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Which US Stamp Was Printed In Largest Quantity?

 
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Posted 05/17/2018   8:16 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Perf10 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Which US stamp (by Scott number) has been printed in the largest quantity?

I suspect sufficient records do not exist to determine the answer with certainty, which leaves the answer to educated guessing of candidates. Perhaps it's an early to mid 20th century definitive dating to a period before metered mail became widespread, and before a large number of different definitives were available concurrently. It would likely be a denomination that paid the first ounce first class letter rate.

Two that comes to mind

720 3c Washington
807 3c Jefferson
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Posted 05/17/2018   9:33 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Of the commemoratives it is the NATO stamp, of the airmails it's C39 the 6 cent small plane. Of the regular issues the quantities are in Johl up to the late 30's, but I suspect 807 would be almost impossible to beat. It was the definitive first class rate stamp for 16 years in a time when people wrote a LOT.
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Posted 05/18/2018   10:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jarnick to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
When you say U. S. Stamp, without restricting it to postage stamps, I suspect the winner would be the DeWitt Clinton stamp that graced packages of 20 cigarettes for ages.
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Posted 05/18/2018   10:45 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am pretty sure that S&H Green stamps were printed in massive quantities for 40-50 years, far exceeding any postage stamps.
Don
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Posted 05/20/2018   07:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It was far from just the 20 packs. DeWitt Clinton was on every cigarette stamp of both class A and class B for every size package from about 1868 until 1959. Technically there were dozens of different stamps issued during that time, however.
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Edited by revcollector - 05/20/2018 07:11 am
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Posted 05/20/2018   08:03 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sperry & Hutchinson began offering stamps to U.S. retailers in 1896 was sold in 1981 (but still continues to this day). By 1968 S&H was printing three times as many stamps as the U.S. Postal Service per year; more than $900 million worth of stamps were sold. (S&H green stamps had an actual cash value; they would pay you $1.67 per 1,000 stamps if desired.)
Trading stamp companies would redeem their stamps for almost anything such as;
- An eight-passenger Cessna airplane (paid for with Gold Bond stamps by a church congregation).
- A pair of gorillas (paid for with 5.4 million Green Stamps by an Erie, Pennsylvania, school who wanted to supply their local zoo).
- A donkey for an overseas church missionary.
- An elephant (also intended for a local zoo).
- School buses, ambulances, and fire trucks

In 1969 more than 80% of U.S. households were collecting trading stamps and there were more than 100,000 S&H stores nationwide. The S&H redemption catalog had the largest print run of ANY publication in the United States during these peak years. In 1981 when S&H company was sold, it had $1 billion in annual revenue. The company continued in business, still issuing stamps, until 1999. With less than 100 stores, the great-grandson of founder Thomas Sperry bought back S&H and he switched the company from stamps to digital 'Greenpoints'. Interestingly, they still will redeem any old S&H stamps anyone might still have around. https://www.greenpoints.com/

But I have not been able to find any references which give firm 'number printed' for S&H stamps. Has anyone ever seen these numbers?
Don
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