Pa. man lands 'corrected' 1918 stamps
A collector credits a hunch with helping him land one of 100 sheets of stamps recently issued by the United States Postal Service featuring a corrected version of its rare and famous error — the 1918 “inverted Jenny.”
Art Van Riper bought the stamps in Waverly, N.Y., because he read that the Postal Service printed a batch of inverted Jenny stamps celebrating the 95-year-old edition that, by mistake, featured an upside-down biplane.
He read that, as a way to draw people into stamp collecting, the Postal Service randomly distributed 100 sheets featuring the plane right-side up among the 2.2 million sheets replicating the original and distributed nationwide.
“I needed some stamps and thought ‘what the heck,' ” Van Riper said earlier this month from his Sayre, Pa., home, on the New York border. “I just had a feeling that maybe there would be one in Waverly.”
He intended to buy five sheets of the $2 stamps, at $12 a sheet, and use them to mail Christmas presents and for stocking stuffers. Postal clerk Betty Gable persuaded him to take more.
“I told him our office had 45, and he might as well buy them all,” she said. The last one would probably be the one with the right-side-up airplane, she told him.
“I'll be a son-of-a-gun, it was,” said Van Riper, who has a jewelry store and said he collects oddities ranging from baseball cards to old steins.
Van Riper's was the fourth of the 100 sheets to turn up since the post office started the campaign in September, USPS spokesman Mark Saunders said. One of the four is listed at $25,000 online, Van Riper said, but he doesn't have plans to sell his sheet.
Among stamp collectors, the inverted Jenny, produced by a printing error, is gold. Only one sheet of 100 stamps commemorating the nation's first airmail flight was sold.
One of the stamps recently sold for $977,000, according to the Postal Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Philadelphia mother pleads guilty as boy, 2, shoots, kills sister
- Erie man charged with 1990 slaying of Virginia Beach woman
- Judge delays January trial on Penn State sanctions
- Poor sales sink multi-state Monopoly Millionaires’ Club lottery
- Former Marines who served with alleged killer said couple fought constantly
- Lawrence County firm charged in connection with storage tank blast
- Western Pennsylvania lawmakers among 200 who lost pensions for bad behavior
- Enrollment in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid expansion kicks off with a few hiccups
- President judge opens probation hearings in Indiana County
- ‘Chaos on the street’ alleged in Philly
- Search intensifies for Philly-area gunman who killed 6