Designs of the 1975 Series - The Americana Issue

Perforations: Sheet stamps are perforated 11x10.5; Coil stamps are perforated 10 vertically - unless noted otherwise Print Method: (unless noted otherwise) Sheet: Rotary Press (EE), plates of 400, split into 4 panes of 100 Coil: Cottrell Press 432 stamp plates, rolls of 500 & 3000 stamps Booklet: 3-color Intaglio (B) Press Tagging: Overall tagged unless stated otherwise; pre-cancelled stamps were not tagged Overall stamp size: 0.84 x 0.99 in Designers: All designers, modelers and engravers worked for the BEP, unless noted otherwise - "KML&G" is used as an abbreviation for the design firm of Kramer, Miller, Lomden & Glassman Quantity Issued: Official quantities issued for most of these stamps were not released or are simply unknown.


1¢ Inkwell and Quill
Dark Blue

Design Firm: Kramer, Miller, Lomden & Glassman  Modeler: Clarence Holbert 
Engravers: Edward P. Archer (vignette); A. Saaverdra (lettering)

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On greenish paper

First Day for the coil stamp: 3/6/1980 New York City
1581 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PL # blk (4); margin blk w/"Use Zip Codes"; horiz. gutter pr.; hollow numeral
1581a untagged sheet stamp; Bureau precanceled
1581c sheet stamp; white paper; dull gum ---
1581d untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled dull and shiny gum
1811 horizontal coil (dull and shiny gum) Note: There are no plate numbers on the coil stamps (cut away with selvage); both 1811a and 1811 may have joint lines (JLP)
1811a imperforate coil pair
1811b horiz. coil tagging omitted


2¢ Speaker Stand
Red Brown

Designer/Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Engravers: Joseph S. Creamer, Jr. (vignette)     Dennis Brown (lettering)

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On greenish paper

Usage: makeup postage
1582 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB(4); ZIP Blk (4); margin block w/"Use Zip Codes" (1582 only); 
scarlet color variety
1582b tagged; cream paper; dull gum (1981)
1582a untagged sheet stamp; Bureau precanceled
1582c untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---


3¢ Early Ballot Box
Olive Green

Designer/Modeler: C. Holbert
Engravers: Thomas R. Hipschen (vignette)    James L. Goodbody (lettering)

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On greenish paper

Usage: makeup postage
1584 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block; vert. gutter pair; 
olive brown & light to black brown
1584a untagged sheet stamp; Bureau precanceled PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1584b untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---


3.1c Six String Guitar
Brown

Designer: George Mercer     Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas     Lettering: Albert Saavedra  

Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm   Perf 10 vertically Scott Type (Coil rolls of 500 and 3000) Collectible Varieties
On yellow paper

Usage: this was the first coil issued specifically for non-profit use and paid the 3rd-class rate for non-profit bulk mail.

Intaglio

1st Day: 10/25/1979 Shreveport LA
1613 overall tagged sidewise coil dull and shiny gum; joint line pair; hollow numeral
1613a untagged bureau precancel coil joint line pair
1613b imperforate coil pair joint line pair
Souvenir Page: SP393 (Sc1613)


3.5¢ Weaver Violins
Purple

Designer: George Mercer     Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas     Lettering: James L. Goodbody  

Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm   Perf 10 vertically Scott Type (Coil rolls of 500 and 3000) Collectible Varieties

     
On canary paper

Usage: 3rd class non-profit bulk mail increased rate, effective 7/6/1980

1st Day: 6/23/1980 Williamsburg PA

Intaglio


1813 overall tagged sidewise coil dull and shiny gum; 
joint line pair
1813a untagged bureau precancel coil joint line pair
1813b imperforate coil pair joint line pair
Souvenir Page: SP394 (Sc1813)


4¢ Books, Bookmark, EyeGlasses
Rose Magenta

Designer/Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Engravers: Edward P. Archer (vignette)    Robert G. Cullin, Sr. (lettering)  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties



On cream paper

Usage: makeup postage





1585 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB(4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip Blk (4)
1585a untagged sheet stamp; precanceled PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1585b untagged; not precanceled dull & shiny gum


7.7c Saxhorns
Brown

Designer: Susan Robb     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Engravers: Kenneth Kipperman & A. Saavedra (lettering) 

Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm   Perf 10 vertically Scott Type (Coil rolls of 500 and 3000) Collectible Varieties

     On canary paper

Usage: 3rd class bulk mail decreased rate, effective 7/18/76

1st Day: 11/20/1976 NYC  

Intaglio


1614 overall tagged sidewise coil joint line pair
1614a untagged bureau precancel coil joint line pair
1614b imperf. untagged bureau precancel pr. joint line pair
Souvenir Page: SP395 (Sc1614)


7.9¢ Drum
Carmine

Designer: Bernard Glassman, KML&G     Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: E. P. Archer     Lettering: A. Saavedra & J. Goodbody  

Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm   Perf 10 vertically Scott Type (Coil rolls of 500 and 3000) Collectible Varieties

     On canary paper

Usage: 3rd class bulk mail rate, effective 12/31/75

First Day: 4/23/1976 Miami FL

Intaglio


1615 tagged sidewise coil dull or shiny gum; 
joint line pair
1615a untagged bureau precancel coil 
1615b imperforate coil pair ---
Souvenir Page: SP396 (Sc1615)


8.4c Grand Piano
Blue

Designer: V. Jack Ruther     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas     Lettering: James L. Goodbody  

Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm   Perf 10 vertically Scott Type (Coil rolls of 500 and 3000) Collectible Varieties
On canary paper

Usage: 3rd class bulk mail increased rate, effective 5/29/78

1st Day: 7/13/1978 Interlochen MI

Intaglio
1615C overall tagged sidewise coil; 
shiny gum
joint line pair
1615Cd untagged bureau precancel coil  dull or shiny gum; joint line pair
1615Ce imperf. between bureau precancel coil pair joint line pair
1615Cf imperf. bureau precancel coil pair joint line pair
Souvenir Page: SP397 (Sc1615C)


9¢ Dome Of Capital
Slate Green

Designer: Walter Brooks   Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Engravers: Kenneth Kipperman (vignette)     James L. Goodbody (lettering)  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm (sheet); 19.3 x 21.8 mm (coil) - 18.3 x 21.1 mm (booklet) Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper

Usage:  issued to meet a new postcard 
rate, effective Dec. 28, 1978

Sheet and Coil stamps
First Days: Sheet Stamp: 11/24/1975 D.C.; 
Coil: 3/5/1976 Milwaukee WI 

Booklet stamps - First Day 3/11/1977 NYC
1590 17.5 x 20.5mm; single from setenant booklet pane Sc1623a; perf 11 x 10.5 - white paper pair with full horizontal gutter between; setenant pair w/13
1590A 17.5 x 20.5mm; single from  Sc1623Bc; 
perf 10 x 9.75 - on white paper
setenant pair with 13
1591 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block (4); hollow numeral
1591a untagged sheet stamp; precanceled PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1591b untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---
1616 tagged sidewise coil stamp joint line pair
1616b untagged, Bureau precanceled coil  shiny and dull gum; JLP
1616a tagged imperforate coil pair joint line pair
1616c untagged, imperf. precanceled coil pair joint line pair
Souvenir Pages: SP377 (Sc1591); SP398 (Sc1616)


10¢ Justice
Violet

Designer: Walter Brooks   Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: K. Kipperman    Lettering: R. G. Cullin, Sr.

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm (sheet); 19.3 x 21.8 mm (coil) - 18.3 x 21.1 mm (booklet) Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper

Usage:issued to meet a new postcard rate, to be effective May 29, 1978

First Days: Sheet Stamp: 11/17/1977 NYC;
Coil Stamp: 11/4/1977 Tampa FL

1592 tagged sheet stamp; shiny and dull gum PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block (4); hollow numeral
1592a untagged; Bureau precanceled (Chicago) PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1592b untagged sheet stamp; not precanceled ---
1617 tagged sidewise coil (shiny and dull gum) joint line pair; hollow numeral
1617a untagged, Bureau precanceled coil  shiny and dull gum; JLP
1617b imperforate coil pair shiny and dull gum; JLP
   Souvenir Pages:SP378 (Sc1592); SP398A (Sc1617)


11¢ Printing Press
Orange

Designer: Walter Brooks   Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: K. Kipperman    Lettering: Albert Saavedra

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm (sheet); 19.3 x 21.8 mm (coil) - 18.3 x 21.1 mm (booklet) Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper

