So I am just starting the process of working thru my Dad’s stamp collection.  He spent most of his adult life working on this collection in his spare time and was the joy and love of his life.  I have many fond memories of him, sitting in his living room chair, working the piles and piles of stamps.  I have only good memories of the collection.  At one point, I even tried it out.  I collect space stamps.  It was great fun.

So tonight I grabbed one of the binders that contained some of the United States collection.  Thought I would start getting familiar with the process and figure out just how I was going to value each stamp and get them sold on ebay.  What I found was very interesting.  A few of them I will post here!

3cent stamp

One of the first ones I came across was this 1873 United States 3 Cent Interiro Official Stamp #017.  Found a mint one on ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1873-UNITED-STATES-3-CENT-INTERIOR-OFFICIAL-STAMP-O17-/300419229395) valued at about $30.  This one is cancelled and hinged.  Not in as good of condition as this one.  Maybe a $1 worth at best.

I found a nice description of the stamp here: http://www.1847usa.com/Officials-Interior.htm and a note about the paper it was printed on here: http://www.1847usa.com/BanknotePaperTypes.htm

The later site states,

Note that all but the 30¢ and 90¢ Interior Departmental stamps were issued again in 1879 by the American Bank Note Company on soft porous paper. The stamps are distinguished by paper type, the Continental stamps are on thin hard paper and the American stamps on soft porous paper:

So then, it’s either one of these:

Three Cent Interior Stamps
Scott O17 – Continental Bank Note Printing of the Interior Department 3¢ Washington stamp – Dull to bright vermilion
Scott O98 -American Bank Note Printing of the Interior Department 3¢ Washington stamp – Vermilion, pale vermilion

At the bottom of the page that my father attached the stamp to it says: “When the “franking privilege” (sending letters free) for government departments was stopped in 1873, special “official” stamps were issued for the use of these agencies.  These stamps were declared obsolete in 1884 and were replaced by the free envelopes.”

Some additional info about Stamps printed between 1873 and 1884: http://www.aape.org/docs/Synopsis/officials_synop.pdf

 

1955 Railroad stamp

I also found this one, from a sheet with the header Canal Zone and a place holder of 1955: Panama Railroad. 

With some investigation, I found that it is an image of a stamp depicting a 19th century steam locomotive and train at a station, engraved and printed by the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and issued for use in the Canal Zone on January 28, 1955 to commemorate the centenary of the Panama Railroad, Scott No. 147.  http://www.stampcommunity.org/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2055&whichpage=25

Found another picture here: http://arago.si.edu/index.asp?con=2&cmd=1&id=179160&img=1&pg=1

You can buy a mouse pad: http://www.modelrailroadsupply.com/item.asp?id=380&desc=panama-rail-road-stamp

This should be an interesting adventure.