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US Stamps

General Issues of 1914-1922


Definitive US stamps of the Third Bureau Series went through some major changes in the period from 1914 through 1922.  Unfortunately for the stamp collector, this resulted in a large volume of postage stamp issues with many complex printing variations.

The easy way to break down the Third Bureau Series of 1908-1922 is to separate the major varieties into groups, and that is the way they will be presented in the "USA - Modern" section of this website.  The four groups, by perforation types, are as follows:

  • Group 1 - Stamps printed on double-lined USPS watermarked paper that are all perforated 12.
  • Group 2 - Stamps printed on single-lined USPS watermarked paper that are either perforated 12 or perforated 8-1/2 (on some coils).
  • Group 3 - Stamps printed on either single-lined USPS watermarked or on unwatermarked paper that are perforated 10, with the exception of some coils that are perforated 8-1/2.
  • Group 4 - Stamps printed on unwatermarked paper that are perforated 11 (with some exceptions).

This webpage will focus on the US stamps in Group 3 above.

Describing these US stamps individually, as done in previous pages in this section, would be repetitious and unnecessary.  For this page, and the other pages about the Third Bureau Series, the different stamp issues and varieties will either be described with text or by the aid of tables containing their technical attributes.

The separation gauge of the perforated US stamps was changed to  Perforation 10 (Perforation 8-1/2 for some coils) during 1914.  With the introduction of the perforated 10 US stamps, all the definitive US stamp issues, in all their different formats, had to be re-issued.  They are all shown on this page.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Panes of 100.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine), 3 Cent - Type - 1 (Deep Violet), 4 Cent (Brown, Orange Brown), 5 Cent (Blue), 6 Cent (Red Orange), 7 Cent (Black), 8 Cent (Olive Green), 9 Cent (Salmon Red), 10 Cent (Orange Yellow), 11 Cent (Dark Green), 12 Cent (Claret Brown), 15 Cent (Gray), 20 Cent (Ultramarine), 30 Cent (Orange Red), 50 Cent (Violet).
  • Designs: George Washington (1 Cent - 7 Cent), Benjamin Franklin (8 Cent - 50 Cent).
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  424-440.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Vertical Coils.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10 Horizontally.
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  441-442.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Horizontal Coils.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10 Vertically.
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine, Lake), 3 Cent - Type 1 (Violet), 4 Cent (Brown), 5 Cent (Blue).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  443-447.

In Late 1915, the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing started producing coil stamp sheets utilizing the new Rotary Press.  Rotary Press US stamps are printed from plates that are curved to fit around a cylinder usually fed by rolled paper.  This curvature produces US stamps that are slightly larger, either horizontally or vertically, than those produced by Flat Plate presses.

The designs of Flat Plate stamps measure about 18.5 - 19 x 22 mm.  When impressions are placed horizontally on the curved plates, the designs are about 19.5 - 20 mm wide.  When impressions are placed vertically on the curved plates, the designs are about 22.5 - 23 mm high.

Rotary Press Coil stamps were printed from plates of 170 subjects for horizontal coils, and from plates of 150 subjects for vertical coils.

A text description of the Flat Plate and Rotary Press Types of the 2 Cent and 3 Cent denomination US stamps of the Third Bureau Series follows.  For drawings of these types, refer to the Scott US Specialized Catalog, or any of the other Scott Catalogs with US listings.

  • 2 Cent - Type I : There is one line of shading in the first curve of the ribbon above the left "2" and one in the second curve of the ribbon above the right "2".  The button of the toga only has a faint outline. The top line of the toga rope, from the button to the front of the throat, is very faint.  The shading lines of the face terminate in front of the ear, with little or no joining, to form a lock of hair.
  • 2 Cent - Type Ia : Similar to Type I except that all the lines of the design are stronger.  The toga button and toga rope shading lines are heavy.   The latter characteristics are those of Type II.
  • 2 Cent - Type II : Shading lines in the ribbons are the same as Type I.  The toga button and rope shading lines are heavy. The shading lines of the face, at the lock of hair, end in a strong vertical curved line.
  • 2 Cent - Type III : There are two lines of shading in the curves of the ribbons.  Other characteristics are the same as those of Type II.

