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1934 National Parks Series And 1935 Farley Reprints

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Posted 08/16/2017   12:58 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GrandpaJohn to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Impressive!! Thank you ~VERY~ much for sharing this.
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Posted 08/16/2017   4:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add txstamp to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Lindquist was obviously no dummy - that is a beautiful set of prints.

This thread is quickly becoming the de-facto book on these stamps. Great job!
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Posted 08/16/2017   5:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

National Parks Issues held by Secretary Harold Ickes

Whereas PMG Farley believed that the presentation of the first sheets from the twenty issues he made them from were really nothing more than souvenirs for the office holders, such as President Roosevelt, Secretary Ickes was a member of the APS, the SPA and the Washington Stamp Club. He knew what he was receiving, or he definitely should have.

Is the receipt of postal items by officials something new to the 1930's? No, not at all. You need look no further than the sets of proofs from the 19th century or the Roosevelt proof books which were given to dignitaries to find examples.

Were the stamps illegally obtained? Absolutely not. PMG Farley paid the USPOD the cost of the face value of the stamps before he distributed them to his exclusive list of "friends."

Secretary Ickes made a slight alteration to his sheets of National Parks issues, including the full sheets of the souvenir sheets 750 and 751. As soon as he received them, he asked the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to gum them for him, which they did.

The story of the Farley issues and the stamps which led to the reissues are fascinatingly documented in a book published in 1979 by the then Bureau Issues Association, Farley's Follies, by Ralph Sloat. Rather than repeat what is already published, I'll summarize it for everyone.

The idea of providing the initial sheets of stamps by the PMG was an ill-advised idea. He was not guided by any sense of self-aggrandizement, but the same may not be said for those officials - like Harold Ickes - who were serious collectors and philatelists.

As word of the these sheet presentations grew, and there was no attempt to hide anything, the philatelic press and clubs became vocal. Farley reveled in publicity and he was caught in print and film creating these souvenirs. There were seven souvenir sheets paid for for each issue of the twenty issues through the National Parks, including the souvenir sheets, and the Airmail Special Delivery stamp, Scott CE1.

Things came to head when in early 1934, one of the Mothers Day sheets was offered for sale in Norfolk, VA. The price was $20,000. That was enough to have a strongly worded letter sent to President Roosevelt condemning the practice of the imperforate sheets and asking that all sheets be recalled and destroyed to preserve the integrity of the postal products. It must be remembered that at this time, philatelists and collectors were only interested in adding stamps which were regularly printed and available over the counter in their collections. Few people looked at things like proofs, essays or non-stamp products as something worth collecting. Many references of the period put these imperforate sheets into the realm of non-collectibles for stamp collectors.

There were the politcal considerations. President Roosevelt had a solidly democratic majority in the House and Senate, giving him control of the policies he wanted to enact. He had his enemies on the other side of the aisle, though, and they wasted no time in using the "Post Office Scandal" to bear down on the President and his party.

To make a long story short, PMG Farley announced in February 1935 that a special printing of all the imperforate issues would be done, ungummed, just as the sheets he had paid for were, so the collecting public of, as one writer of the period stated "some 9,000,000 stamp nuts..." could get their fill of stamps for their collections.

So what we have today, then, are what I going to classify as three types of stamps for these issues. Listing them in order by date of occurrence they are:

Type 1 Imperforate. These are those stamps which came from the original printings in 1934, imperforate and ungummed. They are available today in two forms. Full sheets which were signed by PMG Farley and President Roosevelt, and the individuals stamps and blocks from the Roosevelt sheets which were broken up in 1956 by Stanley Gibbons. See the previous entry on this thread for examples. These are readily identifiable by the Stanley Gibbons stamp and plate position number found on the reverse of the stamps.

Type 2 Imperforate. These are those stamps which came from the original printings in 1934, imperforate and gummed. There is only one source for these, the Harold Ickes sheets. These should only exist for the National Parks series, and the two souvenir sheets, Scott 750 and 751. The arrow blocks with Ickes signature are proof positive; the individual stamps must be accompanied by a PSE certificate which was issued when the excess stamps from the arrow blocks were removed.

Type 3 Imperforate. These are the 1935 Farley Reissues, Scott 752-771. These are generally ungummed (no gum as issued, or NGAI) but some were gummed because of the Ickes controversy. In 1941, the BEP allowed stamp collectors to send in their imperforate sheets and have them gummed by the Bureau for the cost of return postage. Apparently, few people did this.

