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Posted Feb 21, 18 0:34 by Henrik Mouritsen (dkcollector)

Praga 2018

Hi Richard,

I am the Danish commissioner for Prague, and we had signed up 9 exhibits but only got 4 accepted (these were three 5 frames exhibits, and one 1 frame exhibit). None of my 8 frame exhibits got accepted. I heard that they were overbooked by a factor 2.5. My wife's open philately exhibit was among the few accepted exhibits (5 frames), so she is very excited to participate in her first international.

Best wishes, Henrik

Posted Feb 21, 18 0:13 by Paul Dessau ([email protected])

San Francisco Postmarks

This one is a little later than the others and red, to Italy, much forwarded. I need to get a certificate for this cover


Posted Feb 20, 18 23:53 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)


I should have included that IV could be July as well as June, if I=J and V=U.

But July is usually JY.

Posted Feb 20, 18 23:23 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

Reverse Paste-Up

I would say in some cases it is better to simplify the terminology for describing a production process. There can be the very technical description, and the very basic description. In the case of trying to make it easier to understand, as in showing an example of something that was produced in a different way, the basic description may be better for those who are not familiar to the subject. Hence, with the example shown here, even the PF uses the basic terminology as to describe the stamp on the postcard. Also, in this case, it is the only documented example of a reverse paste-up on cover or postcard.


Posted Feb 20, 18 23:10 by Douglas Chapman (foodrev)

June and January

IA is January (I=J)

IV is June (I=J; V=U)

Thus it is in many font families of old anyway.

Posted Feb 20, 18 23:09 by David Snow (dwsnow)

San Francisco postmarks

Bill Weismann: Thanks for links to your two 1867 SF origin covers . . . very helpful.

I modified my search in PhilaMercury to include all destination countries and it yielded 24 covers from SF in 1867, such as to France (the majority), United Kingdom, Canada and other countries, even Australia and one from Mexico (Bill W.'s cover). Most with the common double circle SF postmark used for so many years.

Rick Mingee: Thanks for weighing in and your comments. Sure enough, with my latest search in PhilaMercury, I did find two covers from November 1867 with that SF single circle datestamp, when it first made its appearance, just as you stated: Cover ID 3194, and Cover ID 3127. The latter is especially nice with the oval "Too Late" marking.

Speaking of that "Too Late" marking, here is another example from ten years later, evidently struck from the same device, but in dark red. See Cover ID 22429.


Posted Feb 20, 18 22:25 by Rick Mingee (ramingee)

San Fran Single Circle CDS


That single circle CDS from San Fran debuted in NOV 1867, FYI. Before that was the common DCDS you see all the time (and some other types too). DCDS was used into the 1870's as well.

Posted Feb 20, 18 21:59 by Mike Girard (reywest1)

Scott #356 reversed paste-up joints final word.

From me anyway. I want to thank everyone on the board who contributed to the 356 reversed paste-up debate, I've thoroughly enjoyed it - even when Ken called me crazy. I've gathered up all of the posts and have added them to my notes on the #356 10c coil. I'll keep my eyes open for new paste-up joints to add to my census which I hope will prove to be useful someday. I really do wish that one of the other plate numbers shows up on a paste-up joint, it will be a wonderful discovery. My quest for answers started when I read W. Wallace CLeland's Specialist article titled "Was Scott #356 Pasted Up Backwards?" (Whole #665, Vol #56, #7, 1985). He raised some interesting points in the article that I hope one day can be resolved.

Thanks again for all who put in their two cents. Best regards, Mike Girard.

P.S. I'll be at the A.P.S. Summer Seminar this year and I hope to see some of you there and maybe we can have a nice talk about #356 revered paste-up joints while we're at it.

Posted Feb 20, 18 21:42 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

John Hancock Free Frank

How does IV = June?

Bonus Q: What month is IA?

Posted Feb 20, 18 19:23 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Prague 2018 show

Did anybody reading this apply for frames at this show? I understand that today was the day they announced acceptances and the only two people I know who applied for multiple frame exhibits were not accepted. Would like to know who else applied and was accepted.


Posted Feb 20, 18 18:56 by Bill Weismann (billw2)

1867 SF Covers


I have 2 in the Census that were sent from SF in 1867, but both are foreign mail uses.

