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    

0905- Us #312 1902-03 $2 Madison Used StampCkstamps: Us Stamp Collection Scott#311 Used Cv$95Ckstamps Ebay : Large Mint & Used Some Duplicated Us Stamps Collection In BinderNystamps S Large Old Us Pre Cancel Stamp Collection Album PageNystamps S Large Old Us & Bob Stamp Collection Scott Album Page With Mint0906- Us #523 1918 $2 Franklin Used StampU.s. 4720 $10 Waves Of Color Used F-vf Ng (off Paper) 2012 High Value Definiti2008 U.s. Scott #4269 - $16.50 Hoover Dam "express Mail High Value" - Used NgNystamps W Large Old Us Pre Cancel Stamp Collection AlbumUs # 523 Used, Firm Perfs, Cv= $ 250Nystamps W Old Us & Bob Air Mail Stamp Collection Album Page With Mint NhNystamps Us Stamp # 533 Used $100 Washington 0906- Us #445 3c Washington Perf.10 Coil Slw Used StampNystamps Us Stamp # 342 Used $100 WashingtonU.s. Scott # 4019 $14.40 X-plane Used F Ng 2006 High Value Express Hologram U.s. Used $.49 Songbirds Stamps, 110 Total, On Paper4739 Grand Central Terminal $19.95 Express Mail Used Newest Issue Off Paper0906- Us #351 1908-10 5c Washington Perf.12 Dlw Used Stamp0906- Us #369 1909 2c Lincoln "bluish" Paper Used StampSchermack And Other Private PerfsPrecancels: Florence Station, Northampton, Ma Four Perf 12 And Four Perf 11C7729: Us #456 Used; Fine-vey Fine; Sound; Cv:$170.00An Old Off Paper Precancel AccumulationU.s. Used Uncancelled Stamps, 74 Total, On PaperWashington Precancels: Fipex Souvenir Sheet (# 1075)Massachusetts Classic Precancel: Northampton L-4 On 8c 1894/95 (cv $20)Precancel: Concord, Nh 404 5c Perf. 10 Washington-franklin ($15 Type)Usa Used Stamps 5 Different Appear Uncancelled Priority Mail Stamps 0814 2060906- Us #534b 2c Washington Offset Imperf. Type Vll Used StampU.s. Used $.49 Songbirds Stamps, 100 Total, On PaperScott #460 Scarce Used Franklin Cv $150.00Precancel - Chicago, Il Pss# 1054a-81 Better Bureau Issue - Pss Cat. $500.00U.s. #478//573 Used - $1 - $5 Issues ($134)Nice Collection Of 201 Different Montana Precancel Types !!!1908 - 1c & 2c Washington/franklin, Scott #331 & #332 Group Of 40 Plate SinglesUs Used 1902-03 Perf 12 Series - #311 $1 Black Farragut - CenteredHawaii Precancels: 29c Love / Dove Booklet Pane (# 2814a)I 9084 Us Sc 458 Used Cv 30-0906- Us #480 1916-17 $5 Marshall Perf.10 Used StampBig Collection Of 448 Different Minnesota Precancel Types !!!Nice Collection Of 240 Different Kentucky Precancel Types !!!Nice Collection Of 270 Different Colorado Precancel Types !!!Antique Wormleysburg Pa. Old Envelope W/ Early Stamps Postage Due 1 & 2 CentsPrecancel: 7c "nebr." Overprint Ogallala, Ne 466 ($10 Type)U. S. Certificate Of Mailing Forms (13) Franked And Used In The 1960s With......Precancel:/perfin: Cleveland, Oh O84 Ohio Varnish (catalog $15) Lovely StampVoyages Of Columbus Scott 2624-2629 Set Of 6 Souvenir Sheets Used 2542 - Used, Sound, And Very FineU S High Value Souvenir Sheets Moon Landing And Mars Rover - Used On PaperScott #311 Used Dollar Farragut Cv $90.00Washington Precancels: World Stamp Expo '89 Souvenir Sheet (# 2433)Hawaii Precancels: Bicents - Set Of Honolulu 204Precancel: Chicago, Il L-2 1902/3 Small Stock Of Doubles Thirty-four StampsUs Used 1901 - (6) Pan Americans - #294- #299 1c-10c (very Fine) All CenteredU.s.a. # 311 '' Pre Can Philadelphia '' (2 Scans)#491 2 Cent Washington Fancy Cancel Used APrecancel - Batavia, Il Pss# 582-42 Better Bureau Issue - Pss Cat. $25.00Precancel: Marysville, Ks L-1 1/2c 1922 ($25 Type)Us #524 UsedU.s. #373 Scarce Use Centerline Block - 1909 2c Hudson-fulton Imperf