‘The Inverted Jenny’ Rare Stamp On Display This Month
The famous Inverted Jenny postage stamp will be displayed at the DELPEX 2013 Stamp Show. By Jean Woods (PCM) The Inverted Jenny is the most famous US stamp error, with the airplane printed upside-down. A single sheet of 100 stamps was purchased by collector William T. Robey in Washington, D.C., on May 14, 1918 for $24. Robey sold the sheet on May 20 for $15,000 to Eugene Klein, a Philadelphia stamp dealer. Klein had already arranged its resale to Col. Edward H. R. Green of New York for $20,000. Green had the sheet broken up, and sold blocks and single stamps to collectors, saving a few key position blocks for himself. Over the years the value of the stamp has risen sharply, with single copies now selling for an average of $500,000. The name “Inverted Jenny” comes from the plane shown on the stamp. This stamp was the first US Airmail stamp issued for use on letters sent via the first regular US airmail service between Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and New York. The plane used to carry the mail is shown on the stamp and is a Curtiss JN-4, popularly known by pilots in WWI as the “Jenny.” The “Jenny” issue was somewhat unusual for the times because it was printed in two colors. This required sending the sheet of stamps through the printing press twice, with the risk that a sheet might accidentally be turned upside-down and causing an inversion error. The initial purchaser, William T. Robey, was a stamp collector and was on the lookout for just such an error when he went to the New York Avenue Branch Post Office in Washington, DC to purchase a sheet of the stamps. He is reported to have said “He brought forth a full sheet, and my heart stood still. It was a thrill that comes once in a lifetime.” The clerk didn’t notice the error and sold the sheet, although postal authorities later tried to buy it back. The clerk was reported to have later claimed “How was I to know – I’ve never even seen an airplane!” Over the years four copies have been stolen, although two were recovered. The thieves damaged one of the stamps to make it less identifiable. Green’s wife mailed one to him, which is the only known used copy. One was reportedly damaged when it was sucked into a vacuum cleaner. Experts have tried to keep track of have been lost or destroyed over the last 95 years due to theft or mishandling. The Inverted Jenny has showed up in the movies Brewster’s Millions and American Cousins as well as the TV show The Simpsons. DELPEX 2013 is the annual stamp show sponsored by the non-profit Brandywine Valley Stamp Club. The show features stamp exhibits, free stamps for kids, a silent auction, and dealers selling stamps and supplies. The famous Inverted Jenny postage stamp will be displayed at the DELPEX 2013 Stamp Show. From The Official Site: One of the rarest US postage stamps, the Inverted Jenny, will be on display at the DELPEX Stamp Show on April 20, 2013. The show is sponsored by the Brandywine Valley Stamp Club and will be held at the Nur Shrine Center, 198 South Du Pont Highway (U.S. Routes 13 & 40), New Castle, Delaware. Hours are 10 am – 5pm and admission is free.