Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Battleship Revenues: The Documentaries

Since I started this blog a month ago I've focused on railroad cancels on the 2 cent documentary stamp. Yet there are 22 major varieties of documentary battleship stamps. There are also 24 major varieties of proprietary battleship stamps.

Below is an image of the 22 documentary varieties. The top 12 stamps are all rouletted between, rather than using normal round perforations. The bottom 10 stamps are all perforated with hyphen shape perforations known as hyphen holes. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing switched from using rouletting to hyphen-holes sometime in late 1899.
There are 12 rouletted stamps versus 10 hyphen-hole stamps because of the half cent varieties. Enough half cent stamps were printed before the switch to hyphen-holes so that no more half cent stamps were ordered after the switch to hyphen holes. There are two colors of half cent stamps, one orange and one gray. Orange was the original color of the half cent stamp but it was changed to gray because the orange stamp was the same color as the 3/8 cent proprietary stamp and caused too much confusion.

The values of the the documentary stamps include:

1/2 Cent
1 Cent
2 Cents
3 Cents
4 Cents
5 Cents
10 Cents
25 Cents
40 Cents
50 Cents
80 Cents

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