US #273 1898 Provisional IR usage PAIR, Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Co.
R157 is the dark green ten-cent postage stamp of the 1895 definitive series privately marked with a magenta I.R. handstamp by the Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Company of Detroit for use on their life insurance policies for a short period before they could obtain regular battleship revenues. Although these were privately produced, they are listed in the Scott Specialized. Sixty-six copies are reported to exist.
From Sloan’s column of July 31 1948: The stamps were used by the Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Co., on each of five days from July 8th to 12th, 1898, on insurance policies to bridge over the period during which the necessary revenue stamps could not be obtained from the local Internal Revenue office…so far as known no authority had been granted the company to make up the stamps but it is understood that their usage was accepted by the Detroit officials of the Internal Revenue Bureau.”
From July 1 to July 8, 1898, it is speculated that the Michigan Mutual Life Insurance Co. manuscript canceled an unknown number of 8c, 10c and/or 15c stamps of the then current first bureau issue for use of Life Insurance policies.