1901 Pan American 8¢ - #298
'Canal Locks at Sault de Ste. Marie'
8¢ - Brown violet and black or purplish brown and black
Scott #298 - 1901
No postmark with gum (MH): $18-$40
Full perfect gum, no postmark, no trace of stamp hinge mark (MNH): $65-$130
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).
Printer: The Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Watermark: Double lined USPS watermark.
What you should look for
There is little variety and history to the 8¢ issue, foreign destination fee for first class mail. As with all stamps of this issue be on the look out for the expo cancel, a sample of which can be seen below.
The Inspiration for the Design
Both Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan and Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario have the canal travel through them. The Soo locks and the canal were considered to be an engineering marvel, It allowed the iron ore and pine lumber of the region to travel from Lake Superior and Lake Huron to the rest of the Great Lakes and then through the St Lawrence Canal to the Atlantic.
Varieties to look for
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