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Telegraph stamps of the World

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British Telegraphs Canadian Telegraphs French Telegraphs German Telegraphs Spanish Telegraphs Portuguese Telegraphs Netherlands Telegraphs USA Telegraphs Telegraphs from the rest of Europe etc. Telegraphs from the rest of Europe etc. Contributions
British Canadian French German Spanish Portuguese Netherlands U.S.A. Eastern the rest Contributions

 


  These pages form a catalogue of existing stamps, continuing the work of Steve Hiscocks.  
It attempts to give an idea of values. It is not a pricelist of stamps for sale.
I have made some additions and given them 'RH' (Revised Hiscocks) numbers to
preserve the original Hiscocks numbers.
The RH number is the same as the Hiscocks number if not otherwise specified.

I have also brought the prices up to date and added currency selection.  
CheckList         Setup

I have since found that much of Steve Hiscocks' information, together with some of the images came
directly or indirectly from a handbook produced by the Society of Philatelic Americans published in 1947.
The authors were Joseph S. Rich and Stephen G. Rich and it was entitled 'United States Telegraph Issues'.
It also included Puerto Rico.

More recently there is a book by George Jay Kramer (1992) published by The Collectors Club, New York 10016.
This has added much new information, together with colour illustrations. Unfortunately it is no longer readilly available.
Library of Congress Catalog Card # TXu 510 676.   ISBN # 0-912574-44-5
Those familiar with this book might be interested in some of the updates to it on this page.


There is now a wide range of screen sizes available for computers. Most images on this site are 300dpi.
I wanted to show a reasonable degree of detail, but if the images are an unsuitable size for your screen, be aware that it is adjustable.
Generally, depending on your browser, <control>+ will magnify and <control>- will reduce the size.

The Wilson Born Collection of United States Telegraph Stamps
This was recently (June 23, 2015) Auctioned by Siegelauctions.com and contained some extreme rarities.
My email to them went unanswered, but their site contains a 'Rarities Sales Archive' with the words
"As America’s premier stamp auctioneer since 1930, we believe we have an obligation to make our archives available to
philatelists. As professionals, we understand how information helps bidders make informed judgments about quality, rarity and
value, and we see the benefits in higher realizations for our consignors."
I thus take it that they are happy for their images to be used for educational purposes, and I am happy to help with that.
Some of the items here are therefore attributed to this source. Their images unfortunately are often not to scale.

In most browsers now you can press Control-Plus to magnify your screen and Control-Minus to make it smaller.

 

For those interested in the actual hardware used for telegraphy, I recently came across this website with a lot of information, images and links on the subject.

 

All values quoted here, as in Steve Hiscocks' 1982 book, are by default in GB£.
That can be changed by selecting the currency at the top of the page.
Also British English is used.

 

United States of America

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
With the exception of the Telegraph Tax stamps of 1862 all USA telegraph stamps and franks have been those of private companies. These are listed
in alphabetical order below and, so far as possible, a little background information has been included in each case. While most earlier catalogues and
listings have confined themselves to those companies whose stamps are known to have been issued, the following list also includes other companies
whose stamps have been reported but are of doubtful status. Where the status is unclear this has been noted in the introduction. In these borderline
cases the stamps have not been available for illustration and it has been necessary to draw on earlier illustrations with a corresponding loss of quality.
American users will note that prices tend to be rather higher than those with which they are familiar. This reflects both the scarcity of these stamps
outside the USA and my opinion that US prices do not reflect their true scarcity within the USA.


My note:
I have been able to replace many of the original black and white images with better colour images, often with the generous help of others.
There are still many images required though. Additionally many companies and stamps have been added that Steve Hiscocks was unaware of.
It illustrates that there is probably still unknown items to be discovered by the vigilant, knowledgeable collector.
For my part, I welcome all comments and criticisms, as well as new images for which acknowledgement will be given.
In an effort to make this more accessible, currency is selectable at the top.

An interesting article that ties a number of these companies togeter with with the antics of Jay Gould, an infamous railroad executive, financier, and speculator, can be found here

There is a later, 1992 book entitled "United States Telegraph Stamps and Franks" by George Kramer that adds further information.
Some of it conflicts with the information provided by Steve Hiscocks.

A high resolution map of North America showing the telegraph lines existing in 1853 can be seen at Telegraph-History.org.
They also have a map for 1848.

 

Directory:

1. American District Telegraph Company
2. American Rapid Telegraph Company
3. American Telegraph Typewriter Company
4. Atlantic Telegraph Company
5. Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Companies
6. California State Telegraph Company
--- Canadian Pacific Railway's Telegraphs
--- City and Suburban Telegraph Company
7. Colusa, Lake and Mendocino Telegraph Company
8. Commercial Union Telegraph Company
9. Connecticut River Telegraph Company
10. Continental Telegraph Company
--- Great North Western Telegraph Company of Canada
11. Los Angeles & San Gabriel Valley Railroad
12. Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company
13. Mercantile Telegraph Company
14. Mutual Union Telegraph Company
15. New York City and Suburban Printing Telegraph Company
16. North American Telegraph Company
17. Northern Mutual Telegraph Company
18. Northern New York Telegraph Company
19. Pacific Mutual Telegraph Company
20. Pacific Postal Telegraph-Cable Company
21. The Postal Telegraph-Cable Company
22. The Telepost Company
23. Tropical Radio Telegraph Company
24. United Fruit Company Wireless Service
25. United States Telegraph-Cable-Radio Carriers
26. United Wireless Telegraph Company
27. Western Union Telegraph Company
Stationery of other companies.
Telegraph Tax Stamps
Telephone Stamps

There is a helpful newsletter at lcpshome.org as a PDF download that provides useful information, including some of the Scott catalogue (Specialised) designations for these.
Interestingly, the Scott Catalogue apparently only listed (in 2007) 17 Private Telegraph Companies in the USA.

If you are interested in the stationery of companies that are not known to have issued telegraph stamps, see Other Companies.

 

Private Companies

 

1. American District Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company operated a service in New York in the 1880's to 1900's period whereby messages were
received by telephone at company offices and conveyed to recipients by messenger.
The status of the stamps bearing the company's name is not clear.
A few mint copies came to the attention of philatelists in the 1930's but there appears to be no earlier
record of their use or even existence. The design of the 'frank' is typical of that of the 1880 period while
the 'special delivery' design seems rather later in style. Further information would be most welcome.

My note:
According to ADT.com "It all started on April 5, 1874, with a nighttime break-in. American District Telegraph (ADT) Founder Edward Callahan created a telegraph-based "call-box" to
signal for assistance to a central office. He quickly connected 50 other homes in the neighborhood, creating the first residential security system network.
---  ADT grew strongly and steadily under the guidance of its high-profile early leadership. Thomas T. Eckert, who led the Telegraph Office during the Civil War and was close to President Lincoln,
who was one of our early presidents. He was followed soon after by Robert C. Clowry, a colonel in the U.S. military who worked his way up from messenger
boy to eventually serve as president of both Western Union and ADT, which he led for eight years." - ADT is still heavily involved in home security.

Thomas T. Eckert was President of Western Union from 1894 until he died in 1902, at which point Robert C. Clowry replaced him until 1910.

Edward Callahan is credited with the invention of the Stock Ticker in 1867. The break-in referred to was at the home of Elisha Andrews, Callahan’s boss.

According to ADT.com/history, the company was first founded in 1874 and started in Baltimore, MD.

According to Rich & Rich (1947): "Before the general use of the telephone, it had a system of call boxes in offices and homes.
By operating the box, the subscriber sent a call to the nearest A.D.T. office and a messenger was sent to the calling station
to pick up a telegram or do other messenger service." This appears to have been extended later to include parcel delivery.

According to scripophily.net:
1874 In 1874, 57 diverse "district" telegraph delivery companies were joined to create the new American District Telegraph Company ...
By 1899, electric signal services were still only available in 50 towns, though messenger services were widespread throughout more than 500 localities.
In 1901, ADT was incorporated as a subsidiary of Western Union. Still, since each of ADT's 57 district companies had developed independently,
the many offices of the security company operated at a variety of levels, with different systems, equipment, and operating practices.

According to Abus.com - "In 1871, Calahan helped form the American District Telegraph (ADT) company.
The company was highly successful and held offices in Brooklyn, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Chicago from 1875."

The evidence, including stationery shown below indicates that the company operated in Baltimore, MD., NY City, Buffalo and San Francisco at least.
I would be interested in seeing evidence of other localities.

Shortcuts to American District sections
Franks Special Delivery Stamp Essays Messenger Service Parcel Delivery Stationery

Franks.


(late 1870’s or early 1880’s ?) Soft white wove paper. No watermark reported. Perf 12.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1001
Signed by the President Harry Fisher ?
Image from the Wilson Born Collection Lot 1001.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH1 H1 No value, pale lilac rose, control in blue 350.00 -

Look here for an explanation of the tables.

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. I have only found reference to one copy of this stamp.

My note:
Hiscocks illustration of this stamp (taken from Rich & Rich) has control number A51, the highest control recorded by Kramer.
The Rich & Rich illustration is also from the bottom-right corner, and it also shows the flaw below 'OM' of 'COMPLIMENTARY'.

 

Special Delivery.

(Date ?) Thick soft white paper. No watermark reported. Roul. or perf.12 (actually about 11¾). Control in red.

As in Hiscocks Book page 288 RH2a
RH3a
RH2 courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. RH2a and RH3a courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1715 is the highest control for RH2 listed by Kramer, who gives 5862 for RH2a and 4529 for RH3 with nothing for RH4 or a 10c blue on pink that he lists..

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH2 H2 5c blue, control in red on left side, rouletted 8 500.00 -
RH2a -         dull blue, red central control. perf. 12 - -
RH3 - 10c black on pink, control in red on left side, rouletted 7 - -
RH3a -         black on pink, no control. perf. 12 - -
RH4 - 12c black on green, details as RH3a - -

The Wilson Born Collection lot 1002 listed these three denominations, but without an image.
the colours and further details of the 10c and 12c are given by Kramer, though they do not precisely match these. Perhaps there are other variations.
The position of the control appears to have been initially on the left with rouletting, and later centrally or none with perforations.
Kramer also lists a 10c described as Blue on pink, no control numbers, with the height reduced by 0.5mm, perforated.
This one definitely looks black on pink and as for the height, it rather depends on where you measure.
I gather this was in preparation for booklet use, but 0.5mm is not a lot and it would be far easier to reduce the
distance between them. In fact you would have to do that anyway to make any difference.
One of them, and an example of RH4 were in the Michael E. Aldrich Auction of 22 April 1984, lots 953 and 954.

 

Stamp Essays.

There is also these that Hiscocks did not list. Presumably essays:

American District

American District
  courtesy of Eric Jackson click on bottom image for listing.

These have a reference of 'Springer' - apparently the name of a catalogue.
I have created the list below:

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH5 - 5c black / pink 100.00 -
RH6 - 10c blue / grey 100.00 -
RH7 - 10c red / grey 100.00 -
RH7a -         tete-beche vertical pair 250.00 -

 

Messenger Service.

Stock Exchange Messenger Service, 5c black coupon with heart shape punch cancel.
Apparently printed by the Franklin Bank Note Company of N.Y.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1002

Image from the Wilson Born Collection. - Control 12422 is the highest recorded by Kramer.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH8 - 5c, black on white, control in red 500.00 -

 

 

Parcel Delivery.

Parcel Delivery Service. - rouletted.
This paid for an additional service that was not telegraphic. It is included for the sake of interest. It is for the collector to decide what to collect.

USA-1-PD1 PD1
AMERICAN DISTRICT TELEGRAPH Co   -   PD1
Embarassingly, I do not know who to credit for this image. If you know of it, please contact me.
AMERICAN DISTRICT TELEGRAPH Co  -   PD1
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Though the stamp on the right is from the bottom of the strip, it shares some flaws in common, the 'semicolon' below the 'H' and frame-breaks in bottom-right corner.
Kramer gave the highest control number for these as 33201, so 36490 is now the highest recorded.


PD2 PD2 control B
AMERICAN DISTRICT   -   PD2 - No control letter
This has probably been trimmed. Like the image above, I do not know the source of this image.
AMERICAN DISTRICT   -   PD2 - Letter 'B'
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Kramer does not appear to list these. They probably date from the sale of the Telegraph side of their business.

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
PD1 - Light blue inscribed 'AMERICAN DISTRICT TELEGRAPH Co' - -
PD2 - Dark blue inscribed 'AMERICAN DISTRICT' (No control letter) - -
PD2a -         control letter added in blue (B) - -

 

 

Stationery.

eBay Lot 264758919932   eBay Lot 264758919932 - back
Form 27. - "American District Telegraph Department of the Bell Telephone Company.", listing offices in Buffalo N.Y.
This was sent on 2 November 1881.   Image courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

Foim 51, week 20, 1889 type:
Sale 33 Lot 1353
Form 51. 20-89-25,000. Showing an early "Roundsmen" and listing offices in San Francisco.
Image courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions (click on image for listing).
A similar 1892, or perhaps 1902 printing:
eBay Lot 401149552125
... 2-50,000. Showing another "Roundsmen" and now with a few more offices and a Main Office.
Image courtesy of Newall on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

2. American Rapid Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This company was set up in 1879 and had lines from New York to Boston and to Cleveland.
It was amalgamated with the Banker's and Merchants' Telegraph Co. in *1890 or 1891 and was
then, as a result of financial difficulties, taken over by Western Union in 1894.
The procedure involved collecting boxes (emptied every 15 minutes!) in New York and stamps were issued to the public for prepayment.
Alternatively messages could be sent 'collect' and appropriate stamps were produced vertically se-tenant with 'duplicate' stamps of the same value.
Presumably the procedure was that 'collect' stamps were attached to the message while the 'duplicates' were attached to the office record and cancelled
when the message had been duly paid for. The stamps were line engraved by the American Bank Note Co. in sheets of 100 — 100 'telegram' stamps for
prepayment or 50 each of the 'collect' and 'duplicates' in alternating rows. It is not clear whether the 'collect' stamps were cancelled in use: the 'telegram'
and 'duplicates' certainly were although they are not common cancelled. Cancellation was by hand-stamp with various letters, words and symbols and was
usually in purple although black, brown, magenta and red are known.

With the failure of the company all stocks of stamps were sold to a New York dealer after being cancelled with a small hole punched somewhere near the centre.
Mint stamps so cancelled are by far the most common.



My Notes.
The 1879 Prospectus of the Company gives a lot of information,
which includes making it clear that their priority was to link New York City with Boston and Washington DC.
They also mention many other cities that were planned, but evidence in the form of used telegrams or cancels on stamps is very scarce.
For the interested reader there is a document that details the long series of court cases resulting from the actions of the
American Rapid Telegraph Company and the intertwined Bankers' and Merchants' Telegraph Company (about 1300 pages).
Among other things it gives details of the routes and cities served. It also makes it clear that the two companies *effectively merged about September 1883.
See examples of some of their cancel below.

I show an example of one below, so yes, they were sometimes, but not always. The same applies to the 'duplicate' labels.

Known Main Offices at:
173 Broadway, Corner Cortlandt, New York City.
46 Devonshire Street, Corner State Street, Boston, Mass.
1427 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.

 

1881 'Telegram' stamps. White wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12.

American Rapid - Telegram
Hiscocks H1 to H8 used   courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

Shades: Though the listing below was created with knowledge of the work of Rich & Rich, it was done from a British perspective.
Using a website rather than a book allows the freedom to expand a little, particularly in adding a little from the American perspective.
The same colours can be named very differently in different countries and by different catalogues. Unadulterated images can be very helpful.
If the punched examples are all remainders then they are likely to be from the last printings.
If different shades are due to different printings, then some shades may exist mint but not punched.

USA 1c shades USA 1c black adjusted
1c shades scanned together - courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 1c black adjusted for colour balance
My comments: toned paper can have a big affect on perceived shade. It would be interesting to see mint examples, even punched.

USA 5c shades USA 10c shades
5c shades scanned together - courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 10c shades scanned together - courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
My comments: These look significantly different, the left is described as 'Bistre Brown'
and the right simply as 'Brown'. It is possible that the note for H2 may also affect these.
Stamps with clear stamped cancels are scarce and worth a significant premium.
My comments: These also look significantly different, the left is described as 'Violet'
and the right as 'Purple'. I would have named them oppositely.

 

It seems reasonable to have a premium on clearly legible cancels on these. Accordingly the 'Used A' column is for pen-cancelled or blurry nondescript cancels,
while 'Used B' is for a clear cancel. The 'interest-value' may also modify the monetary value. Quite a few of these are unused but without gum. About a third of the mint price is suggested.

Hisc. Description Mint Punched Used A Used B
H1 1c black 30.00 0.40 7.00 20.00
H1a         dark grey 40.00 0.50 9.00 25.00
H2 3c dull orange (see Note. 2 below) 60.00 1.50 32.00 80.00
H3 5c deep brown (shades) 7.00 0.25 2.70 8.00
H4 10c violet (shades) 22.80 0.25 6.80 22.00
H5 15c deep blue-green 10.00 0.30 3.70 15.00
H6 20c orange-red 10.00 0.30 3.70 15.00
H7 25c brown-lilac (shades) 18.00 0.30 3.70 15.00
H8 50c steel blue (shades) 33.00 1.50 12.00 35.00

 

1881 'Collect' stamps. As above.
Since there was no reason to sell these to the public, unused examples would be either used on telegrams, but uncancelled; sold 'by favour' or remainders which were normally punched.

USA ARTC Collect 1c USA ARTC Collect 5c USA ARTC Collect 15c USA ARTC Collect 20c
1c Hiscocks H9 punched (disguised) 5c Hiscocks H10 punched 15c Hiscocks H11 mint 20c Hiscocks H12 used

For these vertically se-tenant with duplicate labels, see H13a, H14a, H15a and H16a below.

It seems reasonable to have a premium on clearly legible cancels on these. Accordingly the 'Used A' column is for pen-cancelled or blurry nondescript cancels,
while 'Used B' is for a clear cancel. The 'interest-value' may also modify the monetary value. Quite a few of these are unused but without gum. About a third of the mint price is suggested.

Hisc. Collect Description Mint Punched Used A Used B
H9 1c deep brown 10.40 0.30 8.50 34.00
H10 5c steel blue 8.50 0.30 6.30 25.00
H11 15c lake-brown 8.80 0.30 5.20 20.00
H12 20c olive green 8.50 0.30 6.30 25.00

 

1881 'Duplicate' labels. As above.
Again, these would not normally have been available to the public, especially used examples.

USA ARTC Duplicate 1c USA ARTC Duplicate 5c USA ARTC Duplicate 15c USA ARTC Duplicate 20c
1c Hiscocks H13 punched 5c Hiscocks H14 used 15c Hiscocks H15 punched 20c Hiscocks H16 punched

 

Hisc. Duplicate Description Mint Punched Used A Used B
H13 1c deep brown 21.00 0.30 6.60 13.00
H13a         vertically se-tenant with No.9 90.00 2.00 - -
H14 5c steel blue 18.00 0.30 7.09 16.00
H14a         vertically se-tenant with No.10 90.00 3.00 - -
H15 15c lake-brown 30.00 0.27 7.00 15.00
H15a         vertically se-tenant with No.11 80.00 2.50 - -
H16 20c olive green 30.00 0.30 7.00 15.00
H16a         vertically se-tenant with No.12 100.00 2.75 - -

 

On the right is a pair of H15a showing an imprint at the bottom.
This also demonstrates that associated pairs would normally
have the duplicate at the top. That is not always how they are found.

Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

The supposed method of use makes it unlikely that se-tenant pairs, H13a, H14a, H15a and H16a
would normally be available to the public, prior to them being punched and remaindered.

These were previously listed at about twice the punched price, but although it has become
clear that at least the first three values exist thus, the scarcity is very uncertain.
I would like to hear from anyone that has knowledge of this,
particularly if they can provide any images.

 

Hiscocks added the following 3 notes:

Note 1. The three columns of prices above are, from left to right, mint,
                punched mint (i.e. remainder), and used.
Note 2. No. 2, the 3c dull orange, is susceptable to attack by atmospheric
                sulphur and its shade can vary almost to black.
Note 3. I have indicated "shades" where the variation is particularly marked
                but all the above stamps are variable to some extent.
pair of USA ARTC se-tenant pair - 15c

USA ARTC se-tenant pair - 1c USA ARTC se-tenant pair - 5c USA ARTC se-tenant pair - 15c USA ARTC se-tenant pair - 20c
1c Hiscocks H13a 5c Hiscocks H14a 15c Hiscocks H15a 20c Hiscocks H16a punched
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

The un-punched pairs are very scarce.

 

Punched Quarter sheets of H13a and H2 showing the imprints at the center at top, bottom and sides, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA ARTC H13 - Quarter sheet USA ARTC H2 Quarter sheet
These are at half my normal scale.

 

Cancels

Though many are uncancelled or simply pen cancelled, a few have more interesting cancels.
Kramer listed many types that he had seen, and illustrated examples of some of them. I would like to include his examples, but have no way to contact the copyright holders.
I will show some examples together with my interpretations of them. It should be noted that the cancels are generally of a size to cancel 2 stamps. Also they are often unclear and/or faint.
For those interested, image manipulation software often inclusdes channel splitting software that can help in seeing these cancels.
There is also a more sophisticated online version at RetroReveal.org and a bit of background information at Tools for Philatelists.
I would certainly be interested in illustrating new examples.

 

All dimensions are to outside edges, but since they were rubber hand stamps and often the strikes were not head-on, they are often distorted.

 

OFFICES

Broadway cancel Broadway rendering USA Broadway reconstruction USA SL2 reconstruction
Main Office, 173 Broadway in 42 x 22 mm. Rectangle, together with a possible reconstruction. This was known as the Benedict Building.
Kramer unlisted, image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Main Office, 173 Broadway Corner of Corlandt in 42 x 22 mm. Rectangle. This is described
by Rich & Rich on a pair of 20c stamps (H6). The pair is illustrated by Kramer and
designated as SL2. Note that the spelling is normally "CORTLANDT"

 

Main Office cancel Main Office rendering USA Kramer SL4 USA Kramer SL4 rendering
Main Office 1427 Pennsylvania Avenue in Rectangle, presumably Washington DC. (Kramer SL7), image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. OFFICE 227  (Kramer SL4). The mark at the bottom is part of something else.
Probably Chestnut Street, (Boston or Philadelphia ?)  Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

46 Devonshire St. cancel 73 Gold Street cancel
Unboxed Main Office, 46 Devonshire St. Corner State St. This is taken from the top-right corner of a telegram to Boston shown below.
Though this was not on a stamp, Collect Stamps were often placed in that location and became cancelled by the Office stamp.
Branch Office 73 Gold Street. This is taken from the top of a telegram illustrated by Kramer,
who describes it as 5mm letters in a 52 x 22mm rectangle (SL1). It was on 3 Collect Stamps
as well as the top-right corner. Gold Street is in the Financial District of NY City.

 

54th St. cancel 54th St. rendering USA 54th St. reconstruction
Branch Office East 54th Street in 52 x 24 mm. Rectangle. This was at No. 154. It was a 'test office' all their wires from New York City to the outside world went through it.
Kramer unlisted. Image and suggested reconstruction courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

655 Broadway. cancel 655 Broadway. rendering 655 Broadway. reconstructiong
Branch Office 655 Broadway opposite Bond Street in perhaps a 52 x 22 mm. Rectangle
This would seem to be Kramer SL3, but he must have seen much less of it. Image and suggested reconstruction courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

USA Westminster original USA Westminster Retroreveal USA Westminster Retroreveal
Original image, courtesy of Everett Ramsey. One of the many RetroReveal images. Final guesstimated image.
These images are derived from the top-right of a form shown below.
There is an element of uncertainty of my final image. Some parts of the original are very feint, and part is obscured. In particular, the 182 is very uncertain, the '2' in particular.
This is the Westminster street in Providence, Rhode Island. It was addressed to Providence Tool Co. Hand-stamps like this can be found on the form, on the stamps, or both.

 

 

Just LETTERS and/or NUMBERS

USA LY cancel 2 USA LY cancel USA A cancel on H5 USA A cancel on H15 USA A cancel on H16
USA LY rendering 2 USA LY rendering USA A rendering 1 USA A rendering 2 USA A rendering 3
L.Y. in 30mm x 22mm Oval on H1,
(Kramer LN2) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
L.Y. in 30mm x 22mm Oval on H3,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Large, clogged A in 33mm x 23mm Oval on H5,
(Kramer LN5 ?) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
A in 33mm x 23mm Oval on H15,
(Kramer LN5) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
A in 33mm x 23mm Oval on H16,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA SU in rectangle cancel USA SU in circle cancel USA SG cancel USA C cancel USA N cancel
USA SU in rectangle rendering USA SU in circle rendering USA B rendering USA N rendering
SU in 33mm x 31mm Rectangle,
(Kramer LN6) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
6mm SU in 24mm circle,
(Kramer LN9) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
S.C or perhaps S.G in oval,
(Kramer unlisted) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
'C N' in a Rectangle. Though obtained separately, these appear to belong together. An additional
example on a 5c Collect shows the top 'N' serif. (Kramer unlisted) courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B cancel USA B rendering USA Bostn cancel
B (Boston) in 33mm x 31mm Rectangle, (Kramer LN6) courtesy of Everett Ramsey. This is taken from the bottom of the telegram to Boston shown below courtesy of Siegelauctions.com. The corners are notably ornate.
Rich & Rich describe a cancel on a 5c duplicate having "a large bold X in a rectangle with fancy corners and double border."
This would seem to be similar. There may well be other letters in similar boxes, but the corners cannot often be seen clearly.

USA Bradford ? cancel USA Radfor Rendition
BRADFORD, could be Radford?, but most likely Bradford Street in Albany, New York
(Near the business area and city hall). Courtesy of Everett Ramsey (Kramer unlisted).

 

Further images that may help in cataloguing these markings, would be much appreciated.

 

Others:

A cancel similar to Kramer LN3 together with enhancement. LN3 is described as
"magenta oval 42 x 22 mm. 11.5 mm. numbers 23, 57" - those sizes do not appear to match this.

LN3 cancel ? LN3 cancel enhanced ?

A standard pen-cancel, Kramer OT1.


X pen-cancel

3 parallel lines and a variant, pen-cancel, Kramer OT2.


3 lines pen-cancel 3 lines, variation pen-cancel
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

An interesting cancel, described by Kramer (OT5) as "grill, embossed" "ANSWER BY MESSENGER"
embossed grill cancel Answer By Messenger cachet Answer By Messenger rendering
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA Cluster/Blobs cancel - a USA Cluster/Blobs cancel - b USA Cluster/Blobs cancel - c
Double partial strikes of a cancel that resembles Kramer's 'Violet cluster' cancel (OT4), four associated 'blobs' on a Duplicate.
These though are enclosed within circles, his were not. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey (Kramer unlisted).

 

A 'Collect' telegram, Form 3, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.


Form 3

It is from Klinefelter Bros. to Providence Tool Co. of 76 Baltimore. Everett Ramsey tells me that there is such an address in Providence, R.I. on the rail line from NY City to Boston.

On the right it says "Please pay no charges on this Message, unless the amount is denoted hereon by the Company's Stamp."
On the left it says "Read the Notice at the Top". Luckily not all examples had the stamps over that notice.

The Boston example below is easier to see :

Form 3

This image is courtesy of Siegelauctions.com. At the top it has :

"EXPRESS MESSAGE.
The Company TRANSMITS and DELIVERS messages only on conditions, limiting its liability which have been assented to by the sender of the following message.
Errors can be guarded against only by repeating a message back to the sending station for comparison, and the Company will not hold itself liable for errors or
delays in transmission or delivery of Unrepeated Messages.
This message is an UNREPEATED MESSAGE and delivered by request of the sender, under the conditions named above.
GERRITT SMITH, Engineer-in-Chief.    I. A. SHERMAN, Gen'l Sup't.   J. W. CONVERSE, President."
On this though, the President is named as EDWIN REED. Unfortunately the Boston example does not have the year on it, however
This New York Times report of 1883 listed J. W. Converse (James) as President of American Rapid. I also do not know the owner of the Company,
but Edwin Reed (of Bath, Maine) was a wealthy shipping merchant who appears to have been President of the Company from the beginning.
J. W. Converse was replaced by Anthony W. Dimock as President sometime before April 1884, after Bankers'& Merchants' took control in September 1883.

The stamps on the top form are uncancelled, but there is a feint hand-stamp to the right.
This has a large letter 'B' in a box with ornate corners. This presumably is a cancel applied by the Main Office of 46 Devonshire Street, corner State Street as marked at the top.
It matches fairly well the illustration above, also on a 20c Collect stamp and could be Kramer type LN6.

 

The above two forms are both marked "No. 16—Form 3." Kramer illustrates two similar forms, one "No.17 —Form 3." used 18 December 1883
with the words "EXPRESS MESSAGE" replaced with "General Offices, 187 BROADWAY. NEW YORK."
There are no stamps or hand-stamps and it is shown together with a matching Envelope indicating Charges of 27.
The telegram has written on it "12 Coll 27". Bothe telegram and envelope instruct the recipient not to pay unless "the amount is denoted thereon by the Company's Stamp"
The other form was used 5 October 1883, no form number is visible, but may be covered by a stamp. It shows the same address of 187 Broadway N.Y. and 3 stamps cover the
top-left side, so not all can be read, though there are differences. It is cancelled with "BRANCH OFFICE" / "73 GOLD STREET" in a 52 x 22 mm rectangle that Kramer designated SL1.
It was sent from Bridgeport Ct. but there is nothing to indicate where Gold Street was, but is probably the one not far from City Hall in N.Y. City.

The only other form that I have seen is a "No. 17—Form 1." which was used to create a Spoof Telegram of 1 April 1883, though the form itself appears to be genuine.
It has terms and conditions at the top that say :

               "MESSAGES TAKEN BY THIS COMPANY SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING TERMS.
   To guard against mistakes or delays, the sender of a message should order it REPEATED; that is, telegraphed
back to the originating office for comparison. For this, one half the regular rate is charged in addition. It
is agreed between the sender of the following message and this Company, that said Company shall not be
liable for mistakes or delays in the transmission or delivery, or for non-delivery of any UNREPEATED
message, whether happening by negligence of its servants or otherwise, beyond the amount received for
sending the same nor for mistakes or delays in the transmission or delivery, or for non-delivery, of any
REPEATED message beyond fifty times the sum received for sending the same, unless specially insured: nor in
any case for delays arising from unavoidable interruption in the working of its lines, or for errors in cipher
or obscure messages
   And this Company is hereby made the agent of the sender, without liability, to forward any message over
the lines of any other Company when necessary to reach its destination.
   Correctness in the transmission of messages to any point on the lines of this Company can be INSURED by con-
tract in writing, stating agreed amount of risk, and payment of premium thereon at the following rates in ad-
dition to the usual charge for repeated messages, viz.: One per cent. for any distance not exceeding 1,000 miles,
and two per cent. for any greater distance. No employee of the Company is authorized to vary the foregoing.
   No responsibility regarding messages attaches to this Company until the same are presented and accepted at
one of its transmitting office : and if a message is sent to such office by one of the Company's messengers, he
acts for that purpose as the agent of the sender.
   Messages will be delivered free within the established free delivery limits of the terminal office—
for delivery at a greater distance, a special charge will be made to cover the cost of such delivery.
   The Company will not be liable for damages in any case where the claim is not presented in writing, within
sixty days after sending the message. "

Perhaps surprisingly it doesn't say anything about the basic pricing of the companies telegrams.
The prospectus of the company though does at least say what they were planning, in the form of

"six distinguishing features in Telegraphing, to wit:
1.—Express Messages.—An uniform rate of Tariff, of 25 cents, for 30 words, or less, including date, address
and signature, to all stations East of the Rocky Mountains, with one cent additional for each word over thirty.
Instant Transmission over the Wires, and prompt delivery, by Special Messengers.
2.—Mail Messages.—50 words, or less, to all stations East of the Rocky Mountains, for 25 cents, with one cent
additional for five words or less, added, to be Telegraphed, at the convenience of the Company, within one hour,
and delivery guaranteed through the Post Office, or by messenger, within two hours from the date of the message,
between 8 o'clock, A. M., and 6 o'clock, P. M.
3.—Night Messages.—50 words, or less, to stations East of the Rocky Mountains, for 15 cents, with one cent
additional for five words or less, added, to be telegraphed, at the convenience of the Company,
between 6 o'clock, P. M., and 8 o'clock, A. M. and deliverable through the nearest Post Office, post-paid, by or
before 9 o'clock, A. M.
4.—Press Reports—For exclusive publication, in one journal, in any circuit of 500 miles, or less, or in any
practicable Telegraph circuit over 500 miles, East of the Rocky Mountains, 100 words, or less, for 10 cents, and
the same tariff for any desired number of words. No one Reporter to hold a wire, to the exclusion of other
Reporters, over 20 minutes or, say, 20,000 words, at any one time.
5.—Stamped Messages.—It is proposed to use stamps for "Express," "Mail," "Night," and "Press" messages, under
an arrangement with the Post Office Department, and the Public may purchase and use the same, with the same
convenience as Postage Stamps are now used for mail correspondence.
6.—Street Letter Boxes will be made available, under an arrangement with the Post Office Department, for collecting
Stamped Telegrams, every 15 minutes, from 8, A. M. to 6, P. M."

 

3. American Telegraph Typewriter Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company was set up, probably in the early 1900's, to exploit a system whereby a message typed on one machine was reproduced in 'real time' by
another connected to it by cable. The system was subsequently acuired by Western Union. Stamps were produced in sheets of four with straight outer
edges. All known copies lack control numbers and there is no evidence that they were ever issued or used.

1910 Lithographed on white paper. No watermark reported. Perf 14 between stamps (actually about 14.1).

H1 ATT Co.
H1
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 No value, pale orange 200.00 -


A booklet pane on the right,
Courtesy of Siegelauctions.com.

 

 

4. Atlantic Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company ran a service from 1884 between Portland, Maine and Boston where it connected with the Baltimore and Ohio system (q.v.).
It was eventually taken over by the Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Co. Stamps were issued after the B&O take over which is why their design is based,
as are those of the B&O, on the Maltese Cross. Since the B&O was itself absorbed by Western Union in 1887 the Atlantic Telegraph Co. stamps were
probably issued in 1887 and they are perforated 12½ as were the B&O stamps of that year. They were in booklet panes of six with straight outer edges.
Control numbers were printed in dull violet usually at the base of the stamps although they are known at the top of  'top row' stamps. Unnumbered stamps
are remainders which were sold to a Boston dealer after the Western Union take over and released some 45 years later. Cancelled *used copies are not
known and the stamps were either destroyed after use or not cancelled in use.



* I show an example below, of a 5c stamped 'TREASURER.' (control 1014) Status uncertain.
Rich & Rich report this on 10c and 25c examples without gum. Kramer illustrates a 5c (control 1003) and a 10c (control 1014).



1887 Lithographed on white wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12½ between stamps. Controls in black, violet or purple at top or bottom, remainders without.
The face values appear to have been added individually by hand and are often at a slight angle.
Rich & Rich consider that these were probably printed by Forbes Co., of Boston because of the 'character of the work' and in particular the perforations.
(They say under B & O that the size of the holes varied from printer to printer).

USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 1c USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 5c USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 10c USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 25c
1c with violet control, Hiscocks H1 mint.
Highest control known (Kramer) 1098.
5c with purple control, Hiscocks H2 mint.
Highest control known (Kramer) 1096.
10c with purple control, Hiscocks H3 mint.
Highest control known (Kramer) 1099.
25c with purple control, Hiscocks H4 mint.
Highest control known (Kramer) 1097.
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA Atlantic Tel.Co. with control USA Atlantic Tel.Co. with control
5c with violet control, Hiscocks H2 mint 5c with black control, Hiscocks H2 used ?
Courtesy of Eric Jackson Courtesy of Eric Jackson (click image for listings.)

USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 1c USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 5c USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 10c USA Atlantic Tel.Co. 25c
1c Hiscocks H1 remainder 5c Hiscocks H2 remainder 10c Hiscocks H3 remainder 25c Hiscocks H4 remainder
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Images courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay, click on image for listing).

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used Rem.
H1 1c bluish green 18.00 - 3.00
H2 5c dull blue 12.00 - 3.25
H2a         imperf. between horizontal pair 48.00 - -
H2b         imperf. between vertical pair 48.00 - -
H3 10c purple-brown 12.00 - 3.25
H3a         imperf. between horizontal pair 48.00 - -
H4 25c rose-red 18.00 - 4.00

The remainders have no control number.

Sale 28 Lot 1610
Booklet,   courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).
Consisting of 4 x 1¢,   6 x 5¢,   5 x 10¢  &  4 x 25¢ panes of 6. Eric Jackson is offering one for $275.00
According to Rich & Rich, $10 bought "a book with 24 1c, 36 5c, 30 10c and 24 25c stamps, a total face value of $11.04".
Kramer listed known booklet covers as A164, A1302 and A1627.

Sale 55 Lot 1198
Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph, Philadelphia, cameo style corner card,  
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

 

5. Baltimore and Ohio Telegraph Companies

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
These companies were set up in, eventually, 27 states by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company to take over the lines established by various earlier
companies along its right of way. The original 1882 coverage of Pennsylvania to Missouri was extended by the aquisition of other existing lines but
the companies did not show a profit and were absorbed in 1887 by Western Union.

Prepayment stamps were issued in books with panes of six stamps perforated between except where indicated below, and with straight outer edges.
Stamps were cancelled with a heavy grid of thick black or grey lines and the prices below are for relatively lightly cancelled copies. Complimentary
'franks', showing no value, were also issued in 1885 and 1886: they are not known cancelled. The control numbers were the same for all stamps in
a single book, were in black, blue, or, most often, red and were mostly preceded by letters. These are indicated below by the letters and colours in
brackets after the stamp colours. The printers' names are on the bottom margins of all stamps except those of the American Bank Note Co. where the
name appears only below the centre bottom stamp of each pane. Remainders are not known.

 

Shortcuts to other Postal Telegraph-Cable Co. sections
American Bank Note Co. With Controls Kendall Bank Note Co A. Hoen & Co. Forbes Co. Franks.


A. Prepayment Stamps

Prepayment Stamps were issued in books containing panes of 6 with straight outer edges top, bottom and right.

1885 (14 April) Line-engraved by the American Bank Note Co. of New York, with imprint under central bottom stamp of each pane.
Soft wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12 between stamps. No control numbers.
According to Rich & Rich, "the $5 booklet contained $6.25 in stamps and the $10.00 booklet $11.25; all four values were included in each"
(for those of you that like puzzles, work it out and get the credit)

USA B&O Prepayment H1 USA B&O Prepayment 5c - no control USA B&O Prepayment RH2a
RH1 (without control) RH2 (without control) RH2a (without control, with imprint)
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Eric Jackson Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

USA B&O Prepayment H4 H4 punched 'B C' USA B&O Prepayment H4a
RH4 (without control, no imprint) RH4 (no imprint) Punched 'BC' RH4a (without control, with imprint)
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

The punch cancel is curious. Experimental perhaps ?


Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 1c dull vermilion 48.00 27.00
H1a         with printers name beneath 64.00 36.00
H2 5c dull ultramarine 40.00 20.00
H2a         with printers name beneath 60.00 28.00
H3 10c red-brown 32.00 16.00
H3a         with printers name beneath 44.00 24.00
H4 25c orange to brown 48.00 24.00
H4a         with printers name beneath 64.00 32.00

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. The true colour of No. 4 is orange. Brownish stamps have reacted with atmospheric sulphur and are worth rather less.

 

1885 (1 June to 25 September) As above but with control numbers (sometimes preceded by capital letters as indicated below).
$10 booklets were sold, containing 90 x 1c, 48 x 5c, and 78 x 10c giving a discount of $1.10. The booklets were numbered with the control number.
Presumably the 25c stamps were in a different booklet.

USA B&O Prepayment RH5 USA B&O Prepayment RH5a USA B&O Prepayment RH5b letter D USA B&O Prepayment RH5c letter D
RH5 no letter RH5a no letter, with imprint RH5b letter D RH5c letter D
Image courtesy of Phil. (rebenic25 on ebay). Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment RH6 USA B&O Prepayment RH6a USA B&O Prepayment RH6b USA B&O Prepayment RH6c
RH6 no letter RH6a no letter, with imprint RH6b letter D RH6c letter D, with imprint
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment H7 USA B&O Prepayment H7a USA B&O Prepayment H7b - B USA B&O Prepayment 10c USA B&O Prepayment H7a letter B
RH7 no letter RH7a no letter, with imprint RH7b letter B, no imprint RH7b mint, letter D RH7c letter B, with imprint
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Image courtesy of Gregg Nelson
(gnmexstmps on ebay.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment H8 USA B&O Prepayment H8a
RH8 no letter RH8a no letter, with imprint
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. A.B.Co. Description Mint Used Highest control
RH5 H5 1c dull vermilion (no letter) 24.00 13.50 1681
RH5a H5a         as above, printers name beneath 32.00 18.00
RH5b H5 1c dull vermilion (A, D, blue-black) 24.00 13.50 A499
D998
RH5c H5a         as above, printers name beneath 32.00 18.00
RH6 H6 5c dull ultramarine (no letter) 20.00 10.00 1838
RH6a H6a         as above, printers name beneath 30.00 14.00
RH6b H6 5c dull ultramarine (A, D, red) 20.00 10.00 A499
D998
RH6c H6a         as above, printers name beneath 30.00 14.00
RH7 H7 10c red-brown (no letter) 16.00 8.00 1834
RH7a H7a         as above, printers name beneath 22.00 12.00
RH7b H7 10c red-brown (B, D, blue) 16.00 8.00 B687
D998
RH7c H7a         as above, printers name beneath 22.00 12.00
RH8 H8 25c orange to brown (no letter) 24.00 12.00 1838
RH8a H8a         as above, printers name beneath 32.00 16.00
RH8b H8 25c orange to brown (D, blue-black) - - Unknown
RH8c H8a         as above, printers name beneath - -

Highest known taken from Kramer, who also reports booklet cover D73.


Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. No. 8 is again prone to discolouration by atmospheric sulphur.

My note: According to the 1992 book "United States Telegraph Stamps and Franks" by George Kramer, H8a and H8b (with a control letter) do not exist.
Rich & Rich (1947 pg.20) assert that letter D does exist but is very scarce. Does anyone have one ? I'd love to be able to illustrate it.


Kramer also prices those without a control letter heigher on the assumption that the earlier ones should be scarcer, however I have managed to
get images of the set without control letters and have yet to get most of the rest with letters, so to me that does not seem to be the case.

 

 

1886 Line-engraved by the Kendall Bank Note Co. of New York, with imprint under each stamp. Soft thick wove paper or harder thinner wove paper.
No watermark. Perf 14 between stamps.

USA B&O Prepayment 1c USA B&O Prepayment 1c USA B&O Prepayment 1c letter F USA B&O Prepayment H9b letter J USA B&O Prepayment H9b letter K
1c Kendall Bank Note Co. - RH9 tall D
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1c Kendall Bank Note Co. - RH9b no letter 1c RH9b letter *F 1c RH9b letter J
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1c RH9b letter K
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment H10 - 2438USA B&O Prepayment H10 - 2438 back USA B&O Prepayment H10a - back
5c RH10 no letter, front and back
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
5c RH10a typical back.

USA B&O Prepayment H10a USA B&O Prepayment 5c USA B&O Prepayment H10a letter K USA B&O Prepayment H10a highest K6885
5c RH10a no letter
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
5c RH10a letter D 5c RH10a mint, letter K
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
5c RH10a used, K6885 (new highest)
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment 10c 2566 USA B&O Prepayment 10c tall D USA B&O Prepayment RH11a no letter USA B&O Prepayment H11a letter K
10c RH11 no letter 2566
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
10c RH11 tall letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
10c RH11a no letter 5057
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
10c RH11a letter K
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment H12 - 2131 USA B&O Prepayment H12a - back USA B&O Prepayment H12a USA B&O Prepayment 25c
25c RH12 no letter 2131, front and back
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
25c RH12a typical back. 25c RH12a no letter 5506
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
25c RH12a letter J

The letter D on the 'thick paper' stamps appear to be noticeably taller than letters on the thin paper, about 4.25mm against 3.6mm.


RH # Hisc. Kendall B.N.Co. Description Mint Used Highest control
RH9 H9 1c deep yellow-green (shades)(none, D, red) 18.00 9.00 2869
D2869
RH9a H9a         thick oily paper (very scarce) 30.00 15.00
RH9b H9b         thin paper (none, D, *F, J, K, red) 12.00 1.00 5960, D5542, E6708
F1886, J3772, K6762
RH9c H9c         imperf. between pair 60.00 -
RH10 H10 5c dull blue (shades)(none, D, red) 18.00 9.00 2655, D4827
RH10a H10a         thin paper (none, D, E, F, J, K, red) 12.00 1.00 5767, D6771, E6771,
F1886, J2980, K6885
RH10b H10b         imperf. between pair 60.00 -
RH11 H11 10c brown (marked shades)(none, D, red) 18.00 9.00 2989, D2562
RH11a H11a         thin paper (none, D, E, F, J, K, red) 12.00 1.00 5750, D6768, E6768,
F1984, J2858, K6983
RH12 H12 25c dull orange (shades)(none, red) 24.00 10.00 3883
RH12a H12a         thin paper (none, J, K, red) 18.00 1.60 5989, J4380

* Letter F has been added due to the example shown. Kramer also lists Letter E for H9b, but only J for H12a (Rich & Rich listed J and K).
Highest recorded are taken from Kramer, who records booklet cover K3353 (no 25c).
K6885 (shown above) is the new highest, replacing K6782.

I find H9a to be a bit dubious. Hiscocks copied this from Rich & Rich who say simply that it is scarce and say nothing of the control numbers.
Kramer ignores it, possibly for good reasons, and the Scott catalogue makes no mention of it. Anyone know anything about this ?

As an initial rough guide to scarcity of control letters on these, my 11 examples plus 12 from Everett Ramsey of thin paper examples:

Value None D E F J K
1c 1     1 2  
5c 3 1     1 1
10c 1     2   5
25c 3       2  

Another guide to relative scarcity is the highest known control number for each letter in a group, however that is only a guide to what was created, not what has survived.

Thick v thin paper

I had trouble finding examples of thick paper images. Rich & Rich describe it as "Soft thick paper with calendered front surface",
Using a micrometer, the thin appears to be around 0.09mm ± 0.04mm, but it needs to be measured at a number of points since the paper does not have even thickness and the cancel will also affect it.
I have had a lot of help on this from Everett Ramsey in the U.S.A. He tells me that people generally use what is called the 'snap test' rather than I micrometer. A description of this is as follows:
Grip the stamp in question with tongs so that about 1/2 or 2/3 of it projects beyond the tip of the tongs.
Then "flip" the free end of the stamp with your fingernail.
A hard paper will have a clearly audible "snap," but there will be little sound at all from soft paper.

Paper or hinge remains on the back will influence this (as well as micrometer readings).
On the basis of this, Everett sorted his stamps into what he thought were thick and thin papers. Then one day he obtained the RH11 with tall letter D shown above.
It made him realise that actually the others were all variations of 'hard thin' paper. Here are some illustrations that he has kindly provided.

USA B&O thin 1
USA B&O thin 2
USA B&O thick 2
USA B&O thick 1 USA B&O thick 3
Variations on thin paper stamps. Examples of thick paper stamps.
The thickness is greater and more consistent.
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

 

1886 Lithographed by A. Hoen & Co. of Baltimore, with imprint under each stamp. Hard thin to medium wove paper.
Perf 12 between stamps. Usually no watermark, but see lower down for watermarked stamps.

USA B&O Prepayment 1c - F USA B&O Prepayment 1c - L USA B&O Prepayment 1c - M
1c A.Hoen & Co. - RH13 letter F 1c A.Hoen & Co. - RH13 letter L
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1c A.Hoen & Co. - RH13 letter M
image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O Prepayment 5c USA B&O Prepayment 10c letter F USA B&O Prepayment 10c
5c A.Hoen & Co. - RH14 letter L 10c A.Hoen & Co. - RH15 letter *F 10c A.Hoen & Co. - RH15 letter L

 

Hisc. A.Hoen & Co. Description Mint Used Highest control
H13 1c dull yellowish green (shades)(F, L, M, red) 4.00 0.40 F2618, L8588, M807
H14 5c blue (shades)(F, L, red) 6.00 0.40 F2998, L8898
H15 10c dark brown (*F, L, red) 5.00 0.30 F2998, L8621

Highest control recorded information is taken from Kramer.


* Letter F has been added due to the example shown.

 

Wilson Born Collection lot 1004
Image from the Wilson Born Collection.

H14 used block of 6
A used block of 6 to show perforations. I cannot see a watermark on this.

 

1886 As above but on similar paper watermarked "A. HOEN & Co. BALTIMORE" in
18mm and 11mm double lined capital letters across the sheet.

USA B&O H16, 1c code F USA B&O H16, 1c code L USA B&O H16, 1c code L back USA B&O H16, 1c code M
Part watermark ( "C" ) on an H16 control letter 'F' - courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Part watermark ( "N." ) on an H16 control letter 'L' - courtesy of Everett Ramsey. H16 control letter *'M' - (stated to be 3T14)
courtesy of Eric Jackson. (click image for listing)

USA B&O H17, 5c code F USA B&O H17, 5c code F back USA B&O H17, 5c code L front and back
Part watermark (inverted 18mm "A.") on an H17 control letter *'F' - courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Part watermark (inverted "C") on an H17 control letter 'L' - courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

USA B&O H18, 10c code L front USA B&O H18, 10c code L back
Part watermark (11mm "O." of Co.) on an H18 control letter 'L' - courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

Hisc. A.Hoen & Co. Description (wmk) Mint Used Highest control
H16 1c dull yellowish green (shades)(F, L, *M red) 10.00 2.00 F2993, L8588, M874
H17 5c blue (shades)(*F, L, red) 15.00 2.50 F2981, L8515
H18 10c dark brown (F, L, red) 12.50 2.00 F2986, L7042

Highest recorded are taken from Kramer.

* Letter F has been added to the 5c and M added to the 1c, due to the examples shown above.

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. It has been suggested that the watermarked and non-watermarked Hoen issues
                are not separate printings but from different parts of the same sheets.
                The latter are said to be about 5x as common as the former.
                If this is the case then the following control letters remain to be reported :-
                No. 15—F, No. 16—M and No. 17—F.

My note: These are all now reported, though I would like an image of H16—M showing front and back.


USA B&O Watermark - 1  USA B&O Watermark - 2  USA B&O Watermark - 3

Here is a remainder piece that has not been perforated or guillotined. The watermark is not very clear, but is more apparent using RetroReveal. It can be seen why stamps within the same pane can be with or without watermark.
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson, (half-size, click on it for the listing).

 

 

1886 Lithographed by Forbes Co. of Boston, with imprint under each stamp. Medium wove paper.
No watermark. Perf 12½.

USA B&O Prepayment 1c USA B&O Prepayment 5c USA B&O Prepayment 10c USA B&O Prepayment 25c
1c Forbes Co. - H19 letter J 5c Forbes Co. - H20 letter J
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
10c Forbes Co. - H21 letter J
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
25c Forbes Co. - H22 letter J

 

Hisc. Forbes Co. Description Mint Used Highest control
H19 1c dull green (shades)(J, red) 25.00 4.00 J4420
H20 5c deep grey-blue (shades)(J, red) 30.00 5.00 J4410
H21 10c dark brown (J, red) 25.00 4.00 J4427
H22 25c dull orange-yellow (shades)(J, red) 25.00 3.00 J4389

Highest recorded are taken from Kramer.


Hiscocks added the following 2 General Notes:

General Note 1. The above used prices are for lightly cancelled copies or copies in which the
                cancellation covers only a small part of the stamp. Stamps having the normal heavy
                cancellation all over command prices about half those above.
General Note 2. Information the relative scarcities of the various control number letters has
                not come to my notice and it is doubtful whether sufficient material on which to study
                this subject is available in the UK. I would welcome any information on this subject.

 

B. Franks

Complimentary 'franks' showing no value, were issued in panes of 4. They are not known cancelled.

1885 Line-engraved by the American Bank Note Co. of New York. Panes of 4 with imprint under bottom 2 stamps of each pane.
Medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12. President D. H. Bates.

USA B&O Frank 1885 USA B&O Frank 1885 USA B&O Frank 1886 USA B&O Frank 1886
1885 RH23   letter C.
Highest control known (Kramer) C493.
1885 RH23a   with imprint, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1886 RH24   letter G.
Highest control known (Kramer) G1289.
1886 RH24a   with imprint, letter G
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

 

RH# Hisc. 1885 Description Mint Used Highest
RH23 *RH23 No value. Brown (shades)(C, blue) 3.00 24.00 493
RH23a *RH23a         with (half) printers name beneath 3.50 -

*Hiscocks described the control on H23 as being red. I have corrected it.

 

1886 As above.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest
RH24 H24 No value. Black (G, red) 3.00 24.00 1289
RH24a H24a         with (half) printers name beneath 3.50 -

 

A telegram of 24 November 1885 ?
USA B&O Telegram
T. D. FORM 3, 5 million printed 28 October 1884. Offices listed in New York City, New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore and Galveston
This was received at the Deshler Block, Columbus, Ohio. The back shows their lines and connections on a map engraved by the American Bank Note Co., NY.
USA B&O Telegram back with map

Click map for a larger version. Images courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

 

Baltimore & Ohio — Connecticut River
See Connecticut River Telegraph Company.

 

 

6. California State Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This was the first company in the U.S. to issue telegraph franks and is claimed (wrongly) to be the first organization, private or public, to issue
stamps in booklets. One of eight forerunner companies, the California Telegraph Co. (second of that name) was established 17 June 1854 and took
over a private line strung on trees between Nevada and Auburn in the California goldfields. Further lines were built from San Francisco to San Jose
and to Stockton and later, to Marysville. In 1861 this and seven other companies were consolidated into the California State Telegraph Co. in which
Western Union had a controlling interest. Western Union leased the CST Co lines on 16 May 1867 and finally absorbed it in 1875 or 1876.

All stamps issued by the CST Co were in fact franks entitling the holder to a free telegram. The booklet covers all have railroad names implying use by
those conceding rights of way but they were possibly also used by company officers and other local dignitaries. The first issue was in booklets of 100
with eight panes of 12, each with a printed control number the same as that on the cover, and four loose stamps to make up the 100 with the same
number in crayon. Remainders, without control numbers, are reported. Later issues were lithographed in panes of six and remainders without control
numbers are again known in some cases. All issues are reportedly found with scraps of tin foil from the booklet interleaving adhering to the backs.

 

1870 Type-set in black on a lithographed background. Control numbers in red.
Thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf 13½ between stamps.

Calif. State 1870 Wilson Born Collection lot 1012
1870 H1a   Perf. all sides 1870 H1b   Control in crayon
Courtesy of Eric Jackson   click on image for listing. Lot 1012 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 No value, black and pale blue 160.00 -
H1a         perf. on four sides 200.00 -
H1b         control number in crayon 500.00 -
H1c         no control number 200.00 -

Kramer listed known controls for these as being: 101, 104 and 114.


Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. The black lettering of the company name varies slightly from stamp to stamp
                having been cast straight and then bent into an arc.

My note:These were sold in booklets of 100 stamps, 16 panes of 6, plus 4 additional stamps.
The Kramer book speculates that the additional four were given serial numbers in red crayon. This would imply that they account for only 4% of the stamps.
An example realized $500 in a recent Schuyler Rumsey sale (Sale 67, Lot 2514).

Calif. State 1870 panes
Two panes of 6 making up a sheet, Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.
Said to be one of only three recorded examples.

 

1870 Lithographed. Date in white on red centre oval. Control number in blue.
Medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12 on all sides.
Rich & Rich says that these were in fully perforated booklet panes of 6. A booklet cover shown below though says it is good for 100 messages ?

Wilson Born Collection lot 1014a Wilson Born Collection lot 1014b Wilson Born Collection lot 1013
1870 H2   Control 140 unused 1870 H2   Control 100 used 1870 H2a   No Control, mint
Lot 1014 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1013 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H2 No value, black and red 320.00 -
H2a         no control number 220.00 -

Kramer did not list any known control numbers for these.

Siegel Auctions sale 1090 lot 1860
A booklet cover of 1870 courtesy of siegelauctions.com

 

1871 As above but with date 1871. No control number.
It doesn't look like they were all perforated on all sides.

Sale 67, Lot 2520 Wilson Born Collection lot 1015
Sale 67, Lot 2520, courtesy of
Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.
Lot 1015 from the Wilson Born Collection.
Another imperf. example sold for $1450 recently.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H3 No value, black and red 500.00 -
H3a         imperf. 1500.00 -

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. It has been suggested that Nos. 3 and 3a were not in fact issued and
                should be regarded as essays.

 

1871 Lithographed from new stones. Date reading upwards in pink. Control numbers in blue.
Medium to thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12 on all sides.

Calif. State 1871 - new Calif. State 1871 - new Wilson Born Collection lot 1019 Sale 67, Lot 2520
1871 H4   Control in blue. 1871 H4a   No Control No. flaw on "S" 1871 H4b   Inverted Control No. same flaws 1871 H4   Control 104 in blue.
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   click for listing. Lot 1019 from the Wilson Born Collection. Sale 58, Lot 1652 from Schuyler Rumsey.

 

RH# Hisc. 1871 Description Mint Used
RH4 H4 No value, black and brownish pink 300.00 -
RH4a H4a         no control number 240.00 -
RH4b -         inverted control number 500.00 -

Kramer listed known controls for these as being: 22, 47, 103, 104 and 118. 2 and 16 can be seen above.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1020
1871 “Business” Frank Booklet Cover (for 5T4).
manuscript endorsement to “P. & S.V. R.R. Co.” for
messages between “Sacramento & Shingle Springs”.
Lot 1020 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

1872 Lithographed from new stone (poor lettering). No year date. Control numbers printed downwards in red.
Thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf 12 between stamps.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1021 Wilson Born Collection lot 1022 Wilson Born Collection lot 1023
1872 H5   Control 103 1872 H5   Control 103, perf all round 1872 H5a   Blue Control 125
Lot 1021 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1022 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1023 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. 1872 Description Mint Used
RH5 H5 No value, dull blue-green (red control) 200.00 -
H5a -         Blue control 300.00 -

Kramer listed known controls for these as being red: 103 and 129.

 

1873 Lithographed from new stones. Date reading upwards in pink. Control numbers in dark blue.
Thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf 13½ between stamps.

Siegel Auctions sale 1090 lot 1865 Wilson Born Collection lot 1025 Wilson Born Collection lot 1024
1873 H6   Control 103 1873 H6a   Control 114 inverted 1873 H6b   Purple Control 131
Courtesy of siegelauctions.com. Lot 1025 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1024 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. 1873 Description Mint Used
RH6 H6 No value, dull rose and brownish pink 360.00 -
RH6a -         Inverted control 500.00 -
RH6b -         Purple control 400.00 -

Kramer listed known controls for these as being: 11, 103, 114, 125 and 129.

Hiscocks added the following note:

Note. The stone used for the 1873 to 1875 issues has been identified with that used
                in 1871 (No. 4). Such copies as I have seen differ from the 1871 stone in
                several respects, most obviously in the lack of ornamentation below
                the "Geo" of the President's signature.

 

1874 As above. Control numbers in black.
Thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf 13½ between stamps.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1027 Wilson Born Collection lot 1028 Wilson Born Collection lot 1029
1874 H7   Control 129 1874 H7a   Sideways Large Control 104 1874 H7b   Inverted Control 124 (trimmed at right)
Lot 1027 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1028 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1029 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. 1874 Description Mint Used
RH7 H7 No value, deep blue and brownish pink 240.00 -
RH7a -         Sideways control 280.00 -
RH7b -         Inverted control 600.00 -

Kramer listed known controls for these as being: 103, 104, 114, 124 and 129.

 

 

1875 As above. Date in green.
Thick wove slightly brownish paper. No watermark. Perf 13½ on all sides.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1030 Wilson Born Collection lot 1032
1875 H8   Control 110 1875 H8a   No Control
Lot 1030 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1032 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. 1875 Description Mint Used
RH8 H8 No value, bistre-brown and yellow-green 240.00 -
RH8a -         No control 120.00 -

Hiscocks added the following General Note:

General Note. Used copies of Nos. 2 and 6 have been catalogued but
                evidence for their existence in this state is thin.

Kramer listed known controls for these as being: 103, 110, 118 and 127.

Calif. State 1875 pane
1875 booklet pane,
courtesy of Eric Jackson   click for listing.

 

Stationery.

Sale 62 Lot 224
Red embossed cameo corner card,  
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 225
Black embossed cameo corner card,  ex-Tatham.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 45 Lot 92
1854  (California State Telegraph) By Telegraph., Office, No 159 Clay St., San Francisco, Cal.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 60 Lot 561
Illustrated design on orange-buff cover,
The California State Telegraph envelopes are very scarce sent through the mails.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 229
Advertising office in San Francisco,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 21 Lot 100
Changed Logo,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 604
Cancelled by "Wells, Fargo & Co., San Jose, Dec 18"
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 228
"All parts of the State" with original Sept 1, 1860 enclosure.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 226
Sale 62 Lot 226 enclosure

Envelope together with enclosure, a Telegram of May 16, 1866.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

 

Canadian Pacific Railway's Telegraphs

The stamps of this Company are listed under Canada although they were valid in parts of the USA.

 

 

City and Suburban Telegraph Company

The full name of this company was the New York City and Suburban Printing Telegraph Company and its stamps are listed accordingly.

 

 

7. Colusa, Lake and Mendocino Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This company operated between 1873 and 1892 from Princeton, California, westwards through the three counties from which it was named and on into
Napa County. From 1873 to 1875 it was called the Princeton, Colusa, and Grand Island Telegraph Company. It seems to have been absorbed by
Western Union in 1892. Prepayment stamps were issued in 1876. The 5c is reported to have been issued in booklets with ten stamps to the pane.
These were hand stamped P.L.W. (P. L. Washburn — the supervisor) in blue but the initials are usually unreadable and/or incomplete. Copies
without initials have been reported. The two higher values, 10c and 25c, are very rare and little is knownof them. They may well also have been issued
in booklets but only single stamps are now known. Only two copies of the 25c are thought to have survived and one of those was apparently destroyed by
fire in 1922.

Forgeries of these stamps exist and care must be exercised in buying. The original stamps are on obviously old-type white wove paper while some
older forgeries are on slightly yellowed or more modern close grained papers....
No used copies of these stamps have been reported.

 

1876 Type-set. White wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps.
2 rows of 5 stamps to the pane.
Said to be cancelled with Initials P.L.W. (P.L. Washburn, usually smudged and incomplete) hand stamped in blue.
However this looks like WLP to me.

Calif. State 1875 pane Wilson Born Collection lot 1065 Wilson Born Collection lot 1066
H1  5c H2   10c H3   25c
Courtesy of Eric Jackson   click for listing. Lot 1065 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1066 from the Wilson Born Collection.

Note: this 25c is the only known example and the 10c may also be.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 5c black 600.00 -
H1a         without initials 800.00 -
H2 10c black 7200.00 -
H3 25c red (without initials) 8000.00 -

There are two types of the 5c.
Wilson Born Collection lot 1053
Positions 2 and 5 (2nd column) have a broken bottom to the '5' (Type B) the others are normal (Type A).
Positions 7 and 8, lot 1053 from the Wilson Born Collection.


Colusa block of 10
This large block shows the flaw on both stamps of the second column. Image courtesy of Siegelauctions.com.

 

Stationery.

Sale 62 Lot 230
Company envelope,   No. 7, Paid.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

8. Commercial Union Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company was incorporated on 31 March 1866 when it came under the control of the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company. Its pre-1886 lines ran from
Albany, N.Y. and Troy through Berlin, N.Y., to North Adams, Mass. It was then extended through Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
The company was absorbed by the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company (q.v.) some time after 1894. The company in 1891 issued two prepayment stamps
('commutation' — implying a reduced price for booklets bought in advance) and a frank (complimentary). Both were in panes of four with straight outer
edges. No used copies are known.



1891 Lithographed by A. C. Goodwin of Albany, N.Y. Thick, very white smooth (calendared) wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps.
Stamps in panes of four with straight outer edges. Frank unknown, but known perforated on all sides.

A. Commutation (implying a discount for prepayment)

Commercial Union Type 1 RH1 - eBay 323566781021 Commercial Union Type 2
RH1 25c  - 4.6mm Printed control RH1a 25c - 5.6mm handstamped control
Part of eBay lot 323566781021 that is now removed.
RH2a 25c/20 words - 4.7mm handstamped control

Compare the base of the '2' on the RH1 and RH1a control numbers. The yellow stamp can be darkened by sulpher dioxide or hydrogen sulphide in the atmosphere.

Kramer listed highest controls known for these as being, 25c yellow: 1192 in red, 1009 in violet and 1058 violet with unglazed paper.
25c green: 1191 in red (printed) and 471 in orange red (printed).

 

RH # Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH1 H1 25c orange-yellow (shades, carmine control No.) 20.00 -
RH1a -         red control No. 25.00 -
ƒRH1b -         red handstamped control No. 35.00 -
RH2 H2 25c/20 words, myrtle green (vermilion control No.) 15.00 -
*RH2a -         carmine handstamped control No. 15.00 -
RH2b H2a         imperf. between horizontal pair 100.00 -

* I have added this due to examples shown.

ƒ I have seen an example of H1 on eBay with a handstamped control in red.

Kramer reported that the H1 controls can be in red or violet. I have not seen any that I would call violet, but Everett Ramsey has shown me a red one.

Commercial Union H1 Commercial Union Type 1
Commercial Union H1 - 1118 Commercial Union H1 - 1182 Commercial Union H1 - 1152
Commercial Union H1 - 1118 RGB = 172 / 51 / 67
slightly bluish dark red
Commercial Union H1 - 1182 RGB = 183 / 56 / 103
Carmine
Commercial Union H1 - 1152 RGB = 212 / 62 / 57
Red, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

Commercial Union H2 booklet pane Poorly centered H2


A booklet pane of H2a and a poorly centered example.


Commercial Union H2 - 256 colour
Hiscocks describes this as being a vermilion control number.
However it does not look like vermilion to me.
RGB = 167 / 44 / 63, a slightly bluish dark red.
Anyone have an example of H2 with a vermilion control number?
It may be that they are ones with a printed control, mine are all handstamped.

 

 

B. Complimentary (Frank)

Commercial Union Type 3 Commercial Union Type 3 Commercial Union Type 3
RH3 20 words  - 4.7mm Printed control RH3a - 5.3mm handstamped control, courtesy of Everett Ramsey RH3b - 5.8mm handstamped control, courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Kramer listed highest controls known for these as being: 219 in navy(printed), 218 in blue handstamp and 221 in purple handstamp.
I have not seen any with a purple control.

RH # Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH3 H3 20 words, carmine (shades, dark blue control No.) 50.00 -
*RH3a -         blue 5.3mm handstamped control No. 50.00 -
*RH3b -         blue 5.8mm handstamped control No. 50.00 -

* I have added these due to examples shown.

Rich & Rich (1947) give the colour of the control as black. In the image above, it certainly looks black.

Commercial Union H3 - 139 Commercial Union H3 - 139 colour
Close up though it is actually dark blue
      (RGB = 52 / 50 / 90)


Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Some shade variation is met with in all the above and centering tends to be poor.

Rich & Rich (1947) Noted:

Shades of colour exist, but probably have no significance. The yellow stamp is often darkened, dull or greyish,
            from exposure to air containing sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulphide.

 

Kramer reports the existence of H3 perforated on all sides and prices it with a 15% premium.
If genuine, and the 15% premium suggests that they are not uncommon, then it would imply that not all were in booklet panes of 4.
If they really are not uncommon then I would be very interested to see larger blocks containing them.
Kramer illustrates an example with a 221 and says that they "have been noted for many years" and that although
booklet panes of the stamps are plentiful, no booklet panes or covers are known for the Frank.
He suggests that they may have been in paes of 3x3, 3x4, 4x4 or perhaps slightly larger, giving just a few perforated all around.

 

 

9. Connecticut River Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company ran a local line between New Haven and Hartford, Conn. and in 1885 entered into an agreement whereby they and the Baltimore and
Ohio Telegraph Companies had use of each other's facilities, The B and O prepayment system was adopted and B and O stamps were adapted by the
addition of words "Conn" and "River" to the standard design. Values of 1 and 5 cents were introduced to cover the existing line in 1885. In 1887 the
company extended its line to New Boston, Mass. and new stamps of the same values, but on blue paper as distinct from the yellow paper of the
earlier pair, were introduced to cover the extension. When the B and O Company was absorbed by Western Union in 1887 the Connecticut River Telegraph
Company became part of United Lines and the use of stamps ceased. At this time there were extensive stocks of stamps which were eventually
cancelled with a 3mm line in red and sold to a dealer. Unused stamps without the remainder cancellation are fairly rare and used copies even more so.
The cancellation used was similar to that used on the B and O stamps but usually in purple. Centering tends to be very poor. Imperf. and part-perf.
remainders of the 1885 issue are known. None appear to have a printer's name as do many of the B and O stamps. They were sold, presumably at
reduced price, in booklets with panes of ten.

 

1885 Lithographed. Medium wove coloured paper. Panes of 10. No watermark. Perf. 11 between stamps.

USA B&O Connecticut River mint 1c USA B&O Connecticut River used 1c USA B&O Connecticut River mint 5c Cresent Moon cancel
1c H1. Mint Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht 1c H1. Used Courtesy of Everett Ramsey 5c H2. Mint Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht 5c H2. Used Courtesy of Eric Jackson

Despite Hiscocks saying that the cancels are like those of B & O but in purple (echoing Rich & Rich 1947),
the only things that I have seen that look like a cancel are these 'cresent Moon' in square marks shown above.
Anyone know more on this subject ?

 

Remainders.

USA B&O Connecticut River 1c remainder, high bar USA B&O Connecticut River 5c remainder, high bar USA B&O Connecticut River 1c remainder, low bar USA B&O Connecticut River 5c remainder, low bar

These were remaindered with a red bar, generally either a little above "B & O" or a little below. Images from Rolf Lamprecht.

USA B&O Connecticut River 5c USA B&O Connecticut River 5c
1c H1. Remainder, courtesy of tommyboy1967 5c H2a Remaindered imperforate pair courtesy of Everett Ramsey

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used Rem.
RH1 H1 1c black / yellow 6.00 15.00 1.50
RH1a H1a         imperf. pair 45.00 - 20.00
RH1b H1b         imperf. between horizontal pair - - 30.00
*RH1c -         imperf. between vertical pair - - 50.00
RH2 H2 5c black / yellow 4.00 15.00 1.50
RH2a H2a         imperf. (pair) - - 45.00
RH2b H2b         imperf. between horizontal pair 75.00 - 45.00
RH2c H2c         imperf. between vertical pair - - 45.00

*RH1c added due to example on right.

Imperf between vertical pair
*RH1c courtesy of Eric Jackson ( ericjackson on ebay).

 

1887 (October). As above.

