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1894 10¢ Webster - U.S. #258

1894 10¢ Webster - U.S. #258

SKU:SS058

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U.S. #258 1894 10¢ Webster

  • Issued: September 17, 1894
  • Issue Quantity: 12,263,180
  • Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • Watermark: None
  • Perforation: 12
  • Color: Dark green

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) began printing postage stamps for the first time with the issue of the 1894 series. Before this, contracts had been awarded to private companies for stamp production.

Established in 1862 during the Civil War, the BEP's inception was driven by the urgent need for government-issued paper money due to the nation's financial strain. This led to the creation of non-interest bearing notes circulated as money and a system of domestic taxation, suggested by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase during a special session of Congress.

Initially, the printing of government-issued paper money was outsourced to New York Bank Note companies, with signatures of Treasury officials applied manually. However, this method proved inefficient. Consequently, it was decided to imprint the notes with copies of the required officers’ signatures and the Treasury seal. Thus, the BEP began its work on August 29, 1862, initially focusing on printing revenue stamps for items such as beer and cigars. By 1878, the BEP was responsible for producing nearly all revenue stamps.

In 1894, the BEP submitted a bid to print the new postage stamps, securing the contract despite protests about its capability to do so. Since then, with few exceptions, the BEP has printed most U.S. postage stamps. Today, it stands as the world’s largest securities manufacturing firm, located in Washington, D.C., with over 3,300 employees operating 24 hours a day.


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