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 usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices around the country.

Johnny Cash Waxes Poetic About the Things He Loved

Technology may evolve every day, but some things never change. So even if you get your Johnny Cash tunes via digital download instead of on vinyl, this musical pioneer—honored with a stamp in this year’s new Music Icon series—sounds as powerful as ever.

DCP Keepsake

This handsome collectible package includes a sheet of 16 Johnny Cash stamps and a stamped envelope bearing a First Day of Issue color postmark. Click the image for details.

One thing you might be missing with digital music, however, is liner notes, the text that used to be printed on the paper record sleeves, or “liners,” that protected a vinyl album from dust. When Johnny Cash created American Recordings, released in 1994, he wrote a set of musings for the liner notes that covered everything from veggie burgers to Elvis. One paragraph listed all his favorite song topics. Just reading it is enough to bring Cash’s signature gravelly voice to mind!

I love songs about horses, railroads, land, judgment day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.

Speaking of courtship and marriage, Cash said he proposed to June Carter more than 30 times before she finally said “yes.”

The Johnny Cash Forever® stamp, which was issued on June 5, 2013, is currently available online at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide. Add some to your collection today!

Video: Honoring The Visionary Ray Charles

Two stamp release events — held last week in Atlanta and Los Angeles — paid tribute to Ray Charles, the extraordinary composer, singer, and pianist. If you weren’t able to attend, this video provides some wonderful highlights. Enjoy!

And remember: the Ray Charles Forever® stamp is on sale now. The stamp is available online at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices around the country.

Painting in U.S. Senate Collection Featured on New War of 1812 Stamp

The recently issued Battle of Lake Erie stamp commemorates one of the most important engagements of the War of 1812. This battle, fought 200 years ago on September 10, 1813, is considered a turning point of the war. For the stamp art, art director Greg Breeding chose to reproduce William Henry Powell’s famous painting, Battle of Lake Erie.

BattleLakeErie-Forever-single-v4The oil-on-canvas painting was commissioned by Congress in 1865 and completed in 1873. It depicts the heroic action of Master Commandant Oliver H. Perry and a portion of his crew as they rowed a small boat through a hail of gunfire from Perry’s ruined flagship, the Lawrence, to the Niagara. After taking command of the Niagara, Perry was able to save the day by pursuing four of the largest British ships and forcing them to surrender.

Powell’s nearly 17- by 27-foot painting looms large in the east stairway of the Senate wing in the U.S. Capitol and is part of the U.S. Senate Collection.

It was not Powell’s first painting of the Battle of Lake Erie. In 1847, the Ohio artist had received a commission from Congress to paint Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto for the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. This prestigious assignment led to another one, when his home state commissioned him to portray the Battle of Lake Erie. The completed work, Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie, was displayed in the rotunda of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus in 1865. In March of that year Congress commissioned Powell to execute a similar painting for the U.S. Capitol.

FDC Full Sheet

This 9.5 x 8-inch envelope bears an affixed sheet of 20 Battle of Lake Erie Forever® stamps cancelled with official First Day of Issue black pictorial and standard postmarks. Click the image for details.

As did many artists portraying key historical events, Powell took certain liberties with the facts. He chose, for instance, to portray the Stars and Stripes flying from the bow of the small boat that ferried Perry to the Niagara. In actuality, Perry carried with him his private flag, emblazoned with the words “Don’t Give Up the Ship,” in honor of his good friend Captain James Lawrence, who had uttered them only a few months earlier as he lay mortally wounded in a naval battle with the British.

Powell also made the questionable additions of an African American and of Perry’s young brother, Alexander, to the crew of the small boat. Alexander is shown anxiously tugging at Perry’s coat, evidently urging him to sit down to avoid being struck by gunfire. (This information comes from the Web site of the Office of the Senate Curator.)

Despite these licenses, Powell’s painting is widely admired and has been reproduced in numerous books and articles about the War of 1812. Its beauty and power, even at stamp size, remains undiminished.

The Battle of Lake Erie stamp is available now at usps.com/stamps, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices around the country.

Valuable Inverted Jenny Error Spotted at Ceremony!

[From guest contributor Laurie]

OK, that headline’s a bit of a tease. It just so happens that the Inverted Jenny stamp’s release ceremony coincided with another big stamp event – the grand opening of the new William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

One of the highlights of the new stamp gallery is the “Gems of American Philately” exhibit. Here, visitors can view a block of four of the famous 1918 Inverted Jenny stamps. So while the enthusiastic crowd that stood in line to have their new Inverted Jenny stamps cancelled didn’t notice any mistakes with the 2013 versions… it was exciting to see the originals in the same place!

Before and after the festive ceremony, stamp fans toured the new exhibit, kids designed their own stamps, and a kindly looking Benjamin Franklin strolled around the museum floor.

The new Inverted Jenny stamp is available online in the Postal Store, by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.