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1934 National Parks Series And 1935 Farley Reprints

 
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Posted 10/08/2018   4:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
cjpalermo,

While I understand your point, I think you may have missed mine.

By TODAY's standards, you are absolutely right; Farley would have been wrong in what he did.

Here's the bottom line as to why Farley took imperforate sheets:

HE COULD NOT SIGN PERFORATED SHEETS WITH HIS SIGNATURE GREEN FOUNTAIN PEN.

The first stamp produced with him as PMG was the Newburgh issue of 1933. He had to use a grease pencil to sign it because his pen was tearing the sheet because of the perforations.

However, by the standards of the time, he absolutely followed the letter of the law. The key point I was making in the articles, and especially in the "Elephant in the Room" portion of the September article in the United States Specialist, was that Farley, as a non-collector, had absolutely no idea the actions he took of buying the stamps as souvenirs of his time in office, and sharing them with some of the members of the Roosevelt administration, would create such a mess.

At his core, Farley was driven to please people. He was one of the most prolific and available PMG's we've ever had. If he could do something to please someone, he did. Look at the sheer number of signed items available from Farley as compared to other PMG's or govenment officials.

One of the key points in the hearings in the House about this was that even after careful examination of the rules OF THE TIME, there was absolutely nothing to prevent him - or any other PMG - from doing as he did. The only requirement was to pay for what he received.

Point of fact is that after the hearings and at the time of the 1935 Special Printings, PMG Farley made what he did a violation of USPOD rules so that the problem would never recur.

The bottom line is that Farley never intended to profit from any of his political mementos. He donated EVERYTHHING he ever received - not just the 1934 imperforate sheets - but everything to the Smithsonian.

After exhaustively studying the period, the issues and the man, I truly believe he was blindsided by the law of unintended consequences, having no idea the collecting community would react the way they did.

One of the great problems today with history is most peoples' attempts to filter past events through the morals and morays of the present. That just doesn't work. You have to put what we know today aside and look at events as the unfolded in the values and attitudes of the period in question. Only then can you really understand what happened.

Thanks for reading the articles in the USS. I've still got another three coming out, so keep looking for them!

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Edited by Stampman2002 - 10/08/2018 4:26 pm
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Posted 10/08/2018   5:18 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As stated, I have tremendous respect for the work you have done and for all the articles, but I believe your perspective is fogged by confirmation bias in this instance. That is, having formed the thesis that Farley acted correctly, you are viewing the facts through that lens with a bit of distortion--in my opinion of course. It's a hard effect to avoid, perhaps just as hard as for me not to apply 2018 standards to conduct in 1934.

The "fountain pen" argument is made in the USSS articles. I understand that running a few imperforate, ungummed sheets made it easier to prepare signed copies. But it does not mean that the contention that "he paid for the stamps" is true, because he paid for a different item than what the public could obtain. That was as true in 1934 as it is in 2018. What Farley should have done is ask the BEP (or even Ickes) what the market value of unissued, imperforate, ungummed sheets would be, and pay that amount - it would have been hundreds of dollars at the time. Because he engaged in the fiction that the face value of the impressions was the right price, he got something that no one else could get. The correct route, given the "fountain pen" issue, would have been to produce hundreds or thousands of imperforate, ungummed sheets and sell them into the public or collectors' markets in 1934.

And honestly, I find it hard to believe by the 5th or 6th stamp in the series that Farley would not have known the market value of these sheets; it's hard to imagine Ickes not mentioning at some point - but I am giving you the benefit of the doubt on that one.

These questions are why the controversy has lasted so long. There are equally valid views going both ways.
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Edited by cjpalermo1964 - 10/08/2018 5:20 pm
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Posted 10/08/2018   9:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I can see your point from where I'm sitting now, but that really wasn't the case when I began.

At the start, several years back, I became curious as to how we went from the National Parks to the 1935 Reprints. There wasn't a good explanation in the catalogs and the events were buried in the past, so I started doing some digging. I didn't have any preconceived notations about this one way or the other.

