and Postal History Primer
Types of Stamps - Revenue and Back of
the Book Issues
Types of Stamps -
Revenue and Back of the Book Issues
Revenue, Postage Due, Parcel Post, Special
Delivery, and Official Stamps are referred to by collectors as
"Back of the Book"
issues due to their placement in the
Scott's Specialized United States Catalog.
Shown below are examples of
Revenue, Parcel Post and Official
are stamps that are affixed to documents, spirits, stock certificates,
playing cards, tobacco, etc. to show that the required government tax has
been paid. The revenue stamp illustrated on the left is the
Proprietary Stamp Issue of 1862-71.
The stamp shows the private Pre-Cancel
of Dr. Seth Arnold
and was affixed to patent medicine
bottles which were taxed by the
government during this time period.
Parcel Post Stamps
were only issued for a short period of time as a test of the new Parcel Post
class of mail service. Beginning on November 27, 1912, the stamps were
shipped to post offices offering parcel post service.
Parcel Post and
Parcel Post Due
stamps was halted in 1913
(The USPS produced 12 parcel post and 5
parcel post due stamps, usable only on parcel post packages beginning on
January 1, 1913 and ending on July 1, 1913. Other stamps were not usable on
parcel post during this period.)
were authorized by Congress on March 3, 1873. On May 1, 1879 the Official
Stamps were replaced by Penalty Envelopes
and were declared obsolete on July 5, 1884.
The stamps were issued
for the departments of Agriculture,
and the Executive
and Post Office Departments.
The stamp shown to the right is the 3
Cent Official Post Office Department
issue of 1873 to 1879.