Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
stamps cancelled by Henry M. Fowler, Treasurer
Homestake Gold Mining Company of Tuolumne
July 20, 1898, August 22, 1898, September 4, 1898
3-cent stamp cancelled SEP 4 1898
2-cent stamp cancelled AUG 22, 1898
The Saint Joseph Switch and Transfer Railway Company
July 10, 1899
tax for BOTH original issue and resale affixed and cancelled 4/2/1901
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Wisconsin Telephone Company
Monday, March 28, 2011
When 1898 Revenues first when online, the background was all black, and there was no title art. The first post included Milwaukee Road printed and handstamp cancels on a 2 cent documentary battleship. And I knew far less about these stamps than I do now.
In the past two years the site has managed to collect a few loyal readers and some knowledgeable contributors. Thanks to all for reading and stopping by, and I look forward to continued publishing for at least another two years.
Big thanks go out to all those that have added so much to this effort, especially Frank Sente, Dave Thompson, and Bob Hohertz.
I will keep the site's current appearance the same for the next couple of months, but I may do some tinkering during the summer. For now I like the look, though I'm always interested in suggestions. Bob Mustacich is now going for a battleship revenue stamp appearance in his site art. Hmm...
Advice and comments on the blog are always welcome. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
As some of you know, Bob's site is the home for his work the Battleship Desk Reference, which provides an extensive listing and datebase of pharmaceutical and drug firms during the 1898 tax period. The book and the website are a major work and reference for collectors of proprietary battleships, especially those with handstamps and indecipherable initials.
Now Bob is adding much more documentary data, especially with regard to railroad hanndstamp cancels. More about railroads after a shot of the home page immediately below:
Thanks Bob, for this work, and I look forward to expanding the listings and inventory of known cancels. This will be a great complement to an update of the Fullerton lists.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Eads Bridge photo from the City To River Blog
It's always a joy to meet long-time friends and make new ones at philatelic events, and the folks who run the St. Louis Stamp Expo have been great hosts. Kudos to them for a great show!
Preparing for the show got me thinking about St. Louis-related material in my 1898 revenue collections. I've previously blogged about some of my better St. Louis items: a letter of credit from the National Bank of Commerce in St. Louis; a wonderful $2.50 promotional credit certificate taxed as a promissory note from the Hammar Bros. White Lead Company of St. Louis; and two days ago, an export bill of lading from the Luedinghaus-Espenschild Wagon Company for wagon parts being shipped to Cuba.
In comparison, today's subject document, a sight draft from the Collins Collection Company is extrodinarily unremarkable, save its June 12, 1903 date. June 1903? That's nearly TWO years after the July 1, 1901 repeal of the tax on checks and drafts drawn at sight. Even if one considered this to be a draft other than at sight (note the endorsement "with exchange and cost of collection") which were subject to taxation until July 1, 1902, this is still nearly a year later.
Why it was taxed 2-cents has long puzzled me with the document languishing in my "what's up with this file" for years. One might expect a year date problem occurring in January, not June. Regrettably the back is blank suggesting the draft was never paid and offering no clue about a dating error. Most collectors I show it to simply shrug and hand it back.
One plausible explanation, offered so long ago I forget by whom, is that an ambitious clerk had pre-stamped a stack of blank forms with the two cents required for sight drafts and the Collins firm never bothered to attempt to obtain a refund for the unnecessary stamps when the tax was repealed. That makes some sense, but to still be using forms one, or more likely, two years late still seems a bit suspect.
I'd appreciate hearing from anyone with other explanations, or access to early 1900's St. Louis City directories, as I've not had much success tracking the Collins Collection Company either.
The 2012 ARA annual meeting will be held in conjunction with the Garfield-Perry March Party show in Cleveland, Ohio March 23-25, 2012.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
The bid remained in the double digits for days; in the waning moments snipers came in to raise the final price to $787. Obviously I watched this one, and figured it might go for a high price but this exceeded my estimate by about $200.
This document would be a perfect addition to Len McMaster's one cent Franklin exhibit.
initials of J. N. Chandler, Agent who signed the document
Luedinghaus-Espenschild Wagon @1894
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
One item in the 1902 Compilation explains why I never will find a 1901 example, and why 1902 use may exist, they will be few and far between. From pages 193 - 194:
To collectors of internal revenue and others concerned:
Upon the repeal of the stamp tax on checks by the Act of March 2, 1901, the question arose as to the redemption of such imprinted stamps, and instructions were issued March 22, 1901 (Circular N. 596), relative to redemption of documentary and proprietary stamps.
This office has been requested to cancel the imprinted checks, after allowance of the claim for redemption, in such a manner as to render their future use possible, and return them to the original owner in order to effect a saving to the owner or bank of the cost of stationery and the binding of the checks and drafts in book form.
It is understood that the banks will also petition Congress for relief, and in this way it is believed speedy action may be had.
The 1903 Compilation volume contains the following:
Requests for the return of imprinted instruments must be made in writing, addressed to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, signed by the owner or his duly authorized agent, and shall specify distinctly by description and number the instruments to be returned, the manner of return, whether by freight or express, and give plainly the address to which the instruments shall be forwarded.
All imprinted instruments remaining unclaimed by the owners on February 26, 1903, shall be destroyed by burning under the supervision of the committee appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury to superintend the destruction of stamps, notes, bonds, and other Government securities.
Imprinted instruments may be destroyed as aforesaid at once upon receipt of notice from the owner that the return of such instruments is not desired.
Since Congress did not pass the IRS recommendation until February 26, 1902 there cannot be any redeemed check uses in 1901. The IRS did not act until April 25, 1902, and, as a practical matter, the process adopted then had to be announced to the banks and made available to the public.
In the meantime, as banks were using their drafts they might be falling below the required hundred necessary for redemption - the same being the case with individual users. This may account for many of the imprinted ones used after 1901 without the stamp having been redeemed. At first people didn't want to lose their checks, and later they didn't have enough to send in.
At any rate, it appears possible for checks to have been returned to users in time to be used in the last half of 1902, but not much before that. I'll continue to look for one dated in that year, but I now know why they are not so common as I thought they should be.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Edison was so vested in direct current versus alternating current that he created a publicity campaign to discourage the use of AC. Edison had technicians publicly electrocute and kill animals with AC power to demonstrate the danger of AC. The first electric chair, using AC, was developed with Edison's support, also to demonstrate how deadly AC is compared to direct current.
There is a video here of the Edison directed electrocution of the circus elephat Topsy from 1903. Topsy had recently killed three people, and Edison thought it an appropriate stunt to put the elephant down with the rival electricity. Find a brief history of the "war of currents" here.
By the time the stamp above was cancelled, AC was emergent. Charles Coffin's firm, Thomson-Houston, was AC-based, and provided the new GE with the AC experience and capacity the new firm needed to thrive.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
The nice thing about a blog is that subjects can stay open for years -- there is no publication deadline to worry about, and we can keep many projects as works in progress. A list of those projects includes:
- Updating the Chappell/Joyce lists of printed cancels on the proprietary battleships
- Updating the Fullerton list of printed cancels on the documentary 1898 revenues
- An ongoing discussion and presentation of plate markings and varieties
- An ongoing presentation of on-document uses, especially by Frank Sente
- An ongoing presentation of cancels on documentary stamps, matching the days date: a sort of modern, internet-style calendar
- Ad-hoc online publication of 1898 revenue-related exhibits
No matter what I read, I can't figure how the positioning of these dots made for accurate centering of the transfer roll on the plate.