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Continental Issues - Silk Fibers

 
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Valued Member
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Posted 01/09/2019   09:59 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AJ Valente to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I was referring to products of Continential BNC. That is, images of banknote stamps.
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Posted 01/11/2019   2:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add essayk to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The color match with the printing ink certainly must give one pause. What is the probability that rags stained with that ink found their way to the paper manufacturer?

Since the stamps were printed on plain paper and manually gummed by brush afterward, have you determined how to distinguish slight offsetting ("setoffs" actually), from sliding the sheets onto a stack prior to gumming, versus actual colored fiber impurities in the paper itself?


@AJ Valente: Alan, this is a real question, not a challenge. Is it likely that prior to the consolidation both Continental and American were getting security paper stock for postage stamps at the same time from one supplier, particularly when one was under contract with the Government and the other was not? What is the evidence available to us to nail that down?
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Edited by essayk - 01/11/2019 2:39 pm
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Posted 01/12/2019   09:14 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add AJ Valente to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
essayk, Its a long shot, but not very different to a slight offset seen on some issues. The fibers could have been roughed up or even airborne. After printing they picked-up some fresh ink from the sheet directly below. The sheets were then gummed and pressed to prevent curling. In that case the individual fibers would have been pressed home, appearing a part of the paper matrix.

As to your other question, I would say Yes and No. There were in essence two separate offices. One was the production office where the stamps were manufactured. The other office was the engraving department.

The engraving office used paper from various sources. For instance, there is one reference in the Travers papers (~1872) to a thin paper obtained from the Housatonic Mill in Berkshire County MA. This one owned by the Owen Paper Company (long story there), but they were not a Government contractor so far as I know.

As for the production facility, they only got paper from the approved source (a contractor known and approved by the Government). There were times of course where special dispensation was granted, such as the case with double paper. There's another letter (Feb '78) in the Travers papers outlining a two sets of printed stock (old and new papers) sent to the Government for chemical testing of cancelling inks.

Hope that helps.
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Edited by AJ Valente - 01/12/2019 09:16 am
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Posted 02/10/2019   01:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
AJ and Essayk,
BUT... if it were only on the back, like the example provided by Sinclare2010, then I would be in agreement. However this is clearly not the case as the colored fibers are visible in both the front AND back. And were present before the stamp was printed (otherwise they wouldn't be visible under the printed elements of the stamp face, see photo). I have higher magnification microscope images of these threads as well which are quite interesting. I have seen no other stamp that has this characteristic, and still seeking an example of the 159 "with colored fibers" noted in Scott, specifically different to "With silk fiber" as noted in the other Continental issues.
If the "Colored fibers" of the 159 match the color of the 159 printing, both front and back, then this is a distinctive trait only attributable to Continental issues... and hence, this "153" should be considered as something other than a 153...
Anyone with a 159 with "colored fibers", I'm very eager to obtain some high grade scans.
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Posted 02/10/2019   04:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Paper has two different sides. It may not be reasonable to expect both sides to look the same if we are talking about a variety that arises during the printing process.
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Posted 02/10/2019   06:05 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
sinclair2010,
Yes, I totally agree with that.
But I come back to the point that in no other issue, regardless of the period, can I find a stamp that has the same characteristic as this one. Which remains why I'm anxious to examine a 159 that meets Scott's "with colored fiber". To date I've not found one, nor a reference to one. Strangely Siegel 156's are listed as "Silk fiber" which the Scott Specialized does not recognize (unless the catalog is wrong, and we've seen that before).
I also have yet to see a viable (real) explanation for how could have occurred in this example.
Thanks for sticking with me on this.
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Posted 02/10/2019   07:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am all-for making new discoveries and finding new ways to do the old. In fact, I am quite lonely in my ability to identify certain stamps solely by looking at the back of the stamp. My point is that you are, perhaps unintentionally, using the facts selectively. While it is true that my stamp doesn't have colored fibers on the front of the stamp. The similarities are more striking and of higher import.
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Posted 02/10/2019   08:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
what if the fibers were dyed prior to being used to make a tinted specialty paper and some were put into the wrong vat? another thought is that perhaps someone thought that maybe they would soak up the canceling ink and/or turn color and help in reuse prevention? were a lot of reuse prevention experiments going on then.
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Posted 02/10/2019   10:44 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a pretty impressive example of a silk paper envelope that I just discovered going through some recent purchases. Blue and red fibers, though the blue outnumbers the red by a wide margin.


