DCSIMG

Bluish-Paper Stamps

In 1909, the United States briefly experimented with printing stamps on paper with some rag, or cloth, content (standard stamp paper was 100 percent wood pulp). The paper had a faint bluish or blue-gray tone, and the stamps printed on it are known as “bluish-paper” stamps.

More than 3 million 1¢ and 2¢ U.S. stamps were printed on bluish paper and sold through post offices. The paper was not adopted. However, Arthur Travers of the Third Assistant Postmaster General’s office requested sample bluish-paper sheets of all stamp values up to 15 cents for the Post Office archives. He was later fired and indicted for supplying some of these archival stamps to a dealer for a price well above face value.

All bluish-paper stamp denominations above the 1¢ and 2¢ values are rare. The intact 13¢ pane displayed below is unique.

1¢ 1909 Franklin, full pane, bluish paper
1¢ 1909 Franklin, full pane, bluish paper
1¢ 1909 Franklin, full pane, bluish paper
2¢ 1909 Franklin, full pane, bluish paper
2¢ 1909 Franklin, full pane, bluish paper
2¢ 1909 Washington, full pane, bluish paper
3¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
3¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
3¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
6¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
6¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
6¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
10¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
10¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
10¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
13¢ 1909 Washington, full pane, bluish paper
13¢ 1909 Washington, full pane, bluish paper
13¢ 1909 Washington, full pane, bluish paper
15¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
15¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper
15¢ 1909 Washington, block of 6, bluish paper