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Winchester Discounts

1895 $1 Perry - U.S. #276

1895 $1 Perry - U.S. #276

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U.S. #276 1895 $1 Perry Type I

  • Issued: August 12, 1895
  • Issue Quantity: 192,449
  • Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  • Watermark: Double line USPS
  • Perforation: 12
  • Color: Black

Background: U.S. #276 was issued on August 12, 1895, and used until it was replaced by the $1 of the Series on 1902. Because it was printed with the same plates as the unwatermarked 1894 Bureau Issues, the $1 Perry is also found with both Type I and II varieties.

The Type I Perry is distinguished by the difference in the circles enclosing the “1” found at the bottom right and left portion of the design. In Type I, the circles are broken where they meet the curved line below “One Dollar.” On the Type II stamp, the circles are complete.

Why Watermarks Were Added in 1895: The United States printed stamps on watermarked paper from 1895 to 1915. The watermarks, consisting of the letters “USPS” (for United States Postal Service), were faint patterns impressed into the paper during its manufacture. Often only a single letter or a portion of a letter is found on a single stamp.

Since the special watermark paper may already have been ordered at the time of the “Chicago Counterfeits,” the Postal Department may have anticipated the possibility before it actually happened. Other nations had used watermarking earlier.

The “USPS” watermarks are in single line or double line letters. To see a watermark, put the stamp in a watermark tray and add a few drops of watermark fluid. The mark (or part of it) should show clearly, though it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between single and double line watermarks.

The Chicago Counterfeits: The “Chicago Counterfeits,” as the scandal came to be known, was one of the few counterfeits in the history of U.S. postage stamps. The Post Office Department was made aware of the matter when Edward Lowry contacted Postal Inspector James Stuart.


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