1901 Pan American 5¢ - #297
'Bridge at Niagara Falls'
5¢ - Ultramarine and black or dark ultramarine and black
Scott #297 - 1901
No postmark with gum (MH): $12-$30
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $45-$115
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).
A full pane of 100
The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Double lined USPS watermark.
It paid the foreign destination fee for first class mail.
What you should look for
As with all stamps of this issue be on the look out
for the expo cancel, a samples of which can be seen below.
The Inspiration for the Design
Postcard of the bridge from the same year as the Expo, 1901
The photo 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.
The Bridge, after its collapse in 1938
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.
Varieties to look for
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
Photo reproduction of ink drawing
Photo sensitive paper
mounted on thin card
o On Card
On photo-sensitive paper
Die Proof on India
Die sunk on card
Small Die Proof
Small Die Proof on wove paper
The Postal department issued a selection of postcards for the exhibition
these designs were taken up by the various exhibitors.
A souvenir ticket for the Pan-Anerican Exposition