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History Of Scott #'s For US Air Post

 
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Posted 06/12/2014   11:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add blcjr to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I'm taking the discussion about C150 in the other direction. I think most collectors of US airmail stamps know that C1 was not the first US airmail issued; C3 was first. Now I've learned (from some research I'm doing for my US airmail albums) that C26, the 8 cent variety in the "Transport" series C25 to C31, was not issued in 1941, like the rest, but in 1944. How is this to be explained?

Three possibilities come to mind: (1) Scott did not begin numbering the series until after 1944; (2) it re-numbered the series after 1944; (3) Scott employs psychics. I think we can rule out number (3) : if Scott employed psychics, they would have gotten the order of C1-C3 correct. I don't know of any evidence for number (2). But given the time frame, (1) could be plausible: these are the war years, and maybe Scott didn't publish annually at that time, so that by the time it published the transport series, it was after the 1944 issue.

Anybody know this for sure? If I ever saw old copies of Scott's from the early years of airmail (at a reasonable price), I'd add them to my library, just to better understand the history of Scott #'s for airmail.

Basil
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Posted 06/12/2014   12:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add JLLebbert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
While I don't know for certain, I would bet on renumbering. Scott still does this to this day. Just this year they did some renumbering on the SSP FAS issues. A better renumbering example might be the American Design series. Another possibility is that Scott was forewarned that a multiple issue series was in the works. On such an occasion, they will frequently set aside a block of numbers (like the FON coils). This doesn't always make renumbering unnecessary though.
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Posted 06/12/2014   1:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rileysan to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I like this topic, basil. Scott did, in fact, re-structure and re-number the specialized US catalogue - although I can't tell you what year it was done.

One major change was the addition of airmail to "back-of-book" status by creating the "C" numbers. Did you know that C1-3 were originally numbered 520-522 in the catalogue?

Other "quirks" about the Scott catalogue is that it is full of anachronisms similar to the one you mentioned (C26) - especially in the 19th century. Most of the 1875 reprints, for instance are listed in the catalogue immediately AFTER the originals (3 & 4, 40-47, 123-132, to name a few).

Back to the question of C26 - Scott does this sort of thing often. As postal rates changed or were added, stamps were issued (or re-issued) to reflect those new rates. If a stamp is clearly a part of a previous set, as in the case of C1-3 and C25-31, Scott eventually lists those stamps numerically (by face value), not chronologically.

The practice continues to this day.

Brian

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Edited by Rileysan - 06/12/2014 1:30 pm
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Posted 06/12/2014   2:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Al E. Gator to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Basil, the 1944 Scott Catalogue doesn't list the 8-cent. C-26 designates the 10-cent in the series. The 1947 Scott Catalogue does list the 8-cent as C-26 bumping the rest of the series down numerically. I do not have a '45 or '46 catalogue, but I suspect that the numeric system was changed with the '45 catalogue printing. The 8-cent undoubtedly came out after the printing of the '44 catalogue.
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Posted 06/12/2014   10:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks, Brian, for the other examples of renumbering.


Quote:
Basil, the 1944 Scott Catalogue doesn't list the 8-cent. C-26 designates the 10-cent in the series. The 1947 Scott Catalogue does list the 8-cent as C-26 bumping the rest of the series down numerically. I do not have a '45 or '46 catalogue, but I suspect that the numeric system was changed with the '45 catalogue printing. The 8-cent undoubtedly came out after the printing of the '44 catalogue.
Well, "Gator," that seems to settle the matter.
I've only been collecting a few years, and with a very narrow category of stamps, so I was unaware of the history of Scott renumbering like this.

Your observation about Scott numbering a series by denomination rather than by issue date does explain some things (like C1-C3, and no I did not know they were originally 520-522 in the "front" of the book.

But there are other anomalies. C79 (the winged envelope definitive) was issued in November 1973, the booklet pane C79a in December 1973, and the coil version at the same time in December 1973. But the coil was numbered C82, and the two in between, C80 and C81 were issued in 1971. I wonder what the explanation is for that?
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Posted 06/12/2014   11:36 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For anyone interested in "looking back" to the Scott Catalog numbering system of the 1920s (1924, I believe) here's a digitized Scott Catalog from that era that shows the numbering system used for all US stamps, including special delivery, postage due, embossed envelopes and even Revenue stamps that were all assigned numerical numbers into the 5000s. Of course, it was all re-numbered later on at which time the original airmail stamps (Scott 520-522 as shown on page 23) later became C1-C3, etc.

http://books.google.com/books?id=PY...ge&q&f=false

An interesting look back at what "could have been" but thankfully was changed as the US stamp program expanded.
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Edited by wt1 - 06/12/2014 11:38 pm
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Posted 06/13/2014   06:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add blcjr to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
wt1, thanks for the link. That prompted me to check out archive.org, where I found a copy of the 1940 edition:

https://archive.org/details/scottsstandardpo00scot

I enjoy perusing old books (not just stamp catalogs).

Basil
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