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Postal News: Misprinted stamps escape United States Postal Service vault

April 30, 2014
By KATHLEEN SWANSON , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Postal Service has printed 100 additional sheets of stamps of the recently issued $2 Inverted Jenny stamp but with the plane flying right-side up.

These very limited edition stamps were circulated with the recent issue of stamps mimicking the most famous stamp error in U.S. history.

Customers who purchased the new Inverted Jenny stamp could have a very limited edition of the famous stamp.

Article Photos

Inverted Jenny stamp.

Unique to this stamp issuance, all sheets were individually wrapped in a sealed envelope to recreate the excitement of finding an Inverted Jenny when opening the envelope and to avoid the possibility of discovering a corrected Jenny prior to purchase.

"We are leveraging the incredible story behind the rare collectible as a creative way to generate interest in stamp collecting while highlighting the role the Post Office Department had in developing the commercial aviation industry," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said.

Individuals purchasing 'corrected Jenny sheets' will find a congratulatory note inside the wrapping asking them to call a phone number to receive a certificate of acknowledgement signed by the Postmaster General.

The 100 sheets were distributed randomly among the nation's post offices and at the Postal Service's Stamp Fulfillment Center which accepts stamp orders online at:, and by calling (800) STAMP24 (782-6724).

Additionally, some of the 100 also were randomly distributed at:

Misprint's 'misprint'

The idea for creating the "misprinted misprint" came to light after the Postmaster General mentioned the stamp to customer groups shortly after it was previewed in January 2013.

"Our customers were enthusiastic about printing a new version of the most publicized stamp error in U.S. history as a great way to spur interest in stamp collecting," Donahoe said. "Some jokingly commented that we should be careful to avoid repeating the same mistake of nearly a century ago. That was the impetus behind this initiative. What better way to interest a younger generation in stamp collecting?"

Jenny story

Two eerie occurrences took place surrounding the nation's first airmail flight that took place 1918. The pilot got lost, flew in the wrong direction and crashed.

And due to a printing error of the 24-cent Curtiss Jenny airmail stamp created to commemorate this historic event, the biplane was depicted flying upside down on one sheet of 100 stamps that was sold to the public.

In 1918, in a rush to celebrate the first airmail flight, the Post Office department issued the 24-cent Curtiss Jenny stamp.

Because the design required two colors, sheets were placed on the printing press twice - first to apply red ink and a second time to apply blue ink. This process was given to human error - as stamp collectors at the time well knew.

A Washington, D.C., post office clerk - who had never seen an airplane - sold a sheet of 100 stamps mistakenly showing the biplane upside down.

For nearly a century, stamp collectors have chased the Inverted Jennys and have accounted for nearly all 100 of them.

Customers may view the Stamp Collecting: Inverted Jenny Forever stamps on Facebook at:, on Twitter@USPSstamps or at:

Kathleen Swanson is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.



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