Postage Stamps of the United States First Issued in 1955

Wet Vs Dry Printing Methods.

President: Dwight David Eisenhower · Postmaster General: Arthur E. Summerfield.
Domestic Letter Rate: 3¢ per oz. · Postcard Rate: 2¢ · Air Mail Rate: 6¢ per oz.

Commemorative Postage Stamps of 1955

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

Land Grant Colleges Centennial
East Lansing, MI – Feb. 12, 1955120,484,800 issued
Rotary International 50th Anniv.
Chicago, IL – Feb. 23, 195553,854,750 issued
Armed Forces Reserve Stamp
Washington, D.C. – May 21, 1955176,075,000 issued
Soo Locks Centenary Stamp
Sault Sainte Marie, MI – June 28, 1955122,284,600 issued
Atoms for Peace Stamp
Washington, D.C. – July 28, 1955133,638,850 issued
Fort Ticonderoga Bicentennial Stamp
Fort Ticonderoga, NY – Sep. 18, 1955118,664,600 issued

Rotary Press – Perf 10½ x 11 – 200 Subject Electric Eye Plates

Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts
Philadelphia, PA – Jan. 15, 1955Dry Method Printing – 116,139,800 issued
Old Man of the Mountain
Franconia, NH – June 21, 1955125,944,400 issued
The Andrew Mellon Stamp
Washington, D.C. – Dec. 20, 1955280 Subject Plates – 112,434,000 issued

Certified Mail Stamp of 1955

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

15¢ Mailman Delivering Letters
Washington, D.C. – June 6, 1955.

The Dry Printing Special Handling Postage Stamps of 1955

Flat Plate – Dry Printing – Perforated 11 – 200 Subject Plates.

Scott QE1a - Dry-print 10c Special Handling of 1955 Scott QE2a - Dry-print 15c Special Handling of 1955 Scott QE3a - Dry-print 20c Special Handling of 1955
10¢ Special Handling – Dry Printing 15¢ Special Handling – Dry Printing 20¢ Special Handling – Dry Printing

The Special Handling stamps were printed using the wet method through most of 1955, when some were printed using the new dry method. It should be noted that all of the Special Handling stamps were printed on flat plate presses and that the 25¢ stamp was never printed using the dry method.

The traditional method of sorting the wet and dry stamps has been to classify as dry-prints those with sharper, crisper printing and a slightly darker green color than the 1928 yellow green. Mr. Bob Rufe, in a series of articles in the 2007 United States Specialist, presents a convincing argument that this is misleading at best, since many of the stamps printed between 1940 and 1955 have just these supposed dry printing characteristics. In fact, he clearly illustrates an example of a wet printing from the 1940-1955 period that is indistinguishable from a dry printing in terms of color and sharpness. This wet stamp would end up in most dealer’s dry stock pile. Why does a stamp that looks so much like a dry-printing, turn out to be a wet-print stamp? It turns out these stamps have over-riding characteristics showing they must be wet-prints. These characteristics are:

  1. The wet-print, depending on the direction of the grain of the paper, is narrower or shorter than the dry-print, typically from .4 to .7 mm narrower or shorter. This can be seen by overlapping the stamp in question with a known wet-print stamp. A good choiuce for this would be any 25¢ Special Handling stamp since they were all wet-printings. If the stamp in question measures similar in both the vertical and horizontal directions, it must be a wet-print. If the stamp is noticeably longer or wider, then it might be a dry-print.
  2. The dry-prints were printed on thicker, stiffer paper. Although it would require an accurate micrometer to make such measurements, many collectors can tell the difference simply by “flicking” the stamp, testing for stiffness.

This new research presents some interesting findings. Since many of the stamps that have been traditionally classified as dry-prints are actually wet-prints, the Special Handling dry-prints appear to be substantially rarer than previously thought. The dry-printings are unknown properly used on a contemporary cover.

Ordinary issue:

see also:The Series of 1954 – "The Liberty Issue"
Scott 1030a – ½¢ Benjamin Franklin – Wet Printing – Oct. 20, 1955
Scott 1039a – 6¢ Theodore Roosevelt – Wet Printing – Nov. 18, 1955
Scott 1049a – 30¢ Robert E. Lee – Wet Printing – Sept. 21, 1955
Scott 1050a – 40¢ John Marshall – Wet Printing – Sept. 24, 1955
Scott 1051a – 50¢ Susan B. Anthony – Wet Printing – Aug. 25, 1955.
Scott 1052a – $1 Patrick Henry – Wet Printing – Oct. 7, 1955.


Scott 1064 – 3¢ Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts Sesquicentennial – Designer: McCloskey, Jr. – Engraver: C. A. Brooks
Scott 1065 – 3¢ Land Grant Colleges Centennial Stamp – Designer: Wm. K. Schrage – Engraver: A. W. Dintaman
Scott 1066 – 8¢ Rotary International 50th Anniversary Stamp – Designer: C. R. Chickering – Engraver: R. M. Bower
Scott 1067 – 3¢ Armed Forces Reserve Stamp – Designer: C. R. Chickering – Engraver: C. A. Brooks
Scott 1068 – 3¢ Old Man of the Mountain Sesquicentennial – Designer: Wm. K. Schrage – Engraver: R. M. Bower
Scott 1069 – 3¢ Soo Locks Centenary Stamp – Designer: C. R. Chickering – Engraver: C. A. Brooks
Scott 1070 – 3¢ Atoms for Peace Stamp – Designer: George R. Cox – Engraver: R. M. Bower
Scott 1071 – 3¢ Fort Ticonderoga Bicentennial Stamp – Designer: Enrico Arno – Engraver: C. A. Brooks
Scott 1072 – 3¢ Andrew Mellon Stamp – Designer: V. S. McCloskey, Jr. – Engraver: R. M. Bower.

Air Mail:

There were no new Air Mail stamps issued in 1955.

Special Delivery:

There were no new Special Delivery stamps issued in 1955.

Certified Mail

Scott FA1 – 15¢ Mailman Delivering Letters.

Special Handling – Dry Printing – Wet Vs Dry

Scott QE1a – 10¢ Special Handling Stamp.
Scott QE2a – 15¢ Special Handling Stamp.
Scott QE3a – 20¢ Special Handling Stamp.