Friday, July 31, 2009

Financial Cancels: Lazard Freres 2 Cent Documentary Pair

SEP 24 '01

As a follow-up to my post of July 29, above is a Lazard Freres pair from September 24, 1901. The style of cancel did not change from that used on the July 29, 1898 10 cent battleship posted earlier on this blog though the color of the cancel appears to have changed from blue to black.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cancel for July 29: Lazard Freres

JUL 29 '98

Lazard Freres
Founded in my home town of New Orleans in 1848, Lazard Freres was created by 3 French immigrants as a dry goods business. It was moved out to California with the Gold Rush and over time became one of the more important financial service and banking companies in the world with headquarters in New York.

For those with an interest in stamp collecting and New Orleans, Louisiana (a small group, I know), a stamp and coin shop run by a Mr. Lazard called "Lazard's" (go figure) was located in uptown New Orleans on Calhoun Street near Claiborne Avenue until sometime in the late 1970s or early 80s. I was a frequent customer of the shop as a young boy. They sold something uniquely New Orleans: the Mardi Gras doubloon. These are the aluminum coins thrown from the floats of the carnival parades. Mr. Lazard published an annual list that morphed into a small bound catalog over the years. It created the market for New Orleans doubloons, which are still very collectible but which seem to have little market today.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Graded Stamps: Degrade your collection with 1898 Revenues today!

Send your stamps today to 1898 Revenues to participate in our exclusive stamp collection degrading service. Whether you send us stamps that we grade at 90 or above, or the now obsolete and once thought collectable fine-very fine revenue or postage stamp, we'll degrade your collection better than any stamp grading service, and at a cheaper price. We'll make sure that you know that the typical stamps in your collection that you've spent a life putting together are not worth much, while a random stamp in your collection that we grade at 95 or higher might be worth more than everything else you own.

Let us degrade you and your collection today! Give us the power over you! Take a gamble that we can make you wealthy. Just like gold mining, the only people sure to get rich were selling miners the tools, clothes and food they needed. Give us a chance to get rich, and let us degrade your collection today.

Let's see what some satisfied customers have written:

I combed over my collection that took a lifetime to put together and sent 1898 Revenues my best stamps so they could expertly grade them. Of the 20 stamps I sent of the thousands in my collection, 3 came back graded 90 or higher. I felt degraded and very happy. Thank you 1898 Revenues!
---Richard Pliskin, Flushing N.Y.

I always got bad grades in school. But now I own my own 1898 Revenues Graded stamp! Thanks 1898!
---L.O.L., Altoona, PA

I've been collecting for years, but never felt complete until I started collecting 1898 Revenues Graded Stamps. I've spent nearly $5 million in the past year on graded stamps and I now have 462 little plastic cases of really pretty and neatly centered stamps. Gosh I love philately! Thanks for showing me what collecting and real philately is all about guys...
---Andrew Rockefeller Carnegie Vanderbilt VIII.

Cancel for July 26: Fairmount Coal and Coke

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cancel for July 25: Grand Trunk Railway

Grand Trunk Railway appeared in a previous post here: The same stamp now appears on July 25 due to the date of the handstamp. Grand Trunk was one of the first great railways in Canada. With operations in the upper midwest and northeastern United States the GTRS made use of US documentary revenue stamps.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cancel for July 24: Merchants Despatch Transportation Company

Merchants Despatch was originally created by the American Express Company (AMEX printed cancels are highlighted on this blog) in the 1850s when AMEX was primarily a freight forwarding company. The company built and controlled a fleet of railroad freight cars. The company was eventually reformed and its ownership was divided between 3 Vanderbilt railroads including the New York Central. MDT would produce thousands of cars and refrigerated cars over its life.

Merchants Despatch Transportation Co. cancel from July 24, 1899. By 1900 MDT already had over 3,550 railroad cars on its roster.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cancel for July 23: First National Bank of Watseka

First National Bank of Watseka, Illinois from July 23, 1898. I've got a whole bunch of these and they are in the same condition. Not the best looking stamp or cancel. Maybe one of you knows what caused this washed out look, but it appears like it was soaked in some sort of solvent that faded the stamp and ran the cancel.

