1913 1¢ Panama-Pacific Exposition Commemorative
Issue Date: December 1914
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Method: Flat plate
Watermark: Single line
A 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 1¢ Panama-Pacific commemorative pictures Vasco Nunez de Balboa, who discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513 and claimed all the shores washed by it for Spain.
When the Panama-Pacific commemoratives were first issued, they were perforated 12. But complaints by postal workers and the general public that the stamps separated prematurely caused the Post Office Department to change the perforations to 10 in 1914. Most collectors ignored the new varieties. Since they already had the 1913 stamps, few bothered to save the new ones. Thus, the “Perf 10’s” are much scarcer today.
Fearing Balboa’s growing influence in the new colony, Pedrarias – who had recently been appointed by King Ferdinand – accused him of treason. As a result, Balboa and four of his supporters were executed in the public square.