US Stamps

General issue carrier stamps reprinted in 1875 are affordable

Jan 11, 2020, 12 PM
Finding and collecting an example of all three printings of the reprinted 1875 United States U.S.P.O. Despatch imperforate 1¢ blue Eagle carrier stamp (Scott LO5) is a fascinating and relatively inexpensive endeavor. Image courtesy of Robert A. Siegel Auc

Stamp Market Tips by Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

The Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps and Covers includes a section listing carriers’ stamps and explains what they are: “The term ‘Carrier’s Stamps’ is applied to certain stamps of the United States used to defray delivery to a post office on letters going to another post office, and for collection and delivery in the same city (local letters handled only by the carrier department). A less common usage was for a collection fee from the addressee at the post office (drop letters). During the period when these were in use, the ordinary postage fee defrayed the carriage of mail matter from post office to post office only.”

General issue carrier stamps, a nondenominated (1¢) dull blue Benjamin Franklin stamp (Scott LO1) and a U.S.P.O. Despatch 1¢ blue Eagle stamp (Scott LO2), were issued in 1851.

In 1875, the U.S. government officially reprinted all U.S. stamps issued up to that time. The reprint of the 1¢ blue Eagle general issue carrier stamp was produced both imperforate (Scott LO5) and perforated gauge 12 (LO6).

The Scott U.S. Specialized catalog values the imperforate stamp at just $25 in ungummed as issued condition. It is a great buy at that price in very fine grade.

The catalog also provides details about the three different printings of the reprinted carrier stamps. Finding and collecting an example of all three printings is a fascinating and relatively inexpensive endeavor.

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