As I looked further and further into the facts of the time (I am an historian by trade and training) there were inconsistencies in how we were looking at the events.

If someone has done something which is considered corrupt, and is called out for it, there is almost always an investigation and charges leveled, followed by a trial. You have to remember that the 1930's were only a decade removed from all the scandals which surrounded the Harding administration (think Teapot Dome), so politicians who followed were very much aware of how any hint of impropriety could and would derail their careers.

There is no question Farley pulled (and paid for) the sheets before they were gummed and perforated. He never hid it; he did it in front of the cameras and told the newsmen present who he was signing the sheets for.

Given this, and the need to seem above reproach, how did this become a scandal? How is it that he thought this was acceptable? Why wouldn't alarm bells be going off? These were the questions that drove the research. I still did not have an opinion one way or the other.

One of the great puzzles was the lack of any alarm from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Post Office Department Inspectors or the Office of the Inspector General. Everyone knew it was happening - it was in the newspapers and well publicized. Why did no one object? At that point, I had to consider the possibility, which became high probability as I investigated, that what PMG Farley did was ACCEPTED PRACTICE AT THE TIME. It was looked at much the same as a Senator or Congressman keeping his chair when he left office, a souvenir which was reflective of what he had done for the government.

You mentioned that Ickes and Roosevelt should have known better. Perhaps they did, but again, with none of the regulatory agencies who SHOULD HAVE made a complaint silent, they went along with it.

One of the things which Farley believed - and did until his last day - was that no one who received these in his circle of friends would ever want to sell them. He didn't sell his; they went to the Smithsonian. Roosevelt didn't have any intentions of selling his, but his sudden death in 1945 left his intentions unknown. His sheets would end up being sold along with the rest of his stamp collection by his heirs after he was gone. For all we know, he would have done the same thing Farley did.

The only person who did anything different was Ickes. He broke up one of his sheets and used some for postage to himself and traded some to others for stamps he wanted. However, when the USPOD allowed collectors to send in their sheets for gumming in 1940, the only traceable items from Ickes collection became the signature blocks or items with provenance directly back to him. See my next article for the whole story.

I still wasn't convinced one way or the other, but started feeling there was a simple key which everyone had missed, including myself. I narrowed my search down to the question of why did Farley NEED imperforate sheets? When I figured the answer to that question, everything just fell into place.

This brought about the second issue, looking at it from the premise that Farley did nothing wrong. If that were indeed the case, why was there such an uproar from collectors? There sure wasn't much coming from the non-collecting press until collectors became incensed over the practice of Farley purchasing imperforate sheets.

Farley was famous for his green fountain pen signatures, and still is long after the fact. His solution had been to eliminate the "holes" which allowed him to return to his favorite method of signing anything. This is where the law of unintended consequences set in.

Because he was not a collector prior to becoming PMG, did not become a collector as PMG or after he left office, he would have had no idea that the simple expedient he had taken could result in a windfall profit for himself and his close associates he gifted these sheets to. This is probably the same reason none of the regulatory watchdog agencies never raised an alarm. It was unusual, but not without precedence. Engravers routinely kept an example of their work, often as a die proof. Acceptable. The Director, Bureau of Engraving and Printing kept a complete set of small photographic essays of all the stamps created by the BEP when he was the director (Alvin W. Hall). Acceptable. So is it really a stretch to think the PMG could not purchase and keep a set of sheets, or purchase additional sheets to provide to other key government figure such as the President or, in the case of the National Parks, the Secretary of the Interior? Evidently not.

The last key piece which is missing for this to be considered a corrupt practice is the lack of any legal action by anyone. Yes, there was a Congressional "inquiry" but that was opposition party politics trying to find ANYTHING they could to slow down a popular administration. I don't know, but that sounds pretty familiar to me. I guess some things don't change.