USA B&O Connecticut River mint H3 USA B&O Connecticut River H3 remainder USA B&O Connecticut River mint H4 USA B&O Connecticut River H4 remainder
1c H3 Mint. 1c H3 remainder. 5c H4 Mint. 5c H4 remainder.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used Rem.
RH3 H3 1c black / blue 9.00 35.00 4.00
RH4 H4 5c black / blue 9.00 35.00 4.00

 

 

10. Continental Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company opened a line between New York and Philadelphia in 1878 and this was aquired by Western Union in 1882. Stamps were prepared by
the American Bank Note Company but never issued. The stamps were triangular as illustrated below and panes of four were laid out as a diagonally
crossed square. The printer's name is included beneath one stamp per pane. They are not, of course, known used.


Steve Hiscocks was not aware of the earlier design.

 

1878(?) Printed on banknote paper with portions of currency designs on back.
Overprinted with year in large numerals in red, blue or orange.

“Will accept this coupon during the year stamped thereon,
or thereafter as equivalent to (Five Dollars) for said
Company’s proportion of tolls for telegrams over its lines”,

Wilson Born Collection lot 1070
Part of Lot 1070 from the Wilson Born Collection.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH1 - 1878, 50c ? on vermilion ? 200.00 -
RH2 - 1880, 50c ? on vermilion ? 200.00 -
RH3 - 1880, $5 ? on vermilion ? 200.00 -
RH4 - 1881, $2.50 ? on vermilion ? 200.00 -
RH5 - 1881, $5 blue on vermilion 200.00 -

 


Proofs in panes of 4 stamps. Some have the imprint of the American Bank Note Company but some do not.
Plate proofs exist on 'India' and on card.
Not known used.

1881(?) White wove paper. No watermark.

Continental Telegraph mint set
Reduced size set, courtesy of Eric Jackson ( ericjackson on ebay). Click for listing.

Continental Telegraph 20c
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson ( ericjackson on ebay). Click for listing.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1069
Lot 1069 from the Wilson Born Collection.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1068
Lot 1068 from the Wilson Born Collection.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH6 H1 1c dull red-orange 750.00 -
RH6a H1a         with printers name beneath 800.00 -
RH7 H2 2c dull red 750.00 -
RH7a H2a         with printers name beneath 800.00 -
RH8 H3 5c deep green 750.00 -
RH8a H3a         with printers name beneath 800.00 -
RH9 H4 20c reddish brown 750.00 -
RH9a H4a         with printers name beneath 800.00 -
RH10 H5 25c grey-blue 750.00 -
RH10a H5a         with printers name beneath 800.00 -
RH11 H6 50c olive-brown 750.00 -
RH11a H6a         with printers name beneath 800.00 -

 

Half-size images.

Continental Telegraph 2c block of 4 Wilson Born Collection lot 1067 rumseyauctions, Sale 67, lot 2529, 25c rumseyauctions, Sale 67, lot 2529, 50c
Courtesy of Eric Jackson ( ericjackson on ebay). Click for listing. Lot 1067 from the Wilson Born Collection. Sale 67, Lot 2529 from Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. Click images for listing.

A set of 6 in blocks of 4 like the 25c and 50c above, all but one with an imprint, sold for US$5500 in April 2016 (Schuyler Rumsey PA, Lot 2529).

 

 

Great North Western Telegraph Company of Canada

The stamps of this Company are listed under Canada although they were valid in parts of the USA.
Its operations extended through Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
In 1920 the U.S. lines became part of Western Union while the
Canadian lines became part of the Canadian National Telegraphs system.

 

 

11. Los Angeles & San Gabriel Valley Railroad

Hiscocks does not mention this and did not allocate a number for it. I renumbered companies to include it and others.
The company had a 21 mile line between L.A. and Duarte which was started in 1883 and completed in 1887.
The company was then sold to the Santa Fe Railroad.

1886 Perforated between, but I do not know the scale to work out the guage.
Signed by the President James F. Crank.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1071
Lot 1070 from the Wilson Born Collection.
(only recorded example)

RH# Description Mint Used
RH1 1886, no value, black on buff 900.00 -

 

 

12. Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company

Hiscocks says "This company is reported to have prepared stamps or franks but not to have issued them."
Hiscocks did not allocate a number for it. I renumbered companies to include it and others.

1913 No information, but assuming my original scan was 600dpi, this is Perf.14.
Signed by the Vice President.

USA Marconi Wireless
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson
Click on image for listing.



USA Marconi Wireless pane
Lot 1072 from the Wilson Born Collection.

Kramer listed the highest control number known for these as being C479.

 

RH# Description Mint Used
RH1 No value, brown (blue control) 70.00 -

 

 

13. Mercantile Telegraph Company

Hiscocks does not mention this and did not allocate a number for it. I renumbered companies to include it and others.
Incorporated in 1892 with offices in St. Louis, Chicago and St. Paul, leasing telegraph lines from other companies.

The company was apparently set up primarily for illegal bookmaking on horse races, for which Townsend was convicted.

1892 Perforated between, but I do not know the scale to work out the guage.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1073
Lot 1073 from the Wilson Born Collection.

RH# Description Mint Used
RH1 1892, no value, blue on lilac 1600 -

 

 

14. Mutual Union Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company had a short, vigorous, but unhappy history. It was set up in 1879, incorporated in 1880 and in two years built 25,000 miles of line in 22
states. It failed through dishonesty and was absorbed into Western Union in or around 1884. Franks were issued for 1882 and 1883 to shareholders in
booklets containing panes of four separated by tinfoil. Only the 1882 is known used and a rubber stamp cancellation in purple on magenta was
employed. Control numbers are in blue but remainders without control numbers are known and these also exist imperforate or part-perforated.

 

1882 Line engraved by the Van Campen Engraving Company of New York, N.Y.
Hard wove paper of uneven thickness. No watermark. Perf. 14 between stamps. Booklet panes of 4. Control in blue

USA Mutual Union H1 USA Mutual Union H2 USA Mutual Union Booklet
H1 - 1882 H2 - 1883 1882 booklet (half size), courtesy of Mike Aldrich

Kramer listed the highest control number known for these as being 1882: 925 and 1883: 486.

 

Signed by President, John Orville Evans (died December 1881)
RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH1 H1 No value, blue 24.00 60.00
RH1a H1a        no control number (remainder) 30.00 -
RH1b H1b         no control number, imperf. (pair) 60.00 -
RH1c H1c         no control, imperf. between (pair) 60.00 -
RH1d -         no control number, imperf. single 30.00 -
*RH1e -         imperf with manuscript control number - -
*RH1f -         as RH1e but perforated - -



* Examples of RH1e and RH1f are shown numbered 301 and 302.
Anyone have similar examples or information on these ?

According to Rich & Rich, the cancellation is a purple or magenta
rubber handstamp with a single letter or some words.

 

1883 As above.
Signed by new President. Can anyone read the name ?

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH2 H2 No value, rose-carmine             24.00 -
USA Mutual Union imperf.
RH1d courtesy of Eric Jackson (ericjackson on ebay).
Click on image for listing.
USA Mutual Union imperf - 301
RH1e courtesy of Eric Jackson (ericjackson on ebay).
Click on image for listing.
USA Mutual Union - 302

RH1f. I am unsure of the status of this and RH1e.
Neither look as if it was issued.

I have also lost track of where this image came from (sorry).
Does anyone have this ?

 

 

15. New York City and Suburban Printing Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This company, often referred to as the "City and Suburban Telegraph Company" from the shortened name on its stamps, produced by far the earliest
telegraph stamps in the United States. The Company grew from a single private line linking the office and factory of a printing press manufacturer.
It was set up as a company in 1855 linking four terminals and a further seven, still all within Manhatten Island, were subsequently added. Later the
service was extended to Brooklyn. Prepayment stamps were used for an experimental period probably in 1859. The public could purchase stamps
and use them on message forms which were deposited in collecting boxes, emptied at set times, in various shops. For various reasons the experiment
failed and the system was apparently abandoned after a few months. The company was sold to the American Telegraph Company in or just before 1860.

The stamps were printed in sheets of 60 containing ten rows, each consisting of the three values arranged "2c, 1c, 1c, 1c, 2c, 3c", which lined up with
the rate of 10c for 10 words. There is apparently some doubt as to whether genuinely used copies exist. Pencil cancelled copies have been reported
but one might have expected a rubber stamp cancellation since this was used by a local post system run by the same man at the same time.
Forgeries certainly exist. Those printed in blue are obvious but good printing, white as distinct from yellowish paper or hardish to hard thin paper
should be viewed with suspicion. The patterns of white lines on the 2c & 3c are sometimes in error.

 

1859? Typographed on soft, thinnish slightly yellowed paper. No watermark. No gum. Imperf.
In 1934 the asking price for a complete sheet was $1750. The sheet of 10 rows of 6 stamps was subsequently broken up in 1935-36.
In 1935 a block of ten was sold for $350. (Source Rich & Rich, 1947)

WBC lot 1034
WBC lot 1038
WBC lot 1035
Images from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 1c greyish black             300.00 ?
H2 2c greyish black 420.00 ?
H3 3c greyish black 800.00 ?
Forgeries
Forgeries of the 2 cents. Compare the first 'E' of 'TELEGRAPH' on these to the genuine 2c stamps.
Images from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

SR Sale 67 lot 2526   Genuine 2c Fake 2c
The largest known multiple, sold recently for $15,000. Image courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.

Hiscocks added the following Notes:

Note 1. Se-tenant multiples command large premia.
Note 2. I have seen the 3c cut to shape. Perhaps 30-50% of the above prices.
                There is also a tendency for the end scallops to have been clipped on
                singles since the sheet spacing was very close.
Genuine 2c.
Letter 'E' has short, off-center middle bar,
the first has a sloping bottom bar.
Letter 'P' is tall and slender below the loop.
Fake 2c.
Letter 'E' has a longer, central bar with
all at right angles (like 1c stamps).
Letter 'P' is short and thick below the loop.

The genuine paper is described as soft, thinnish, slightly yellowed, but most of the
genuine ones above do not look yellowed. Perhaps some are toned. Modern forgeries
may well be on modern paper that has been bleached and reacts to Ultra-Violet.


 

16. North American Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company operated from Chicago to Minnesota and to North and South Dakota between 1885 and 1929 when it was taken over by the
Postal Telegraph-Cable Company. Franks were issued between 1899 and 1907 in panes of four. They are not known used.

1899 Hard medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf.11¾ between stamps. Control number in red.
Bearing the name of the General Manager, H. A. Suttle.

North American Telegraph Franks North American Telegraph 1899 booklet cover

A (half scale) booklet cover of 1899 printed in the colour of the franks.
1899 Hiscocks H1 None are known for 1900, so presumably these continued in use for 2 years.
Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, click image for listing). Image courtesy of siegelauctions.com
1899 booklet pane - 1146
Booklet pane (half size, highest number) - 1146
Courtesy of Mike Aldrich click image for listing).

Hisc. 1899 Description Mint Used
H1 No value, reddish violet 100.00 -
H1a         imperf. 150.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1899 as being 1146.

 

 

1901 As above.

North American Telegraph Franks 1901
1901 Hiscocks H2
Lot 1078 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. 1901 Description Mint Used
H2 No value, dull green 150.00 -
H2a         imperf. 210.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1901 as being 1193.

 

1902 As above.

North American Telegraph Franks 1902 North American Telegraph Franks
1902 Hiscocks H3 1903 Hiscocks H4
Lot 1079 from the Wilson Born Collection. Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, click image for listing).

 

Hisc. 1902 Description Mint Used
H3 No value, brown 190.00 -
H3a         imperf. 260.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1902 as being 1759.

 

1903 As above, but with taller numerals in the control (the '2' is distinctly different).

Hisc. 1903 Description Mint Used
H4 No value, grey-blue 100.00 -
H4a         imperf. 125.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1903 as being 2162.

 

1904 As above, but back to the 1902 style control numbers.

North American Telegraph Franks 1904 North American H5b H5 - Highest control, 1182
1904 Hiscocks H5 1904 Hiscocks H5b Hiscocks H5 - highest known control number.
Lot 1081 from the Wilson Born Collection. Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. Click images for listing.

 

Hisc. 1904 Description Mint Used
H5 No value, lilac (slightly paler than No.1) 75.00 -
H5a         imperf. 110.00 -
H5b         imperf. between pair 375.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1904 as being 1182 (shown above).

 

1905 As above, but with the 1903 style control numbers.

 

North American Telegraph Franks - 1905 North American H6a pair
1905 Hiscocks H6 1905 Pair of Hiscocks H6a
courtesy Gregg Nelson (gnmexstmps on ebay) Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. Click image for listing.

 

 

Hisc. 1905 Description Mint Used
H6 No value, red-brown 150.00 -
H6a         imperf. 375.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1905 as being 1400.

North American Telegraph Franks 1905 imperf.

H6a - Lot 1081 from the Wilson Born Collection.
This says on it that only 16 were unperforated,
but I suspect that number to be unreliable
given the pair on the left with a
different control number.

 

1906 As above, but back to the 1902 style control numbers.

North American Telegraph Franks 1906 North American 1906 highest control North American Telegraph Franks 1907
1906 Hiscocks H7 1906 Hiscocks H7 - highest control number. 1907 Hiscocks H8
Lot 1084 from the Wilson Born Collection. Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey. Click image for listing. Lot 1086 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. 1906 Description Mint Used
H7 No value, rose 150.00 -
H7a         imperf. 375.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1906 as being 1515, shown above.

 

1907 As above.

Hisc. 1907 Description Mint Used
H8 No value, bluish green 975.00 -
H8a         imperf. 1400.00 -

Kramer listed the highest control number known for 1907 as being 1799, this is shown above.

 

 

17. Northern Mutual Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company was set up on 20 June 1882 and sold to the Bankers' and Merchants' Telegraph Company less than a year later. Its stamps were in
use for only a few days in April 1883. There were about 200 miles of line from Syracuse, N.Y., to Ogdensburg N.Y. along Lake Ontario. In 1887 a
New York stamp dealer acquired both the remainders and the plates and from the latter at least two lots of reprints were produced. The original
stamps were printed in sheets of 35 with all values on the same sheet: i.e. 2 rows of 5c, 10c and 25c and one row of 20c. No original blocks of four of the
20c therefore exist although they do of the reprints which were printed in sheets of 40 — 5x8 with two rows of each. The originals are perf. 14 as are
one of the reprints while other reprints are perf. 12 and thus easily identifiable. Distinguishing between the originals and the perf. 14 reprints is more
difficult. The originals are said to be on paper with a distinct greyish white hue which is unlike that of any of the reprints and the colours of the originals,
while variable, are darker. The perforations are less rough than the perf. 14 reprints. There is a tendency for the gum on reprints to be more yellow but
this is not a reliable guide since that on the originals can be markedly yellow. Used copies have been reported but are very rare.


 

My Notes: According to Rich & Rich (1947, page 37) : 'There were no "plates," though Scott mentions such: only separate cliches. '
They do not mention how these were held together for printing, presumably in some kind of frame, they also do not say if the cliches were of individual stamps or rows of the same value.

I do not know what actually happened to these cliches in the end, or when, or even if, they were ever destroyed.

Synopsis: Originals are clean-cut Perf.14 on greyish-white paper.
The fist reprints were rougher Perf.14 on white paper,
second reprints were Perf.12.


 

1883 Typographed on medium wove greyish white paper. No watermark. Perf. 14.
Original sheets had 7 rows of 5. This was 2 rows of 25c, followed by a row of 20c, then 2 rows of 10c followed by 2 rows of 5c.
The reprints did not follow this pattern, having two rows of each value.

 

USA Northern Mutual 5c USA Northern Mutual 5c USA Northern Mutual 10c USA Northern Mutual 25c
5c - 0.75mm diameter holes.
Reprint
5c - 0.9mm diameter holes.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
10c - 0.9mm diameter holes.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
25c - 0.9mm diameter holes.
Perf. 14  -  The originals can be separated from the reprints on the basis of the size of the holes.
The left-most 5c has holes about 0.75mm diameter, whereas the others have holes about 0.9mm diameter.
The original sheet shown below has holes about 0.88mm diameter, suggesting that the 0.9mm above are original.
(Remember that <control>+ will magnify, <control>- will reduce)

 

USA Northern Mutual 5c USA Northern Mutual 10c USA Northern Mutual 20c USA Northern Mutual 25c
5c 10c 20c 25c
Perf 12 reprints.

 

Knowing Originals from the Reprints:
Everett Ramsey has prepared a definitive guide to the differences between the Perf.14 reprints and the originals,
together with a template that can aid in this. It is shown below. He would like feedback on this.
I will happily forward any feedback you may wish to give him. Contact details at the bottom of the page.

Northern Mutual Telegraph Company Stamps of 1883
A Comprehensive Study of the 3 Types
        Everett W. Ramsey


Historical Reference:

The Company was incorporated in New York State on June 20, 1882, as the
"Northern Mutual Telegraph and Telephone Company"

The company held a single wire from Syracuse to Ogdensburg (via Oswego, Watertown, and Clayton)
The company produced stamps in early 1883 and were used a few days in April 1883.
Issued in panes of 35 at Face Value of $5.00. 2 Rows at 25c, 1 Row at 20c and 2 Rows each of 5c and 10c.
The company was sold to "Bankers and Merchants Telegraph Company" before the middle of 1883
The new owners had no use for these stamps.
They were all sold (along with the means to reprint them) to Mr. Joseph Brown a New York Stamp Dealer.
Mr. Brown had several customers who purchased many stamps including full sheets. ( A few still exist)
When the original stock was disposed of Mr. Brown Reprinted new sheets. Note that the Original Printing
and the 1st reprints were both Perforated 14, excepting a change in the rows to 8, at 2 rows of each value.
When the 1st Reprints were disposed of Mr. Brown Reprinted the 2nd Issue, but this time perforated 12.
Early on Collectors were eager how to tell the difference between the Originals and the 1st Reprints.
Over the years Researchers and Authors stated ways to try and distinguish between the two.
Including Paper Color, Inking Color, Gum Color, etc. None has any factual use, as these are variable over time.

My Background:

After many years of Collecting US Stamps and reading books written on the subject of US Classic Stamps
and finding US Revenues of great interest I became aware of lesser-known categories such as Telegraph Stamps.
It didn't take me long before I was deep into collecting US Telegraph Stamps. My many Internet Searches
introduced me to a fascinating Web Site that featured Telegraph Stamps of the World.
In a short time, I found the WebMaster to be very reachable and was interested in finding new material
updating current material and finding answers to questions that have been around for many years.
He and I have had many talks and I have aided him in some minor research.
I have gravitated to the question: How to positively show the difference between the Originals and 1st Reprints.

My Research and Conclusion:

I was able to collect bits of data over time that I was sure would aid my research. I was correct.
The first data point came when I found Full Sheets of the Originals and 1st Reprints existed.
By carefully reproducing these sheets to there original size and having the ability to carefully measure
each, it was learned that the Original Perforation Diameter is 0.90mm and the 1st Reprint is 0.75mm
At the time I thought this may be enough to make a Perforation Gauge that could accurately show the difference.
After several tries, I determined that it showed you what you wanted to see and gave up for a while.
I always felt the answer was in the perforations. But I needed a computer program to consistently
and accurately measure perforations of all types. I tried the few that are out there with poor results.
By chance, I came across a computer app. Named "Stamp Analyzer" that did exactly what I was looking for.
It accurately measured consistent results showing the Originals Perforated perfect 14
and the 1st Reprints Perforated 14.2 on average. These two data points together gave enough visual
separation to Produce a Perforation Gauge that will let the average collector separate the Originals and the 1st Reprints.
Below are several examples showing how to read proper results. Also a Perforation Gauge for your Use.
I believe this is the first way to identify Originals from 1st Reprints, but my sample is small and I need help.
I am hoping you will download the Perforation Gauge, use it and forward your results.
We have no data on the quantity of each denomination by type. This data would aid in rarity and pricing.

 

 








Article image 0
1st Reprint
Perf. 14.2  .75mm Dia. Holes
Original
Perf. 14  .90mm Dia. Holes
1st Reprint
Perf. 14.2  .75mm Dia. Holes
Article image 1 Article image 2 Article image 3 Article Gauge
Shows Original over a 1st reprint
Perforation Gauge - No Match
Shows Original over an Original
Perforation Gauge - Match
Shows 1st Reprint over a 1st reprint
Perforation Gauge - Match

Perforation Gauge
Click for Printable Form
Tape to Backing

 

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used Rem.
H1 5c yellow-brown 15.00 - 4.00
H2 10c yellow-brown 15.00 - 4.00
H3 20c yellow-brown 40.00 - 4.00
H4 25c yellow-brown 15.00 - 4.00

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Various blocks and pairs of single or mixed values exist and attract the usual premia.

My Note: These were only on sale for a few days in mid-April 1883, and used examples are very rare. Here are a couple courtesy of
Everett Ramsey that do appear to be genuine used examples:

USA Northern Mutual 10c used - front USA Northern Mutual 10c used - back USA Northern Mutual 25c used - front USA Northern Mutual 25c used - back

Both appear to have portions of the same, rather unusual cancel. Both also have some thinning on the back that does not look like the result of hinge removal.
They have no reaction to UV light and are both perf.14 with 0.9mm diameter holes.
Everett Ramsey asked the A.P.S. to certify these. Their response was that they acknowledge the paper color looks correct,
the perforations are larger and the correct gauge, however they "Can Not" verify the cancel as being genuine.
Does anyone have information about the cancel used on these ?

 

USA Northern Mutual Sheet

An original sheet Courtesy of Siegelauctions.com.
This has only a single row of 20c stamps. The perforation holes on this measure about 0.88mm diameter.
This is two thirds of my normal scale at 200dpi. Click on this image to open the 450dpi original image in a new window.
The colour of this in your browser should be quite accurate, as it has an embedded colour profile (Adobe PROPHOTORGB).
(Beware: the colour may look very different in image editors/viewers that do not recognise that profile)

 

 

18. Northern New York Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
There were three companies of more or less the same name which has led to some confusion. Two did not issue telegraph stamps: one which
operated 1879 to 1890 to the south-east of the Adirondack Mountains and another, the Northern New York Telophone and Telegraph Company which
was actually only a Telephone Company. The Company in question started in 1892 and linked some 300 farms north of the Adirondack Mountains.
It operated privately initially and then formed a public company under the name "New York Union Telegraph Company" because it found that its
'private' name had been pre-empted. In 1889 the Company changed over entirely to telephone operation. There is some argument over the status of
the known stamps. They were printed in panes of six by Charles H. Smith, Bruston, N.Y. who was also a founder and official of the Company. When
asked late in life the Company Manager of that time thought that the stamps and franks had been used in very small quantities. No used copies
are known however and it is possible that they never were used. It has been suggested that some or all are bogus but this seems unlikely.
Most likely is that these were prepared for use but never issued.

A. Stamps

1894? Typographed on greyish white wove paper. No watermark. Rouletted 12.
Overprinted 'ONE' and '10' in colours indicated in brackets.

New York Union 1c New York Union 10c
H1 H2
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on them for listing).

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 1c yellow (black) 40.00 -
H2 10c dull blue (red) 45.00 -

 

B. Franks

1894 As above but overprinted 'FRANK/1894' in red.

New York Union 1894 frank New York Union 1894 frank without overprint New York Union 1895 frank
H3 *RH3a H4
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on them for listing).

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH3 H3 No value, yellow-olive 30.00 -
*RH3a -         remainder without overprint 50.00 -



1895 As above but overprinted 'FRANK/1895' in black.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH4 H4 No value, red 100.00 -

 

 

19. Pacific Mutual Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
In spite of the name which reflected hopes rather than actuality, the Company operated from St. Luis to Kansas City in 1884 and 1885. There were
fifteen offices and 1272 miles of line. It was part of the Bankers' and Merchants' Telegraph Co. and later became part of the Postal Telegraph-Cable
Co. when in 1910, it changed its name to the Postal Telegraph-Cable Co. of Missouri.

The stamps are thought to have been printed in 1883 but it is not clear whether they were ever sold or used. No used copies are known. They
were in booklet panes of ten. All were typographed in grey-black on a smooth surfaced paper which was surface-coloured for the three upper values.
The 1c black is rare and may be an error while the salmon paper of the 25c can show considerable darkening due to atmospheric sulphur.

My note: An apparently used 5c is shown below.

1883? Typographed on surface-coloured lustre-surfaced thick wove paper. Panes of 10. No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps.

USA Pacific Mutual 1c black USA Pacific Mutual 1c grey USA Pacific Mutual 1c
1c H1 courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 1c H2 courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 1c H2a.?

USA Pacific Mutual 5c USA Pacific Mutual 5c used USA Pacific Mutual 10c USA Pacific Mutual 25c
5c H3 courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay) 5c H3 used courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 10c H4. 25c H5.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 1c black / white 15.00 -
H2 1c dark grey (shades) 1.50 -
H2a         slate 1.50 -
H3 5c dark grey / buff-yellow 2.00 -
H4 10c dark grey / bluish green 1.00 -
H4a         imperf. between horizontal pair 190.00 -
H5 25c dark grey / salmon 2.00 -

To the right is an example of H4a, courtesy of
Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.
Click on the image for the listing.
USA Pacific Mutual 10c

According to Rich & Rich, the 1c "the slate and gray intergrade, and may even be found within one block of six or eight stamps."
They also say that the surface colouring of the 25c stamp can be discoloured due to sulpher dioxide or hysdrogen sulphide in the atmosphere,
and lastly warn that blocks are fragile and readily fall apart.
Personally I am having difficuly finding images that I would call slate, or pehaps they are all slightly slate, but different degrees of darkness.

 

 

20. Pacific Postal Telegraph-Cable Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
Set up by the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company in 1886 this separate company had lines between San Francisco and New Westminster in British Columbia.
It connected with the rest of the Postal system through the Canadian Pacific Railways Telegraphs lines. It was absorbed into its parent company
with the completion of the latter's transcontinental line after 1894. The stamps were first reported in 1892 but the date of issue is not known.
They were issued in booklets in panes of five — vertical strips perforated between stamps such that all are imperforate on the two ends and the bottom stamp
of each pane is perforated only on the top edge. Used copies are quite common. These are usually hand stamped 'CANCELLED' in purple but red crayon
cancellations are known. Control numbers are in red and are of three types as indicated below. Unnumbered copies cancelled in red crayon are also known.


My note: I have found that there are at least five types of control numbers, details below.
The only unnumbered ones that I have scans of are canceled with a cross in red ink, not crayon.

 

Date? Lithographed on medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 between vertical stamps.

Pacific Postal Telegraph-Cable
Examples courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, reduced size. Click on image for listing), the 40c has an inverted control number.
All of these control numbers are in the range 3.73 to 4.23 mm high, and all but the 25c have the digits well separated.
The 25c has a different '8' to the others (Type A), the others are Type D.

USA Pacific Postal 15c
Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 10c brown 100.00 100.00
H1a         without control number 100.00 100.00
H2 15c black 100.00 100.00
H2a         without control number 100.00 90.00
H3 25c rose-red 130.00 100.00
H3a         without control number 130.00 100.00
H4 40c deep green 100.00 100.00
H4a         without control number 100.00 100.00
H5 50c blue 120.00 100.00
H5a         without control number 120.00 100.00

H2a on the left courtesy of Phil
(rebenic25 on ebay, click on image for listing).
USA Pacific Postal 50c
A 'CANCELLED' 50c stamp, H5, courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

Here are some more examples courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Pacific Postal 10c  Pacific Postal 15c
Pacific Postal 40c  Pacific Postal 50c
The cancelled on these are very similar to that on the 15c above.
John Barefoot says "Examples with or without control numbers and cancelled with red crayon are cancelled remainders (scarcer than issued stamps)."
Steve Hiscocks says "Unnumbered copies cancelled in red crayon are also known". They are the only unnumbered ones that he mentioned,
the implication would seem to be that used examples of H1a, H2a, H3a, H4a and H5a are cancelled with red crayon. and are remainders.
These however do not look like crayon cancels, and Everett Ramsey confirms that they are cancelled with red ink and still have full gum, so they certainly seem like remainders.
The question then is, was the reference to crayon a mistake, or were some cancelled with crayon and others with ink. For the moment I will assume the latter,
I would be happy to hear from anyone that can shed any light on this.

 

 

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The three types of control number are indicated (arbitrarily) above as Type I, II and III.
                It is not clear whether all three types are found on each value.
                Type I has thin sharp numerals about 3.6mm high (illustrated);
                Type II has more ornate numerals of varying thickness about 4.1mm high, while
                Type III is similar but heavier in type and about 4.5mm high.

My note: I have found that there are more types than this. I have also found that pictures are better.
These are all to the same scale.

TypeFontNotes10c qty15c qty25c qty 40c qty50c qtyHighestLowestTotal
Type A Type A-numbers Seen on all values.
This equates to Barefoot Type A
and Hiscocks Type I.
2 14* 7* 2 12 49952
10c
693
50c
37
Type B Type B-numbers Seen on 40c only so far.
This equates to Barefoot Type B
and (I think), Hiscocks Type II.
0 0 0 7 0 7945
40c
7506
40c
7
Type C Type C-numbers Seen on 10c and 40c so far.
This equates to Barefoot Type C
and (I think), Hiscocks Type III.
1 0 0 5 0 4105
40c
181
10c
6
Type D Type D-numbers Seen on 10c, 15c, 40c and 50c.
digits well separated.
This does not appear to be listed.
1 4 0 1 1 5607
15c
1361
40c
7
Type E Type E-numbers Seen on 10c only so far.
These have probably been taken as
Types B and/or C which they resemble.
4 0 0 0 0 3410
10c
1148
10c
4
ALL TOTALS 8 18 7 15 13 49952
10c
181
10c
61

Kramer listed the control numbers known for each value, but combined all control types together:
10c brown: 341, 713, 1411, 2029, 5100, 5108, 8128, 8148, 49911 and 49928.
15c black: 353, 633, 642, 649, 8135, 8329, 8509, 8548, 8562, 10022, 10027, 10049, 10069, 10089 and 29908.
25c rose: 657, 1424, 3686, 4720, 8102, 8129, 8764, 8914, 8933, 8946, 12106 and 12146.
40c green: 1361, 1864, 7552, 7553, 7554, 7572, 7588, 7830, 7928, 7929 and 11907.
50c blue: 423, 633, 643, 672, 1864, 1874, 4898, 6022, 6024, 8647 and 24904.

15c - 29984
For the 15c, 29984 needs to be added as the highest, courtesy of Eric Jackson.

I have a limited number of usable images of the scarcer types at the moment. As I get more I will try to fill in the blanks.
* For Type A, I have 4 images of complete panes (15c x 2, 25c and 50c), on each of those the control numbers are sequential (15c - 8541-8545, 8551-8555, 25c - 8911-8915, 50c - 6046-6050).
I have 4 Type D images with the same number, 5607, at different angles/positions which suggests that they are all from the same pane with the same number on each stamp.
It would be interesting to know the way the other types were numbered and the significance of the differences.

Type A, pane of 15c
Type A, pane of 15c
Type A, pane of 25c
Type A, pane of 50c
The booklet panes above are Type A and the stamps are numbered sequentially from bottom to top.
The 15c at the top is courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions (click image for listing).
Below that, the 15c and 25c courtesy of ericjackson.com and 50c courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

Type D, MOCKUP of pane of 15c
This is a mockup of how a 15c booklet pane of Type D appears to have been numbered.

My thanks to Everett Ramsey for much help with this.
Who knows, there might even be more types.

Scans to help in completing this table would be much appreciated.
Images showing complete panes, even just pairs or a booklet cover, would be very helpful.

 

 

21. The Postal Telegraph-Cable Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The 'Postal' as it is often called was first incorporated on 21 June 1881 as the Postal Telegraph Company and reorganised early in 1884 as the Postal Telegraph-Cable Company.
It changed its name yet again in 1938 to Postal Telegraph Inc. and was finally absorbed by Western Union in 1943. Along the way it absorbed a number of smaller companies
including the Bankers' and Merchants' Telegraph Co. and the United Lines. Stamps and franks, not necessarily bearing the correct company name of the time, were issued
between 1885 and 1942. They may be divided for convenience into Prepayment Stamps, General Franks and Official Franks. The last were exactly the same as the general franks
in use but bore the name of the company to which they were issued. Other details will be found in notes associated with the listings below.

Shortcuts to other Postal Telegraph-Cable Co. sections
B. General Franks. C. Official Franks. D. Personal Franks. E. Complimentary Franks. F. Executive Franks. G. Collect Acceptance Cards. H. Forms.


A. Prepayment Stamps

1885(perhaps 12 February) Line engraved by the Hamilton Bank Note Company.
Sheets of 100 on medium-thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 14 on all sides.

It should be noted that in 1884 Nicholas Frederick Seebeck, also a dealer in postage stamps, had started working at the Hamilton Bank Note Engraving and Printing Company.
According to this article, these stamps were some of his first productions for them.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 10c shades USA Postal Tel-Cable 10c Perf.16 USA Postal Tel-Cable H2 colour trial
10c deep RH1 and RH2 remainders scanned together. 10c deep RH2a - Perf.16 - these are quite scarce. 10c orange RH2 Imperf. colour trial on India
The purple star was used on remainders, it is not a normal cancel. See note below. Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey

10c top-left detail USA Postal Tel-Cable 15c USA Postal Tel-Cable 15c remainder
10c top-left detail, top is Perf.16, then India, then from the block below, then the issued stamp. 15c reddish orange RH3 15c reddish orange RH3 remainder.
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey One of mine.

Rich & Rich say of the Perf.16 stamps 'they rank precisely with the famous "Premiere Gravures" of the U.S. 1861 postage issues'. Those have small differences to the issued stamps.
The paper for one thing, but as Everett points out, at the top-left it can be seen that early marks have been cleaned up for the issued stamps.
I have also seen imperforate 10c proofs where those vertical lines extend to the frame-line above.


USA Postal Tel-Cable H4b shades USA Postal Tel-Cable H4 shades
25c light ultramarine RH4b perf. 16, two examples scanned together.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
25c deep blue RH4 together with a light blue remainder, scanned together.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Rich & Rich maintain that like the 10c, there are two distinct shades of the perf.14 25c that "do not intergrade".
I have not found it easy to get images to clearly demonstrate this (even harder for the 10c). The two 25c H4 examples look very different, but how much of that is down to the colour of the paper ?

USA Postal 25c corner
There is a hint of other differences too. The broad frame, particularly at the top may have been strengthened and the triangular bits in the corners seems to have some differences.
These images are taken from the 3 stamps above in the same sequence. Note the speckled appearance of the perf. 16 stamp, more on that below.


USA Postal Tel-Cable H5 USA Postal Tel-Cable 50c USA Postal Tel-Cable H5a
50c deep brown RH5.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
50c deep brown RH5 remainder. 50c black RH5a perf. 16
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

H1b, H4b and H5a are thought to be essays (see note 1, below) they are referred to as perf.16 but actually measure about perf. 15¾

USA Postal Tel-Cable H3a H1b proved elusive, but it can now be seen above and there is a block of 4 below.
Strangely, the Perf.16 stamps that I have seen have small black 'speckles' all over them,
front and back. Though a bit variable in intensity, it gives the stamp a
slightly grubby appearance. Who knows, perhaps there may be 15c examples with perf.16
going unrecognised in someone's collection.

