I recently acquired this sheet and thought it was quite interesting how it shows the error progressing through each row of the sheet. The denomination is off center to the right and low. Comparing the top row to the bottom one you can see that there is quite a difference in placement of the denomination within the frame. If you follow the progression from the top row to the last one you can see that the sheet of 400 must have gone through the Huck-Cottrell printing press crooked, applying the denomination just a bit differently on each stamp. This is a shiny gum.
J97 37877 UL sheet - Carmine Brown Color - Off center to right and low
I see what you mean between the top and bottom row of the sheet. Odd. Centering on these seems to be problematic. Have a couple of sheets where centering is to the left, right, high, low, and in the image below centering wanders along the row:
How common are centering issues? Does the term "close enough for government work" apply? Coming across a sheet where the centering wanders on a sheet has to make you wonder how such a thing might happen.
Quote: If it went thru cockeyed, why does there not appear to be a tilt - perhaps the image isn't large enough, but if I look at the top row, the overprint seems to be at the same height all across the row.
It's not the height, but where the denomination is placed within the frame. In the first row the 'CENTS' of the denomination almost touches the frame while on the bottom row its quite a bit further away. The denomination's shift to the right seems consistent throughout.
Quote: How common are centering issues? Does the term "close enough for government work" apply? Coming across a sheet where the centering wanders on a sheet has to make you wonder how such a thing might happen.
Let's just say it's not uncommon, but it became worse when they started using dull gum paper. Remember postage due stamps were utility stamps and not usually seen by the general public so quality control seemed have been to minimal at best and nonexistent at worst. Please have a look at this post: http://goscf.com/t/64891&whichpage=3 for more scans of denomination shifts both shiny and dull gum paper.
Quote: Thank you for the link. Amazing! Shifty Postage Dues sums it up nicely. Some of your examples are extreme shifts. Those with missing denominations on the sheets still made it through Quality Control?
Yes, they did. I remember buying some of them at the post office myself. I use to drive around to small post offices and philatelic centers in larger cities and buy them over the counter. This was between 1974 when they started selling them over the counter and August of 1986 when they were withdrawn.
There seems to be a significant difference in the OP's first post and the other posts, which all show a consistent shift throughout the pieces/sheets. The OP's sheet shows a difference in position within one sheet. This seems more like a vertical spacing variance in the mat making process, which then printed as intended and is more obvious when the black prints a bit off center.
Quote: I'm sure you were pretty excited to find them. I find EFO's fascinating and have established a separate folder for them.
I have over 12,000 plate blocks of J88 - J104 which I've acquired over the late 45 years and haven't looked through all of them to find errors yet, but I'm working on it. Back in the day I really was looking for positions and not errors. Currently I need only 4 more to have a complete matched set: J96 35282 LR; J98 26290 LR, 26833 LR; and J101 26292 LR.
Quote: There seems to be a significant difference in the OP's first post and the other posts, which all show a consistent shift throughout the pieces/sheets. The OP's sheet shows a difference in position within one sheet. This seems more like a vertical spacing variance in the mat making process, which then printed as intended and is more obvious when the black prints a bit off center.
On the top row in the denomination the 'CENTS' almost touch the frame at the bottom while the ones in the bottom row are much further away.
Quote: Given that they were rubber mats, I would speculate that inconsistent pressure (rather than crooked) had been applied resulting in a variance across a single sheet.
This J97 sheet's denomination is shift up and to the left, but these stamps are consistently in the same place within the frame throughout the sheet. This wasn't the results of too much pressure, but the paper with preprinted frame simply went through the printing press which added the denomination shifted to right. Remember the frame was printed first and then something later the denomination was added in the same way precancels were printed on regular issues with a rubber plate with the city name and state abbreviation. All precancels of J88 - J104 were overprinted locally and not at the Bureau of Engraving & Printing.
J97 35307 UR denomination too high and shifted left
These postage dues show the results of too much pressure.
Quote: It's not the height, but where the denomination is placed within the frame. In the first row the 'CENTS' of the denomination almost touches the frame while on the bottom row its quite a bit further away. The denomination's shift to the right seems consistent throughout.
This isn't my understanding of what cockeyed means - to me cockeye means tilted.
Quote: This isn't my understanding of what cockeyed means - to me cockeye means tilted.
If you go back and read my first post I used the the word crooked. On the first J97 sheet this caused the 'CENTS' in the denomination in all the stamps on the top row to be much closer to the frame and in subsequent rows to be just a bit farther away in each succeeding row, but still shifted to the right. On the second J97 sheet the denomination is shifted to the left, but in all the stamps in the sheet the denomination is in the same spot within the frame.
crooked means tilted - I don't see how tilted makes "the denomination in all the stamps on the top row to be much closer to the frame and in subsequent rows to be just a bit farther away in each succeeding row" \Something other than crooked is going on here.
This is a new sheet of J97 that I received yesterday. It is one of the older printings made between 4/6/1962 when plate 27072 was first sent to press and 6/18/1973 when this plate was canceled after 772,165 impressions. This was necessary since more than lightly the plate was starting to show wear from touching the paper and the red ink slowly dissolving the metal. Or the plate could have been dropped and damaged as was plate 35283. This plate number isn't scarce on any of the 17 denominations except J95 and J101. Shiny gum was used on all stamps printed from this plate.
The denomination is shifted up and to the right on each stamp in the sheet, but the degree differs on each of them. In the first row the denomination touches the frame on every stamp. On position 1 the denomination touches the inner line of the frame while in position 10 the denomination actually touches the 'U' in 'DUE.' This changes in each subsequent row until in position 90 the denomination only touches the outer line of the frame and in position 100 the denomination doesn't touch the frame at all. My guess this was caused by either the rubber plate used to apply the denomination was itself placed in frame holding it was loose or too tight or the paper was just a bit off center. Rethink things I'm guessing the rubber plate is the culprit.
For a bit of background the frame was printed on the paper first and as some point in the future the denomination was subsequently applied. The Huck-Cottrell printing press used, producing 800 stamps per revolution since each plate was paired with another. For example plate 27072 was pair with 27694 and plate 34283 was paired with 35283 until it was broken. Then 34283 was paired with 35282 which in its first printing produced a new color - carmine brown - please see http://goscf.com/t/52629 for that story.
Now how was the denomination applied? From what I've read during precanceling of regular issues it was a simple matter to incorporate rotary precanceling plates into the printing process. So one would assume that this was exactly how the denomination was applied to the frame. Now I heard that sometimes the same denomination wasn't applied to every pane of the 8 produced from each revolution. For example on J97 plate 35282 only the upper left and upper right positions have been found. So what happened to the lower left and lower left positions? This is probably the answer. Sorry for wondering a bit off the original topic. If anyone has any questions or has any knowledge on this please post a reply.
J97 27072 LR Denomination Shifted up and to the right