I've posted these once before, but since they are a integral part of this series of threads, here are the Harold Ickes singles for Scott 740-749, certified as such, by PSE.

I'll continue with this thread next with information about the Souvenir Sheets, Scott 750 and 751, then move on to the Farley Reissues in individual threads thereafter.

As always, comments and questions are encouraged.
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Posted 08/16/2017   6:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Petert4522 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stampman, this is one of the best threads I have seen on this forum. I wish you would leave the Farley's on this same thread. This thread ould be much more valuable in case of study when they are together.

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Posted 08/16/2017   6:21 pm  Show Profile Check rlmstamps2012's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add rlmstamps2012 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

This would be a hard exhibit to walk by at any stamp show.

Extremely impressed!
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Posted 08/16/2017   6:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

I intend to keep going on this thread to keep everything together. My apologies if I wasn't clear about that.
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Posted 08/16/2017   8:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ciletaliph to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Please do Stampman, very very very interesting!
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Posted 08/20/2017   11:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Scott 750 and Scott 751

These are the two souvenir sheets of six, issued in conjunction with the APS convention in Atlantic City in 1934 (Scott 750) and the Trans-Mississippi Philatelic Exhibition in Omaha, also in 1934 (Scott 751).

The only way they were sold was in the sheets of six. I'll explain the two sheets, starting with Scott 750. The basic sheet is shown below:

There were many First Day Covers issued for these. Here are a couple of nice examples.

The first, uses a single from the souvenir sheet. It is a hand tinted Ralph Dyer cachet. This is Planty-Mellone 750a-3.

Next is a cachet designed to showcase the Atlantic City boardwalk in the cachet, by R. L. Waecherling. This is Planty-Mellone 750a-27.

The last one I'll share uses the entire sheet and is on an oversized cover. This cachet was created by Ed Kee and is Planty-Mellone 750-18.

As with most of the previous issues under PMG Farley's tenure, sheets of these were pulled and presented to President Roosevelt and others, including Secretary of the Interior Ickes. The next item is a rare block of four souvenir sheets, fully gummed, from the Ickes collection.

Soon after the APS convention, the Trans-Mississippi Philatelic Convention convened in Omaha. Scott 751 was issued to commemorate this convention. Like Scott 750, the only format it was sold in was the souvenir sheet of six. Here's an example of this souvenir sheet.

The following a selection of First Day Covers for this issue.

First, is a George Linn cover using a single from the souvenir sheet. This is a postcard rated use, as noted at the top of the FDC. I mentioned in a previous post the problems Linn had with his cachet design because it too closely resembled a postage stamp. To correct this, he reluctantly placed bars on the top and bottom of the "stamp" removing references to "Postage" and any value. This allowed the covers to be processed by the USPOD without further issues. George Linn was still not happy about it!

Here's the cover. It is Planty-Mellone 751-33a.

Next is a First Day Cover using the entire sheet. This cachet was prepared by Grimsland and is Planty-Mellone 751-9.

As with the previous issue, this issue was also pulled by PMG Farley and distributed to the same group of people, including Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes. Secretary Ickes had his gummed. Here's a rare block of four souvenir sheets from the Ickes Collection:

These two souvenir sheets mark the last time Post Master General Farley would take sheets of stamps for distribution to President Roosevelt, himself and one for his children, Secretary Ickes and the President's Secretary.

Pressure from both Philatelic organizations and the news press were mounting. Congress had called for an investigation into the matter, but with a fully controlled Democratic House and Senate, the resolution was squashed. Still, the outcry for justice to collectors continued until in February 1935, PMG Farley announced the USPOD would issue all the sheets he had pulled in the same format - imperforate and ungummed - so that every collector could have the same sheets President Roosevelt had in his collection.

That didn't stop the outcries, but it did change the tune! Now that collectors had what many of them wanted (most wanted the sheets recalled and destroyed), now they would have to pay the piper for the dance card. All twenty issues of the Farleys were available in sheet format, but only fifteen of them were available in blocks of four (None of the souvenir sheets - Scott 766 through 770). One of the stamps of the series which was included was the 16 cent Special Delivery Air Mail issue. There is no indication or any record which indicates this was every pulled by PMG Farley, but it was still included in the Reprints. Also never pulled were the two Century of Progress Souvenir sheets (Scott 766 and 767).

I'll share some of the items from each of the twenty issues in the Farley Reprints, or as they are commonly called, Farley's Follies, in the comming weeks.

