The book presents the fascinating story of the regular postage stamp issue called the Fourth Bureau Issue. Introduced under the new postal administration of President Warren G. Harding and continuing through the administrations of Coolidge and Hoover and into the Roosevelt Administration, the Issue saw the introduction and development of several production innovations at the government printing plant, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), resulting in refining and increasing production.
Part 1 of this generously illustrated edition relates the chronological stories of the technical and political aspects of the subject selection and development of each value, production and release of each stamp value, and the story of the Issue as scrutinized by the public and collectors. Production varieties are discussed, including their discoveries and associated histories. The period 1922 through 1938 introduced significant technological advancements at the BEP and the underlying storyline is developed in conjunction with the impact of these advancements on these issues.
At the beginning of production in 1922, postage stamps were printed sheet-by-sheet on flat bed presses. The BEP soon developed high-speed rotary presses, associated high-speed perforators, chrome-plated printing plates, and a myriad of other advances that were in common use by 1938.
Part 2 offers twelve additional chapters that provide insight into areas that are closely associated with the Fourth Bureau Issue and advancing production technology at the Bureau during the period. The subjects of these chapters are discussed by a group of contributors who are regarded highly in their areas of expertise.
About the Author of Part 1:
Author Gary Griffith spent over a decade researching the entire issue and wrote extensively about the issue in several national publications including the Bureau Issues Association – United States Stamp Society journal, The United States Specialist, and also served as a frequent author and columnist for major philatelic publications, including Linn’s Stamp News, Stamp Collector and Scott Stamp Monthly.
Linn’s Stamp News published a pair of books authored by Gary Griffith, bringing together the story of the Fourth Bureau Issue as well as the period commemoratives, air mail issues and other special services. The first book, United States Stamps, 1922-26, was released in 1997; the second volume, United States Stamps, 1927-32 followed in 2001. Griffith assigned his author’s copyright for his writings in those two publications to the United States Stamp Society and we have updated his writings with advances in the body of knowledge of the Fourth Bureau Issue since 2001.
About the Contributors to Part 2:
Richard Bates has served as an editor of the Canal Zone Study Group journal and has worked as a volunteer at the National Postal Museum and the Smithsonian.
John Hotchner has long been recognized as one of the premier authorities on twentieth century U.S. philately and has written and exhibited for decades. He is a past president of the American Philatelic Society.
Rodney Juell is an authority on the U.S. philately of the Harding through Hoover administrations and has served as a columnist for multiple journals, writing about the era. He is a co-editor of the United States Stamp Society publication The Encyclopedia of United States Stamps and Stamp Collecting.
Jerry Katz is a lifelong specialist on the 11¢ Hayes flat-plate printings as well as first day cover collecting. He has self-published more than ten booklets on his specialties.
Louis Fiset is recognized as the foremost authority on the development of stamp Gum Breakers at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and has exhibited on the subject.
James Robinson has spent almost three decades studying various aspects of the Fourth Bureau issue and has written about his discoveries in the The United States Specialist.
Robert Rufe is an authority on Special Handling stamps and the “special” booklet paper printings of the Fourth Bureau Issue. He was instrumental in updating listings in the Scott Specialized Catalogue.
Arnold Selengut is recognized as one of the foremost authorities on United States precancels and is active in The Precancel Stamp Society.
Jay Stotts is the chairman of the United States Stamp Society Fourth Bureau Issue Committee and an exhibitor and writer. He served as editor for this publication.