Postal Service Releases Very Limited Edition ‘Right Side Up’ Inverted Jenny

The 2013 Inverted Jenny issuance features a new version of perhaps the most famous error in the history of U.S. stamps: a 1918 misprint that mistakenly showed a biplane flying wrong side up.

Collectors be on alert: this week, the Postal Service announced it has printed 100 additional sheets of stamps of the recently issued Inverted Jenny stamp — but with the plane flying right side up.

0-0_USPS13STA045dThese very limited edition stamps were circulated with the recent issue of the most famous “misprinted” stamp. Customers who have recently purchased the new Inverted Jenny stamp could have a very limited edition of the famous stamp.

1-0_USPS13STA045eUnique to this stamp issuance, all sheets were individually wrapped in a sealed envelope to recreate the excitement of finding an Inverted Jenny when opening the envelope and to avoid the possibility of discovering a corrected Jenny prior to purchase.

Individuals purchasing “corrected Jenny sheets” will find a congratulatory note inside the wrapping asking them to call a phone number to receive a certificate of acknowledgement signed by Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

The idea for creating the “misprinted misprint,” came to light after the Postmaster General mentioned the stamp to customer groups shortly after it was previewed in January.

“Our customers were enthusiastic about printing a new version of the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history as a great way to spur interest in stamp collecting,” said Donahoe. “Some jokingly commented that we should be careful to avoid repeating the same mistake of nearly a century ago. That was the impetus behind this initiative. What better way to interest a younger generation in stamp collecting?”

Just days after the Postal Service issued the new $2 version of the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history — the 24-cent 1918 Curtiss Jenny airmail stamp depicting a biplane flying upside down — Glenn Watson of Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, purchased the new $2 version with the biplane flying right side up.

“I’ve been collecting U.S. and Canadian stamps for more than 50 years,” said Watson, who ordered his Inverted Jenny stamp sheet through the Postal Store on eBay. “By far this was a total surprise, and I can now relate to how stamp collector William Robey felt when he purchased the original sheet of 100 Inverted Jennys in 1918. Clearly this right-side-up version will be the treasure of my collection. I hope this stamp will encourage younger generations to get involved in this educational hobby.”

Order a new Inverted Jenny today! The stamp is available online at, by calling (), and at Post Offices around the country.

Getting to Know the Postmaster General’s Collection

As we announced last week, more than 100 philatelic items from the Postmaster General’s Collection are now up for auction on eBay. Noteworthy items of historical interest include:

The Postmaster General’s Collection began in the 1860s as a modest set of Post Office Department files filled with records and a small sampling of stamps, and continues to evolve today. Now, thousands of stamps later, the archive has become a one-of-a-kind stamp collecting resource with unusual, rare, and unique holdings.


A stamp collector’s prize, the Nature of America Limited Edition Collectors Set is a rare find! Click the image for details.

The 30,000 items consist of two distinct elements: stamps and original stamp artwork and includes many pre-production items, including proofs (quality control samples) and essays (either rejected or not finalized stamp designs), black and white models, and uncut press sheets (typically six to eight sheets of stamps from a single sheet that is not perforated for individual stamp removal).

Early proofs were made from the original steel dies on which stamp designs were engraved. The dies were then pressed onto transfer rolls which were used to create the plates for printing stamps. Later with lithographic printing, designer or production prints were mounted to replicate the earlier die proof standard. Many of these were autographed for approval by the Postmaster General when they were created.

The stamp collection also contains many rare and unique items, including full sheets of early high denomination stamps, experimental paper issues, die proofs (quality control samples) of the inverted Jenny airmail stamp, and mail postmarked on the moon. Very few of these items have been seen by the public.

