#E1-2 – 1885-88 Special Delivery, Set of 2

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- Unused Stamp(s) (small flaws)
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Own the United States' First Two Special Delivery Stamps

On October 1, 1885, the Special Delivery service made its debut, and the US Post Office Department issued a 10¢ stamp to inaugurate its new service.  Used in addition to the regular postage required, this stamp paid for an extra service – the immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any other Special Delivery post office. Originally, Special Delivery offices were located only in cities with populations which exceeded 4,000.  However, the venture was such a success, the service was extended to all areas in October 1886.  Because the first Special Delivery issue bore the inscription "Secures immediate delivery at a Special Delivery office," the stamp needed to be revised when this new act was put into effect.  On September 6, 1888, a revised stamp, bearing the inscription "Secures immediate delivery at any post office," was issued. The trademark of these Special Delivery stamps was the running post office messenger, who was often referred to as the "Running Speedy Boy."  Interestingly, he is one of the few postal figures who was modeled after a living person.  In order to get the proper running action, the engraver Charles Skinner used his young nephew, Frederick Pauling, as a model.  During one session, Mr. Skinner was so engrossed in his work, he didn't realize the length of time the boy was forced to stand on one foot.  Eventually, young Frederick became completely exhausted and collapsed to the floor.  In 1902, the design was changed to picture a young messenger riding a delivery bicycle.  Since then, various other designs have been used.
U.S. #E1
1885 10¢ Messenger Running
Special Delivery

Issue Date: October 1, 1885
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations:
12
Color: Blue
 
Issued on October 1, 1885, U.S. #E1 was the first stamp in a service that would forever change the U.S. mail – Special Delivery.  U.S. #E1 has been called “one of the unpolished gems of the late 19th and 20th century postal service.”

U.S. #E1 bears the inscription “secures immediate delivery,” and that’s exactly what it did.  As soon as a letter bearing a “speedy” was received at a post office, it was given immediate attention.  In fact, these letters were normally delivered within 20 minutes of their arrival!

In this age of cell phones and e-mail, it’s hard to imagine just how important Special Delivery really was.  #E1 inaugurated the service and permanently changed the way America received its urgent mail. 

Voted one of the 100 Greatest American Stamps by collectors, E1 is a distinctive addition to your collection.
 
U.S. #E2
1888 10¢ Messenger Running
Special Delivery

Issue Date: September 6, 1888
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations:
12
Color: Blue
 
Special Delivery stamps were pre-payments added to the regular “lawful postage” for an extra service – immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any special delivery post office.  These special post offices were those with free routine delivery service or in larger communities with 4,000 or more people. 

First available in 1885, the Special Delivery service was extremely popular.  At first, the service was available from 7 a.m. to midnight.  The following year, the hours changed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The service was so successful that in 1886, every U.S. post office began to offer Special Delivery.
 
 
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Own the United States' First Two Special Delivery Stamps

On October 1, 1885, the Special Delivery service made its debut, and the US Post Office Department issued a 10¢ stamp to inaugurate its new service.  Used in addition to the regular postage required, this stamp paid for an extra service – the immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any other Special Delivery post office.

Originally, Special Delivery offices were located only in cities with populations which exceeded 4,000.  However, the venture was such a success, the service was extended to all areas in October 1886.  Because the first Special Delivery issue bore the inscription "Secures immediate delivery at a Special Delivery office," the stamp needed to be revised when this new act was put into effect.  On September 6, 1888, a revised stamp, bearing the inscription "Secures immediate delivery at any post office," was issued.

The trademark of these Special Delivery stamps was the running post office messenger, who was often referred to as the "Running Speedy Boy."  Interestingly, he is one of the few postal figures who was modeled after a living person.  In order to get the proper running action, the engraver Charles Skinner used his young nephew, Frederick Pauling, as a model.  During one session, Mr. Skinner was so engrossed in his work, he didn't realize the length of time the boy was forced to stand on one foot.  Eventually, young Frederick became completely exhausted and collapsed to the floor. 

In 1902, the design was changed to picture a young messenger riding a delivery bicycle.  Since then, various other designs have been used.

U.S. #E1
1885 10¢ Messenger Running
Special Delivery

Issue Date: October 1, 1885
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations:
12
Color: Blue
 
Issued on October 1, 1885, U.S. #E1 was the first stamp in a service that would forever change the U.S. mail – Special Delivery.  U.S. #E1 has been called “one of the unpolished gems of the late 19th and 20th century postal service.”

U.S. #E1 bears the inscription “secures immediate delivery,” and that’s exactly what it did.  As soon as a letter bearing a “speedy” was received at a post office, it was given immediate attention.  In fact, these letters were normally delivered within 20 minutes of their arrival!

In this age of cell phones and e-mail, it’s hard to imagine just how important Special Delivery really was.  #E1 inaugurated the service and permanently changed the way America received its urgent mail. 

Voted one of the 100 Greatest American Stamps by collectors, E1 is a distinctive addition to your collection.
 
U.S. #E2
1888 10¢ Messenger Running
Special Delivery

Issue Date: September 6, 1888
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Perforations:
12
Color: Blue
 
Special Delivery stamps were pre-payments added to the regular “lawful postage” for an extra service – immediate delivery of a letter within one mile of any special delivery post office.  These special post offices were those with free routine delivery service or in larger communities with 4,000 or more people. 

First available in 1885, the Special Delivery service was extremely popular.  At first, the service was available from 7 a.m. to midnight.  The following year, the hours changed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The service was so successful that in 1886, every U.S. post office began to offer Special Delivery.