Arago: Fourth Bureau Issues (1922-1930)

Fourth Bureau Issues (1922-1930)

The Series of 1922, also known as the Fourth Bureau Issue, consisted of sheet, coil, and booklet stamps. The stamps of this series were printed on flat plate and rotary presses and had several different perforation sizes. The frames, basically uniform in design, incorporated a variety of subjects. Like the previous Bureau Issue, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were portrayed on the most commonly used stamps, the 1-cent and the 2-cent. Some other subjects in the series had also appeared on U.S. postage stamps. Boldly innovative, numerous stamps featured icons of American culture-an American Indian, the Statue of Liberty, California's Golden Gate (before the bridge), Niagara Falls, a buffalo, the newly-dedicated Arlington Amphitheater and Lincoln Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, and the head of the statue of 'Armed Freedom' atop the Capitol dome (mistakenly called 'America' on the stamp). The .5-cent through 15-cent have a vertical orientation, and values from 17-cent through 5-dollar have a horizontal orientation. Some collectors also consider the Harding Memorial stamp as part of the series.

The first stamp of the series, the 11-cent Rutherford B. Hayes stamp, was issued on October 4, 1922, the hundredth anniversary of Hayes's birth, in his hometown of Fremont, Ohio, and in the District of Columbia. Thus began the practice of issuing a new stamp on a specific day and in a particular city. Many collectors regard First Day Covers of the Hayes stamp as the beginning of modern First Day Cover collecting.

Attempts to economize produced a few unusual stamps in this series. Rotary press coil stamps web sections, not long enough to be made into coils, were made into sheets of stamps known as 'coil waste'. Similarly, some short sections of the rotary-printed web sheet stamps were salvaged and perforated with the gauge 11 perforation that was intended only for use on flat plate stamps. These 'sheet waste' stamps are exceedingly rare.