Arago: 50-cent Cows

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50-cent Cows

The Post Office Department released the 50-cent Dairying parcel post stamp on April 13, 1913, and 2,117,793 stamps were issued. The stamps in the series reflected the importance of industry in America's western regions. The 50-cent stamp was originally planned to feature an image of an industrial steel mill. The 25-cent stamp in the series ultimately featured the mill.

The stamp is part of the third set of a series that recognizes the various industries expected to use the parcel post service. During the first six months of usage, both the public and the postmasters were confused about the specific requirement that these stamps be used solely for the parcel post rates, and invariably patrons used them to pay regular postage rates. The Post Office soon recognized the confusion and allowed all the stamps to pay the regular rates by July 1, 1913. This is the only series of stamps that can claim that distinction.


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