1901 US Postage Stamps US 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 295 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 296 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 297 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 298 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 299 1851 US Postage Stamp Essays

1901 Pan American 5¢ - #297

296 Scotts - US Postage Stamps

'Bridge at Niagara Falls'
5¢ - Ultramarine and black or dark ultramarine and black
Scott #297 - 1901

Value
Used: $1-$3
No postmark with gum (MH): $12-$30
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $45-$115

Statistics

Issued: Introduced on May 1st, 1901. Earliest documented use is the same date, example shown below. There were no inverts.

Plate Size: Sheets of 200 subjects (2 panes of 100).

297 sheet
A full pane of 100

Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving

Watermark: Double lined USPS watermark.

Quantity Issued: 7,200,000. It paid the foreign destination fee for first class mail.

What you should look for

There is little variety and history to the issue. As with all stamps of this issue be on the look out for the expo cancel, a sample of which can be seen below.

297 Exposition Cancel for Pan-Am exhibit

The Inspiration for the Design

297 Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Postcard of the bridge from the same year as the Expo, 1901

The picture is of the Upper SteelArch Road Bridge, nicknamed the "Honeymoon" Bridge. At the time of the design it was the world's largest single span steel bridge. Unfortunately, it was not to last, the bridge collapsed in 1938, a victim an ice storm crushing its foundations. It was prone to swaying violently, this was caused by wind, a technical aspect little understood at the time of the design. It was replaced by the current Rainbow bridge.

297 Bridge Collapse Scotts - US Postage Stamps

The Bridge, after its collapse in 1938

297 Steel Bridge - Scotts - US Postage Stamps

A photo of the bridge from almost the same angle as used in the design.
Notice the two trams on the bridge in the design
.

297 Scotts - US Postage Stamps

Varieties to look for

296 ultramar
The Ultramar overprint

The Portuguese Ministry for the Colonies was originally supplied with 25 Specimen stamps. They overprinted the specimens with the "Ultramar" overprint, meaning "overseas", the stamps were distributed to the various colonies.

The Essay's and Proofs

297-E1 US stamp
#297-E1
Photo reproduction of ink drawing
Photo sensitive paper
Unadopted design

297-E1 US stamp

#297-E2
Pencil Drawing
Tracing paper
on thin card

297-E3
#297-E3
Ink drawing
On Card

297-E3
#297-E4
Photo Reproduction
On photo-sensitive paper
2012 ebay sale $1,000

297-P1
297 P1
Die Proof on India
Die sunk on card

297 P2 Proof US Stamp

297 P2
Small Die Proof

1901 US Postage Stamps US 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 295 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 296 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 297 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 298 1851 Scotts - US Postage Stamps 299 1851 US Postage Stamp Essays