Notes from the Past

6¢ Post Office Dept. Bisect.

An interesting item among bisected varieties of U. S. stamps, is the 6¢ Post Office Department issue, diagonally bisected and used as a 3¢ stamp, listed by Scott as O50a, and when last priced, quoted at $250.00.  Seemingly all genuine copies were used at Niagara Falls, N. Y., in official correspondence from the postmaster to other offices, and to the Department.  He seems to have had a surplus of 6¢ stamps but was short of the 3¢ stamps, although he had 3¢ and 6¢ Post Office Department stamped envelopes.  I have seen the 6¢ stamp, diagonally cut, and tied to a small piece of the 3¢ P.O.D. envelope, the cancellation dated "Oct. 2nd," in the Harold D. Watson collection.  John N. Luff reports usage of one of these bisects in connection with a 6¢ Post Office envelope, used June 18th.  No information is at hand as to the year these provisionals were used.  The Department is supposed always to have looked with disfavor upon postmasters bisecting any stamps but in this case the postmaster continued the practice over a period of at least four months, and in his official correspondence, which surely must have come to the attention of his higher executives.
- George B. Sloane
Sloan's Column
October 22, 1945
Posted July 27, 2000

Editor's Note:  By 1997, Scott had increased the value of this bisect on cover to $3,000.

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