RH # Hisc. Description Mint Used Rem.
RH1 H1 10c green 4.50 - 1.50
RH1a H1a         imperf. between horizontal pair 50.00 - 30.00
RH2 H2 10c deep green 3.00 - 0.90
RH2a H1b         perf. 16 (see note below) 80.00 - -
RH3 H3 15c reddish orange (plate 3) 3.00 - 1.50
RH3a H3a         imperf. between horizontal pair (plate 3) 50.00 - 30.00
RH3b -         plate 1 - - -
RH3c -         plate 2 - - -
RH4 H4 25c deep blue 3.00 - 1.20
RH4a H4a         imperf. between horizontal pair 60.00 - 45.00
RH4b H4b         light ultramarine (perf. 16, see note 1 below) 40.00 - -
*RH4c -         light blue (perf. 14) 3.00 - 1.50
RH5 H5 50c deep brown 4.50 - 4.50
RH5a H5a         black (perf. 16, see note 1 below) 20.00 - -
I have added 2 more plates for the 15c. See below for details of differences.  
* I have added this since it is in American catalogues and does seem reasonable.

The 15c blocks left and right, courtesy of Eric Jackson, are examples of RH3a.
They also serve to illustrate the Hamilton Bank Note Co. imprint.
According to Rich & Rich, on sheets of the Perf.16 stamps, these are replaced by
"a handstamped imprint, in magenta, of the Hamilton Bank Note Co's name in large capitals".

They also say that the the 50c brown perf.14 exists without the imprint.
USA Postal Tel-Cable H3a

 

USA Postal Tel-Cable 10c H1b block front USA Postal Tel-Cable H1b block back USA Postal Tel-Cable 25c H4b block front
Block of 4 x H2a (perf 15.8) - this is the only such block that I've seen.
Rich & Rich describe these as being equivalent to the US Premiere Gravures of 1861.
Like some of them, the 10c appears to be on thin 'quasi-transparent' paper. Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Block of 4 x H4b (perf 15.8)
courtesy of Eric Jackson.

USA Postal Tel-Cable H5a block USA Postal Tel-Cable H5a block back USA Postal Tel-Cable 25c H4 block front
Block of 4 x H5a (perf 15.8)
Rich & Rich describe these as being equivalent to the US Premiere Gravures of 1861.
One thing that I have noticed which does not appear to be in previous literature on the perf.16 stamps, is the black speckled nature of them:
Block of 4 x H4 (perf 14) for comparison with above,
courtesy of Eric Jackson.

 

USA Postal Perf.16 speckling on 10c   USA Postal Perf.16 speckling on 25c   USA Postal Perf.16 speckling on 50c

It is most apparent on the 10c and 25c, but can also be seen on the 50c in the white areas. It is also on the back.
It is not entirely uniform and I have no idea what the cause of it is.

Hiscocks added the following 3 Notes:

Note 1. Nos. 1b, 4b and 5a are earlier than the issued stamps and were probably
                essays and not issued although fully perforated and gummed.
                No. 5a has also been reported perf. 14. It is not clear whether
                this is a separate variety or an error.
Note 2. Most were unsold and later bought by a dealer. These remainders were
                cancelled with a purple shaded star and are quite common in this condition.
                they are priced above under 'Rem'.
Note 3. The existence of genuinely used copies is doubtful. Remainders have
                been offered as used copies, the overprint being confused with a cancellation.

 

The 15c stamp.

This is the odd one out in that no perf. 16 examples have been reported. Like probably most people, I thought it was rather boring, existing simply as with or without the purple star.
Thanks to Everett Ramsey, I now know better. The perforated 15c stamps are represented by at least 3 different plates, though all are perforated approximately guage 14.
It is not totally certain which order these were produced in, but I will assume for now, subject to revision, that the rarest was the first and the commonest was the last.
If dated die proofs exist for them, then that may provide a defintive answer.

The following images are kindly provided by Everett Ramsey, the 3 types being scanned together.
The difference is in the junction of the borders at the bottom-left corner.

USA Postal Tel-Cable RH3b

USA Postal Tel-Cable RH3b detail
Plate 1? - RH3b, 1 example seen.
USA Postal Tel-Cable RH3c

USA Postal Tel-Cable RH3c detail
Plate 2? - RH3c, 5 examples now seen.
USA Postal Tel-Cable RH3 (600dpi)

USA Postal Tel-Cable RH3 detail
Plate 3? - RH3, 16 examples seen.

The (first) 2 examples of RH3c both have the 5-point star and seem to have slightly whiter paper than the others.

So the 15c is not so boring after all, you might want to doublecheck any that you have, perhaps you will find an early one without the star, a 4th plate or even a perf.16 !


Everett Ramsey has an alternative view of the usually accepted sequence of these stamps. To appreciate it, you need to be familiar with the exploits of N. F. Seebeck.
The pdf ebook referenced in this article gives a detailed history except for one thing. Seebeck's did not get a contract for the Hamilton Bank Note Company to provide postage stamps for Costa Rica.
This is presented as a failure, which it was for the Hamilton, and perhaps for the people of Costa Rica, but the evidence suggests that Seebeck personally, found a more lucrative alternative.

Postal Telegraph Company
An Alternate Study of the First 4 Stamps
10c, 15c, 25c, and 50c

By: Everett Ramsey

The Company was organized in New York State on June 21, 1881, as the "Postal Telegraph Company."
The Stamps were produced by the HAMILTON BANK NOTE CO. NEW YORK

The accepted time line of the stamps is as follows:

      The 1947 book “United States Telegraph Issues” by Joseph S. and Stephen G. Rich is the source of what is thought to be
an accurate account of the how and when the stamps came into existence. Per the book: The date of Feb. 12, 1885 is ascribed
to the four prepayment stamps, apparently on the basis of contemporary reports of their appearance.
They were imprinted as products of the Hamilton Bank Note Co. New York, issued in sheets of 100 Perforated 14 on all 4 sides
The 10c is listed as Green and Deep Green; 15c Orange Red; 25c Blue and Deep Blue and 50c Brown.

      A note is made that a 10c Green, 25c Ultramarine, and 50c Black Perforated 16 on all four sides with a Magenta handstamp in
place of the imprints, of the HAMILTON BANK NOTE CO. In large capitals are known. Then the Rich's claim that is proof these
are an earlier printing. They go on to say these stamps were never put into use, and in fact not even known until after 1900.

      It is further noted that large numbers of remainders were sold, we understand in the middle 1890's, to a New York stamp dealer.
These so called remainders are marked with a 5 pointed shaded star in purple. They are noted and priced as separate items by Scott.
These are very plentiful. They exist thus, not only as singles, pairs and blocks, but as full sheets with gum.

My time line of the stamps is fully explained as follows:

      I agree with the entire first paragraph. The stamps are very well produced not only in there quality of engraving and printing
as well as clear and clean paper down to the fine detailed imprint. Not anything like the Perf. 16 stamps later discovered.
I believe these are the first printing and where produced to showcase the ability of the Hamilton Bank Note Co.

      As to the perforated 16 stamps, I have a few examples of all three. Each denomination is printed on blotchy paper with what
some describe as possible mold caused by improper storage. The engraving is weak and incomplete in some areas.
These are not the work of a first class company. Even the imprint is cheap and looks rushed
I have a hard time believing Hamilton would use these as a first example of there work to a new client.
I believe these are the last printing and where produced for sale to stamp collectors. I am guessing late 1898 or early 1899.
The Rich's note that these stamps were never put into use, and in fact not even known until after 1900.

      Collectors have insisted that some 15c Perf.16 stamps must have been produced. I say no 15c Perf.16 were ever produced.
If my assumptions are true the plates for the first issue were well worn after making the remainders and put in storage.
They remained in storage for another four or five years. When the decision was made to produce even more Postal Telegraph
stamps for collectors the 15c plate was missing or damaged beyond repair. So go with three values, that is better than none.
They were produced with well-worn plates that had been kicked around the storage vault on what ever paper they had

      Mr. Nicholas Seebeck the main person in charge at Hamilton at that time, was well known for producing stamps to sell to
collectors. Ref. book: Seebeck Hero or Villain By: Danilo A. Mueses 2nd Edition Oct. 31st, 2018 Detailed information not previously
available. Through several contracts with Latin American Countries Hamilton provided the postage stamps free. The catch was he
named the denominations to be printed, new stamps would be provided annually and the unsold stamps would be returned to him.
He provided many denominations that had no relation to actual postal rates and naturally went unsold.
Scott and other catalogs added the new stamps to their listing annually. Mr. Seebeck had ownership of these newly listed stamps.
He was able to sell them to stamp collectors for inflated prices. Many times he would print large amounts of the new stamps and
not send them to the country, but hoard them. That way he had early access to the new stamps and start selling them faster.

      Mr. Nicholas Seebeck died on June 23, 1899 age 42. The production of the Perf.16 stamps may have been his final venture.

      I further believe the large amount of remainders were produced by Mr. Seebeck without the knowledge of Postal Telegraph Co.
And sold to the stamp dealer by Mr. Seebeck. That would help to explain how the star marked stamps came into being, but
many went unmarked. Hamilton did deliver the first printing to Postal Telegraph and they held them in storage.
Since none were ever used it became a problem keeping them so they liquidated the entire amount without any markings.

 

Perforated 16 Perforated 14
Article image 1   Article image 2 Article image 3   Article image 4

Moldy, dirty paper - poor engraving – cheap rubber handstamp

Bright clear paper - crisp engraving – engraved imprint
Article image 5
Image taken from book by George Jay Kramer (1992).
Article image 6
Image taken from book by George Jay Kramer (1992).

 

 

 

1907 Typographed in panes of four on medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 1c USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 2c USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 5c USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 25c
1c H6 2c H7 5c H8 25c H9a
Courtesy aldrichinc on ebay (click image for listing). One of mine. Images courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay, click image for listing)

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H6 1c deep slightly reddish brown 20.00 -
H7 2c deep lilac 20.00 -
H8 5c deep green 24.00 -
H9 25c vermilion 24.00 -
H9a         light red 24.00 -

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. These were introduced as an experiment and their sale to the public was
                extended through 1908. However sales were small and I am not aware
                of any used copies.
Note 2. Two distinct shades of No. 9 are reported. My own copy is vermilion and I am
                not sure of the true colour of the other version (No. 9a) not having seen one.

My Note: These are listed as without watermark, but there is a paper makers watermark on some.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 2c Watermark
'DENNIS' watermark inverted.

 

B. General Franks
Given to shareholders and others who rated free services.
These were all normally printed in panes of four and imperforate around the outer edges.
However, for some years there exist examples perforated on all sides and often in very different colours.
It is not known for certain why this is, though there are theories. They generally have control numbers.
See Hiscocks note after H22.

 

1892 Typographed by Moss Engraving Company N.Y., imprint at bottom-left. Signature of A. B. Chandler. (Formerly President of Atlantic & Pacific)
Thick wove paper. No watermark. Perfs. various as indicated between stamps. Control numbers in red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1892 Frank, H10 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1892 Frank, H11 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1892 Frank, H11a
*H10c Perf.14, courtesy of Everett Ramsey. H11 Perf.13½, courtesy of Everett Ramsey. H11a Perf. 13.4  x 14

 

RH # Hisc. 1892 Description Mint Used
RH10 H10 No value, darkish violet (perf. 14½) 30.00 30.00
RH10a H10a         perf. 13½ 30.00 30.00
RH10b H10b         perf. 13½ x 14 30.00 30.00
*RH10c -         perf. 14 30.00 30.00
RH11 H11 No value, grey-blue (perf. 13½) 18.00 18.00
RH11a H11a         perf. 13½ x 14 18.00 18.00
RH11b H11b         imperf. (pair) 60.00 -
RH12 H12 No value, slate purple (perf. 13½) 30.00 30.00
RH12a H12a         perf. 13½ x 14 30.00 30.00

* Added due to example shown.

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
light blue gray - 1221
gray lilac - 1226
violet - 1219

Hiscocks added the following 3 Notes:

Note 1. The above colours are all variable in shade. I have listed Nos. 10 and 12 separately
                because in my copies the colours seem quite distinct and studies have suggested
                that No. 10 exhibits the lowest control numbers, No. 12 the highest and No. 11, the
                colour of which is quite distinct from the other two, intermediate numbers, which may well
                reflect the order of printing and issue. This view would be supported if there are
                no violet/purple franks with control numbers above say 1000 perforated 14½.
Note 2. Imperf. specimens in brown red and grey-green, without control numbers are reported.
                These are presumably colour trials.
Note 3. Used copies were cancelled in pencil or crayon.

 

1893 As above.

USA Postal Tel-Cable H13 - 143 USA Postal Tel-Cable H13 - 1030 USA Postal Tel-Cable H13 - 1123 USA Postal Tel-Cable H13 - 1147
H13 Perf. 14 (top-left)
FAKE PERFORATIONS on left.
The holes are much too big.
H13 Perf. 14 courtesy of Everett Ramsey H13 Perf. 13½ courtesy of Everett Ramsey H13 Perf. 14.2

1893 As above.

USA Postal Tel-Cable H14 - 1208 USA Postal Tel-Cable H14 - 1309 1892 colour trial 1 1892 colour trial 2
H14 Perf. 14 x 14.1 courtesy of Everett Ramsey H14(?) Perf. 14 x 14.2 1892 colour trials looking very similar to the colours used in 1893
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson. Click on them for the listing.

 

RH # Hisc. 1893 Description Mint Used
RH13 H13 No value, brown-lake (shades)(perf. 14½) 10.00 10.00
RH13a H13a         perf. 14 10.00 10.00
RH13b H13b         perf. 14 x 14½ 10.00 10.00
RH13c H13c         perf. 13½ 10.00 10.00
RH14 H14 No value, rose red (shades)(perf. 14½) 18.00 18.00
RH14a H14a         perf. 14 x 14½ 18.00 18.00
RH14b H14b         perf. 14½ x 14 18.00 18.00

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. I have reversed the usual order of Nos. 13 & 14 to correspond to the control numbers
                on the assumption that high numbers were printed and issued later than low numbers.

My Note: The change of shade seems to have happened somewhere between controls 1147 and 1208,
but if Kramer is right, then the control numbers and colours have little relationship,
except perhaps for the lowest numbers.

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
salmon red - 1490
red brown - 1421

Top-Left H14 - Top-Left H13 - Top-Right Top-Right
Bottom-Left H13 - Bottom-Left H13 - Bottom-Right Bottom-Right
FAKE
Fully perforated
Fully perforated - Top-Left
Though the Fully perforated example has some surface damage, it can be seen to match the Top-Left example.
My thanks to Everett Ramsey for pointing out the fake perforations which now appear obvious !.

 

1894 As above but without imprint. Perf. 11¾

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1894 H15 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1894 - 1703 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1894 H15a
1894 H15 courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht H15a courtesy of Eric Jackson 1894 H15a courtesy of Everett Ramsey

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1894 H16a USA Postal Tel-Cable 1894 H16b USA Postal Tel-Cable my 1894 H16b USA Postal Tel-Cable 1894 H16c
1894 H16 courtesy of Everett Ramsey 1894 H16a courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht 1894 H16a my example showing part of a frank below. 1894 H16b type, though the listing is for a pair.

The two franks on the left have the same white marks below, to the right of the date. These are not on the other two franks.
Can anyone provide a scan of a brown 1894 frank with these marks ? Actually, more images without the marks would also be helpful.


Hisc. 1894 Description Mint Used
H15 No value, purple-brown (shades, red control) 6.00 -
H15a         control number in purple 15.00 -
H16 No value, pale grey-green (purple control, perf.12 on all sides) 15.00 -
H16a         no control number, perf.12 on all sides. 6.00 -
H16b         imperf. with no control number (pair) 25.00 -

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
violet brown - 1938
chocolate - 1884
gray green (perf) - 6000

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. The control numbers on Nos. 15 & 16 are close-spaced.
Note 2. No. 16 is perforated on all four sides. It is more common imperf. than perf.
                and it has been suggested that this frank was prepared for use but not issued.
                Used copies are not, of course, known.

Images of fully-perforated examples with control numbers would be very much appreciated.

 

1895 Altered design. Perf. 12 (rough)

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1895 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1895 Frank
1895 Frank
courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, click image for listing).
1895 Frank - courtesy of Gregg Nelson
(gnmexstmps on ebay, click image for listing)

 

Hisc. 1895 Description Mint Used
H17 No value, blue (control number in dark blue) 30.00 -
H18 No value, carmine (control numbers in crimson) 150.00 -

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
blue - 2888
rose carmine - 8300

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. No. 18 is perforated on all sides.

Images of more fully-perforated examples would be very much appreciated.

 

1896 As above but Company name altered. Perf. 12 (clean or rough). Control numbers in red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1896 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable H20
H19 Image courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click for listing). H20 Image courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

Hisc. 1896 Description Mint Used
H19 No value, grey-green (shades) 6.00 -
H20 No value, brown (perf. on all sides) 180.00 -

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
slate green - 4148
brown - 5200

According to Rich & Rich (1947), H20 is "probably the greatest rarity among the Postal's issues".
To be fair though, a lot has been discovered since 1947. Rich & Rich had never seen or heard of H29 either !

 

1897 As above but signatures altered. Perf. 12 (clean or rough). Control numbers in red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1897 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1897 H22 - 29800 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1897 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1897 - 34900
1897 Frank, H21 H22 courtesy of Gregg Nelson (gnmexstmps on ebay)
This is the bottom-left position (see below).
H22 courtesy of Everett Ramsey
This is the top-left position (see below).
H22 courtesy of Eric Jackson - 34900
This is the bottom-left position (see below).

 

Hisc. 1897 Description Mint Used
H21 No value, brown 6.00 -
H22 No value, reddish orange (perf. on all sides) 120.00 -

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
pale brown - 4331
orange - 30100, but 34900 can be seen above

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. The control numbers of No. 22 are in a much larger fancy type.
Note 2. It has been suggested that No. 22 together with Nos. 20, 18 and 16.
                were colour trials or essays and never in fact issued.

All of the control numbers on H22 appear to end with '00', so perhaps this was appended to the number that it would otherwise have been.

As an aside at this point, it is not made clear whether the stamps perforated on all sides were printed from different plates,
or from the booklet plates, but perforated differently. For the booklet plate, when the year changed, the master plate was used,
with the addition of changed year tablets for each of the 4 positions.
Presumably this was then multiplied for larger plates. The point is that the four positions were slightly different from each other and thus identifiable
regardless of perforation or lack of. Fortuitously, I have a pane of 4 of the normal 1897 issue, a bit falling apart, but good enough for my purposes.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1897 booklet pane 1897 booklet pane Top-Left 1897 booklet pane Top-Right
1897 H22 Top-Left (30100)
1897 booklet pane Bottom-Left 1897 booklet pane Bottom-Right
1897 H22 Bottom-Left (29800) 1897 H22 Bottom-Right

The H22 with control 29800 matches the H21 at the bottom-left of the pane, with the distorted period after the date.
The H22 with control 30100 matches the H21 at the top-left of the pane, with mark above-right of the period, mark top-left of '8' and several other features.
The bottom-right matches the closeness of '18' to the bottom edge and a few other details, but a better image would be appreciated.
Either these were printed from the same plate as the booklets and then perforated all around, or a new plate
was made for them by duplicating as many booklet blocks of four as necessary to fill the plate. Occam's razor suggests the former.
Images of more fully-perforated examples would be very much appreciated.

 

1898 Typographed by Thos. Knapp & Co. Control numbers in red.
Medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1893 Frank
H23 Courtesy of Mike (mr31248 on eBay.

Hisc. 1898 Description Mint Used
H23 No value, pale blue (clean or rough perfs.) 4.00 -
H24 No value, rose (clean perfs. on all sides) 150.00 -

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
pale blue - 5406
pale rose - 3500

Images of a fully-perforated (rose) example would be very much appreciated.

My Note: These seem to be scarcer than Hiscocks' pricing would suggest.

So why were there two distinctively different types from 1894 to 1898? There are various theories.
I will list the proposed theories, add a couple of my own, and present the evidence and then see how the theories stand up to them.

Year Normal colour Fully perforated clour Normal control Fully perforated control colour
1894purple-browngreen534 red, 1758 purple 3800 purple
1895bluecarmine 836, 2691 dark blue 5300, 5700 red
1896grey-greenbrown 1650, 3602 red 5200, 6100 red
1897brownreddish orange 1683, 4068 red 29800 red + 30100 red
1898pale bluerose 2058, 5397 red 1410, 3350, 3500 red
1899orange brown- 3658, 7029 blue -
Theory 1: "for individual fill in or even replacement use for a lost or exhausted normal booklet"
Theory 2: "replacement use with higher number controls to avoid confusion with the regular 'consecutive' number of the normal franks"
Theory 3: "they are essays/colour trials"
Theory 4: They were for VIP's flagging priority treatment.
Theory 5: They were the forerunner of the Official of 1900.

It should be noted that the first year of Western Union, the stamps were printed in sheets and perforated on all sides. Subsequent years
used a different plate for booklet stamps.

For theory 1, why would they need to be different perforation and colours? Western Union simply used the normal issue with either
            hand-written or hand-stamped controls.
For theory 2, 1897 is high and 1894 to 1896 are relatively high, additionally they all end with '00', perhaps appended, but not 1898 which
            was printed by Thomas Knapp & Co., and I don't know about 1899.
Theory 3 can explain the different perforations and colours problem, but why would they need perforations or even gum? Most of the 1894
            issue may be explained this way, but why only one colour which was not then adopted anyway? colour trials are generally in a range
            of colours, one of which is subsequently adopted. Only in 1896 was that true.

Theory 4 (my theory) does not suffer from these problems, however that does not prove it right.
Theory 5 (my theory) . The 1900 Officials were not all perforated all around, though most were,
and all stamps on a sheet appear to have had the same control number.

A problem with all these is that if the perf-all-sides type was produced using different plates, then two plates have to be modified each year rather than just one.
For most years, changing the year in each of the four booklet stamps is not a big job, but more work when the imprint was removed in 1894 and when the company name was changed in 1896.
Was it worth the extra trouble? Did they in fact simply use the booklet plates and perforate around the outer edges? I have shown above under 1897 that the stamps are at least
consistent with being printed from the booklet plate.

Can anyone offer any other theories?
Can anyone add to the fully perforated images?

 

1899 Typographed by the Moss Engraving Co. of New York. Control numbers in blue.
Medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 (rough or clean) between stamps.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1899 Frank
H25

Hisc. 1899 Description Mint Used
H25 No value, orange brown 3.00 -

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control number as 7226.

 

1900 As above but perf. 11 (rough or clean) between stamps. Control numbers in red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1900 Frank H26 - 7317 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1900 Frank H26 - 7674 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1900 Frank H27 - 3633 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1900 - 6653
1900 Frank - H26 -7317 1900 Frank - H26 - 7674 1900 Frank - H27 - 3633 1900 Frank - H27 - 6653
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Eric Jackson

I find it puzzling that the earlist 1900 stamps were apparently produced by a different (unknown) company using lithography rather than the typography used for the rest.
There are other differences, the 'curl' below 'ONE' on H26 is the same as 1899 and 1901, but on H27 is a simple hook. The lettering has differences too. Was this an experiment, or perhaps Moss Engraving Co. had a production problem.
We may never know, but Moss produced the later ones, or at least the ones with the higher control numbers. It is unfortunate that Hiscocks did not number them chronologically.
Kramer started recording highest control numbers for these. I am also interested in the lowest numbers to see if there is overlap and guage relative scarcity. For these I will try to show lowes and highest.
Can anyone help extend these ranges ?

 

Hisc. 1900 Description Mint Used
H26 No value, dark blue 5.00 4.00
H27 No value, dark blue ('COMPLMENTARY) 4.00 3.00

Kramer gave the following as the highest known control numbers:
H26 - was 7672, now 7674 shown above.
H27 - 7911

This last number for H27 is rather surprising since it is thought to be the earliest. Perhaps the old stock continued to be used.
John Barefoot illustrates 7031 for H27.

 

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. No. 27, in which the 'I' is missing from 'COMPLIMENTARY', is the more
                common and is from a different plate which differs in many other respects
                including the fact that it is lithographed rather than typographed like No. 26.

 

1901 As above but perf. 14 (rough or clean) between stamps. Control numbers in blue or red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1901 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1901 H28 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1901,H28 - 7064
1901 Blue control, H28 courtesy of tommyboy1967 H28 used courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht H28 courtesy of Eric Jackson

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1901 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable RH29a
1901 Red control, H29 courtesy of tommyboy1967 *RH29a courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

RH # Hisc. 1901 Description Mint Used
RH28 H28 No value, greyish green (shades)(blue control) 3.00 3.00
RH28 H28a         imperf. (pair) 60.00 -
RH29 H29 No value, greyish green (shades)(red control) 12.00 -
*RH29a -         imperf. between horizontal pair - -

Kramer gave the highest known control number as 7939.
He did not give the colour of it, I assume it was red. 7941 is shown above

I would like to know the highest and lowest red, as well as the highest blue controls.

* Added due to example shown above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. No. 29 has not previously been reported to my knowledge but I have a copy.

Booklet cover, front and back, outside and inside, in the colour of the Franks, courtesy of Dave (cliphead1) on eBay. (3/4 of my normal scale)
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1901 Booklet Cover front and back
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1901 Booklet Cover - inside
No.4785 issued to the Honourable William Linvingston, valid until 31 December 1901. The small print is interesting.
According to Rich & Rich (1947 Pg.56) "The distribution of franks has been severely restricted since 1900 by various anti-corruption laws, federal and state."

 

1902 As above, Perf.14, but signature of John W. Mackay.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1902 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1902,H30a USA Postal Tel-Cable 1902,H30 - pane
1902 Frank signed John W. Mackay *RH30a - imperf. between horizontal pair. RH30 - miscut pane of 4 - 6775.
One of mine Images courtesy of  Eric Jackson.

 

RH # Hisc. 1902 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH30 H30 No value, brown (red control) 2.00 4.00 8323
*RH30a -         imperf. between horizontal pair - - 3363

The 'Highest control' in the table are the highest known taken from Kramer. I will continue like this for subsequent ones.

*RH30a has been added due to the example shown above.

 

1903 As above (Perf.14, clean perfs. only) with signature of Clarence H. Mackay.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1903 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1904 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1904 Frank
1903 Frank signed Clarence H. Mackay 1904 Frank 1904 Frank
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey Image courtesy of Phil
(rebenic25 on ebay, click on image for listing)

 

Hisc. 1903 Description Mint Used Highest control
H31 No value, blue 4.00 2.00 10235
H31a         thin paper 4.00 2.00

 

1903 Booklet cover, front and back, in the colour of the Franks, courtesy of  Eric Jackson

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1903 booklet cover

1904 As above but perf. 12 (clean only) and thicker, slightly bluish paper.

Hisc. 1904 Description Mint Used Highest control
H32 No value, dark blue / bluish white 4.50 3.00 9824

 

1905 As for 1904, Perf.12, but on thin cream paper.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1905 Frank
1905 Frank signed Clarence H. Mackay

 

Hisc. 1905 Description Mint Used Highest control
H33 No value, dark greyish blue / cream 5.00 - 10375

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Has been reported used on forms but not cancelled.

Sale 52 Lot 2198
1905 Booklet with panes of 4.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

1906 As above, Perf.12, but on thicker paper more strongly blued than in 1904.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1906 Frank USA Postal Tel-Cable 1906 - 11165
1906 Frank signed Clarence H. Mackay H34 courtesy of Eric Jackson - 11165

 

Hisc. 1906 Description Mint Used Highest control
H34 No value, darkish blue / light blue 4.00 - 11165
H34a         imperf. between vertical pair 50.00 -

Kramer gave the highest control number as 11087, but 11165 can be seen above, so I updated it.

1906 Booklet cover, front and back, in the colour of the Franks, courtesy of  Eric Jackson

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1906 booklet cover

 

1907 Change of design and usage (see not below). Typographed in dark blue on coloured laid paper.
No watermark. Perf. 12 (clean). Numbered in red.
Booklet panes of 4, and some years of 8. Panes of 8 are fully perforated for the middle-top 2 stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 - 10 words yellow USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 - 10 words yellow , no control USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 - 10 words pink - 7709 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1907 - 10 words pink, no control
H35 courtesy of Eric Jackson. Click images for listing *RH35a courtesy of Everett Ramsey. H36 courtesy of Eric Jackson - 7708 H36a courtesy of Eric Jackson

 

RH# Hisc. 1907 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH35 H35 No value, very dark blue / yellow 27.00 - 8659
*RH35a -         no control number - - -
RH36 H36 No value, dark blue / pink 22.50 - 7708
*RH36a -         no control number - - -

*RH35a and RH36a added due to examples shown.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The wording of Nos. 35 and 36 imply a contract between the Telegraph Company and the user,
                as do those of the following years, but no user company is specified.
                These and the following stamps up to 1920 differ from those commonly but misleadingly
                referred to as 'Officials' only in that the user company is specified on the latter.

 

1908 Lithographed in panes of four or eight on medium or thick wove paper without watermark unless otherwise stated.
Perf. 12 between stamps.
Two basic types inscribed "One Telegram of 10 words" or "One Telegram". Control numbers in red unless stated otherwise.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - One Telegram of 10 words USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - H38 RH39
1908 Hiscocks H37 — 10 Words - 798
courtesy of Eric Jackson
1908 Hiscocks H38 — 10 Words
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht
RH39 - Courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - H40 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - One Telegram
1908 Hiscocks H40 — 10 Words (line under number) 1908 Hiscocks H41 — One Telegram
Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay)

 

RH# Hisc. 1908 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH37 H37 'One Telegram of 10 words', blue (shades) 22.50 - 798
*RH37a -         imperf. between horizontal pair, no control 90.00 -
RH38 H38 'One Telegram of 10 words', black 22.50 - 6400
RH39 H39 'One Telegram of 10 words', yellow (rose-red control) 120.00 - 6450
RH40 H40 'One Telegram of 10 words', yellow-brown (blue control)(see note below) 800.00 - [3771]
RH41 H41 'One Telegram', blue (shades) 30.00 - 4287

Kramer gave 764 as the highest control for RH37, but 798 can be seen above, so I have updated it.

*RH37a added due to example below.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - imperf between, no control
H37a (imperf between) courtesy of Eric Jackson.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. No. 40 is in fact an error from the last printing of the 1909 issue of that colour (No. 42).
                It ocurred on the upper right of the booklet pane of four and may thus be found.
                se-tennant with the 1909 franks.
                The error was apparently corrected quickly and the stamp is rare. - see below.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1094
H42b   from lot 1094 of the Wilson Born Collection.
- see below.
A similar pair, same control number, but without top selvedge and hinge-reinforced, was sold recently by siegelauctions.com for US$2700 (Sale No.1090).


1909 As above, but lines under numbers.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1909 - H42 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - H42a USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - H43
1909 Hiscocks H42   —   frame break under 'Y' 1909 Hiscocks H42a   —   Compare with the
frame-breaks below 'COMPANY' on the stamps each side.
1909 Hiscocks H43   —   frame break under 'Y'
Image courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay). One of mine. Image courtesy aldrichinc on ebay.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - H44 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1909 - One Telegram Block
1909 Hiscocks H44 — One Telegram, break below 'A' 1909 Hiscocks H441349
One of mine. Courtesy of Eric Jackson

 

RH# Hisc. 1909 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH42 H42 'One Telegram of 10 words', brown (shades) (blue control) 16.00 - 3771
RH42a H42a         yellow-brown (see note 1 below) 40.00 - 3635
*RH42b -         yellow-brown in pair with No. 40 1500.00 - † 3668 -
RH43 H43 'One Telegram of 10 words', olive-green (see note 2 below) 16.00 - 2006
RH43a H43a         watermarked 32.00 - -
RH44 H44 'One Telegram', pale reddish lilac 24.00 - 1349

For RH42a, Kramer listed 3518, but 3635 and 3668 (RH42b) can be seen above so I have updated it.
For RH44, Kramer gave 1348, but 1349 is shown and I have updated it.

For 1909 on yellow paper, see 1910 below.
* - See my note lower down below 1910.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1909 - H44 booklet
The colour suggests that this is a booklet cover for H44 - An example from Lot 1103 of the Wilson Born Collection.

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. No. 42a is a true variety and from a different stone from that used for No. 42.
                The lettering is thinner and clearer and there are less minor flaws than in No. 42.
Note 2. My copy of No. 43 appears to have part of a watermark — 'SS' in 13mm single
                line capitals.

 

1910 As above, Control numbers smaller and printed.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1910 - 10 words USA Postal Tel-Cable 1910 - One Telegram USA Postal Tel-Cable 1910 - One Telegram Wilson Born Collection lot 1107
1910 'One Telegram of 10 words' , H45 1910 'One Telegram of 10 words' , H46 1910 perf. 12 on all sides, H47a
1909 in error for 1910   RH47b  
One of mine. Courtesy of Mike (mr31248 on ebay). Courtesy of Eric Jackson. Lot 1107 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. 1910 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH45 H45 'One Telegram of 10 words', dark blue 20.00 - 3895
RH46 H46 'One Telegram of 10 words', brown 20.00 - 4076
RH47 H47 'One Telegram', blue-black / yellow laid paper 80.00 - 2310
RH47a H47a         perf. on all sides 100.00 -
RH47b -         perf. Dated 1909 in error 1600.00 - 3904
*RH47c -         RH47a and RH47b in pair - - -
RH48 H48 'One Telegram', reddish violet (shades) 16.00 - Bracket violet 1299
red violet 715
RH48a H48a         perf. on all sides 20.00 -

My notes:
Kramer does not give anything for this so I have entered the number.

*For consistency with RH42b, I have added RH47c. I presume that some must exist.

It looks like the first printing of 1909 was a modified 1908 stone with H42a being missed out.
Then, after the H42a error was discovered, a new stone was created for later 1909 printings, with a
frame-break below the 'Y' of 'COMPANY'. 1910 (10 words) was a new stone again, since they don't have that frame-break.


Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Nos. 47 and 48 were issued in panes of eight (and possibly in panes of four as well)
                which allowed for some franks being perforated on all sides.
                See also Nos. 54 and 56.

 

1911 As above.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1093
1911 H49  
Part of lot 1093 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. 1911 Description Mint Used Highest control
H49 'One Telegram of 10 words', reddish violet 100.00 - 1267
H50 'One Telegram', dark blue 24.00 - 617

 

1912 As above.

rumseyauctions sale 67 lot 2545 Wilson Born Collection lot 1097 H52
1912, H51 - highest known control 1655 (click image for listing) 1912, RH51a 1912, H52
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. Lot 1097 from the Wilson Born Collection. One of mine.

 

RH# Hisc. 1912 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH51 H51 'One Telegram of 10 words', dark blue 140.00 - 1655
RH51a -         No control 320.00 - -
RH52 H52 'One Telegram', reddish violet 21.00 - 1292

For RH51, Kramer gave the highest control number as 1531, I have updated it due to the example shown above.

 

1913 As above.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1092 Wilson Born Collection lot 1100
1913, H53 1913, H53a
Lot 1092 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1100 from the Wilson Born Collection.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1913 - One Telegram - 924 RH54e
1913 perf. 14, H54 - 924 1913 perf. 11¾, *RH54e
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson Image courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

RH# Hisc. 1913 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH53 H53 'One Telegram of 10 words', reddish violet 570.00 - 1689
RH53a -         No control 600.00 - -
RH54 H54 'One Telegram', dark blue (perf.14) 30.00 - 924
RH54a H54a         imperf. between vertical pair 200.00 - -
RH54b H54b         perforated on all sides 75.00 - -
RH54c H54c         perf. 11¾ 90.00 - 1217
*RH54d -         perf. 11¾ without control - - -
*RH54e -         perf. 11¾ no control, imperf between pair - - -

Kramer listed 401 as the highest control of H54, 924 is shown above so I have updates it.

* Added due to example shown above.

 

1914 As above but with no date. Perf. 14.
booklet panes of 8 for the blue.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1101 rumseyauctions sale 67 lot 2548
1914, H55 1914, H55b (click image for listing)
Part of lot 1101 from the Wilson Born Collection. Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - One Telegram USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - One Telegram - missing spurs H56d
H56 RH56c RH56d
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay). Courtesy of Eric Jackson. Click image for listing. One of mine.

