Arago: 25-cent Surcharge on 2-cent Goethals

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25-cent Surcharge on 2-cent Goethals

The first Canal Zone airmail stamp was created in anticipation of Charles Lindbergh's February 1929 flight, which was the initial airmail flight from the Canal Zone to the United States. Since no airmail stamps existed at the time, it was decided to surcharge existing stocks of the 2-cent Goethals stamp with the new value of twenty-five cents, the amount required at that time for a half-ounce airmail letter to the United States.

Printing was accomplished locally at the Mount Hope Printing Press in a series of jobs totaling 290,000 stamps. Of these, over 223,000 copies were actually sold, and the remaining stamps were destroyed by burning in 1932, after the permanent series of airmails had been received and placed into use.

Examples of this stamp honoring Lindbergh's first flight are quite common, but covers originating from the smaller towns are rare. This stamp is found used on very scarce non-philatelic airmail letters together with the 2-cent 'postage' through March 20, 1929, when the requirement for the 2-cent was dropped. Then, effective on January 1, 1930, the rate per half-ounce was reduced to twenty cents. After that date the 25-cent stamp is usually seen on heavier letters or covers to foreign destinations.


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