http://lynncoins.com/postagestampcurr.htm. Or Google the topic. The Postal Museum has interesting facts on the subject as well.
John Gault started the trend but the government undermined him in 1863, and Gault was out of business. His currency stamps were sold for 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 24, 30, and 90 cents, with a small mark-up. Dude had to make a profit. The government came out with their 5, 10, 25, and 50 cents denominations. Imagine that! Then imagine this: The USPS was IN CRISIS before Gault's little idea. So, the USPS is no stranger to financial crises.
Stamp envelopes had to be opened and the contents counted. They had stamp envies! Counting probably wasn't a problem since I cannot imagine the post office being swamped back then, but the war might have wreaked havoc on the system. All in all, "$50,000 or a little more in encased postage eventually sold. Of the approximate 750,000 sold--only 3,500 or 7,000 are believed to have survived." I want one!
There's more but I can't read my shorthand. Half is written on a receipt. Are you a mail note-jotter, too? Two lovely friends recently gave me little notebooks that fit my palm. A third, from Texas Art Supply came with a tiny pen! They're ideal for someone like me. So why do I still use scraps and receipts? Habit, you reckon? But still, I got the paper from Archiver's. Not sure how I will use it, and wish I'd gotten two. One for me, and one for you. I have a birthday coming up next month, so am amassing treasure for a give-away. Yay-hey!
BTW, the Lakers won.
(Back to the cave.)