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1898 - Stamps by Year

The Trans-Mississippi Series of 1898

Two Dollar - Mississippi River Bridge
Issued June 17, 1898
#293 is the two-dollar and highest denomination issue of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition series of 1898.

293 trans-mississippi Series of 1898

- Stamp Design Subject -

The design of this issue is based on a photograph . The specifics of this issue went through several changes before production started. As announced on January 13, 1898 the $2.00 issue was slated as a bi-color issue displaying the "Union Pacific Bridge" showing part of Omaha. Per an announcement made on January 15, 1898 this issue's design was changed to show "Harvesting Scene on Western Wheatfield". It was not until May 7th, that the final decision on color and design was made. As announced on May 16th the design was set as "Mississippi River Bridge" [at St. Louis] to be in the single color of sapphire blue. However, before production began the color was changed once again to orange-brown.

- Technical Data -
Scott #:
Mississippi River Bridge at St. Louis
Trans-Mississippi Exposition series of 1898.
Issue Date:
June 17, 1898
Omaha, Nebraska
Size (design):
7/8 by 11/32 inches
Orange-Brown, Dark Orange-Brown, Red-Brown
Printing Method:
Plates of 100 (10x10) subjects, divided vertically into 2 panes of 50.
Bureau or Printing and Engraving
Double Line USPS (#191)
Known Plate #s:
No. Issued:
Earliest Documented Use:
June 24, 1898 (FDC).
Major variants:

The Trans-Mississippi commemoratives were issued to promote the "Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition" held in Omaha, Nebraska from July 1, through November 1, 1898. This set of nine commemorative stamps were issued a couple of weeks before the event began. Due to the exposition's location, these are sometimes referred to as the "Omaha Issue" or simply the "Omaha's".

Coming on the heels of the Columbian Commemoratives with the large number of high value stamps, in what was considered a very brief interval between issues, there was some reluctance among collectors regarding the purchase of the high-value stamps for their collections. This fact is well documented in the high values that the stamps currently command.

The issue of these stamps began June 10 at Omaha, Nebraska and ceased on December 31, 1898.

293 trans-mississippi Series of 1898

The original design called for the stamps to have been printed in two colors, but because of the need to print revenue stamps to finance the Spanish-American War, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing decided to print in single colors.

The engraved surface of these stamps measure 7/8 by 11/32 inches, with the longest side horizontal. The denominations are in Arabic numerals, repeated upon shields in the upper corners. Both numerals and letters are in white, and the dollar mark is included with the numerals upon the elliptical tablet of the shield.

The illustration is within an enclosure resembling that of a letter "C" slightly condensed and recumbent, with the opening up and the opening capped by a curved panel which carry the words "United States of America." On the lower border of this enclosure are the words, in very small letters, describing the picture above, and at the bottom of the stamp, in a straight line, are the denominations which are spelled out. All the lettering is in capitals. All lettering is in Roman letters except for the descriptions of the illustrations, which are in Gothic . Maize and wheat designs fill the lower corners and upper interstices.

- Identification guides for this issue -


- Related Stamps of interest -

# 3209 In 1998, the Bureau reissued these stamps in their original bi-colored designs.

- Other Stamps in this Series -

# 285-293 Trans-Mississippi Exposition Series of 1898

# 285
"Marquette", is based on a painting by Lamprecht.
# 286
"Farming in the West", is based on a photograph.
# 287
"Indian hunting buffalo", is based on an engraving in Schoolcraft's history of the Indian tribes.
# 288
"Fremont on the Rocky Mountains", is based on an old engraving.
# 289
"Troops guarding train", is based on a drawing, by Frederic Remington.
# 290
"Hardships of emigration", is based on a painting, by A. G. Heaton.
# 291
"Mining prospector", a drawing, by Frederic Remington.
# 292
"Cattle in a storm", is based on a painting, by J. MacWhirter.

- Other Stamps of 1898 -

Regular Issue:

For the two cent stamp, see Scott 279B, (1897)
Rose Brown
Lilac Brown
Orange Brown
Dark Blue
Lake, Claret
Purple Lake

Special Delivery:
None were issued in 1898

Postage Dues:
None were issued in 1898

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