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US Revenue Stamps

Fermented Fruit Juice Stamps


Fermented fruit juice US revenue stamps appeared for only a brief period during 1933.  As a result, most of the stamps of the first issue, though fairly reasonably priced, are very hard to find.

During 1933, the ratification process for the repeal of the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution (Prohibition) was underway, however, the manufacture, sale, and consumption of fermented liquors, with the customary alcohol content levels, was still against federal law.  As a temporary measure, the US Congress reclassified intoxicating beverages by changing the federal definition from .5% alcohol to 3.2% alcohol.  This reclassification permitted the legal manufacture, sale, and consumption of 3.2% alcohol content beer and wine, beginning on April 7, 1933.

Supplies of wine stamps were still available for the payment of federal taxes, however, the Internal Revenue Service chose to issue new wine or fermented fruit juice stamps.  These new stamps first appeared in May 1933, and they were to be placed on individual bottles or containers of fermented fruit juice (otherwise known as "wine").

Fermented fruit juice US revenue stamps were introduced in May 1933.  An example is shown above.  These new stamps were watermarked, perforated 11, and they were inscribed WINE / OR / FERMENTED FRUIT JUICE / SERIES 1933.  The central numeral on each of the stamps indicates the number of OUNCES, with that being the size of container for which the particular stamp is valid.

The catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 04 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF1) - Gray.
  • 07 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF2) - Dark Blue.
  • 08 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF3) - Light Green.
  • 12 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF4) - Light Blue.
  • 13 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF5) - Olive Green.
  • 16 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF6) - Lavender.
  • 24 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF7) - Orange.
  • 29 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF8) - Brown.
  • 32 oz.  (1933 - Sc. #REF9) - Red.

The only recorded examples of the 07 oz. stamp are in the National Postal Museum.

Fermented liquor (Beer) US revenue stamps of 1916, overprinted WINE OR / FERMENTED FRUIT / JUICE (in red) were introduced sometime before the end of June 1933

The Scott catalog attributes are as follows:

  • 1/4 bbl.  (1933 - Sc. #REF10) - Green on Blue.

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing delivered 59,300 copies of the overprinted 1/4 bbl. denomination stamp to the Internal Revenue Service.  To this day, only one example has been recorded, and it is in a private collection.  The stamp was last seen at an exhibition in 2004. It is shown in the image above.

Similar quantities of overprinted 1/2 bbl. and 1 bbl. denomination stamps were also printed and delivered to the Internal Revenue Service, however, no examples of these two denominations have ever been found.

The use of fermented fruit juice US revenue stamps was discontinued at the end of 1933.

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Fermented Fruit Juice Stamps of 1933