Strange Wax Paper Cover with Two 1¢ Benjamin Franklin Stamps

Discussion in 'What's it Worth?' started by Michelle, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Michelle

    Michelle New Member

    This is not easy to describe, because I'm not sure if it's cellophane or wax paper. It really seems like a cross between the two. If I had to guess, I'd say it's old wax paper, but my husband tells me it's cellophane.

    In any event, it's 5.75" x 3.75" in size and is almost transparent but with a smokey color to it.

    There are two 1¢ green stamps affixed t it, one right-side up and the other upside down. There are two postmarks. The first is Lexington with no state name visible because of its placement over the stamp. The other appears to be Boston, Massachusetts.

    Both are dated August 31, 1908.


    The cancellation is an ovate barred cancellation which has the numeral 1 in the middle.

    There is no "TO" address, and I suspect that it was written on whatever was inside the envelope.

    I don't imagine a value can be placed on this because it's not really any subcategory I can think of, unless there is a "Strange Covers" category. :)

    But I would love thoughts on it.

    Steve Robinson and Peter T Davis like this.
  2. Gunny

    Gunny Retired Jarhead Moderator

    Those appear to be Scott # 300's which were issued in 1903. What is really strange is that it's postmarked in two different cities, Lexington (Mass) & Boston, Mass. I can't make out a time on the Boston cancellation. If there is one, that will tell us where this started out as the Lexington cancellation happened at 1030 AM. Also, I wonder if there is a significance to one of the stamps being inverted. I did a Google search to see if something historical happened in Mass on August 31st in history but didn't come up with anything.
  3. Michelle

    Michelle New Member

    My grandmother, born in 1899, told me when I was a child that an upside-down stamp meant "I love you."

    Not sure if that was something from that time, or if she used it as a way to make a granddaughter on the opposite coast feel loved.
  4. Gunny

    Gunny Retired Jarhead Moderator

    I've known about that being done as late as the 70's. However, that's usually done with a single stamp or all stamps upside down. Interesting.
  5. Hochstrasse

    Hochstrasse Moderator Moderator

    There really can be no other explanation other than someone was mailing something they didn't want defaced by the cancelling process that had an underlying mailing destination. Cellophane wasn't invented until 1908 so your hunch about it being wax paper is most likely correct. The reason for the wax paper has to be because it allows the contents to be seen. Perhaps someone was mailing a fancy invitation?, a paper keepsake? or perhaps other paper ephemera? It is an oddity for sure.
  6. zararina

    zararina Simply Me! :D

    Right that this is strange and unique with one stamp inverted and the other is not. Could be a code to someone before. ;)
  7. James-2489

    James-2489 Well-Known Member

    Hello, I am new to The envelope looks like an early Glassine type envelope. (invented/improved in the early 19th century)
    The cancellation marks look identical to me. On enlarging the image I measured the distance between the X (on the president's face) and O, LEXINGTON they appear to be the same on both cancellations.I also read the time on both to be 10:30
    Regards, James
    Hochstrasse likes this.
  8. Gunny

    Gunny Retired Jarhead Moderator

    Good catch. Now that you've said that, I can see the "X" in the cancellation on the stamp on the right. I also tend to agree that it's a glassine envelope. I don't think stamp would adhere to wax paper. Isn't that why wax paper is used in baking, because cookies and such don't stick to it?
  9. tasha

    tasha Active Member

    Thats very interesting and unusual that there are too different zones on it. I love learning about this!
  10. Steve Robinson

    Steve Robinson Well-Known Member Supporter

    Looks like a Glassine envelope to me
  11. Seetoo

    Seetoo Member

    The first thing I thought when I saw the photo and started reading about it was "how strange, the ink from the postmark stayed, but there's no "to" or "from" written on the outside". Then you wrote that the address was probably on the inside of the envelope, so that solved that.
    The mystery to me now is, why send something in such a transparent envelope? I would love to know the story behind it. I like a good mystery!
    1908?! Wow!
  12. stampdad

    stampdad Member

    I have seen this before ,It caught my eye at an antique store in Louisville Kentucky, the only difference was it contained a photograph of some kind of commemorative event .
  13. James-2489

    James-2489 Well-Known Member

    Hello, Maybe it contained a postcard of their new 1903 Model A Ford?

  14. tasha

    tasha Active Member

    How clever to have upside down stamps as a signal for love, I wonder what else they had in the old times as a message within a message
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