As always, comments, questions and anything you wish to share about these issues is appreciated.
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Posted 08/23/2017   6:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

The Farley Reprints

So, how was it the issues of 1932-34 (not all, but most) were issued in imperforate formats, or at the least, in the case of Scott 752 and 753, in full sheets with guidelines intact?

Beginning with the Mother's Day issue, Postmaster General Farley pulled sheets of stamps from the press to present to a select group of officials. He was not a philatelist and viewed this in the same way as a Senator who was retiring keeping his chair as a memento of his time in government.

These imperforate sheets being pulled were not something done behind closed doors as the PMG had reporters and cameras rolling as it was done. He signed the sheets, often addressing them to the people who would receive them.

I've previous included all the production information pages for the National Parks Series, which is part of this group. If you go back and look at each one, you will find that a total of seven sheets for each issue were delivered to the USPOD by the BEP. There are a couple of errors in the listing - not in the total number - but in the number which were gummed. The two sets of sheets which were presented to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes were later gummed, at his request, by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. This accounts for the gummed sheets. The other sheets were presented to President Roosevelt and the First Lady, Eleanor; two sheets were kept by PMG Farley and one set was presented to President Roosevelt's Secretary, Mr. Howe.

As more and more issues were being presented in this manner, collectors first became concerned and then incensed. These were not available to collectors! The Philatelic Press was consumed with this problem throughout the summer, fall and winter of 1934 and into 1935. The West Chester Stamp Club of New York published a mildly worded resolution, calling on the PMG to recall all the sheets and destroy them.

It should be noted that the collector mentality of the time was that ONLY those stamps which were sold across the counter were valid items for philatelic pursuit. Speciality items, such as essays and proofs, were looked down upon as not being worthy of inclusion in a serious stamp collection. My, how times and attitudes have changed!

The above was an important distinction because the uproar was not about having the imperforates made available after the fact, but that since they were not available at the same time as the issued, perforated stamps, they were printer's waste, oddities and should not even be allowed to exist.

That being said, these same philatelists and collectors also realized that with the severely limited numbers which existed, if any were to come to market, there would be collectors who would purchase them.

Everything was simmering like a pot left unattended on the stove until a sheet of the Mother's Day, imperforate, was offered for sale. The Norfolk Philatelic Society wrote a strongly worded resolution and letter to President Roosevelt, decrying the fact that certain members of the administration of his were set to reap windfall profits with the sale of these sheets. They also lamented the fact that since President Roosevelt was the de facto leader of the nation of collectors, he had not raised this issue or made the imperforates available to all collectors. The sheet was offered for sale for $20,000.00 - a fortune in Depression Era 1934.

Once the news press caught wind of this, things went from bad to worse for the Roosevelt Administration and PMG Farley. Congressional inquiries were brought forth, but because there was a complete control of both the Senate and House by the Democratic Party, these resolutions were squashed.

No documentation of any direct orders between President Roosevelt and PMG Farley has ever been found, and although none is likely to exist, it is extremely likely that there was a private conversation. It was very likely to be short and to the point, and rather one-sided, with President Roosevelt telling PMG Farley to "Make this go away."

Here's the rub now. The original proposal to recall the sheets was no longer feasible, as the one sheet was in the hands of collectors and outside of the government's purview. It is important to remember these sheets were obtained legally. PMG Farley paid the face value of each and every sheet he received. The stamps may have been viewed as less than desirable while they remained unattainable, but the asking price for the one sheet demonstrated the reality.

The argument raged in both the philatelic press and in the news press. PMG Farley argued that the sheets would never be sold by him or any of the officials who still had them. The press countered that while his promise and the promise of those who had them were likely valid during their lifetimes, it had no validity of their heirs or assigns when they passed.

After the latest measure to call the PMG to Congress was squashed in early 1935, PMG Farley made the sudden announcement that imperforate sheets, just like the ones he had pulled, would be made available to collectors who wanted them. He ordered the Bureau to reprint the sheets exactly as they had been at the time of the 1934 printings. They were to be made available in two formats. Collectors could buy entire sheets or blocks of four of each issue. The cost? A full set of sheets would cost the collectors $190.30 for the twenty sheets, while the fifteen stamp issues which were suitable for blocks of four (remove Scott 766-770) would set the collectors back $3.82 per set.

The bottom line is that the reprints generated an enormous windfall for the USPOD, to the tune of $1,663,717.66.

Information for this was pulled from Ralph L. Sloat's Farley's Follies, published by the then Bureau Issues Association (now the United States Stamp Society, in 1979 and from original material in my possession.

