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Canal Zone Anybody?

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Posted 03/27/2010   09:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add DCottrell to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
My main interest in stamps is in the Canal Zone. Here is a picture of one of the longest running stamp issues in world history, the lowly 1c green Scott# 105, first issued in late 1928, valid for postage up until the last day of USPS CZ service on Sept 30, 1979.




A very interesting aspect of CZ philately is the study of the overprinted stamps of Panama that were used before the US resumed printing stamps for the Zone. Not only is it a challenge to find the varieties of the original Panama stamps, which were Columbian stamps overprinted by Panama, but the subsequent CZ overprinting process led to several more avenues of investigation.

Here is an example:



This is Scott# 13. It is a Columbian stamp overprinted by the Republic of Panama, previously a province of Columbia. The red bar obliterates the word "Columbia" and the words "Panama" is printed on either side. Varieties of this include color of the overprint, shifting of the Panama's and inverted, broken, or misplaced letters in the "Panama's".

The "Canal Zone" overprint was applied by the CZ Postal Service for use in the CZ. There are varieties of font used, both in individual letters and whole words, and there are spacing varieties.

Later on, when the Bureau of Printing and Engraving re-assumed printing of stamps for the CZPS, the number of characteristic varieties is greatly reduced due to quality control and technological improvements. The most notorious mistake is the missing silver imprint of the Thatcher Ferry Bridge on # 157. This occurred immediately after the Dag Hammarskjold invert was reissued to devalue the original errors. Harris sued the BEP to prevent this from happening to his sheets of this CZ stamp.

Anyone else interested in this fascinating little corner of worldwide philately?

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Posted 03/27/2010   11:01 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bujutsu to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Hi DCottrell

Yes, I remember well reading in an old Linns Weekly about the lawsuit Harris had with the government over that. I was glad he won the case because the fellow who found the original Hammarskjold inverts was a truck driver for some company and thought he had a small fortune, only to have his hopes dashed by the millions that were re-printed. If I remember correctly, the PMG of the US at that time was a Mr. J. Edward Day (?)

At least now, thanks to Henry Ellis Harris, people can now still have a chance of finding an error w/o the fear of having them reprinted.

My thoughts at the time all the controversy was taking place was, why not wait for a little over a year to the time that the original plates would be destroyed and there would be no possible chance of having them re-printed - in other words, wait that time frame before announcing the discovery. However, having said this, I guess the excitement would be overwhelming too and hard to keep silent.

BTW - I didn't realize that the CZ # 105 had that long of a life history. Interesting.

Cheers

Bujutsu
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Posted 03/27/2010   1:53 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Here is a picture of one of the longest running stamp issues in world history, the lowly 1c green Scott# 105, first issued in late 1928, valid for postage up until the last day of USPS CZ service on Sept 30, 1979.

Could you clarify? Are you saying that stamp was actually still available for purchase from the post office until September 30, 1979?
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Posted 03/27/2010   2:17 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DCottrell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The 1c Gorgas was issued Oct 3rd, 1928, and "withdrawn from sale at the termination of the CZPS on September 30, 1979. Of the total of 22,478,000 stamps shipped, 85,853 were destroyed at the end of February 1980, leaving a total of 22,392,147 issued."

Further...

"During this long period of use the 1c Gorgas remained unchanged except in minor ways which philatelists do not recognize as significant enough to create a new catalog number"

-from the ultimate CZ reference, Canal Zone Stamps by Plass, Brewster, and Salz
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Posted 03/27/2010   2:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks! That is indeed a very very long print/sales run!
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Posted 03/27/2010   2:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DCottrell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
A superficial understanding of this episode is all I possess.

Wasn't the argument for reprinting the Hammarskjold invert that the Post Office did not exist for the purpose of creating money? If they had not devalued their issue, they would have theoretically been another wealth-creating entity in the government. One not provided for by the Constitution.

Also, as the Farley incidents showed, allowing an example like this to go uncorrected would leave the door open to miscreant behavior. I do not remember specifically why the Harris sheets of the Canal Zone stamps were allowed to stand, I'll have to dig up that article.

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Posted 03/28/2010   06:50 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Dianne Earl to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great Info DCottlrell

I love the History behind stamps that the countries that issue them. I research them as much as I can. Right now though my spare time is very limited and with spring here it's going to get worse until the fall again.

Oh well someday, when I am retired, like some of our more seasoned membersI hope to do a lot more research.

