1985 8.3c Transportation Series: Ambulance, 1860s

# 2128 - 1985 8.3c Transportation Series: Ambulance, 1860s

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U.S #2128
1985 8.3c¢ Ambulance, 1860s
Transportation Series

  • Paid the rate for bulk mail presorted to carrier route numbers
  • 23rd stamp in Transportation Series
  • Pictures Civil War-era ambulance

Stamp Category:  Definitive
Series: 
Transportation Series
Value: 
8.3¢; rate for bulk mail presorted to carrier route numbers
First Day of Issue: 
June 21, 1985
First Day City:  Reno, Nevada
Quantity Issued:  18,125,000
Printed by:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Engraved
Format:  Coils of 500 and 3,000
Perforations:  10 Vertical
Color: 
Green

 

Why the stamp was issued:  Paid the rate for bulk mailers that presorted their mail to carrier route numbers.  Replaced the 1984 7.4¢ Baby Buggy stamp.

 

About the stamp design:  This was the 16th stamp design and ninth Transportation Series stamp created by Jim Schleyer.  The artist based his stamp design on drawings from Edwin McKean’s original patent (#44,643) dated October 11, 1861.

 

Special design details:  The 9.3¢ Ambulance stamp was available with and without a precancel.  #2128 has no precancel, while #2128a has a precancel.  Precancels are stamps canceled before being sold, to make mailing faster and cheaper for customers with large amounts of mail.  Bulk mailers use precancels, then pre-sort their mail and save money.  The USPS makes these stamps available with and without precancels for two reasons.  One reason is to create another variety for stamp collectors.  The other, is so the stamps can be used as add-on postage for packages slightly overweight.

 

About the printing process:  This and the Buckboard stamp issued during the same ceremony were the last stamps printed on the Cottrell press.  The BEP first started using the Cottrell press in the early 1950s and had a total of five them at one point, though two were destroyed in a fire.  The web-fed Cottrell presses had two curved plates with a gap in between that let ink through, creating a line.  Joint line-pairs became a popular collecting format. 

 

First Day City:  This stamp’s First Day ceremony was held at the NEVPEX-TOPEX all-topical exhibition in Reno, Nevada.

 

About the Transportation Series:  On May 18, 1981, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Transportation Series, US #1907, picturing the Surrey, a doorless four-wheeled carriage. For the first time in US history, a coil stamp featured its own unique design rather than simply copying that of the current definitive stamp. Over 50 more coil stamps would be issued over the course of the next 15 years, each picturing a different mode of transportation. All of these types of transportation were used since American independence.


The various denominations provided face values to exactly match the rates for several categories of Third-Class mail (bulk rate and quantity-discounted mail). As the rates changed, new stamps with new values were added. Never before had a stamp series included so many fractional cent values.


The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed most of the stamps in the Transportation Series, although private contractors printed a few. All but a few of the later stamps were produced by engraved intaglio. Differences in precancels, tagging, paper and gum provide a large number of varieties.


Scott Catalog separates the Transportation stamps into four groups. The stamps in the first group (#1897-1908) generally have the denomination in small type with a “c” next to it. These stamps were printed on the Cottrell rotary press, which joined together two plates to make a sleeve. The gaps between these plates created depressions where ink would collect and create joint lines on the stamps. Later issues were printed on a different press and didn’t have these joint lines.


The second group (#2123-36) had larger numbers with no “c.”  The third group (#2252-66) was similar in appearance to the second group, but service inscriptions were added to the designs. These stamps also used a variety of paper and gum as well as different types of tagging. The fourth group (#2451-68) marked the end of fractional values. Now bulk mailers would use either the 5¢ or 10¢ stamp and then pay the difference from the actual postage rate.


The last stamp in the Transportation Series, the 20¢ Cog Railway, was issued on June 9, 1995, at the TEXPEX ’95 stamp show in Dallas, Texas. This marked the end of the largest US definitive series up to that time. Three new series would eventually replace it – American Transportation, American Culture, and American Scenes. Additionally, the Great Americans would go on to become the largest American definitive series.

 

History the stamp represents:  The ambulance pictured on this stamp was primarily used during the Civil War to transport medical supplies, water kegs, and hoses. Patented by Edward McKean in 1861, this particular model had fans which were activated by movement of the wheels and stretchers mounted on wheels so they could be moved easily from one place to another.  Union infantry regiments each received three of these ambulances.

