Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1901 to 1950
Washington 2 Cent Bisect - 1931

Bisect or Fractional Usage of a Stamp:
A stamp which has been cut in half (usually diagonally) to be used as two separate stamps. This method was utilized during the 19th century when lower denomination stamps were unavailable.

This is an interesting item and one not often seen. This cover was mailed from Providence, Rhode Island to Edgewood, Rhode Island with a 2 Cent Carmine, (Red) Washington Regular Issue - Scott #634. (Edgewood is actually within Providence Township and today the Post Office there is a sub-station of Providence.

In 1931, the domestic letter rate was 2 cents per ounce and the postcard rate was 1 cent per ounce. The envelope was postcard sized but was clearly a letter and not a postcard and should have been sent at the 2 cent rate in place at that time. In addition, bisects generally went out of favor during the 19th century. The cancel, however is an authentic Providence CDS (Circular Date Stamp) of the period. Thus, this cover presents a bit of a mystery and I'm not at all sure how this one made it past the steely eyed postal inspectors.

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Stamp Issues Part 2