Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1939

President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt – Postmaster General: James A. Farley.
Domestic Letter Rate: 3¢ per oz. – Postcard Rate: 1¢.
Air Mail Rate: 6¢ per oz. – Air Mail Special Delivery Rate: 16¢ per oz. –
Trans-Atlantic Air Mail : May, 1939: 30¢ per ½ oz.

Commemorative Postage Stamps of 1939

Rotary Press – Perf 10½ x 11 – 200 Subject Plates.

Golden Gate Intl. Expo
San Francisco – Feb. 18, 1939 114,439,600 issued
New York World’s Fair
New York – April 1, 1939 101,699,550 issued
Washington’s Inauguration
New York – April 30, 1939 72,764,550 issued
Printing in Colonial America
New York – Sept. 25, 1939 71,394,750 issued

Rotary Press – Perf 11 x 10½ – 200 Subject Plates

Baseball Centennial
Cooperstown, N.Y. – June 12, 1939 81,269,600 issued
Panama Canal Issue
U.S.S. Charleston, Canal Zone Aug. 15, 1939 – 67,813,350 issued
50th Anniversary of Four States
Bismarck ND & Pierre SD: Nov. 2 · Helena MT: Nov. 8 Olympia WA: Nov. 11 – 66,835,000 issued

The Air Mail Stamp of 1939

Flat Plate – Perforated 11 – 100 Subject Plates.

30¢ Trans-Atlantic Winged Globe 30¢ Trans-Atlantic Winged Globe
FDC: May 16, 1939 – 19,768,150 Issued

Although deemed not necessary by the Postmaster General and the U.P.U, this stamp was issued on May 16, possibly to promote the new Trans-Atlantic service. The first flights were from New York to Paris via Bermuda and Portugal, with a New York to Great Britain service, via Canada and Newfoundland, added later.

The following postage stamp varieties were first issued by the U.S. in 1939:

Prexie Booklets

see also: The Prexies of 1938
Scott 804b – The 1¢ George Washington Booklet pane of 6
Scott 806b – The 2¢ John Adams Booklet pane of 6
Scott 807a – The 3¢ Thomas Jefferson Booklet pane of 6

Horizontal Coils – Perf 10 Vertically – January 20, 1939

Scott 839 – The 1¢ George Washington
Scott 840 – The 1½¢ Martha Washington
Scott 841 – The 2¢ John Adams
Scott 842 – The 3¢ Thomas Jefferson
Scott 843 – The 4¢ James Madison
Scott 844 – The 4½¢ White House
Scott 845 – The 5¢ James Monroe
Scott 846 – The 6¢ John Quincy Adams
Scott 847 – The 10¢ John Tyler

Vertical Coils – Perf 10 Horizontally – January 27, 1939
Scott 848 – The 1¢ George Washington
Scott 849 – The 1½¢ Martha Washington
Scott 850 – The 2¢ John Adams
Scott 851 – The 3¢ Thomas Jefferson

Commemoratives:

Scott 852 – 3¢ Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco
Designer: Wm. A. Roach – Engravers: C. A. Brooks (vignette) · E. M. Hall (lettering)
Scott 853 – 3¢ New York World’s Fair of 1939
Designer: C. Dale Badgely – Engraver: Edward M. Weeks (vignette and lettering)
Scott 854 – 3¢ Sesquicentennial of Washington’s Inauguration
Designer: Alvin R. Meissner – Engravers: J. Eissler (vignette) · E. M. Hall (lettering)
Scott 855 – 3¢ Baseball Centennial
Designer: William A. Roach – Engravers: Charles A. Brooks (vignette) · J. T. Vail (lettering)
Scott 856 – 3¢ Panama Canal Issue
Designer: Wm. Roach – Engravers: W. O. Marks (vignette) · W. B. Wells (lettering)
Scott 857 – 3¢ 300th Anniversary of Printing in Colonial America
Designer: Wm. K. Schrage – Engravers: Carl T. Arlt (vignette) · J. T. Vail (lettering)
Scott 858 – 50th Anniv. of North & South Dakota, Montana, & Washington
Designer: A. R. Meissner – Engravers: M. D. Fenton (vignette) · W. B. Wells (lettering).

“Lettering” refers to the lettering, numerals and, where applicable, the frame. Each engraver was assigned a portion of the stamp which emphasized his particular area of expertise. In practice, this meant the senior engravers were assigned the task of engraving the portrait or vignette and the less senior engravers the task of engraving the numerals, lettering and frame.

Air Mail:

Scott C24 – The 30¢ Trans-Atlantic Winged Globe.
Designer: A. R. Meissner – Engravers: C. A. Brooks & Frank Pauling (vignette) · E. M. Hall & J. T. Vail (lettering).

Special Delivery:

There were no new Special Delivery stamps issued in 1939.

Suggested reading:

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Stamps of the United States 1933-1945 – by Brian C. Baur (1993 Linn’s Stamp News).
The Prexies – by Roland Rustad (1994 USSS).

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