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Winchester Discounts

1895 2¢ Washington - U.S. #267

1895 2¢ Washington - U.S. #267

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U.S. #267 1895 2¢ Washington Type III

  • Issued: May 1895
  • Issue Quantity: 7,475,000,000 (estimate)
  • Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • Watermark: Double line USPS
  • Perforation: 12
  • Color: Carmine

U.S. #267 features the 1895 2¢ Washington Type III stamp, recognizable by the triangles in the upper-right and upper-left corners. On the Type III stamp, the horizontal lines within the triangles are thin and do not cross the frame lines.

Additional Usage: Overprints After the Spanish-American War

Following the Spanish-American War, U.S. #267 was overprinted and utilized in Cuba, Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. The overprint for Puerto Rico may also read "Porto Rico."

Historical Context: Why Watermarks Were Added in 1895

The "Chicago Counterfeits" scandal of 1895 prompted the Post Office Department to adopt watermarked paper for stamp printing. Edward Lowry's inquiry regarding an advertisement offering discounted 2¢ stamps alerted Postal Inspector James Stuart to the counterfeit scheme. Subsequent investigations, including Nathan Herman's involvement, led to the interception and confiscation of over 40,000 counterfeit stamps.

Arrests of individuals involved in clandestine printing operations, such as Mrs. Lacy, Tinsa McMillan, George Morrison, and Warren Thompson, further exposed the extent of the counterfeit endeavor, culminating in the seizure of over 70,000 counterfeit stamps.

Watermarked Stamps

Watermarks, patterns embedded during paper manufacture, serve as a deterrent to counterfeiting. The inaugural U.S. watermark, featuring the letters "USPS" (United States Postal Service), double-lined and repeated across the paper sheet, aimed to authenticate postage stamps. Despite efforts to ensure watermark consistency, errors occurred, notably with the 6¢ Garfield and 8¢ Sherman stamps, printed on sheets with a USIR (United States Internal Revenue) watermark. The identification of watermarks typically involves utilizing watermark fluid and a tray, especially for stamps with colored backgrounds like those in the 1895 series.


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