Usage: Issued to be used in combination with the 13c stamp to pay the 2nd oz. on a 1st class letter, effective 12/28/1975

First Day: 11/13/1975 Philadelphia PA
1593 tagged sheet stamp PB (4);"Use Zip Codes"; Zip block; vert. gutter pair
1593a tagging omitted ---
Souvenir Page: SP379 (Sc1593)


12¢ Liberty Torch
Red Brown

Designer: George Mercer   Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer   Lettering: Albert Saavedra  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm (sheet); 19.3 x 21.8 mm (coil) - 18.3 x 21.1 mm (booklet) Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On beige paper

Usage: Issued to pay the existing first class pre-sort rate, and a new postcard rate, effective 11/1/1981

First Day (sheet and coil): 4/8/1981 Dallas TX
1594 tagged sheet stamp PB (4); ZIP Blk (4)
1594a tagging omitted ---
1816 tagged sidewise coil  joint line pair
1816a untagged sidewise coil joint line pair
1816c untagged coil  on reddish beige paper joint line pair
1816b imperforate sidewise coil pair joint line pair
Souvenir Pages: SP380 (Sc1594 & 1816 - both the sheet and coil stamp)


13¢ Eagle and Shield
Multicolor

Designer: James L. Womer, KML&G         Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer       Lettering: James F. Goodbody  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On cream paper

Usage: Paid the new 1st-class letter rate of 13 , effective 12/31/1975

First Day: 12/1/1975 Juneau AK

Printed on the Andreotti Press (Photogravure)

1596 perf 11.2 (holes line up at corner stamps) PB(12); PB(20) w/6 pl#'s; "Use Correct ZIP code" blk;  vertical gutter pair; red or black missing color are altered forgeries
1596d line perforated, perf 11 
(holes do not line up perfectly)
PB(12) w/6 PL#
1596b perf 11.2 yellow omitted color error ---
1596a imperforate pair ---
Souvenir Page: SP381 (Sc1596)


13¢ Liberty Bell
Brown

Designer: Bernard Glassman, KML&G     Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer     Lettering: Albert Saavedra  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On creme paper

Usage: This was the 1st "Americana" stamp,  and was issued to meet the new 1st-class letter rate of 13 , effective 12/31/1975

Booklets: Combination Press (web mono-color intaglio - plates of 460 subjects, cut into panes of 100, which were subsequently cut to meet the booklet pane requirements)

Coil Stamps: Engraved, Combination Press, 460 subject plates, cut into rolls of 100, 500 and 3000 stamps

First Day (bklt panes of 6, 7 or 8): 10/31/1975 Cleveland OH 

First Day(coil stamp): 11/25/1975 Allentown PA

First Day(booklet pane of 5): 4/2/1976 Liberty MO

1595 booklet single ---
1595a booklet pane of 6 ---
1595b booklet pane of 7 + 1 Label ---
1595c booklet pane of 8 ---
1595d booklet pane of 5 + Label ---
1595e vertical pair imperforate between (from paper foldover - bklt stamp)
1595f tagging omitted (booklet stamp) ---
1595g horizontal pair imperforated between (from paper foldover - bklt stamp)
1618 tagged sidewise coil - shiny and dull gum shiny or dull gum; JLP
red brown; dark brown
1618a untagged sidewise coil (pre-cancelled)
1618b imperforate coil pair joint line pair
1618g coil pair imperforate between (perf 10) ---
1618h imperf. untagged coil pair pre-cancelled ---
Souvenir Page: SP399 (Sc1618)


15¢ Flag
Red, White, Blue, Grey

Designer: V. Jack Ruther     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Thomas R. Hipschen   Lettering: Robert G. Cullin, Sr.

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On cream paper

Usage: Issued to pay the new 1st class letter rate, effective 5/29/1978 

Sheet stamp:
Scott 1597: Engraved - Combination (A) Press, 460-subject plates, cut into panes of 100 stamps

Booklets:
Scott 1598: Engraved - Web 3-color intaglio - plates of 832 subjects, cut to meet booklet pane requirements
Coil Stamps: Engraved, Combination Press, 460 subject plates, cut into rolls of 100, 500 and 3000 stamps

Design Size (sheet, coil & booklet): 18.034 x 20.828 mm

Tagging: Large block (unless noted otherwise)

