Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1922

President: Warren G. Harding.
Postmasters General: Jan. 1 – Mar. 4: Will H. Hays · Mar. 4 – Dec. 31: Hubert Work.
Domestic Letter Rate: 2¢ per oz. · Postcard Rate: 1¢ · Air Mail Rate: 6¢ per oz.

The Regular Stamps First Issued in 1922 – The Fourth Bureaus – Series of 1922

Flat Plate – Perf 11 – 400 Subject Plates – see also: 1922 Series Identifier

11¢ Hayes First Day: October 4, 1922 5¢ Roosevelt First Day: October 27, 1922 15¢ Liberty First Day: Nov. 11, 1922
25¢ Niagara Falls First Day: Nov. 11, 1922 50¢ Amphitheater First Day: Nov. 11, 1922 6¢ Garfield First Day: Nov. 20, 1922

The 11¢ Hayes

The 11¢ Hayes stamp more than likely found its roots in the politics of the time. The current president, Warren Harding, being from Ohio, was easily persuaded to issue a stamp honoring a fellow Ohioan, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hayes. This would be the first in the new series of regular issues, what are now known as the “Fourth Bureau Issues”, or simply, the “Series of 1922”.

The eleven cent stamp did not fill any particular need at the time, there already was a plentiful stock of the 11¢ Franklin (Scott 511), primarily used to pay postage and insurance on parcels. In fact, the 11¢ Franklins were still being printed well into 1924.

Other than being the first of the ordinary stamps of the Series of 1922, this stamp is well known and collected for the variety of shades it exists in. No single shade is of particular value, but the degree of color variation is perhaps greater than any other 20th century U.S. stamp with the same catalogue listing.

The 11¢ Hayes stamp was issued on October 4, 1922 in Washington, D.C. and President Hayes’ hometown of Freemont, Ohio, amidst mild fanfare. Note that many of the ordinary stamps of the Series of 1922 were not issued until 1923, the six that were issued in 1922 are included here.

The 5¢ Roosevelt

The 5¢ rate paid the postage on letters to many foreign destinations, countries where President Roosevelt was probably the most popular and well known of the U.S. presidents. Coupled with the fact that he was the most recently deceased president and had not yet been honored with a stamp, Theodore Roosevelt was an obvious choice for this stamp.

As with the 11¢ stamp, the five cent Washington, Scott 504, of the Washington Franklin Series was printed during the same period, and production of both stamps continued until 1924, when the Washington stamp was discontinued.

First Day sales were on Roosevelt’s birthday, October 27, in Washington, D.C. and at his hometown of Oyster Bay, New York and his city of birth, New York City.

The 15¢ Statue of Liberty · The 25¢ Niagara Falls · The 50¢ Arlington

These stamps represent America’s emerging role in world politics and were appropriately issued on Armistice Day in Washington, D.C. World War I had ended only three years before these stamps were issued and America was still basking in the glory of the role it played in deciding the war.

Depicting the Statue of Liberty, the 15¢ stamp symbolizes the significance America placed on freedom and hope, with Liberty’s beacon lighting the way for all nations.

The 25¢ stamp exhibiting an attractive view of the Niagara Falls might seem something of a stretch, but it did symbolize our cooperation with other nations, in that both Canada and the U.S. shared an amicable ownership.

Although perhaps not having the fame as an American icon that the Statue of Liberty and Niagara Falls have, the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington, Virginia, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is certainly equal in stature since it represented the sacrifices that the U.S. was willing to make in the name of freedom. The 50¢ stamp depicts the Arlington Amphitheater, with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, artistically reduced in size, positioned in the foreground.

The 6¢ Garfield

President Garfield was not a stranger to U.S. stamps. He had been assassinated in 1881, only four months into his presidency. His first memorial stamp, the brown Scott 205 of 1882, had replaced the blue 5¢ Zachary Taylor Bank Note. Garfield took his place on the 6¢ stamps of the first Bureau Issues of 1894-1907, and was not displaced until the Washington Franklin Series replaced everyone in 1908 with either a portrait of Washington or Franklin.

