Arago: General Issues

General Issues

1c Proprietary general issues revenue stamp plate proof

Scott Catalogue USA: RB11

In October 1875, the Bureau of Internal Revenue awarded the printing contract for revenue stamps, previously held by Joseph R. Carpenter, to the National Bank Note Company. National Banknote prepared a new series of proprietary stamps, commonly referred to as the "second proprietary issue," in 1-cent, 2-cent, 3-cent, 4-cent, 5-cent, and 6-cent denominations. Imposed to finance the Civil War, the proprietary taxes applied to items such as matches, proprietary medicines, and perfumes.

Three printers produced the second issue proprietary stamps. The National Bank Note Company produced the stamps from1875 through February 1879, when that company consolidated with the American Bank Note Company. American Bank Note held the printing contract until October 1880, when the Bureau of Engraving and Printing assumed responsibility for the production of proprietary stamps. In 1881, the Bureau added a 10-cent denomination proprietary stamp to the series. Issue ceased on July 1, 1888.

The one-cent value had the largest print run of any denomination in the series. Between October 6, 1875, and April 28, 1883, 251,836,767 proprietary stamps in the one-cent value were issued. The National Bank Note Company printed this one-cent green plate proof, which is on India paper. National Bank Note, American Bank Note, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing each produced die proof impressions of this stamp in the issued color and trial colors.


Turner, George T., Essays and Proofs of United States Internal Revenue Stamps: A compilation with relative prices, 1974: Bureau Issues Association, Inc., Arlington, MA.

Toppan, G.L., H.E. Deats and A. Holland. 1899. An Historical Reference List of the Revenue Stamps of the United States. Boston: Boston Philatelic Society. Reprinted as The Boston Revenue Book. Lawrence, MA: Quarterman Publications, 1979.

India paper; ink (green)
2.7 x 2.2 cm (1 1/16 x 7/8 in.)
Museum ID:

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