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United States of America
stamppages : free online postage stamp catalogue : United States of America 1894
|1896: Utah Territory was admitted as the 45th state, Utah.|
The Republic of Hawaii was annexed. The ceremony to transfer sovereignty occurred on this date; the act was signed on July 7, 1898. Johnston Atoll was not included with Hawaii, nor was Sikaiana Atoll, which had been ceded to Hawaii in 1856 by its residents and approved by King Kamehameha IV. However, the annexation was based on the islands named in a report of the Hawaiian Commission, which omitted Sikaiana.
1899: Wake Island was claimed.
1899: Guam, Porto Rico, and, on agreed payment of $20 million, the Philippines were ceded by Spain following the Spanish-American War. The Philippines were claimed by the First Philippine Republic. The ceded region for the Philippines included the island of Palmas, which was administered by the Netherlands. This overlap would not be noticed until January 21, 1906. While the United States occupied Cuba for a time, it was not ceded nor claimed.
1900: The United States took ownership of the Samoan Islands east of 171° west, per the terms of the Tripartite Convention. Porto Rico was organized into a civil territory. The former Republic of Hawaii was organized into Hawaii Territory.
First Bureau Issues (1894-1898)The 1-cent Franklin stamp was first printed in 1894 in ultramarine on unwatermarked paper. Uneven inking of the plates and the moisture content of the paper at the time of printing resulted in many shades of the ultramarine color, so soon after the introduction of the 1-cent ultramarine, the color was changed to blue. Like its predecessor, the 1-cent blue is found in many shades, which are easily distinguishable from the ultramarine shades. A 1-cent stamp with triangles in ultramarine can be readily identified as the 1894 printing. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing decided in 1895 to use a watermarked paper for production of all the stamps of this issue. Since all stamps printed on watermarked paper are the same shades of blue as the 1894 printings on unwatermarked paper, each stamp must be examined for the watermark. The size and layout of the watermark is such that at least a portion of one of the letters U, S, or P can found on every 1895 stamp. To assist postal workers in all countries signatory to the Universal Postal Union in identifying stamps of equal postage value, the 1-cent stamp color was changed from blue to green in 1898. The Bureau continued printing the stamp on the same watermarked paper, however. The 1-cent stamp paid primarily the domestic third-class rate and the domestic postal card rate. It was also used in multiples or in combination with other stamps to pay other rates.
The 2-cent stamps of the First Bureau Issue provide an entire area of study unto themselves. Design variations and color varieties abound in these printings and, since the 2-cent stamp was the primary payment for first-class domestic mail and the most commonly available stamp during the 1890s, a multitude of usages can entertain the student of postal history. Students must first understand the three distinct triangles seen on these stamps. Because of the sheer number of stamps printed, which caused excessive wear on the plates, repairing the plates was an ongoing process. Over time new plates were also added to the inventory. Different engravers had different ideas as to what the triangle should look like, producing three distinct varieties. Later re-entries into the plates show distinct re-cuttings. These re-cuttings, along with the later colors, create a Type IV recognized design. The Type I triangle appears in the 1894 unwatermarked printings on pink, carmine lake, and shades of carmine. The Type II and Type III triangles occur on shades of carmine only. All three Types of triangles occur in shades of carmine on the watermarked papers used for the 1895-1898 printings. Pairs of stamps showing Type II and Type III triangles are known, demonstrating the re-entry process discussed above. The 1898 printings are found in many shades of red, carmine, orange, and pink but will always be the Type III triangle with the re-cuttings of the vignette, and they are referred to as Type IV.
The 3-cent value paid no single rate by itself so it could be used only to pay a multiple rate: for example, as triple third-class rate (three x 1-cent), or as additional postage, such as with a 2-cent to pay the five-cent Universal Postal Union rate to another country. A holdover from the prior issue, the 3-cent value was probably included in this issue as a contingency to cover the increase in first-class postage from two cents to three cents. Printed in an attractive shade of purple, collectors are glad it was included in the issue. The 2-cent values are the only stamps of the issue that have different triangles in their design, so the only way to distinguish the first printings from the second printings of the other values is by checking for the watermark. A stamp from the first printing has no watermark. There was no color change in this value to require a third printing. The 3-cent stamp can be found in many shades. The 1894 and 1895 printings can be positively identified only by the lack of the U.S.P.S. watermark. The third printings were also issued on watermarked paper but in different tints of brown, such as orange brown, lilac brown, and rose brown.
Five cents postage would pay the Universal Postal Union Rate for a half-ounce letter from the United States to any signatory nation anywhere in the world during the lifetime of the First Bureau Printings. The 5-cent stamp was printed to pay this rate. The first two printings are found in brown colors somewhat duller than the 4-cent stamp. The third printings were produced in dark blue. The unwatermarked printing can be found in a vertical format, imperforate horizontally. This error is extremely rare. This stamp is fun to collect on cover to the U.P.U. signatory countries.
The 6-cent stamp payed no single rate by itself and possibly carried over from the 1890 Issue as a contingency against a postal rate increase. Should the first-class rate increase to three cents, this stamp would have paid the double rate. It is, however, of interest that the earliest known usage of any First Bureau postage stamp is associated with this stamp—August 11, 1894. The unwatermarked first printings were produced in an unattractive dull brown. The second printings followed on watermarked paper in a similar dull color. The U.P.U. printings upgraded this color to quite pretty shades of lake and claret in December 1898. Sometime during the second printing period an unknown quantity of stamps was printed on paper watermarked USIR (U.S. Internal Revenue) instead of USPS. Only about half of these stamps could ever be identified because of the I or R watermark, the U and S being identical. This error is extremely rare in used condition and only recognized in a handful of copies in mint condition, but with a little luck, more might be found! The unwatermarked printing can also be found in the vertical format, imperforate horizontally is extremely rare in this variation.
