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THE SAD HISTORY OF U.S. STAMPS

(or How the USPS is Sticking It to the Public)

Greg Meyer 149CL
greg7118@uneedspeed.net

(Continued)


To date, 18 face-different self-adhesive sheet stamps have been issued; all were affixed to Souvenir Pages. As noted in the above table, all were issued solo, without any of the other two major stamp types. However, one minor variety occurs with the River Boats issue, where a special die cut was available. All were singles except for the two strips of 5 (River Boats and Flowering Trees); for these, strips were affixed encompassing each face-different stamp. On the River Boat issue, the special die cut was used to assist personnel in affixing stamps to philatelic material. It is interesting to note:

First commemorative sheet SAD stamp; comes in panes of 20, serpentine die cut w/PN in UL and LR margins (at least that's where my sheet has them). Two die-cut types: (1) die cut penetrates front and back of stamp without any perf interruptions and (2) partly incomplete horizontal die-cut perfs - appears as an interruption in the horizontal perfs. These perf gaps are visible between stamps on vertical strips. My Page has these "perf gaps" between stamps. It is unlikely Pages exist w/o these gaps unless USPS ran out of the specialty perf panes. Special perfs designed to facilitate USPS personnel in the removal of stamps in vertical strips (without separation) to affix to philatelic material. If regular die-cut version used, stamps would separate and would have to be lined up by hand to give a nice tight orderly appearance. Souvenir Programs have individually affixed stamps (not in a strip) and used the full uninterrupted perf stamps (type 1 above). Since stamps affixed in vertical strips, there are four collectable Page varieties. My Page has the Robt. E. Lee on top. There are ten different mint pane collectable positions. Secondary market prices this SAD type-2 sheet pane at $250! Speculators are also sticking it to us collectors also. Competition, competition, competition.

A specific die cut was not available for the Flowering Trees. Did the river boats drift apart and so deemed another SAD failure?

Another thing noted on this table is the two joint issues (Hanukkah and Cinco de Mayo). Hanukkah was issued jointly with Israel and the Cinco de Mayo with Mexico. The Hanukkah issue had one stamp affixed to our Page and missed out on being a great Page as did the Cinco de Mayo. The Hanukkah Souvenir Program has both issues, dual canceled as did the Cinco de Mayo. Since First Day Ceremony Programs are available at the ceremony, why couldn't our Page have had both stamps and cancels? As apparent from the table below, there is an apparent policy of not dual-canceling Souvenir Pages. I believe these dual-cancels are premium items and would recommend that our Society push to get them done. Any comment?