Graphic of the BEP Seal

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Pictured below: Currency exhibit display panels at Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, TX.
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Research: Stamps 

Overview:

 

Internal Revenue stamps and postage stamps were a big part of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's history.  The BEP began producing revenue stamps in 1866.  These stamps were used well into the twentieth century to collect excise taxes.  Producers of goods subject to excise taxes were required to place a Government stamp, known as a revenue stamp, on their product to prove that the tax had been paid.  Postage stamp production started at the BEP in 1894 and continued until 2005 when production was given to private printing firms.

 

For further information on this topic, specific questions may be addressed to the Historical Resource Center.


HRC / BEP Papers

 

"100 Years of Postage Stamp Printing," BEP Communicator, July/August 1994
Briefly looks at the start of postage stamp production.

 

"A Family Tree Story," BEP Communicator, September 2004
Recounts the story behind the design of the 2-cent postage stamp of 1932.

 

"A History of Stamp Production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing," BEP Communicator, August 2005
A timeline of postage stamp production.

 

"Bureau Products Commemorating the Wright Brothers," BEP Communicator, October 2003
Looks at postage stamps and other products created to commemorate the Wright brothers.

 

The Challenges of Change:  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Modernizing Stamp Production in the Decade After World War II
A paper presented at the Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History, November 2006.

 

"Commemorating the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition," BEP Communicator, September 2003
Looks at postage stamps and other products created in 1904 and 1905.

 

"Commemorating World War II Through Postage Stamps," BEP Communicator, November 2005
A short article on some World War II postage stamp designs.

 

Images of Past Futures: World's Fairs, Postage Stamps and the Impact of Modernity
A paper presented at the Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History, November 2006, examining the impact of Art Deco on stamp design.

 

Postage and Progressivism: Political Ideology and the Start of Postage Stamp Production at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1893-1894
A paper presented at the Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History, November 2006.

 

Revenue Stamps − General Definitions
Briefly relates the different types of stamps.


HRC / BEP Books & Articles

 

History of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1862-1962 (Washington, DC: Treasury Department, 1962)
A full-length official history of the BEP.


External Links

 

National Postal Museum
Contains the papers presented at the Winton M. Blount Symposium on Postal History.