July 20th, 1867 to London

August 30th, 1867 to Acapulco

I hope these may be of some help.


Posted Feb 20, 18 17:27 by Bernard Biales (bernard b)

Blockading Squadron

I think Richard's point, which was left a little implicit, is that that marking is specifically associated with Baltimore.

Posted Feb 20, 18 15:17 by Paul Dessau ([email protected])

PhilaMercury and its value

Thanks for posting this David-I do have a lot more seeming "ordinary" covers that I can post, and will.

Posted Feb 20, 18 14:58 by David Snow (dwsnow)

PhilaMercury and its value

I just wanted to bring to your attention the real value of the search function in PhilaMercury census.

I wanted to determine the likely year of this cover, based on the postmark style, cover ID 26947.  Not having the John H. Williams book on California town postmarks, I decided to use the PhilaMercury census as a guide.

So I did "Browse Covers", entered the origin as San Francisco, California, and entered the exact year, starting in 1862, searching year-by-year upwards. I quickly found out that San Francisco used a double circle datestamp from 1862 to 1866.  No San Francisco origin covers were in the database for 1867, but when I checked 1868 I found a match for my postmark style. See Cover ID 23956.

Funny thing was, when I made a scan of my cover I observed for the first time a faint penciled "1868" at upper left, which nicely confirmed the year date. The more common grilled 3c stamps (starting with E grill, #88) have an EDU of Feb. 12, 1868, which is why my cover doesn't bear a grilled stamp.

The upshot of all of this is to demonstrate the value of adding your covers to PhilaMercury database to assist your fellow collectors in their research. Thank you, Richard, for providing PhilaMercury, now at 25,397 covers documented.

P.S. - maybe someone can add a 1867 dated San Francisco origin cover to PhilaMercury to show the postmark style for that missing year. Thanks in advance.


Posted Feb 20, 18 13:24 by Russ Ryle (hoosierboy)

re: Post Office Stamps [devices]

Richard and Roger and all, Baker, page 361 per Bond:

PL&R 1832 Ch. 32, Sec. 277 Stamps [devices?] are only to be procured upon application to the Appointment Office. They are furnished to offices that collect in postage $1000 per quarter.

First citation talking about [post office] class numbers is for PL&R 1859 CH. 35, Sec. 412 and 412a. om page 362. Classes based on amount of postage sold per quarter.

Hope that helps.

Russ Ryle

Posted Feb 20, 18 12:42 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

John Hancock Free Frank

Jim W -

I also interpreted it as April at first, but I've been told by the experts that IV was for June. And, the docketing on the verso of the folded letter verifies that it is June.

Posted Feb 20, 18 12:27 by John Bowman (johnbowman)

Another crazy theory

Statistics can be used to accept or reject an hypothesis at a predefined level of confidence, when a sample is used to make an estimate concerning an entire population. However, it can't be used to determine impossibility of an event's occurrence.

I think Mike may be referring to probability, not statistics.

Posted Feb 20, 18 12:13 by Mike Ludeman (mml1942)

Post Office Classes


The Postal Act of July 2, 1836, Section 33, states:

"And be it further enacted, That there shall be appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advise and consent of the Senate, a deputy postmaster for each office at which the commissions allowed to the postmaster amounted to one thousand dollars or upward in the year ending the thirtieth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five, or which may, in any subsequent year, terminating n the thirtieth day of June, amount to or exceeded that sum, who shall hold his office for the term of four years, unless sooner removed by the President."

This was the beginning of the Presidential class post offices. Prior to this Act, all postmasters were appointed by the Postmaster General.

And as an aside, all Postmaster Commission documents prior to 1837 were signed only by the Postmaster General. Afterwards, beginning with Andrew Jackson, they were presidentially signed, and countersigned by the Secretary of State.

The next evidence I find of change is from the PL&R edition published in 1869, section 81, which cites an act of 1 July 1864 which is the first definition I have found of the various classes of PO.

Update: I eventually located the above reference to the Act of July 1, 1864 in the PL&R for 1866, at Section 28.

Thus for the early period you mentioned: 1825 - 1830, there was really only one class of PO. The various laws did single out New York and other large city PO to have specially designated salaries for their postmaster.



