U.S. Parcel Post Stamp

2-Cent U. S. Parcel Post Stamp

I like these stamps a great deal. They are among the first U. S. stamps to be engraved from photographic images of real situations, not just famous portraits. The images are very pictorial. For instance, the 20 cent stamp from this set is the first stamp issued in the world to depict an airplane.

It is unfortunate that the entire issue was printed in the same carmine color, but apparently the Post Office wanted the stamps to be distinct. In the end, postal clerks made a lot of errors of value, since the stamps from one cent to one dollar appeared in the same color. Parcel Delivery was itself an experiment, and was officially adopted in 1913. On July 1, 1913, the stamps became acceptable for any postal service, so you often see them on postcards and letters from that date onward. Also after July 1913, regular postage stamps became acceptable for Parcel Post service. The late Henry Gobie wrote an excellent book on the history of the service and these stamps, published in 1979.

Here are some links to web pages that depict these interesting stamps:

I have other web pages here with Parcel Post Stamps:

I would love to have seen this issue printed in two colors, as probably planned by the stamp designer. Something similar was planned for the Trans-Mississippi Exhibition issue of 1898. I think that results could have been quite spectacular.

Fantasy Stamp Creation [image is home-made, NOT a real stamp].

The stamp illustrated at the top of the page shows one of the lower values, which depicted post-office-related activities, such as a mail train, a mail carrier, and a clerk sorting mail.

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