1909 13c Washington, blue green

# 365 - 1909 13c Washington, blue green

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328005
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One of the Rarities of the 20th Century Max G. Johl

Noted philatelic author and expert Max G. Johl identified US #365 as one of the more desirable  bluish paper varieties. #365 is so rare it's not listed in Mystics U.S. Stamp Catalog.  This stamp is now among the most desirable US stamps!

Only 1,000 Known to Exist

The only known #365s were discovered three years after their issue at the Saginaw, Michigan, post office by Assistant Postmaster John J. Spencer.  Bureau of Engraving and Printing records state 4,000 were issued, but Spencer found evidence of only 1,000 stamps.  In the years since, no other #365 stamps have been found!

Desirable Bluish Paper

Bluish-paper stamps are highly prized by experienced collectors.  They were created during an experiment when rag stock was added to stamp paper in an attempt to keep it from shrinking.  Shrinking stamp paper caused poorly aligned stamps.  The rag stock gave the stamp paper a bluish-gray appearance.

Spencer noted all the #365s had the plate number 4942 and “unusual fine centering.We have a limited number in stock. Act now to avoid disappointment.

More About 1909 Bluish Gray Paper...

Like so many of the other stamps in the Washington-Franklin Series, this variety came about because of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's desire to create a better product.  One of the main problems the Bureau was encountering was paper shrinkage.  Since the stamps were wet printed, they would shrink as the paper dried, causing irregular and "off center" perforations, which resulted in a considerable amount of waste.

To combat the problem, the Bureau changed the composition of the paper by adding 35% wool rag to the wood pulp.  Although stamps printed on this paper are known for having a bluish tint, the best way to check them is to examine the gum on the back.  When compared with ordinary stamps, the yellow gum gives the stamp a grayish tone.  Of the eight denominations printed on this new paper, the 6¢ orange and the 10¢ yellow are the easiest to distinguish, while the 13¢ blue-green is the hardest to locate and also the most desirable.

Since this paper was purely experimental and was not considered a new variety by the Postal Department, the stamps were simplydistributed in their usual manner.  Thus, the majority issued were used and lost to collectors, making these stamps quite scarce.  Because there was a small demand for the 15¢ ultramarine issue (the highest denomination printed on this experimental paper), this stamp is the easiest to obtain.

Bluish Paper Experiment

1¢ green Franklin
US #357 about 1,480,000 issued

On February 16, 1909, stamps printed on an experimental bluish paper were issued.  These stamps were part of an effort to prevent paper shrinkage.

In 1909, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was having trouble with shrinkage of stamp paper.  Since the stamps were wet printed, they would shrink as the paper dried, causing irregular and off center perforations.  Some were so badly misaligned they had to be discarded!  Some estimates report that as many as 20% of these stamps were destroyed because of misplaced perforations.

2¢ carmine Washington
US #358 about 1,494,000 issued

To try to limit the waste from paper shrinkage, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing tried adding various components to the normal stamp paper. In one such experiment, about 1/3 rag stock was added to the wood pulp in hopes of reducing the shrinkage.  The rag stock may have contained a small amount of dye, to make it easier to differentiate between the new experimental stamps and the regular issued stamps of 1908-09.

3¢ violet Washington
US #359 about 4,000 issued

Because of the slightly different paper color, these stamps have become known to collectors as bluish-paper stamps. Some of the first stamps printed on this paper were issued on February 16, 1909.  Unfortunately for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the rag stock experiment was not successful in stopping paper shrinkage and was discontinued after a very short time.  Consequently, few of the bluish-paper stamps were issued.  Since this paper was purely experimental and was not considered a new variety by the Postal Department, the stamps were simply distributed in their usual manner.  Thus, the majority issued were used and lost to collectors, making these stamps quite scarce.

5¢ blue Washington
US #361“ about 4,000 issued

Although stamps printed on this paper are known for having a bluish tint, the best way to check them is to examine the gum on the back.  When compared with ordinary stamps, the yellow gum gives the stamp a grayish tone.  Of the stamps printed on this new paper, the 6¢ orange and the 10¢ yellow are the easiest to distinguish.  The 4¢ orange brown and 8¢ olive green Washington are very scarce.

US #362 about 5,200 issued

The 13¢ blue green is the hardest to locate and also the most desirable.  In fact, noted philatelic author and expert Max G. Johl called the 13¢ stamp one of the rarities of the 20th century.The only known #365s were discovered three years after their issue at the Saginaw, Michigan, post office by Assistant Postmaster John J. Spencer.  Bureau of Engraving and Printing records state 4,000 were issued, but Spencer found evidence of only 1,000 stamps.  In the years since, no other #365 stamps have been found!

10¢ yellow Washington
US #364 about 4,000 issued

A controversy related to this paper involved Arthur Travers, who worked in the third assistant postmaster generals office.  He requested samples of all stamp values up to 15 cents printed on the bluish paper for post office archives.  An investigation proved he had sold some of the sheets to a dealer for greater than face value. He was later fired.

13¢ blue green Washington
US #365 only about 1,000 exist
15¢ ultramarine Washington
US #366 about 4,000 issued
2¢ carmine Lincoln
US #369 This Lincoln Memorial stamp was also printed on the experimental bluish paper.

