Butter fat revenue usage?

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October 12, 2015

A gentleman at the local show yesterday had two of these, that he believes to be postage improperly used as revenues.

There was one with a 2-cent coil affixed, and this one with a 3-cent coil affixed, both on these partial envelope remnants and both with the same straight line handstamp. He offered me one gratis and I chose this one, as it also had the little slip shown below contained inside it.

What exactly is this and what is the stamp paying? Is it really a revenue usage?

Reply from Bart Rosenberg: All but guaranteed to be a postal use of some kind. Postal cancel, oleo tax was 1/4 cents per pound and paid on the product containers, and this appears to be part of a trucking company receipt. No possible way I can think of for an amount that small to be a revenue usage here. Perhaps Ron will chime in, he knows far more about oleo taxes than I do... Since it is an envelope, there was probably a window with the address printed on the paperwork inside, which was then presumably sent to the home office.

Subsequent reply from Ron Lesher: I agree with most of the comments that this is not a revenue use. The two rates were 1/4 cent per pound for uncolored margarine and 10 cents per pound for colored. The federal tax on oleo expired June 30, 1950. It seems likely that Wisconsin did not permit the sale of oleo during the time period when the Prexies were in service. The suggested test on butter fat for the making of cheese in Wisconsin seems like a plausible explanation, but I see not evidence that it is the state doing the testing. Further I see no evidence that a tax is being paid. Perhaps a receipt for truck transportation?

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