Arago: 14-cent Gamboa-Before

14-cent Gamboa-Before

The Canal Zone Postal Service issued the 14-cent Gamboa-Before commemorative (Scott 130) of the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Series on August 15, 1939. The series includes eight 'before' and eight 'after' scenes of important Panama Canal areas and facilities.

The 14-cent stamp's outstanding feature is the Panama Railroad bridge over the Chagres River, 1913. In the center background, the earthen Gamboa Dike prevents the river from flowing into the canal prism. At right across the completed canal appears the area near Bas Obispo/Camp Elliott that appears on the 6- and 7-cent stamps of this series. Like most of the stamps in series, there was no defined use for the 14-cent stamp except in combination with others to pay postage on a letter or packet.

Only two stamps in this series sold fewer copies than the 37,365 sold of the 14-cent value. On April 12, 1941, the Canal Zone postal authorities burned the remaining 262,635, which had been withdrawn from sale earlier that year.

Collectors retained many 14-cent stamps. They also used significant numbers on first day covers and on cacheted envelopes prepared by dozens of artists on the Isthmus and the United States. Non-philatelic covers rarely appear, though some appear with a 1-cent stamp to pay the fifteen-cent airmail rate to the US; others were used by the Canal Zone Philatelic Agency to mail packets of stamps it had sold to collectors.

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