Sneak preview of treasures from the William H. Gross Collection

Press Release

WHAT: Sneak preview of treasures from the William H. Gross Collection

WHEN: Oct. 1-31

WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E.

The National Postal Museum announces a preview exhibition of three great stamp rarities loaned by William H. Gross, founder of PIMCO. These rarities will be featured in the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery in 2012 on long-term loan. This October, in honor of National Stamp Collecting Month, museum visitors will have a sneak preview of them:

  • 1918 24-Cent “Inverted Jenny” Air Post Block of Four—The blue biplanes were printed upside down on the first sheet of 100 stamps; it is one of the most recognizable stamp errors ever discovered.
  • 1860 Pony Express Cover Recovered from Mail Stolen by American Indians—This cover was carried via the famous Pony Express service from San Francisco to New York City. However, American Indians in Nevada disrupted the delivery and overtook the rider. The letter pouch was recovered years later on the plains, and the letters were ultimately forwarded to their destination.
  • July 2, 1847, Envelope: The Earliest Recorded Use of a U.S. Postage Stamp—On July 1, 1847, the first stamps produced by the U.S. government were issued to the general public, including the 10-cent stamp featuring George Washington.

These three rarities will be on display in the museum’s atrium Oct. 1-31. For more information about the William H. Gross Stamp Gallery or how to can support this project, visit

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