Unused US Stamps: 1901-1940
426 items found
In the previous century, US stamps were much rarer than in the 20th century. This is when billions of stamps were printed in a wide range of denominations and had everything printed on them from national parks, landmarks, presidential portraits, exploration and much more. Even starting from 1900 and on, unused stamps are still more valuable and more difficult to collect due to how expensive they are, especially early and rare ones.
Starting off from the beginning of the 20th century United States, one of the most highly sought after series of stamps are the one issued on May 1, 1901, which was used to promote the World Fair in Buffalo New York. Note how back in those days, stamps were also a great way to advertise major events, including the Pan American Exposition, which was also part of the same series. The denominations ranged from 1, 2, 4, 5, 8 and 10 cents and the promoted images of US know-how, ranging from our high-tech transportation such as cars, automobiles, trains and steamships, all of which were state of the art during the early 1900s.
Another series early in this century was again used to promote the World Fair, which was in St. Louis Missouri and also celebrates the 100th anniversary centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. This time, the denomination of these stamps were 10 cents and featured details about the Louisiana Purchase, particularly the boundaries of the massive amount of land overlaid on top of a map of the US, almost doubling it's size and land area back then!
Shortly after the airplane was invented, the United States begin airmailing letters and the U.S. Air Mail stamps began appearing on the scene in 1918. One of the most famous stamps of all in the early 1900s was a 24-cent denomination issue which featured a Curtiss Jenny biplane - The same one that was printed upside-down on only about 100 stamps, is extremely rare and easily worth $1 million or more. Later on, the denomination and costs of these stamps decreased to 16 cents and then lowered again to 6 cents. There are a few varieties of these early airmail stamps.
Some time later in 1930, Graf Zeppelins were being printed on US stamps with denominations of 65 cents, $1.30 and $2.60. In 1933, the famous "Baby Zeppelin" stamp was printed as well. Other popular series are the 1934 Ten National Parks stamps ranging from a penny up to a dime denominations, The 1937 Civil War commemorative series which featured Union army generals Grant, Sherman and Sheridan on 3 cent stamps - and also Confederate army generals Lee and Jackson being featured on 4 cent stamps. Then in 1940, stamps begin featuring famous American icons such as Mark Twain, Irving, Whitman, Longfellow and other popular poets, writers and authors. Inventors such as Bell and Morse were being featured on US stamps as well.