The 8-cent stamp of the first printings was issued in March 1895. It was the last of the series released because a large number of the 1890 8-cent stamps remained in the materials that the Bureau received from the American Bank Note Company when the printing contract transferred to the Bureau. The second printings on watermarked paper were released in July 1895. There was no change for the U.P.U. printings in this stamp. Both printings are found in shades of violet brown and can be very attractive. Like the 6-cent, the 8-cent stamp during the second printing period was printed on paper watermarked USIR (U.S. Internal Revenue) instead of USPS in an unknown quantity of stamps. This error is only slightly more common than that of the 6-cent, but it is still quite unusual. The 8-cent stamp paid the Registry fee current in the period. Properly paid a 1st Class letter of the time would have a 2-cent stamp (1st Class Rate) plus an 8-cent stamp (Registry fee).
The 10-cent printings of the First Bureau Issues actually consist of four stamps. The first is a printing in dark green on unwatermarked paper, and the second printing of the same color is on watermarked paper. The third and fourth stamps are in shades of brown on watermarked paper. This color change was necessitated by the conformance to U.P.U. standards of colors for certain values. The U.P.U. printings in shades of brown have two distinct types, Type I and Type II. Type I stamps are typically found in shades of brown and dark brown. Around the vignette of Daniel Webster is a white border. The circles around the numerals 10 do not penetrate (impinge) on this white border. Type II stamps are typically found in shades of yellow brown or orange brown. In the Type II stamps the circles around the numerals 10 do impinge into the white border. The plates producing the Type II stamps were the newer plates used to print the issues. They had been prepared by using the original dies, upon which the existence of the impingement is known but had been removed from the plates previously. The 10-cent stamp was used to pay the first-class rate plus registry and double U.P.U. first-class rates. It could have also been used in combination to pay other rates for heavier items.
Beginning with the 15-cent printings, the numbers of actual stamps printed dropped dramatically. Over seven billion of the 2-cent watermarked printings were made compared to about 1.5 million unwatermarked and seven million of the watermarked 15-cent. Printed in a regal dark blue, these lovely stamps were most commonly used as payment for multiples of the 5-cent U.P.U. rate. When the color of the 5-cent stamp was changed from brown to blue in 1898, the 15-cent was issued in olive green on watermarked paper to prevent confusion. Only about fifteen million copies were issued. These 15-cent stamps, which depict U.S Senator and Representative Henry Clay from Kentucky, were most commonly used as payment for multiples of the 5-cent U.P.U. rate.
The 50-cent First Bureau issue represents the first marked change from the designs of the 1890 Issue. The 30-cent black of the 1890 issue featured the vignette of Thomas Jefferson that had been used for twenty years prior, in the Banknote printings of 1870-1888. The Bureau design encompasses that vignette on the new 50-cent issue and changes the color to orange. The watermarked printings were issued in a quantity of about 175,000 stamps, the watermarked printings in about one million. Both printings can be found in many shades of orange, but the watermarked printings can be found in a distinct red orange shade also. This stamp was used for multiple rate payments, both foreign and domestic.
The 1-dollar stamp of the First Bureau Issue features a vignette of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819), a naval hero of the War of 1812. The vignette had previously been used on the 90-cent stamp of the 1890 Issue. The 90-cent design was reworked and issued as the 1-dollar stamp. The color is black. Two varieties of the design exist on the single plate used for the all the printings of this stamp. Fifteen rows of the plate contain the Type I, and five rows are of the Type II. The circles around the $1 abut into the frame of the vignette and are incomplete In the Type I design. The circles in the Type II design are complete. There were slightly more than 26,000 Type I and 8,000 Type II issued on unwatermarked paper. The numbers are 192,000 and 63,000 on watermarked paper. This stamp, like the 50-cent, was used for multiple rate payments, both foreign and domestic.
James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, is the subject of the 2-dollar stamp. The design was created for the 1894 First Bureau Issue. The bright blue stamp can be difficult to find unused and well-centered in the unwatermarked printings. The distinctive dark blue sub-shade of the watermarked printings is very attractive. Only about 10,000 of the unwatermarked and 31,000 of the watermarked printings were ever issued. There are known examples 'on cover', but non-philatelic uses are extraordinarily rare. Used stamps are relatively easy to find. Heavy overseas mail was the most common usage. It is also likely that the 2-dollar stamp was used more frequently for internal Post Office Department accounting than for common postal use.
A veteran of the Revolutionary War, an advocate of a strong judiciary, and the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, John Marshall (1755-1835) is the subject of the 5-dollar stamp of the First Bureau Issues. This was a new design created specifically for the issue. The unwatermarked printings were issued in a quantity of just over 6,000 (compared to estimates of 21,000 for the 5-dollar Columbian), and the watermarked printings were issued in a quantity of under 27,000. By any comparison and in unused or used condition, the 5-dollar Marshall is a rare stamp. Like the 2-dollar stamp, the most likely usages would have been on large overseas pieces or for internal Post Office Department accounting.
Trans-Mississippi Exposition IssueThe 1-dollar Cattle in the Storm stamp is considered by many philatelists to be the most beautiful stamp of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition Issue, maybe even the most intricate and beautiful stamp ever issued by the United States. The breed of cattle that were meant to represent the ruggedness of the American West and that inspired the original painting actually derive from the West Highlands of Scotland. Prior to the issuance of the 1-dollar Cattle in the Storm, only two other 1-dollar U.S. stamp designs had been printed and released to the public - the $1 Columbian and the $1 Perry. There are instances of philatelic use of the 1-dollar stamp on mail originating from the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, even though it overpaid the postage rate. In many other cases it was used with other denominations to fulfill large-weight and foreign destination rates.