Skip to Main Content
Bookmark and Share

The Inverted Jenny

An Inverted Jenny stamp

The "Inverted Jenny" is a misprinted U.S. postage stamp showing an inverted image of a blue airplane. The error occurred on the 24-cent airmail stamp of 1918. Only one sheet of one hundred inverted center stamps was sold, and no other examples have been discovered.

24c Curtiss Jenny Invert Single

This 24-cent stamp represents plate position 70 of the only sheet of 100 inverted Jennys sold by the Post Office Department. Because the bicolor stamp was printed from two printing plates (one for the carmine-colored stamp frame, one for the blue vignette), the error resulted from the misfeeding of sheets or the misorientation of one of the plates.

24c Curtiss Jenny Invert Single from the Harry L. Jefferys Collection

Harry L. Jefferys bequeathed this stamp with his collection to Philadelphia's Franklin Institute in 1948. The Smithsonian's National Postal Museum received the Jefferys collection from the Franklin Institute in 2008.

24c Curtiss Jenny Invert Single from the Benjamin K. Miller Collection

Benjamin K. Miller, one of the early "Inverted Jenny" buyers, obtained a single, position 18, from the sheet of one hundred. The "Inverted Jenny" prices quickly soared, and Miller eagerly sought other stamps before their values skyrocketed as well. Miller's "Inverted Jenny" was stolen in 1977 and recovered in the early 1980s. The perforations along the top had been trimmed to disguise it as position 9.

Stamps Take Flight: The “Jenny” Airmail Stamp

A stamp in one color can be elegant, but the Post Office and the public soon looked for the visual interest of a second color of ink. The first U.S. “bicolor” postage stamps with two colored inks were issued in 1869...

Stamps Take Flight: Inverted Jenny Die Proofs in the Postmaster General’s Collection

At the request of the Post Office, a very small number of die proofs have been deliberately printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing over the years to illustrate the error.

Related link