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USA Mount Rushmore Red 29 Freak

 
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Valued Member
United States
374 Posts
Posted 06/14/2021   9:51 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Linus to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
For those of you on Stamporama, my apologies, this is another rerun, you have seen this item before, but I will share it with those members of the SCF who have not seen it.

From the depths of my stamp collection, I bring to light a cover I found in the trash can at an insurance company where I was taking a service call back in 1991. The stamp is the common USA Mount Rushmore 29 cent coil with a printing freak. The 29 is red instead of black. Under 10X magnification, you can also see that red ink is around the 29 in the lower left corner background area. Red ink somehow got loose in the printing process causing this freak stamp. I have blurred out the return address name and policy number on the cover scan for privacy purposes. It was created by sloppy printing methods allowing the red ink to go where it should be black. Quality control should have spotted it and held it back as printer's waste, but this did not happen, and it was sold to the public, bought at a post office, and mailed on a man's insurance payment from Bakersfield, California to Des Moines, Iowa. I have also scanned a normal stamp on top of my freak. Some of you might say this is a Toledo brown, no it is not, just look at the eBay stamp listings with a search on "Toledo brown." This is my "Bakersfield Red." I know some of you will think that this is just a color changeling, some chemical was put on the stamp, etc. But I have had this cover in my possession since 1991 and it looks today just like it did the day I pulled it out of the trash can. The 29 was printed in red ink, you can believe it or not.

Linus








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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2643 Posts
Posted 06/15/2021   7:45 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
"The 29 is red instead of black."

The normal 29 is maroon, not black.

" I know some of you will think that this is just a color changeling, some chemical was put on the stamp, etc"

It is exactly what you think it is - wayward red ink. The BEP's intaglio printed coils from the 18c to 29c era are notorious for stray red (the best known are the forest fires on the 25c Yosemite).

Here is my example of with a bigger area in red.



"Quality control should have spotted it and held it back as printer's waste"

It would be very hard for them to notice something this small - the press moves very fast and it would have to be caught before it was rolled up and even if it was seen, it would cost too much to remove it from production just to get rid of a single defective stamp.
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Valued Member
United States
374 Posts
Posted 06/16/2021   1:37 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Linus to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
eyeonwall - Thanks for sharing your example. I see your point, that it would be difficult to spot and remove a few wayward red-inked stamps from a high-speed production press operation.

I also have this one, from my collection, where red ink is under the right column of stars:

Linus


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Pillar Of The Community
United States
2643 Posts
Posted 07/21/2021   9:57 pm  Show Profile Check eyeonwall's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add eyeonwall to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That one has a different cause - it is either an ink-in roller shift (most likely) or a plate wiping problem
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