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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Electric Eye Presidential Series - The Prexies Part II
Here are four examples of the Electric Eye First Day Covers and their stamps from my collection:

1. The Left Horizontal Electric Eye Tagged First Day Cover

Horizontal Electric Eye Tag

Horizontal Electric Eye Tag Cover #1 Reverse

Hortizontal Electric Eye Tagged Stamps

2. The Clear Electric Eye Tagged First Day Cover

Clear Electric Eye Tag FDC

Clear Electric Eye Cover Reverse

Clear Electric Eye Tag Stamps

3. The Right Vertical Electric Eye Tagged First Day Cover

Right Vertical Electric Eye Tag FDC

Right Vertical FDC Reverse

Right Vertical Electric Eye Tag Stamps

4. The Left Vertical Electric Eye Tagged First Day Cover

Left Vertical Electric Eye Tagged FDC

Left Vertical Electric Tagged FDC

Left Vertical Electric Eye Tagged Stamps

Here is an archived photo of an electric eye stamp perforation device:

StamElectric Eye Perforating Machine

 Photo by Bureau of Engraving and Printing - Electric eye perforator

The tagging assisted greatly with centering the stamps for perforating.

Electric eye markings are horizontal and vertical lines in the vertical margins of stamp sheets that were used to align the perforating apparatus to keep the stamps well centered electro-optically as they were being perforated.

These machines were the large two way Harris-Seybold perforating machines.

The Presidential Series had the markings on their selvage margins and that's how they are identified along with their plate numbers if they them.

They had cachets on envelopes printed "electric eye" first day cover April 5, 1939.

Few are known earlier than June 3, 1938 which is the date for regular sheet stamp first day covers.

"On June 3, 1938 when the 2c Adams (Scott Catalog #806) of the Presidential Series was placed on sale, it was found that sheets of this new value were obtainable with the Type I Electric Eye markings. The Post Office Department had not announced this variety, as there was no difference in the stamp design. However, stamp collectors complained bitterly and the Department promised advance notice when new types or values were placed on sale. Plates 21895, 21896, 21897, 21898 were available on the first day, however, few of the covers were mailed and are difficult to obtain." The Stamp Specialist Emerald Book, "The Development of the Electric Eye", by Nathan Goldstein II, H.L. Lindquist Publications, 1946, pages 87-88.

The Electric Eye was a device that employed a beam of light to facilitate more accurate perforation of stamps during the stamp manufacturing process.The markings in the margins and gutters of sheets of stamps that enabled the electric eye device to accomplish its purpose of more accurately perforating stamps. Stamps with electric eye markings were first sold in 1935. Electric Eye Dashes are vertical dashes in the vertical gutter between the right and left panes that were used by the electric eye in the perforating process. First used experimentally in 1933. Electric Eye Frame Bars are horizontal lines in the sheet margin used by the electric eye in the perforating process.This marking was first used in 1939. The Electric Eye Gutter Bar - horizontal line in the left sheet margin at the end of the horizontal sheet gutter was used by the electric eye in the perforating process. This marking replaced the Electric Eye Margin Line on some plates in 1939. The Electric Eye Margin Line - horizontal line in the right margin of a sheet at the end of the horizontal sheet gutter was used by the electric eye in the perforating process. First used experimentally in 1933.

7:00 am cst          Comments

Friday, February 19, 2016

Electric Eye Presidential Series - The Prexies Part I

The half cent orange Franklin stamp (Scott Catalog#803) and the one cent green (Scott Catalog#804) were both part of the 1938-1954 Presidential Issues, otherwise known as the "Prexies".

The 10 cent gray violet Special Delivery stamp (Scott Catalog#E15) was issued in 1927.

They were all rotary press printed.

This is the right vertical tag First Day of Issue "Electric Eye" "Presidential Series" September 18, 1941.

1941 Electric Eye FDC

The ½¢ stamp did not pay any existing postal rate. 
It was used in multiples or in combination with other stamps and stamped envelopes to 
make up a fractional rate, typically for third class domestic mail and international printed matter. 

For the first time, a series was issued with a denomination that did not meet an existing postal need.

One cent paid the post card rate until 1952 and could also have solo use to pay the drop letter rate (for local or star route delivery). It also paid the 2nd class (periodical) rate, the 3rd class for small items, less than 8 oz., such as printed matter or plants and seeds and the special treaty rate with Canada.

The 10 cent Special Delivery stamp was a rotary press printed stamp first issued on November 29, 1927. The design, which originated in 1925 and was repeated for different denominations of the series, was the first to include a motorcycle on a United States stamp.

