The 13-cent Patrol Wagon Transportation Coil was issued in Anaheim, California, on October 29, 1988, at the annual convention of the American First Day Cover Society. There were 132,938 covers cancelled on the first day. The stamp illustrates a police patrol wagon that was familiar during the late nineteenth century, a period that saw the professionalization of police forces. Its principal use was to transport police officers to and from their regular beats as well as to public disturbances and other problem areas.
The 13-cent stamp paid the basic presort rate for first-class postcards mailed in quantity. The rate was introduced on April 3, 1988, and lasted until April 2, 1991, when the rate increased to seventeen cents.
The patrol wagon vignette is printed in black, and the service inscription, "Pre-sorted first-class," is printed in red. The stamp was printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on the B press with plate numbers at intervals of fifty-two stamps. Only plate number 1 was used. It was issued in untagged coils of five hundred and 3,000.
The stamp was designed by Joe Brockert of the USPS. The vignette was engraved by Edward P. Archer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the lettering was done by Dennis Brown, also of the Bureau of Engraving and printing.