Notes from the Past

Postage Due Stamps on Covers

Frank A. Hollowbush, who has an extensive collection of Postage Due stamps used on original covers, all the way back to the first issue of 1879, comments that the Postage Due stamps are one of the very few groups in U. S. postal issues where the stamps are not listed as used on covers in the Scott U. S. Catalog.  However, several of the Parcel Post Postage Dues are given cover listings.  Other groups without cover listings are the Special Handling Stamps, and, of course, the Newspaper stamps.

The Newspaper Stamps were not to be affixed to mailing matter but, chiefly for accounting purposes, were to be attached, as evidence of newspaper postage paid, to special forms which were retained in the files of post offices.  Thus the nearest to a "cover" with Newspaper stamps would be one of these receipts.  I am speaking of the Newspaper stamps in allegorical designs that began in 1875.  The stamps of the first issue, 1865, may  have been used on bundles of newspapers.  I don't know but I have seen copies cancelled with a streak of ink smeared across them as though applied with a brush.

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
October 13, 1935
Posted November 16, 1999  

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