US Stamps

Updating older imagery in the Scott catalogs can prove difficult

Sep 8, 2020, 8 AM
Two older black-and-white scans of stamps that remain in the Scott database. Shown at left is a United States beer revenue stamp, and at right is an essay of a 1913 parcel post stamp. Collectors are encouraged to provide an updated color image if possible for any stamp in the Scott catalogs that appears to be an older black-and-white image.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

While putting the finishing touches on the 2021 edition of the Scott United States Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers, I continue to be amazed at how many images of stamps, postal stationery, essays and more that we illustrate in color.

What a challenge that has been since the Scott catalogs started being published in color.

This year we were able to replace a few of the black-and-white images, but several still remain.

One that continues to bother us is the lone black-and-white image among the U.S. beer revenue stamps (Scott REA159-REA161). That low-quality black-and-white image that appears in the catalog is pictured here.

We need a scan of any one of the three stamps represented by that image to picture in the catalog, but our search keeps coming up empty.

So I am turning to the Linn’s readership to see if someone might have any of these three stamps lurking in their albums.

There are also a few postage items that we don’t have images of yet, but largely those are double transfer varieties or other plate flaws that aren’t typically seen.

The one I would most love to see updated with a high-resolution image is the “Prairie Dog” plate flaw on the 1928 5¢ Aeronautics Conference stamp showing a globe and airplane (Scott 650). Our image in the catalog is black-and-white and somewhat blurry.

The Embossed Revenue Stamped Paper section has a number of sketches instead of depictions of actual items in it. And collectors of essays should pay particular attention as that section probably has the largest number of black-and-white images that are still shown in the Scott catalog.

For example, also shown here is the poor-quality image of the single essay for the 1913 $1 Fruit Growing parcel post stamp (Scott Q12-E3). This essay carries a catalog value of $4,000 in italics, which probably is a nod to why this hasn’t been seen in the marketplace in a while.

I encourage any collector who can replace an old black-and-white image (not just in the Scott U.S. Specialized catalog, but anywhere in the world) with a color scan to email me at or write to Linn’s Stamp News, Attn: Jay Bigalke, Box 4129, Sidney, OH 45365.

In my reply, I will provide the specifications we need for the scan.

Thanks in advance to those who are able to assist.

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