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Winchester Discounts

1870-71 3¢ Washington - U.S. #147

1870-71 3¢ Washington - U.S. #147

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U.S. #147 1870-71 3¢ Washington National Bank Note Printing

Earliest Known Use: March 1, 1870
Quantity issued: 1,033,000,000 (estimate)
Printed by: National Bank Note Company
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: None
Perforation: 12
Color: Green

The 1870-71 3¢ stamp features George Washington, the esteemed founding father of the United States. Few Americans have been honored more than Washington, with monuments and even a state bearing his name.

Bank Note Series

March 1, 1870, marks the earliest known use of the Bank Note stamps, a series introduced to replace the unpopular Pictorial Series. The Pictorials, featuring various scenes and symbols, failed to resonate with the public, prompting a redesign. The Bank Note stamps depicted the profiles of famous deceased Americans, offering a more traditional and dignified design.

Produced by three prominent bank note companies – the National, Continental, and American Bank Note Companies – the Bank Note Series saw variations in printing due to changes in contracts and equipment. Identifying these variations can be complex, as each company had its own distinct characteristics in plate and stamp production.

In 1873, the contract shifted to the Continental Bank Note Company, which introduced subtle design changes to distinguish its stamps. Later, the American Bank Note Company acquired Continental, leading to further alterations in paper quality and stamp engraving.

The Bank Note era, spanning from 1870 to 1894, witnessed changes in stamp size and production methods. The transition from large to small bank notes in 1890 aimed to reduce costs and standardize stamp dimensions. Despite these changes, the Bank Notes remain a captivating area of philately, offering collectors a wide array of color shades, secret marks, and cancellations to explore.

The Bank Note era concluded on June 9, 1894, as the Post Office began collaborating with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce new U.S. stamps.

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