You said in your response that by the fourth or fifth issue, PMG Farley should have figured out that these sheets were monetarily significant. Let's look at that. Again, we have to step back a moment and look at how communications worked in the period and to how the public perceived our government at the time. It was considerably different on both counts.

The entire run of sheets which Farley pulled were issued between October 1933 (The Byrd perforated issue) and October 1934 (Scott 751 - Trans-Mississippi souvenir sheet and Scott 749 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park issue). The stamps prior to the Byrd issue were perforated, as expected. These issues were perforated even in the 1935 Special Printings. The puzzler was why the 1933 souvenir sheets were included (original as Scott 730 and Scott 731) since these predated Farley's rise to PMG. So, we have a one year period.

Why didn't anyone start raising the alarm by the fourth or fifth issue? This again comes down to how we communicated and what we thought of our government, a lot of the latter.

Prior to Vietnam, Americans believed in our government. We had a work ethic which made us self-reliant. Psychologically, Americans did not want handouts, but the chance to earn it ourselves. Chronically unemployed were shunned in society and labeled as bums and good-for-nothings. The government was there to take care of those things which we, as individuals, could not take care of ourselves. We have to remember this mindset which is drastically different from that of today.

What the government, and our officials, did in front of the cameras and in full view of the public eye was considered acceptable. Everyone knew the President was a stamp collector. It's the reason why there was such a huge surge in the number of collectors, philatelic societies and everything which supports philately beginning in the first years of the Roosevelt administration which took office in 1933. For anyone to seriously consider that someone in the government was doing something wrong, especially when it was done publicly, was not something which most people would even consider possible.

The philatelic press was even silent throughout 1933 and the first eleven months of 1934. It isn't until DECEMBER 1934 that the story first gained any press from the BIA or Stamps Weekly.

It took almost a year before philatelists were able to gather the courage to question what the PMG was doing. There were obviously discussions in the philatelic societies and stamp clubs. The protest letters I've explained in the articles would have begun in August and September. The last issues pulled by Farley in imperforate form were in October. The APS discussed it at the August convention, but nothing conclusive came of it.

But the big trigger was the imperforate sheet of Mothers Day stamps which surfaced in Norfolk, VA in November. Since there were no further issues in 1934, it is impossible to say whether Farley's decision to stop the practice of purchasing imperforate sheets was a factor.

It would take another two months for the mainstream press to pick up on the story, and even when they did, as non-collectors, they didn't understand what the big deal about "holes" or "no holes" really was. As Wexford Pegler used to refer to us, the nine-million stamp nuts, should give you some idea of what the general public thought of about stamp collecting - unless you were the President, which most people of the period loved - then is was okay.

So, here we are in 2018. We've 86 years removed from the events of 1934. The ways we communicate are vastly different and lightning quick by comparison. Just as importantly, the relationship between the citizens of the U.S. and our government have changed just as drastically as the communications, if not even more so. It is very easy to keep repeating that Farley must have done something but the facts just don't support it. I'm not saying what he did was right; personally I think it was a bad idea, but then I'm a philatelist, so I know better. At the end of the day after examining all the facts, it appears that he really believed he had followed the existing laws properly. He acted quickly to negate the value of the imperforate sheets by making them available to the public in the 1935 Special Printings, once it became clear to him that a problem existed. He announced it in February and in March 1935, they were on sale to all. He continued as PMG until 1940 when he resigned because he did not believe any president should serve more than two terms. He had a very successful career outside of politics afterwards, but to his dying day, I don't believe he really ever understood "Farley's Follies."

