April Fools’ joke implied additional 100 upright Jenny Invert panes issued

A United States Postal Service publicity image of a single $2 upright Jenny Invert stamp. Some have interpreted a recent Postal Service statement to mean a second batch of 100 variety panes of six was issued.

By Jay Bigalke

 

An April 1 press release from the United States Postal Service left some collectors puzzled, wondering if what they were reading was true or just an April Fools’ Day joke.

The press release titled “Misprinted Stamps Escape Postal Vault” started off with the sentence “The Postal Service has printed 100 additional sheets of stamps of the recently issued $2 Inverted Jenny stamp but with the plane flying right-side up.”

Some collectors interpreted that to mean that a second batch of 100 panes, on top of the 100 already produced, was created.

That’s not the case, however: it’s still true that only 100 panes of the upright variety were produced.

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders confirmed that the April 1 press release was created to drum up interest in the stamp issue released last September.

A story by Time magazine posted online April 1 included the Postal Service press release in its list of top 20 April Fools’ pranks of 2014.

However, one problem with the press release popped up the following week.

A collector called Linn’s April 9 to say he just got off the phone with a customer service representative at USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services, and that the order-taker told the collector that another 100 of the upright Jenny Invert panes had been created.

The collector immediately called Linn’s to express his displeasure with what he believed to be true information.

“We are in the process of coaching the agent that took the call,” said Saunders.

The Postal Service issued the Jenny Invert pane of six $2 stamps Sept. 22, 2013.

In October 2013, the Postal Service revealed that just 100 panes of six showing the airplane flying right side up were randomly seeded into the entire print run of the normal stamps.

To date, Linn’s tally of the upright Jenny Invert pane discovered and reported remains at 17 of the 100 created.

Published 4/15/2014 6:55 AM