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U.S #2128
1985 8.3c¢ Ambulance, 1860s
Transportation Series

  • Paid the rate for bulk mail presorted to carrier route numbers
  • 23rd stamp in Transportation Series
  • Pictures Civil War-era ambulance

Stamp Category:  Definitive
Series: 
Transportation Series
Value: 
8.3¢; rate for bulk mail presorted to carrier route numbers
First Day of Issue: 
June 21, 1985
First Day City:  Reno, Nevada
Quantity Issued:  18,125,000
Printed by:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: 
Engraved
Format:  Coils of 500 and 3,000
Perforations:  10 Vertical
Color: 
Green

 

Why the stamp was issued:  Paid the rate for bulk mailers that presorted their mail to carrier route numbers.  Replaced the 1984 7.4¢ Baby Buggy stamp.

 

About the stamp design:  This was the 16th stamp design and ninth Transportation Series stamp created by Jim Schleyer.  The artist based his stamp design on drawings from Edwin McKean’s original patent (#44,643) dated October 11, 1861.

 

Special design details:  The 9.3¢ Ambulance stamp was available with and without a precancel.  #2128 has no precancel, while #2128a has a precancel.  Precancels are stamps canceled before being sold, to make mailing faster and cheaper for customers with large amounts of mail.  Bulk mailers use precancels, then pre-sort their mail and save money.  The USPS makes these stamps available with and without precancels for two reasons.  One reason is to create another variety for stamp collectors.  The other, is so the stamps can be used as add-on postage for packages slightly overweight.

 

About the printing process:  This and the Buckboard stamp issued during the same ceremony were the last stamps printed on the Cottrell press.  The BEP first started using the Cottrell press in the early 1950s and had a total of five them at one point, though two were destroyed in a fire.  The web-fed Cottrell presses had two curved plates with a gap in between that let ink through, creating a line.  Joint line-pairs became a popular collecting format. 

 

First Day City:  This stamp’s First Day ceremony was held at the NEVPEX-TOPEX all-topical exhibition in Reno, Nevada.

 

About the Transportation Series:  On May 18, 1981, the USPS issued the first stamp in the Transportation Series, US #1907, picturing the Surrey, a doorless four-wheeled carriage. For the first time in US history, a coil stamp featured its own unique design rather than simply copying that of the current definitive stamp. Over 50 more coil stamps would be issued over the course of the next 15 years, each picturing a different mode of transportation. All of these types of transportation were used since American independence.


The various denominations provided face values to exactly match the rates for several categories of Third-Class mail (bulk rate and quantity-discounted mail). As the rates changed, new stamps with new values were added. Never before had a stamp series included so many fractional cent values.


The Bureau of Engraving and Printing printed most of the stamps in the Transportation Series, although private contractors printed a few. All but a few of the later stamps were produced by engraved intaglio. Differences in precancels, tagging, paper and gum provide a large number of varieties.


Scott Catalog separates the Transportation stamps into four groups. The stamps in the first group (#1897-1908) generally have the denomination in small type with a “c” next to it. These stamps were printed on the Cottrell rotary press, which joined together two plates to make a sleeve. The gaps between these plates created depressions where ink would collect and create joint lines on the stamps. Later issues were printed on a different press and didn’t have these joint lines.


The second group (#2123-36) had larger numbers with no “c.”  The third group (#2252-66) was similar in appearance to the second group, but service inscriptions were added to the designs. These stamps also used a variety of paper and gum as well as different types of tagging. The fourth group (#2451-68) marked the end of fractional values. Now bulk mailers would use either the 5¢ or 10¢ stamp and then pay the difference from the actual postage rate.


The last stamp in the Transportation Series, the 20¢ Cog Railway, was issued on June 9, 1995, at the TEXPEX ’95 stamp show in Dallas, Texas. This marked the end of the largest US definitive series up to that time. Three new series would eventually replace it – American Transportation, American Culture, and American Scenes. Additionally, the Great Americans would go on to become the largest American definitive series.

 

History the stamp represents:  The ambulance pictured on this stamp was primarily used during the Civil War to transport medical supplies, water kegs, and hoses. Patented by Edward McKean in 1861, this particular model had fans which were activated by movement of the wheels and stretchers mounted on wheels so they could be moved easily from one place to another.  Union infantry regiments each received three of these ambulances.