Used 20th Century US Postage Stamps

Most cancelled, or used, 20th-century U.S. stamps are worth less than the paper they're printed on. But used stamps are priceless in the way they tell the story of America, through images of its presidents, technological achievements, prominent citizens, and natural wonders. These cancellations, which are called killers among collectors, often tell stories of their own, too, pinpointing a letter, postcard, or parcel in a particular time and place.

Cancellations range from machine-canceled stamps to Railway Post Office, or RPO, cancels, which are often collected by those interested in railroadiana. A bullseye cancel, also known as a SOTN, which stands for ‘socked on the nose’, means the entire postmark is readable on the stamp, allowing collectors to see the time, date, and location where the stamp was used.

First day issues and covers usually feature fancy cancels, but these stamps are not considered used, per se, since they were never intended to be mailed. Instead, the cancellation simply serves to verify that the cover was purchased on the stamp’s first day of issue.

Some people collect used stamps by the state they were cancelled in, others prefer used stamps that were very lightly cancelled, which allows one to collect stamps such as those in the Washington and Franklin series of 1908 to 1922 for a good deal less than they would have to pay for uncancelled examples.

Used air mail stamps are also popular, as are cancelled duck stamps, commemoratives, and other types of postage.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

1847USA

1847USA

Bob Allen's beautiful and well organized catalog of US stamps from 1847 to 1970 is a fantastic resource for all US … [read review or visit site]

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

The Stamp Collecting Round-up

Don Schilling's long-running, in-depth blog on stamp collecting and postal operations. Schilling stays up on all th… [read review or visit site]

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

If you're into postal history or collectibles, check out the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum. This extensive s… [read review or visit site]

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

R. A. Siegel Auction Galleries

This auction house site offers an extensive online database of US stamp information. Includes PDF catalogs of past … [read review or visit site]

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise

Post Office in Paradise showcases Hawaiian postal history from the years before Hawaii became a part of the United … [read review or visit site]

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Private Die Proprietary Stamps

Bob Hohertz's impressive database of U.S. Private Die Proprietary stamps from the Civil War and Spanish American Wa… [read review or visit site]

Alphabetilately

Alphabetilately

First shown in 2008 to celebrate the Smithsonian National Postal Museum's 15th anniversary, Alphabetilately is esse… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

0830- Us #519 1917 2c Washington Perf.11 Dlw Used StampCkstamps Ebay : Large Mint & Used Mixed Us Stamps Collection In Album & BinderU.s.#4873 $19.99 U.s.s. Arizona Memorial Used F-vf Ng 2014 High Value Express30g Us High Values, Express Mail Kiloware - On PaperCkstamps Ny Ebay : Massive Used Us Blocks Of 4 Stamps Collection In 3 BindersUs Stamp:#479 $2 Blue 1916-17 Perf. 10 1916-17 Used Stamp XfsNystamps G Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp Collection Scott Album PageNystamps Us Stamp # 479 Used $40Nystamps E Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp & Block CollectionCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#369 Bluish UsedU.s. #523 Used - $2.00 Orange & Black ($250)Dr Jim Stamps Large Lot Of Us Precancel Collection In White Ace Album No ReserveCkstamps Ebay : Extensive Used Some Duplicated Us Stamps Collection In 3 Books#658 To #679 Used Kansas / Nebraska Overprint SetNystamps S Large Old Us Stamp Collection Scott AlbumNystamps S Old Us Washington Franklin Stamp Collection Scott Album PageNystamps Us Stamp # 524 Used $35 FranklinComplete Set Of 25 Used Blocks 11 Perf 1922 Regular Issues #551-573 Precancel: San Antonio, Tx 577 75c Parcel Post With Plate NumberUs Sel # 331----- # 342 Used Franklin/ Washington Series Cv $ 1502008 U.s. Scott #4269 - $16.50 Hoover Dam "express Mail High Value" - Used NgU.s. #446 Scarce Used Line Pair - 4c Brown, P10 Coil ($1,250)Nystamps S Large Old Us Pre Cancel Stamp Collection Album PageDr Jim Stamps Old Us Scott 480 $5 Marshall Used No Reserve Free ShippingAn Old Off Paper Precancel AccumulationNystamps Us Stamp # 311 Used $80Nystamps S Large Old Us & Bob Stamp Pre Cancel Stamp & Block CollectionU.s. #358 Choice Used - 2c Carmine On Bluish Paper ($150)U.s. #418 Choice Mint Vf Nh - 15c Gray, Perf 12 ($190)Us Used 1901 Pan Americans - #294- #299 1c-10c (very Nice Clean Set Of 6)Massive Washington Accumulation Loaded With PrecancelsNystamps W Old Us & Bob Air Mail Stamp Collection Album Page With Mint NhUsa # 294 299 Pan Am. 1901 Used Cat 140 UsCollector's Stock Of Older Us On Stock Pages-scott 285-472!U.s. #391 Scarce Mint Nh Line Pair - 2c Carmine, P8 .5 Coil ($575)4720 Waves Of Color $10.00 Newest Issue Used Off Paper1901 Pan American Exposition Souvenir Ticket Mint Nogum/mng White-grayBig Collection Of 816 Different New Jersey Precancel Types !!!Nice Mounted Collection Of 195 Different Oklahoma Precancel Types !!!U.s. #311-12 Used - 1902 $1 - $2 Portraits ($320)Nystamps Us Stamp # 547 Used $40 Franklin Us #573 Used Pair With Plate Number - Very Attractive!! Scv $30.000830- Us #470,#471,#472,#473,#477 1916-17 Perf.10 Used Set Of 5 StampsNystamps Us Stamp # 404 Used $70Classic Precancel: Lansing, Mi L-1 2c 1903 ($15 Catalog)75 Us Stamps All With Precancels, Older Small Towns, Odd Cancels, Inverts, Ks OkMassachusetts Classic Precancel: Northampton L-4 On 8c 1894/95 (cv $20)194 Different Older Local Precancels Multiple StatesUs #524 & 547 Used / F-vf / No Faults; Scv $75.00U.s. #420 Mint Beauty - 30c Orange Red ($115)Usa Stamp #480 5$ Light Green Series Of 1917 Used Precancels From ArizonaPrecancels - Double Line Electros - 27 Diff. Dixon, Il Various IssuesUs Stamp:#834 $5 1938 Presidenti​al Stamp Used Stamp Blk Of 4Us Scott 397-404 Used Complete Cv $160+United States, 4748a-l, Used, Topical, 2013, 'forever' Modern Art In AmericaThe Rare Batavia Il Buro Precancel Stamp 633-42 Cv $300Nice Mounted Collection Of 422 Different Tennessee Precancel Types !!! Precancel: Clawson, Mi L-2 ($100 Catalog In Pair)Nice Mounted Collection Of 370 Different Georgia Precancel Types !!!