The stamp art collection originated in 1942 and includes the original art commissioned by the Post Office Department and U.S. Postal Service for more than 3,000 U.S. postage stamps. The collection includes original artwork by Norman Rockwell and hundreds of other artists who have volunteered to create the art that would be used in miniature form on U.S. stamps. In addition to the approved artwork, the collection includes thousands of concept designs as well as many preliminary sketches. For the Elvis Presley stamp, for example, more than 50 original designs were submitted by various artists to the Postal Service for consideration.


A truly rare collectible set, the Emancipation Proclamation Stamp and Poster Set Signed by PMG and Artist will be coveted by stamp and history enthusiasts alike! Click the image for details.

This special auction of items from the Postmaster General’s Collection will end at 3 p.m. on Monday, September 23. Don’t let this unique opportunity to own a piece of history pass you by. Head over to eBay and add something unique to your collection today.

Seven Movies for Hitchcock’s Birthday (& a Contest)


The 1998 Alfred Hitchcock stamp was the fourth in the Legends of Hollywood series. (Alfred Hitchcock™ & © The Alfred Hitchcock Trust. Alfred Hitchcock Presents © Universal Studios.)

Perhaps no other filmmaker in history was as good at feeding our appetite for “thrills and chills” as Alfred Hitchcock. Born on this day in 1899, the “Master of Suspense” brought a distinct visual style to American movies, captivating us over and over again with powerful films built on mounting anxiety and haunting realism. “There is no terror in the bang,” he once said, “only in the anticipation of it.”

An expert manipulator, Hitchcock was interested in more than shock value, however. His films have stood out for their delicate balance of terror and humor—ordinary and absurd. Behind many blood-chilling scenes lay undercurrents of comic relief or bizarre irony. “Always make the audience suffer as much as possible.”

Tonight, in honor of Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday, why not take a break from the heat with some creepy chills inspired by the master of the macabre? Here are seven recommendations:

  • Notorious: In this 1946 spy thriller, Ingrid Bergman plays a women recruited by a government agent (Cary Grant) to spy on a group of her father’s Nazi colleagues in Rio de Janeiro. What won’t she do to complete her mission?
  • North by Northwest: An ad man, Cary Grant, and a beautiful blonde (Eva Marie Saint) go on the run in this classic 1959 drama (sometimes comedy) about mistaken identity. (Would Don Draper have these problems?) The unforgettable climax at Mount Rushmore is just one of this movie’s many charms.
  • Rear Window: In this 1954 whodunit, James Stewart stars as a wheelchair-bound photographer who spies on his neighbors during a summer heat wave and sees something he shouldn’t have. Or did he?
  • To Catch a Thief: Cary Grant and Grace Kelly team up in this 1955 romantic thriller about a reformed cat burglar who must prove himself innocent when a string of jewel thefts plagues the beautiful and rich along the Riviera.
  • The Birds: Thinking of following your love to a beautiful seaside town in California? Don’t. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) does just that in this 1963 horror classic, and soon after she arrives the once-peaceful birds of the area begin to attack. Psst…Pay special attention to the man who leaves the pet shop with two white terriers.
  • Rebecca: Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier star in this 1940 film adaptation of the fantastic gothic novel by Daphne Du Maurier about a woman tormented by memories of her husband’s first wife.
  • Vertigo: Don’t let the dizzying close-up montages scare you away. This 1958 psychological suspense thriller will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. James Stewart stars as a police detective with a fear of heights and an obsession that he can’t shake.

HitchcockNow, just to make things interesting, let’s up the ante on this Hitchcock celebration with a contest. We are giving away one official first day souvenir. Issued on August 3, 1998, the souvenir (which is sealed) includes a pane of 32-cent Hitchcock stamps, as well as an Official First Day Cancellation. To enter to win, all you have to do is answer the following question correctly:

Famous for his dry, outrageous comments, Alfred Hitchcock made cameo appearances in nearly all his own films, often with a funny twist. In Blackmail (1929) a boy bothers him while he reads in the subway, and in The Paradine Case from 1947, Hitchcock can be seen leaving a train with a cello case. In what memorable movie does Hitchcock’s silhouette appear through a window—wearing a cowboy hat?

