Trans Mississippi Issue of 1898

Despite the unpopularity of its first commemorative set, the Columbian Exposition issue of 1893, the United States Post Office commemorated the 1898 Trans Mississippi Exposition with their own set of commemorative stamps in 1898.(And Expositions, which were precursors of World Fairs, were very popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, happening every few years from 1876 to about 1915). But the post office learned at least one main lesson. The total face value of the Columbus set was $16.34 and the pubic had howled that this was too expensive. For the Trans Mississippis the face value was $3.80 a far more affordable amount. The issue has always been one of the most popular with collectors with the $1 consistently winning the most popular stamp competitions over the last one hundred years. The numbers sold are estimated to be in the neighborhood of 25,000 complete sets. By the way, the $1 is a stamp that rumor has it is going to be bought up in large quantities for a philatelic promotion. If you don’t have one put it at the top of your list.

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