Pale Blue and black, blue and black, deep blue and black
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Subject: The International Bridge
Number issued: 7,201,300
Watermark: Double Line USPS
Scott #: 297
Issued: May 1st, 1901
25¢ - 75¢
No postmark with gum (MH)
$15 - $32.50
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$45 - $85
#297 was issued with the following plate #'s
Two panes of #297. Each pane had 100 stamps, there were two panes to a sheet of 200
For the vignette was based on this photo of the International Bridge at Niagara falls. Two trams crossing the bridge were added to the vignette.
The photo is of the Upper Steel Arch Road Bridge, nicknamed the "Honeymoon" Bridge. At the time of the design it was the world's largest single span steel bridge. Unfortunately, it was not to last, the bridge collapsed in 1938, a victim an ice storm
crushing its foundations. It was prone to swaying violently, this was caused by wind, a technical aspect little understood at the time of the design. It was replaced by the current Rainbow bridge.
A photo of the bridge collapse in 1938
First day cover, May 1st, 1901
Pen and ink sketch of frame - 297-E1
Pen and ink partial frame essay yellow card, 297-E2
Pen and ink frame essay on India, 297-E3
Pen and ink frame essay, #297-E4
Proof on India die sunk on card, 297-P1
Plate proof on India , 297-P2
The Pan American Exposition was originally planned for 1898 but due to the outbreak of the Spanish American War it was delayed. The Exposition was going to be located at Niagara falls, however due to the mist from the falls, access only being by boat and the size of the site being too small for the envisioned crowds, it was decided to move the Exposition to nearby Buffalo, NY, Buffalo was much better suited to the event. It was held from May 1 through November 2, 1901.
Construction was started in 1899 over a 350 acre site. The videos below don't show the fact that it was a very colorful exposition, the idea being it was to be a 'Rainbow City' in the Spanish Renaissance style. The whole expo was lit up at night, which was quite a feat as the electric light had only recently been invented. This was recorded by Thomas Edison, the video can be seen below.
The Exposition is probably best known for being the scene of President McKinley's assassination. The site of the Expo was on farmers land who has promised that the land would be returned to him in the state they found it, after the Expo had finished. For this reason all the buildings were demolished and the canals filled in. The Exposition should have been a great success, but bad weather and the assassination put a damper on things and it ended up in debt.
The only building to still remain today from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition is the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, it was originally called the New York State Pavilion
A ticket to the Exposition
A postcard highlighting the electric lighting at the Exposition