I've been gone for awhle. Good to be back. Travelling and working...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Insurance Cancels: Continental Insurance Company

Contintental Insurance Company can be traced back to 1852 in New York, issuing its first policy in 1853. Today the company is known as The Continental Corporation and is based in New York.
February 5, 1901 handstamp cancel by Continental Insurance Company of New York.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Battleship Cancels by State: Wisconsin

Lincoln Co. Bank,
DEC    1    1898
Merrill,  Wis.

A. Breslauer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Christmas Eve of 1898

Bank of Manawa, Manawa, Wisconsin, September 9, 1898

H.J. Bowell, Merrill, Wisconsin, December 5, 1898


M.  W.  W.  CO.

(Menasha Wooden Ware)


JAN 13
W.  Superior.

Anthony Giacomelli included an image of a 5 cent battleship with the same Walter Fowler-West Superior cancel in an article in the May 1984 edition of the American Revenuer.  The article speculated on West Superior's location and legal status.  Below is a cancel by Tennis and Greeley, also apparently located in West Superior.


The Bank of Baraboo
OCT  1  1898

Nat.  Bank
La Crosse.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cancel Styles: Boxes

Continental Insurance Company, February 5, 1901

HD&Co, April 10, 1900

DM Co., August 17, 1899

C&S, January 21, 19xx

A.O., December 26, 1899

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Cancel for July 13: Chicago Burlington and Northern Railroad

Chicago, Burlington and Northern Railroad circular dated handstamp from July 13, 1898. This stamp and cancel appeared in an earlier post regarding the current BNSF system of which the CBN is now a component through layers of mergers over the years.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cancel for July 12: Blue & Canada Southern Lines

This is a stamp that appeared nearly 3 months ago on this blog. The Blue Line and Canada Southern Line were both parts of the New York Central's fast freight system, and were run from Rochester New York.

Circular date stamp cancel for July 12, 1898. Guideline at left.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cancel for July 11: First National Bank of Westport, Connecticut

Clear and blue circular date stamp from F.N.B., or First Naitonal Bank of Westport, Connecticut from July 11, 1900. The stamp was likely used to pay the tax on a bank check.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cancel for July 10: TCCCL&N

Circular dated handstamp from 110 years ago today. Don't know what TCCCL&N stands for. guideline at bottom of stamp.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Battleship Cancels by State: Ohio

Toledo, Ohio: Herman Kranz Co., March 2, 1901

Lisbon, Ohio: KE Baringer, April 2, 1901

Cleveland, Ohio: The Forest City Stone Co., September 17, 1898

Cleveland, Ohio, FPT & C0, August 15, 1898

Cincinnati, Ohio, Unknown, January 11, 1899

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mercantile Cancels: Flint, Eddy & American Trading Company

On July 15, 1900, The New York Times reported that the American Trading Company and Flint, Eddy & Co., merged to become the largest exporting and importing company in the United States. The new business became the largest buyer of manufactured goods for export in the US, by merging American Trade's "practical" monopoly of American trade in many districts in China, Japan and Korea, and Flint, Eddy's combination of the South American and East Indian Trade.

Circular handstamp from Flint, Eddy & American Trading Company, New York, January 28, 1902.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad Part II

No stamp here, only information about the Lackawanna. The previous post contains a DL&W RR cancellation. The Lackawanna ran its mainline from New York City to Buffalo through building and acquisition.

Click on this map from the 1920s to to see the DLW lines of the time. In the the mid-1950s a hurricane wiped out the railroad's mainline in the Poconos. The consequent economic impact combined with long term decline in the railroad business led the the railroad to merge with its rival the Erie.

Cancel for July 6: Delware, Lackawana and Western Railroad

This stamp and logo featured in one of the first entries of this blog nearly 3 months ago.

Delaware, Lackawana and Western Railroad handstamp cancel from July 6, 1898, 5 days after the start of the tax period.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Battleship Revenues: 40 Cent Documentary

When the 1898 battleship stamps were first introduced they did not include the 40 and 80 cent values. These stamps were added to the series in October 1898, likely for use on life insurance policies.

