Complete 1954-71 Special Delivery Stamp Set
On October 1, 1885, the Special Delivery service made its debut, and the U.S. Postal Department issued a 10¢ stamp to inaugurate its new service. Used in addition to the regular postage required, this stamp paid for an extra service – the immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any other Special Delivery post office.
Originally, Special Delivery offices were located only in cities with populations that exceeded 4,000. However, the venture was such a success, the service was extended to all areas in October 1886. Because the first Special Delivery issue bore the inscription: “Secures immediate delivery at a Special Delivery office,” the stamp needed to be revised when this new act was put into effect. On September 6, 1888, a revised stamp, bearing the inscription: “Secures immediate delivery at any post office,” was issued.
Two of the stamps in this set picture hands passing a letter and the other two picture arrows, representing the moving mail.