I welcome your continued comments.
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Edited by Stampman2002 - 10/08/2018 10:01 pm
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Posted 12/07/2018   11:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add cjpalermo1964 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Those interested in a concise and updated point-counterpoint discussion of these issues will find it in the December 2018 issue of The United States Specialist, page 544, which just hit mailboxes this week. Thanks, Stampman2002.
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Posted 12/08/2018   05:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
i would like to add a strong thank you for presenting the story of the great material you have in a very organised scholarly way. I once had the privilege of seeing a full set of the imperforate sheets of these and never forgot there beauty. regardless of the legality or reasons for their existence they have left us with a spectacular group of items.
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Posted 12/08/2018   11:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
stampman2002 wrote:


Quote:

Here's the bottom line as to why Farley took imperforate sheets:

HE COULD NOT SIGN PERFORATED SHEETS WITH HIS SIGNATURE GREEN FOUNTAIN PEN.

The first stamp produced with him as PMG was the Newburgh issue of 1933. He had to use a grease pencil to sign it because his pen was tearing the sheet because of the perforations.

However, by the standards of the time, he absolutely followed the letter of the law. The key point I was making in the articles, and especially in the "Elephant in the Room" portion of the September article in the United States Specialist, was that Farley, as a non-collector, had absolutely no idea the actions he took of buying the stamps as souvenirs of his time in office, and sharing them with some of the members of the Roosevelt administration, would create such a mess.



I read your article in the current USS, and I can follow your argument. It is to me an interesting article, and covers the field with lots of thought given to it. But it is also of interest to me as much for what it does NOT say as for what it does say. For you, the question of propriety hinges upon Farley not appreciating that with his signed imperforate sheets he was creating something of significant monetary value overagainst the commercial value of a signed sheet of regular stamps. As you paint the picture, Farley had a functional reason for appropriating imperforate sheets to be signed with a green fountain pen, and gave no thought at any time to whether by doing so he was creating something out of the ordinary.

That is a clever interpretation, and from a functional standpoint may have merit. Fountain pens, and their nib and quill predecessors, tend to dump their loads when they encounter irregularities on their writing material. I remember that hard experience quite well. But I don't think that lies at the heart of what made Farley think his action was okay. After perusing the thread, so far neither you nor CJ have ventured into the territory of where I think the central argument lies. I'm not going to beat around the bush. Irrespective of statutory law (in the sense of written), Farley acted according to what he thought was established precedent.

Up to 1934 no statutory limitation had ever been placed by Congress or any governmental agency upon the PMG's handling of proof material or stamp material in any of its pre-production stages of development. I think it is rather telling that Farley tended to emphasize how early in the production process his special material was made; i.e. "first" sheet and all. In the parlance of the day, it wasn't a stamp until it was finished as intended for public distribution. Ungummed and imperforate was not quite finished. Neither were they error stamps.

Consider this item:



When the PMG was satisfied with the color of the new 2c of 1890, he wrote a note in the margin of a sheet of regular production stamps that had not yet been perforated, and put it in the files. In this case, the gum had already been applied; however, many more examples of this stamp exist imperforate that do no have gum and never did. Sheets of material like this were pulled out of the files at the turn of the century and in some cases used in lieu of cash to pay for the services of professional philatelists who assisted the PODepartment with special displays.

Stamp-paper proofs, about which little has been written, appeared more regularly in the years when stamps were being produced by the American Bank Note Co. than at any other time. That they managed to find their way out of Government files into the hands of collectors was well known if not common practice. Consider the 2c of 1887:



The pair in the upper left corner is on India paper, never had gum, and was not intended for sale to the public. Everything else in this pic is on regular stamp paper, but only the pair with the CHICAGO cancel was actually issued to the public. The other items have always been regarded as proofs, not regular stamps, but not errors either. However, that did not prevent some hobbiests from attempting to "legitimate" the proofs through successful "usage" and so convert them from "proofs" to "imperforate errors." How sheets like these snuck out of the POD files is a dark dirty secret (as some would tell the story). A source of outcry to some, and objects of derision by purists like John Luff, Lester Brookman, and the majority of the collecting public today. Illegal? Shady, perhaps, but no charges were ever brought.

