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Last updated on January 9, 2021 Printed Revenue Stamp Cancels from the Brady's Bend Iron Co.

I remember the first time I saw the circular cancel for the Brady's Bend Iron Company. I was enamored with how perfectly struck and centered it was. Since then, I've tried to find examples of the cancel on other stamps of the 1st–3rd issues.

It was only when I saw and acquired Michael Morrissey's exhibit page (shown below) devoted to these cancels that I discovered that these in fact are not handstamp cancels, but rather printed cancels (the cancels are printed onto the stamps via printing press). Just seeing an isolated example doesn't make it apparent, but when you see a number of the different stamps side by side, it jumps out at you. If these were handstamp cancels, they would be canceled at different angles of rotation, and would have much greater variance in strike and completeness.

I am trying to acquire examples of this cancel on as many 1st–3rd issue revenue types as I can. The ones I own are all shown beneath the exhibit page below. If you have examples of this cancel on stamps other than those types pictured here, please email me.

Michael Morrissey's Brady's Bend Exhibit Page

The text of the exhibit page reads as follows:

The Brady's Bend Iron Co., located in Armstrong County in Western Pennsylvania, specialized in the manufacture of railroad rails. Railroads of that era suffered from highly-speculative investment and rapid over-expansion. This led to the Panic of 1873 and the bankruptcy of this and many other businesses tied to the railroad industry. At first glance the company revenue cancels appear to be steel-die handstamps, but close examination reveals that they are actually printed. Judging from the values used, it would seem that the company issued a plethora of promissory notes in the 1871 and 1872 period, evincing a possible inability to pay on time and in cash, in a vain effort to stave off bankruptcy.

Exhibit page


Additional Examples in My Collection

Beyond those stamp types shown in Mike's exhibit, I have subsequently hunted down the cancel on 14 additional stamps, bringing the total number of reported different stamps with this cancel to 28 as of the date this page was last updated. The current list of different stamps is shown below, with stamps I discovered after acquiring the exhibit page denoted with a red asterisk (*).

1st Issue

  • R6c (2-cent Bank Check orange) *
  • R24c (5-cent Certificate) *
  • R27c (5-cent Inland Exchange) *
  • R53c (40-cent Inland Exchange) *
  • R79c ($1.60 Foreign Exchange) *
  • R87c ($3.50 Inland Exchange) *
  • R96c ($10 Probate of Will) *

2nd Issue

  • R109 (10-cent blue & black)
  • R111 (20-cent blue & black) *
  • R112 (25-cent blue & black)
  • R113 (30-cent blue & black) *
  • R115 (50-cent blue & black) *
  • R116 (60-cent blue & black)
  • R117 (70-cent blue & black)
  • R120 ($1.50 blue & black)
  • R123 ($2 blue & black) *
  • R126 ($3.50 blue & black) *
  • R127 ($5 blue & black)
  • R128 ($10 blue & black)

3rd Issue

  • R137 (5-cent orange & black)
  • R139 (15-cent brown & black)
  • R140 (30-cent orange & black) *
  • R141 (40-cent brown & black)
  • R142 (60-cent orange & black)
  • R144 ($1 green & black)
  • R145 ($2 vermilion & black)
  • R146 ($2.50 claret & black) *
  • R148 ($5 vermilion & black)

All of the stamps are shown below, sorted by issue and denomination.

Click on any thumbnail to open a new window with more information and higher-resolution images.


1st Issue Revenues

Earliest: Oct. 23, 1866
Latest: Dec. 30, 1871

R6c R24c R27c R53c R79c R87c R96c

2nd Issue Revenues

Earliest: Sep. 29, 1871
Latest: Sep. 18, 1872


3rd Issue Revenues

Earliest: Jul. 3, 1871
Latest: Aug. 22, 1872


Other Brady's Bend Iron Co. Cancel Types

I have encountered two other cancel types from the Brady's Bend Iron Co., both handstamp cancels on 1st-issue revenue stamps. Both types are far less common than the printed cancels shown above.

R72c R88c

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