Quantity printed: 596,700,000 coil stamps and 242,528,000 booklet stamps; the number of sheet stamp printed is unknown

First Day (sheet, coil, bklt): 6/30/78 Baltimore MD;
1597 sheet stamp; perf 11.2 (holes line up) PB(6); PB(20) with 1 or 2 plate #s
1597a sheet stamp; small block tagging
1597d sheet stamp; tagging omitted ---
1597b gray missing color error; sheet stamp ---
1597c imperf. between & top or bottom - strip (3) 1597c and 1597e 
are sheet stamps
1597e imperforate vertical pair
1598 single from booklet pane - perf 11 x 10.5 ---
1598a booklet pane of 8 ---
1618C tagged sidewise coil  ---
1618Cd imperforate tagged sidewise coil pair ---
1618Ce imperf. between tagged coil pair (perf 10) ---
1618Cf gray omitted color error tagged coil  ---
1618Ci tagging omitted side-wise coil ---
Souvenir Page: SP382 (Sc1597 & Sc1618C combination) 


16¢ Statue of Liberty
Blue

Designer: Clarence Holbert     Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Edward P. Archer   Lettering: Thomas J. Bakos

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On grey paper

Usage: Although issued to meet a proposed new 1st class rate, the rate was actually 15c, so this stamp met no existing rate First Day: 3/31/78 NYC

Intaglio 460-subj. plate

Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm (sheet and coil)
1599  sheet stamp - perf 11 x 10.5; intaglio, 460-subject plate, 100-stamp pane PL# block (4);
 "Use Correct ZIP code" block (4)
1619 overall tagged sidewise coil; darker, bluer background than 1619a; Cottrell press  joint line pair
1619a intaglio "B" press; block tagged coil; white background; fractionally smaller than 1619 no joint line
Souvenir Page: SP383 (Sc1599 and Sc1619 combination)


24¢ Old North Church
Red

Designer: Bernard Glassman, KML&G     Modeler: V. J. Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer   Lettering: James L. Goodbody 

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type (perf 11 x 10.5) Collectible Varieties
On Blue paper

Usage: Issued to meet a new rate for the first two ounces on 1st-class postage, effective 12/28/1975

1st Day: 11/14/1975 Boston MA

Cottrell Press

1603 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4); "Mail Early 
in the Day"; Use ZIP Code; "Mr. ZIP"
1603a tagging omitted
Souvenir Page: SP384 (Sc1603)


28¢ Fort Nisqually
Brown

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Joseph S. Creamer, Jr.   Lettering: Albert Saavedra  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type (perf 11 x 10.5) Collectible Varieties
On blue paper

Usage: Issued to meet the rate for the first two ounces of 1st-class postage

First Day: 8/11/1978 Tacoma WA

Intaglio, Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm (sheet and coil). Note: this stamp is slightly wider and shorter

1604 tagged sheet stamp;
100 stamps per pane
dull and shiny gum; 
plate # block (4); 
  U. S. Postal Service"; 
  Use Correct ZIP Code; 
  Mr. ZIP
Souvenir Page: SP385 (Sc1604)


29¢ Lighthouse
Blue

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: John S. Wallace, Jr.     Lettering: Dennis Brown  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type (perf 11 x 10.5) Collectible Varieties
On light blue paper

Usage: Issued to meet an anticipated new rate for 2 oz. 1st-class postage, effective 5/29/78; when it became 28 , this stamp became moot, however it did see use on some 3rd class matter, and again after 4/3/91, when the 1st class rate became 29

Intaglio, Design Size: 19.304 x 21.844 mm (sheet and coil)

1st Day: 4/14/78 Atlantic City NJ
1605 tagged sheet stamp;
100 stamps per pane
dull and shiny gum; 
plate # block (4); 
  U. S. Postal Service"; 
  Use Correct ZIP Code; 
  Mr. ZIP
Souvenir Page: SP386 (Sc1605)


30¢ Schoolhouse
Green

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Kenneth Kipperman     Lettering: Gary J. Slaught  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm* Scott Type (perf 11 x 10.5) Collectible Varieties
On blue paper

Usage: This stamp did not meet any current postal rate and was issued primarily to complete the set

Intaglio

1st Day: 8/27/1979 Devil's Lake ND
1606 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
dull gum reported
plate # block (4);   U. S. Postal Service";   Use Correct ZIP Code;   Mr. ZIP
1606a tagging omitted
Souvenir Page: SP387 (Sc1606)

The 50 -$5 stamps were printed in a two-step process, first on a Miller offset press and then on a Giori I-8 currency press. These  stamps did not satisfy any particular rate requirement but, rather, gradually replaced the higher value Prominent American Series stamps.