In terms of effort and expenditure of public resources perhaps the most blatant, some might say egregious, example of PMG privilege in the handling of proof material occurred in 1904 during the administration of the earlier Roosevelt. Die proofs on special wove paper of every stamp that had been issued up to that point in time were cut down to a 1/4 inch margin around the design, then artfully arranged and mounted onto both sides of heavy card leaves, which were arranged chronologically and bound into a thick album as a collection. Here is one page from such a book:



In all, 85 such albums were produced and distributed by the PMG to selected recipients to curry favor, goodwill, and political favors at the top of the political food chain. When the fact of all this came out there was no great public outcry, though there may have been some head wagging. But at the time favoritism was one of the privileges that came with rank and part of how business was done in high places.

What changed in Farley's day that bit him in the butt?

At the outbreak of the civil war, Abraham Lincoln sought to defend the unity of the Republic, and gathered together like-minded politicians in the formation of a "Republican" political party. That party so dominated American politics from that time until 1933 that only two Democrats and no others were elected as President, Grover Cleveland (in a split term) and Woodrow Wilson. During that interval American cultural values came to be dominated by the astounding successes of big business, and the culture of rewarding favorites that came with that. Winking at the antics of men in office (and in those days it was entirely men) was de rigueur, especially at the upper levels of society. When the Great Depression hit, the men at the top were called to account, and with the election of Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, the age of public accountability really began.

By the standards that had been set in government practice for three quarters of a century under the Republicans, James Farley's appropriation of what is legitimately stamp paper proof material was within his purview as PMG. But this was by social convention, not legal decree, and so it could not stand the heat of such close inquiry as was seldom successfully done in the days of the Republicans.

The question of how a PMG was to properly handle the proof material passing through his hands was not an issue at law inasmuch as it had been left to the discretion of the office holder. It was the tide of public sentiment, outraged at the impasse to which trusting government officials had eventually led the country, that finally called into question the practice that made favorites of men of power and labelled it as folly.
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Posted 12/08/2018   1:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Essayk,

I greatly appreciate the alternative explanation, and to some degree, it does pertain to what Farley did.

A couple of quick points, though. Much of the proof material we have today - as well as essays - from the 19th century came from the archives of the private companies which held the printing contracts, particularly when the American Banknote Company sold their archives.

The government, as you well know, but others may not, did not take control of the printing of stamps until 1894, when they took the dies used by the American Banknote Company 1890 printing (small bank notes) and modified them with the triangles in the upper corners.

In the period from 1873 through 1895, the USPOD created the card and india proofs which were sold to the public for face value. There were five different printing of these. They also created some card and india proofs of revenue stamps.

Having taken over the production and design of stamps, precedents had not been set. At this same time, the government started the process of procuring stamps for the national collection and used proofs and essays in exchange for items they needed.

The use of proof presentation albums, such as the Roosevelt proofs, were sanctioned. These were presented to foreign dignitaries, senators and congressmen for one reason or another. There was nothing untoward about these. Similarly, there were some presentation pieces made for the Panama-Pacific set in 1913.

By this time, precedents had been fairly well set and material created by the BEP was kept pretty closely controlled. The exception was the engravers and artists were allowed to keep examples of their work, much as people today keep a portfolio of their work. This also accounts for much of the material we have for proofs of twentieth century material.

I would hesitate to credit this as the reasoning behind why Farley felt comfortable doing as he did, though. If he had just taken the "proof" material he would have violated the law. He paid for it instead. This is a key point in the story.

I think a paradigm shift occurred in the 1920s. With the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding administration, the American public sat up and took notice. The roaring 20's produced many scandals besides this one (think of the Florida land sale scams and oil scams). When the Great Depression hit, everyone was paying attention to the government.

It is this series of prior events which I believe created the climate wherein someone such as Farley could come under fire, despite having followed the letter of the law and purchased the material he acquired.
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Posted 12/08/2018   7:00 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stampman, we need to sort out the misinformation in your replies.


Quote:
A couple of quick points, though. Much of the proof material we have today - as well as essays - from the 19th century came from the archives of the private companies which held the printing contracts, particularly when the American Banknote Company sold their archives.


