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US Revenue Stamps


Proprietary Stamps of 1898-1919

Proprietary US revenue stamps were issued for use on taxable proprietary (consumer) products, such as matches, playing cards, cosmetics, medicines, liquor, etc.

New proprietary stamps were issued in 1898, during the time of the Spanish American War.  Like the documentary revenue stamps issued that same year, the new proprietary stamps pictured the battleship USS Maine.

The USS Maine had been sent to Cuba to provide support for American citizens living there during Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain.  On the evening of February 15, 1898, the USS Maine blew up and sank in Havana Harbor.  On April 25, 1898, the United States declared war on Spain, and afterwards, the rallying cry of the war became "Remember the Maine"!


The twelve proprietary revenue stamps shown above were issued in 1898.  The designs of these new US revenue stamps were identical to those of the documentary stamps issued in 1898, with the exception of the inscriptions and denominations.

These stamps were produced with two methods of separationRouletted 5 1/2 and Hyphen Hole Perforated 7.  For details, please refer to the Scott Catalog.  Due to their method of manufacture, well centered examples of these stamps, with all the rouletting intact, are actually very difficult to find.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 1/8 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB20) - Yellow Green
  • 1/4 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB21) - Brown (shades), Bister.
  • 3/8 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB22) - Deep Orange
  • 5/8 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB23) - Deep Ultramarine
  • 1 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB24) - Dark Green
  • 1 1/4 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB25) - Violet
  • 1 7/8 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB26) - Dull Blue
  • 2 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB27) - Violet Brown
  • 2 1/2 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB28) - Lake
  • 3 3/4 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB29) - Olive Gray
  • 4 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB30) - Purple
  • 5 C.  (1898 - Sc. #RB31) - Brown Orange


New
proprietary US revenue stamps were issued in 1914.   The design of these stamps features a denomination numeral, and they are all inscribed "Series of 1914".  An example of one of them is shown above.

The catalog details for stamps that are perforated 10 and printed on Single Line USPS watermarked paper are as follows:

  • 1/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB32) - Black
  • 1/4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB33) - Black
  • 3/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB34) - Black
  • 5/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB35) - Black
  • 1 1/4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB36) - Black
  • 1 7/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB37) - Black
  • 2 1/2 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB38) - Black
  • 3 1/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB39) - Black
  • 3 3/4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB40) - Black
  • 4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB41) - Black
  • 4 3/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB42) - Black
  • 5 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB43) - Black

The catalog details for stamps that are perforated 10 and printed on Double Line USIR watermarked paper are as follows:

  • 1/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB44) - Black
  • 1/4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB45) - Black
  • 3/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB46) - Black
  • 1/2 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB47) - Black
  • 5/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB48) - Black
  • 1 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB49) - Black
  • 1 1/4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB50) - Black
  • 1 1/2 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB51) - Black
  • 1 7/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB52) - Black
  • 2 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB53) - Black
  • 2 1/2 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB54) - Black
  • 3 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB55) - Black
  • 3 1/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB56) - Black
  • 3 3/4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB57) - Black
  • 4 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB58) - Black
  • 4 3/8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB59) - Black
  • 5 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB60) - Black
  • 6 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB61) - Black
  • 8 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB62) - Black
  • 10 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB63) - Black
  • 20 C.  (1914 - Sc. #RB64) - Black


Another series of new proprietary US revenue stamps was issued in 1919.   These were all printed in dark blue, and the fractional denominations of previous proprietary stamp issues were discontinued.  An example of one of them is shown above.

The catalog details are as follows:

  • 1 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB65) - Dark Blue
  • 2 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB66) - Dark Blue
  • 3 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB67) - Dark Blue
  • 4 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB68) - Dark Blue
  • 5 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB69) - Dark Blue
  • 8 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB70) - Dark Blue
  • 10 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB71) - Dark Blue
  • 20 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB72) - Dark Blue
  • 40 C.  (1919 - Sc. #RB73) - Dark Blue

This was the final issue of proprietary US revenue stamps.





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