Arago: Exhibits


Introduction Cont’d

These special printings were in each case the first sheets off the press during each stamp’s initial printing run. Each sheet had multiple panes and, with two exceptions, they were imperforate and ungummed.

When the stamp collecting community became aware that these special printings were being handed out at face value to persons other than the President, a storm of protest ensued. Farley relented and directed that all special printings that had been distributed to friends and relatives would be duplicated and placed on sale to the public at face value. The first day of sale of these reprints of what came to be called “Farley’s Follies” was March 16, 1935. They are now listed in Scott Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers as numbers 752 through 771. The original Follies are not listed in the Catalogue on the ground that they were never sold to the general public. Nevertheless, many of these original printings are in private hands and some can be differentiated from their reprint cousins.

Examples shown here came to the Smithsonian directly from ex-postmaster general James A. Farley.

Postmaster Gen. James A. Farley

Photograph of Postmaster General James Farley