U.S. #398a Carmine Lake
1913 2¢ Panama-Pacific Exposition Commemorative
Issue Date: January 1913
Quantity issued: 503,713,086
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Single line
Color: Carmine Lake
This 1913 commemorative stamp series was issued to publicize the upcoming 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition that was held in San Francisco. The exposition commemorated the discovery of the Pacific Ocean as well as the construction of the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal was built under the supervision of Lt. Col. George W. Goethals. It was constructed at a cost of about $380 million dollars. The canal is a 40.3-mile long transportation line and travel route which links the Pacific ports with the Caribbean ports.
Why Were the Panama-Pacific Commemoratives
Reissued in 1914-15?
The first of the Panama-Pacific commemoratives was issued on January 1, 1913, to publicize the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition, a World’s Fair commemorating the completion of the Panama Canal and the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean. The new stamps were popular with the public. However, it wasn’t long before the Post Office Department began hearing complaints that the stamp’s paper was too brittle.
In an effort to make the stamps stronger, perforating machines were altered from 12 perforations per two centimeters to 10 perforations per two centimeters in 1914-15. The Panama-Pacific commemoratives were among the first stamps to be reissued with the higher-gauge perforations.