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One Of The Rarest Meat Inspection Stamps That Exists

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Posted 11/20/2021   5:02 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add James Drummond to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently bought a stamp that I've been looking for, for a very long time. It appears that the online seller wasn't aware of the significance of the "export" text on this particular example, as there was no mention of it in the lot description.

Meat inspection stamps range from fairly common to very rare, depending on a number of factors, such as who printed them, their condition, and various other varieties.

From my experience, the stamps that were used only on meat that was exported from the U. S. are the rarest types. But there is a provisional type of the 1906 regular meat inspection stamps that is also quite rare. I'm guessing that not that much meat was sent overseas in the 1890s from the U. S., considering how long sailing times were and that most ships didn't have refrigeration. But maybe they used ice?



I asked Eric Jackson about this stamp, and this is what he said:


Quote:
This is only the second example I have seen. I had one probably 35 years ago.


The following information comes from the introduction that I wrote about these stamps in one of my books:

Meat inspection stamps were in use from March 3, 1891 until about 1908. If the meat was shipped out of the slaughterhouse as an entire carcass, then tags were attached to it. Most meat however was shipped out as individual pieces and was thus packaged in cardboard or wooden crates. The stamps were applied to the outside of these containers.

All stamps were to be cancelled with five parallel waved lines, the inspection date, and the inspector's name (the official abattoir number replaced the inspector's name in 1895). Most of the earliest stamps were first applied to the container with paste or glue, and then with five tacks or staples, one at each corner and one in the center, and finally a coating of varnish was applied over the stamp. Further, the stamps were to be obliterated from the container once the contents were removed.

As a result of these requirements, virtually all early meat inspection stamps are today not only uncommon but are usually found in poor condition. Thins, tears, and even pieces missing are the norm for these stamps. Meat inspection stamps in fault-free, very fine condition are highly prized and sell for a premium over the values shown here.

(The condition of the stamp shown here is remarkable; even with the obvious small faults its overall condition is excellent.)

All of the Act of 1891 meat inspection stamps were supplied in vertical panes of five, with a stub at the left of each stamp. This stub was retained by the abattoir's inspector. The top stamps in the pane were imperforate at the top, while the bottom stamps in each pane were imperforate at the bottom. All stamps in the pane were imperforate at the right. The inspectors were veterinarians that were paid for their services; the stamps were essentially the slaughterhouse's receipt to the customer that their product had, indeed, been inspected.

Oleomargarine was originally manufactured using beef tallow. Packages of oleomargarine thus had to have a meat inspection stamp as well as an oleomargarine stamp attached to them. This usage probably accounts for how the majority of meat inspection stamps were used.

The 1906 meat inspection act was a result of the publication in 1906 by Upton Sinclair of the book The Jungle. Sinclair's novel was fiction, but it raised an awareness by the public of the not-always-hygienic procedures that were used by the meat butchering and meat packing industry. The heightened public awareness of the butchering industry eventually led to considerable reform of the then-current health and sanitation practices. The 1906 meat inspection stamps were only in use for a year or so, and are today fairly rare.

This is an example of a typical use of these meat inspection labels:



Jim
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Posted 11/20/2021   5:24 pm  Show Profile Check GeoffHa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The intercontinental meat export business grew substantially between the 1880s and WWI. Britain imported meat from Australasia and Argentina and Uruguay. I'm not sure what the US's export markets would have been - limited, perhaps.
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Posted 11/20/2021   5:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
What an exciting post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
The depth of knowledge, of you fellows, is astounding.

As an aside, the string "Oleo Margarine" sounded very familiar to me
I thought I must have a US Poster Stamp, of that somewhere.

I searched my database (Oleo) and had 64 hits, every one with "Napoleon"
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Posted 11/21/2021   06:36 am  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I'm guessing that not that much meat was sent overseas in the 1890s from the U. S., considering how long sailing times were and that most ships didn't have refrigeration. But maybe they used ice?


Possibly canned in brine and thus airtight to lengthen the time before spoilage? I'm not familiar with the processes of the time.
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Posted 11/21/2021   07:02 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add 22crows to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
New Zealand shipped frozen meat to Britain from 1882 onwards.

https://nzhistory.govt.nz/first-shi...at-leaves-nz
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Posted 11/21/2021   07:08 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great stamp & historical background.

From what little I know Canada had a healthy export market of cured pork & chilled beef to the UK market during that time period. So US could very well have had the same to the UK, other European countries, or Canada itself.

Refrigerated rail cars could carry chilled beef from the US Midwest (Chicago was the hub) or southern Canada to eastern cities for consumption, internationally from the US to eastern Canada, or to seaports for export. Not sure of the ship facilities for keeping meat chilled during sea transport, but I'm sure they existed. (Cured would have been fine on sea transport obviously).
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Posted 11/21/2021   07:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Frozen Mutton February 1882
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Posted 11/21/2021   08:51 am  Show Profile Check 1typesetter's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1typesetter to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice pickup Jim. I think it was karma that it appropriately ended up in your hands. Noticed that Eric didn't snipe it.
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Posted 11/23/2021   06:28 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


An earlier export meat label with Morton signature exists and here it is.
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Ron Lesher
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Posted 11/23/2021   06:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


Here is a second example of the Export Meat Label with Wilson signature.

There are export meat labels of a much larger design that were used in the nineteens.
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Ron Lesher
Edited by revenuermd - 11/23/2021 06:31 am
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Posted 11/23/2021   3:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Stamps4Life to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the interesting topic. I once worked for a FL company that got its start in the 1800's by shipping beef cattle from FL to Cuba.....
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Posted 11/23/2021   4:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
This got me to researching and I was amazed to see a publication by one W.A. Smiley titled United States Meat Inspection Stamps, published 1 January 1984.
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Posted 11/23/2021   5:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For those that are interested in these stamps, this is a list of most of the meat inspection stamps that I'm aware of (from one of my books).

Jim

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Posted 11/23/2021   5:32 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add revenuermd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply



Here is the kind of documentation for exported meats used in 1913.
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Ron Lesher
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Posted 12/03/2021   9:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Taxpaid Revenuer to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for sharing pictures of the Meat Inspection Export stamps, I've never seen one before.
In 1985 Bill Smiley wrote in TAR about a 1906 Meat Inspection Export Certificate of Inspection. The example he illustrated (shown below) is unused with round punch holes (essay?).
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Posted 12/03/2021   9:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add James Drummond to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Here is a second example of the Export Meat Label with Wilson signature.


It should be clarified that the stamp that Ron shows is actually a slightly different type than the one that I show. You gotta squint to see the difference though.

Various different printers were used to print these stamps, and most of them included their names in the design.

These are the "such as who printed them" that I referred to.

Jim

Goes Litho. Co.:


C. O. Brockway:
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