reproduction of the old Governor's Palace known as "La Fortaleza", which name appears at the lower edge of the design in dark Gothic on a light ground. Above thecentral design is the inscription "U. S. Post­age" in dark Gothic. In each upper corner of the stamp are three squares of ornamental grille work. Similar grille work in each lower corner is partly obscured by eight-sided panels with dark ground, containing the de­nomination designation "3f' in white. In a narrow panel with dark ground at the lower edge of the stamp is the name "Puerto Rico" in white-faced Roman.

This stamp was first sold at San Juan, P.R., on November 25, 1937.

Virgin Islands.-The central subject of the stamp is a view of the city of Charlotte Amalie with the outlying harbor and sugar loaf islands in the distance. In a narrow panel with dark ground at the top of the stamp are the words "Virgin Islands" in white Roman. In a corresponding panel at the lower edge of the stamp is the name "Charlotte Amalie" in white Gothic, with scroll work at each end. In vertical panels with dark ground at the sides of the stamp is the wording "U. S. Postage" at the left and "Three Cents" at the right in white Gothic. Within shield-shaped panels with dark ground in each lower corner of the stamp is the denomination numeral "3" in white. Ornamental scroll work is shown in each upper corner.

First-day sales of this stamp were held at Charlotte Amalie, V. I., on December 15, 1937.


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