Posted Feb 20, 18 11:03 by Richard Frajola (frajola)

Post Office Classes

Roger - "The Postal History of Indiana" (corrected - Baker)) has a chapter about the development of postal markings by Arthur Bond. Bond did very good work on the subject and maybe published in Chronicle as well.

My Indiana book is long ago lost or strayed and I can not find my digital file of Bond's articles. Maybe this is enough info to assist.

Posted Feb 20, 18 11:01 by Jim Watson (jimbonita)

President's Day

Ken Stach,

Wouldn't 22/IV be April 22 rather than June 22?

Posted Feb 20, 18 9:35 by Roger Rhoads (roger rhoads)

Post Office Classes

Back on the Board to ask if anyone has the definition of PO classes 1-4 in the stampless era, particularly 1825-1830. Been looking through the on-line PL&R listings, but cannot seem to come up with the right key word to get my answer. I seemingly have discoveered a small list of POs in NE OH that were probably 4th class and used engraved metal double line ovals for postmarking.

Posted Feb 20, 18 6:49 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Thank you, Joe. Typo corrected.

Posted Feb 19, 18 22:35 by joe kirker (centuryc3)

"Zero evidence and utterly crazy"

An earlier post certainly needs some proof or explanation---either that or I've been mislead and mis-informed for decades (besides having 'missed' the 100 year anniversary!!)

The 24 cent Jenny stamp was produced and released in 1917!!!???-----get the facts correct!!!

Posted Feb 19, 18 22:00 by Ken Stach (kenstach)

President's Day

OK, he wasn't an elected president, but John Hancock served as the 4th President of the Continental Congress from May 24, 1775 to Oct 31, 1777. He presided over the Second Continental Congress, during which he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence.

The attached folded letter is free franked by him, Congress Philada John Hancock, mailed free from Philadelphia with their 22/IV (June 22, 1776) Franklin postmark to Joseph Trumbull (Commissary General of the Continental Army) in New York. Hancock became the first to sign the Declaration of Independence twelve days after he free franked this letter, which contained a Resolve of Congress passed June 17, 1776 notifying Trumbull of his pay increase to $150/month.


Posted Feb 19, 18 20:18 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

10¢ Washington plates

Here is the printing history of the four plates from BIA Research Paper #5


Posted Feb 19, 18 19:57 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Another crazy theory

This is Mike's explanation, not only with zero evidence but utterly crazy, for the single plate number record:

"I have a theory that only one plate, #4944, was used on a hand driven spider press was used for a limited run to make the sheets of 10 cent stamps for the #356 coils. I'm hoping to prove through mathamatics [sic] that after X number of the same plate numbers seen on paste-up tabs that it becomes statistically impossible for more than one plate number to have been used to make the #356 coil."

Posted Feb 19, 18 19:54 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Right and wrong

This is from Mike's website:

"So how did the Scott #356 Coil get paste-up joints that are reversed from the normal orientation? My first thought was that the sheets of 400 that went into making the coil were turned around 180 degrees before being perforated and trimmed. I've been made aware of another possible cause for the reversed paste-up joints and that is that the perforating machine doing the perforating and trimming of the sheet had the outside cutting wheels set in the wrong positions."

He has not, and cannot demonstrate that one setting was right and another wrong, but nevertheless imposed that judgment.

Posted Feb 19, 18 19:44 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

normal and different

Here's an example of normal: Sidewise (horizontal format) coils were wound so that the stamps delivered to the right when oriented upright. Endwise (vertical format) coils were wound so that the stamps delivered down when oriented upright. Those standards made it possible for manufacturers of affixing equipment to design their devices so that stamps were affixed in the upright positions on envelopes. They worked fine until the POD and the BEP issued the 6¢ FDR coil of 1967 (Scott 1298) with the orientation switched so that a normal affixer stuck stamps on envelopes with FDR's nose down. The resulting uproar caused them to reformat the stamp (Scott 1308). If someone were to show me a B-wound government coil that delivered to the left or the top, to apply the motion-picture film term, I would not hesitate to call it a reverse wind.

Posted Feb 19, 18 19:26 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

paste-ups, etc.

It's been the history of the USPOD and successor USPS that anything new that comes along, whether it be stamp production or something else, they were and still are always experimenting until they settled on a way of doing it -- until something better comes along. As I interpret what they did, I'd say "that's just the way they did it."