Now that you know the story, I'll address each individual issue of the Farley Reprints in the coming postings for this thread.
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Posted 08/23/2017   10:00 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great series.

Did each subscriber get a full set of the Peckmore's or just one random design?
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Posted 08/24/2017   05:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Each subscriber received the full set of the Peckmore engravings.
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Posted 08/24/2017   2:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add USClassicsStore to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What great history. Thank you for your work!
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Posted 08/24/2017   7:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Scott 752-755

All the Farley Reprints were placed on sale the same day - March 15, 1935. For purposes of this thread, I'll start with the one cent stamp in the series.

Before doing so, understand there are four issues which Scott catalogue gave numbers to which precede the National Parks Issues. These are Scott 752, the Newburgh Reprint, Scott 753, the Byrd Sheet Stamp Reprint, the Mothers Day Reprint and the Wisconsin Reprint. The following are examples of each of these. The first two, Scott 752 and Scott 753 were the only perforated issues in the Farley Reprint series; the others were all imperforate.

The first is a cross gutter block of sixteen for Scott 752:

For Scott 753, there is the center line block of four pictured here:

Because these were perforated, the only stamps which differ from the previously issued, gummed stamps had to include part of the gutters or lines to validate the stamps were part of the Farley Reprints.

The first Scott numbered Farley Reissue which is imperforate was the Mothers Day issue pictured below in a centerline block of four:

Then there was the Wisconsin Tercentennary, Scott 755, shown here also in a centerline block of four:

Scott 756

The designs were the same as those used for Scott 740, the perforate variety, issued in 1934. There were no additional essays or proofs made of the the design.

Here's the one cent Reissue. This is a nicely centering stamp:

When collecting the Farley Reprints, there are many possible ways to go, beyond a collection of singles. The position pieces include the plate blocks, the arrow blocks and the centerline blocks for the National Parks, as well as the Mothers Day, Wisonsin Tercentennary and the 16 Cent Air Mail Special Delivery stamps.

With the exception of the plate blocks, the other position pieces are only found on stamps with these designs in the imperforate sheets. The arrow blocks would have been the lines used to cut the panes for issue to the Post Offices and the centerline blocks would have disappeared along with the arrow blocks.

Here are the four arrow blocks for the one cent stamp, followed by a great centerline block of sixteen:

There were eight plates used to print the 1934 one cent stamp. For all the Farley Reprints there are only four plates used with each issue. As with the original issue, the set of plate blocks shows three unique types. Here's a set of the Plate 21249 Plate Blocks:

Finding the Farley Reprint stamps used commercially, not philatelically, is a hunt indeed. Some were used commercially, but not often. First, the stamps were not gummed, so whoever was using them had to be doing so deliberately as they would have to gum the stamps before placing them on the envelope.

The following is a non-First Day use which may have been partially philatelic in origin. The use date was ?? Dec 1935 and it is on a Pacquetboat cacheted cover with purple straight-line Ship cancels.

Finally, there are the First Day Covers. One of the puzzling problems I've run into with these is that the Planty-Mellone catalogs assign different numbers to the cachet makers for each series of stamps. It would seem if the Clara H. Fawcett FDC's for 1934 were assigned a suffix of -13, the same suffix would be used for the reprints. This is not the case. Here is the hand-tinted Clara H. Fawcett First Day Cover. It is Planty-Mellone 756-26.

The next First Day Cover is the Rice cachet, but it differs from the cachet used for Scott 740. This is Planty-Mellone 756-32.

With this series, several new cachet makers created covers. Sometimes, the designs were changed to explain the "why" of the stamp. The next is a case of the latter. Top Notch issued used this cachet for the Farley Reprints. Note the explanation in the cachet itself:

The next issue to be discussed will be the two cent, Scott 757.

As always, comments, questions and related information/item postings are most welcome!
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Posted 08/24/2017   9:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Some non-FDC uses of the Farley reprints - all with collector links despite a quasi non-philatelic look to some of them.

Sheet corner paying the letter rate sent by Richard McP Cabeen, collector and philatelic author.

Single paying the letter rate.

Guide line pair paying the airmail rate.

Single paying the letter rate.

Single uprating a letter to Canada.

Pair of Parks paying the 2 cent local rate.

To jump ahead slightly, another 2 cent local rate paid with the 2 cent Parks.

And finally, the Airmail Special Delivery issue.
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Posted 08/25/2017   06:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Thanks for sharing those covers. That's a great little collection of them!
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