 

RH# Hisc. 1914 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH55 H55 'One Telegram of 10 words', deep purple (shades) 80.00 - 2071
RH55a H55a         violet 80.00 - -
*RH55b -         no control number - - -
RH56 H56 'One Telegram', dark blue (shades) 1.50 - 1990
RH56a H56a         perf. on all sides 3.00 -
RH56b H56b         missing spurs (see note 3 below) 12.00 - 1963
*RH56c -         missing spurs, perf. on all sides 24.00 -
*RH56d -         with spurs. Without control number. 2.00 - -

Kramer does not give anything for this so I have entered the number.

* Added due to examples shown above.


USA Postal Tel-Cable - missing spurs - pane
A pane of the 'missing spurs' type, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
The third stamp at the top has a break in the 'O' of 'ONE' that matches the single shown above. Clearly a constant variety.
I do not know what company made these stamps, but then I don't know who made the others either.


Hiscocks added the following 3 Notes:

Note 1. In both Nos. 55 and 56 the date has been replaced by 'open' wording to the
                effect that the franks are valid until withdrawn.
Note 2. It is not known for certain how long these were in use but it seems probable
                that they were used in 1915 & 1916 while No.56 was overprinted for
                use in 1917, '18, '19 and '20. No overprinted dates for 1915 have been
                reported while No.55 overprinted for 1916 has been listed.
Note 3. No. 56b is missing the blue spurs on the outer ornamental lines above the
                'OS' gap in 'POSTAL' and below the 'M' in 'COMPANY'.
                It is not clear whether this variety exists for other dates.

My Note: As with the 1914 Illinois Central Railroad franks, there are numerous other differences with the 'missing spurs' franks.
It is not just one odd frank in the booklet pane, but a product of a different stone/plate.

 

1915 No examples are known or listed. Presumably some were overprinted 1915 similar to later years.
Anyone have one ?

 

1916 No.55 overprinted Type 15 (15mm) '1916' in blue.

RH57a Wilson Born Collection lot 1108
RH57a Courtesy of siegelauctions.com. Lot 1108 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. 1916 Description Mint Used
RH57 H57 'One Telegram of 10 words', violet 1000.00 -
RH57a -         without controls 1500.00 -

My Note: It is unclear what was used in 1915. There is a possibility that some 1914 stamps were used with or without an overprint similar to the 1916 issue.

 

1917 No.56 overprinted '1917' similar in blue.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1109
Lot 1109 from the Wilson Born Collection Ex.Kramer (book page 96).
This is damaged, but may be the only known example.

Hisc. 1917 Description Mint Used Highest control
H58 'One Telegram', dark blue 1500.00 - 164
H58a         perf. on all sides (?) - - -
H58b         missing spurs (?) - - -

 

1918 No.56 overprinted '1918' similar to type 15 in blue.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1918 - Overprint
H59 courtesy of Eric Jackson.

Hisc. 1918 Description Mint Used Highest control
H59 'One Telegram', dark blue 1500.00 - 190
H59a         perf. on all sides (?) - - -
H59b         missing spurs (?) - - -

Kramer does not give anything for this so I have entered the number.

 

1919 No.56 overprinted '1919' as type 15 (15mm) or in blue.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1919 overprint USA Postal Tel-Cable 1919 overprint USA Postal Tel-Cable 1919 overprint
H60a courtesy of siegelauctions.com. H60d courtesy aldrichinc on ebay. H60d courtesy of Eric Jackson.
15mm date numbering 23mm date numbering 23mm date numbering - click image for listing

 

RH # Hisc. 1919 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH60 H60 'One Telegram', dark blue 60.00 - 232
RH60a H60a         perf. on all sides (2 per pane of 8) 120.00 -
- H60b         missing spurs (?) - - -
RH60c -         23mm date numerals 60.00 - 222
RH60d -         23mm date numerals, perf. on all sides 120.00 -

My note: This (half scale) complete pane of 8 sold as lot 1111 of the Wilson Born Collection (for $250, Est.$975)
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1919 overprint pane.
None of the stamps on it are missing spurs. Kramer lists the overprints on these as 23mm high.
Rich & Rich (1947) gave the height of overprint for 1917, 1918 and 1919 all as 15mm high, it turns out that 1919 exists with both size overprints.


Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The blue outline numerals of type 15 are described as 15mm high elsewhere.
                Those of my copy of No.60 are about 23.5mm high.

 

1920 No.56 overprinted '1920' in blue.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1920 - Overprint
H61a courtesy of Eric Jackson (click image for listing).

Hisc. 1920 Description Mint Used Highest control
H61 'One Telegram', dark blue 45.00 - 288
H61a         perf. on all sides 90.00 -
H61b         missing spurs (?) - - -

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. The '1920' was hand stamped with an ordinary date stamp with the day and month blank.
                It is thus preceded by a dash and that by three thin parallel lines.
                In all these overprinted issues the overprinting is at variable angles and usually
                not within the confines of a single stamp.
Note 2. It is reported that the use of franks continued in 1921 and 1922 but what franks were
                used is not known; No.56 without overprint perhaps.
                No franks were then used until 1931.

My Note: Rich & Rich (1947) say of the dater used 1920 issue:
"This item was discovered only recently. Sloane reports it used Oct.20, 1921 at Muscatine, Iowa, as recorded by Kindle."
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1920 overprint pane.
Image courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

 

1931 Typographed in panes of six on medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf.14 between stamps. Control numbers in red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1931
Pair of H62

Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest control
H62 25c slate blue 0.50 - 2923

 

1932 As above but overprinted '1932' in 3¾mm red numerals (12mm long).

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1932
H63

Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest control
H63 25c slate blue 60.00 - 2840

 

1942 Lithographed in panes of eight on medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf.12½ between stamps. No control numbers. Booklet panes of 8.
These were available in $10 booklets. I do not know if that was all 25c, with another booklet for the 5c, or whether this booklet had some mixture.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1942 5c H64   USA Postal Tel-Cable 1942 25c H65
5c (H64) and 25c (H65)

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H64 5c pink 4.50 3.00
H65 25c pale blue 5.25 3.50

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. These were issued to company employees in the US armed forces for use within the U.S.
                They were discontinued on 7 October 1943 with the consolidation of the company
                with Western Union. They were pen cancelled in use.

1942 $10 Booklet, possibly in the colour of the Franks, courtesy of  Eric Jackson

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1903 booklet

 

C. Official Franks
These include initials of the name of the company authorized to use them.

 

1900 Lithographed in black on dull carmine medium wove paper. No watermark. Perf.11±¼ or 12 (more like 11¾) between stamps. Blue-black control numbers.
SUPTS. (Superintendents)

RH66, fully perf.11 RH66a, imperf on left RH66a, imperf on top and right
RH66 courtesy of Everett Ramsey. RH66a courtesy of Everett Ramsey. RH66a, corner, courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

 

USA Postal Tel-Cable - SUPTS
RH66 (perf.11) low number 7511

SUPTS RH66c - 7495
RH66b (perf.12) low number 7070 (used?)
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. Description Mint Used Control range
RH66 H66 No value, black / dull carmine (perf.11) 2.90 2.25 7511-7977
*RH66a -         imperforate on one edge (perf.11) 6.00 5.00
RH66b H66a         perf. 12 4.30 3.30 7070-7495
*RH66c -         imperforate on one edge (perf.12) 9.00 7.50

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. No.66 was printed in sheets and franks are commonly perforated on all sides.

*My Note:  I have now seen a number of examples that are not
perforated on all sides, including a corner.
I have not seen any with a straight edge at the bottom yet though.


Does anyone have pairs or blocks of these?
Does anyone have an example with a control that is not 4 digits starting with 7 ?

Kramer gave the highest known control as 7912. He made no distinction between
perforations, but the lowest numbers seem to be about perf.12, switching
to perf.11 somewhere between 7495 and 7511.
Anyone have any examples within this range ?

7977 can be seen on the right so I have updated it.


I am also interested in the lowest known number for each perforation so
I can find the range and see if they overlap.
I will put the lowest on the left and the highest on the right.

The frank numbered 7070 appears to be cancelled with what appears to be a name.
GEO. M. DU...
It still has a fair anount of gum.

SUPTS RH66 - 7977
RH66 (perf.11) high number 7977
courtesy of courtesy of Eric Jackson.

SUPTS RH66c - 7495
RH66c (perf.12) high number 7495
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

C.G.W. — Chicago, Great Western Railroad

1908
Lithographed on thick wove paper. No watermark. Perf.11¾ between stamps. No control numbers.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - CGW WCGW - 1909
1908 Hiscocks H67 1909 Hiscocks H68
Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, click for listing). Courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

Hisc. 1908 Description Mint Used
H67 'One Telegram' scarlet 24.00 -

 

1909 As above.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H68 'One Telegram' scarlet 50.00 -

 

1910 As above.

WCGW - 1910 WCGW - 1911
1910 Hiscocks H69 1911 Hiscocks H70
Courtesy of siegelauctions.com. Courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H69 'One Telegram' scarlet 50.00 -

 

1911 As above.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H70 'One Telegram' scarlet 32.00 -
H70a         brownish orange 32.00 -

 

1912 As above.

WCGW - 1912 Wilson Born Collection lot 1113
1912 Hiscocks H71 1913 Hiscocks H72
Courtesy of siegelauctions.com. Lot 1113 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H71 'One Telegram' scarlet 48.00 -
H71a         orange-red 48.00 -

 

1913 As above.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H72 'One Telegram' red 250.00 -

 

1914 As above but without date. Perf.14 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - CGW
1914 Hiscocks H73

 

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H73 'One Telegram' red 1.00 -
H73a         perforated on all sides (from pane of 8) 2.00 -

 

E.P. — El Paso and Northeastern Railroad

1908
As above. Perf.12 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable El Paso
RH74a courtesy of Eric Jackson (click for listing).

Wilson Born Collection lot 1115
RH74b - Lot 1115 (damaged) from the Wilson Born Collection

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH74 H74 'One Telegram' orange-yellow 150.00 -
*RH74a -         perforated on all sides 300.00 -
*RH74b -         imperf between pair - -

*RH74a and RH74b added due to examples above.

 

I.C. — Illinois Central Railroad

1908
As above. Perf.12 between stamps. Panes of 4 or 8.
No controls, but the booklet covers are stamped with a number in red.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - IC
1908 Hiscocks H75
Courtesy aldrichinc on ebay.

Hisc. 1908 Description Mint Used
H75 'One Telegram' dull yellowish green 20.00 -
H75a         perforated on all sides 40.00 -

 

1909 As above.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1909 - IC Wilson Born Collection lot 1116
1909 Hiscocks RH76a - Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Part of lot 1116 from the Wilson Born Collection

RH# Hisc. 1909 Description Mint Used
RH76 H76 'One Telegram' pale yellowish green 8.00 -
*RH76a -         perforated on all sides 16.00 -

* added due to example shown above.

 

1910 As above.

IC - RH77 and RH77a
1910 RH77 and RH77a - Courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH77 H77 'One Telegram' dark green 60.00 -
*RH77a -         perforated on all sides 120.00 -

* added due to example shown above.

 

1911 As above.

IC - H78 and H78a
1911 Hiscocks H78 and H78a (part of a pane of 8) - Courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H78 'One Telegram' dark green 40.00 -
H78a         perforated on all sides 80.00 -

 

1912 As above.

IC - H79
H79. Courtesy of siegelauctions.com.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H79 'One Telegram' green 500.00 -
H79a         perforated on all sides 750.00 -

 

1913 As above.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1117
RH80a - Part of lot 1117 from the Wilson Born Collection

Hisc. Hisc. 1913 Description Mint Used
RH80 H80 'One Telegram' green 700.00 -
*RH80a -         perforated on all sides 1000.00 -

* added due to example shown above.

 

 

1914 As above but without date. Perf.14 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - IC USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - IC no spurs
1914 Hiscocks H81b 1914+ Hiscocks H81c - missing 'spurs'
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay.

These two franks have profound differences and must be from different stones/plates.
Besides the missing spurs, there are numerous differences of detail, including thickness of lettering and 'PRESIDENT' getting underlined.
The 'missing spurs' type exists in both panes of 4 and panes of 8.

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H81 'One Telegram' dark green 1.25 -
H81a         perforated on all sides 2.50 -
H81b         light green (ex. pane of 4) 1.50 -
H81c         without 'spurs' (cf No.56b) dark green 2.00 -
H81d         as 81c but perforated on all sides 4.00 -

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. All shades are somewhat variable.
Note 2. The existence of a 'perf. all round' variety indicates
                issue in panes of 8 in all company franks.

 

 

O.D. — Old Dominion Steamship Company
1908
As above, but apparently only in panes of 4. Perf.12 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable Old Dominion
H82 courtesy of Eric Jackson (click for listing).

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H82 'One Telegram' pale purple 1000.00 -

 

P.R. or P.R.R. — Pennsylvania Railroad
1908
As above. but with handstamped control numbers in 6mm blue-black, fancy numerals preceded by
a separately stamped 6mm thick block capital A or B in purple. Panes of 4 or 8.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - RH83 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - PR USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - PR
1908 RH83 6mm control and letter 1908 RH83b 6mm control without letter 1908 RH83c 3.5mm control with letter
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson (click image for listing). Courtesy of Mike (mr31248 on ebay. Images courtesy of Eric Jackson (click image for listing).

 

RH# Hisc. 1908 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH83 H83 'One Telegram' orange-brown 20.00 - A5, B93
RH83a H83a         perforated on all sides 24.00 -
*RH83b -         6mm control without letter - - 14
*RH83c -         3.5mm control with letter in violet - - B277
*RH83d -         no control number - - -
*RH83e -         imperf. between horizontal pair (no cont.) - -
*RH83f -         'wing' at top or bottom (no control) 50.00 -
*RH83g -         imperf. between horizontal pair of RH83f - -

Kramer does not give anything for these so I have entered the numbers.

*RH83d, RH83e, RH83f and RH83g added due to example on right.
(the term 'wing' comes from British Victorian stamps that were
perforated down the center of inter-pane gutters.)

*RH83b and RH83c added due to examples above.

I think the ones without controls are remainders..

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1908 - PR pane
1908 booklet pane with imperf between and bottom 'wings'.
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson (click image for listing).

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1909 - H44 booklet
A booklet cover for H33 - An example from Lot 1123 of the Wilson Born Collection.

 

1909 As above but with similar control numbers in blue-black without initial letter. Perf.12 between stamps.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1909 - PR USA Postal Tel-Cable 1910 - PR USA Postal Tel-Cable 1910 - PR No Cont
1909 Hiscocks H84 (Perf.12) 1910 Hiscocks H85 (Perf.12) 1910 Hiscocks *RH85b (No control)
Images courtesy aldrichinc on ebay. Courtesy of Mike (mr31248.

 

RH# Hisc. 1909 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH84 H84 'One Telegram' yellow-brown 25.00 - 317
RH84a H84a         perforated on all sides 35.00 -
HR84b H84b         control number in blue (?) - - -

 

1910 As above but with similar control numbers in blue-black without initial letter.

RH# Hisc. 1910 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH85 H85 'One Telegram' orange 25.00 - 283
RH85a H85a         perforated on all sides 50.00 -
*RH85b -         No control number 30.00 - -

*I have added RH85b due to the item above.

 

1911 As above but with similar control numbers in blue-black without initial letter.

Hisc. 1911 Description Mint Used Highest control
H86 'One Telegram' orange-brown 60.00 - 291

 

1912 As above but with similar control numbers in blue-black without initial letter.

Hisc. 1912 Description Mint Used Highest control
H87 'One Telegram' orange-brown 60.00 - 265
H87a         without control number 72.00 - -

 

1913 As above but with similar control numbers in blue-black without initial letter.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1913 - PR USA Postal Tel-Cable 1913 - H88b USA Postal Tel-Cable 1913 - PR
1913 H88a 6mm control without letter. Perf.14
courtesy of Eric Jackson (click for listing).
1913 Hiscocks RH88d (Perf.14). Without control. 1913 Hiscocks RH88e (Perf.14 all round, no control).
Courtesy aldrichinc on ebay.

 

RH# Hisc. 1913 Description Mint Used Highest control
RH88 H88 'One Telegram' orange (Perf.12) - - -
RH88a H88a         perforated on all sides - -
RH88b H88b         perf. 14 15.00 - 295
RH88c H88c         perf.14 on all sides 30.00 -
*RH88d -         perf.14 without control 10.00 - -
*RH88e -         perf.14 on all sides, without control 20.00 -

*I have added these due to the items shown above.
I have not seen any Perf.12 stamps.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The 1913 issue is catalogued as Perf.14 elsewhere. My copy is perf. 12.

* A note of my own, I have seen 4 examples, all perf.14 and including the one illustrated,
without a control number, that I have added to Hiscock's list.

 

1914 As above but without date. Perf.14 between stamps. Smaller control numbers as for 1910 in black. Company initials changed to P.R.R. Panes of 8.

USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - PRR H89 USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - PRR H89a USA Postal Tel-Cable 1914 - PRR H89b
1914 Hiscocks H89 (Perf.14) 1914 Hiscocks H89a (Perf.14 all round, same control) 1914 Hiscocks *RH89b (No control)
Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay) One of mine. Courtesy of Mike (mr31248 on ebay).

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest control
H89 H89 'One Telegram' yellow-brown 18.00 - 377
H89a H89a         perforated on all sides 21.00 -
*RH89b -         No control number 17.00 - -
*RH89c -         No control number, perforated on all sides. 20.00 -

*I have added these due to the item above and one seen.

 

S.W. — El Paso Southwestern Railroad

1909
As above. No control numbers. Perf.12 between stamps.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1126 Wilson Born Collection lot 1124
H90 H91
Lot 1126 from the Wilson Born Collection. Lot 1124 from the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Hisc. 1909 Description Mint Used
H90 'One Telegram' yellow-orange 120.00 -

 

1910 As above, but reported as having a paper-makers watermark on some examples (large triangle and letters, Rich & Rich).

Hisc. Description Mint Used
H91 'One Telegram' orange-yellow 490.00 -
H91a         watermarked (triangle & letters) 630.00 -

 

1911 As above.

New York Union 10c New York Union 1c
*RH92a H93
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on them for listing).

 

RH# Hisc. 1911 Description Mint Used
RH92 H92 'One Telegram' yellow-orange 150.00 -
*RH92a -         perforated on all sides 250.00 -

*RH92a added due to example above.

 

1912 As above.

RH# Hisc. 1912 Description Mint Used
RH93 H93 'One Telegram' yellow-orange 150.00 -
*RH93a -         perforated on all sides 250.00 -

*RH93a added due to lot 1131 in the Wilson Born Collection.

 

D. Personal Franks
These are for a specific person authorized and have an expiry date.
Terms and conditions on the back.
These were not listed by Steve Hiscocks, but since they appear to be analogous to similar Message Coupons listed under Telephone stamps, I will list what I have.

Complimentary Frank 1895 front  Complimentary Frank 1895 back
Type 1 - 1895, front and back at 150dpi.

 

E. Complimentary Franks
These have a space for the name of the person authorized to use them and an expiry date.
Generally there were terms and conditions on the back.
These were not listed by Steve Hiscocks, but since they appear to be analogous to similar Message Coupons listed under Telephone stamps, I will list what I have.

Complimentary Frank 1888 front  Complimentary Frank 1888 back
Type 2 - 1880's, front and back at 150dpi. Terms and conditions, but no expiry date !

 

Complimentary Frank 1890 front  Complimentary Frank 1890 back
Type 3 - 1890's, front and back at 150dpi.
The earlier frank said on the back "This frank is not intended to cover messages of a business or political character."
That has been dropped on this, though the clause on the front about ".. personal or social character" remains and an expiry date has been added.
An interesting note on the back of this shows that when David B. Hill became Governor, his frank was returned.

 

F. Executive Franks

Complimentary Frank 1907
Type 4 - 1907 at 150dpi. This was for the Chairman of the Board, Albert B. Chandler. There were no terms and conditions on the back of this.
Albert Brown Chandler was a confidential telegrapher for President Abraham Lincoln during the civil war. He was President of the Postal by 1888,
and was until the owner, John William Mackay took over in 1902, to be replaced by his son, Clarence Hungerford Mackay the following year.
Albert B. Chandler signed the three Franks shown above. No doubt by 1892 he had grown tired of that.

 

G. Collect Acceptance Cards

Western Union Collect Authorization 1923 - front
Western Union Collect Authorization 1923 - back

1923 Collect Authorization. Courtesy Graeme of stampbargains4U on eBay.

 

`
RH# Type Description Mint Used
RH-EF1 1 1895 Frank - -
RH-EF2 2 188x Complimentary Frank - 20 words - -
RH-EF3 3 189x Complimentary Frank - 20 words - -
RH-EF4 4 1907 Executive Frank - -
RH-EF5 5 Collect Cards - -

 

`

H. Forms

Telegraph Form
A telegraph form of the 1880's courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

 

22. The Telepost Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The Company was set up in 1906 or 1907 and failed about a year or eighteen months later. It was intended that rapid mechanical transmission would be
used and that there would be frequent collections from numerous post boxes. Telegrams would be prepaid and stamps for this purpose were prepared
but there is no evidence that they were ever actually used. They were probably prepared in 1907 for issue in 1908 with an intended validity of two
years. Both types of stamps had instructions on the reverse including the promise that they could be exchanged for '1910 stamps' if presented at
company offices during February 1910. Both were gummed only over a 6mm band at the top.


My note: An apparently used example is shown below. Going by the range of control numbers,
At least 20,000 of the first type and 18,000 of the second with 20 or more different prefixes being used.
I find it very hard to believe that they were not extensively used.

They have the signature of the Pesident H. Lee Sellers. The system they used was invented by Patrick B. Delany and their electrical engineer was J. W. Larish.
They were intended to be attached to a 'Telepost Sending Blank' which were 25c each and allowed the sending of 25 words, with each 5c stamp paying for an additional 10 words.
There were discounts available, a book of 10 blanks cost $2.35, 25 for $5.65, 50 for $11.00 or 100 for $21.25.

According to a newspaper report in The Madison Daily Leader (October 15, 1908), A line was inaugurated on October 1, 1908 in Boston to connect with Portland, Maine via Lowell, Mass; Lawrence, Mass;
Haverhill, Mass; Exeter,N.H; Portsmouth,N.H; Dover,N.H; Biddeford,Maine; Saco,Maine and Old Orchard, Maine. The first message was from Mayor Hibbard of Boston to the Mayor of Portland.

Another report of July 22, 1910 refers to the inauguration of a line between Louisville, Ky. and Indianapolis, using the same line as the Independent Telephone Co.
They were then able to send messages to Terre Haute, Chicago, Springfield,Ill., St. Louis and Sedalia, Missouri and other places on the network.

An article in The Sun, NY April 24, 1911 says of the Boston-Portland line, the Telepost "closed all but 2 of its offices and all but gone out of business."

An article in The Sun, NY December 28, 1912 says 9 officers of Sterling Debenture Co arrested. Using Telepost in Mail Fraud. It also says "The Telepost Company which has frequently been alluded
to in the columns of The Sun, was at one time a protege of the Sterling company, but about a year ago severed connections and began a campaign
to rehabilitate its depleted finances under the name of the Metropolitan Telephone and Telegraph Company."

A report in 'The Idaho Republican' of June 4, 1915 refers to the telepost, still with the same President, having an existing line in operation between Chicago and St. Louis.
The Telepost is proposing working a project jointly with the Post Office. Called "Electric Mail". This was still being persued 1n 1919.

 

1907(?) Typographed by the Globe Ticket Company of Philadelphia on white paper
totally covered by a security design of the word 'Telepost' in grey.
Rouletted 7 between stamps (earliest may have been imperf.) Two control numbers per stamp in red.
These were gummed on the top part only (about 6mm strip). In use, the bottom part was torn off as a receipt.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1134 Eg00053
Imperforate pair from lot 1134 of the Wilson Born Collection. Strange numbering ! Front and back of Eg00053. Note the gummed area at the top. '[401]' at the bottom. Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Telepost Co. 5c - Ea Telepost Co. 5c - Ef Wilson Born Collection lot 1134 - Ek
H1 - Ea53211 H1 - Ef03103 H1 - Ek54552 cancelled - highest number
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click it for listing). Unknown source   (anyone recognise it?) From lot 1134 of the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH1 H1 5c black 280.00 480.00
RH1a -         imperf. - -

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Control numbers preceded by E, Ea, (Eb), Ec, (Ed), Ee, Ef, Eg, Eh, Ei, Ej, Ek, or J where
                those in brackets have not been reported but probably exist.

Kramer reported the highest control number seen for H1 as Ek (5)4552.

 

 

1908(?) Lithographed by the Globe Ticket Company of Philadelphia on white paper
totally covered by a security design of the word 'Telepost' in grey.
Rouletted 7 between stamps (earliest may have been imperf.) Two control numbers per stamp in red.
These were gummed on the top part only (about 6mm strip). In use, the bottom part was torn off as a receipt.

Telepost Co. En50304 Telepost Co. 5c Es59753
H2 - En50304 H2 - Ep50001 Front and back of new highest number Es50753. Note the gummed area at the top. 'Form 401.' at the top.
From the Wilson Born Collection. Image courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on it for listing). Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Telepost Co. 5c Eq pair Telepost Co. 5c Er pair
H2 - Eq 0/5 pair new highest number 0453 H2 - Er 0/5 pair new highest number 1003
Image courtesy Eric Jackson  (click on it for listing). Image courtesy Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.   (click on it for listing).

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH2 H2 5c black (lithographed) 245.00 410.00
*RH2a -         imperf. without control 120.00 -

 

Up to here, these ve been in pairs with the left stamp numbered starting with '0' and right starting with '5', even for stamps lettered with 'J'.
For the second type though, those starting with 'J' are either '2' on the left and '7' on the right, or '4' on the left and a number that I do not know on the right.

Telepost Co. J pair 2/7
H2 - J 2/7 pair
From the Wilson Born Collection.

Telepost Co. J21861 Telepost Co. J44700 used
H2 - left J21861 H2 - left J44700 cancelled
From the Wilson Born Collection.

* I have added RH2a to accommodate the example shown below.
Kramer listed the highest control number for H2 as E (0)9050.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Control numbers preceded by J, Em, En, (Eo), Ep, Eq, Er, Es, Et or Eu where
                Eo has not been reported but probably exists. El probably also exists but
                it is not known for which stamp.

Telepost Co. 5c
Without controls, courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click for listing).

 

Kramer tabulated the highest control number seen for these.
Because of the way the numbering was done,
the first digit and leading zeroes are not significant for this.
The part compared is shown in bold type.

Type I
first #
0 and/or 5
Type II
first # except J
0 and/or 5
54214 09050
Ea 53212 Em 50200
Eb En 50304
Ec 51951 Eo
Ed 52500 Ep 00002
Ee 50054 Eq 00453
Ef 03103 Er 01003
Eg 50054 Es 50753
Eh 01438 Et
Ei 50053 Eu 50003
Ej
Ek 54552
El 21861
52175 44700
Total  20,201 Total  18,326

I have updated Er due to the illustration shown above. It was Er51001. The John Barefoot catalogue also illustrates 01002. Ef03103 added, previously none listed.
Also En50304 replaces En50303, Eq00453 replaces Eq00452, Es50753 replaces ES50751 and J21861 replaces J71860 these are
due to images shown above (I have also seen 1854, 1856 and 1859 as J2/J7 pairs).

- these are illustrated above.
Note that quite a few of these highest numbers were in the Wilson Born Collection and can be seen in this PDF.

 

Cancels.

Two examples of cancelled stamps are shown above. They are the only ones that I know of.
They both appear to have the same cancel, which is inverted relative to the stamp.
I do not know if the backs still have gum. Supposedly, in normal use, they would have been torn in half.

Telepost cancel 2
Telepost cancel 1   Telepost cancel 3 (enhancement)
This would seem to read A K 3 / NOV 24 1913. This seems strange if the stamps were not valid after Feb. 28, 1910.
In addition the stamps were intended to be torn in half in normal use.
I do not know when this company ceased operating or what happened to them. Rich & Rich think that they fell victim to the 1907-08 financial depression.
It is possible that the 'cancel' was added later to enhance the value. It is not unknown for that to happen. Does anyone recognise this mark?

 

Stationery.

Telecard 1
Telecard 2 This shows the two sides of a very scarce TeleCard for 1908-1909, courtesy of Mike Aldrich.
It allows the sending of 10 words for 10c by a combination of Post and Telegraph.
The address site has space for a 1c stamp, a list of open offices and a list of telegraphic services.
Telegrams required a 'Sending Blank' with an option of additional stamps as shown above.
TelePosts appear to be similar to TeleCards, but allow 50 words for 25c and additional words
for 5c per 10 words. These presumably have space for additional stamps.
TeleTapes also require the use of a 'Sending Blank' but you get 100 words for 25c by
supplying a perforated tape. They leased machines for producing them.
RH# Description Mint Used
RHF1 25c Sending Blank - -
RHF2 25c Telepost form - -
RHF3 10c TeleCard - -

Telepost Advert
An advert listing services offered by the company, ourtesy of Siegel Auctions.

 

 

23. Tropical Radio Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The Company operated in the 1920s and produced two stamps in 1926. It is not known for certain whether
they were ever used although the company president later said that "doubtless some were used".


My note: According to John Barefoot, it was actually set up in 1913 as a wholy-owned subsidiary of the United Fruit Company.

 

1914 Frank - not listed by Hiscocks so I have added it.
This is a rework of the 1913 United Fruit Co. issue below.

Printed by John A. Lowell Bank Note Co. Boston. Perf. 11¾

Tropical Radio 1914 Frank Wilson Born Collection lot 1135
1914 Frank *RH1 1914 Frank proof block of four, on darker blue paper.
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click for listing). From lot 1135 of the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
*RH1 - No value, dark / blue 250.00 -

*I have added this as the first (H1) and re-numbered, due to the example above.
Other years may also exist. I would be interested in hearing from anyone that has any.

Kramer reported the highest control number seen as 166.

 

1926 Lithographed on white wove paper by the American Bank Note Company. No watermark. Perf.12 between stamps.

Tropical Radio 5c Tropical Radio 25c Tropical Radio 5c - 1929
5c RH2 25c RH3 5c RH8 - 1929
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on them for listing).

 

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH2 H1 5c red (control No. in green) 100.00 -
RH3 H2 25c green (control No. in red) 130.00 -

Kramer reported the highest control numbers seen as 5c - 75 and 25c - 33.
He did not list the ones below.

The above stamps overprinted for use in later years.

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH4 - 5c red (1927) - -
RH5 - 25c green (1927) - -
RH6 - 5c red (1928) - -
RH7 - 25c green (1928) - -
RH8 - 5c red (1929) 200.00 -
RH9 - 25c green (1929) - -

I have only seen this 5c with diagonal overprint saying "GOOD FOR 1929" in black.
It seems likely that something similar was done for other years and for the 25c.
I would welcome images of any of these, or further information.

 

Tropical Radio pane
Specimen control '00000' with punch holes, taken from Wikimedia Commons
1926 Booklet, in the colour of the 25c stamps, courtesy of  Eric Jackson
containing 14 5c red panes and 7 25c green panes.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1943 booklet


1926 Punched pane of 25c stamps, courtesy of  Eric Jackson
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1943 booklet

 


24. United Fruit Company Wireless Service

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The company operated the "Great White Fleet" in the Caribbean carrying freight and passengers. It operated its own telegraph service both for its
passengers and for business purposes. The stamps (franks) are reported to have been issued to fruit growers to enable them to inform the line when
cargoes would be ready for loading. It seems likely that the franks were actually used although no used copies have been reported.

1910 Engraved by the John A. Lovell Bank Note Company of Boston on coloured (1910) or surface coloured paper. Perf. 13? between stamps. Booklet panes of 4.
Very similar to Western Union stamps of the time.

United Fruit Co. 1910 United Fruit Co. 1911 United Fruit Co. 1912 United Fruit Co. 1913
1910 Frank H1 1911 Frank H2 1912 Frank H3 1913 Frank H4
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on them for listing).

 

Hisc. 1910 Description Mint Used Highest control
H1 No value, black / yellow 50.00 - 250

 

1911 As above.

Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest control
H2 No value, deep grey-green / pale green (surface) 60.00 - 91

 

1912 As above.

Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest control
H3 No value, brown / orange-red (surface) 60.00 - 179

 

1913 As above.

Hisc. Description Mint Used Highest control
H4 No value, dark blue / blue 60.00 - 250

The highest control numbers were initially taken from Kramer.
Kramer reparted the highest control for 1913 as 246.
248 can be seen above and 250 on the right.

Image courtesy of Eric Jackson (click it for listing).

United Fruit Co. 1913 pane - 250

 

 

25. United States Telegraph-Cable-Radio Carriers

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This Company is reported to have prepared telegraph stamps or franks but I have not
yet been able to discover any details. Presumably they were not put to use.

Luckily I came across this PDF newsletter at lcpshome.org that provides the information that these stamps that I had thought
should be under Western Union, in fact belong here. Scott lists them under 17Txx.
These were issued in conjunction with the 1947 World Telecommunications Conference in Atlantic City NJ.

According to John Barefoot, they were valid on lines run by All America Cables & Radio, Commercial Cable, Globe Wireless,
Mackay Radio & Telegraph, R. C. A. Communications, Tropical Radio, and Western Union.

1947 This is not in Hiscocks book. I have scaled it on the assumption that it is Perf. 12½ as the previous stamps.

Western Union 1947, 5c Wilson Born Collection lot 1142 - 10c 50c
1947  RH1a  5c   (click image for listing) 1947  RH2  10c 1947  RH3a  50c
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay) Lot 1142 of the Wilson Born Collection. Anon.

 

RH# Description Mint Used
RH1 5c gold 2.00 -
RH1a         perforated on all sides 2.50 -
RH2 10c gold - -
RH3 50c gold 4.00 -
RH3a         perforated on all sides 5.00 -

The booklets contained one page with 8 x 5c and a single 10c making the 10c very scarce and pairs with 5c and 10c exist.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1142 Western Union 1947, 50c booklet pane
1947  8 x 5c, plus 10c 1947  50c booklet pane   (click image for listing)
Lot 1142 of the Wilson Born Collection. Courtesy aldrichinc on ebay

 

 

26. United Wireless Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
This Company issued stamps from 1908 to 1912 in which year it presumably failed. The rather complex range of stamps reflect the changing
fortunes of the Company and were thus evidently printed each year rather than all in advance. It therefore seems highly probable that they were
used although evidence of actual use is lacking. All were lithographed in panes of four but the printer is unknown.

1908 Lithographed. Perf. 14 between stamps. Signature of C. C. Galbraith (Manager of Marine Dept.) or C.C. (Christopher Columbus) Wilson (President). Control numbers in red. Panes of 4.

United Wireless. 1908 United Wireless. 1908 high control
RH1
Courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click image for listing).
RH1a
From the Wilson Born Collection.

 

The 'Highest known' column in the table is initially quoting Kramer.
Kramer gave 366, but 530 can be seen above so I have updated it.
* Hiscocks did not list this, but I have added it due to examples in the Wilson Born Collection.

 

RH# Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used Highest known
RH1 H1 1 No value, indigo 50.00 - 530
*RH1a - 1 (C.C. Wilson) 65.00 - 203
United Wireless. 1908 pane
Booklet pane of *RH1a - from lot 1136 of the Wilson Born Collection. It included 2 panes like this.

 

1909 As above but C. C. Galbraith is now General Manager.

United Wireless 1909 United Wireless - Galbraith & Wilson pair
RH2 RH4a - Galbraith & Wilson pair, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

United Wireless with and without control United Wireless - imperf between
H2 with and without control. This indicates that the control numbers were added before guillotining.
Image courtesy of Siegel Auctions
*RH2c - courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, click on image for listing).