Dianne
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Posted 03/28/2010   5:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add warrehouse to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The stamp referred to above is a Colombian issue for the Department of Panama and the use was limited to Panama (Scott's Panama 8-21, with surcharge issues 22-30).
Remainders in Panama, after Panama's independence from Colombia in 1903, were overprinted in Bocas del Toro used principally in the province of the same name, while the Colon issues were used in the remaining Caribbean coastal areas. Concurrently the Panama City issues were issued for the Pacific coast regions, however, there is debate amount philatelists on the David, Panama issues, whether they were overprints or cancellations. Then you add the Canal Zone overprints to that list, which were from Panama City issues with additional overprint on Scott's CZ #1-3, 11-15, other CZ used of the Department of Panama issues are Scott's 16-20. These are direct overprints for use in the CZ.

Finally the remainders of the Department of Panama (Scott's 15-21) that were were still in the hands of the Colombian government were used provisionally in Cauca & 3 other southern cities to cover a shortage in those areas, none used any special overprint. Those issues canceled in Colombia are worth then Panamanian cancellations.

Finally a fun fact! Did you know or realize? Panama's 1st new issue as an independent nation (Scott's 179-80) was issued on Feb. 4, 1905, however the same stamps were overprinted "Canal Zone" and were issued there on Dec. 12, 1904.
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Edited by warrehouse - 03/29/2010 08:42 am
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Posted 03/29/2010   11:23 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Anyone else interested in this fascinating little corner of worldwide philately?

Yes, I have a beginners collection, some covers and PPC's
always looking for more.

Will post when I take delivery of my computer next week.

Please post more on what you have
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Posted 03/30/2010   12:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
As long as we're talking CZ, what is the real story on the airmails with a perf "P" and purporting to be officials? Acknowledging the possibility of faked perfs for any particular example, is the underlying concept legitimate?

Collin
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Posted 03/30/2010   06:58 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Triggersmob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
These are the only Canal Zone stamps I own...















Thought you might like to see the smallest coin in the world too, which is also from Panama. It's called the Panama Pill. The Dime is for comparison.


Steve
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Posted 03/30/2010   07:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DCottrell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
As long as we're talking CZ, what is the real story on the airmails with a perf "P" and purporting to be officials? Acknowledging the possibility of faked perfs for any particular example, is the underlying concept legitimate?


Stamps with a perforated "P" were used as official stamps from about 1916 until the overprinted stamps superseded them in 1941. The perforation can be on almost any stamp of this period (including airmails). The process involved perforating several stamps at a time, and this leads to varieties on the position and orientation of the "P"

As for forgeries of the perforated stamps, with just a cursory glance at my references, including the book on De Thuin, I don't see anything yet. Could be these are not valuable enough to counterfeit.

I'll do some research when I have a minute later today.
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Posted 03/30/2010   07:46 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add DCottrell to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great stamps Steve

The medallion of the Canal Zone of your blue airmail stamp was designed and constructed by Tiffany's in NY. The plane is purported to be a DC9 owned by one of the 2 airlines servicing the Canal Zone at that time. There is a fantastic write up of this airmail series at this link here:
http://www.arago.si.edu/index.asp?c...&tid=2037822

The orange 10-cent Hodges was part of the first series of Canal Zone stamps not based on US or Panama designs, and the first non-overprinted series. The 10c Hodges was first issued in January of 1932.

The 5c Stevens stamp is part of the same series, but was not issued until 1946

The Postage due stamp is also of the first permanent CZ PD stamps from 1932, previous usage provided by overprinted US postage dues or issues of Panama overprinted. Your 15c stamp was added to the series in 1941.

The 5c airmail stamp shows a nonspecific ship steaming through the Galliard Cut, a feature of the Canal which was difficult to build and is depicted on several stamps. A nonspecific airplane flies above, ostensibly carrying mail. This was part of the first permanent airmail series produced by the CZ in 1931, previously using overprinted stamps of the first permanent CZ series (see notes on the Hodges stamp). These stamps are numerous, and are fun to collect in color shades and cancellation examples (because of their size and horizontal format, they catch a lot of the cancellation)

The Globe and Wing airmail series superseded previous airmails in 1951. There are several difficult values of this series to collect.

And thanks for posting the Thatcher Ferry stamp. The silver bridge is what was omitted on the Harris errors referred to above.
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Edited by DCottrell - 03/30/2010 08:50 am
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Posted 03/30/2010   09:57 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Triggersmob to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for that link and the info.

Steve
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Posted 03/30/2010   12:31 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Cjd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for this info. CZ is a great little stop in the stamp world. Something for everyone. I'm primarily interested in the airmails, but the various overprints are interesting to me, too.

I've been looking for a nice price on a set of mint C15-20 for quite some time, as they are one of the best-looking sets of airmails out there, to my eyes.

Collin
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Posted 03/30/2010   1:27 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add kirks to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very good info. Thanks all.
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