Posted Feb 19, 18 19:13 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)


If neutral terms were applied (horizontal perforated coil join under the left edge versus horizontal perforated coil join under the right edge), the urge to impute intention would be seen for what it is — the author's imagination at work. Instead of imputing some universal normal, one would more logically observe and state that X orientation is normal for these denominations and Y for these others, without imposing the idea that someone switched from one to the other.

Posted Feb 19, 18 19:05 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

My objection is that Mike requires us to believe that one method was intentional and thus normal, then speculates about why someone deviated from normal. No one has offered evidence to support that postulate. But there's plenty of evidence to show that BEP stamp finishers improvised whatever equipment was available in order to get the work out. Consider the different perforator settings for the bicolor 24¢ Curtiss JN4H stamp of 1918, which yielded trimmed left or right margins. Should one be designated the intended standard and the other anomalous? Or coil waste. Which perforator/cutter setting should be regarded as standard? Must someone have intentionally perforated bottom margins on some sheets and not others?

Posted Feb 19, 18 18:31 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

reverse paste-up

A reverse paste-up is a paste-up that's the reverse of what was done most of the time. If the term is a "contrivance" then all language is a contrivance along with all the disparagement that the term implies. Certainly it was a technique that was used, though not most of the time. We don't need to attach moral superiority or inferiority to terms we like or don't like.

Posted Feb 19, 18 18:18 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

"reverse paste-up"

This phrase is a philatelic contrivance, not an actual manufacturing technique. It merely means a less common orientation than normally seen. From the time the first government coils were manufactured in 1908 until the installation of the Auto-Wound pasting table and Stickney coiler, beginning in 1910, there was no standard method of coiling stamps, nor were stamp coils a standard product. Coil versions of 1902 Series stamps are reported to have been assembled from strips of ten; 1908 Series, from strips of 20. All were by special order, and several were custom assembled to the customer's needs (on spools, on cores, etc.), in at least one case under the customer's direct supervision. That meant that the women who assembled them improvised their methods as orders came in to get them out as efficiently as possible using whatever equipment was idle at that moment.

Despite charging coiling fees (12¢ per coil of 1,000 and 6¢ per coil of 500), the POD and BEP continued to experience increasing demand. No doubt orders for perforated and imperforate 1¢ and 2¢ vertical and horizontal W-F coils were soon sufficient to require some routines, which would have given rise to the orientations that today's collectors consider, in hindsight, to have been normal. But one cannot legitimately project those methods onto small nuisance orders such as the 10¢ of 1909 or the 3¢ of 1911. The latter is especially instructive because by the time Scott 389 (the legendary "Orangeburg coil") was manually manufactured with gauge 12 perforations, standard production had been moved to the Auto-Wound system with gauge 8½ perforations. Note that Scott 356 was an earlier Orangeburg coil order, similarly a distraction from standard orders, similarly eccentric, probably for the same reasons.

Added: For those who prefer conjecture to research, why not hypothesize that so-called "reverse paste-ups" were assembled by left-handed assemblers and "normal" ones by right-handed? That's no more or less plausible or provable than Mike Girard's speculation.

Posted Feb 19, 18 16:51 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Scott 356

Mike Girard wrote an article about reverse paste-ups on Scott #356 in the June, 2017 United States Specialist theorizing how and why it happened. A follow-up was in a Letter to the Editor in the September, 2017 issue, p. 391.

Also see his website for his census of #356 paste-ups:

Several other coils are known with reverse paste-ups.

Posted Feb 19, 18 15:36 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

356 Plate Number

Now, that this is out there for discussion, I would love to find a plate number single showing the tab at the left with plate number. Anyone have an example for sale???

Posted Feb 19, 18 15:29 by Gregory Shoults (coilcollector)

356 Plate Numbers

Len, there is one listed on Ebay with the known plate number. I also have this example in my exhibit, a paste-up, reverse, or backwards when compared the usual paste-up encountered, and this one has part of the imprint, similar to a plate number. There are a few other values with reverse, or backwards paste-ups. I wonder if this occurred on the early coils since the Bureau workers were new at putting these coils together? The other value I have is a one cent horizontal pair with plate number tab on the left and it is a 4000 series number.

I also know of a 5 cent horizontal pair, #355, with a reverse paste-up


Posted Feb 19, 18 15:00 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

Green stamps


Thank you.

