1¢ light green, green, bluish green and dark green
Subject: George Washington
Printing Method: Flat Plate (see below)
Scott #: 481
Issued: December 8th, 1916
No postmark with gum (MH)
Full perfect gum, no postmark
no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH)
$1 - $2
#481 was issued with the following plate #'s
7725-36, 41, 43, 49-50, 53-55, 57
7850-63, 65, 77-79, 94, 98-99
7900-02, 05, 07-08
8038-40, 42, 46, 68
8372--74, 77-78, 87-90, 97-98
10073-76, 83-85, 91-92
10232-48, 60, 64-65, 78-82, 90, 92-93, 98
13301-04, 06, 16, 19, 37-40, 49-50, 59, 61, 63, 69, 70-71, 79-81
Boy Scouts of America Executive Council private perforation 14
A.W Dunning private perforation
#481 can be found with more private perforations, click here to view
The primary purpose of imperforate stamps was for private perforation companies. These companies sold the stamps via stamp machines. To make the stamps easily separable when extracted from the machine the company's perforated the stamps with their own perforations. By the time of the printing of this stamp there was only one company still perforating the imperf stamp, that being the Schermack company. The bureau had printed way more than were needed and for the next ten years the majority of these stamps were sold to stamp collectors, in full sheets no less.
The origin of this roulette is that their was a quantity of imperforate sheets of this 1¢ stamp left at a Pittsburgh bank as collateral for a loan, which subsequently defaulted in 1929. After the default a Mr. J.H. Wilson applied a roulette to the said sheets in order that they could be sold as postage to local businesses to recoup the losses incurred by the bank. Also seen on the 2¢ (#482)
A dress makers tracing wheel, tracing wheels were used for perforating the Wilson roulette.
Earliest known use of #481 is June 17th, 1916
In 1916 in order to help finance the war effort, postal stamps were taxed primarily within the British Empire by overprinting the stamps with the words ‘WAR TAX’, 'WAR STAMP' and various derivations. There was some thought by members of the public that this practice should be applied to US postage stamps and the above example was submitted to the Bureau for consideration by Charles Thompson.The idea was rejected and the US did not issue war stamps.
Although in 1916 the idea of a war tax stamp had been rejected the following year the idea of a stamp to assist the war effort was resurrected. It took the form of the WAR SAVINGS CERTIFICATE STAMP.
The primary, interest-earning stamp issued was the War Savings Certificate stamp, which was worth 5 dollars at maturity on January 1, 1923. These stamps needed to be affixed to an engraved folder called the War Savings Certificate, which carried the name of the purchaser, and could only be redeemed by that individual. Between December 3, 1917 and January 31, 1918, each stamp could be purchased at the price of $4.12. If purchased on January 2, 1918, the return on the investment would be 4 percent, compounded quarterly. The price of the stamp increased by one cent for each month after January 1918 until sales ended in December 1918. Owners of these stamps could also redeem them for cash prior to the maturity date and receive the amount paid plus one cent for every month after the original purchase. The Treasury issued a new series of War Savings Certificate stamps in subsequent years, with the same interest rate and time to maturity. The final series of War Savings Certificate stamps were issued on December 21, 1920, maturing on January 1, 1926
A rare example of a war stamp on cover and its creator, Mr Charles Thompson
The above cover is addressed to George H. Grinnell who created the infamous Hawaii missionary forgeries. The sender of the above cover was a stamp dealer and a well known philatelic writer, a Mr Charles Thompson. He printed them on his own and overprinted stamps until he was told to stop by the authorities after the New York postmaster complained of their use.
To aid the war effort from Nov. 2, 1917, to June 30, 1919, the rate for a first-class letter weighing up to 1 ounce was raised from 2¢ to 3¢. Of this amount, 2¢ went for postage and 1¢ paid the war tax (although no surcharge was ever printed). The 3¢ Victory issue (#537) was issued on March 3rd, 1919 for this purpose.
A novelty 1917 cover with #343 hand stamped with Germany
The above cover is addressed to Percy Mc G. (McGraw) Mann, the publisher of the Philadelphia Stamp News. #343 was hand stamped with the word Germany as a protest to the war.
As the curved plates of the Rotary press made the stamps slightly larger it is relatively easy to discern which stamp is flat plate and which is a rotary press stamp. First select any perf Washington Franklin stamp or the first issue Washington Franklin 1 cent or 2 cent. These are the stamps with the numbers one and two spelt out, instead of numbers being displayed. I chose the latter alternative as shown in the first image above.
Then cut out squares at each corner. As shown in the second image above. Placing the stamp you wish to test under your cut out stamp you can see if the frame lines match. If, as in the last image shown above the frame lines are outside the top stamp in either the top, bottom or sides then you have a rotary stamp. If the lines are in the same place, as shown in the third image, you have a flat plate stamp.
This test works with any value stamp.
The image above left is a perfect example of the reverse of a flat plate stamp. The flecks of green ink on the reverse can be found on flat plate and are very rare on rotary press stamps. The cause of the flecks of green ink is that during the flat plate process the sheets were placed on top of each other before the ink had a chance to dry properly.