|The Double-line USIR Watermarks
on United States Postage Stamps
|The double-line USIR watermark
The first watermark that appeared on U.S.
stamps was the "double-line" USIR, for "United
States Internal Revenue". This watermark
was placed on paper stock used to make revenue and documentary
stamps. It is included here because at least three issues of
United States postage stamps were inadvertently printed on the
USIR watermarked stock: The 6¢ and 8¢ stamps of the First
Bureau Issues of 1895, Scott 271a and 272a respectively, and
the $1 Prexie stamp of 1938, Scott 832b.
According to a Report of the Commissioner of Internal
Revenue the watermarks were to be placed in such a
manner that each stamp would have at least part of one or
more letters visible and that each square inch of the paper
the stamps were to be printed on would contain one letter.
Thus the horizontal spacing from the middle of one letter to
the next is approximately one inch, and the vertical spacing
from the bottom of one letter to the bottom of the next is also
approximately one inch.
It is thought by most authorities that the "U" and
"S" watermarks of the normally watermarked
"USPS" postage stamps are indistinguishable from
their "USIR" counterparts, and that either a clear
"I" or clear "R" is needed to fully
authenticate the "USIR" variety.
Printable Templates: USIR
· USIR Reversed
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