Light brown and black, dark brown and black
Printing Method: FLAT PLATE
Subject: SS. St. Paul
Number issued: 5,043,700
Watermark: Double Line USPS
Scott #: 299
Issued: May 1st, 1901
$1.50 - $5
No postmark with gum (MH)
$30 - $70
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$100 - $125
#299 was issued with the following plate #'s
Two panes of #299. Each pane had 100 stamps, there were two panes to a sheet of 200
Second day cover, May 2nd, 1901. This is the earliest recorded use of a stand alone use of #299.
For the vignette was based on this postcard of the St. Paul from the American Line
The St Paul was a cursed ship. It started with a botched launch in 1895, when the ship refused to go down the slipway after the champagne had hit its stern. In 1900 it hit a submerged wreck, sheared off its propellor and burnt out its engine. Eight years later it accidentally rammed a British naval ship, sending the St. Pauls passengers to the lifeboats. It was retrofitted in 1918, but only after it rolled over in its berth. It ended its life an aged, unloved steerage ship in 1920.
Photographs of the SS St. Paul
Pen and ink sketch of frame - 299-E1
Pen and ink sketch of frame - 299-E3
Pen and ink sketch of frame - 299-E4
Pen and ink sketch of frame - 299-E5
Proof on India mounted card, 299-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