Here we have a copy of the Stamp Poster issued by the USPO to promote the use of the Crusade Against Cancer stamp. The following information about the history of these interesting Stamp Posters was provided to me by Dr. Frederick G. Bean, an expert and dealer in these unique philatelic items.
Stamp Posters w/First Day Cancels (SPFDC) are the forerunners of the USPS Souvenir Pages which have been issued since 1972. The USPO began distributing Stamp Posters to most post offices in 1959. These 8 x 10-1/2 inch posters eventually caught the eye of stamp collectors. Soon, some collectors had the idea of affixing a copy of the stamp depicted to the poster and having it first day canceled. Exactly, when collectors began this activity is uncertain, but by 1963, a stamp dealer started a service where he would apply the stamp to copies of the posters for mailing to subscribers. Usually, his work can be identified because he folded the posters twice for cancellation and mailing to his customers. All SPFDC are scarce, and many are rare, especially if they are flat (unfolded). The example shown above is unfolded. In fact SPFDC are unknown for quite a few issues.
The poster includes a brief description
of the stamp and other technical information. I've recreated the
full text below:
CRUSADE AGAINST CANCER
COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE STAMP
AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL POST OFFICE
APRIL 2, 1965
The 5-cent Crusade Against Cancer commemorative postage stamp will be first placed on sale at Washington, D.C., on April 1, 1965.
Stevan Dahanos, one of the nation's best-known artists, designed this vertical stamp portraying a stethoscope in purple against a microscope in orange. The wording "Early Diagnosis Saves Lives" is in purple with the remaining lettering in black. The Cancer stamp will be printed on the Giori presses, issued in panes of 50, with an initial printing of 115,000,000. Due to the arrangement of the colors it will be necessary to run the sheets through the press twice, resulting in two plate numbers on each pane.
Collectors desiring first day cancellations may send addressed envelopes, together with the remittance to cover the cost of the stamps to be affixed, to the postmaster, Washington, D.C. 20013. Postage stamps and personal checks will not be accepted in payment of the new issue. The envelope to the Postmaster should be endorsed "First Day Covers 5c Cancer Stamp." Orders for covers must not include requests for uncanceled stamps. Requests must be postmarked no later than April 1, 1965.
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