US Stamps

A stamp from an attractive set of classic bicolor, engraved U.S. issues

Nov 30, 2022, 8 AM
Look for the United States 5ยข Bridge at Niagara Falls stamp from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition set of six stamps.

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The Pan-American Exposition was a world’s fair held in Buffalo, N.Y., from May 1 to Nov. 1, 1901.

Buffalo was chosen as the site of the fair because at the time it was the eighth largest city in the United States; nearby Niagara Falls was already a huge tourist attraction; and it had ample connections by railroad, providing access to more than 40 million people within a one-day travel radius.

A general admission ticket cost 50¢, and the exposition was attended by approximately 8 million people.

The exposition is infamously remembered for the assassination of President William McKinley there on Sept. 6, 1901, by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz.

To promote the fair, Congress appropriated $500,000, and the U.S. Post Office Department issued a set of six bicolor stamps (Scott 294-299) highlighting advances in transportation.

They were a 1¢ Fast Lake Navigation, 2¢ Empire State Express, 4¢ Electric Automobile, 5¢ Bridge at Niagara Falls, 8¢ Canal Locks at Sault Ste. Marie, and a 10¢ Fast Ocean Navigation stamp.

This is one of the most attractive sets of classic bicolor engraved U.S. stamps. The stamps were issued May 1, 1901.

Look for the 5¢ Bridge at Niagara Falls stamp (Scott 297). The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers values the stamp at $75 in unused, hinged condition and $180 in mint, never-hinged condition. The stamp is a good buy in very fine grade at about 80 percent of catalog value.

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