Posted Feb 19, 18 14:43 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Scott 356


Agreed. Collectors should be on the lookout for paste-ups and carefully check for plate numbers. The other numbers may still be out there, even poorly centered.

Posted Feb 19, 18 14:37 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Scott 356


The unusual aspect is that any exist in unused condition. Scott 356, like Scott 389, was a special-order stamp for Bell & Co. Unlike Scott 389, Bell did not purchase and use all the rolls, so the remainders were purchased by stamp dealers. That's the entire supply. You should safely assume that Bell must have used at least half the order, which would leave at most 25 plate number tabs in unused condition. The coils are notorious for poor centering and erratic height, which further reduced the likelihood of such stamps being saved.

Yes, at the time of manufacture the four plate numbers should have been present in roughly equal quantities, but that is one less important aspect among many factors that yielded today's survivors.

Posted Feb 19, 18 14:19 by David D'Alessandris (davidd)


Glenn - I don't know of a specific listing of trime markings, but Simpson's U.S. Postal Markings 1851-1861 illustrates several in the chapter on Rate Numerals used as cancelling devices beginning on page 116.  The book is available for free download on the USPCS webpage

Posted Feb 19, 18 14:07 by Richard Drews (bear427)

green stamps

The UR stamp is type III, Scott 33. the others are all type V, Scott 35 and come from the same vertical column of the same pane.


Posted Feb 19, 18 13:51 by Lawrence Gregg (ecovers)

President's Day

Here is a cover with six green George Washington stamps, this is a crop of the stamps only. Could someone help me identify the stamps? Please and Thank You! How about showing "Presidential" covers..?!


Posted Feb 19, 18 13:28 by Leonard Piszkiewicz (lenp99)

Scott 356

To clarify: Plates 4940, 4941, 4943, and 4944 were used to print the 10c stamps that became sheet stamps Scott #338. Stamps from all four plates were most likely used to produce the coil Scott #356, but so far only plate number 4944 has been reported as a paste-up coil. As production editor of the Durland Standard Plate Number Catalog, I've consulted with editor Kim Johnson and confirmed that only plate number 4944 has been reported for #356. The other three numbers probably should have existed -- but has anyone seen any of them?

Posted Feb 19, 18 13:27 by David Snow (dwsnow)


Glenn Estus,

Thanks for posting your example of a trime marking.

Here is another one from Hardwick, Vt. postmarked Christmas Day, 1852, struck in a milky blue. Cover ID 26661.

Trime markings are attractive, but I don't know of any overall listing.


Posted Feb 19, 18 13:13 by Glenn Estus (gestus)


I have become interested in TRIME killers used in the stampless period. These are killers that mimic the 3c coin produced when the postage rates were reduced from 5c to 3c in 1851.

I have used the online search function to go through The Chronicle of the U.S. Postal Classic Issues but have not been able to find any list or articles about trimes.

I have also begun to search the American Stampless Cover Catalogue . I have both a print version and an electronic version.

Here's an example from South Hardwick, Vermont.

Any other suggestions would be most appreciated.


Posted Feb 19, 18 12:53 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Scott 356 continued

You repeated what I wrote but less precisely, except you ignored my point that stamps are not randomly kept. If stamps from plate 4944 were the best-centered of the four available choices (of which the dealers culling them would have been oblivious) it's probable that most or all the plate-number joins they kept would have been prints from that plate. If four or five genuine plate 4944 tabs exist and other plate numbers are not known on Scott 356, that's evidence of two things: First, that the survival rate (ten percent of the total) is very high; second, that they were not randomly saved, but on the contrary, they were selected by virtue of being more philatelically attractive than the others.

By concentrating on one stamp you avoid learning what is otherwise well known among specialists. Some plate numbers for every W-F issue are commoner, and some scarcer, than the production figures would predict, because they were selected for appearance, not randomly.

