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General Philatelic/Newcomer Cnr : Postal Note Stamps - Questions

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JohnnyRockets
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12 Jun 2018
01:31:25pm
Hi all,

I have the following in my collection in many denominations.


Image Not Found



These are pretty cool in my opinion and I'm sure many of you have seen them before.

I have been reading the Arago website about these stamps and have a few questions regarding them.

Supposedly a user of these stamps could send money to someone else in the US in values up to $10.

But I still don't understand quite how they were used. Apparently there was three parts to the postal note. Left side was a receipt for the sender, middle section was for the post office and the right side was for the receiver (presumably used to redeem the value on the stamp?).

Question: If I put one on a letter that was for 10 cents. What do I pay for it? 10 cents right? Then I send it to my friend and he redeems it for? 10 cents right? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Question: I have some in my collection for 1/2/3/4/8 cents. I see on Arago pictures in 1-10 cent denominations. How would one have come up with dollar amounts? My guess is that there are other stamps that I have not seen, that are in these higher denominations? This would seem to have to be the case, as there was a limitation to two notes per letter.

According to Arago, the stamps came in 18 denominations. I was looking for higher denominations on the Mystic website but could only find values from 1-10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90 cent stamps.

Question: Are the other denominations rare?


Pretty interesting! Thanks for your help! Big Grin



JR

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
12 Jun 2018
02:16:46pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

For years there was ‘fractional currency’ (folding notes for values under a whole dollar). This made it easy to send amounts under 1 dollar to others in the mail. But when fractional currency ceased, this left no way to send someone amounts under a dollar in the mail.
So they came up with ‘postal notes’ for this purpose; the earliest could be used from 0.01 up to 4.99 and looked like this...

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They could be redeemed at a specific post office. These are valued at a few hundred dollars today.

Later, the PO moved to the stamps like you show. One or two Postal note stamps were affixed to United States Postal Notes and canceled by the clerk. The stamps were on the second of three parts, the one retained by the post office redeeming the Postal Note.

The higher denominations are less common.
Don

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JohnnyRockets
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12 Jun 2018
02:38:11pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Hi Don,

That is very interesting! Thanks for sharing!

That note you have there is quite nice, quite a keeper!

I will now be on the look out for the higher denominations.

Maybe I'll get lucky and find some for a low $$$.


Side Question: So the amounts over $0.99 cents were in the form of a paper "bill" like item like you show here?



Thank you,



JR

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51Studebaker
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Dialysis, damned if you do...dead if you don't
12 Jun 2018
04:11:50pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Hi Johnny,
The one I show is for 2 cents and is a 'First Day of Issue'. Quite a few of these (ones with 1 or 2 cents) were sold to travelers who were looking for a souvenir in the city they were visiting. Buying one of these was one of the cheapest ways to get an item from a visited town or city.

By the time the stamps like yours came out, the PO had postal note 'forms' which did not look like the note I posted. Instead they made multi-part form like this
Image Not Found

You can buy complete sets of the US postal notes stamp for $5 to $35 (used/mint).
Don

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smauggie
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12 Jun 2018
04:49:06pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

As an additional note, these stamps were issued in values of up to 90 cents. As you can also see you would not put these on envelopes, but on the special forms that Don put a picture of above. You would buy the stamps put them on the form and then send the form to whoever you wanted to send the money to.

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michael78651
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12 Jun 2018
05:53:16pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

The Postal Note stamps are listed in the Scott US Specialized catalogue (#PN1-PN18). Sending amounts less than $1.00 were done with the Postal Notes. Sending $1.00 and up was done with money orders. They were short-lived (February 1945 through March 1951).

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JohnnyRockets
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12 Jun 2018
07:58:01pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Hi all,

Thanks! NOW I finally get it!

Very cool and thank you for taking the time with the great examples and help!

Today my Scott Specialized US Catalog arrived, so I'll check them in there!


Thanks guys!


JR

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tomiseksj
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13 Jun 2018
09:18:13am
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

JR,

If you're interested in more background info, I wrote an article about these stamps that begins on page 2 of the newsletter at https://tsfimagehost.net/TSFNews/V1.4LR.pdf

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DouglasGPerry
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18 Jun 2018
12:51:24pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

One thing that I've always wondered about is how the USPO accrued income from this service. In Don's example above, the sender paid 55 cents for the two postal note stamps which could be "redeemed" by the recipient for 55 cents. The net income for the USPO is zero, meaning that they provided this service for free. Am I missing something? Did they charge for this service in some way that is not shown in the documentation?

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smauggie
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18 Jun 2018
01:10:34pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Hi Douglas,

It seems that the original postal notes (the paper and not the stamp) involved a fee of three cents.

Wikipedia - United States Postal Notes

I think it is safe to assume there was a fee for the service based on the Postal Note Stamps as well, but I was not able to dig up that info.

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tomiseksj
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18 Jun 2018
01:39:40pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Quote:

" Am I missing something? Did they charge for this service in some way that is not shown in the documentation?"



The fee of 5 cents per note, established in 1944, was eventually raised to 8 cents per note effective January 1, 1949. The PMG had the flexibility to adjust the fee to cover the cost of the system, subject to Congressional notification. The fee was collected at time of purchase.
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ikeyPikey
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18 Jun 2018
06:54:21pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

And there I thought that they might be satisfied with just the postage that would be required to send the note to its recipient!

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey (who is running out of teeth to leave under his pillow)

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DouglasGPerry
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APS Member #196859
18 Jun 2018
07:02:59pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Thank you, sirs, for clearing this up.

--Doug

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dani20
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18 Jun 2018
09:52:38pm
re: Postal Note Stamps - Questions

Well done all!! A very informative exchange.
Thanks to you all.
Dan C.

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