The Trans-Mississippi Series of 1898
A.K.A. the "Omaha" Issues
As with the Columbian Exposition Commemoratives of 1893 and the commemorative stamps that followed in the next few decades, the Trans-Mississippi commemoratives were issued to promote an exhibition, the "Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition" held in Omaha, Nebraska from July 1, through November 1, 1898. To promote the exhibition, 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 "Omahas".
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 vaules that the stamps currently command.
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 issue of these stamps began June 10 at Omaha, Nebraska and ceased on December 31, 1898.
The engraved surface of these stamps measure 7/8 by 11/32 inches, with the longest side horizontal. The denominations are in Arabie numerals, repeated upon shields in the upper corners. The one-cent figure is exceptional in having a double border line, and the 10- and 50-cent are shown in more condensed numerals than those on the other stamps, and are of the Gothic type. Both numerals and letters are in white, and the dollar mark is included on those stamps with the numerals upon the elliptical tablet of the shield.
The illustrations are 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.
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- Related Stamps of interest -
In 1998, the Bureau reissued these stamps in their original bi-colored designs.
- Other Stamps of 1898 -
Regular Issue 1898-1903:
Special Delivery: None were issued in 1898
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