This Day in History… January 11, 1978

America’s Smallest Postage Stamp 

U.S. #1734 was issued on this day in 1978.

On January 11, 1978, the USPS issued its smallest postage stamp, featuring the famed Indian Head Penny.

In the late 1970s, the USPS began looking into new ways to lower their production costs and increase their output.  Eventually, they decided one possible way to achieve both of these goals was to make stamps smaller.

So in 1978, the USPS decided to test the idea.  They chose as the design for the stamp the 1877 Indian Head Penny.  The penny itself measured .75 inches, while the new “midget” stamp would be .54 x .66 inches.  This smaller size meant a pane of stamps could hold 150 stamps, rather than the standard 100.

U.S. #1734 – Fleetwood First Day Cover.

The experimental stamp was issued on January 11, 1978, in Kansas City, Missouri.  The stamp was only available for use in five cities: Hartford, Connecticut; Richmond, Virginia; Portland, Oregon; Memphis, Tennessee; and Kansas City, Missouri.  The USPS wanted to test the smaller stamp’s popularity on a smaller scale before rolling out its usage nationwide.

U.S. #1734 – Silk Cachet First Day Cover.

In the end, postal customers in these test cities were unimpressed with the stamp’s smaller size.  They said it was too small to handle and could easily be lost.

Click here to read about other small stamps from around the world.  You can also order one of those stamps below!

Great Britain #58 picturing Queen Victoria.

Click here to see what else happened on This Day in History.

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2017: A Year in Review – on Stamps!

Take a look back the major events of 2017 through stamps. And be sure to check back tomorrow for more events and stamps.

 

On April 16, 2017, a crowd of 662 people dressed as Charlie Chaplin assembled at the Manoir de Ban in Vevey, Switzerland. The celebration was to mark the first anniversary of the museum dedicated to Chaplin on his 128th birthday. The crowd set a world record for the largest gathering of Charlie Chaplins.

 

At the start of 2017, North Korea announced it was nearly ready to test its missile program. Throughout the year, they carried out a series of missile launches, which led the United Nations to impose sanctions.

Are you missing any of the 2017 U.S. stamps? 

Click here to get an affordable set of commemoratives in mint or used condition.

Click here for the Giant 2017 Commemorative Collection that includes all the mint sheets.

Click here for the complete definitive year set in mint or used condition.

Or click here to get the individual 2017 US stamps you need.

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