United Wireless pair with bottom wing-margin United Wireless with bottom wing-margin
RH4a Galbraith & Wilson pair with wing margin at the bottom.
Image courtesy of Siegel Auctions
RH3 with wing margin at the bottom from right edge of sheet.
Image courtesy of Siegel Auctions

This extensive range of images is to show the evidence used to justify the supposed sheet layout shown below.

RH# Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used Highest known
RH2 H2 1 No value, brown (Galbraith) 25.00 - 750
RH2a H2a 1         horizontal pair 60.00 - -
RH2b H2b 1         imperf. between horizontal pair 100.00 - -
*RH2c - 1         No.2b without controls 50.00 - -
RH3 H3 1 No value, brown (Wilson) 50.00 - 171
RH3a H3a 1         horizontal pair 100.00 - -
RH4 H4 1 Nos. 2 and 3 in horizontal pair 125.00 - -
RH4a H4a 1         imperf. between 125.00 - -

* I have added this to accommodate the example above.

I am puzzled about H4, since there would never have been perforations between these two types anyway !
In the normal course of events they would be separated by guillotine to go into different booklets.
Items like these only exist because at the end of the life of the company, remaining sheets were broken up by tearing along perforations without the guillotining process.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Panes have been reported with all Galbraith signatures (most common), all Wilson
                signatures and Galbraith on the two left and Wilson on the two right hand franks.

 

1910 As above but slightly smaller. Thin paper which can be white or yellowish.

United Wireless 1910 1910 - imperf between pair
1910 H5 (Galbraith) 1910 H5a (Galbraith)
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on images for listing).

United Wireless 1910 United Wireless 1910 no control United Wireless 1910 high control United Wireless 1910
1910 H6 (Wilson) dark grey-green on cream 1910 H6a (Wilson) dark grey-green, no control 1910 H6 (Wilson) dark grey-green, high control 864 1910 H6 (Wilson) dark grey-green on white
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy of Siegel Auctions. One of mine.

 

RH# Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used Highest known
RH5 H5 2 No value, dark grey-green (Galbraith) 10.00 - 732
RH5a H5a 2         imperf. between horizontal pair 35.00 - -
RH5b H5b 2         on yellow paper (single copies only) 20.00 - -
RH6 H6 2 No value, dark grey-green (Wilson) 15.00 - 864
RH6a H6a 2         without control number 24.00 - -

Kramer gave 849, but 864 can be seen above so I have updated it.


Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Combination sheets of Nos. 5 and 6 have not been reported and ordinary pairs
                thus have no special significance.

 

1911 As above but with the words 'of New York' introduced below 'Company'. Control numbers in blue.

United Wireless 1911- Galbraith United Wireless 1911- Wilson 1911 - imperf between pair
1911 H7 (Galbraith) 1911 H8 (Wilson) 1911 H8a (Wilson) imperf. between pair
Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on images for listing).

United Wireless - 1911 Galbraith no control United Wireless - 1911 Wilson no control United Wireless - 1911 Galbraith & Wilson pair - 893
*RH7b and *RH8b, no control numbers *RH9 - Galbraith & Wilson pair with high Galbraith control 893
Images courtesy of Siegel Auctions.

United Wireless - 1911 Galbraith & Wilson pair
*RH9 - Galbraith & Wilson pair with wing, courtesy of Everett Ramsey. A wider gutter was used on these.

 

RH# Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used Highest known
RH7 H7 2 No value, red (Galbraith) 25.00 - 893
RH7a H7a 2         imperf. between horizontal pair 70.00 - -
*RH7b - 2         without control number 110.00 - -
RH8 H8 2 No value, red (Wilson) 25.00 - 1120
RH8a H8a 2         imperf. between horizontal pair 70.00 - -
*RH8b - 2         without control number 110.00 - -
*RH9 - 1 Nos. 7 and 8 in horizontal pair 125.00 - -

Kramer gave 883, but 893 can be seen above so I have updated it.
* I have added these to accommodate the examples shown above.  

 

1912 As above but with the words 'of New York' removed and with the signatures replaced
by the words 'TRUSTEES IN BANKRUPTCY'. Control numbers in red.

United Wireless - Bankruptcy 1912 - imperf between pair United Wireless 1912 no control
1912 RH10 1912 H10a (imperf between) 1912 *RH10b (without control)
Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay, click on image for listing). Image courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click on image for listing). Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH# Hisc. Type. Description Mint Used Highest known
RH10 H9 2 No value, darkish brown 15.00 - 360
RH10a H9a 2         imperf. between horizontal pair 45.00 - -
*RH10b - 2         without control 35.00 - -

* I have added H10b to accommodate the example above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The shading below the control number is variable and may look like different dies
                if two copies at opposite extremes are compared.
                All gradations can be found however and it results only from poor printing.

Sheet Layout.
Rich & Rich refer to all of these franks as being essays, though why they would think any company would produce a range of essays for all of these years,
especially the last with the words "Trustees in Bankruptcy", I cannot imagine. Essays do not normally get stamped with control numbers. They also refer to booklet covers.
It does seem though that a lot of material remained in storage at the termination of the company and ended up being broken up by tearing along the perforations, without guillotining.
Thus there are many remainders, including pairs that would normally have been separated by guillotining. These do though make it possible to get an idea of the layout of the printed sheet.
Some of the images that I have used to do this are from the Wilson Born Collection and can be seen in this PDF.

United Wireless Sheet

This would seem to be the minimum for the sheet that explains the varieties seen. It would provide 4 panes for Galbraith and 4 panes for Wilson after guillotining along the green lines.
It is possible that there were more rows of panes, or more columns of panes. It can be seen how the various varieties above can arise if this is torn up without guillotining.

 

 

27. Western Union Telegraph Company

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
Western Union was established in 1856 and throughout its early history bought or otherwise acquired many smaller companies as will have been
noted on earlier pages. Finally in 1943 it absorbed the other main company, the Postal Telegraph Cable Company. Since around 1910 Western Union
has been owned or controlled by the Bell Telephone Company.

The issue of franks to company and railroad officials, politicians, major stockholders, pressmen, etc. began in 1871 and continued until 1946. In addition
there was one set of prepayment stamps issued as a not very successful experiment in 1939 and a curious set of what appears to be credit stamps
which appeared in the 1890s and which are of doubtful status. There was also what seems to be a *Messenger Service label used in the 1930s in
New York but this has not been included in the listing below since it was probably a publicity label rather than a prepayment stamp for special delivery.

While the Western Union franks are themselves fairly straight forward the control numbers used are not. The first book of any particular number had
its franks all printed with the same number preceded by a letter (the letter 'O' for 1871-4), usually in red. When these were used up a further book was
issued bearing the same number handstamped with, in some years, the letter after the number. For a few years the same numbers can again be found in
manuscript but it is not known whether these were issued before or after the handstamped varieties (although after seems more likely). For a
number of years the franks are known without control numbers — used in one case — while various varieties and combinations are known. Up to five
different letters (A - E) are known for most years up to 1903 and rather fewer were used thereafter. Up to 1913 the letter 'A' seems to be the least
common. I have listed below all varieties and letters reported but it is likely that others remain to be reported and further information would be welcomed.

Used copies are known for some years and the various cancellations are described in Notes at the appropriate places.

Prices quoted for varieties are necessarily somewhat arbitrary since the relative scarcities are not known accurately. Franks with printed control
numbers are always the most common in any given year while matched pairs, triplets, etc. with the same numbers in different forms would obviously
command a premium.


My notes:
* This may refer to the B.T.Co item that I have listed under Bell Telephone of Canada. Anyone know for sure ?
Personally I think it more likely that the manuscript was used first provisionally before a printed version was available.

For a guide to the Western Union history, see this PDF file.

 

Shortcuts to different sections
Prepayment Stamps Business Franks Collect Authorizations Complimentary Franks 'Credit' Stamps Stationery

 

Prepayment Stamps

Hiscocks says 1939(1 December), echoing Rich&Rich (1947) but other catalogues say simply 1940.
Perhaps they were distributed to offices early for use at the beginning of 1940. Anyone know ?
Engraved by the Security Bank Note Company of Philadelphia. Bokklets of $2.50 and $5.00 total contents.
Booklet panes of 5 vertical stamps on white wove paper. No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps.

Western Union prepayment H1 Western Union prepayment H2
Western Union prepayment H3

Hiscocks added the following Note:
Note. The design was by Nathaniel Yontiff.

My note: My used prices are for telegraphically used.
Hisc. Description Mint Used
H1 1c yellowish green 1.00 -
H1a         imperf. (pair) 65.00 -
H2 2c dark orange-brown 1.50 5.00
H2a         imperf. (pair) 65.00 -
H3 5c deep greyish blue 2.50 -
H3a         imperf. (pair) 65.00 -
H3b         imperf. between pair 70.00 -
H4 10c dull orange 3.50 -
H4a         imperf. (pair) 65.00 -
H5 25c carmine 4.00 -
H5a         imperf. (pair) 65.00 -
Western Union prepayment H4 Western Union prepayment H5

 

Business Franks

These are for business use of named companies and for the designated year.
I have not seen these listed before and would be interested to hear of other examples.
They bear imprints matching the companies printing the franks at that time.

Western Union Business Frank 1889
1889 for use on Ohio River Railroad business. Image courtesy of wilnoman of Triple-S-Postal-History. (click image for listing)

Western Union Business Frank - Conditions
Conditions of use given on the reverse. Image courtesy of wilnoman on ebay.

 

Western Union Business Frank 1901 - front
Western Union Business Frank 1901 - back
1901 for use on Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway business. This has dropped the word "Business" but appears to serve the same purpose. images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

1927, eBay Lot 402200532167
1927 for use on Western Pacific Railroad business. Image courtesy of Newall on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

Western Union Business Frank 1930 - front
Western Union Business Frank 1930 - back
1930 for use on Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad business. Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

Western Union Business Frank 1935 - front
Western Union Business Frank 1935 - back
1935 for use on Baltimore & Ohio Chicago Terminal Railroad business. Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH# Type Description Mint Used
BF1 1 1889 Green for individual of Business Partner - -
BF2 2 1901 Brown for individual of Business Partner - -
BF3 3 1930 Red for individual of Business Partner - -
BF4 4 1935 Black and red on bluish-green as above - -

 

 

Collect Authorizations

Kramer (page 154) refers to these as "Collect" credit cards. These do not appear to actually cover the cost of anything. Collect Telegrams are paid for by the recipient (or not).
Since this represents a bit of a gamble for the Telegraph company, Terms and Conditions of use are required. These are not noted on the cards, so presumably are part of a contract.
I surmise that this was the Charge Account contract that Rich & Rich (page 66) dating from 1882 or earlier, allowing messages to be sent and received without immediate payment, and accounts settled periodically.
Since that involves credit, then if the charge account was a prerequisite to getting a "COLLECT" card, that may explain the reason for calling it that.
I have not listed them, but I show them since they are still of interest. The backs carry advertisments for other services.

Western Union Collect Authorization 1923 - front
Western Union Collect Authorization 1923 - back

1923 Collect Authorization. Courtesy Graeme of stampbargains4U on eBay.

 

Western Union Collect Authorization 1924 - front
Western Union Collect Authorization 1924 - back
1924 Collect Authorization. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Very similar to the last with restrictions in red at top and bottom, as well as reference to 'EMPLOYES' removed.

 

Western Union Collect Authorization 1931 - front
Western Union Collect Authorization 1931 - back
1931 Collect Authorization. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

Western Union Collect Authorization 1933-4 - front
Western Union Collect Authorization 1933-4 - back
1933-4 Collect Authorization. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

 

Complimentary Franks

According to Kramer these were first available in February 1871 and honoured as of 1 March 1871.

An important aspect of this list is an attempt to list the control number types for each year. This list is based on Hiscocks catalogue with additions supported by images.
I am also trying to provide images for all of the types reported by Hiscocks so that the complete list can be supported by evidence.
Hiscocks list was largely based on information from Rich & Rich (1947). There are still gaps in this and images to fill those gaps would be very welcome.

 

1871 (No date in design) Engraved by the National Bank Note Company on white wove paper.
No watermark. Perf. 12 between stamps. Signature of William Orton. Control numbers printed in red — initial letter 'O' (for "Orton" ?).
Imprint at top and bottom of each pane.

Western Union 1871 Western Union 1871 H6a Western Union 1871 RH6b Western Union 1872
Type 2, 1871 Hiscocks H6 (imprint at the bottom) Type 2, 1871 Hiscocks H6a (fully perforated) Type 2, 1871 Hiscocks RH6b (imprint at the top) Type 2, 1872 Hiscocks H7
Courtesy of Eric Jackson Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy aldrichinc on ebay.

 

RH # Hisc. 1871 Description Mint Used
RH6 H6 No value, bluish green 18.00 -
RH6a H6a         perforated on all sides 24.00 -
RH6b -         imprint at the top - -

Kramer recorded the highest known control number as O1718.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The franks of 1871-4 are not dated and may be distinguished only by colour.
                Copies are occasionally found with dates inserted by humerous philatelists.

My note: Rich & Rich (1947) write "the 1871 franks were not issued in booklets and thus in panes, but in blocks of four loose in a containing cover.
The 1871 franks alone of those previous to 1934 can thus be found with all four sides perforated. It was printed in small sheets, size not known, with straight edges."
George Kramer (1992) goes on to say
"The writer has recorded the maker's imprint on top and bottom margins running across two franks. Side margin imprints may also exist".
John Barefoot illustrates an example with imprint at the top.

 

 

1872 As above but control number and letter in blue and sold on booklets with panes of 4 franks.

RH # Hisc. 1872 Description Mint Used
RH7 H7 No value, orange-red (shades) 28.00 -

Kramer recorded the highest known control number as O1752.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. This frank is known used on piece or complete form but not cancelled.

 

 

1873 As above but controls in red.

Western Union 1873 Western Union 1874
Type 2, 1873 Hiscocks H8 Type 2, 1874 Hiscocks H9
Courtesy aldrichinc on ebay. One of mine.

RH # Hisc. 1873 Description Mint Used
RH8 H8 No value, deep dull blue (shades) 38.00 -

Kramer recorded the highest known control number as O1893.

 

1874 As above but controls in blue.

RH # Hisc. 1874 Description Mint Used
RH9 H9 No value, brown (shades) 24.00 -

Kramer recorded the highest known control number as O1380.

H9 proof / colour trial
Proof of H9 at 600dpi, or perhaps a colour trial of any of these years.
Image courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht

 

 

 

1875 “New Form of Frank” Essays ?
According to Siegel Auction Galleries, these are discussed in the Kramer book on pages 138-139.
It is hypothesized that these were the “new form of frank” stamps essayed in 1875 but never put into use.

Wilson Born Collection lot 1139
Lot 1139 from the Wilson Born Collection (ex Kramer). Four values, 5c, 10c, 25c and 50c.

From Hiscocks Book page 334
Taken from Hiscocks Book, page 334.

 

Hiscocks listed these on page 334, without knowing the purpose of them.
The image appears to have been taken from the 1947 S.P.A. handbook by J.S.Rich and S.G.Rich which reports these as first being seen by Joseph S. Rich in the 1890's.

Hisc. 1875 Description Mint Used
H116 5c black / salmon 120.00 -
H117 10c black / salmon 120.00 -
H118 25c black / salmon 120.00 -
H119 50c black / salmon 120.00 -

 

This table provides an over-view of the following issues with links to them.

Years Pane-size PrinterImprintPresident
1875-18784National Bank Note Co.YesWilliam Orton
18794National Bank Note Co.YesNorvin Green
1880-18934American Bank Note Co.YesNorvin Green
18944American Bank Note Co.YesThomas T. Eckert
1895-19024International Bank Note Co.YesThomas T. Eckert
1902-19104International Bank Note Co.YesR. C. Clowry
1911-19124American Bank Note Co.YesTheo. N. Vail
19134Kihn Brothers Bank Note Co.YesTheo. N. Vail
19146E. A. Wright Bank Note Co.SomeTheo. N. Vail
19156E. A. Wright Bank Note Co.SomeNewcomb Carlton
19166American Bank Note Co.Left side Newcomb Carlton
1917-19196Security Bank Note Co.Left side Newcomb Carlton
19206E. A. Wright Bank Note Co.SomeNewcomb Carlton
1921-19276Security Bank Note Co.SomeNewcomb Carlton
1928-19326E. A. Wright Bank Note Co.NoNewcomb Carlton
19339Oberly and Newell Co.NoNewcomb Carlton
1934-19419Security Bank Note Co.NoR. B. White
1942-19469Security Bank Note Co.NoA. N. Williams

Where the 'Imprint' column contains 'Some', the bottom-center stamp sometimes has an imprint, but not always.
It may be that for some years, when it does not, there is an imprint in the left margin, but I have seen a complete 1927 5c pane with no imprint anywhere, together
with a similar pane, with the same control number and apparently from the same booklet, that had an imprint under the bottom-center stamp.
Images of booklet panes from those years, without imprint under the stamp and showing the left selvedge, would be very welcome.

 

1875 As 1871-4 but year date added in design. Controls in red (Roman script, i.e. with serifs).

Western Union 1876 Western Union RH10 letter D
Type 3, 1875, RH10 control letter B
Courtesy of Eric Jackson.
Type 3, 1875, RH10 control letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1875 Description Mint Used
RH10 H10 No value, deep grey-green (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 24.00 -
RH10a H10a         imperf. (proof?) - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
133255473792281492

I find it interesting that he included a total. That would only be meaningful if the numbers were allocated each year, starting with 1 to people deemed worthy of having them.
If the 'O' control letter of the first 4 years stood for 'Orton', then perhaps 'A' to 'E' represented 5 people that were authorized to issue Franks, 'A' perhaps being the President.
For 1902, with two Presidents, the numbering of Clowry does appear to follow on from Eckert so I will continue to quote the highest and totals, with updates as needed.

Note: while known initial letters are listed to gether for each type, following Hiscocks, scarcer ones may command a premium.
The table of highest control numbers gives a guide to the relative scarcity, with the pricing being for the commonest.

 

1876 As above, controls in blue-black.

Western Union 1876 H11a - A Western Union 1876 Western Union 1876 H11b - A
Type 3, 1876, *RH11a control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 3, 1876, *RH11aa control letter C
Courtesy of Eric Jackson.
Type 3, 1876, RH11b control letter *A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1876 Description Mint Used
RH11 H11 No value, orange-red (letters: A, C, D, E) 25.00 -
RH11a H11a         blue-black printed controls (letter: A, *C) 23.00 -
RH11b H11b         manuscript controls in black (letters: *A, B, C) 50.00 -
RH11c H11c         violet — imperf. (colour trial?) - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
12 191 495 265 228 1191

Hiscocks listed this as with a red control. He probably got this form Rich & Rich, who also listed it as a Red printed control with no mention of any other colour of printed control.
It is likely that the Rich & Rich entry was a 'Typo'. Does anyone have, or know of, any of these with a red control number ?

an example is shown above.

* I have added Control letter 'C' to H11a and Control letter 'A' to H11b to accommodate the examples shown above.

 

1877 As above.

Western Union 1877 Western Union RH12 Western Union RH12a
Type 3, 1877, RH12 letter A Type 3, 1877, RH12 letter C Type 3, 1877, RH12a letter D
Courtesy of Eric Jackson. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1877 Description Mint Used
RH12 H12 No value, dull violet-blue (letters: *A, B, C, D, E) 24.00 -
RH12a H12a         manuscript controls in red (letters: C, D, E) 50.00 -
RH12b H12b         manuscript controls in black (letter: B) 50.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
5 254 595 481 132 1467

* I have added Control letter 'A' to H12 to accommodate the example shown above.
Examples shown above.

 

1878 As above. Controls printed in blue.

Western Union RH13 Western Union 1878 Western Union RH13a
Type 3, 1878, RH13 letter B Type 3, 1878, RH13 letter C Type 3, 1878, RH13a letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy Phil (rebenic25 on ebay) click image for listing. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1878 Description Mint Used
RH13 H13 No value, deep greyish brown (letters: B, C, D, E) 27.00 -
RH13a H13a         manuscript controls (letters: B, C, D, E in red) 42.00 -
RH13b H13b         imperf. (proof?) - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare or nonexistent. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
- 244 530 523 292 1589

 

1879 As above but signature of Norvin Green. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH14 - B Western Union RH14 - D Western Union 1879
Type 4, 1879. RH14 letter B,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879. RH14 letter D,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879, RH14a letter B,
courtesy of Eric Jackson.

RH # Hisc. 1879 Description Mint Used
RH14 H14 No value, deep blue (shades) (letters: B, C, D, E) 18.00 -
RH14a H14a         manuscript controls (letters: B, C, D, E) 30.00 -
RH14b H14b         imperf. (proof?) - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare or nonexistent.
These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
- 220 619 585 264 1688

The back of the D425 pair above is interesting.
Hiscocks noted the use of tinfoil between the panes of booklets of the
California State and Mutual Union telegraph companies, but not Western Union.
I'm told that Kramer has an image of an 1873 Tin Foil Separator.

Sometimes the franks stuck to it. Image on right courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH14 - D

 

1880 As above (see note below). Controls printed in blue.

Western Union 1880 Western Union RH15 Western Union 1880 RH15 letter D Western Union RH15a-C
Type 4, 1880. RH15 letter *B Type 4, 1880. RH15, letter (Roman) C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1880. RH15 letter D Type 4, 1880. RH15a, letter (Gothic) C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1880 Description Mint Used
RH15 H15 No value, dull carmine (letters: *B, C, D, E) 18.00 -
RH15a H15a         handstamped controls in blue (letter: C) 36.00 -
RH15b H15b         imperf. (proof?) - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare or nonexistent. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
- 174 490 650 268 1582

* I have added Control letter 'B' to H15 to accommodate the example shown above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The printer for the issues of 1880-94 was the American Bank Note Co.
                but this reflects a consolidation of the National, Continental and
                American Bank Note Companies under the ABN Co name rather than a
                change of printer.

 

1881 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH16 Western Union RH16a-C Western Union 1881
Type 4, 1881. RH16, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1881. RH16c, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1881, RH16c Courtesy of Eric Jackson.
This type handstamp is Type 7 - letter D..

RH # Hisc. 1881 Description Mint Used
RH16 H16 No value, bluish green (letters: B, C, D, E) 12.00 -
RH16a H16a         handstamped controls in dark blue (letters: C) 15.00 -
RH16b H16b         handstamped controls in purple (letters: C, D, E?) 15.00 -
RH16c H16c         handstamped controls in black (letters: C, D, E?) 15.00 -
RH16d H16d         manuscript controls in red (letter: C) 30.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A does not exist. He lists H16d having a letter E.
These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
- 140 629 790 215 1774

Note: Hiscocks listed H16c as being in purple, the same as H16c he appears to have
intended to copy Rich & Rich (1947) but made an error, I have corrected it.

 

1882 As above.

Western Union RH17 Western Union 1882 Western Union 1882 Western Union RH17d
Type 4, 1881. RH17, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1882, RH17c letter C,
courtesy of Eric Jackson.
Type 4, 1882, RH17c letter D. Type 4, 1881. RH17d no control
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1882 Description Mint Used
RH17 H17 No value, deep blue (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 10.50 -
RH17a H17a         printed controls in vermilion (letter: E) 12.00 -
RH17b H17b         handstamped controls in red (letters: B, C, D, E) 15.00 -
*RH17c -         handstamped controls in purple (letters: C, D) 11.00 -
*RH17d -         no control - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
5 414 532 786 271 2008

* I have added RH17c and RH17d to accommodate the examples shown above. Hiscocks, following Rich & Rich,
listed only red handstamps, but I have only seen purple. Perhaps 'red' was a typo and RH17b does not exist.

 

1883 As above. Controls printed in dark blue.

Western Union RH18 used Western Union RH18
Type 4, 1883, RH18 used, control B
courtesy of Rich Hansen.
Type 4, 1883, RH18, control D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1883 Western Union RH18b Western Union RH18b cancelled Western Union 1883 RH18c
Type 4, 1883, RH18b control B (sans-serif)
Courtesy of Eric Jackson.
Type 4, 1883, RH18b, control C (sans-serif)
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1883, RH18b cancelled, control D (with serifs)
courtesy of Rich Hansen.
Type 4, 1883, RH18c control D (sans-serif)

RH# Hisc. 1883 Description Mint Used
RH18 H18 No value, yellow-brown (letters: *A, B, C, D, E) 20.00 -
RH18a H18a         letter A deleted in black and letter D substituted 125.00 -
RH18b H18b         handstamped controls in crimson (letters: B, C, D) 25.00 -
RH18c H18c         handstamped controls in dark blue (letters: C, D) 25.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.
* letter "A" has been added to RH18 due to the reference by Kramer.

ABCDETotal
10 283 852 1066 391 2602

Kramer also lists a purple handstamp. He also illustrated H18a. The deletion was by a "black printed slug", a filled rectangular area,
large enough to cover the control number. In his example, A10 was replaced by D992.

 

1884 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union 1884 Western Union RH19 - C Western Union RH19 - D
1884 - H19, letter B 1884, RH19, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1884, RH19, letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

Western Union RH19a - B Western Union RH19b - B Western Union RH19b - C Western Union RH19bc
1884, RH19a, letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1884, RH19a, letter B (darker shade)
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1884, RH19a, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1884, *RH19aa, E changed to manuscript C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

Western Union RH19b - D Western Union RH19b - C Western Union RH19b - D Western Union RH19c
1884, *RH19ab, letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1884, RH19b, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1884, RH19b, letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1884, RH19c, manuscript letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

RH # Hisc. 1884 Description Mint Used
RH19 H19 No value, deep grey-blue(letters: A, B, C, D, E) 0.50 0.75
RH19a H19a         handstamped controls in red-carmine (shades, letters: A, B, C, D, E) 0.75 1.00
*RH19aa -         No.19a with letter E changed to C in red manuscript - -
*RH19ab -         Control widely spaced (letters B, D, E) - -
RH19b H19b         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.50 2.00
RH19ba H19ba         No.19b with control inverted (letter D, D480 known) 10.00 -
RH19bb H19bb         No.19b with letter B changed to C in red manuscript 10.00 -
RH19c H19c         manuscript control in black (letters: B, C, D, E) 3.00 5.00
RH19d H19d         manuscript controls in red (letters: C, D, E) 3.00 5.00
RH19e H19e         No.19a se-tenant with No.19c (both letter C) 30.00 -
RH19f H19f         no control number or letter 10.00 -

My notes: Hiscocks gave the handstamp colour of H19a as 'red', priced the same as the purple handstamp of H19b.
That would suggest roughly equal scarcity. However I have yet to see any of these with what I would call a red handstamp.
The closest I have seen is what I have called shades of red-carmine, which is not greatly different to the 'purple' handstamp.
It is a little darker than the crimson of 1883. The purple is in thinner lettering and seems more scarce, so I increased the pricing for it.


According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
5 277 994 977 474 2727

Kramer also illustrates examples of RH19bb, *RH19ab and RH19e (used).
I have added *RH19aa and *RH19ab due to the examples shown.
The manuscript 'C' of RH19aa is in the same colour as the control number, I would describe it as carmine red.
The 'C' is fairly similar to that in Kramers' (black and white) illustration of RH19bb, which he describes as red pen on purple h/s.

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'usually pen or pencil cancellations; most commonly a big X on the stamp.
Blue handstamps: very large single letters, at least twice dimensions of a frank, outline with a heavy stroke within.
Also an undecipherable blue handstamp smudge'.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The 1884 issue is reasonably common used and is found cancelled in
                various ways — most commonly an 'X' in pen or pencil but
                handstamped cancellations with large blue letters, etc., are also known.

 

1885 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH20 - B Western Union 1885
1885, RH20, letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1885 - RH20, letter C
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

Western Union RH20b - D-a Western Union RH20b - D-b
1885, RH20b, *D522 used, cancelled 'SENT' - the ink for the cancel and control are amazingly similar.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1885 Description Mint Used
RH20 H20 No value, green (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 4.00 8.00
RH20a H20a         handstamped controls in red (letters: B, C, D, E) 5.00 -
RH20b H20b         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, *D) 5.00 -
RH20c H20c         handstamped controls in blue (letters: B, C, D) 5.00 -

* Added due to example shown.

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
9 247 882 1002 310 2450

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'A very large magenta outline handstamp, letter B'.

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. I have what appears to be at first glance to be a D control in 'purple' but closer examination
                shows it to consist of patches of blue and red as if the handstamp had accidentally
                been inked on a blue ink pad and then re-inked on a red pad without being cleaned in between.
Note 2. Used copies are known cancelled with a large outline letter 'B' in magenta.

 

1886 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH21 - A Western Union 1886
Type 4, 1886, RH21, letter A Type 4, 1886 - RH21, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. One of mine

RH# Hisc. 1886 Description Mint Used
RH21 H21 No value, greyish brown (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 4.00 -
RH21a H21a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, D, E) 5.00 -
*RH21b -         imperf. no control - -
*RH21c -         imperf. horizontal pair, no control 250.00 -
*RH21d -         imperf. vertical pair, no control - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
15 444 1090 968 383 2900

Rich&Rich report a cancel of pen strokes.

* I have added H21b, H21c and H21d to accommodate the example on the right.
Image courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click image for listing).

Western Union 1886 imperf pane

 

1887 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union 1887 Western Union RH22 - D Western Union RH22a - B Western Union 1887
1887, RH22, letter B Type 4, 1887 - RH22, letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1887 - RH22a, letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1887, RH22a, letter C
Courtesy of Eric Jackson. (click image for listing)
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

RH # Hisc. 1887 Description Mint Used
RH22 H22 No value, red-brown (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 3.00 -
RH22a H22a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, D, E) 4.50 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
14 389 999 1084 449 2935

 

1888 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH23 - B Western Union 1888 Western Union RH23 - D Western Union RH23a - C
Type 4, 1888 - RH23, letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1888 - RH23, letter C
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
1888 - RH23, letter D
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
Type 4, 1888 - RH23a, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

RH # Hisc. 1888 Description Mint Used
RH23 H23 No value, deep blue (shades)(letters: A, B, C, D, E) 3.00 -
RH23a H23a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, D, E) 4.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A B C D E Total
7 490 1108 941 418 2964

 

1889 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH24 - B Western Union RH24 Western Union RH24a - C Western Union 1889
1889 - RH24, letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
Type 4, 1889, RH24, letter D.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1889, RH24a, Letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1889 - RH24a, Letter D.

RH # Hisc. 1889 Description Mint Used
RH24 H24 No value, olive green (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 2.00 2.50
RH24a H24a         handstamped controls in blackish purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 2.50 3.00
RH24b H24b         manuscript controls (colour?) (letter: E) 30.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
20 524 1294 1381 315 3534

Rich&Rich report a cancellations by pen strokes.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies are cancelled with pen strokes.

 

1890 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union 1890 Western Union RH25 - C Western Union RH25a - B Western Union RH25a - C
1890 - H25, letter B 1890 - H25, letter C Type 4, 1890 - RH25a, letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1890 - RH25a, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

Western Union RH25b - B Western Union 1890 Western Union RH25b - D
1889 - RH25b, letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1890 - H25b, 1890 - RH25b, letter C
Courtesy of Phil (rebenic25 on ebay).
Type 4, 1890 - RH25b, letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1879 - 1893 style (Norvin Green)

Western Union RH25c - C Western Union RH25c - C177
Type 4, 1890 - RH25c, letter C, with a first digit of '1' the spacing is quite close, as with D198 above
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1890 Description Mint Used
RH25 H25 No value, deep purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 2.00
RH25a H25a         printed controls in black (letters: B, C) 1.33 2.67
RH25b H25b         handstamped controls in purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.67 2.67
RH25c H25c         handstamped controls in black (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.67 2.67
RH25e H25e         manuscript controls (colour?) (letter: B) 7.00 -
RH25f H25f         manuscript controls in black (letter: C) 7.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

ABCDETotal
12 599 1473 1140 317 3541

An example is shown above.

Kramer also lists Manuscript black letters B and C.
Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'Purple handstamps: large outline letters, office names, the two medium large solid roman letters B O;
red handstamps of RECEIVED and date'.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies are reported cancelled with purple handstamps (large letters or office names)
                or red hand stamps ("RECEIVED" and date).

My notes: I do not know why H25d is skipped.
It may be difficult to distinguish between H25b and H25c, see notes after H33b.

 

1891 As above. Controls printed in blue.

Western Union 1891 Western Union RH26 - D
Type 4, 1891 - H26, letter B
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay).
Type 4, 1891 - RH26, letter D
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH26a - B Western Union RH26a - C Western Union 1891, RH26a - E
Type 4, 1891 - RH26a, letter B used.
One of mine.
Type 4, 1891 - RH26a, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1891 - H26a, letter E
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay).

RH # Hisc. 1891 Description Mint Used
RH26 H26 No value, brown (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH26a H26a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.33 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
18 625 1496 1697 315 4151

 

1892 As above. Gothic (sans-serif) control letters.

Western Union 1892 Western Union RH27 - C
1892 H27, letter B Type 4, 1892 - RH27, letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1892 Western Union RH27a - D Western Union RH27a E
1892 H27a, letter C 1892 - RH27a, letter D
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1892 H27a letter *E
courtesy of Rich Hansen

RH # Hisc. 1892 Description Mint Used
RH27 H27 No value, deep vermilion (letters: B, C, D, E) 2.00 -
RH27a H27a         handstamped controls in dark purple (letters: A, B, C, D, *E) 2.50 -
RH27b H27b         with no controls 20.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
16 600 2621 1496 547 5280

Kramer did also include letter A for H27.

* I have added this due to the example shown above.

 

1893 As above. Controls printed in red.

Western Union RH28 - A Western Union RH28 - B Western Union 1893 - C1241 Western Union 1893 - C1696
Type 4, 1893, RH28, letter A(4.4mm)
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1893, RH28, letter B(4.6mm). B592 is also tall.
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 4, 1893, RH28, letter C(4.6mm)
Courtesy Phil (rebenic25 on ebay) click image for listing..
Type 4, 1893, *RH28a, letter C(3.7mm)1696

Note that the control letters C on the last frank is much shorter than the other examples above. A and B are also much lower numbers.
C1606 is also short, but C1241 is 4.6mm. I am unsure at the moments if any of the others exist in both heights.
A similar situation exists for 1894 below. - Further information and/or images would be very welcome.

Western Union RH28a - C Western Union RH28b - C Western Union RH28b - D
Type 4, 1893, RH28b, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1893 - RH28c, letter C
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
Type 4, 1893, RH28c, letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1893 Description Mint Used
RH28 H28 No value, deep blue (shades) (tall letters A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 3.00
*RH28a         short (3.7mm) letters (C) - -
RH28b H28a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: B, C, D, E) 2.25 4.50
RH28c H28b         handstamped controls in black (letters: B, C, *D) 2.25 4.50

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
17 596 1696 1910 736 4955

Kramer also lists handstamps only in black.
Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'An illegible smudgy purple handstamp'.

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.
It may be difficult to distinguish between H28a and H28b, see notes after H33b.
C1696 can be seen above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies are cancelled with a purple handstamp.

 

1894 As above but with signature of Thomas T. Eckert.

Western Union 1894 - B592 Western Union 1894 - C Western Union RH29 - D WU 1894, eBay Lot 232107245589
Type 5, 1894, H29, short (3.8mm) B
B566 is also short.
1894, RH29, letter short (3.73mm) C
C1204 is also short. Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1894 - RH29, letter D (3.9mm).
D1422 is the same. Image courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1894, RH29b, letter E (3.9mm).
Courtesy of Newall on eBay (click on image for listing).
Type 5, signature of Thomas T. Eckert.

