5.9c Bicycle coil single
- The 5.9-cent Bicycle Transportation coil illustrates the 'high ordinary', as this remarkable vehicle with a giant front wheel and a tiny back wheel was known. It was already the rage among daredevils in Britain and France by the opening of the Philadelphia's 1876 Centennial Exposition. Retired Col. Albert A. Pope was so taken with the device that he traveled to England to study production methods. Returning to the U.S., he began producing bicycles in Hartford, Connecticut. He introduced the Columbia high-wheeler to American cycle enthusiasts in 1878.
- The stamp was issued in Wheeling, West Virginia, on February 17, 1982. There were 814,419 first day covers. The 5.9-cent stamp was service-inscribed, indicating its planned function of paying the basic non-profit presort bulk rate that was introduced on January 10, 1982, and continued until July 27, 1982, which was just five months after the stamp was issued. The stamp was authorized for false franking until July 6, 1983, and then was extended until further notice. It was withdrawn from stocks available for shipping in October 1983 and from philatelic sale at the end of January 1984.
- The 5.9-cent Bicycle was printed on the Cottrell press with plate numbers at intervals of twenty-four stamps. A vertical line marking the joint between the plates is found to the right of the plate number. Four plates were used. Plates 1 and 2 were not issued. Plates 3 and 4 were paired for the tagged and service-inscribed collectors’ version that was not overprinted with parallel bars as well as for the untagged variety that was overprinted with two parallel bars. Plates 5 and 6 also were overprinted with parallel bars. The collectors’ version was issued in coils of five hundred stamps, and the overprinted variety was issued in coils of five hundred and 3,000.
- The stamp was designed by David K. Stone, Port Washington, New York. Gary M. Chaconas engraved the vignette. Thomas J. Bakos engraved the lettering. Both worked for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
- Data Source
- National Postal Museum
- February 17, 1982
- Credit line
- Copyright United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
- paper; ink (blue); adhesive / engraving
- Postage Stamps