When American BNCo was bought out by U.S. Banknote Corporation, their archives were liquidated by the new parent company in the early 1990s. Very little of that material consisted of US stamp essay/proof material, though there were some exceptional pieces. Most of what is in collector hands today came to market earlier.
See here for data on the final distribution: https://www.coxrail.com/abn-archives.asp


Quote:
The government, as you well know, but others may not, did not take control of the printing of stamps until 1894,


This is patently false. The Bureau won the contract in 1894 and then the Treasury and PO departments agreed not to contract for production to independent companies thereafter until much later. But it is not correct to say that the government did not have control of production prior to 1894, inasmuch as they had control of all aspects of production at all times. The private companies were constrained to account for all impressions of the approved dies and plates at all times (bill books), and were subject to whatever terms the government required of them as contract holders.


Quote:
In the period from 1873 through 1895, the USPOD created the card and india proofs which were sold to the public for face value. There were five different printing of these.


Sorry, you are confused about this. The five emissions to which you refer were only plate proofs on card, only started being distributed in 1879, and were not sold but given away to anyone asking for them. Various congressmen also got in on the distribution through the office of the 3rd Assistant Postmaster General. The special printing STAMPS were sold, but not the card proofs. Prior to this plate proofs on India only were not so easily obtained unless a person had insider connections, and could handle full uncut sheets. Die proofs came out through a variety of channels such as through the artists and engravers who worked on the stamp creations, but some were also put up a few at a time in special bound albums for non-public distributions. If you have access to a run of the Essay-Proof Journal you can read about the various channels through which die and plate proofs traveled.


Quote:
The use of proof presentation albums, such as the Roosevelt proofs, were sanctioned. These were presented to foreign dignitaries, senators and congressmen for one reason or another. There was nothing untoward about these.


You missed my point. The PMG was one of the people with the authority to sanction the production and distribution of those kinds of things. These distributions set the legal precedent for PMG Farley to authorize limited distribution of proof sheets as he did. But those earlier distributions from 1904-1915 were not as clean as you seem to imply. It was then, and always had been, a question of having the right connections.

I think we are agreed that public confidence in the credibility of an office holder had fallen so low by the time Farley came along that he was subjected to a higher level of scrutiny and public reaction than many of his predecessors. But their actions set the legal precedent that would have given him to basis for a distribution of what is essentially proof material. That he chose to pay for what he was distributing would not have been required of them. All of that changed when the special material was made into a new stamp issuance. But as a matter of precedent, if Farley had insisted upon calling them proofs, he had a strong body of precedent for distributing them as he did.
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Posted 12/09/2018   08:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Essayk,

While I had not intended an in-depth discussion of the provenance of the proof-essay material and was speaking only in general terms. I should have taken the time to go back to the sources - thanks for catching that and correcting me. By the way, you didn't mention the Earl of Crawford sale.

The only point which I must clarify, and which you pointed as a "patently false," is one which I disagree with you on. Looking at it now, I should have been more specific. What I was referring to in this instance is that all production of stamps - from design to finished product - was now in the hands of the government; with only a few exceptions, the production of stamps would remain solely in government hands for the next century. This meant, then, that the BEP/USPOD had better control, or should have, of the material.

All of this is a moot point, however. Farley was not a stamp collector, so he would not have any interest or desire for "proof" material, not do I think he would have even thought to ask about it. He simply wanted souvenirs of his department's work. Because he paid for these as ordinary stamps, and his payment was accepted, the BEP was considering them as ordinary stamps. Are they technically something else because they did not have gum and perforations? An argument could be made for that, which you did.

At the end of the day, though, they are listed as stamps - not essays or proofs - in the catalogues.
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Posted 12/10/2018   08:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
At the end of the day, though, they are listed as stamps - not essays or proofs - in the catalogues.