Send your answer to uspsstamps [at] gmail [dot] com. One winner will be selected at random from those who answer correctly. The deadline for entries is noon EDT on Friday, August 16. Good luck!

Postmaster Helps Keep Light Shining at Historic Boston Lighthouse

Paul-Medina_story-photo_1When USPS dedicates the New England Coastal Lighthouse Forever® stamps this Saturday (July 13), no one will be happier than New Ipswich, New Hampshire, Postmaster Paul Medina.

“In 2005,” said Medina, “I wrote a letter to the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee specifically requesting the Boston Light stamp.” The stamp now is part of the new collection.

Situated on Little Brewster Island, the reassuring lens atop the 102-foot-tall, white lighthouse tower has guided ships through the perilous waters of Boston Harbor’s south channel for 297 years.

Designated a National Historic Landmark, Boston Light holds the distinction of being, by law, the only U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer-manned lighthouse remaining in the U.S. However, since 2003, the duty has been assumed by a civilian Coast Guard Keeper with support from U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary officers.

“Boston Light is the oldest light station in North America,” says Medina, who serves in the Auxillary. “It dates back to 1716.”

In 1776, the British destroyed the tower as they retreated from Boston. It was rebuilt in 1783.

Despite GPS devices and other technology that have made navigating the seas easier, Medina said they can’t replace the stalwart Boston Light. “Our light is burning 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”


Each of the five New England Coastal Lighthouses stamps features an original acrylic painting by Howard Koslow based on recent photographs of the lighthouses. In addition to many other stamp projects, Koslow has produced the art for the entire Lighthouses series: the five lighthouses in the 1990 stamp booklet; the Great Lakes Lighthouses stamps issued in 1995; the Southeastern Lighthouses stamps in 2003; the Pacific Lighthouses stamps in 2007; and the Gulf Coast Lighthouses stamps in 2009.

Fancy adding some of Howard Koslow’s work to your walls? Here’s your chance! Today we are giving away one Southeastern Lighthouses keepsake. Double-matted and suitable for framing, it featureHillsboro Inlet prizes a reproduction of the Hillsboro Inlet stamp artwork and a mounted strip of the five Southeastern Lighthouses stamps. All you have to do to enter to win is answer a simple question:

The Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was built under government contract in Detroit, Michigan, then erected and inspected prior to being shipped in parts to its present location near Pompano Beach, Florida. This octagonal, iron-skeleton tower was reassembled and activated in 1907. Its daymark—black on the top portion and white below—distinguishes it from lighthouses to the north and south. Its beam can be seen from a distance of more than 20 miles. In what year was the lighthouse fully automated?

To enter, send your answer, along with your name and address, to: USPS Stamps, 1300 Mercantile Ln, Ste 139C, Largo MD 20774.

Of those who answer correctly, one person will be randomly chosen to receive the Hillsboro Inlet keepsake. Entries must be postmarked by Tuesday, July 16. Good luck!

USPS Offers Souvenir Postmark of Hancher Auditorium

On Saturday, June 29, join USPS on the campus of the University of Iowa for a special university event honoring Hancher Auditorium. We will be offering a special pictorial postmark to help commemorate the original auditorium, which was heavily damaged by a flood in 2008. A special souvenir envelope for the occasion also was created by celebrity artist and University of Iowa graduate Nicolosi.

ia-il_2013_0624The ceremony begins at 4 p.m. and will include a short march from the old building to the site of the new one. Performers from San Jose Taiko, a Japanese-American drumming and rhythm group, will lead the march. San Jose Taiko founder Roy Hirabayashi will play the flute, while another favorite Hancher performer, University of Iowa graduate and Iowa City native Rinde Eckert, recites “poetic prose” commissioned for the event.

The envelopes, which will be signed by both Nicolosi and Iowa City Postmaster Stacy St. John, will be available for purchase at the ceremony.