Elliot Perry, aka Christopher West, reported in Mekeel's Weekly Stamp News nearly 90 years ago that most of the 40 and 80 cent stamps were issued prior to January 1900, roughly about the time that the Bureau of Engraving and Printing switched from rouletting to hyphen holes. This would explain the relative scarcity of hyphen hole stamps on this and the 80 cent value and the consequent higher prices for the hyphen hole versions of these stamps. In any case, Perry reported that the total quantity of 40 cent stamps issued was less than 3 million, either with rouletting or hyphen holes. This is in contrast to the issue of over a billion 1 cent stamps.

40 cent documentary roulette unused

40 cent documentary hyphen hole used.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Cancels for July 4: Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

The Michigan Central Railroad was busy working on July 4 1898.

The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway was working too on July 4, 1900

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Battleship Revenues: 25 Cent Documentary 1st Day of Use

ST&amp Company handstamp cancelled 25 cent documentary for July 1, 1898.

Battleship Revenues: 25 Cent Documentary

According the tax act of 1898 requiring this series of revenue stamps, specific uses for the 25 cent stamp included:

  • Certificates of damage and all certificates or documents issued by any port warden, marine surveyor, or other person acting as such.
  • Entry of any goods, wares, or merchandise at any custom house, either for consumption or warehousing, not exceeding $100 in value.
  • Leases, agreements, memoranda or contracts for the hire, use or rent of any land, or tenement for a period of time not exceeding one year.
  • Mortgages or collateral obligations exceeding $1000 but not $1500.
  • Powers of attorney.
  • Protests.
  • Warehouse receipts for property in public or private warehouses except for agricultural products deposited by farmers.

25 cent documentary roulette unused.

25 cent documentary hyphen hole unused

25 cent documentary hyphen hole block of 4.
Note on quantities issued:
The 25 cent documentary is a fairly common stamp in used condition. According to West/Perry, the total number issued was nearly 30 million, including roulette and hyphen hole versions of the stamp.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Battleship Revenues: 50 Cent Documentary

The 50 cent battleship documentary stamp debuted with the series at the beginning of the 1898 tax period. According to the tax act of 1898, specific activities taxed at the rate of 50 cents included:

  • Indemnity bonds
  • Deeds, instruments or writing whereby any lands, tenements, or other realty sold shall be granted, asssigned, transferred or otherwise conveyed to, or vested in the purchaser(s)...when the the value exceeds $100 but does not exceed $500 (and for each additional $500 or fraction thereof)
  • Entry of any goods, wares, or merchandise at any custom house, either for consumption or warehousing, exceeding $100 but not exceeding $500.
  • Entry for the withdrawal of goods or merchandise from customs bonded wareshouses.
  • Leases, agreements, memoranda or contracts for the hire, use, or rent of any land, tenement, or portion thereof for a period of time exceeding one year but not 3 years.

50 cent documentary roulette, unused with guideline at bottom.

50 cent documentary hyphen hole unused

50 cent documentary hyphen hole block of 4, used with cut cancels. Handstamped cancel by Walker Brothers of New York.
Notes on values:
  • To date in this blog I have not written much about the values of the stamps that I post. I will comment here though about the block of 4 above. For many revenue stamps the Scott catalogue has additional values for stamps that have been cut cancelled or mutilated in some sort of way, as with perforation cancels. Two values in the documentary battleship series are treated this way in the catalogue. These are the 40 and 80 cent values, which are scarcest stamps in the set, especially those with hyphen holes. The value of the block above is listed at $6.75 in the 2009 Scott Catalogue, though with the cut cancels this block is necessarily worth much less. A general rule is that any stamp with cut cancels is worth less than those without.

  • Unused single copies of the 50 cent documentary with very fine centering are valued at $30 for the roulette and $60 for the hyphen hole. Used stamps of this value are quite common and therefore cheap, with used roulettes valued at 25 cents and hyphen holes at 1 dollar in the 2009 Scott Catalogue.