Motorcycle 1941 FDC

Special Delivery, Franklin & Washington

Here are some additional features of this beautiful First Day Cover for you:

Electric Eye Reverse

Dealer Cachet Reverse

Electric Eye Tag FDC Cachet 1941

Post Office Washington D.C. Photo



The Electric Eye Frame Bars are the vertical lines in the left sheet margins of the stamp blocks above used by the electric eye machine during the perforating process. It was instituted in 1939 and manufactured by the Harris Seybold Potter company for electric eye rotary press cutting.

Electric Eye technology

More reasons to love stamp collecting.

2:54 am cst          Comments

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Windmills of Your Mind

Windmills were all over Europe by the 17th century. All over England, France and everywhere in Holland.

It's believed that more than 8000 windmills adorned the Dutch countryside in the 1600's.

They symbolized the nation.

Windmills USA Cachet

The Dutch came to the Unites States and began constructing their windmills on Manhattan Island in the early part of the 17th century before the Revolutionary War.

The windmill was constructed of brick or stone, had a wooden roof and had a shaft that assisted in the rotation of the sails.

The roof actually revolved with the shaft attached to the sails. The miller would rotate the entire cap mounted on the roof by the movement of a special pole attached to the tail of the shaft and face the sails into the wind.

Windmills were about five stories high and the sails swept an area of approximately 80 feet in diameter. The sails could generate up to 14 horsepower of energy

The top of the windmill with the cap also had controls that controlled the speed of the sails. The miller controlled the cap from the windmill's second story.

When grain was brought to the mill it was first crushed on the ground and lifted in buckets to the third story where fans cleaned it.

Then it was then sent through shoots to grinding stones on the second story and sent back to the ground to be sifted and stored.

On the average, Dutch Mills produced 20 to 40 barrels of meal a day.

Windmills 1980 FDC

Scott Catalog #1741, design#A1130 features a Dutch windmill in Batavia / Geneva, Illinois.

The cachet represents the windmill in Geneva, Illinois in 1860.

Windmill Batavia / Geneva, Illinois 1860

Ronald C. Sharpe designed this beautiful 15 cent booklet stamp featuring a 19th century Dutch windmill located in the Fabyan Park Forest Preserve located in Geneva, Illinois.

The First Day of Issue ceremony was held on February 7, 1980 in Lubbock, Texas at the site of the Texas Tech University windmill museum.

4:45 am cst          Comments

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For the next few weeks I'll be talking about the first day covers of ArtCraft along with everything else.

ArtCraft closed it's doors recently after 76 years of making philatelic history.

I'm predicting a sudden, salubrious escalation in the value of the ArtCraft cachet, all ArtCraft first day covers and ArtCraft portrait cards.
Including those connected to the Postal Commemorative Society

Their departure signals the end of an extraordinarily crucial, very important, highly significant and exceedingly meaningful period in philately

A mournful signal which will be heard around the world and lamented throughout the multitude of collectors

Leo and Sam August treasured their associations with the world's greatest philatelists

Leo's contributions to our hobby were significant enough to earn the coveted Luft Award and a place in the American Philatelic Society Hall of Fame.

ArtCraft has well-earned it's place in the great chronological record in the history of philately.

Their raised ink, line-engraved intaglio printed cachets rank among the most aesthetic in the world.

ArtCraft cachets are not just beautiful.

They are works of art that showcase the wonders of the world and illuminate the powers of human creativity and ingenuity.

The Coober Pedy Cover
One of the World's Great Philatelic Rarities

Coober Pedy

Could this become la pièce de résistance de toute la modern Australian philatélie ?

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia. The town is sometimes referred to as the "opal capital of the world" because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground residences,called "dugouts", which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name "Coober Pedy" comes from the local Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means "white man's hole".

Opal was found in Coober Pedy on 1 February 1915; since then the town has been supplying most of the world's gem-quality opal. Coober Pedy today relies as much on tourism as the opal mining industry to provide the community with employment and sustainability. Coober Pedy has over 70 opal fields and is the largest opal mining area in the world.

Coober Pedy - no village, no buildings, no roads, just desert, mountains dotted with boulders. A bizarre lunar landscape, but for opal seekers is the most exciting place on earth, where again every day is the true challenge, happiness and luck just a shovel width apart and where life is defined by two words: winners and losers. Coober Pedy, grab your hat, throw it into the air and where it lands start digging !


Coober Pedy

 Linn's Stamp News

“The Scott Numbers are the copyrighted property of Amos Press Inc., dba Scott
Publishing Co. The marks Scott and Scott’s are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
and are trademarks of Amos Press, Inc. dba Scott Publishing Co. No use may be
made of these marks or of material which is reprinted from a copyrighted
publication of Amos Press, Inc., without the express written permission of Amos
Press, Inc., dba Scott Publishing Co., Sidney, Ohio 45365.”


David Saks

Winner of the Coveted Memphex 2019 Marshall Trophy for "Best of Show"
Philatelic Exhibit "The Famous American Stamp Series of 1940"