Stamp catalog listings are not chiseled in stone. If the listing needs to be reconsidered, make the case and submit it to the philatelic press for public scrutiny. However, it needs to be submitted to a recognized publication since the reader base needs to have enough knowledgeable collectors in it to iron out the issues.

I have always had a bit of a question in the back of my mind about the original material behind the Farley "special printings." Signed pieces from his first appropriation. EFO collectors don't claim it. Neither is it in the listings of essays or proofs. Where should it go?

Farley may not have been a collector, but as PMG he certainly needed to have a clear understanding of the duties, and privileges, of his office. Presumably he was on the ball enough for that, but you have delved into that more deeply than I (and more deeply than I care to go). Notwithstanding, if you want me to believe that he was a philatelic naif, then show me some public statements he made that demonstrate that - don't just trust your intuition or interpretations. Nail it down. For example, if we think of the original material as proof material, then it doesn't take an Einstein to realize that the attempt to pay for such material complicated his situation and compromised his office immensely. I suspect that Farley "paid" for his material after the fact as part of an effort to overcome certain accusations that may have been made in the philatelic press at the time. Did he do that by his own initiative, or was he responding to some bad advice from another quarter? Enough ink has been spilled on that story that I think a bit of investigative journalism on your part may be able to put the record in order and remove doubt. But, maybe not. I haven't looked. You have a long running series in USS; it is not my story.

Finally, you need to be aware that there was a bit of under the table dealing that took place between the Treasury Department and the Post Office Department that resulted in the award of the contract of 1893 to the BEP and ultimately shut out any further letting of contracts to private security producers. That happened during the second term of Grover Cleveland, and was entirely at the instigation of a Democrat regime. (The guy I hold most responsible for that was Bissell.) When it was sent through Congress and made a part of "strong central government" (a Democratic Party objective) it became all but immutable. The only exceptions involved the use of technologies not availalbe to the BEP at the time.

As for precedent, we still have correspondence from Bureau chief Joseph Ralph (1908-1915) accompanying "archival" material such as specimens he sent to private citizens. Nobody slapped his fingers.
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Posted 06/01/2019   12:19 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stamps4Life to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I haven read all of this yet, but came across this post while looking for info on imperfs in general. Here are 2 sheets I have in a collection of 1935's....





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Posted 06/02/2019   02:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stamps4life,

The partial sheet of four panes is only Scott 750 IF it is gummed; otherwise, it is Scott 770, the 1935 Special Printing. As far as I know, I have the ONLY gummed sheet which is Scott 750. It came from Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes personal collection.

Here it is:




This is certified as such:


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Edited by Stampman2002 - 06/02/2019 02:44 am
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Posted 06/02/2019   09:54 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stamps4Life to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
mines a 770 as shown. listing at top of pic.
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Posted 06/02/2019   7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add spain_1850 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Not nearly as pretty as the cacheted FDC's shown previously I know. These were just in an inexpensive, random lot of stamps I got from eBay. Just thought I'd share them.

BTW, I love this thread. I'm about half way done reading it and would like to say that it is awesome how deep one can go, even with 1 set of stamps.

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Posted 06/18/2019   10:33 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stampman2002 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
To update this post with recent additions, here are some key pieces from the National Parks. These two items are accompanied by one of the key pieces for Scott 739, the Wisconsin Tercentenary.

I'll be adding information and images for the other stamps which were part of the 1935 Special Printings to this thread as they will also be included in the book I'm working on about the stamps of 1933-1935.

First is Scott 746a. This is the imperforate between vertically error for the Acadia National Park stamp.





The second item is the aforementioned Scott 739, imperforate horizontally. It is a sheet margin pair as evidenced by the selvage attached at left.





Both of the above items are certified. It is critical to ensure any of these errors are accompanied by certificates as there were many, many imperforate between items created from the 1935 Special Printings.

The last item is a William T. Raley oversized First Day Cover for the 1935 Special Printing. This has all twenty issues of the Special Printing on one cover.


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