RO180a Universal Safety Match Co. (USMCo)


The first stamp of this series is an early Butler & Carpenter production being one of the sixteen match stamps first issued in 1864. The design is quite attractive and its history rather unusual the stamp having been issued for a Boston firm but used most extensively by another firm in New Jersey. It is an upright rectangle of the standard lc size bearing U and S in circles in the upper corners and 1 1 in similar circles in the lower corners. Outside these circles are labels bearing the usual inscriptions that at the bottom reading SAFETY MATCHES. In the center is a pedestal labeled USM Co on which rests a lighted lamp of learning symbolical of the American Athens with Boston above it and Mass below the pedestal. Until December 31 1864 this company was controlled by one Jenkins on that date it passed to Cyrus Carpenter & Co both of these firms were of Boston Mass. After July 1867 it was transferred to the Eagle Match Co, WL Heazleton & Co of Trenton NJ and again on September 27 1868 to the firm of Hendrickson & Leigh also of Trenton NJ. None of these companies or individuals made any change in the die. It afterwards became the property of Leigh & Palmer and they were succeeded by H Leigh both of these parties who were also of Trenton NJ had the die altered to suit their business.

Christopher West, Mekeel’s Weekly Stamp News, sept 13, 1919 p. 311

Additional information

Scott Number







Old Paper

Number Issued



November 1864 to August 1875



Scott Catalog Value


SKU: RO180a-1 Categories: , Tags: ,