1923 30 cent United States Stamp – American Buffalo – Scott #569
This stamp was part of the Regular Issues of 1922-1931, also known by stamp collectors as the Fourth Bureau Issue, as it was the fourth to be printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, in Washington D.C . This issue included 27 definitive postage stamps issued by the U.S. Post office in denominations ranging from ½-cent to 5-dollars. Each denomination had its own subject and color. The more commonly used denominations of 14 cents and lower, used traditional portraits, mainly United States presidents, while most of the higher denominations of 15 cents and over contained iconic pictorial images such as the Statue of Liberty, Niagara Falls, Lincoln Memorial and The United States Capitol. Additionally, denominations of 17 cents and higher appear in landscape format, distinguishing them from the less expensive stamps which appeared in portrait orientation. An odd exception was the 17 cent stamp which used a portrait of Woodrow Wilson but in a landscape orientation.
The Fourth Bureau Issue stamps were issued in three basic forms: 1.) sheet of stamps, 2.) coils of stamps, and 3.) booklets containing six stamps to a leaflet. There were three printings, or series of the Fourth Bureau Issue stamps, with the first printed by flat plate press and the second and third series produced by rotary press printing. Further distinguishing each of the three different series are the perforation numbers. Stamps from the first series had 11 perforations on all sides while stamps from the second series had 10 perforations on all sides and stamps from the third series had 11 perforations horizontally and 10½ vertically.
The first stamp of this issue the 11 cent Rutherford B. Hayes stamp. This stamp was issued on October 4, 1922, marking the hundredth anniversary of former President Hayes’s birth. To further honor Hayes the stamp was first released in Hayes’ hometown of Fremont, Ohio, and in Washington D.C. Initiating the practice of issuing a new stamp on a specific day and in a particular city. For this reason, many stamp collectors consider the release of the Hayes stamp as the initial First Day Cover in the United States.
American Buffalo Stamp
The 30 cent buffalo stamp is the only stamp of the Fourth Bureau Issue that does not have a ribbon-banner and description directly below the stamp’s primary image. The 30 cent buffalo stamp was designed by Clair Aubrey Huston who used a drawing of an American buffalo from 1901 done by Charles R. Knight. Knight was well-known at the time for his paintings of dinosaurs. The engraving of the buffalo image was done by Louis Schofield, an employee of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
The American Buffalo stamp was issued on March 20, 1923 in Washington, DC. In total, nearly three hundred million of these postage stamps were printed.
THE AMERICAN BUFFALO
Commonly known as the American buffalo, though the name American bison (Bison bison) is technically more correct. The American bison is closely related to the wisent or European bison and a mitochondrial DNA study has indicated that American bison is actually also closely related to the yak (Bos grunniens) in Asia. The American Bison is only very distantly related to either of the two species of “true buffalo”, the Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) and the African buffalo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer).
The Trans-Mississippi Issue – set of nine commemorative postage stamps issued to mark the 1898 Trans-Mississippi Exposition – 4 cent orange – “Indian Hunting Buffalo” – United States Scott #287 Stamp
Massive herds of the American bison once roamed the grasslands and forests over most of North America and even into Mexico. However, a combination of overhunting in the 19th century and the introduction of bovine diseases from domestic cattle nearly drove this American buffalo to extinction. Although not in the massive numbers that they once existed, American Bison are now thriving, albeit within a much more limited range. Wild bison live mainly in national parks such as Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
The American bison can stand six feet tall at the shoulders and reach nearly 12 feet in length. It has a shaggy, long, brown coat and can reach a weight of nearly one and a half tons, making the American Bison the largest land animal in North America. Like domestic cattle, American bison feed mainly on prairie grasses. American bison live to about 15 years of age in the wild and nearly double that in captivity. Other than man, the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) and the grey wolf (Canis lupus) are the American Bison’s main predators.