US postal - Philatelic Research

    book project: The US 1851-57 3¢ Washington Issue

          (book by J. P. Cohen)

  3¢ 1851 stamp project 



Project description:


So why should I write about a stamp that is arguably the most ever written about? Well, you should take another look at the question to find a logical answer. Someone needs to compile an update and augment the vast amount of material published to date. We need to leverage digital advancements and the new research available. Most information written on the subject is a bit dated, published from 1909-1970. Today we have vastly improved resources that allow for a more graphical approach to the subject. So, I decided to provide a reprise, or revised report with a graphical approach to what is known. Let us bring Dr. Chase and company into this century with some personal flair and touches. Please note that many scholars and authors within the philatelic community are credited for the research and theories found within this presentation. I am merely a scholar, author and researcher that is building upon their years of hard work and dedication. Reporting the advancements and progresses made, I will disseminate on the philatelic postal history since it was last compiled or reported. It should be fully understood that this report is not a complete treatise on the subject. Similar to other work, our studies will require updating as new discoveries and corrections are introduced. I have made an effort to credit key research advancements of individuals and organizations where known by myself or when provided by others (see chapters 29-30 for a partial listing of reference materials, they are credited for the research and dedication on this subject. Most have been instrumental in providing data used for this project. Unfortunately for all students and scholars' of the 1851 stamps the records of the manufacturing firm for these stamps are reported as "destroyed by fire". Government records on this subject is also very limited. This has hindered research investigators for many years. It has been suggested that the 1851 3¢ Washington Issue is the most popular of all US stamps and argued by others as the most collected stamp of all time. It is in the opinion of this author, to be the most interesting stamp ever researched, collected and traded. The best part of collecting stamps is that you can tailor your collecting to any degree of simplicity or complexity that you so desire. Almost any type of ephemera can be tied into a stamp collection as complementary artifacts enhancing presentation and the historical value. I have specimens, archives, collections or other supporting materials that have been helpful or inspirational to the research conducted for this project and they can be viewed and downloaded. They’re available at my website, I have also created exhibits and archives intended as a study guide to this book, especially targeted to philatelic scholars. I think that all levels of collectors will find them enjoyable. This study guide on philatelic research and other material can be found at All of my websites will be made available to everyone free of charge, as long as I can afford to host them.


JPCohen -  project background: J P Cohen recently conducted philatelic research on the 3¢ postage stamp of 1851-57, printed by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co and it’s postal historic usage. We continue Dr. Chase's work on the 1851 3¢ Washington issue; offering a fresh look at this important US postal issue. This is perhaps the most collected US stamp ever issued. The study is providing data for J P Cohen to author web pages, research documentation and then formulate the research and docu into a book that that builds upon the work of Dr. Chase and his book the 3c Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue” copyright 1929-1942 as revised. Our study and writing includes the accumulation and research of the imperforate stamps Scott numbers 10, 11, 11A and the perforated varieties 25, 26, 26A and includes related proofs, essays, reprints, Cinderella, other related postal ephemera to the release. Currently we have over 3000 reference items (singles, covers, proofs and other related artifacts) in our research/collection library, with a  goal  to make a lot of them available here at this site.


We help with understanding the difference in a number 10 vs number 11, today this stamp is miss identified on eBay sales more often than any other issue. On eBay an average of 6 out of 10 listings for a number 10 are actually number 11s. My book will include certified examples, color guides and information to ensure that you have the latest technical details to ID the differences the number 10 is rare for a reason.


I have done work on two plate reconstructions plate 2 (became 88% complete) and plate 3 (84% complete). If you have any singles from these plates contact me, I would like to consider an acquisition of your gift in kind to study the artifacts (stamps). Study topics in the book include color varieties, plating characteristics, and a hobbyists’ fascination that has lead to this stamp being the most collected stamp since its release. The study includes the "human" touches that went into engraving the master dies, touching up the plate imperfections and even mixing the inks and the papers it is printed on; all these traits are clearly evident in the stamps today, 140 plus years after they were printed.


With everything we have learned over the years, we still are only in the early stages of discovering everything this stamp can shed on postal history and stamp making. There's a wide array of interests and unique findings that this stamp introduces to the philatelic world, it carried the mail during Americas most turbulent times. Discoveries are happening daily in the exciting world of stamps, come join in on the hunt and discover why this the best hobby for any interest; weather your a researcher, painter, pilot, solder or an engineer it can offer an exciting time to use your skills.


Book table of contents:



The U.S. 3¢ postage Stamp of 1851-61

#P40 proof on card stock

The 3¢ Washington postage stamp of 1852-61, printed by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co. is the most commonly found stamp from the series. This archive uses my personal collection as reference material; however when examples are not readily available other collection material is referenced. All credit to those collections, images, text copy remain that of their respective owners and we stake no claim to their work, copy right or ownership in any way. They are only included for study and educational references.


List of Contents

Preface  i
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 - Varieties of 1851-57 issue 10
Chapter 2 - Philately, the art of stamp collecting 13
Chapter 3 - History, Background of postage stamps 14
Chapter 4 - The 1851 issues 15
Chapter 5 - The 1851 3¢ Washington issue 17
Chapter 6 - Contracting and Printing 20
Chapter 7 - Design, Layout & Presentation 21
Chapter 8 - Inspiration for the Design 23
Chapter 9 - Printer Imprints 26
Chapter 10 - Intaglio Printing Process 29
Chapter 11 - Color & Shade Variances  32
Chapter 12 - Color Varieties 36
Chapter 13 - Color Charts & Checklists 39
Chapter 14 - Varieties of Paper 51
Chapter 15 - India & Silk Paper Types 58
Chapter 16 - Perforations 59
Chapter 18 - Experimental Perforations 64
Chapter 19 - Types, Reliefs & Cuts 76
Chapter 20 - Plating Philately 79
Chapter 21 - Perforated Varieties 92
Chapter 22 - Essays and Proofs 94
Chapter 23 - Identifying Scott #10, Orange Brown vs. #11 108
Chapter 24 - Cancelations and Postal Marks of 1851-1860  118
Chapter 25 - Demonetization 132
Chapter 26 - Expanding into other areas 143
Chapter 27 - Dr. Carroll Chase (father of platting, author) 150
Chapter 28 - Tools & Templates 152
Chapter 29 - Exhibits 158
Chapter 30 - Reference Material 168
Chapter 31 - Websites for US Philatelic Research 171
Chapter 32 - About the Author back cover





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Limited Edition w/ CD


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 PCohen - 3¢ 1851 stamp project: We continue Dr. Chase's work on the 1851 3¢ Washington stamp; offering a fresh look at this important US postal issue. This is perhaps the most collected US stamp ever issued. Currently I have studied thousands reference items from private and public collections, with a goal is to make some reviewable here at this site.
All copyrights are that of their owners and I stake no claims to them.
Contact me at
last updated:07/31/14. APS #210296, USPCS #4353, GRSC #618Richmond Virtual Village ( logo