John F. Henry, Facsimile Stamp plate proof block, 114MP3


With the repeal of the proprietary tax in 1883, manufacturers of matches, perfumery and playing cards were no longer required to affix revenue stamps to their products. For various reasons, however, many companies who had been permitted to use stamps from their own private dies were reluctant to eliminate these “product identifiers”. As a result, label simulating their own stamps were created and used. The distinguishing difference, of course, was the absence of the inscription: “U.S. Internal Revenue”. Catalog numbers are those developed and used by Sherwood Springer. Various firms used labels which did not resemble their private die stamps.

John F. Henry was one of the sons in J.M. Henry & Sons, a proprietary medicine firm operating in the 1850’s in Vermont. In 1865 John went to New York to work for Demas Barnes. Barnes wanted to run for Congress and pursue other activities, so in 1868 Henry took over as successor. By 1869 Henry must have run out of proprietary stamps from Barnes, so he ordered his own. The stamps were issued from October 1869 to February of 1883.

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