USPS: “H” stamps to be issued at birthplace of Uncle Sam

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service announced today that it would issue the non-denominated “H” stamps in a ceremony at the “birthplace” of Uncle Sam in Troy, New York on November 9. The “H-series” stamp features Uncle Sam’s Top Hat with stars and stripes on a white background. The stamps are being issued to support new postage rates effective January 10, 1999, and had been previously scheduled for issuance in Washington, DC with no official ceremony.

Often used to symbolize America, Uncle Sam is more than a nickname to residents of Troy. It refers to Samuel Wilson, who worked as a meat-packer there during the War of 1812. Many believe Wilson’s nickname, “Uncle Sam,” was the inspiration for the character.

The nondenominated “H” stamp is the eighth in a series that uses letters “A” through “G” in conjunction with postage rate changes from 1977 through 1995.

These stamps, valued at 33 cents, meet the new First-Class, 1 ounce, letter rate and are available in the following formats: sheets of 50; booklets of 10 and 20; coils of 100 and 3000; self-adhesive convertible booklets; and automatic teller machine (ATM) sheetlets of 18. The stamps will go on sale at post offices nationwide on November 9.

The Postal Service will also issue a nondenominated “make-up” rate stamp. This stamp is designed for use primarily with any 32-cent stamp to meet the new letter rate. The make-up rate stamp also may be used in combination with other postage to meet other rates in the new structure. The stamp features a rooster-topped weather vane. The words “The “H” Rate make-up stamp” are printed across the top of the stamp. The make-up rate stamp is valued at 1-cent and is available in sheets of 50.

In addition to “H” stamps, three new stamps will be issued on November 9, the 22-cent second ounce rate Uncle Sam stamp, the 77-cent three ounce rate Mary Breckinridge stamp, and the $3.20 Priority Mail rate stamp which features a picture of the Space Shuttle landing. The shuttle stamp design features names of previous shuttle orbiters as hidden images which can be viewed only through a decoder lens.

The Postal Service will issue the $11.75 Express Mail rate stamp on November 19 in conjunction with the Postage Stamp Mega Event in New York City.

HOW TO ORDER THE FIRST DAY OF ISSUE POSTMARK

Customers have 30 days to obtain the first day of issue postmark by mail. They may purchase the new stamps at their local post office, affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

FIRST CLASS H STAMP POSTMASTER 400 BROADWAY STREET TROY NY 12180-9991

MARY BRECKINRIDGE POSTMASTER 400 BROADWAY STREET TROY NY 12180-9991

22 CENT UNCLE SAM STAMP POSTMASTER 400 BROADWAY STREET TROY NY 12180-9991

SHUTTLE LANDING PRIORITY MAIL STAMP POSTMASTER 400 BROADWAY STREET TROY NY 12180-9991

After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service returns the envelope through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by December 9, 1998. Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first day covers for new stamp issues and postal stationery items postmarked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by writing to: INFORMATION FULFILLMENT, US POSTAL SERVICE, DEPT 6270, PO BOX 419014, KANSAS CITY, MO 64141-6014, or by telephoning 1 800 STAMP-24.