Western Union 1894 - B289

Everett Ramsey tells me that Kramer wrote of 1894:
"red printed control letters 4mm. B, E or 3.5mm. C, D followed by up to four 4+ mm. control numbers.
gothic red printed control letters 4.75 mm. A, B followed by up to four 4+ mm. control numbers."

That explains the two different 'B' examples, but D1221 has a taller D than that.
Note, Kramer probably measured with a ruler to the nearest ¼mm.
For me it is easier to use images scaled at 600dpi and multiply the heights in pixels by 25.4/600

Individual digits seem to range form 3.85 to 4.1mm, but measuring from the base of the lowest to the top of the highest gives about 4.1mm.
I would be interested to know the control number ranges of the variants, illustrations of more examples would be very welcome.

1894, *RH29a, letter tall (4.6mm) B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH29a - B Western Union 1894 WU 1894, eBay Lot 232107245589 Western Union RH29a - E
1894, RH29b, letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 5, 1894, RH29b, letter C 1894, RH29b, letter D.
Courtesy of Newall on eBay (click on image for listing).
1894 - RH29b, letter E
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
Type 5, signature of Thomas T. Eckert.

RH # Hisc. 1894 Description Mint Used
RH29 H29 No value, bluish green(shades, ~4mm)(letters: B, C, D, E) 1.00 2.00
*RH29a         tall letters (4.6mm+) (letters: A, B) - -
RH29b H29a         handstamped controls in black (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 2.50
ƒRH29c H29b         handstamped controls in purple (letter: E) 2.00 3.00
RH29d H29c         no controls 10.00 -

*According to Kramer, letter A is rare and taller, 4.75mm. B also can be taller, see above. I have added it.
ƒ Neither Rich & Rich or Kramer list this, but it appears to be too specific to be a typo.
If it exists, it may be rarer than his pricing would suggest.

These are Kramer's highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
13 619 1875 1648 707 4862

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'Boxed blue handstamp, inscription of company, place and date'.

My note: It may be difficult to distinguish between H29a and H29b, see notes after H33b.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies are cancelled with a handstamped company inscription, place and date in blue.

 

1895 New design by the International Bank Note Co. of New York on slightly
brownish white wove paper. No watermark. Perf.14. Controls printed in red.

Western Union 1895 Western Union RH30 - D Western Union RH30a Western Union RH30b - C
1895, RH30, letter B 1895, RH30, letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1895, RH30a, letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1895, RH30b, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 6, International Bank Note Co. (Thomas T. Eckert)

RH # Hisc. 1895 Description Mint Used
RH30 H30 No value, dark brown (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH30a H30a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: A, C, D, E) 1.50 -
RH30b H30b         handstamped controls in black (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 655 1936 2153 483 5252

My note: It may be difficult to distinguish between H30a and H30b, see notes after H33b.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. There is conflicting evidence on whether this frank is known used or not.

 

1896 As above.

Western Union. 1896 Western Union RH31 - C Western Union RH31 - D
1896, RH31 1896, RH31, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1896, RH31, letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 6, International Bank Note Co. (Thomas T. Eckert)

Western Union RH31b - B Western Union RH31a - B Western Union RH31a - C
1896, *RH31b, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1896 - RH31a, letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1896, RH31a, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 6, International Bank Note Co. (Thomas T. Eckert)

RH # Hisc. 1896 Description Mint Used
RH31 H31 No value, deep lilac (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH31a H31a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 -
*RH31b -         handstamped controls in black (letter: B) 2.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 725 2375 1969 573 5667

*I had previously put this down as a RH31a since purple was the only colour handstamp listed. A real RH31a with control letter B
forces me to admit that they are not the same colour. I have therefore added black handstamps as RH31b.
I may need to do this in other places too.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. See note under 1895 above.

 

1897 As above. Printed controls in blue.

Western Union RH32 - A Western Union 1897 - B Western Union RH32a - B Western Union RH32a - D
1897, RH32, letter A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1897, RH32, letter B 1897, RH32a, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1897, RH32a, letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
International Bank Note Co. (Thomas T. Eckert)

Western Union RH32b - B Western Union RH32b - C Western Union 1897 Western Union RH32b - E
1897, RH32b, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1897 - RH32b, letter C
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1897, RH32b, letter D 1897, RH32b, letter E
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 6, International Bank Note Co. (Thomas T. Eckert)

RH # Hisc. 1897 Description Mint Used
RH32 H32 No value, scarlet (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH32a H32a         handstamped controls in purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 -
RH32b H32b         handstamped controls in black (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 799 2997 2785 586 7192

My note: It may be difficult to distinguish between H32a and H32b, see notes after H33b.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. See note under 1895 above.

 

1898 As above. Printed controls in red.

Western Union RH33 - B Western Union RH33 - C Western Union 1898-1
1898 (H33), letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1898 (H33), letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1898 (H33), letter D

Western Union RH33a - C Western Union 1898-2 Western Union RH33a - E Western Union 1898-3
1898 (H33a), letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1898 (H33a), letter D 1898 - RH33a, letter E
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1898 (*RH33c) - Courtesy of Rich Hansen.

*The purple controls can be quite feint, but there do seem to be stamps entirely without controls.

 

RH # Hisc. 1898 Description Mint Used
RH33 H33 No value, green (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 2.00
RH33a H33a         handstamped controls in dark purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E)   1.50 3.00
RH33b H33b         handstamped controls in red (letter: C) (see Note 1 below) 2.00 -
*RH33c -         no control - -
*RH33d -         imperf between vertical pair. Controls as H33a. - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 732 2746 2868 504 6875

Rich & Rich report a cancel of 'Red handstamp of letters and numbers, extending far beyond frank and not decipherable though what is seen is legible'.

  Wilson Born Collection lot 1140
*RH33d Imperforate between pair
from lot 1140 of the Wilson Born Collection.

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. The 'red' control of No.33b is said to look like a faded purple while the purple of No.33a tends to look almost black.
                It is not clear at present whether No.33b should be regarded as a separate variety or as a shade of No.33a.
Note 2. Used values are cancelled with a long red handstamp of letters and numbers, only as a small part of which falls
                upon the stamp.

My Note: It is often difficult to distinguish between black and dark purple, especially if the control number is feint.
Ink is not opaque and the colours of the stamp and paper influence perceived colours.
Ultimately there is no definite boundary between black and a dark colour. Look at the 1892 issue, dark purple? Really ?
I have largely followed Hiscocks, who was no doubt guided by the writings of US collectors, as well as his own collection.
I am open to making additional catalogue entries if evidence indicates that it is needed.

 

1899 As above. Printed controls in red or blue. In the latter case, the letters follow the numbers.

Western Union 1899 RH34 - B Western Union 1899 RH34 - C Western Union 1899 RH34 - D Western Union 1899 RH34 - tall D
1899, RH34 - letter B 1899, RH34 - letter C 1899, RH34 - letter D (3.6mm) RH34e - letter D (3.95mm), D1547 is also tall.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1899 RH34a Western Union RH34b
1899, RH34a - letter E 1899, RH34b - manuscript letter C
One of mine. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH34c - B Western Union 1899 Western Union 1899 RH34c - ? Western Union. 1899
1899 - RH34c, letter B 1899, RH34c - letter C 1899, RH34c - letter D?
These can be very feint and hard to read.
1899, RH34d
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht. Courtesy ibredguy.co.uk (click image for listing). Courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click for listing).

RH # Hisc. 1899 Description Mint Used
RH34 H34 No value, olive green red controls (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 2.00
RH34a H34a         printed controls in blue (see above) (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 3.00
RH34b H34b         No.34a with no printed letter but manuscript C in black 10.00 20.00
RH34c H34c         handstamped controls in purple (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 3.00
RH34d H34e         with no control 4.00 20.00
RH34e -         tall letter (4mm, letter D) - -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
21 648 2613 2739 526 6547

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'Blue handstamp: boxed device with office name in fancy rectangle.
Purple handstamps: circles of various sizes with company name or initials, and date; straight line office name and date. Pen written letters and numbers'.

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. Care must be taken with No.34e since the purple handstamped controls can be
                very faint. [His 34e was the one following 34c, there was no 34d]
Note 2. Used values are cancelled with (a) a blue handstamp of office name in ornate rectangle,
                (b) red handstamps of office name and date in straight line or company name or initials
                in variously sized circles or (c) letters and numbers in pen.

 

1900 As above but Perf.13. Printed controls as for 1899. Red controls - letter first. Blue controls - letter last.

Western Union 1900 RH35 - B Western Union 1900 RH35 - C Western Union 1900 RH35 - D
1900, RH35 ( red control type 6) - letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1900, RH35 - letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1900 RH35 - letter D

Western Union 1900 RH35b - A Western Union 1900 RH35b - B Western Union 1900 - type 8 Western Union 1900 RH35b - D
1900, RH35b ( blue control type 8) - letter *A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1900, RH35b ( blue control type 8) - letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1900 RH35b - letter C 1900, RH35b - letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH35c
1900, RH35c, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1900 Description Mint Used
RH35 H35 No value, crimson (red letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH35a H35a         No.35 with gothic (as distinct from Roman) 'D' 4.00 -
RH35b H35b     (type 8)     printed controls in blue (number first) (letters: *A, B, C, D, E) 1.50 -
RH35c H35c         with no control 10.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
23 778 2468 2945 592 6806

D2945 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'D' (was 2785).
* I have added letter A to RH35b due to the example shown above.

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. There is again doubt as to whether this year's issues are known used.
Note 2. The blue 'printed' controls of No.35b (type 8) are referred to by Rich as "manual printed" whatever that may mean.
                They are larger and more ornate than the red printed controls of No.35 (type 6) but markedly different in style from the
                'handstamped' controls (type 7).

My Note: Note 2 above and an illustration of an 1897 stamp with a handstamped control are the only references I can see
to Type 7. In the listings they are simply called 'handstamped controls' and appear from 1880 to 1899.

 

1901 As above. Red and blue printed controls as for 1900.

Western Union RH36 - B Western Union 1901, RH36 - C Western Union RH36 - D
1901, RH36, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1901 RH36, letter C 1901, RH36, letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH36a - B Western Union RH36a - C Western Union RH36a - E Western Union RH36c
1901, RH36a, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1901, RH36a, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1901 - RH36a, letter E
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1901, RH36c
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1901 Description Mint Used
RH36 H36 No value, dark orange-brown (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH36a H36a         printed controls in blue (number first) (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.50 -
RH36b H36b         as for 36a but letters (C, D) inserted separately 3.00 -
RH36c H36c         with no control 10.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
11 769 2732 2732 567 6811

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. It is not clear whether C and D are found alternatively or together on No.36b.
                Information would, as always, be welcomed.

 

1902 As above but perf.14. Controls of the same types as for 1900 (6 and 8) but both in red. Signature of Thos. F. Eckert.

Western Union RH37 - A Western Union RH37 - B Western Union. 1902 Western Union RH37 - D
1902, RH37 (Thos. F. Eckert), letter A
with Type 6 control,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1902, RH37 (Thos. F. Eckert), letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1902, RH37 (Thos. F. Eckert), letter C 1902 - RH37, letter D
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union RH37a - C
1902 - RH37a with Type 8 control, letter C
courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

RH # Hisc. 1902 F. Eckert Description Mint Used
RH37 H37 No value, steel blue, type 6 (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 6.00 -
RH37a H37a         red controls of type 8 (letters: C, D, E) 10.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. His table for highest recorded control numbers combined both Presidents for this year
That can be seen below. However since some people would like to know the highest for Eckert, I will tabulate what I know here.
I invite scans that extend this range.

A BCDETotal
6 179 1567 1946 - 3698

 

1902 As above but with signature of  R. C. Clowry (following the death of Col. Eckert early in 1902). Controls as above.

Western Union RH38 - C Western Union. RH38a - C Western Union RH38a - D Sale 56 Lot 2392
1902, RH38 (R.C.Clowry), letter C
with Type 6 control,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1902 RH38a (R.C.Clowry), letter C
with Type 8 control.
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1902, RH38a (R.C.Clowry), letter D
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Die proof on India sunk on card (44x40mm).
Courtesy Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.

RH # Hisc. 1902 R.C.Clowry Description Mint Used
RH38 H38 No value, steel blue (letters: A, B, C, D) 6.00 -
RH38a H38a         red controls of type 8 (letters: B, C, D, E) 8.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter for the whole of 1902.

A BCDETotal
30 904 2811 2725 534 7004

 

1903 As above. All controls in red as for Nos.37 and 37a.

Western Union RH39 - B Western Union RH39 - C Western Union 1903
1903 - RH39 (R.C.Clowry), letter B
with Type 6 control, courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1903, RH39 (R.C.Clowry), letter C
with Type 6 control, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1903, RH39 (R.C.Clowry), letter D
courtesy Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay

Western Union 1903 Western Union RH39a - D Western Union RH39a - E Western Union RH39b
RH39a, 1903 with Type 8 control, letter C
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay
1903 - RH39a (R.C.Clowry), letter D
courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1903, RH39a (R.C.Clowry), letter E
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1903, RH39b (R.C.Clowry), no control,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1903 Description Mint Used
RH39 H39 No value, green (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH39a H39a         red controls of type 8 (letters: A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 -
RH39b H39b         with no control 4.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
40 867 2542 3210 579 7238

2542C (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 2420).

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Opinions again differ on whether used copies exist.

 

1904 As above. Controls in red as for Nos.37 and 37a and also in blue as type 8.

Western Union 1904 - A Western Union 1904 - C Western Union 1904 - D Western Union RH40a - C
RH40, 1904 (R.C.Clowry)
with Type 6 control letter A
RH40, 1904 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
RH40, 1904 control letter D.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1904 - RH40a, letter C
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union 1904 RH40a - E Western Union 1904 RH40b - B Western Union 1904 - C Western Union 1904
RH40a, 1904 with red Type 8 control letter E
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
RH40b, 1904 with blue Type 8 control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
RH40b, 1904 (R.C.Clowry)
courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht, with control letter C
RH40c, 1904 (R.C.Clowry) with No control.

RH # Hisc. 1904 Description Mint Used
RH40 H40 No value, brown lake (letters: *A, B, C, D) 1.00 -
RH40a H40a         red controls of type 8 (letter: D, *E) 1.50 -
RH40b H40b         blue controls of type 8 (letters: C, D) 1.00 -
RH40c H40c         with no controls 5.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
33 856 3253 2842 385 7369

* I have added these to accommodate the examples shown above.

 

1905 As above. Controls in both above types in blue.

Western Union RH41 - B Western Union 1905-c Western Union 1905-d
1905 (R.C.Clowry) - RH41, letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
RH41, 1905 (R.C.Clowry)
with Type 6 control letter C.
RH41, 1905 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control letter D.
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1905 Western Union 1905 Western Union 1905
RH41a, 1905 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 8 control letter C.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
RH41a, 1905 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 8 control letter D *RH41c, 1905 (R.C.Clowry) with No control.

 

RH# Hisc. 1905 Description Mint Used
RH41 H41 No value, carmine-red (letters: *A, B, C, D, E) 0.80 1.50
RH41a H41a         blue controls of type 8 (letters: C, D) 1.00 2.00
RH41b H41b         imperf. (proof?) - -
*RH41c -         perf. No control - -

According to Kramer, letter A exists, but is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
6 743 3470 3685 224 8128

* I have added letter 'A' to RH41 due to the reference by Kramer, and
I have added RH41c to accommodate the example above.

An example is shown above.

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'Purple handstamp: large numerals'.

Hiscocks added the following 2 Notes:

Note 1. Used copies are cancelled with a purple handstamp of large numerals.
Note 2. The letter C in No.41 is said often to resemble a 'G'.

 

1906 As above. Controls in both above types in red.

Western Union 1906 - B Western Union 1906 - C Western Union 1906 - D
RH42, 1906 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control.
Letter B
RH42, 1906 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control.
Letter C
RH42, 1906 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control.
Letter D, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1906 - B Western Union 1906 - C Western Union 1906 - D
RH42a, 1906 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 8 control.
Letter B, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
RH42a, 1906 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 8 control.
Letter C, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
RH42a, 1906 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 8 control.
Letter D, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1906 Description Mint Used
RH42 H42 No value, dark blue (letters: *A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 1.50
RH42a H42a         carmine controls of type 8 (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.00 1.50

According to Kramer, letter A exists, but is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.
* letter "A" has been added to RH42 due to the reference by Kramer.

A BCDETotal
21 878 5436 3666 871 10872

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'Purple handstamp: large letter, office name, boxed devices with office name and date. Red pen cancellations. Pencil and crayon strokes'.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies are cancelled with pen (red), pencil, crayon and various purple handstamps.

 

1907 As above. Type 6 controls in red, or type 8 controls in blue.

Western Union 1907 - C Western Union 1907 - D Western Union RH43a - D Western Union RH43a - E
RH43, 1907 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control.
Letter C, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
RH43, 1907 (R.C.Clowry) with control letter D. 1907 (R.C.Clowry) - RH43a, letter D
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
RH43a, 1907 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 8 control.
Letter E, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1907 Description Mint Used
RH43 H43 No value, dark orange-brown (letters: *A, B, C, D, E) 1.00 2.00
RH43a H43a         blue controls of type 8 (letters: B, C, D, E) 1.20 2.00
RH43b H43b        as for No.43a but with letter C double 4.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A exists, but is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.
* letter "A" has been added to RH43 due to the reference by Kramer.

A BCDETotal
12 853 3100 3547 500 8012

Rich&Rich report a cancel of 'Purple handstamp: office names. Pencil strokes'.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used cancelled with pencil strokes or office names in purple handstamps.

 

1908 As above. Controls of both above types in red.

Western Union RH44 - A Western Union RH44 - B Western Union RH44 - D Western Union RH44 - E
1908, RH44 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control.
Letter A.
1908, RH44 letter 'B', courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 1908, RH44 letter 'D', courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 1908, RH44 letter 'E', courtesy of Rich Hansen.

Western Union RH44a - C Western Union RH44a
1908, RH44a letter 'C', courtesy of Rich Hansen. 1908, RH44a letter D, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1908 Description Mint Used
RH44 H44 No value, blackish lilac (letters: *A, B, C, D, *E) 2.00 3.00
RH44a H44a         red controls of type 8 (letters: B, *C, *D) 3.00 4.00

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
32 633 2381 2293 585 5924

D2293 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'D' (was 2138).

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Cancellation type not reported.

 

1909 As above.

Western Union 1909 - C Western Union RH45 - D
1909, RH45, Type 6 control letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1909 - RH45, letter *D
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union RH45a - B Western Union RH45a - D Western Union RH45a - E
1909, RH45a, Type 8 control letter *B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1909, RH45a, Type 8 control letter *D 1909, RH45a, Type 8 control letter *E
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1909 Description Mint Used
RH45 H45 No value, olive green (letters: A, C *D) 2.00 -
RH45a H45a         controls of type 8 (letter: *B, C, *D, *E) 3.00 -

According to Kramer, letters A and E do not exist.

According to Kramer, letter A exists, but is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
- 610 2206 2437 165 5418

165E (see above) is the new highest control number for 'E' (were none listed).

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

 

1910 As above. Controls in both above types in blue. Perf.12.

Western Union 1910 Western Union RH46 - B Western Union RH46 - C
1910, RH46 (R.C.Clowry) with Type 6 control.
Letter A
1910, RH46, control letter B,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1910 - RH46, letter C
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union RH46 - D Western Union RH46a
1910, RH46, control letter D,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1910, RH46a Type 8 control letter D,
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1910 Description Mint Used
RH46 H46 No value, brownish yellow (letters: *A, B, C, D) 1.00 2.00
RH46a H46a         controls of type 8 (letters: C, D) 1.50 3.00

According to Kramer, letter A is rare. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
20 684 2640 2276 280 5900

* I have added Control letter 'A' to RH46 to accommodate the example shown above.
Examples are shown above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Cancellation type not reported.

 

1911 New design engraved by the American Bank Note Co. on wove paper.
No watermark. Perf.12. Signature of Theo. N. Vail. Red printed controls of type larger and more ornate than 6.

Western Union RH47 - B Western Union. 1911 Western Union RH47a C Western Union RH47a - D
1911, Type 10, RH47, control letter B 1911, Type 10, RH47, control letter C 1911, *RH47a, Type 8 control letter C 1911 - *RH47a, control letter D
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. One of mine. Image courtesy of Rich Hansen. Image Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

RH # Hisc. 1911 Description Mint Used
RH47 H47 No value, deep bluish green (letters: *A, B, C, E) 9.00 -
*RH47a -         controls of type 8 (letters: C, D) - -

According to Kramer, letter A exists but is rare, and letter E does not exist. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 646 2120 877 - 3668

C2120 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 2110).

* I have added letter "A" to RH47 due to the reference by Kramer, and RH47a to accommodate the examples shown above.

 

1912 As above. Controls of types 10 and 8 in red.

Western Union 1912, RH48 - B Western Union 1912, RH48 - C Western Union 1912, RH48 - D Western Union 1899 RH48a
1912, Type 10, RH48, control letter *B 1912, Type 10, RH48, control letter C 1912, Type 10, RH48, control letter *D 1912, Type 8, RH48a, control letter C
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey. One of mine. Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1912 Description Mint Used
RH48 H48 No value, purple (letters: *A, *B, C, *D) 8.00 -
RH48a H48a         controls of type 8 (letters: B, C) 10.00 -

According to Kramer, letter A exists but is rare, and letter E does not exist. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 769 2039 894 - 3727

* I have added Control 'B' and 'D' to RH48 due to the examples shown above, and Control 'A' due to the reference by Kramer.
Additionally, D894 is a new highest control number for D, previously 764.

 

1913 As above but engraved by Kihn Brothers Bank Note Co. of New York (imprint on lower 2 stamps of pane).
Whiter wove paper. No watermark. Perf.14. Printed controls in red (type 10) and blue (letter last).

Western Union 1913, RH49 - B Western Union 1913, RH49 - C Western Union 1913 Western Union 1913, RH49a - C
1913, Type 10, RH49, control letter B 1913, Type 10, RH49, control letter C 1913, Type 10, RH49, control letter D 1913, Type 8, RH49a, control letter C
Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy of Jie6127 on ebay Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1913 Western Union. 1913 Western Union. 1913
1913, Type 8, RH49a, control letter D 1913 *RH49d 1913 *RH49e
One of mine. Images courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click for listing).

 

RH# Hisc. 1913 Description Mint Used
RH49 H49 No value, reddish brown (letters: *A, B, C, D) 9.00 -
RH49a H49a         printed controls in blue, letter: (C or *D) 10.00 -
RH49b H49b         imperf. between horizontal pair 50.00 -
RH49c H49c         imperf. between vertical pair 50.00 -
*RH49d -         no control number - -
*RH49e -         imperf. between vertical pair (no control) - -

According to Kramer, letter A exists but is rare, and letter E does not exist. These are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCDETotal
25 838 1927 1039 - 3829

B838 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 739).
Also D1039 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'D' (was 853).

* I have added Control letter 'A' to RH49 due to the reference by Kramer, and Control letter 'D' to RH49a due to the example shown above.

* I have added RH49d and RH49e to accommodate the examples above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Type 10 is actually, apart from the signature, a return to type 4.

Sale 52 Lot 2199
1913, Brown, 7 panes of four,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

1914 New smaller design, with values introduced. Engraved by E. A. Wright Bank Note Co. on wove paper.
No watermark. Perf.12. Same signature. Controls in red of same two types as in 1912.
Booklet panes of 3 x 2 with imprint under bottom-center stamp on most, but not all panes.

Western Union 1914, RH50 - A Western Union 1914, RH50 - B Western Union 1914, RH50 - C Western Union 1914, RH50b- B
Type 11, 1914 5c - RH50 control letter A Type 11, 1914 5c - RH50 control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
Type 11, 1914 5c - RH50 control letter *C,
There is also C457 tall. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
Type 11, 1914 5c - RH50b with imprint,
control letter B courtesy Everett Ramsey

The control for letter *'C' is taller than the others. For that reason, Kramer classes it as a different Type and notes that it is very scarce.


Western Union 1914 Western Union 1914 5c Western Union 1914, RH50c- B
Pair of RH50b showing imprint, letter *A, courtesy of ibredguy.co.uk Type 11, 1914 5c - RH50c
control letter Condensed Roman A
Type 11, 1914 5c - RH50c
Condensed Roman B, courtesy Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1914 - A Western Union 1914 - B Western Union 1914 - C Western Union 1914, RH51a - Gothic B Western Union 1914 - condensed A
Type 11, 1914 25c - RH51 with Roman 'A'
NO IMPRINT, courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1914 25c - RH51 with Roman 'B' 1914 25c - RH51 with taller Roman *'C'
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1914 25c - RH51a showing Gothic 'B' control.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1914 25c - RH51c with Condensed Roman 'A'
Showing imprint.

Western Union 1914, RH51b - A Western Union 1914 Western Union 1914, RH51c - B
1914 25c - RH51b control letter *A
with imprint, courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1914 25c - RH51b control letter B 1914 25c - RH51c control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

 

RH # Hisc. 1914 Description Mint Used
RH50 H50 5c deep brown (Roman letters: A, B, *C) 1.50 3.00
RH50a H50a         gothic 'B' in place of roman 'B' in control 1.50 3.00
RH50b H50b         handstamped, letter after number (letters: *A, B) 2.25 4.50
*RH50c -         condensed roman letters in control (A, B) 1.50 3.00
RH50d H50d         imperf. between vertical pair 12.00 -
RH50e H50c         imperf. between horizontal pair 12.00 -
RH51 H51 25c bluish grey (Roman letters: A, B, *C) 3.00 -
RH51a H51a         gothic 'B' in place of roman 'B' in control 3.00 -
RH51b H51b         handstamped, letter after number (letters: *A, B) 3.75 -
*RH51c -         condensed roman letters in control (A, B) 3.00 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
861 2737 1577 5175

An example is shown above.

For some reason, 1914 was a very complicated year for control numbers. Hiscocks listed 3 basic control types. Kramer lists 5.
It is a matter of opinion as to which distinctions between types are important, but I will try to tabulate things so that your opinion may be informed.
The information in this table is largely taken from Kramer with corrections for sizes of his Type 4.

Kramer Type Hiscocks RH# Letter width Letter height Number height Letters known Description
1-RH50c / RH51c243.5A, Bcondensed Roman
2 H50a/H51a RH50a / RH51a 344A, B Gothic
3 H50/H51 RH50 / RH51 2.544A, BRoman
4 H50/H51 RH50 / RH51 2 4.54.5 C Roman - very scarce
5 H50b/H51b RH50b / RH51b 243.75A, B handstamped, letter after numbers

Notes on this table:
All sizes in mm.
Kramer Types 1 and 4 were not included in Hiscocks original list.
According to Kramer, the gothic letters include A as well as B. When I see one, I will be happy to illustrate and list it.


Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. There is confusion in my sources as to whether it is the 5c or 25c which is known used.
                I have seen neither and do not know the form of cancellation if any.

 

1915 As above. Controls in red. Signature of Newcomb Carlton.
Imprints on some bottom-center stamps, but not all.

 
Western Union 1915 Western Union 1915, RH52 - B Western Union 1915 5c with imprint Western Union 1915 5c
Type 11, 1915 - RH52 control letter A
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
Type 11, 1915 - RH52 control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
Type 11, 1915 - RH52 control letter B
showing imprint on bottom-center stamp
Type 11, 1915 5c - RH52a with Roman 'B'

Western Union 1915 25c with imprint Western Union 1915 25c RH53a - C, with imprint Western Union 1915 25c RH53a - A, no imprint Western Union 1915 25c RH53b - A Western Union 1915 25c RH53b - A
Type 11, 1915 25c - RH53 letter B
bottom-center stamp  WITH IMPRINT
Type 11, 1915 25c - RH53 letter C
WITH IMPRINT. courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 11, 1915 25c - RH53a letter *A
WITHOUT IMPRINT. courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 11, 1915 25c - *RH53b letter A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

On the B2890 controls, the 'B', '28' and '90' are all in different shades, so presumably were all applied separately.

RH # Hisc. 1915 Description Mint Used
RH52 H52 5c red-orange (letters: A, B, C) 1.50 -
RH52a H52a         letter after number (letter: B) 2.25 -
RH53 H53 25c deep olive green(letters: A, B, C) 3.75 -
RH53a H53a         letter after number (letters: *A, B) 4.50 -
*RH53b -         as above with control doubled (A) - -
RH53c H53b         imperf. between pair 15.00 -

* I have added this due to the example shown above.
It is interesting that for RH52 and RH53, the control letters and numbers were applied in two, or sometimes three, separate operations using different ink.

Type 11, 1915 25c - RH53c letter A
courtesy Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
906 2890 549 4345

Examples are shown above.

 

 

1916 New smaller design engraved by the American Bank Note Co. on white wove paper.
No watermark. Perf.12. Same signature (Newcomb Carlton). Printed controls in red and blue as indicated.
Still panes of 6, but the imprint is upwards on the left of the pane, generally in the selvedge.

Western Union 1916 5c - A Western Union 1916 5c - B
Type 12, 1916 5c - RH54 control A Type 12, 1916 5c - RH54 control B

Western Union 1916 5c Western Union 1916 5c Western Union 1916 5c Western Union 1916 5c RH54b
Type 12, 1916 5c - *RH54a letter A
courtesy of tommyboy1967 on ebay
Type 12, 1916 5c - *RH54a letter B Type 12, 1916 5c (Cancelled) - *RH54a
letter C, courtesy of Rich Hansen.
Type 12, 1916 5c (Cancelled) - *RH54b
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1916 25c RH55 - A Western Union 1916 25c - B Western Union 1916 25c Western Union 1916 25c Western Union 1916 25c RH55a? - B
Type 12, 1916 25c - RH55, control letter A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 12, 1916 25c - RH55 control letter B. Type 12, 1916 25c - *RH55a, letter A
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
Type 12, 1916 25c - *RH55a, letter B
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.
1916 25c - RH55a, control letter B
RH55a generally has a lighter control number than this.
The ink is similar to RH55. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1916 Description Mint Used
RH54 H54 5c deep new blue, red controls (letters: A, B, C) 1.50 -
*RH54a -         blue control (letter after number) (letters: A, B, C) - -
*RH54b -         no control - -
RH55 H55 25c lake, blue controls (letters: A, B, C) 2.00 -
*RH55a -         letter after number (letter: A, B) 4.50 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Both are known overprinted 'specimen' in the same colour as the control and numbered '0000'.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1100 3835 695 4630
ABN Co Imprint
The American Bank Note Co. Imprint on these is
in the left margin, not below the franks.
ABN Co 1916 booklet
A 1916 booklet cover in the same colour (click image for listing).
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.

 

 

1917 As above but engraved by the Security Bank Note Co. Philadelphia and no imprint.   Perf.11. Controls in red.
The imprint on these is again in the left margin, not below the stamps.

Western Union 1917 5c Western Union 1917 RH56a Western Union 1917 5c
Type 12, 1917 5c - H56 Type 12, 1917 5c - RH56a letter *'A'.
Image courtesy of Rich Hansen.
Type 12, 1917 5c - RH56a letter *'B'.
Image courtesy of Rich Hansen.

Western Union RH56b - B Western Union RH56b - C Western Union 1917 5c no control
Type 12, 1917 - *RH56b, letter B
courtesy of
Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
Type 12, 1917 - *RH56b, letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
Type 12, 1917 - *RH56c, no control
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1917 25c RH57b - A1100 Western Union 1917 25c Western Union 1917 25c RH57b - C
Type 12, 1917 25c - RH57, control letter A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 12, 1917 - RH57, letter B
courtesy of
Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
Type 12, 1917 25c - *RH57b, control letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1917 Description Mint Used
RH56 H56 5c yellow-brown (letters: A, B) 1.10 -
RH56a H56a         letter after number (red letters: *A, *B, C) 1.50 -
*RH56b -         magenta control (letter: B, C) - -
*RH56c -         no control - -
RH57 H57 25c deep green (letters: A, B) 1.50 -
RH57a H57a         letter after number (red letter: C) 2.25 -
*RH57b -         magenta control (letter: C) - -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1100 3010 867 4977

A1100 shown above is a new highest number for A. It was 1024.

 

 

1918 As above. Controls in red.

Western Union 1918 5c - A Western Union 1918 5c - B Western Union 1918 5c - B Western Union 1918
Type 12, 1918 5c - RH58, control letter A
the imprint can be seen on this
Type 12, 1918 5c - RH58, control letter B Type 12, 1918 5c - RH58a, letter A
imprint at left, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 12, 1918 - RH58a, control letter C
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)

Western Union 1918 25c - A Western Union 1918 25c RH59 - B Western Union 1918 25c RH59a - B
Type 12, 1918 25c - RH59, letter A Type 12, 1918 25c - RH59, letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Type 12, 1918 25c - RH59a, letter *B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1918 Description Mint Used
RH58 H58 5c olive green (letters: A, B) 1.00 -
RH58a H58a         letter after number (letters: A, C) 1.50 -
RH59 H59 25c chocolate (letters: A, B) 1.50 -
RH59a H59a         letter after number (letters: A, *B, C) 2.00 -

* I have added this due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1025 3250 1270 5545

 

 

1919 As above. Controls in blue or red as indicated.

Western Union 1919, RH60 - A Western Union 1919 Western Union 1919
1919 5c - RH60 control letter A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1919 5c - RH60 control letter B 1919 5c - RH60a control letter *B

Western Union 1919, RH61 - A Western Union 1919 Western Union 1919, RH61a - B
1919 25c - RH61 control letter A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1919 25c - RH61 control letter B
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay).
1919 25c - RH61a control letter *B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

RH # Hisc. 1919 Description Mint Used
RH60 H60 5c orange-brown (blue controls)(letters: A, B) 1.50 -
RH60a H60a         letter after number (red controls)(letters: *B, C) 3.00 -
RH61 H61 25c dark blue (blue controls)(letters: A, B) 3.00 -
RH61a H61a         letter after number (red controls)(letters: *B, C) 4.50 -

* I have added letter B to RH60a and RH61a due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
749 2346 546 3641

B2346 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 2336).

 

 

1920 As above but engraved by E. A. Wright Bank Note Co. Perf.12. All controls in red.
Still panes of 6, with Imprint below bottom center stamp sometimes, but not always.

Western Union 1920, RH62 - A Western Union 1920, RH62 - B Western Union 1920 5c Western Union 1920, RH62a - B
1920 5c - RH62 control letter *A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1920 5c - RH62 control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1920 5c - RH62 control letter C
No Imprint below bottom-center.
1920 5c - RH62a control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1920 25c RH63 - A Western Union 1920 25c - B Western Union 1920 25c - A
1920 25c - RH63 control letter A
With imprint, courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1920 25c - RH63 control letter B
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay).
1920 25c - RH63a control letter *A
Imprint below center-bottom

RH # Hisc. 1920 Description Mint Used
RH62 H62 5c deep greyish green (letters: *A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH62a H262a         letter after number (letters: B, C) 1.00 -
RH63 H63 25c deep olive (letters: A, B, C) 1.00 -
RH63a H63a         letter after number (letters: *A, B, C) 1.50 -

* I have added letter A to these due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
975 3109 875 4959

 

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. My copies of No.63 have the normal size A and B but much larger numbers than in surrounding years.

 

1921 As above but engraved by the Security Bank Note Co., Philadelphia. Perf.12. Printed controls in carmine.
Still panes of 6, with Imprint sometimes below bottom center stamp, but not always.

