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.