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Winchester Discounts

1891 1c Postage Due Stamp - U.S. # J22

1891 1c Postage Due Stamp - U.S. # J22


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The 1891 1c Postage Due Stamp stands as a significant artifact in postal history, marking the evolution of mail delivery services in the late 19th century. Postage Due stamps, introduced in 1879, represented a departure from traditional stamps by denoting the amount of postage owed on insufficiently prepaid mail, rather than prepaying for delivery.

Designed with functionality in mind, these stamps featured plain designs with large numerals indicating the amount due. Despite their utilitarian purpose, they varied in color from brown to red-brown to deep red over the course of twenty-five years. Initially printed by the American Bank Note Company, these stamps were first released on July 1, 1879.

In 1894, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing assumed responsibility for producing Postage Due stamps, introducing slight design modifications such as featuring the numeral in a diamond shape rather than an oval.

Further refinements occurred in subsequent years, including the transition to featuring numerals in a half-circle format in 1930, followed by a shift to a horizontal layout in 1931. Despite these changes, the stamps maintained their basic design.

A significant milestone was reached in 1959 with the introduction of two-color printing for Postage Due stamps, enhancing their visual appeal with a carmine rose border and background complemented by black numerals. Additionally, new denomination values were introduced.

Sadly, the era of Postage Due stamps came to an end in 1985 when they were discontinued by the Postal Service, marking the conclusion of an important chapter in postal history. Nonetheless, these stamps remain cherished collectibles, offering a tangible connection to the evolution of mail delivery systems and the world of philately.


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