Western Union. 1921 5c - A Western Union 1921 5c - C Western Union. 1921 5c
1921 RH64 control letter A before.
Imprint at bottom
1921 5c - *RH64 letter 'C'
Image courtesy of Rich Hansen.
1921 *RH64a control letter C after.
Imprint at bottom

Western Union. 1921 25c - A Western Union. 1921 25c RH65 - B Western Union. 1921 Western Union. 1921 25c
1921 25c RH65 control letter A before.
Imprint at bottom
1921 25c RH65 control letter B before.
Imprint not at bottom, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1921 RH65 control letter *C before.
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay).
1921 *RH65a control letter C after

Western Union. 1921 5c RH64b Western Union. 1921 25c
1921 5c - *RH64b
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1921 25c - RH65b

RH # Hisc. 1921 Description Mint Used
RH64 H64 5c deep rose red (carmine letters: A, B, *C) 0.75 -
*RH64a -         red control (letter: C) after number - -
*RH64b -         no control - -
RH65 H65 25c dark blue (letters: A, B, *C) 0.90 -
*RH65a -         red control (letter: C) after number 1.00 -
RH65b H65a         no control 6.00 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
996 3159 989 5144

 

 

1922 As above. Letter-first controls printed in red. Number-first controls printed in blue.
Still panes of 6, with Imprint either at left or below bottom center stamp.

Western Union 1922 - 5c B Western Union 1922 - 5c C Western Union 1922 RH66a Western Union 1922 - 5c RH66c
1922 5c - RH66 letter B 1922 5c - RH66 letter *C 1922 5c - RH66a
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1922 5c - *RH66c
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1922 - 25c Western Union 1922 RH67a - A Western Union 1922 RH67a - B Western Union 1922 RH67a - C
1922 25c - RH67
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
1922 25c - RH67a letter *A
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.
1922 25c - RH67a letter B 1922 25c - RH67a letter *C

RH # Hisc. 1922 Description Mint Used
RH66 H66 5c yellow-brown (letters: A, B, *C) 0.75 -
RH66a H66a         letter after number (letter: B) 1.20 -
RH66b H66b         imperf. between horizontal pair 15.00 -
*RH66c -         no control - -
RH67 H67 25c crimson (letters: A, B) 1.50 -
RH67a H67a         letter after number (letters: *A, B, *C) 2.25 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
799 3208 1047 5054

3208B (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 3140).
Also 1047C (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 947).

 

 

1923 As above. Controls as above.
Still panes of 6, with Imprint either at left or below bottom center stamp.

Western Union 1923 5c Western Union 1923 - 5c RH68a letter B Western Union 1923 - 5c RH68b
1923 5c - RH68 control letter B
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
1923 5c - RH68a control letter B
with imprint, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1923 5c - *RH68b
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1923 25c Western Union 1923, RH69a - B Western Union 1923 - 25c RH69b
1923 25c - RH69 control letter B
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
1923 25c - RH69a control letter B
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1923 25c - *RH69b
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1923 Description Mint Used
RH68 H68 5c olive green (letters: A, B) 0.75 -
RH68a H68a         letter after number (letter: B) 1.20 -
*RH68b -         with no control - -
RH69 H69 25c plum (letters: A, B) 1.50 -
RH69a H69a         letter after number (letter: B) 2.25 -
*RH69b -         no control - -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
739 3446 1078 5263

 

 

1924 As above. Controls as above.
Still panes of 6, with Imprint either at left or below bottom center stamp.

Western Union 1924, RH70 - A Western Union 1924, RH70 - B Western Union 1924 - 5c Western Union 1924, RH70a - C Western Union 1924, RH70b
1924 5c - RH70 control letter A before. 1924 5c - RH70 control letter B before.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1924 5c - RH70 control letter *C before. 1924 5c - RH70a control letter *C after.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1924 5c - RH70b.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1924, RH71 - A Western Union 1924 - 25c Western Union 1924 25c
1924 25c - RH71 control letter A before
with imprint.
1924 25c - RH71 control letter B before. 1924 25c - RH71 control letter *C before
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)

Western Union 1924 25c cancelled Western Union 1924, RH71a - B Western Union 1924, RH71b
1924 25c - RH71 Cancelled
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.
1924 25c - RH71a control letter B after
with imprint, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1924 25c - *RH71b
courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

RH # Hisc. 1924 Description Mint Used
RH70 H70 5c orange-brown (letters: A, B, *C) 1.50 -
RH70a H70a         letter after number (letter: B, *C) 2.25 -
RH70b H70b         with no control 4.50 -
RH71 H71 25c grey-blue (letters: A, B, *C) 3.00 -
RH71a H71a         letter after number (letter: B) 4.50 -
*RH71b -         with no control - -

* I have added control letter C to RH70, RH70a and RH71 due to the examples shown above.
I have added RH71b also due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
675 3347 1217 5239

Examples are shown above.

 

 

1925 As above. Controls as above (see 1922).
Still panes of 6, with Imprint either at left or below bottom center stamp.

Western Union 1925, RH72 - A Western Union 1925 Western Union 1925, RH72 - C Western Union 1925, RH72a - B Western Union 1925 5c
1925 5c - RH72 control letter A
1925 5c - RH72 control letter B
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
1925 5c - RH72 control letter *C
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1925 5c - RH72a control letter B.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1925 5c - RH72a control letter *C.
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.

Western Union 1925, RH73 - A Western Union 1925 Western Union 1925 25c Western Union 1925, RH73a - B
1925 25c - RH73 letter A
1925 25c - RH73 letter B
courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay)
1925 25c - RH73 letter *C
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.
1925 25c - RH73a control letter B after.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1925, RH72b Western Union 1925, RH73b
1925 5c - RH72b No control 1925 25c - *RH73b No control

RH # Hisc. 1925 Description Mint Used
RH72 H72 5c olive green (letters: A, B, *C) 0.75 -
RH72a H72a         letter after number (letter: B, *C) 1.20 -
RH72b H72b         with no control 6.00 -
RH73 H73 25c bright carmine (letters: A, B, *C) 1.50 -
RH73a H73a         letter after number (letter: B) 2.25 -
*RH73b -         with no control 8.00 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
836 3455 1375 5666

An example is shown above.

 

 

1926 As above. Controls as above (see 1922).
Still panes of 6, with Imprint either at left or below bottom center stamp.

Western Union 1925, RH74 - A Western Union 1926 - 5c Western Union 1925, RH74a - B Western Union 1926 - 5c Western Union 1926 - 5c No control
1926, 5c   RH74 control letter A with imprint. 1926, 5c   RH74 control letter B 1926, 5c   RH74a control letter B 1926, 5c   RH74a control letter C 1926, 5c   RH74b, No control.
Courtesy Everett Ramsey Courtesy Thomas (tommyboy1967) Courtesy Everett Ramsey Courtesy Thomas (tommyboy1967) Courtesy Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1925, RH75 - A Western Union 1926 - 25c Western Union 1925, RH75a - B Western Union 1925, RH75a - C Western Union 1926 - 25c No control
1926, 25c   RH75 control letter A 1926, 25c   RH75 control letter B 1926, 25c   RH75a control letter B 1926, 25c   RH75a control letter C 1926, 25c   RH75b, No control.
With interesting broken '5' in '25'.
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy Thomas (tommyboy1967) Images courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1926 Description Mint Used
RH74 H74 5c blue (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH74a H74a         letter after number (letter: B, C) 1.20 -
RH74b -         no control number - -
RH75 H75 25c light brown (letters: A, B, C) 3.00 -
RH75a H75a         letter after number (letter: B) 4.50 -
RH75b -        no control number - -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
895 3390 1628 5913

1628C (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 1597).

 

 

1927 As above. (Hiscocks says "Controls printed in red only" but there are examples with blue shown below.)
Still panes of 6, with Imprint either at left or below bottom center stamp.

Western Union 1927, RH76 - A Western Union RH76 - B Western Union 1927 5c
1927 5c, RH76 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1927 - RH76, control letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1927 5c, RH76 control letter C

Western Union 1927 Western Union 1927, RH76a - B Western Union 1927, RH76a - C
1927 5c with blue control A *RH76a.
Courtesy Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay
1927 5c, *RH76a control letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1927 5c, *RH76a control letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union RH77 - A Western Union 1927, RH77 - B Western Union 1927, RH77 - C
1927 - RH77, control letter A
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1927 25c, RH77 control letter B
With imprint, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1927 25c, RH77 control letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1927, RH77 - A Western Union 1927, RH77 - B Western Union 1927 25c
1927 25c, *RH77a control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1927 25c, *RH77a control letter B
Courtesy of Eric Jackson.
1927 25c with no control *RH77b.
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.

Western Union 1927, RH76 - B 5c pane Western Union 1927, RH77 - B 25c pane
1927 5c and 25c booklet panes (2/3 scale) with matching control numbers, letter B courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
There is a premium for matching control numbers.


Western Union 1927, RH77a - A Western Union. 1927 pane
1927 25c pane *RH77a (blue control, letter A). (2/3 scale) Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. 1927 25c pane *RH77a (blue control, letter B). Courtesy of Eric Jackson   (click for listing)

 

RH # Hisc. 1927 Description Mint Used
RH76 H76 5c bright carmine (red control) (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
*RH76a -         blue control (letter after number) (letters: A, B, C) - -
RH77 H77 25c green (red control) (letters: A, B, C) 3.00 -
*RH77a -         blue control (letter after number) (letters: A, B, C) - -
*RH77b -         no control - -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
821 3736 1796 6353

 

 

 

1928 As above but engraved by the E. A. Wright Bank Note Co. Perf.12. Controls as above.
Still panes of 6, but no imprint below franks.

Western Union 1928 5c - A Western Union RH78 - B Western Union 1928 5c - C
1928 5c - RH78 letter A. 1928 - RH78, control letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1928 5c - RH78 letter C.

Western Union 1928 25c - A Western Union RH79 - B Western Union 1928 25c - C
1928 25c - RH79 letter A. 1928 - RH79, control letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1928 25c - RH79 letter C

 

RH # Hisc. 1928 Description Mint Used
RH78 H78 5c brown (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH79 H79 25c dark blue (letters: A, B, C) 1.00 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1200 5165 2966 9331

C2966 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 2664).

 

 

1929 As above but engraved by the Security Bank Note Co. Perf.12. Controls printed in large red letters and numbers.
Still panes of 6, but no imprint below franks.

Western Union 1929, RH80 - A Western Union 1929 5c - B Western Union 1929 5c - C
1929 5c, RH80 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1929 5c, RH80 control letter B 1929 5c, RH80 control letter C

Western Union 1929, RH81 - A Western Union 1929 5c RH81 - C
1929 5c, RH81 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1929 5c, RH81 control letter C

 

RH # Hisc. 1929 Description Mint Used
RH80 H80 5c dark green (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 1.00
RH81 H81 25c purple-brown (letters: A, B, C) 1.50 3.00

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1137 4778 3259 9174

C3259 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 3029).

 

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies of these and subsequent franks are mostly cancelled with the word 'CANCELLED' three
                times in a divided box — usually in blue but also known in green (1931) and purple (1932).
                The date is also sometimes stamped on in purple.

 

1930 As above.

Western Union 1930 5c - A Western Union 1930 5c - B Western Union 1930 5c - C Western Union 1930 25c - A Western Union 1930 25c - B
1930, 5c   RH82 control letter A 1930, 5c   RH82 control letter B
courtesy of  (tommyboy1967) on ebay
1930, 5c   RH82 control letter C used
courtesy of  Everett Ramsey.
1930, 25c   RH83 control letter A 1930, 25c   RH83 control letter B

 

RH # Hisc. 1930 Description Mint Used
RH82 H82 5c green (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 3.00
RH83 H83 25c deep carmine (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 3.00
RH83a H83a         imperf. between vertical pair 15.00 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1164 5119 3368 9651

 

 

1931 As above.

Western Union 1931 5c - A Western Union 1931, RH84 - B Western Union 1931 5c
1931 5c - RH84 control letter A 1931 5c, RH84 control letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1931 5c - RH84 control letter C

Western Union 1931 25c - A Western Union 1931 25c - B Western Union 1931, RH85 - C
1931 25c - RH85 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1931 25c - RH85 control letter B 1931 25c, RH85 control letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1931 Description Mint Used
RH84 H84 5c yellow-brown (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 3.00
RH85 H85 25c green-blue (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 3.00

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1184 5385 3199 9768

A1184 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'A' (was 850).

 

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. See note below 1929.

 

1932 As above.

Western Union 1932, RH86 - A Western Union 1932 5c - B5120 Western Union 1932, RH86 - C
1932 5c - RH86 control letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1932 5c - RH86 control B5120.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1932 5c - RH86 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1932, RH87 - A Western Union 1932, RH87 - B Western Union 1932 25c
1932 25c - RH87 control letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1932 25c - RH87 control letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1932 25c - RH87 control letter C.

 

RH # Hisc. 1932 Description Mint Used
RH86 H86 5c bluish green (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 3.00
RH87 H87 25c carmine (shades) (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 3.00

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1196 5120 3681 9369

B5120 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 4492).

 

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. See note below 1929.

 

1933 New smaller design lithographed by the Oberly and Newell Co. on white wove paper.
No watermark. Perf 14 x 12½ between stamps in panes of 9 (2 per pane with perfs. all round). Small controls in red. No imprints.
Kramer listed a 50% premium for fully perforated stamps with this format (1933-46).

Western Union RH88 - B Western Union 1933, RH88 - C
1933 - RH88a, control letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1933 5c - RH88 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1933, RH89 - A Western Union 1933 Western Union 1933, RH89 - C
1933 25c - RH89 control letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1933 Type 13 (Newcomb Carlton)
letter B
1933 25c - RH89a control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1933 Description Mint Used
RH88 H88 5c pale pinkish brown (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH88a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -
RH89 H89 25c bluish green (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH89a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1196 5378 3391 9965

 

 

1934 As above but lithographed by the Security Bank Note Co. on wove paper.
No watermark. Perf 12 between stamps in panes of  9.  Signature of  R. B. White. Large red controls.

Western Union 1934 - A Western Union 1934 - B Western Union RH90 - C
1934 5c, Type 14 (R. B. White), RH90
control letter A, courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1934 5c, Type 14, RH90a
control letter B
1934 - RH90, control letter C
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union 1934, RH91 - A Western Union 1934 - B Western Union 1934, RH91 - C
1934 25c - RH91 control letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1934 25c - RH91a control letter B. 1934 25c - RH91 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1934 Description Mint Used
RH90 H90 5c rose-carmine (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH90a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -
RH91 H91 25c indigo (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH91a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1186 5369 3495 10050

C3495 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 3432).

 

 

1935 As above, letters larger than numbers.

Western Union 1935, RH92 - A Western Union 1935 - B Western Union 1935, RH92 - C
1935 5c - RH92 control letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1935 5c - RH92a control letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1935 5c - RH92 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1935, RH93 - A Western Union 1935
1935 25c - RH93 control letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1935 25c - RH93a control letter B.

 

RH # Hisc. 1935 Description Mint Used
RH92 H92 5c yellow-brown (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH92a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -
RH93 H93 25c carmine (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH93a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
1168 5279 3180 9627

 

 

1936 As above.

Western Union 1936 Western Union RH94 - B Western Union 1936, RH94 - C
1936 5c, RH94a (R. B. White)
control letter A.
1936 5c - RH94a, control letter B
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1936 5c - RH94 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1936, RH95 - A Western Union 1936, RH95 - B Western Union 1936 - C
1936 25c - RH95 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1936 25c - RH95 control letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1936 25c, RH95a control letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

RH # Hisc. 1936 Description Mint Used
RH94 H94 5c blue (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 2.25
RH94a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 3.4
RH95 H95 25c light green (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 2.25
RH95a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 3.4

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
696 4982 3583 9261

A696 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'A' (was 689).
Also C3583 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'C' (was 3552).

 

 

1937 As above.

Western Union 1937, RH96 - A Western Union 1937, RH96 - B Western Union 1937 Western Union 1937, RH96 - C
1937 5c, RH96 (R. B. White), control letter A 1937 5c, RH96 control letter B 1937 5c, RH96a control letter B 1937 5c, RH96 control letter C
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht Courtesy of (tommyboy1967 on ebay) Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union RH97 - A Western Union 1937 Western Union 1937, RH97 - C
1937 25c - RH97, control letter A 1937 25c, RH97a control letter B 1937 25c, RH97a control letter C
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht Courtesy of (tommyboy1967 on ebay) One of mine

 

RH # Hisc. 1937 Description Mint Used
RH96 H96 5c yellow-brown (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH96a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -
RH97 H97 25c carmine red (letters: A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH97a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
481 4757 3257 8495

A481 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'A' (was 475).
Also B4757 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 4738).

 

 

1938 As above.

Western Union RH98 - B Western Union 1938
1938 5c - RH98a control letter B.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1938 5c Type 14 (R. B. White) - RH98a
control letter C

Western Union 1938, RH99 - A Western Union 1938, RH99 - B Western Union 1938
1938 25c - RH99 control letter *A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1938 25c - RH99 control letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1938 25c Type 14 - RH99 control letter C.

 

RH # Hisc. 1938 Description Mint Used
RH98 H98 5c grey-olive (letters: B, C) 0.75 2.25
RH98a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 3.40
RH99 H99 25c blue (letters: *A, B, C) 0.75 2.25
RH99a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 3.40

* I have added this due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
421 4810 3304 8535

A421 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'A' (was 393).

 

 

1939 As above. Control letters changed to smaller type.

Western Union 1939 - A Western Union 1939 - B
1939 5c - RH100 control letter *A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1939 5c - RH100a control letter B
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1939, RH101 - A Western Union 1939, RH101 - B Western Union 1939, RH101 - C
1939 25c - RH101 control letter *A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1939 25c - RH101a control letter B. 1939 25c - RH101 control letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

 

RH # Hisc. 1939 Description Mint Used
RH100 H100 5c orange (letters: *A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH100a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -
RH100b H100a         imperf. between horizontal pair 15.00 -
RH101 H101 25c bright purple (letters: *A, B, C) 1.50 -
RH101a -         perforated on all sides 2.30 -

* I have added control letter A due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A B C Total
431 4847 3321 8599

B4847 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 4786).

 

 

1940 As above.

Western Union 1940 5c - B Western Union 1940 - C
1940 5c, Type 14 (R. B. White), RH102 letter B 1940 5c, RH102a control letter C.
One of mine Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1940 - A Western Union 1940 - B Western Union 1940 25c - C
1940 25c, RH103a control letter *A. 1940 25c, RH103a control letter B. 1940 25c, RH103 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey Courtesy of Everett Ramsey One of mine

 

RH # Hisc. 1940 Description Mint Used
RH102 H102 5c light blue (letters: B, C) 1.20 -
RH102a -         perforated on all sides 1.80 -
RH103 H103 25c light emerald (shades) (letters: *A, B, C) 1.20 -
RH103a -         perforated on all sides 1.80 -

* I have added this control letter due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
350 4784 3344 8478

 

 

1941 As above. Perf. 12½. No imprint.

Western Union 1941, RH104 - A Western Union 1941 Western Union RH104 - C
1941 5c - RH104 control letter *A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1941 5c, Type 14 (R. B. White) Letter B. 1941 5c - RH104 control letter C.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union 1941, RH105 - A Western Union 1941, RH105 - B Western Union 1941
1941 25c - RH105 control letter *A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1941 25c - RH105 control letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1941 25c, Type 14 control letter C.
Courtesy of Thomas (tommyboy1967 on ebay

 

RH # Hisc. 1941 Description Mint Used
RH104 H104 5c dull claret (letters: *A, B, C) 0.90 -
RH104a -         perforated on all sides 1.35 -
RH105 H105 25c orange-red (letters: *A, B, C) 0.90 -
RH105a -         perforated on all sides 1.35 -

* I have added these control letters due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
346 4788 3327 8461

An example is shown above.

 

 

1942 As above. Signature of  A. N. Williams.

Western Union 1942 - B Western Union 1942, RH106 - C
1942-46 Type 14 (A. N. Williams), RH106a
control letter B. Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1942 5c - RH106 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1942 25c Western Union 1942 25c Western Union 1942, RH107 - C
1942 25c RH107 - letter *A.
Courtesy of Rich Hansen.
1942-46 Type 14, RH107 control letter B. 1942 25c - RH107 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey

 

RH # Hisc. 1942 Description Mint Used
RH106 H106 5c light brown (letters: B, C) 0.75 -
RH106a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -
RH107 H107 25c ultramarine (letters: *A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH107a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -

* I have added this due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
334 4771 5848 10953

 

 

1943 As above.

Western Union 1943 - A RH108a 1943 - A Western Union 1943 Western Union RH108 - C
1943 5c - RH108 control letter *A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1943 5c - RH108a control letter *A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1943 5c, Type 14 (A. N. Williams) - RH108
letter B
1943 5c - RH108 control letter C.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.

Western Union 1943 - A Western Union 1943 Western Union 1943 - B Western Union 1943 - C
1943 25c, RH109 used letter A.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1943 25c, Type 14 (A. N. Williams) - RH109
letter B
1943 25c, RH109a used letter B.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
1943 25c, - RH109 letter C

Notice that on the 25c, the letter B can be in very different positions vertically relative to the numbers.
Despite being the same colour, I wonder if they were applied in separate operations.

1943 Booklet, in the colour of the 25c franks, marked 'COMPLIMENTARY', courtesy of  Eric Jackson
containing three 5c and four 25c panes.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1943 booklet

RH # Hisc. 1943 Description Mint Used
RH108 H108 5c orange (letters: *A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH108a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -
RH109 H109 25c bright purple (letters: B, C) 0.60 -
RH109a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -

* I have added this due to the example shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
347 4691 5830 10868

 

 

1944 As above.

Western Union 1944, RH110 - A Western Union 1944, RH110a - B Western Union 1944 5c
1944 5c - RH110 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1944 5c - RH110a control letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1944 5c, Type 14, RH110a - letter C
Courtesy of tommyboy1967

Western Union 1944, RH111 - A Western Union 1944, RH111a - B Western Union 1944 25c
1944 25c - RH111 control letter A
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1944 25c - RH111a control letter B
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1944 25c, Type 14, RH111a - letter C
Courtesy of tommyboy1967

1944 Booklet, in the colour of the 25c franks, marked 'COMPLIMENTARY', courtesy of  Eric Jackson
containing three 5c and four 25c panes.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1943 booklet

RH # Hisc. 1944 Description Mint Used
RH110 H110 5c light yellowish green (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH110a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -
RH111 H111 25c dull yellow-brown (letters: A, B, C) 0.60 -
RH111a -         perforated on all sides 0.90 -

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
277 3978 5719 9974

 

 

1945 As above.

Western Union 1945 5c - A Western Union 1945 5c - B Western Union 1945 5c - C
1945 5c, Type 14, RH112 - letter *A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1945 5c, Type 14, RH112 - letter B 1945 5c, Type 14, RH112a - letter C
courtesy of Everett Ramsey

Western Union 1945 25c - A Western Union RH113 - B Western Union 1945 25c
1945 25c, Type 14, RH113 - letter *A
courtesy of Everett Ramsey
1945 25c - RH113 control letter B.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
1945 25c, Type 14, RH113a - letter C
courtesy of tommyboy1967 on ebay

1945 Booklet, in the colour of the 25c franks, marked 'COMPLIMENTARY', courtesy of  Eric Jackson
containing three 5c and four 25c panes.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1943 booklet

RH # Hisc. 1945 Description Mint Used
RH112 H112 5c blue (letters: *A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH112a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -
RH113 H113 25c yellowish green (letters: *A, B, C) 0.75 -
RH113a -         perforated on all sides 1.13 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
230 3391 5952 9573

B3391 (see above) is the new highest control number for 'B' (was 3277).

 

 

1946 As above. Control letters larger (same size as number).

Western Union 1946 5c - A Western Union. 1946 5c Western Union 1946, RH114 - C
1946 5c, Type 14, RH114 - letter *A 1946 5c - RH114a control letter B. 1946 5c - RH114 control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy of (tommyboy1967 on ebay) Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Western Union 1946 25c - A Western Union. 1946 25c Western Union 1946, RH115 - C
1946 25c, Type 14, RH115 - letter *A 1946 25c - RH115 control letter B. 1946 25c - RH115a control letter C.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Courtesy of (tommyboy1967 on ebay) Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

1946 Booklet, in the colour of the 25c franks, marked 'COMPLIMENTARY', courtesy of  Eric Jackson
containing four 5c panes, six 25c panes.
USA Postal Tel-Cable 1943 booklet

RH # Hisc. 1946 Description Mint Used
RH114 H114 5c dull yellow-brown (letters: *A, B, C) 2.25 -
RH114a -         perforated on all sides 3.40 -
RH115 H115 25c red (letters: *A, B, C) 3.00 -
RH115a -         perforated on all sides 4.75 -

* I have added these due to the examples shown above.

According to Kramer, these are his highest recorded control numbers for each control letter.

A BCTotal
162 2925 4988 8075

 

 

Booklet covers.

$2.50 booklet cover Sale 45 Lot 1945
$2.50 booklet cover, unknown year. 1940 $5 booklet.
Courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht. Courtesy Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions.
(click on image for listing).

 

An item shown for the sake of interest:

Western Union Messenger Service
Circa 1938, I'm not sure if these were used as seals, or simply to advertise the Western Union Messenger Service.
Perf. 11¾. Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
Rich & Rich (page 66) says they are also known imperforate (1914?) and suggests that they may be
the 'succesor' to "Special Deliver" stamps of the American District Telegraph Company.
I note though that this has no face value, whilst they and ADT Parcel Delivery stamps, did.

 

'Credit' Stamps

From Hiscocks Book page 334
Taken from Hiscocks Book, page 334.

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. The status and purpose of these stamps is quite unknown — 'credit' stamps is
                a pure guess based on the wording.

These are now listed at 1875 Essays.

 

Stationery.

Sale 55 Lot 1200
Western Union Telegraph, imprint with small Zeus and Lightningbolt illustration,
on cover to Salisbury Center, N.Y., franked with 1857, 3¢ dull red tied by Huron, Ohio cds
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 38 Lot 2313
Western Union Telegraph Co. from the 1860's
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 45 Lot 383
1867 New York, N.Y. To Langon, France. Western Union Telegraph cover sent unpaid with "New York, 9, Mar 27" cds
debit to France (3¢ U.S. inland and 6¢ sea) and "8" decimes due handstamp. scarce transatlantic telegraph cover. 
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Here is a similar one of July 1867 showing the original contents.
July 1867
Image courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

 

Sale 62 Lot 232
Sale 62 Lot 232
San Francisco envelope and Pacific Division letterhead enclosure datelined "San Leandro, Jun 15th 1871".
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 22 Lot 28
Western Union telegram cover with original enclosure datelined "Apr 20, 1906"
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

 


 

Stationery etc., of other companies that are not known to have issued telegraph stamps.

 

Alta California Telegraph Company.

Sale 60 Lot 559
Alta California Telegraph Company, California, 1855, with contents.
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 222
Alta California Telegraph Company, California, 1856,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 62 Lot 223
Alta Telegraph Company, Office: 153 Montgomery St., Corner of Merchant,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

American Telegraph Company.

Sale 61 Lot 871
"American Telegraph CompanyWashington D.C." cover with 1861, 1c blue.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

American Telegraph Co. Embossed
American Telegraph Company. Embossed cover with eagle and lighting bolt,
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey. This contains the original enclosure dated 15 October 1859 shown below.
American Telegraph Co. Embossed enclosure

 

Sale 30 Lot 413
American Telegraph Company. Illustrated embossed corner card with eagle and lighting bolt,
on local telegram cover, with manuscript Fifty three charge (50¢ telegram + 3¢ revenue).
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

Sale 58 Lot 1202
American Telegraph Company, New York, all-over illustrated envelope design in light blue.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

ATC illustrated envelope in red
American Telegraph Company, New York, a similar all-over illustrated envelope design in red.
Courtesy of Everett Ramsey.

Sale 59 Lot 4395
Sale 59 Lot 4395
1865 (Jul. 21) American Telegraph Co. (South) under the control and supervision of the U.S. Military Telegraph.
In the weeks after final Confederate collapse, this was the best means of communication within the South.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company.

eBay Lot 401935721176
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company., 1860's ? Telegram with a map showing Offices, courtesy of Newall on eBay (click on image for listing).


eBay Lot 264758850952
Atlantic & Pacific Telegraph Company. Half-rate telegram of 1880.   Image courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

Bankers & Merchants Telegraph Company.

eBay Lot 254621423997 - enclosure
eBay Lot 254621423997 - front  eBay Lot 254621423997 - back

Bankers & Merchants.  telegram of 1880s with enclosure.   Image courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

Cincinnati & Louisville Steamer Telegraph.

Sale 57 Lot 4325
Cincinnati & Louisville Steamer Telegraph No. 3, ornate blue embossed cameo corner,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Electro-Chemical Telegraph.

Sale 30 Lot 410
Electro-Chemical Telegraph, Vermont and Boston Line. 1856 telegram from New York to Boston.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Electromagnetic Telegraph.

Sale 60 Lot 559
United States Electromagnetic Telegraph, Baltimore, circa 1845, one of 3 recorded examples. Said to be the earliest Telegraph cover recorded.
lot 1153 of the Wilson Born Collection.

 

Gilroy and Havilah Telegraph Line

Sale 60 Lot 708
Gilroy and Havilah Telegraph Line, U.S. Mail Stage Via Firebaugh's…and Havila, with 1869, 3¢ ultramarine
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Great Albany Telegram.

Sale 55 Lot 1181
Great Albany Telegram, all-over ad cover, 12 June 1892 backstamp,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

House's Printing Telegraph.

Sale 23 Lot 181
House's Printing Telegraph. Illustrated design showing Telegraph Machine & Telegraph Lines on 1852 cover,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Magnetic Telegraph.

Sale 44 Lot 1243
Magnetic Telegraph Office/Phila. Oval handstamp on locally addressed cover, matching "2" rate handstamp,
courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).


eBay Lot 254621447458
Magnetic Telegraph Office/Phila. 98 Chestnut Str.  Later telegram of uncetain date.   Image courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

 

Military Telegraph.

Sale 52 Lot 2335
United States Military Telegraph, imprint on cover to Canton, Ohio, franked with 1861, 3¢ rose tied by blue Louisville, Ky., Jan 16, '64 cds and target duplex.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Northern California Telegraph.

Sale 62 Lot 231
Northern California Telegraph, compare to previous.
Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).

 

Philadelphia, Reading & Pottsville Telegraph.

eBay Lot 264758934716
Philadelphia, Reading & Pottsville Telegraph Company.  telegram of 1860s listing offices.   Image courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

Polar Union Telegraph Company.

eBay Lot 401171417510 - front
eBay Lot 401171417510 - back

Polar Union Telegraph Company Telegram, front and back, courtesy of Newall on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

Vermont & Boston Telegraph.

Sale 30 Lot 411
Vermont & Boston Telegraph Company. 1856 telegram with embossing. Courtesy of Schuyler Rumsey Philatelic Auctions. (click on image for listing).


eBay Lot 264758940482   eBay Lot 264758940482 - back
eBay Lot 264758940482 - enclosure

Vermont & Boston Telegraph Company. 1862 telegram with enclosure.   Images courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).


eBay Lot 264758923531
Vermont & Boston Telegraph Company.  telegram of uncetain date.   Image courtesy of Fred of fgkii on eBay (click on image for listing).

 

 

 

Telegraph Tax Stamps

Steve Hiscocks wrote:
The Internal Revenue Act of 1 June 1862 imposed on each telegram a tax of 1c for the first 10 words costing up to 20c and of 3c for the first 10 words
costing over 20c with effect from 1 October 1862. Revenue stamps bearing the word 'TELEGRAPH' of values 1c and 3c were prepared and delivered on
16 October 1862 (1c) and 21 November 1862 (3c). A month or so later an urgent requirement for more stamps resulted in some of both values being
sent imperforate or, in the case of the 3c, perforated in only one direction to save time.

The stamps were stuck to the original telegram which was retained by the company and normally destroyed so these stamps are virtually unknown
telegraphically used. However after 26 December 1862 the requirement for the use of specific stamps for specific purposes was dropped and Telegraph
Tax stamps were also used for all sorts of revenue purposes while conversely, other stamps were also used for telegraph tax payment until
the tax on telegrams was dropped on 1 August 1864. Used copies of the Telegraph Tax stamps have virtually all been used for other purposes and I
do not know any way in which 'properly' used copies may be distinguished.

 

1862 Engraved by Butler and Carpenter of Philadelphia on thin hard brittle wove paper.
No watermark. Perf.12.

Tax Stamp 1 Tax Stamp - H1a Tax Stamp 1 misperf
Type 1 - H1 Type 1 - H1a courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Type 1 courtesy of Rolf Lamprecht.
If at first you don't succeed ...

Tax Stamp 2 Tax Stamp - H2a Tax Stamp - H2b
Type 2 - H2 Type 2 - H2a courtesy of Everett Ramsey. Type 2 - H2b courtesy of Everett Ramsey.
From Hiscocks Book page 335
*RH2c
Courtesy of Stanley M. Piller trading as stmpdlr on ebay

RH# Hisc. Description Mint Used
RH1 H1 1c red (16.10.62) 30.00 4.00
RH1a H1a         imperf. 300.00 50.00
RH2 H2 3c green (21.11.62) 10.00 10.00
RH2a H2a         imperf. 100.00 30.00
RH2b H2b         imperf. horizontally, perf.12 vertically 25.00 10.00
*RH2c -         H2b vertical pair 60.00 25.00
- H2c         on thicker softer paper - -
- H2d         on paper containing silk threads - -

*I have added RH1b due to the example shown.

It seems sensible to add RH2c as I have seen a number of examples,
though not all as good as the one above-right.

The Scott catalogue gives some notes that may be helpful; H2c, the thicker paper appeared after September 1869.
In addition I am told paper with silk threads was a trial, paper contained random size silk thread threads in the paper,
some stamps may show 8-12 rather large threads and others 1- 2 very small threads.
The Silk paper experiments were started in August 1970
Since the tax on telegrams was dropped on 1 August 1864, it seems very unlikely that more were printed in 1869 or 1870.
I therefor very much doubt that H2c or H2d actually exist. Does anyone have any ?

Hiscocks added the following Note:

Note. Used copies may be found with printed stamped cancellations (regarded as most desirable by US revenue stamp collectors),
                pen stroke cancellations (the most usual), or cancelled with a series of cuts in a herring bone pattern.
                The last are not well regarded and sell for well below catalogue prices.

 

American Telegraph Co. Telegraph form with stamp
American Telegraph Co. Telegraph form with stamp These images, courtesy of Everett Ramsey, show a telegraph message sent by the American Telegraph Company on 13 February 1863 using an imperforate 3c stamp pen cacelled with initials and that date. The American Telegraph Company became part of the Western Union Telegraph Company on 12 June 1866.
Telegraphically used examples are virtually unknown since they would normally have been destroyed after use.
After 26 December 1862 however, it was no longer required to use a revenue stamp for the specific purpose it was designated for.
This made available Telegraph stamps that had been used for other purposes, such as the (half-sized) example below:

1864 Marriage Certificate
An Ohio marriage Certificate of 1864. 5c well spent hopefully.

 

 

Here is a new link to USA Telephone Stamps.


Telegram Seals.
Seals-pg-57aa
There is a vast array of advertising stickers produced by these companies, but very few that were actually intended to seal telegrams.
Another of Hiscocks works was to compile a list of such Telegram Seals, But he only knew of two types for the USA, this and a Marconi one used in Hawai.
I only have this one. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows of more.


If anyone can provide scans to help with this, I am happy to give appropriate credit.

 

Comments, criticisms, information or suggestions are always welcome.

Contact:     Emale

Please include the word 'Telegraphs' in the subject.

 

Last updated 3rd. July 2020

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Permission is hereby granted to copy material for which the copyright is owned by myself, on condition that any data is not altered and this website is given credit.

 

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