First Bureau Issues from 1895, Double-line Watermark
In 1894, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, the Bureau submitted a bid for the contract to print the new series of postage stamps. Their bid was almost $7,000 less than the lowest bid submitted by the three private companies also competing for the contract. Despite loud protests that the Bureau was not capable of producing the stamps, they were awarded the contract.
The BEP used the same dies previously used by the American Bank Note Company for their first series of stamps, but made small changes to them so the stamps could be distinguished from the previous issues. The BEP printed its first postage stamps July 1, 1894. The following year, these stamps were printed with a double-line watermark.
Set includes Scott numbers: