4¢ Orange brown, brown, dark brown
Subject: George Washington
Printing Method: Flat Plate
Watermark: double line USPS (see below)
Scott #: 346
Quantity Issued: 311,700
Issued: February 25th, 1909
$15 - $22.50
No postmark with gum (MH)
$6 - $12
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$25 - $40
#346 had the following plate #'s
Imprint and number
Imprint, star and number
The makers of private coils pasted fifteen of these sheets together, end to end or side to side. These were then perforated, cut into strips and rolled into coils of 3,000. A paste up, occurred every twenty stamps, each strip being divided by the guide line running in the same direction as the perforations. The primary reason for issuing imperforate stamps in sheets being for the use of makers of private perforations, Above is shown an example of where two stamps have been pasted together.
These imperf. stamps were issued primarily for use in making private coils for vending machines. They were printed from the same type of plates as were used for the perforated stamps of this issue, although not all the plates noted for perforated varieties were used.
The imperf. stamps (unless in coils) were issued in full sheets containing 400 subjects, divided into four panes of 100 each by horizontal and vertical guide lines. These guide lines terminated in arrows at the margins. In the perforated varieties the guide-Iines appear as straight edges at top or bottom and right or left. On the imperforate sheets they permit additional position varieties. The main purpose of this issue being for the manufacture of private coils, below are listed the private perforations used on this stamp.
The copies that reached philatelic hands were obtained in the following manner: a New' York stamp dealer placed an order with the Main Post Office New York for 10,000 copies, this number being the necessary minimum, but his request was refused on the grounds that the Post Office could not lend itself to a scheme of securing stamps especially for sale to philatelists.
This dealer, however, was able to secure his order through another Post Office and then sold them at 25% over face. Other New York dealers immediately besieged the New York Postmaster for this imperforate stamp but received the information that they "did not exist." However, when this Postmaster learned that the dealer for whom he had refused to order the stamps had obtained them elsewhere and was selling them at 25% above face he put through an order for 10,000 copies and sold these to both dealers and collectors. It is certain that at least 20,000 of these stamps reached philatelists and undoubtedly some of those ordered by private coil manufacturers were also acquired, but as the entire output was rather limited.
Earliest documented date of use, March 13th, 1909