Today in Postal History

Guatemala to United States
November 28, 1941

This interesting cover has 2 different stamps on it.
 The first is a postal tax stamp made from the 2c deep blue of 1929 Barrios (Scott 235) surcharged in red
with CONSTRUCCION on both sides and UN CENTAVO on the bottom (Scott RA17).*

At times, tax stamps were required in addition to regular postage to raise funds
for construction of government buildings, including the
National Post Office and a new communications building.

The second stamp is the 1c deep blue made by perforating the 1929 stamp diagonally.
Each half was a 1c stamp (Scott 300).
There is both a single of the 1c and an unsevered pair of this 1c.

On at least two other occasiona, Guatemala created official bisects in this way.
In 1935, the 1c brown and crimson Lake Atitlán was perforated diagonally to create a ½c stamp (Scott 277).
In 1951, the 1950 8c dark slate green Lake Atitlán airmail (C168) was perforated diagonally to create a 4c stamp (C181).*

The stamp received a machine slogan cancel which is not legible;
however, the slogan has Guatemala rising on the left side and then,
between wavy lines a multilingual tourist slogan:
the first line is PAIS DE ETERNA PRIMAVERA,
the second is COUNTRY OF ETERNAL SPRING,
the third is LE PAYS DE L'ETERNEL PRINTEMPS,
and the fourth is DAS LAND DES EWIGEN FRUHJAHR
.*

While not of great value, this is one of the bisects
one can find on cover which is clearly legitimate.
It demonstrates the ingenuity of postal adminstrations to cope with shortages
or in saving money by making use of obsolete stamps or overstocks.
This is the sort of cover which can easily be explained
in an introductory display for non-collectors.

The destination was Chicago.

*Thanks to Phil who caught my error in missing the surcharge
and to Eric Dyck for getting the catalog number corrected.
Thanks, too, to Eric for suggesting the added information on Guatelmalan bisects.
Thanks as well to Bill Burch for providing the legend on the slogan cancel.

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