US Stamps

Collecting stamps on package tags is a worthy challenge

Jan 6, 2021, 4 PM
Shown front and back, this festive Christmas parcel tag from Indiana to New York would have been sent, likely attached to a Christmas gift, between 1903 and 1908.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Collecting stamps on package tags is a difficult specialty as they are few and far between. Many tags have been attached to packages and sent, but few seem to have been saved.

A small subset of this specialty is package tags with a Christmas connection. The picture here shows one example, front and back.

The tag was on a package sent from Union City, Ind., to Brooklyn, N.Y. The light return address on the stamp side may not show up well in the image of the tag.

The affixed stamps, an 8¢ Martha Washington and 1¢ Franklin, paid 9¢ in postage. The stamps are canceled with killers that have no date, but the stamps were issued in late 1902-early 1903 and were current until the first Washington-Franklins were issued in 1908.

The fancy, colorful illustration showing Santa Claus and a wreath suggests that the package attached was a Christmas gift. The address in Brooklyn was corrected for forwarding on this festive item.

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