1993 Eagle and Shield
- Same design produced by three printing companies
- Cost of booklet pane included surcharge
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Value: 29¢, First Class mail rate
First Day of Issue: September 25, 1992
First Day City: Dayton, Ohio
Quantity Issued: 342,060,000
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method/Format: Offset and Intaglio (Panes of 17 + 1 message unit)
Perforations: Die Cut
Reason the stamp was issued: The Eagle and Shield stamps were issued asself-adhesive. The larger production of these stamps was the next step in the US Postal Service’s series of experiments in introducing pressure-sensitive stamps.
About the stamp design: Airbrush artist Jay Haiden produced the central image for this stamp. He was also the talent behind the 1989 eagle stamp (#2431). The eagle on the 1992 stamp is shown from the side rather than the front and with larger wings.
The American eagle holding a shield and olive branch is similar to the image on the Great Seal of the US. It first appeared on a postage stamp in the 1869 series (#121).
Special design details: This stamp, printed by Banknote Corporation of America has the denomination and “USA” in brown. The other printers used different colors for this portion of the stamp.
The phrase “ Self-adhesive * DO NOT WET” was repeated on the backing paper because self-adhesive stamps were a fairly new idea for most customers.
About the printing process: The stamps and backing paper were printed in three separate passes through the printing presses. The message on the backing paper was printed first, using offset lithography. Most of the stamp design was printed on the second run through using the same method. The denomination and portions of the eagle’s feathers were engraved. Each booklet pane contained 17 stamps and a message unit that encouraged proper addressing of envelopes.
To ensure that the USPS had the quantity of these stamps to meet demand, three manufacturers were chosen: Dittler Brothers, Stamp Venturers, and Bank Note Corporation.
First Day City: The Eagle and Shield stamps produced by all three printers were placed on sale at Airpex XVII, the annual exhibition of the Dayton Stamp Club.
Unusual thing about this stamp: Customers who purchased the seventeen 29¢ stamps for $5.00 paid a 7-cent surcharge for the convenience of having no-tear, no-lick, self-stick stamps. A survey showed that a significant number of customers were willing to pay the surcharge for the deluxe, self-adhesive issues.