1998 $2 Farming in the West
First Day Cover
Issue Date: June 18, 1998
City: Anaheim, CA
This First Day Cover features the $2 Farming in the West stamp, part of the Trans-Mississippi souvenir sheet issued to honor the 100th anniversary of the original commemoratives.
On the original 1898 commemoratives, the Farming in the West stamp was a 2¢ stamp. It was originally planned for the $2 stamp but was switched with the “Mississippi River Bridge” stamp. Since the farming scene represented life in the West, the Postal Committee thought it should have the lower denomination and be used more often. The 1998 sheet shows the denominations as they were planned.
An actual photo was used for the image on the stamp. The driver in the foreground, Evan Nybakken, had grabbed his hat so the wind wouldn’t blow it away and covered his face in the process. The stamp was intended to be called “Harvesting in the West” but since it shows farmers plowing, the name was changed in the 1898 version. The 1998 commemorative shows the original title.
The Trans-Mississippi Exposition was held in Omaha, Nebraska, June 1 through November 1, 1898. Its goal was to further the progress and development of resources west of the Mississippi.
To publicize this event, a set of nine commemorative stamps was issued. Each was printed in a single color and featured an engraving depicting a different Western scene.
The original intent for the 1898 issues was to print them in two colors. However, due to the Spanish-American War and the increased demand for revenue stamps, resources were re-allocated and the stamps were printed in one color. The 1998 issues have been printed in two colors, using the only existing original bi-color dies.