1998 32¢ Wisconsin Statehood
Issue Date: March 19, 1998
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Die Cut 11.3
America’s 30th state, Wisconsin, has been known for many things. Its name is derived from an Indian word that has several possible meanings, including gathering of waters, wild rice country, and home land. Wisconsin is known as the Badger State – the nickname “badger” was first used for the lead miners who flocked there in the 1820s. The state’s huge output of dairy products has also earned it the nickname “America’s Dairyland.”
Despite its agricultural strength, since World War II, manufacturing has become Wisconsin’s primary source of revenue. It is a leading manufacturer of machinery, electrical components, paper goods, and food products. Wisconsin produces a third of the nation’s cheese and a fourth of its butter. One of our most progressive states, the state motto “Forward” describes its economic, political, social, and educational philosophies.
Wisconsin was first claimed by France, with England taking control after the French and Indian Wars. It became a U.S. territory after the Revolutionary War, and was part of the Northwest Territory until 1800. Ownership was later transferred to Indiana, Illinois, and then Michigan. Independent territory status came in 1836. The present boundaries and capital, Madison, were established at the time of statehood on May 29, 1848.
First U.S. Stamp With Scrambled Indicia
On September 18, 1997, the USPS issued the U.S. Air Force stamp, the first U.S. stamp to have a hidden image using Scrambled Indicia.
Over the years, the USPS had always sought ways to combat counterfeiting, with grills being one of the earliest examples. As technologies changed, they found new, more advanced ways to do this, including microprinting and tagging. Then in 1997, they introduced Scrambled Indicia.
Scrambled Indicia is a pre-press process invented by Graphic Security Systems Corporation. According to the company, it “scrambles, distorts, intertwines, overlaps, or otherwise manipulates images making encoded information on them unreadable by the naked eye, and non-copyable by current color copiers and digital scanners.” These images could then be viewed using a special decoder. In addition to thwarting counterfeiting, the USPS also hoped this interesting new technology could help arouse interest among collectors and inspire new ones.
Between 1997 and 2004 the USPS produced more than 40 stamps with Scrambled Indicia:
Click here to view the “decoded” stamps.
Click here to get your own decoder to see these neat hidden images in person.