  • 3 Cent - Type I : The top line of the toga rope is week, and the shading lines are thin.  The line between the lips is thin.
  • 3 Cent - Type II : The top line of the toga rope is strong, and the shading lines are very heavy.  The line between the lips is heavy.


  • Press Type:  Rotary.
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Vertical Coils.  Designs: 18.5 - 19 x 22.5 mm.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10 Horizontally.
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Red), 2 Cent - Type 3 (Carmine).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  448-450.


  • Press Type:  Rotary.
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Horizontal Coils.  Designs: 18.5 - 20 x 22 mm.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10 Vertically.
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine Rose), 2 Cent - Type 2 (Red, Carmine), 2 Cent - Type 3 (Carmine), 3 Cent - Type 1 (Violet), 4 Cent (Brown), 5 Cent (Blue).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  452-458.


  • Press Type:  Rotary
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Horizontal Coils.
  • Separation Type:  Imperforate.
  • Denominations:  2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  459.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Double-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Panes of 100.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10
  • Denominations:  1 Dollar (Violet Black).
  • Designs: Benjamin Franklin.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  460.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Single-line USPS watermark.
  • Format Type:  Panes of 100.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 11
  • Denominations:  2 Cent - Type 1 (Pale Carmine Red).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  461.

In 1916, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing discontinued the use of watermarked paper.  All US stamps issued since then, with very few exceptions have been printed on unwatermarked paper.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Unwatermarked.
  • Format Type:  Panes of 100.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine), 3 Cent - Type 1 (Violet), 4 Cent (Orange Brown), 5 Cent (Blue), 6 Cent (Red Orange), 7 Cent (Black), 8 Cent (Olive Green), 9 Cent (Salmon Red), 10 Cent (Orange Yellow), 11 Cent (Dark Green), 12 Cent (Claret Brown), 15 Cent (Gray), 20 Cent (Light Ultramarine), 30 Cent (Orange Red), 50 Cent (Light Violet), 1 Dollar (Violet Black), 2 Dollar (Dark Blue), 5 Dollar (Light Green).
  • Designs: George Washington (1 Cent - 7 Cent), Benjamin Franklin (8 Cent - 1 Dollar), James Madison (2 Dollar), John Marshall (5 Dollar).
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  462-480.


  • Press Type:  Flat Plate
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Unwatermarked.
  • Format Type:  Panes of 100.
  • Separation Type:  Imperforate
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 1 (Carmine), 3 Cent - Type 1 (Violet), 3 Cent - Type 2 (Violet).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  481-484.


  • Press Type:  Rotary.
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Unwatermarked.
  • Format Type:  Vertical Coils.  Designs: 18.5 - 19 x 22.5 mm.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10 Horizontally.
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 2 (Carmine), 2 Cent - Type 3 (Carmine), 3 Cent - Type 1 (Violet).
  • Designs: George Washington.
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  486-489.


  • Press Type:  Rotary.
  • Printing Type:  Engraved
  • Paper Type:  White, Unwatermarked.
  • Format Type:  Horizontal Coils.  Designs: 19.5 - 20 x 22 mm.
  • Separation Type:  Perforated 10 Vertically.
  • Denominations:  1 Cent (Green), 2 Cent - Type 2 (Carmine), 2 Cent - Type 3 (Carmine), 3 Cent - Type 1 (Violet), 4 Cent (Orange Brown), 5 Cent (Blue), 10 Cent (Orange Yellow).
  • Designs: George Washington (1 Cent - 5 Cent), Benjamin Franklin (10 Cent).
  • Scott Catalog Numbers:  490-497.




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General Issues of 1914-1922






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