Garfield on a stamp was an easy choice for the Harding administration, however, since he was a fellow Republican from Harding’s home state of Ohio. Since Garfield’s birthday was November 19, this stamp was an easy choice for a 1922 issue date, although the stamp was not issued until the 20th, since the 19th was a Sunday and post offices were closed. First Day sales were in Washington, D.C. only, since there was no post office in Garfield’s hometown of Orange, Ohio.

You may run across the occasional brown copy of this stamp. This is not a new variety! Your editor has seen copies of this stamp that are so convincingly brown, it seems impossible that the stamp has changed color so evenly. Yet, this is precisely what has happened. The orange pigment has reacted with sulfur, whether from the air – sulfur is the main culprit in acid rain – or from contact with a sulfurous compound. In philately, stamps whose color has changed are known by the quaint name “changeling”. Another orange stamp that is often found with parts of or even all of the stamp brown is the 16¢ air mail stamp, Scott C1. There are many other colors of stamps that undergo this change, whether from natural or artificial cause.

The Special Delivery Issue of 1922

Flat Plate – Perf 11 – 200 Subject Plates.

10¢ Motorcycle Special Delivery
more than 330 million issued – First Day: July 12, 1922.

This stamp epitomizes the changes America was going through in the early 1920’s in the post-World War I era. This was the first new stamp of the Harding administration and reflected a growing optimism, embracing technology as the cornerstone of America’s future. The rate was not new, nor was the color, but the change from bicycle to motorcycle clearly emphasized the role technology was hoped would play.

This stamp, considered by the Post Office Department to be the first of the new Series of 1922 stamps, was issued with great fanfare and heralded the new Bureau Issues of 1922, a series which highlighted a spirit of patriotism and hope as no other regular issue had before. For stamp collectors, the publicity surrounding this stamp, the advance notice and specific date of issue were to set a precedent that lay the seeds for the First Day Covers that dominated American philately for years to come.

The following postage stamp varieties were first issued by the U.S. in 1922:

No new varieties of U.S. commemorative stamps were issued in 1922.
No new varieties of U.S. Air Mail stamps were issued in 1922.
No new varieties of U.S. Postage Due stamps were issued in 1922.

Ordinary issue:

Flat Plate – Perf 11 unless otherwise noted – Designer: Claire Aubrey Huston
Scott 497 – 10¢ Franklin rotary coil perf 10 vertically – FDC: 1/31/22
Scott 544 – 1¢ Washington rotary sheet waste perf 11 – EKU 12/21/22
Scott 557 – 5¢ Teddy Roosevelt – FDC: 11/27/22
Engravers: John Eissler (vignette) – Edward Myers and Edward M. Hall (lettering)
Scott 558 – 6¢ Garfield – FDC: 11/20/22
Engravers: John Eissler (vignette) – Edward M. Hall (lettering)
Scott 563 – 11¢ Hayes – FDC: 10/4/22
Engravers: John Eissler (vignette) – Edward M. Hall and Edward M. Weeks (lettering)
Scott 566 – 15¢ Statue of Liberty – FDC: 11/11/22
Engravers: Louis S. Schofield (vignette) – Edward M. Hall (lettering)
Scott 568 – 25¢ Niagara Falls – FDC: 11/11/22
Engravers: Charles Chalmers (vignette) – Edward E. Myers (lettering)
Scott 570 – 50¢ Arlington Amphitheater – FDC: 11/11/22
Engravers: Louis S. Schofield (vignette) – Edward E. Myers (lettering)
Scott K17 – 1¢ Washington Shanghai Overprint (Cts.) – FDC: 7/3/22
Scott K18 – 2¢ Washington Shanghai Overprint (Cts.) – FDC: 7/3/22.

Special Delivery:

Flat Plate – Perf 11
Scott E12 – 10¢ Motorcycle – Designer: Clair Aubrey Huston.
Engravers: Louis S. Schofield (vignette, frame) – E. M. Hall & E. M. Weeks (lettering).