About 1879, 1885, 1890 and 1893, plate proofs of all U. S. postage stamps issued from 1847 to those respective dates were freely given out by the Post Office Department. In 1894, 1898, and 1901, die proofs of postage stamps issued during those years were given out by the Post Office Department. In 1903, over 90 albums containing die proofs of all U. S. stamps issued from 1847 to 1902 were freely given to Senators and Government Officials by the Post Office Department. Engravers and designers of stamps from the earliest times have been entitled to have unfinished and finished proofs of their work as evidence of their ability. The engraving firms who produced U. S. Stamps from 1847 to 1894 were also entitled to own and distribute essays and experimental essays and proofs, of stamps.
Newspapers and Periodicals Stamps are not to be confused with revenue stamps. They were used for bulk mailing of newspapers and periodicals from 1865 to 1 July 1898. There were three core series of them, 1865, 1875 and 1895.