The breadth of U.S. postage stamps issued during the 20th century is staggering, from denominational postage bearing formal presidential portraits to stamps that celebrate everything from national parks to space exploration. In general, unused stamps are more expensive to collect than used stamps, which makes condition an important determinant of a stamp’s price.

One of the most collected series was issued early in the century, on May 1, 1901, to promote the Pan American Exposition and World's Fair in Buffalo, New York. Issued in denominations of 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, and 10 cents, the stamps show off America’s transportation know-how, from steamships to trains to automobiles. Another early series, this one produced to promote the St. Louis World’s Fair, celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. Images in this series include the 10-cent stamp, which features the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase overlaid on a map of the United States.

The U.S. Air Mail stamps of 1918 are noteworthy because one sheet of the first release, with a denomination of 24-cents and the image of a Curtiss Jenny biplane on its front, was printed with the biplane upside down. Subsequent airmail stamps from 1918 saw denomination decreases to 16 cents and then just 6 cents. In 1930, images of Graf Zeppelins were printed on 65-cent, $1.30, and $2.60 stamps (a “Baby” Zeppelin stamp was also issued in 1933).

Ten National Parks stamps, in denominations from a penny to a dime, were issued in 1934, and numerous commemoratives were issued in 1937 (Union generals Sherman, Grant, and Sheridan got a 3-cent stamp, while Confederate generals Lee and Jackson were remembered on a 4-cent stamp). In 1940, Famous Americans were given stamps, organized by authors such as Irving and Twain, poets like Longfellow and Whitman, and inventors such as Morse and Bell (in all, 35 Americans were thus honored).

During World War II, the 13 Overrun Nations stamps issued in 1943 and ’44 are noteworthy because they marked the first time the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) contracted work to an outside printer (American Bank Note). In addition, instead of plate-block numbers, the sheets were printed with the name of each occupied nation. Later that decade, in 1947, the Postal System marked its own centennial with a souvenir sheet showing the first two U.S. stamps, a 5-cent Franklin and a 10-cent Washington. And a slew of commemoratives followed in 1948, honoring constituents as diverse as Swedish pioneers and the American poultry industry.

Stamps got more colorful in 1956 thanks to the purchase of a Giori Press, which allowed the BEP to print three colors from the same plate. Examples of Giori stamps include the Whooping Crane stamp of 1957, the International Geophysical Year stamp of 1958, the Soil Conservation stamp of 1959, and the American Credo issues of 1960 and ’61. And in 1960, the Postal Service issued the first of many space-exploration themed stamps, beginning with the 4-cent Echo 1 stamp and culminating for many collectors with the 10-cent, horizontal Giori marking Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.


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688 Postage Stamps, Most 20's & 30's, Texas Centennial, National Parks, Lincoln1914-15 United States Panama-pacific. 10c Scott 404. Hinged. Cat $725[/73] Usa 1903 Scott#313 Mint Cv:$2,500 W/expertise Aps[a358] Usa Good Lot Old Stamps Used Mixed Quality1902-03 United States Regular. $1 Scott 311. Never Hinged. Cat $1900Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#519 2c Washington Mint Lh Og Nystamps E Investment Mint Old Us Stamp & Plate Block CollectionNystamps G Large Much Mint Us Stamp Collection Scott AlbumNystamps Us Stamp # 547 Mint Og $130 Franklin[/69] Usa 1903 Scott#311 Mint Original Gum Cv:$700 Extremely Fresh1914-15 United States Panama-pacific. 10c Scott 404. Never Hinged. Cat $17001916-17 United States Franklin. $1 Scott 478. Never Hinged. Cat $1450Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#518 $1 Franklin 1917 Mint Nh Og1902-03 United States Regular. 50c Scott 310. Never Hinged. Cat $1200Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#534a 2c Washington 1919 Mint Nh OgU.s. #634a Choice Mint Nh W/cert - 2c Carmine, Type Ii ($650)Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#456 3c Washington 1916 Mint Nh OgCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#422 50c Franklin 1914 Mint Lh OgUs #524 Mint/f-vf/nh With Trivial Gum Break Upper Left; Scv $360.00Us Stamp:#589 8c Olive Green 1923-26 10p. Mnh/og Stamp [/65] Usa 1903 Scott#312 Mvlh Cv:$1,000 Extremely Fresh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Nystamps Us Stamp # 369 Mint Og $180 Blue Paper Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#420 30c Franklin 1914 Mint H OgCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#419 20c Franklin Mint H OgNystamps Us Stamp # 519 Mint Og $400 WashingtonCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#533 534 2c Mint Nh H Og[/37] Usa 1917 Scott#518 Mint Never Hinged Cv:$100 Very Nice Centering1902-03 United States Regular. 50c Scott 310. Lightly Hinged. Cat $2400U.s. #630 Choice Mint Nh - 2c White Plains Sheet ($600)Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#382 15c Washington 1911 Mint H Og Cv$240Nystamps S Mint Old Us Stamp Collection Scott AlbumNystamps Us Stamp # 545 Mint Og $180 WashingtonCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#479 $2 Madison 1917 Mint H Og Cv$210Nystamps Us Stamp # 354 Mint Og $220 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 834 Mint Og Nh $85U.s. #570 Choice Mint Xf Nh W/cert - 1922 50c Amptitheater1902-03 United States Regular. 5c Scott 304. Never Hinged. Cat $150Dr Jim Stamps Old Us Scott 834 $5 Calvin Coolidge Unused Og Nh NrScott 446 - Mint Og H - 4c Washington Flat Plate Issue Coil Perf 10 Sl WatermarkCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#341 50c Washington 1909 Mint H OgNystamps Us Stamp # 595 Mint Og Nh $550 WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 386 Mint Og Nh $650 Pr WashingtonUsa Washington Franklin Regular Issues Sc 331-340 Perf 12 Dlwm Mint Og Cv $550.Nystamps Us Stamp # 533 Mint Og $90 Washington1917 United States Marshall. $5 Scott 480. Never Hinged. Cat $375Nystamps Us Stamp # 387 Mint Og Nh $425 FranklinCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#528b 2c Plate# Block.6 Mint Nh OgCkstamps : Us Stamp Collection Scott#547 $2 Carmine & Black 1920 Mint H OgUsa Washington Franklin Imperfs Coils Sc 343//396 Perf 8.5 Mint Og Cv $250.00 Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#408var 1c Block.4 Mint Nh Og With Pf CertNystamps Us Stamp # 444 Mint Og Nh $275 Pr WashingtonNystamps U Large Mint Us Stamp & Booklet Pane Collection White Ace AlbumNystamps Us Stamp # 443 Mint Og Nh $160 Pr WashingtonNystamps Us Stamp # 423 Used $75 FranklinCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#335 5c Washington 1908 Mint Nh Og Pse CertAlle My Commems From The Beginning Mh + Mnh - Lqqk-Ckstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#444 2c Washington Pair Mint Nh OgCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#353 2c Washington 1909 Mint H Og Cv$90Us Washington Franklins 1917-19 Thru $2, $5 #523, #479 Nh Cat $7,80020th Century Regular Issue Stamp Scott #505 F-vf/lh