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Left, Sc. 40L1, Greig’s City Despatch Post first stamp, issued Feb. 1, 1842; right, Sc. 6LB3, “the First U.S. Postage Stamp”, same design as Greig’s, but with “United States” added, different ornaments, and on a shade of rose paper, issued Sept. 1, 1842.

The First U.S. Postage Stamp

(From Mekeel’s Weekly, September 14, 1918, with images added)
by Elliott Perry

There is only one type of the United States City Despatch Post stamp. It is beautifully engraved on steel and closely copies the stamp of the City Despatch Post but the inscription in the oval band surrounding the portrait of Washington reads “United States City Despatch Post” and the ornament at either end of “Three Cents” is smaller and differently shaped.

Apparently it was printed on colored paper in order to distinguish it from Greig’s stamp, and whatever paper happened to be at hand was used, for the paper varies widely both in texture and in color. The wove paper preceded that on which the printed surface is glazed and both varieties occur in shades and hues of green and blue.

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