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Did The US Have An "War Tax" Overprint?........scan Attached

 
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Posted 12/28/2018   12:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add thepackrat to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I was going through a binder and I found a Ben Franklin 1920"s(?) stamp with an overprint that says War Tax. Is this an overprint or part of the cancellation? And most importantly, is it worth anything? I thought I would just ask for now and I will post a scan tonight when I get home.
Thank you,
Robert
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Edited by thepackrat - 12/28/2018 4:49 pm

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Posted 12/28/2018   2:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I don't believe so. There were a small number of specialized 'war savings' stamps issued during WW1 & WW2, but I find no record of regular US stamps overprinted with the words 'war tax'. And certainly not in the 1920's.

According to Linn's -

In the United States, from Nov. 2, 1917, to June 30, 1919, the rate for a first-class letter weighing up to 1 ounce was raised from 2 to 3. Of this amount, 2 went for postage and 1 paid the war tax. The 3 violet Victory and Flags of the Allies stamp, U.S. Scott 537, were issued to pay the tax.
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Posted 12/28/2018   2:51 pm  Show Profile Check kcaramat's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add kcaramat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
There was a one man campaign to encourage the US to issue a overprinted War Tax stamp. Some of those items have value. Be interested to see your scan.
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Posted 12/28/2018   2:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thepackrat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the info and yes I will attach a scan sometime around 6 o'clock.
Thanks again,
Robert
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Posted 12/28/2018   4:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add thepackrat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is the scan: I beleive the Scott number is # 471. I did not check but this is he number that was marked in the album. Thanks for any input.
Robert



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Edited by thepackrat - 12/28/2018 4:52 pm
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Posted 12/28/2018   5:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stallzer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great Britain, Australia, United States and others imposed war tax on mail during WWI, but these fees were paid with ordinary stamps rather than special war tax stamps. I'd say since there is zero mention of an overprint in Scott Specialized that it is bogus.
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Posted 12/28/2018   7:15 pm  Show Profile Check kcaramat's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add kcaramat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That does look a little questionable.

Here is the Tax Stamp that I was referring to. Several articles have been published in The United States Specialist.
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Posted 12/28/2018   8:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add stallzer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From a previous SC thread on war tax overprints about the Thompson overprints if you card is indeed one.

"British Colonials had been extensively issued up to that time
with "War Tax," and War Stamp" overprints, and the United
States had just recently entered the fight. Increased taxes,
in consequence were a foregone conclusion and with
discussion of an increase in postage rates, there was some
philatelic agitation for a special U. S. "War Tax" stamp issue.

Within a short time some of the 1 green stamps of the then
current issue were seen in philatelic mail from the Pacific
Coast, the stamps bearing a bright red overprint, "WAR
STAMP."

They had been produced by Charles S. Thompson, well
known philatelic writer, of Los Angeles, and he was using
them on all his mail, two cents for postage and one of the
overprinted 1 stamps as an additional rider. I believe he
thus hoped to influence Uncle Sam toward a specially
designated issue, but the Post Office Department failed
to adopt the suggestion.

When the ultimate increase in postage was passed by
Congress in October of that year, as Mr. McGee relates
in his article, no special issue was forthcoming and the
ordinary regular stamp issued were made to suffice.

The U. S. "WAR STAMP" overprints are still seen
occasionally in collections that were in formation during
that period and are regarded as interesting philatelic
mementos of World War I days.

- George B. Sloane
Sloane's Column
Stamps
March 18, 1944"

Here is a link to that thread


http://goscf.com/t/16417

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Posted 12/28/2018   9:42 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Are these them?



While at first glance they appear mint, I suspect they were steamed from envelopes as the gum is disturbed and there is some gum on the front and they just escaped getting a cancel (or did he distribute some mint and these got stuck down?)
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Posted 12/29/2018   04:37 am  Show Profile Check kcaramat's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add kcaramat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The cover is a Thompson. It doesn't belong to me, I have a friend that collects them and is more knowledgeable than I on the subject. I have been able to steer him to several when they appear on eBay. Bidding is usually keen.

The two items in the post above look like Thompsons. Here is another scan similar but imperf.
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Posted 12/29/2018   10:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craigk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating story. Cut from Frajola site, which was cut from a Scott Stamp Monthly article--

"In 1917, Thompson overprinted 1 Washington-Franklin stamps with the words WAR STAMP in red ink, in imitation of WAR TAX surcharges issued in other countries.

The Philatelic West called the overprinted stamps "a joke," but in an October 17, 1918, letter to stamp writer Fred Melville, Thompson gave a patriotic explanation for the overprints, which the museum's printer produced:

"Being a Canadian,I have been vitally interested in the war from the first, and felt rather impatient that the United States did not get in it sooner. Then Mr. Wilson finally decided, and revenue measures were being discussed, I decided to see if I couldn't stir up a bit of interest in an increased postage rate. In order to draw immediate attention, I decided that the best way to do it would be to violate a long-established precedent that United States postage stamps should not be surcharged. . . .

"Therefore I bought a thousand 1c stamps, and after discussing the matter with our printer, who is an Englishman, we decided that we would overprint them in blocks of ten, 2 high and 5 wide. Owing to the fact that we possessed but little type of a font sufficiently striking to suit the purpose, it was necessary to use sans-serif type of three different sizes (but all the same style) to do the work.

"This was done in an exceedingly careful manner, many trial impressions being taken on paper in order to get an overprint that should be clear and brilliant. When it came to printing the stamps, the press was turned over by hand slowly, instead of using the motor, with the result that our home-made surcharge is executed much better than some produced in Government Offices."

Thompson began using them on May 3, 1917, adding an overprinted stamp in addition to the correct postage in ordinary stamps on mail from the museum. He sent copies to President Woodrow Wilson and Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson. Eventually a complaint to the New York postmaster brought an order to stop putting them on mail, but not before Thompson had printed a second edition with the same words and 13 stars se-tenant between plain stamps without overprints, some of which are imperforate, which also appeared on mail.

Thompson's patriotic prank became redundant on November 3, 1917, when domestic letter and postcard rates were increased by 1 as a war tax, but no stamps were surcharged for this purpose.
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Posted 12/29/2018   10:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add bookbndrbob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very odd design with the asterisks/stars. I suppose they represent the 13 original states.
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Posted 12/31/2018   10:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Boxcar1954 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If I recall, in a way, the 3c offset printed WF of 1917 are a bit of a 'War Tax' stamp, since they were printed with the additional one cent rate for the war effort. I believe the rate went back to two cents shortly after the war?
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