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Posted 02/10/2019   11:00 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sinclare2010,
I take your point about the importance of similarities, I will admit that I don't see why you feel that the absence of the same fibers on the front of your stamp is of greater importance than that of stamp that has them both front, back, and embedded throughout the stamp? I have a philosophy that "difference is good". What I mean by that is, where we find commonality, it's clear. I can find dozens of stamps that match your back of stamp only, and that merges with the identifiability (I think I just invented a word) of setoffs.
If I ran with that idea for a moment... let's look at what is more "probable".
For the back only, it's easy to accept/conceive that a setoff is what has created the pattern on the back of your stamp (and let's say my stamp too).
Here is one theory that may be true (and maybe this is your point).
A page was laid on top of a page, by what ever means, and created a set-off.
But that page, for whatever reason hadn't been printed on. (Maybe the press didn't come down, so the page passed through, and the paper went to the catch tray, picked up ink on the back.
The blank page was picked up, placed back in the press, but bottom side up, now it gets printed, the setoff (however slight) is in the front. The page gets printed. The pages goes to the stack where a fresh sheet is also sitting, and the back once again gets a setoff.
So we have a case of double set-off on a page, and appearance of "colored fibers" in both front and back.
Let me explore that...
That may, in fact, be the reasonable answer.
(Which is all I've been searching for...)
The envelope is pretty, but irrelevant.

m_and_m I see where you're going with that, but very far fetched. Not that I don't find "crazy" solutions to be impossible. But I think what I just posed, is probably more likely. I need to get the microscope back out, and have a deeper look again at the interweaving of the fibers.
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Posted 02/10/2019   11:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sinclair2010 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I am saying that the absence of blue fibers on the front of my stamp is not as important as the fact that I have a blue stamp with what appears to have blue fibers in, or admittedly, mostly on the paper. You have a purple stamp with purple fibers. It is that similarity that you must explain away to get to where you want to go. Writing my stamp off as different and just an example of setoff is not good enough. Setoff, as we see it on all other stamps, doesn't color individual fibers. It is more complicated than that.

If you can find dozens of stamps that match my stamp, post one.
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Posted 02/10/2019   7:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
please note that the match and medicine pink paper stamps contain purplish fibers whose color is caused by the dye used to make the paper pink. this characteristic is used to help in the id of these, as the dye used to color the paper clearly was not stable. these fibers are not silk,and are most likely jute. your explanation of set off on both sides is a very plausible one where the color of the set off matches the color of the stamp; but as pointed out will not address the issue of the individual fibers being colored.
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Posted 02/10/2019   8:22 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revcollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I have long assumed that the fibers in pink paper were caused when the bags of dye were opened to be added to the pulp. This would have been the last step in making the paper, and so those fibers did not have time to get pulped. Those fibers would have been stained from the dye and so would be a darker pink.
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Posted 03/16/2019   2:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add ClassicPhilatelist to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sinclair2010,
Sorry for this thread slipping out of my view again. Still getting my head around how to "find" my previous replies on the site, and I forget to look back at my "unarchived" topics.

I re-read this entire thread again just now. It was good to mull over the points that have been made.
I like your point in particular about individual thread coloration as opposed to the type of setoff we see in say, the WFs. Certainly different kind of ink transfer and likely facilitated by different paper types.
I just saw your comment about other stamps that I have with similar back fiber. I'm not in my home country at the moment, but when I get back I will put up some other examples. I'm also seeking a fairly high-power microscope to look at greater detail of the fibers (looking for around 1,500x to 2,000x) to see what that detail reveals about it. This is in part to consider what Don had said about capillary absorption, and see if there is anything unique about the fibers that have taken on the purple ink that the others didn't. That may also lead to more about your point of understanding the significance of individual fiber absorption, as the case with your 24, as that seems to remain an unanswered question philatelically.

Still wondering, has anyone found an example of a 159 with "colored" fibers...
I'm beginning to believe this is a mistake in the Scott catalog as Clark suggested.
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