50¢ Oil Lamp
Brown, Black, Orange

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Edward P. Archer     Lettering: Thomas J. Bakos  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm   Perf 11 x 11 Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper

Intaglio

First Day: 9/11/1979 San Juan PR

Also referred to as the "Whale Oil Lamp" stamp

Flame shifts (of the orange color) are collectible varieties
A pinkish, rather than orange, flame is reported

1608 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4);   U. S. Postal Service";   Use Correct ZIP Code;   Mr. ZIP
1608c tagging omitted
1608a black omitted color error ---
1608b vertical pair imperforate horizontal ---
Souvenir Page: SP388 (Sc1608)


$1 CandleHolder Lamp
Tan, Brown, Orange, Yellow

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas     Lettering: James L. Goodbody  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm   Perf 11 x 11 Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper

Intaglio

First Day: 7/2/1979 San Francisco CA

Candle and flame shifts, of the yellow and orange color, and lamp shifts, of the brown color, are collectible varieties
1610 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4);   U. S. Postal Service";   Use Correct ZIP Code;   Mr. ZIP
1610d tagging omitted
1610a brown omitted color error ---
1610b tan, orange & yellow omitted error ---
1610c brown color inverted; "CIA" invert ---
Souvenir Page: SP389 (Sc1610)


$2 Kerosene Lamp
Dark Green, Orange, Yellow

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: Clarence Holbert
Vignette: Joseph S. Creamer, Jr.     Lettering: Robert G. Cullin, Sr.  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm   Perf 11 x 11 Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper
Intaglio

First Day: 11/16/1978 NYC

Flame shifts, of the yellow and orange color are collectible
1611 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4);   U. S. Postal Service";   Use Correct ZIP Code;   Mr. ZIP
1611a tagging omitted ---
Souvenir Page: SP390 (Sc1611)


$5 Railroad Lantern
Red Brown, Yellow, Orange

Designer: James Schleyer     Modeler: V. Jack Ruther
Vignette: Gary M. Chaconas     Lettering: Dennis Brown  

Design Size: 19.05 x 22.098 mm   Perf 11 x 11 Scott Type Collectible Varieties
On gray paper

Intaglio

First Day: 8/23/1979 Boston MA
1612 tagged sheet stamp; shiny gum
100 stamps per pane
plate # block (4);   U. S. Postal Service";   Use Correct ZIP Code;   Mr. ZIP
Souvenir Page: SP391 (Sc1612)


* Note that these measurements may not always match measurements published elsewhere. For example the Official Souvenir Page for the Roots of Democracy stamps issued by the USPS, lists the official "Image Area" as "0.75 x 0.87 inches" or "19.3 x 21.8 millimeters". This, simply, is an error in the conversion from inches to millimeters. The conversion factor is 25.4. Thus, 0.75 in. x 25.4 = 19.05 mm and 0.87 in x 25.4 = 22.098 mm, not the 19.3 mm x 21.8 mm listed on the Souvenir Page. On other Souvenir Sheets, the conversion is done properly, but the rounding is off, for example 22.098 rounds to 22.1, not the listed 22.09. The stamps with design size of 0.76 x 0.86 inches, which converts to 19.304 mm x 21.844 mm, are listed correctly.

Bibliography and suggested additional reading
USPS Souvenir Sheets
The Americana Series Reference Manual - Art Maniker (1998) - please note: this book includes information on many specific varieties of the Americana Series, including, but not limited to, color, plate scratches, misperfs, miscuts, inking, precancel, gum, paper, tagging, inclusion, printer's waste, counterfeit and forgery varieties. It also includes information on pre-cancel varieties and marginal imprints found on the Americana Series stamps. Although there are discrepancies, until a revised version or better book comes out, this is a must for the collector of the Americana Series.

Also
Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting - Rodney Juell and Stephen Rod (USSS), 2006
A New Era in Booklet Production - George Brett US Specialist (multi-part series on the Goebel press starting in September 1977)
Various articles from the United States Specialist - Primarily from the New Issues Forum