Posted Feb 19, 18 9:55 by Mike Girard (reywest1)

Scott 356 continued

Let’s do the math - five sheets make four rolls of 500 stamps and in those four rolls there would be 10 plate number paste-ups. 10,000 stamps makes 20 rolls of 500 stamps so there are only a total of 50 plate number paste-ups. The accepted thinking is that the 25 imperforate sheets needed to make the 20 rolls of 500 came from the four plate press that was used to make the regular perf 12 10c yellow. If that is the case the four plate numbers would be, for the most part, evenly distributed. Let’s assume a sheet with plate #4944 was the first to be taken and the sheets would have been take in order there after (I doubt very much that sheets were separated by plate number as they came off the press). Given that assumption there would be seven sheets with plate #4944 and six sheets each of the other three plate numbers with all the plate number paste-ups randomly distributed amongst all the other paste-up joints. What are the odds that four plate #4944 paste-ups have been randomly discovered over the years out of a group of no more than 50? I'm no math wiz but I figure the odds of the fourth #4944 plate number showing up is about 0.25%, a fifth one would have even smaller odds.

I stand by my prediction that the fifth plate number paste-up, when reveled, will be #4944.

Posted Feb 19, 18 8:31 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Scott 356 continued

Although on average the plate numbers would have been distributed as I described, stamp collectors don't keep stamps randomly. In this case, Bell & Co. did not need the full 10,000-stamp production, so the unsold balances were placed on sale at Washington and Chicago. Hugh Scott bought the Chicago supply, stripped out the position pieces and quantities sufficient for his dealer stock, and sold the scrap to Corn Bank to be used on mail (discount postage).

Centering varied considerably on those coils. Given the quantities it's probable that Clark and whichever dealers bought the Washington rolls selected stamps with better centering to keep for their customers and sold the poorly centered stamps as scrap.

If centering of stamps printed from one plate tended to be better than from the others, those are the ones we should expect to have survived in philatelic collections.

Posted Feb 19, 18 8:07 by Ken Lawrence (kenlawrence)

Scott 356

There is no need to search for Babcock's sources. His formulation as quoted is wrong. There was no "printing" of Scott 356.

10¢ coil stamps of 1909 were made from printed sheets of 400 10¢ George Washington stamps of 1908. Like all low-denomination ordinary stamps they were printed from plates of 400 on flat-bed Hoe presses. Those presses had four beds, each of which had a plate. So a press run printed from all four plates in sequence. The plates were numbers 4940, 4941, 4943, and 4944.

When the Bureau of Engraving and Printing received Bell & Company's order for 10¢ coil stamps, 25 printed and gummed sheets were manually finished into 10,000 coils (ten rolls of 1,000, or 20 rolls of 500, or a combination of the two lengths). If the prints were not specially selected, the sheets would normally have been stacked approximately in delivery sequence (sequential plate numbers), but with so few sheets, any combination is possible.

Regardless, unless spoilage introduced anomalies, there should have been a maximum of 50 plate-number joins distributed among the four numbers.

Added: The Hoe presses had four positions, and rotated. As the plate in the first position was being inked and polished, a wet sheet of paper was being laid on top of the plate in the second position, and a blanket on top of the paper. In the third position the form roller pulled the impression while in the fourth position the helper removed the blanket and set the pulled print out to dry.

Posted Feb 19, 18 7:27 by Mike Girard (reywest1)

New Scott #356 paste-up with plate number found.

I have recently found a fourth Scott #356 paste-up listed on eBay (Lot #173107148617) that has a PSE certificate #1338232 dated 11/9/2017 that has an opinion of "It is genuine unused, o.g., hinged, coil pair, with paste-up tab at the right having Plate No. 4944". There is a fifth paste-up single from a 10/26/2010 Siegel Auctions Sale #997, Lot #5910 with a lot description that states that there is a plate number on the tab but does not say what the plate number is. I assume that the plate number is described on the 2010 PSE certificate that came with the stamp but I could be wrong. I have made inquiries as to what the plate number is but have not gotten back any responses.

I have also been given a scan of a July 1932 Mekeel's Weekly Stamp article "News Notes on Common U.S. Stamps - XXVI by W. L. Babcock" where he states in an article about the #356 that "It is not of record from which plate the coil stamps were printed". It's important to note that in the article the singular "plate" is used not the plural "plates". There are only two explanations for this 1) It's a typo and should have been "plates" or 2) Babcock is correct that only one plate was used to print the #356. I'm on the hunt for anymore writings by Babcock where he talks about the #356. Does anyone on the board know if Babcock's papers and research ended up in an institution where they are available to the public?

If I were a betting man I'd say that the unknown fifth plate number will turn out to be #4944. All comments welcome.

Regards, Mike Girard.

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