 

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One of the Rarities of the 20th Century Max G. Johl

Noted philatelic author and expert Max G. Johl identified US #365 as one of the more desirable  bluish paper varieties. #365 is so rare it's not listed in Mystics U.S. Stamp Catalog.  This stamp is now among the most desirable US stamps!

Only 1,000 Known to Exist

The only known #365s were discovered three years after their issue at the Saginaw, Michigan, post office by Assistant Postmaster John J. Spencer.  Bureau of Engraving and Printing records state 4,000 were issued, but Spencer found evidence of only 1,000 stamps.  In the years since, no other #365 stamps have been found!

Desirable Bluish Paper

Bluish-paper stamps are highly prized by experienced collectors.  They were created during an experiment when rag stock was added to stamp paper in an attempt to keep it from shrinking.  Shrinking stamp paper caused poorly aligned stamps.  The rag stock gave the stamp paper a bluish-gray appearance.

Spencer noted all the #365s had the plate number 4942 and “unusual fine centering.We have a limited number in stock. Act now to avoid disappointment.

More About 1909 Bluish Gray Paper...

Like so many of the other stamps in the Washington-Franklin Series, this variety came about because of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's desire to create a better product.  One of the main problems the Bureau was encountering was paper shrinkage.  Since the stamps were wet printed, they would shrink as the paper dried, causing irregular and "off center" perforations, which resulted in a considerable amount of waste.

To combat the problem, the Bureau changed the composition of the paper by adding 35% wool rag to the wood pulp.  Although stamps printed on this paper are known for having a bluish tint, the best way to check them is to examine the gum on the back.  When compared with ordinary stamps, the yellow gum gives the stamp a grayish tone.  Of the eight denominations printed on this new paper, the 6¢ orange and the 10¢ yellow are the easiest to distinguish, while the 13¢ blue-green is the hardest to locate and also the most desirable.

Since this paper was purely experimental and was not considered a new variety by the Postal Department, the stamps were simplydistributed in their usual manner.  Thus, the majority issued were used and lost to collectors, making these stamps quite scarce.  Because there was a small demand for the 15¢ ultramarine issue (the highest denomination printed on this experimental paper), this stamp is the easiest to obtain.

Bluish Paper Experiment

1¢ green Franklin
US #357 about 1,480,000 issued

On February 16, 1909, stamps printed on an experimental bluish paper were issued.  These stamps were part of an effort to prevent paper shrinkage.

In 1909, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was having trouble with shrinkage of stamp paper.  Since the stamps were wet printed, they would shrink as the paper dried, causing irregular and off center perforations.  Some were so badly misaligned they had to be discarded!  Some estimates report that as many as 20% of these stamps were destroyed because of misplaced perforations.

2¢ carmine Washington
US #358 about 1,494,000 issued

To try to limit the waste from paper shrinkage, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing tried adding various components to the normal stamp paper. In one such experiment, about 1/3 rag stock was added to the wood pulp in hopes of reducing the shrinkage.  The rag stock may have contained a small amount of dye, to make it easier to differentiate between the new experimental stamps and the regular issued stamps of 1908-09.

3¢ violet Washington
US #359 about 4,000 issued

Because of the slightly different paper color, these stamps have become known to collectors as bluish-paper stamps. Some of the first stamps printed on this paper were issued on February 16, 1909.  Unfortunately for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the rag stock experiment was not successful in stopping paper shrinkage and was discontinued after a very short time.  Consequently, few of the bluish-paper stamps were issued.  Since this paper was purely experimental and was not considered a new variety by the Postal Department, the stamps were simply distributed in their usual manner.  Thus, the majority issued were used and lost to collectors, making these stamps quite scarce.

5¢ blue Washington
US #361“ about 4,000 issued

Although stamps printed on this paper are known for having a bluish tint, the best way to check them is to examine the gum on the back.  When compared with ordinary stamps, the yellow gum gives the stamp a grayish tone.  Of the stamps printed on this new paper, the 6¢ orange and the 10¢ yellow are the easiest to distinguish.  The 4¢ orange brown and 8¢ olive green Washington are very scarce.

US #362 about 5,200 issued

The 13¢ blue green is the hardest to locate and also the most desirable.  In fact, noted philatelic author and expert Max G. Johl called the 13¢ stamp one of the rarities of the 20th century.The only known #365s were discovered three years after their issue at the Saginaw, Michigan, post office by Assistant Postmaster John J. Spencer.  Bureau of Engraving and Printing records state 4,000 were issued, but Spencer found evidence of only 1,000 stamps.  In the years since, no other #365 stamps have been found!

10¢ yellow Washington
US #364 about 4,000 issued

A controversy related to this paper involved Arthur Travers, who worked in the third assistant postmaster generals office.  He requested samples of all stamp values up to 15 cents printed on the bluish paper for post office archives.  An investigation proved he had sold some of the sheets to a dealer for greater than face value. He was later fired.

13¢ blue green Washington
US #365 only about 1,000 exist
15¢ ultramarine Washington
US #366 about 4,000 issued
2¢ carmine Lincoln
US #369 This Lincoln Memorial stamp was also printed on the experimental bluish paper.