11 September 2013

USPS reissues Inverted Jenny ….



Date of Issue  : 22 September 2013

This souvenir sheet features a new version of perhaps the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps: the Inverted Jenny, a 1918 misprint that highlights the ways a single stamp can turn history upside down.

Nearly a century after it was first issued, America’s most famous stamp — the misprinted 24-cent Inverted Jenny — will be reprinted as a $2 stamp as part of the Stamp Collecting:  Inverted Jenny souvenir stamp sheet. The sheet of stamps will be issued Sept. 22 to coincide with the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum opening of the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery — the world’s largest stamp gallery.

This souvenir sheet features a new version of the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps:  the Inverted Jenny, a 1918 misprint that mistakenly showed a biplane flying upside down. Reprinted with a $2 denomination to make them easily distinguishable from the 24-cent originals, the Inverted Jennys on this sheet commemorate the many ways a single stamp can turn a moment in history upside down. The original engraved dies to produce the 1918 Inverted Jenny are being used in the design to produce the new stamps.


The 24-cent Curtiss Jenny invert error

In 1918, to celebrate the first Air Mail flight, the Post Office Department had the 24-cent Curtiss Jenny stamp produced.

Because the design required two colors, sheets were placed on the printing press twice — a process given to human error — as stamp collectors at the time well knew. One collector, William T. Robey, was on the lookout for stamps with printing errors on the morning of May 14, 1918, the first day of issuance for the stamp and the day before Air Mail service began.

To Robey’s amazement, a postal clerk handed him a 100-stamp sheet of the new Air Mail stamps mistakenly showing the biplane upside down within its frame. “The clerk reached down under the counter and brought forth a full sheet,” Robey recounted 20 years later, “and my heart stood still.”

Robey would soon learn that he had purchased the only sheet of misprinted Jenny stamps to fall into public hands. Within days, he sold the sheet to a stamp dealer, who immediately resold it to another collector. The sheet was broken up and the stamps were sold individually and in blocks of four.

For nearly a century, stamp collectors, referred to as philatelists, have chased the Inverted Jennys, accounting for nearly all 100 of them — even as the stamp became one of the country’s best known philatelic treasures. One of the remaining originals recently sold at auction for $625,000.

Source : United States Postal Service

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